republican corruption

Constitutional disregard: Trump's emoluments lawsuits move forward

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When you have absolutely no ethical boundaries:

Trump opened the Trump International Hotel, just blocks from the White House, shortly before he was elected in November 2016. Unlike past presidents, he has retained ownership of numerous business interests, including the hotel, while serving as president.

Since his election, the hotel has become a favored lodging and event space for some foreign and state officials visiting the U.S. capital. The lawsuit alleges that, in failing to disengage from the hotel, Trump has made himself vulnerable to inducements by foreign governments seeking to curry favor, violating the Constitution.

Even the lowliest bureaucrat in the Federal government ranks has to be wary of receiving gifts from individuals, lest they be raked over the coals for an ethical misstep. But Trump? He won't give you the time of day unless there's something in it for him. We all remember his declarations in 2016/2017 that he would sever himself from the family businesses, but he's done the exact opposite. Like doubling the annual membership fee at Mar-A-Lago to over $200,000 right after he was elected, then turning it into a shadow Camp David. But the particular case we're looking at today deals with Trump's DC hotel, and a look at the initial subpoenas is an eye-opener:

3 Stooges blabber on about Impeachment inquiry

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They're not the sharpest tools in the shed:

In a statement, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-5th, said she was disappointed with Pelosi’s announcement of an impeachment inquiry into Trump. The 5th District includes Forsyth County and much of Northwest North Carolina.

“I cannot say I’m at all surprised,” Foxx said. “Obsession over the 2016 election results has consumed the Democratic Party and dominated (its) agenda as the House majority."

This phone call happened in Summer of 2019. And one of the reasons why Trump still thinks it's "okay" to use foreign governments to help him win elections is because people like you have done absolutely nothing to dissuade him or reign him in. In fact, you've actively opposed any investigations into what actually happened back in 2016, which proves you know what he did was wrong. Here's another idiot:

David Lewis can't seem to get his story straight

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Lying is such a complicated business, isn't it?

Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake, and Minority leader, said he had been informed by Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, that there would be no votes taken in Wednesday’s morning session. Following Tuesday’s House floor session, Lewis texted a WRAL reporter “no votes 8:30” when asked about Wednesday’s session agenda.

“I know that (Rep Jackson’s) trust in me has been shaken, but I did not have the authority to conduct no votes,” Lewis said during Wednesday afternoon’s floor session when all members at the legislature were present.

If you'll recall, Lewis started out claiming that he never told Jackson "no votes at 8:30," and then he changed it to "no mini-budget votes will be taken." But now it's "I did not have the authority." The truth is, he was a critical element in a plot to deceive Democratic lawmakers, whether he was a "knowing" element or not. And if you're wondering why Lewis would allow himself to take so much flak over this issue: He is not an attorney. But Tim Moore is, and subject to potential actions by the NC Bar Association. And the ethical implications of this stunt are wide-ranging:

"Trump 2024" is not a joke, it's a warning

Because violating the Constitution (22nd Amendment) is just another day in crazyville:

President Trump’s tweeting of a “Trump 2024” meme should concentrate the minds of his opponents. So should the results of North Carolina’s special congressional election Tuesday.

Perhaps it’s a mistake to take the first too seriously. But it does underscore the utterly abnormal, chaotic, norm-breaking and corrupt nature of this administration. We have a leader who, like some of his dictator friends abroad, would love to be president for life.

I'm actually much more worried about what he and his rabid followers will try to do when he loses the 2020 Election. He may have to be (physically) removed from the White House in January 2021, but even if he rides off into the sunset on his golf cart, there will be some violent confrontations as a result. Here's more from EJ Dionne:

Another surprise attack by terrorists on 9/11

Beware of the false remedy of "Opportunity Zones"

A better name might be, "Gentrification On Steroids":

President Trump has portrayed America’s cities as wastelands, ravaged by crime and homelessness, infested by rats. But the Trump administration’s signature plan to lift them — a multibillion-dollar tax break that is supposed to help low-income areas — has fueled a wave of developments financed by and built for the wealthiest Americans.

Among the early beneficiaries of the tax incentive are billionaire financiers like Leon Cooperman and business magnates like Sidney Kohl — and Mr. Trump’s family members and advisers.

Personal anecdote time: Last year my town's merchant's association held a "business social," bringing in bankers and other Very Important Persons to discuss economic growth possibilities. One of the topics I was very keen to hear about was Opportunity Zones, because we have some areas that really need a lift. But the investment advisor (woman) who presented did not even mention economic improvement, or helping marginalized citizens. It was all about how to leverage the program to reap the most financial benefits. And another quick take: The more the merrier. The more expensive the project, the more tax savings reaped. Which means, the finished product (luxury apartments, high-end retail) would be inaccessible for people on the low end of the totem pole:

Separation of Powers: Appeals court rules against Trump diverting funds for border wall

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Congress does not give the President a blank check:

A divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed with a lower court ruling that prevented the government from tapping Defense Department counterdrug money to build high-priority sections of wall in Arizona, California and New Mexico.

"As for the public interest, we conclude that it is best served by respecting the Constitution's assignment of the power of the purse to Congress, and by deferring to Congress's understanding of the public interest as reflected in its repeated denial of more funding for border barrier construction," wrote Judges Michelle Friedland, a Barack Obama appointee, and Richard Clifton, a George W. Bush appointee.

Keep in mind, every time the President pulls one of these stunts, he's actually slapping Congress in the face twice. He's spending money on something they didn't want him to, and he's not spending money on something they wanted and authorized. As far as this dissenting opinion:

Judge sets September date for Robin Hayes' bribery trial

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The Karma Wheel rolls slowly but surely:

The criminal trial against North Carolina mega-donor Greg Lindberg and state Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes is tentatively slated for September.

Lindberg, who is far and away North Carolina's largest political donor, Hayes and two Lindberg associates were indicted in March and accused of trying to bribe state Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey by funneling campaign donations through the state GOP. All four men have pleaded not guilty.

For now they've all pleaded not guilty. But see, that's the thing about conspiracies; the weakest link always snaps under pressure. I just had the weirdest mental image, of Robin Hayes lifting weights in the exercise yard and getting prison tats...

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