Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Relative Madness

Monarchs and dictators name relatives to high-level government positions regardless of their qualifications.  Presidents in democratic countries not so much.  JFK received all kinds of criticism when he nominated his younger brother to be his Attorney General -- but at least RFK had to be confirmed by the Senate.  Meanwhile, Trump's daughter and son-in-law run amok in the White House as senior advisers to the president, sorely lacking security clearances, much less the requisite qualifications and experience.  And his two sons run the family business from which Trump has refused to divest, ignoring conflicts of interests and reneging on promises to not engage in new foreign deals.

Ivanka headed a delegation to South Korea that went far beyond merely attending the closing ceremonies at the Olympics.  With no background or training in government policy, foreign relations or diplomacy, she met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss U.S. - North Korea relations -- somewhat of a sensitive topic given the recent round of nuclear brinksmanship between her daddy and Kim Jung-Un.  Ivanka reportedly briefed the South Korean president on economic sanctions and other ways our two countries can put pressure on North Korea.  Feel safer?

Why the fuck not?

Then there's Jared who, as the Times reports, was finally "stripped of his top-secret security clearance after months of delays in completing his background check, and will now be limited in his ability to view highly classified information."  Just in the nick of time given the Washington Post bombshell that "officials in at least four countries have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared ... by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience."  One wonders how the boy wonder will solve the Middle East peace process and negotiate foreign deals without access to classified information.  One also wonders how he has already compromised our national security -- unwitting or otherwise -- while trying to get his own badly indebted financial house in order.

And then there's Donnie, Jr., back from his trip to India, where he mixed business with politics as only a Trump can.  Promoting luxury condos on behalf of the Trump Organization, attending a conference with the Prime Minister (although he did cancel what was to be a foreign policy speech in the face of much criticism), and selling access to himself (aka the President's son) for $38,000 a person.  He also traveled to Mumbai to christen a demo unit at Trump Tower, a project being built by a firm run by a state legislator in the Prime Minister's political party.

Just another week in the Kleptocracy.


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