The factory @realdonaldtrump visited on his 100th day in office was run by a member of his golf club. Kudos to @usatoday for figuring it out https://t.co/4qcJ4nV3qY
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) September 6, 2017
High praise, from a professional who knows how investigative reporting should work. USAToday, “Trump gets millions from golf members. CEOs and lobbyists get access to president”:
Dozens of lobbyists, contractors and others who make their living influencing the government pay President Trump’s companies for membership in his private golf clubs, a status that can put them in close contact with the president, a USA TODAY investigation found.
Members of the clubs Trump has visited most often as president — in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia — include at least 50 executives whose companies hold federal contracts and 21 lobbyists and trade group officials. Two-thirds played on one of the 58 days the president was there, according to scores they posted online.
Because membership lists at Trump’s clubs are secret, the public has until now been unable to assess the conflicts they could create. USA TODAY found the names of 4,500 members by reviewing social media and a public website golfers use to track their handicaps, then researched and contacted hundreds to determine whether they had business with the government.
The review shows that, for the first time in U.S. history, wealthy people with interests before the government have a chance for close and confidential access to the president as a result of payments that enrich him personally. It is a view of the president available to few other Americans.
Among Trump club members are top executives of defense contractors, a lobbyist for the South Korean government, a lawyer helping Saudi Arabia fight claims over the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the leader of a pesticide trade group that sought successfully to persuade the Trump administration not to ban an insecticide government scientists linked to health risks.
Members of Trump’s clubs pay initiation fees that can exceed $100,000, plus thousands more in annual dues to his companies, held in a trust for his benefit.
The arrangement is legal, and members said they did not use the clubs to discuss government business. Nonetheless, ethics experts questioned whether it’s appropriate for a sitting president to collect money from lobbyists and others who spend their days trying to shape federal policy or win government business…
Presidents have long socialized with the wealthy and well-connected, including campaign donors. But although the Kennedys visited country clubs in Palm Beach and the Roosevelts “were hobnobbing with the moneyed rich in the Hudson Valley or in Manhattan, the very people (Trump) is hanging out with are paying to be there in that setting with him,” said Barbara Perry, director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.
“This is unprecedented on so many levels,” she said…
So it's not so much Trump is golfing all the time as grifting all the time. https://t.co/ikehOxz1ed
— Schooley (@Rschooley) September 6, 2017
Good Morning, Everyone ???
Prayers for everyone in Irma’s path ???
” Grifting all the time.”
I see no lie told.
USA Today really has been on this story.
Good morning, rikyrah – how’s your sister doing? I hope her health continues to improve.
@rikyrah: Good Morning!
She has been getting better. She started back to her water aerobics class this week.
@rikyrah: my dying father in law and elderly mother in law are in FL. We can’t get to them. We are just waiting ti see what happens, when.
@rikyrah: Good morning.
AL, I can only assume you deliberately posted this story on the one year anniversary of the day AP was forced to delete this tweet.
I will keep them in my prayers
@Aimai: Where in Florida? Hoping it’s uneventful for them.
Everything about Trump is unprecedented. He has practically destroyed the norms surrounding the presidency and I wonder if we’ll ever have a normal President again who feels that he/she has to play by the rules. Sigh.
@Aimai: So sorry to hear. Hope they are somewhere safe and sound waiting out the impending hurricanes.
The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion
@Aimai: for what it’s worth, you and they are in my prayers.
David ?Canadian Anchor Baby? Koch
Speaking of grifting:
Bernie is ripping off the marks by selling another “book”. It’s titled “Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution”, going for $10.73 on amazon. Since when do “revolutionaries” join forces with corporations and seek personal profit and charge money. You would think a s0ciâlizt would just give away for free on the net.
Making matters worse, it’s not only a rip off, it’s a cheap rip off: He took the junk out of his waste basket and pasted together.
Well, criminal defense teams cost a lot of of money.
I had a long drive in rural Michigan yesterday so I listened to 2 Right wing radio shows- they’re really upset at Trump talking to Pelosi. They never mention Schumer- it’s always Pelosi :)
They’re having trouble switching gears because they all hated Ryan and McConnell already so it was “The Establishment versus Trump” and now they have to defend Republicans again. It may take a week or two to sort out the enemies list but one thing is sure- Pelosi is still on it.
@Kay: We need to get rid of Pelosi to win them over.
Nancy will always have a seat at that table.
Snark, I hope.
@David ?Canadian Anchor Baby? Koch: I should put my BJ comments into a book.
@Patricia Kayden: If this country is smart enough collectively to elect a Democrat, we’ll see a normal, decent president again who adheres to ethical standards. Not only because she/he is inclined to do so, but also because as soon as a Democrat is in office, the media will rediscover an interest in things like “ethics” and “conflicts of interest”.
