What This Blog Is About

This blog is here to, as much as possible, keep the mores of the Trump administration from being the new normal in American presidential politics.
Not since the Civil War has a president sought to abridge freedom of speech or of the press. No president has ever sought to keep extensive wealth in this country and all around the world while being the number one agent for the American peoples' business. Nobody with a decades' long sexual attraction to his own daughter has ever been president. No other president has been elected with the strong help of the illegal acts of a foreign country. No other president has neither held prior office nor has been a military general. No other president has ever claimed that he sacrificed more than a Gold Star family. No prior president has ever claimed a book to be his favorite, and then not be able to say anything about it immediately afterwards. No prior president has had speeches of Adolf Hitler as bedside reading for an extensive period of time. No prior president has been recorded describing an attempt to seduce another man's wife. No prior president has ever been recorded saying that he could just pick women up by their genitals. No prior president's comments about women have focused so much on their physical appearance. No president with a 4-F draft status has ever claimed at age 70 to be the healthiest presidential candidate ever. No prior presidential candidate has spent more than one minute of his debate time sniffing, as if something was coming out of his nose. Since the creation of the Geneva Convention, no president has ever formally disavowed any part of it. No prior president has been divorced twice, each time afterwards marrying the mistress with whom he has committed adultery.
If these things become the new normal, then the American experiment in free republicanism is over. There is some tiny chance that remembering the mores of a free republic can help heal the damage from this savage, brutal, political and military nightmare.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Presidential Conflicts of Interest?-- Punish the Ethics Chief!

In the past, Presidents of the United States have put their assets into blind trusts. They have generally sold their assets, appointed trustees that are neither current or former investment advisors, partners, accountants, attorneys, or relatives, and then turned the proceeds to their trustees, who reinvest them. The trustees and the trustors do not communicate anything to each other during the existence of the trusts. In that way, Presidents avoid self-dealing as they run the government-- they don't know what they own. These are not the only way to avoid conflicts of interest. Presidents can hold their investments in such ways as to avoid conflicts of interest if what they have are not directly tied to specific businesses-- if they are in bank accounts, treasury notes, or index mutual funds.

Donald Trump is not doing any of those things. He proposes to transfer his assets to his adult sons, but he would still know what he owned. Foreign governments could grant his businesses favors, and U.S. actions against certain other foreign governments could destroy the value of some of his business assets.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R,-UT, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is accusing Walter Shaub Jr., the director of the Office of Government Ethics of abusing his position for challenging President-elect Donald Trump’s refusal to use a blind trust for his assets on taking office.
What is happening now is that instead of Trump's being pressured to avoid conflicts of interest, the ethics chief is being pressured to ignore Trump's inactions such that Trump can use the federal government to enrich himself further and that foreign governments can hold his assets hostage to prevent him from taking needed government action.
Here's a list of committee members-- it includes Rep. Blake Farenthold, (R.) congressman for my old home Bay City, Texas, and libertarian darling Rep. Justin Amash (R.-MI). If you are a constituent of one of these folk, please object to them for the committee's punishing the ethics chief for doing his job.