The Dirtiest Game(s) in Town

Trump’s staff and cabinet are among the most corrupt people in the nation.  Remember EPA head Scott Pruitt and his abominable misuse … downright theft, actually … of taxpayer money?  Then there was Tom Price, Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS) who wasted more than a quarter-million on charter flights to jet all over the country.Pruitt.pngPrice & Pruitt are gone, but the corruption remains. Take, for example, Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  Mulvaney has a friend, Michael O’Shaughnessy, back in his home district in South Carolina.  O’Shaughnessy is the founder and president of Element Electronics, a television assembly plant in Winnsboro, South Carolina.  O’Shaughnessy was also a financial contributor to Mulvaney’s 2016 Congressional campaign.

mulvaney toonElement Electronics stands to be seriously hurt by Trump’s tariffs, and O’Shaughnessy has said the plant will close in October if they cannot be exempted from the tariffs.  Mulvaney is doing everything in his power to see that an exemption is granted to Element.  Now, it isn’t that I am unsympathetic to the situation Element finds itself in, but many, many other companies are in the same boat, and is Mulvaney trying to help them?  No, because they are not owned by his friend.  Trump’s tariffs are destructive and despite his claims, are going to cost jobs and hurt the U.S. economy.  But we cannot single out only certain companies to help because they are friends of somebody on Trump’s staff or cabinet.Zinke toon.jpgAnd then there’s Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior who, at his confirmation hearing in January 2017, said, “I am absolutely against transfer or sale of public land.”  And again, in March 2017 … “You can hear it from my lips. We will not sell or transfer public land.” Doesn’t that one remind you of that infamous Bush Sr. line: “Read my lips — No new taxes!”? And yet, last week watchdog environmental groups got wind that Zinke was negotiating to sell off some 1,610 acres of public lands that had been part of the Grand Staircase national monument until Trump radically shrunk the size of the monument last December.  The planned sale included 880,000 acres carved out by Trump from Grand Staircase and the 200,000 acres remaining in Bears Ears from its original 1.35 million acres.

The planned sale was cancelled last Friday, after questioning by the environmental groups, and Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt took the blame, saying it was an “oversight” …

“The failure to capture this inconsistency stops with me.”

Most, myself included, are not buying it, for Zinke surely cannot be so out of touch with the department he is tasked with overseeing that he was unaware of this.  These are public lands, folks … OUR land!  stompingIt does not belong to Mr. Zinke nor to Mr. Trump and it certainly is not their right to sell it.  I’m still not convinced they had the right to shrink it.

But Zinke’s corruption doesn’t end here.  Earlier this year, he and his wife entered into a business agreement with Halliburton, one of the world’s biggest oil field services firms and a company that, needless to say, does quite a bit of business with the U.S. government, including the Interior Department that Zinke oversees.  You can find the details here.ethics scrutiny.jpgAnd then there’s Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce who not only failed to properly divest himself of certain investments upon taking his position but has continued to meet in an official capacity with the chief executives of the companies in which he owns millions of dollars’ worth of stock.  There is no evidence that he discussed deals that could be considered conflict of interest, but there is the appearance of wrongdoing.  If I meet with a hitman, and the FBI gets wind of it, given my supreme dislike and public criticisms of Trump, guess what the FBI will assume, and guess where I’ll be going? Appearances are important in the eyes of the public.

Ross has denied wrongdoing but admitted only to “inadvertent errors”.  Last month, Ross came under fire by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) for failure to divest certain holdings that he had agreed to do upon taking office. One of those holdings was Invesco, where Ross once worked and still owns stock valued at up to $50 million.  Ross recently met with a board member of the Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund that had given Invesco money to manage.

Ross has met with auto executives who are customers of the company he founded and still has a financial interest in. He has met with the chief executive of a rail car manufacturer whose board he once sat on and whose shares he still owns.  Sorry, Wilbur, but there is too much smoke here for there not to be a fire somewhere.

Helaine Olen, an opinion writer for The Washington Post, recently began her column …

“At least once a week, a member of the Trump administration demonstrates in an entertaining way that public service can be a great way to make a buck.”

She hit that nail spot on the head, didn’t she?  But then, when the ‘man’ who is over all these people is the most corrupt leader in the western world … what else can you expect?drain the swampIsn’t it interesting that Trump’s administration contains some of the wealthiest people ever to hold government positions, and yet they are the most corrupt, bar none?  It would seem to me that this is as good an indicator as any that wealth is addictive, always seeking more, willing to go to great lengths to obtain more, not caring a whit who they step on in the process.  It rather reminds me of a drug addict who will do anything and everything, including murder, to get his next fix.  What’s next?  Stay tuned.

14 thoughts on “The Dirtiest Game(s) in Town

  1. Dear Jill,

    You know when corruption is rampant within an administration. It’s when they don’t even bother to hide it or limit it. President Trump has simply surrounded himself with a lot of rich dudes who are also criminals. They don’t care if they make monies off of the backs of good hardworking folks.

