Sunday, February 05, 2017

Trump Gets So Upset When He's Exposed As The Kleptomaniac He's Been All His Life


Saturday, Trumpanzee woke up, chopped up and then snorted a couple of Adderalls and started with the morning ritual-- his nasty, childish, mastabatory tweeting. One claimed that the NYTimes is fake news and that it had apologized to His Trumpiness. The fake news-- or in the Regime's own terms, #AltFacts-- is that it ever apologized to him for anything. Interestingly, the latest poll from PPP asked people who had more credibility, The Times or the Trumpanzee. 51% of people chose The Times; 42% chose the orange-hued orangutang. In fact, among self-identified "moderates," that number is 61% for The Times and just 30% for Trumpy-the-Clown.

Some people assumed-- inaccurately-- that it was The Times editorial against his endangered Department of Education nominee, the ultra-odious Betsy DeVos, that got him going about The Times again. The editors urged a decent Republican in the Senate-- I don't know what they've been smoking-- to join Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and every single Democrat-- to deny DeVos confirmation Monday. They just need one more. But that's a hopeless task. Once electorally vulnerable Dean Heller (R-NV) said he was voting for DeVos, the battle was, in effect, over. There are no other decent Republicans in the Senate, despite what The Times editors may wish. "The extra Republican vote," they fantasized, "could come from one of several independent-minded senators; one candidate is Lamar Alexander, an expert on public schools who actually owes the country a good turn because of his failure as chairman of the committee vetting Ms. DeVos to question her closely and to give more time to her critics. There are few more telling examples of Mr. Trump’s disdain for the federal government’s critical role in lifting up America’s schoolchildren than his choice of Ms. DeVos. She has spent years funneling her inherited fortune into a campaign to replace the nation’s traditional public schools with federally funded charter schools, regardless of the latter’s performance, and supporting vouchers, which help families send children to private or parochial schools and drain funds from public schools that need more, not less, support. Mr. Alexander didn’t give senators much time to question Ms. DeVos, but it was sufficient to reveal her near-total unfamiliarity with public education law, standards and even problems. A conservative ideologue, she fell back on most policy questions to an assertion that states should make their own rules, even on settled matters of federal law, like access for handicapped children."
Betsy DeVos’s nomination is not about making public education more effective, or helping publicly schooled children succeed; it’s about blowing up the system without a clue as to what comes next. Mr. Alexander was secretary of education himself, from 1991 to 1993, and he ran for president twice, speaking out against the influence of money in politics. And while he went way easy on Ms. DeVos in the hearings, he surely knows better than to place her in a job of such importance to the country’s future.
The editors then landed some gratuitous slaps at Scott Pruitt, Tom Price and Steven Mnuchin, Trumpanzee’s picks to head the EPA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Treasury. But Trump is primarily concerned with Trump, not Betsy DeVos or anyone else. Sure, he wants to "win," but, again, that's about him, not them.

No, what got him into a foul mood yesterday was a report by Susanne Craig and Eric Lipton calling him out on his lies about separating himself from his businesses. His attorneys and advisors have urged him to take at least the appearance of ethics seriously. He has consistently refused to do any such thing. And now, as they reported yesterday, "records have emerged that show just how closely tied" the most corrupt and crooked, self-serving monstrosity ever installed in the White House "remains to the empire he built."

While the president says he has walked away from the day-to-day operations of his business, two people close to him are the named trustees and have broad legal authority over his assets: his eldest son, Donald Jr., and Allen H. Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer. Mr. Trump, who will receive reports on any profit, or loss, on his company as a whole, can revoke their authority at any time.

What’s more, the purpose of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust is to hold assets for the “exclusive benefit” of the president. This trust remains under Mr. Trump’s Social Security number, at least as far as federal taxes are concerned.

Since his election, there have been widespread calls for Mr. Trump to sell his assets and put the proceeds in a blind trust. He has resisted those calls, stressing that the president has no legal obligation to do so.

While the trust structure, outlined in documents made public through a Freedom of Information Act request by ProPublica, may give the president the appearance of distance from his business, it drew sharp criticism from experts in government ethics.

“I don’t see how this in the slightest bit avoids a conflict of interest,” said Frederick J. Tansill, a trust and estates lawyer from Virginia who examined the documents at the request of the New York Times. “First it is revocable at any time, and it is his son and his chief financial officer who are running it.”

...The most immediate test of Mr. Trump’s legal moves to separate himself from his company, the Trump Organization, pertains to the ownership of the new Trump International Hotel in the Old Post Office Building in Washington.

The trust documents, which were prepared last month, argue that “all beneficial ownership in the licensee previously held by Donald J. Trump, personally, now is held derivatively and beneficially by The Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust,” which is legal language intended to suggest that Mr. Trump no longer has a personal tie to the hotel lease.

A provision in the 2013 lease for the building, held by Mr. Trump and his three oldest children, appears to prohibit a federally elected official, including the president, from benefiting from it.

But lawyers who specialize in federal contracts say the trust arrangement simply creates an additional legal step between Mr. Trump and the hotel-- meaning he will still profit from it.

Robert H. Sitkoff, a professor at Harvard Law School, said the new details in the trust documents were unlikely to resolve the apparent legal problems with the Old Post Office site.

“Formally he is no longer the owner, but functionally he still is,” he said.

Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, the ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform who has called for a congressional investigation into the lease, said he remained unsatisfied that Mr. Trump had addressed his conflicts. “This is smoke and mirrors,” he said of the new documents.

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At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a wonderful short story by Eudora Welty, "Why I Live at the P.O." It's told from the point of view of a total narcissist and pathological liar, and it's one of the funniest things that you ever did read:



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