Monday, August 22, 2016

House Of Cards

Deep Throat advised Woodward and Bernstein to follow the money. In the case of Donald Trump, reporters are beginning to take the same advice. Michael Harris writes:

Suzanne Craig of the New York Times reported in the paper’s international edition that Trump’s heavily-marketed self-image is as phoney as a degree from Trump University. Trump-owned companies carry a debt of $650 million, which, as the Times reports, is “twice the amount than can be gleaned from public filings he has made as part of his bid for the White House.”
It’s pretty clear why he won’t disclose his income taxes, and why he will never allow any independent valuation of his net worth. It kind of looks like he’s up to his assets in debt?

They followed the same advice when they looked into the finances of Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager:

What kind of a dude was he? The kind whose name showed up on a secret ledger in Ukraine that listed $12.7 million in cash payments to Manafort from the political party of deposed Ukrainian President and Russian puppet Viktor Yanukovych. When the New York Times reported that, Manafort still thought that he could hold on.

But then the second shoe dropped: the Associated Press reported that in 2012, Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, had secretly channeled $2.2 million to a pair of Washington lobbying firms to boost the image of the Kremlin-backed Ukrainian president in a way intended to circumvent disclosure requirements.

So, Manafort had to go. But, then, Trump made a name for himself by firing people. Still, all this merely underscores a point which should have been clear from the beginning: Trump -- and Trump Tower -- is a House of Cards.



Pamela Mac Neil said...

It's too bad Owen that journalists don't do that same kind of investigation on the corporate elite, particularly wall street.

the salamander said...

.. looks more and more like the toxic Trump train to nowhere
The Oblivion Express.. is simply an expedient publicity scam..
future TV ratings for a ludicrous fraud who's melting before our eyes..

The current 'American Election' is stinking to high heaven
as the absurd reality show limps from one episode to an even worse episode
This is a truly bad mad made for TV movie unfolding.. almost sci fi slapstick
All that's missing is revelations that the Trump Train has a hostage car
full of bellowing GOP crazies & confused endorsers & donors
and that the passengers aboard are quite possibly crazier than the engineer

At some point the train will be refused service..
Hell, its already running on gaseous vapor & free media fuel
and we'll all be treated to one of the most stunning disintegrations
in the history of politics.. 3rd world crash n burn coo dee tat?
no this is shaping up as 4th whirled - lost dimension Aesop fable ..

Owen Gray said...

Fifty-five years ago, Newton Minnow called the American television landscape a wasteland, salamander. Trump is a product of that wasteland. His goal is to turn American politics into a wasteland. And he's managed to just about do that.

Owen Gray said...

Certainly what's been going on requires more Woodwards and Bernsteins, Pam. Perhaps they're there and they don't have the resources. Whatever the reason, the story is yet to be told.

Anonymous said...

Follow the money? Now that's an idea. How about following the $100M in speeches the Clintons have taken in? Follow the "speech" payers to what they were actually paying $250k a pop for. The internet is lousy with research connecting the pay-to-play dots.

Then there's the Clinton Foundation money trail. Foreign powers make a $25M donation to the Clinton Foundation. Next thing a related American legislative log jam is broken up. Call it 'democratic innovation.'

Trump is a weasel of a businessman. A trust-fund kiddie who's able to get away with it because of a lax regulatory business environment.

The Clintons are probably the worst bribe-taking politicians in American history. They were the ones paid to deregulate so weasel businessmen like Trump could make easy money at other people's expense. Now they want to expand their bribe-taking industry/dynasty by getting Hill in the White House.

A wall can be tore down; a ban lifted. (If Trump could get these policies through Congress. America is a democracy, unlike Canada. The president doesn't have absolute power like an indirectly-elected PM.) But allowing corrupt bankers to write the banking regulations and the military industrial complex to write foreign policy: that could very well destroy civilization at this point in time. 35 years of robber baron looting has put the global economy on the verge of collapse: now that's a house of cards!

(BTW, isn't the drama House of Cards based on the Clintons? Sure seems like it to me. Of course, the Ushers aren't nearly as ruthless.)

Owen Gray said...

The Clintons have done very well for themselves, Anon. The entire system is corrupt and has been legalized by the Citizens United decision. Trump and Co. would take everything to a new level.

The Mound of Sound said...

There remains more than two months before the November vote. Plenty of time for sharp elbows in the backrooms where I expect most of the action will now play out. Does Hillary have some, as yet unknown, Achilles' Heel? Trump obviously does but he seems to be fending off his pursuers. I wouldn't take anything for granted at this point but, if Trump is holding an ace or two, he'll have to play it soon.

Owen Gray said...

The election is far from won, Mound. And I'm sure the Republicans are looking for any chink they can find in Hillary's armor. But, for the time being, their real enemy is Trump.

Toby said...

One should never under estimate the capacity for citizens to vote for stupid.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Toby. Stupid has its supporters -- and it can go viral.

Anonymous said...

If Trump were planning on taking the Clintons to the next level, the neocon establishment would be behind him instead of Hillary. Instead they are hysterical over Trump.

Why? Because he mocked a disabled reporter? No. Because he talks about reining in outsourcing, war-for-profit and pharmaceutical gouging. Hillary promises the TPP: more outsourcing, longer monopolies on drug patents; plus she's a war profiteer.

I'm no Trump supporter. But I'm also not easily manipulated by establishment lies and manufactured panic. I choose to think with my mind, not my feelings. If someone can point out rationally how Trump is more dangerous than Hillary, then please have at it.

My research tells me Hillary is much more dangerous. Not only is she in bed with every plutocrat willing to make a donation to the Clinton Foundation (Canadian companies paying top dollar to get Keystone XL approved,) she's a neocon who will blow up the Democratic party, saddling it with a 12 year Great Recession for the 2020 election.

If Trump wins (I also believe Jill Stein has a good chance to overtake Hillary because this is a crazy election,) that would provide a springboard to a Green New Deal super-majority led by Elizabeth Warren who would give actual meaning to the concept of first female president. She would go down in history as a hero who saved the world, like FDR. Now that's something worthwhile. Much better than picking through the dumpster for a 'lesser evil' entree.

Owen Gray said...

I agree that this is an an unusual election, Anon. But I don't see a Stein win in the cards -- just as a Sanders win wasn't in the cards.

John B. said...

A Sanders win wasn't in the cards, but could it have been so had not some confirmed, and some other possible but as yet unknown, DNC nomination-rigging projects been in the deck?

I think that, from among their available choices. each of the major parties has selected the candidate with the greatest chance of being beaten by the other party's nominee.

Owen Gray said...

Agreed, John. The menu is not appealing. The choice has everything to do with what happens after the vote -- and trying to limit the damage.

Anonymous said...

Watch this video and see if you think it's a good idea for the Clintons to take back the White House. I do not know a greater evil than these two considering all the damage they've done to the world and all the innocent people they've killed. All for bribe money. Pure evil.


Steve said...

Trump lies about how much money he has, Hillary lies about how much she hasnt.

Owen Gray said...

At least she publishes her tax returns, Steve.

Owen Gray said...

The source of this film is Breitbart, Anon -- where Mr. Bannon has been spending his time. It's always wise to check the source of information before you recognize it as -- what's the Fox phrase? -- "fair and balanced."