Thursday, April 2, 2020

Not necessarily doing something nefarious, but how would you know?

Sterling is closed (as you'd imagine) until at least 30 April. Is he going out there on his own or with some "friends" and his $45,000 worth of golf carts to an otherwise closed course, like Chris Christie going to the beach during the government shutdown of July 2017? Will there be caddies, and will the kitchen at the 19th hole open up to prepare snacks?

Why is my first thought about the money?

Well, there were those who were wondering why Donald was talking to the murderer of journalist Jamal Kashoggi, and those who were wondering why Trump thinks raising the price of gas is a good thing for an America where 13 million people have lost their jobs in the last two weeks (I think there's an argument that this will create jobs in the US by reviving the shale oil and fracking industries; which Trump might well believe, though it's clearly a really stupid argument).

But that's not what Pooty-Poot said:

Don't know what that's about either, but what I can tell you is, if you happened to be buying a whole lot of West Texas crude oil first thing this morning at $22 a barrel and sold it around 11:00 at $25.30, you could have made yourself a shit-ton of cash. Julia Davis posted that first tweet at 11:11. Especially if you knew both that Trump was going to be sending that tweet out at 10:30

Via Marketwatch.
and that the information it offered would turn out to be bogus. Who could have known that? Other than, you know, maybe, the Emperor and possibly his son-in-law and a select crew of their friends and golfing buddies?

Would he really do that? How would we find out?

And then there was this Politico thing about the hitherto unsuspected genius of Jared Kushner, who now seems to outrank Mike Pence and Alex Azar:
What started two-and-a-half weeks ago as an effort to utilize the private sector to fix early testing failures has become an all-encompassing portfolio for Kushner, who, alongside a kitchen cabinet of outside experts including his former roommate and a suite of McKinsey consultants, has taken charge of the most important challenges facing the federal government: Expanding test access, ramping up industry production of needed medical supplies, and figuring out how to get those supplies to key locations.
But the effort’s makeshift nature has unnerved even some recruited to aid Kushner's team, who described it as a process unlike any other traditional disaster response. Kushner’s team has stepped in to coordinate decision-making at agencies including the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the scope of his authority now exceeds that of Health Secretary Alex Azar, the one-time leader of Trump’s coronavirus response.
It's also startled some outside observers:
Nonetheless, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which has already warned that Kushner's operation could violate federal recordkeeping laws, blasted the White House for its extensive reliance on the private sector and lack of transparency.
"They're not necessarily doing something nefarious, but if they were, this is what they would do to hide it," CREW spokesperson Jordan Libowitz said.
That's understating it: it's clear that Kushner's people are breaking the law on federal records in their
mysterious dealings with private companies, with impunity, and I'd really feel more comfortable if they'd stop. Why wouldn't they just do these things in a way that can stand public scrutiny? Especially since suspicion was already aroused by the provisions of the giant stimulus bill? Given, you know, the completely understandable suspicion that Trump might be cutting himself a deal, with ongoing terrible losses from his hotel business, and his well-known history of self-dealing (in the New York State case against the Trump Foundation) and fraud (Trump University).
Certain hotel owners, including those employing thousands of people, will be eligible for small-business loans, a provision that could potentially help Trump’s company continue to pay wages for his employees. The Trump Organization could also benefit from a $15 billion change to the tax code won by retailers and restaurants....
Moreover, the family real estate firm of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, could also benefit from the economic package.
Kushner stepped down from his prior role as CEO but, like Trump, he did not sell off his multi-million dollar investment portfolio, which included investments in the family firm and other holdings partnered with his parents and siblings.
And since they seem to be doing such a shitty job
Schumer, who has been on a media blitz this week, appealed to Trump on MSNBC and in a letter Thursday to establish a czar with a military background to oversee the production of medical equipment, including ventilators and personal protection equipment, under the Defense Production Act. The U.S. is facing a shortage of such equipment as the pandemic overwhelms hospitals and other medical providers.
"America cannot rely on a patchwork of uncoordinated voluntary efforts to combat the awful magnitude of this pandemic," Schumer wrote. "The existing federal leadership void has left America with an ugly spectacle in which States and cities are literally fending for themselves, often in conflict and competition with each other."
Trump responded on official letterhead thanking Schumer sarcastically for his "Democrat public relations letter and incorrect soundbites."
The president argued his administration already has a "senior military officer" in place — Rear Adm. John P. Polowczyk, who is heading the supply chain task force at FEMA. He also accused New York of being "very late" to confronting the virus and suggested the Democratic leader would lose a primary, if challenged by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Schumer is up for re-election in 2022.
Aside from the characteristic Trumpian trash talk, which doesn't seem to have changed a lot from the most recent case of Trump becoming a "different person" who "takes this stuff seriously", the message is that Trump has already appointed a military tsar, only he's subordinate to the FEMA head, who is in turn subordinate to the unelected, unconfirmed, apparently unpaid Official Son-in-Law who may or may not be actively working at concealing what all these people are up to and has who knows what financial interests at stake.

I mean, if they're not willing to submit to any scrutiny, in spite of Donald's record, is there any reason I shouldn't be accusing them in this emergency of skimming off every dollar they can locate? This is really getting ridiculous.

No comments:

Post a Comment