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Member since: Mon Jan 30, 2006, 06:07 PM
Number of posts: 75,611

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How Trump Could Make a Mint Off the White House: conflict of interest laws don't apply

to the President or to the Vice President. (That's why Cheney was never called to account for his Halliburton dealings.)

Up till now, Presidents were only putting their assets into blind trusts, or into mutual funds (like Obama) as a sign of good faith -- not because the law requires them to divest. It doesn't.

This makes it all the more critical that Trump release his tax returns. But there is almost no pressure for him to do so. Why is the media continuing to give him free air time?


Every employee of the executive branch is required by law to avoid taking part in decisions that might directly affect their economic interests. But these laws do not apply to the president or the vice president. In practice, previous presidents have followed those rules anyway, putting their major holdings in blind trusts to avoid any real or perceived conflict of interest.


Stuart C. Gilman, a longtime employee at the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) who now advises countries around the globe on anti-corruption efforts, said that the only analogous situation he has seen is disgraced former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. But even Berlusconi’s efforts to appear above-board were more substantive than what Trump has proposed. “He’d owned all of the private media in Italy, became prime minister, and then controlled public media,” Gilman said. “Initially, his senior judicial adviser came to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics about what can be done to resolve conflict of interest. We recommended he get a true blind trust.”

Having a president whose personal wealth could be impacted by his policy decisions presents a huge potential problem, according to Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). “Public officials need to be making decisions that are in the public interest, that are in the best interest of the American people,” he said. “Not decisions that are in their own financial interests.”

While Trump has not released his tax returns since 1981, he has filed a mandatory personal financial disclosure statement, listing his current holdings and estimating their value. The 104-page document identifies hundreds of Trump-run companies — foreign and domestic — and scores of businesses in which he owns stock.

These hundreds of entities pose nearly endless conflicts. In a Trump presidency, every government contract not awarded to his companies could be litigated, environmental regulations that affect his businesses could be instantly repealed, and long-fought banking regulations could be dismantled at the drop of a hat. And that’s just from looking at his financial disclosure form; because Trump refuses to release his tax returns, scores of conflicts of interest remain unknown.

CNN instant poll of speech watchers -- Hillary did better than Trump did last week.

very positive reaction Hillary 71% ( 57% of GOP convention watchers last week had very positive reaction)

I guess we had a few flags after all. n/t

"Donald, Donald," said Jennifer Granholm, "You are SO VAIN."

"You probably think this speech is about you."

That was a great video about the don's taxes!

The majority of voters in WA voted for Hillary and do NOT support a busters' walk-out tonight.

It is particularly galling that the WA state busters would choose to grandstand in this way, when they know that they don't represent the will of the primary voters.

Here in WA, Bernie swept the low-participation, elitist, non-representative caucuses, and Hillary decisively won the primary, in which three times as many voters participated. Years ago our voters approved a referendum replacing the caucuses with the primary. But the party insisted on choosing all the delegates at caucuses, and they won the court fight.

This is the reality and Hillary supporters recognize the results of the caucus are the only results that count, so this isn't about fighting the primary.

But all those busters who are grandstanding tonight know that the majority of voters in our state voted FOR Hillary and do NOT support their action. And yet they are planning to take this very public action against the Democratic nominee.

(Note: I'm deliberately using the term busters to distinguish them from Bernie supporters in general, who are not joining in the walk-out.)


PHILADELPHIA –– Bernie Sanders delegates furious with Hillary Clinton’s nomination are planning to storm out of her speech tonight, The Tab has learned.

Chris, a delegate from Washington State, told us: “Half the Bernie delegates walked out on Tuesday and didn’t come back. Today the other half are walking out.


One delegate we spoke to, Catherine from Michigan, told us she won’t be participating.

She said: “I have heard about these plans. Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton and I support his endorsement, so I won’t be walking out.

“I’ve also heard outside agitators are trying to convince Bernie delegates to leave tonight.”

Shocking details on Wikileaks latest released DNC hack -- 29 audio recordings.

Brace yourself:


The bulk of the 29 voicemails published on the WikiLeaks website are messages left asking for calls back. One is a 16-second clip of a man and his young child talking about going to see elephants at a zoo.

There is also a 59-second voicemail that appears to be from a Clinton supporter who promises to leave the Democratic Party if it continues to "coddle" Sanders.

"I'm furious about what you are doing for Bernie Sanders, he's getting way too much influence," the woman says. "I'm on a fixed income. I spend over $300 donated to Hillary and what I see is the DNC bending over backwards for Bernie."

Another voicemail from a woman with a 480 area code, which covers Phoenix, includes her asking why the DNC allowed Sanders to include Cornel West, who has been critical of President Barack Obama, on the platform committee.


Idiotic c-span commentator, National Journal reporter, criticized Bill Clinton

for not including Monica Lewinsky and all the "dark" years in his nomination speech for Hillary, saying his speech therefore wasn't believable.

What a jerk.

So there's really no place to watch the convention where you're not going to run into someone saying something nasty.

Michael Bloomberg, perfect foil to Trump: "I'm a New Yorker. I know a con when I see one."


When the billionaire took the stage at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, he became a powerful surrogate for the Democrats this election cycle because he is in a unique position to bring home two main points about this presidential election.

First, Bloomberg, who has been both a Republican and a Democrat but is now neither, spoke to his fellow independents watching the convention. He attempted to connect with them, asserting that he has never believed either party has all the answers, even referencing his disagreements with Hillary Clinton. But at a time when some supporters of Bernie Sanders talk openly about not supporting Clinton—and apathy for her campaign more broadly threatens to doom her candidacy—Bloomberg pleaded with independents and disillusioned Democrats not to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

Whatever your differences with Clinton are, he said, "we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue."

Second, Bloomberg's authority in denouncing Trump comes from the fact that he is a fellow New York billionaire. And from that place, Bloomberg eviscerated Trump's business record. "Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's running his business," he said, noting Trump's history of bankruptcies and bilking contractors. "God help us!"


Michael Bloomberg is on RIGHT NOW (in case your network isn't covering him).

He's on c-span, explaining why he believes it's imperative to elect Hillary Clinton.

He's the former mayor from NYC, a political independent.

"We must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue. . . .If you're not yet registered to vote, go online and do it now."

"I built a business, and I didn't start it with a check from my father."

"We need someone who is a problem solver, not a bomb thrower."

"Most of us know that we are only as good as our word, but not Donald Trump."

Now he's talking about Trump's abysmal business record, his bankruptcies, etc.

"Trump says wants to run the nation like he's running his business. God help us! Im a NYer, and I know a con when I see one."

"Trump is a risky, radical, and reckless choice"

"Hillary Clinton understands this is not reality television, this is reality."

"Not a choice between a Democrat and a Republican, it's a choice of who is better to lead our country right now. There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton is the right choice this November.

I am asking you to join with me . . . to elect a sane, competent person, with international experience, a unifier who is mature enough to reach to for advice . . . "

I want to see a real transcript of his speech! He's doing exactly what I hoped he'd do. As a businessman, he's ripping Trump's business "success" to shreds.
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