That’s because she’s dangerous, always 3 steps ahead of them.
@MJS: The next Democratic president will be deemed unethical, no matter what. Worse than Trump!
I was thinking MAYBE it was a plan to force them to defend congressional Republicans as a way to make congressional Republicans more popular among the GOP base but that’s too attenuated.
If Democrats really want to make the base furious with Trump they’ll kill The Wall. The Wall has become a kind of symbol of their “movement”. It’s fitting, right? A spiteful, expensive, useless wall as their monument. Not a bridge or a highway – a blank wall.
@Baud: In fact, if Dems really want to be successful, they’ll purge all the Vagina-Americans. For starters.
Poco will help you edit it. Poco cannot read.
@Kay: I’m sympathetic to those who say we should deal on the Wall to save DACA. But as with any hostage situation, you cut a deal and it encourages more hostage taking.
Gee, you’d almost think it was a metaphor for the trumpleton mentality. Naaaaahh. Sounds like a cheap novel.
@Baud: Well, whoever the next Democratic president is will in all likelihood have met and spoken to one or more of the Clintons, which by the media’s definition makes them accomplices in the email/Clinton Foundation/Whitewater/Lewinsky/Travelgate/every other nontroversy matter, so it’s not like there won’t be any evidence of their inherent corruption.
GMA assures us that Florida nuclear power plants are secure.
Fixed. 99% of the callers are men. As a woman who spends a lot of time fighting with Right wing men in my job, I recognize this. It’s daily for me. Years, daily. People joke about “mansplaining” and I’m always late to the party but mansplaining was this amazing revelation for me- “that’s what that is!” I had no language for that :)
Dave Price, a tv weatherman, was on MSNBC last night. I have avoided Price as insufferable since he started in NYC so I was dismayed to see he was now on NBC. He was so torqued up about Irma, he was doing jazz hands in 15 second intervals, with eye bulging to match. Really annoying. Sorry to see Bill Cairns amping up like Lloyd Bridges’s character in Airport!
@Baud: Well, I feel better now. Don’t you?
If they want to hurt Trump politically, block the wall. That’s his Katrina :)
You know how they are- just like they need their son to be gay or their wife to lack health insurance they need a physical symbol to wrap that movement around. Tangible. Physical. They’ll visit it like normal people visit the Vietnam memorial.
@Kay: It’s the “she” part that makes her dangerous. Nothing scarier than a smart fearless woman.
@OzarkHillbilly: When has the media ever been wrong?
@Kay: Wall Tours would be an amazing grift.
@rikyrah: Good morning ? and happy to hear your sister is doing so much better!
@Aimai: holding them and all the others in my thoughts. Waiting is all any of us outside the path can do now.
I heard one of them refer to it as The Great Wall of America (on the tennis court, not on the radio) so I thought “ooh, they have a website and a name!” – but I looked and I think they are referring to this Time story.
I’m a little disappointed. I was hoping they came up with that themselves.
@satby: Unfortunately for some in the path, waiting is all they can do. Was talking to someone who’s brother is at ground zero for Irma. He says he can’t evacuate because he can’t get any gas.
@Baud: Every hopeful for higher office needs a book.
Trump probably knows it. It would be very Trumpian to give away the store to Pelosi in return for a “down payment” on his stupid fucking wall. He knows he, personally, needs that wall. I’m opposed to stupid, expensive, mean-spirited vanity projects. Period.
In today’s edition of Both Sides are the Same.
I’d buy it
@OzarkHillbilly: awful. I still haven’t gotten hold of my sister to find out what’s going on with my late mother’s condo. Newly remodeled, of course. My sisters are absentee landlords and I just hope the condo association or the neighbors contacted her to arrange board up if needed. It’s on the Gulf side, but that storm may cover the entire state if it goes straight up the middle.
The religious Right are making much more progress with Sessions and Pence than the Trumpian faction are making on economic issues. People should stop asking why the religious Right stick with Trump – they get Pence and Sessions. That’s why.
DeVos is part of that faction too, but she doesn’t get anything done other than deliver nasty speeches. Thankfully she’s an incompetent ideologue.
Headline of the day: Court records: Wife of Trump Org ethics attorney arrested after tryst with Fauquier inmate .
@Kay: Yeah I saw that thread yesterday. Frankly, I have more respect for right wing Christians who voted for Trump than I do to anyone on our side who stayed home or voted third party.
@Schlemazel: Grifting is so easy.
You forgot she’s cutting back Title IX protections against campus sexual assault.
@Luthe: well, someone has to think of the predators!
I have been wondering in the gas shortages were related to Harvey hitting Houston. There are always some gas shortages but I don’t remember them as being quite this bad. An ap called gasbuddy is being touted.
