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We Don’t Need No Stinking Ethics!

January 12, 2017


Yesterday’s news conference, if you can call it that, was a chilling taste of things to come. Trump’s toxic mix of distortion, lies, boasting, whining, name-calling, intimidation, and evasion was on full display.  He dropped the N-bomb (Nazi, that is), cast CNN into the outer darkness, insisted that being a friend to Putin would be an “asset, not a liability”, claimed that nobody but the press was interested in his tax returns, and doubled down on repealing Obamacare immediately while saying nothing about what–if anything–would replace it.

But the real news of the day was his plan for dealing with his business assets while he is president, which is to put them in a trust to be run by his sons Donald Jr. and Eric.  His lawyer spoke at length about how this was the only possible solution and how Trump would never, never, cross-his-heart-and-hope-to-die talk about his businesses with the boys.  He would only learn about new deals if he read about it in the papers (assuming any were left).  Just look at that yuuuge stack of paper on that table that he had to sign!!

Moreover, he said that he didn’t really have to do even that because the president is exempt from conflict of interest laws and regulations.

That was the real message of the day:  Donald Trump can do whatever the fuck he wants, and nobody can stop him.

And maybe he’s right.  Never mind that Walter Shaub Jr, director of the Office of Government Ethics, called Trump’s plan wholly inadequate and said it would leave the president vulnerable to “suspicions of corruption.”  How is some little bureaucrat going to stop The Donald?

And how about that GSA lease on the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue, which now houses Trump’s signature hotel in Washington, DC?  A few weeks ago, it was revealed that the lease states “No … elected official of the Government of the United States … shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom…” That seems pretty clear, doesn’t it?  Well, that’s what lawyers are for.

Indeed, what is emerging as the guiding philosophy of the Trump administration is that government is there to be monetized.

So get ready for the most shamelessly corrupt administration in American history.  Your tax dollars at work…to make the rich richer!

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