    Those who aren’t already wealthy want to act like they deserve the same trinkets like Mr. Pruitt. What’s worse, all of these shenanigans are being done at the expense of the taxpayers.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, they are, and meanwhile they are cutting services to the poor and disadvantaged, there is talk of cutting services to seniors and even tampering with Social Security. Wages are not going up, but prices are, especially with the new tariffs. So, what happens when we normal people who aren’t living in the lap of luxury can no longer afford to buy food, pay rent, pay the electric bill? Trump needs to go and take his whole nasty pack of rats with him. I really would not shed a single tear if somebody killed him. I’m thinking perhaps Melania could put a pillow over his face one night while he sleeps?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, well… yeah… and, let’s see, how many among the sheeple care enough to actually do something about it? To me, that’s the bottom line. If they go along with it, they deserve it. But I’ll make a very unpopular prediction here: once the Dems get back in, they’ll push the envelope even further, fully convinced they are equally entitled to their cut of the shrinking public pie, and they’ll be cheerfully backed by their usual slew of corporate logos… The answer isn’t in voting within the duopoly, the answer is in a real uprising, a revolution. That’s not in the cards, therefore the corruption slide will remain unchecked. Mark my words. I began seriously watching the downfall of America since Nixon and nothing in those years has ever indicated any turn around and that says lots. Still, I “enjoy” your exposés of the corruption. Validation, you see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, as for the sheeple, I would agree with you that they will get what they deserve for supporting the corruption, but the rest of us don’t deserve it, and we will be hit just as hard. I disagree, though, that the democrats will be equally bad, thinking they deserve their fair share of the pie. I think they know that those of us who are not sheeple are fed up and will not put up with any more shenanigans. As to the revolution idea … a revolution would be more like a civil war, and there would be blood shed in the streets. I am more inclined to wish for a peaceful solution. I’m not eager to see war in my backyard in my last years, y’know? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • What? You don’t want to stand on top of a barricade waving a flag? Last hurrah and all that… Seriously, I was just basically quoting history. If no one introduces a never before tried method for real change then all you will get is repetition.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ha ha … now, given that today I managed to lose a battle with a hand vacuum that ate my hair and smacked me in the cheek, leaving me looking like I just lost a fight to Mike Tyson, do you really want to think of me standing on a barricade waving a flag? I can (and have) fall off my sidewalk while standing perfectly still! 😀

          But you are right … we cannot keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. But, I’d still prefer for it to be a peaceable solution if at all possible.


  3. Jill, there are two reasons at play. Organizations take on the personality of its leader. Trump cuts corners and uses other people’s money, so his direct reports feel emboldened.

    The other is he hired people like himself who think they are above the law. The only way to curtail such activities is to show a white hot spotlight on them that reveals their actions for what they are. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One of my occasional commenters argues that the Republicans know the next couple of elections will take them down once and for all, so they’re engaging in an orgy of flat-out looting while they still have the chance — on their own behalf and on behalf of the parasitic oligarchy of wealth for whose benefit they act (and of which, in the case of this administration, they are mostly members). They’re not much concerned about appearances, which at this point could hardly get any worse no matter what they do.

    The Trumpanzees have been trained to dismiss any revelations about this behavior as “fake news” and/or to mumble vaguely about Obama and Hillary doing something or other that was even worse and getting away with it. But for the non-Trumpanzee two-thirds of the country, it’s well worth calling attention to all the corruption. Zinke’s public-lands sale wouldn’t have been canceled if it hadn’t been for bad publicity (these guys still have to worry about being fired if they become a big enough embarrassment). And if it stirs even one more voter to vote in November, that’s accomplishing something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is truth to this. The GOP sees the demographics working against them and have for many years. This a key reason the Koch Brothers fund ALEC and its state based voter restriction efforts. They also want to get to 34 states to call a Constitutional convention where they can change a few rules such as repealing the 18th amendment which would go back to state legislators picking the Senators. They already have 28 states in support.

      It is something to remember. Keith

      Liked by 1 person

    • There is certainly some merit in that theory. “In for a penny, in for a pound” as they say. I wonder if there is any line they would refuse to cross in their quest for riches? And yep, the Trumpanzees have indeed been well trained to believe only what they are told to believe by Trump & Co, and to regard the rest as ‘fake news’. Someday, when they realize they were much better off before Trump “made America great again”, perhaps they will come out from under the spell.


  5. When you know your President still holds stock in his company and uses his position to continue working for the good of that company you obviously think it’s fine to gyp the country of as much dinero as you can.Some people will never be happy with what they have since at that level it becomes a contest. Each of the people mentioned above should be charged with theft and sacked. They are drawing a salary for their job and seem to treat anything else as perks. There should be no perks at all, it should be an honour to serve your country.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are quite right … as Keith said, organizations take on the personality of their leader. In this case, that ‘leader’ is the biggest crook in town, so since he seems to be getting away with it, why shouldn’t the rest try it too? And heck, if all else fails, he can pardon them!!! Grrrrrrrrrrr …

      Get the bums all out in November!!!


      Liked by 1 person

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