Gov. Rick Scot has been sending police escorts to get the tanker trucks through the traffic to the gas stations. A store near me got a load in and I saw the tanker beside the station with already long lines of cars late at night with the empty station across the street deserted. I had wondered how people found out so fast. Line was too crazy for me so I got up early the next morning to get some. They were out of all but high test which they were selling at regular gas prices. I hope it doesn’t hurt my car to have high test.
Just One More Canuck
@Quinerly: it will still be more coherent than Bernie’s book
Cheryl from Maryland
Thanks for the discussion a while back regarding hot bird seed. I filled my bird feeders with it for the first time this week — I see cardinals and a woodpecker and titmice and chickadees, but NO SQUIRRELS.
Your car will be fine. The shortages are due to a couple of factors Harvey being a big one (even up here I’ve seen a few stations out of gas) but also *panic* buying on the part of Floridians wanting to be prepared for the worst.
**hard to call it panic buying when an existential threat is bearing down on one, but I lack a better word just now
I don’t think she’s “cutting” them. She gave a speech saying she wants to roll back Obama rules. Her education budget is going down in flames in congressional committees. She’s not good at this job, which shouldn’t surprise anyone because she really was completely unqualified. I don’t even think she works regularly, as in “goes to work”- she seems to appear only for these speeches.
I saw one of her yachts this summer. The DeVos yachts race on Lake Michigan. It was just perfect to me- there’s the Trump populist yacht! ONE of her yachts. I think they have 11. The DeVos’ family is serious wealthy.
@Baud: I think we can build 10 feet of that wall…60 feet high…in a far away place so they’ll have to spend hours to get to it. We can open a hotel six, charge 200 a night. Plus the gas station. We’ll have enough so that we can hire some Mexicans to wear sombreros with bullet belts and everything, looking menacing but frustrated so that when the tourists look on the other side, they can imagine that the $2 billion spent on that 10 feet was worth it.
“¡Ay caramba! La pared es demasiado alta. ¡Pero es tan hermosa!
I posted that piece yesterday in an afternoon thread. So bizarre. The trysting has been going on over a month.
@Quinerly: Ethics? We don’t need no stupid ethics!
David ?Canadian Anchor Baby? Koch
that’s great visualization
it’s like a scene out of 2001, when the apes pilgrimage around the monolith.
@OzarkHillbilly: What is it with these people. If I ever had an affair, it wouldn’t be in the backseat of my car on prison grounds.
@Baud: Is that an either/or situation?
O. Felix Culpa
@rikyrah: Glad your sister continues to mend!
@Aimai: Adding my thoughts for safety for your family.
I particularly liked the work out pills snippet and that he is 23 and she is in her 50’s.
Somebody is jealous: http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/07/politics/donald-trump-chuck-schumer-pete-king/
@JPL: Yeah, I mean can’t we just despite both groups equally?
Btw Krugman ties it together: Dreamers, Liars, and Bad Economics
Rs simply cannot give an honest take on economics, because they’re in the business of stealing, or at least undervaluing, other peoples’ labor. This dovetails neatly with their racism, so that non-whites are always the ones to bear the brunt of their thievery.
Patricia, I think you could safely omit the word “practically.”
Will we ever have a normal president again? That depends on how we deal with Trump. If he is allowed to finish his term without having to answer for his various crimes and ethical breaches, then the future of the American presidency will be changed forever. If, on the other hand, Trump is held accountable, impeached, and removed from office the future should be brighter.
@TriassicSands: I’ve been thinking that perhaps after /during Trump, Democratic Party goals should include reigning and redefining a Presidency downward. The role is too powerful and dare I say monarchical to serve the interests of 330 plus million people. I adored Obama but id like to see a competent Congress and Judiciary reassert their power
@OzarkHillbilly: So, I ho read the story about the trump ethics lawyer’s wife and the prison inmate affair, and the next ad I get here is for workout supplements. I guess that’s better than the ad offering me $400 for my plasma.
@MJS: There’s a part of me that thinks Dems are scrutinized precisely because ethics are significant to them, and that Republicans are given a pass because they’re expected to be cooked and that’s just how they work.
Darrin Ziliak (formerly glocksman)
That they are.
There’s a ton of money to be made when you found and run a legal
Ponzier….multi level marketing scheme like Amway.
The DeVos family grifting makes Trump & Snowbilly Sookie look like amateurs.
J R in WV
If you pick the right spot you could build a few thousand feet of wall and have it go from horizon to horizon. Then all you discuss would fall into place. No one would believe it was only a Potempkin wall for show. No Republican, anyway.
And have a TRUMP TOWER hotel, carefully sited so that you can’t see the ends of the wall from the rooms. $5000 a night, well-done steaks for $190+$25 for a potato side+$50 for iceberg lettuce salad + $15 Coke. No free refills, water is $12. Showers are free if they’re water. Other substances available for an undisclosed (high) fee.
Fukushima sequel for certain then.