Mormon Discussions

Swamp Watch News
Page 5 of 8

Author:  Some Schmo [ Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

ajax18 wrote:
For you fewer people on food stamps and disability is a tragedy. For me, it's something I celebrate.


I prefer low unemployment where everyone is expected to work and contribute.

I would celebrate less people on food stamps if they earned enough money to not need food stamps. We're talking about full-time workers on food stamps. Were you aware of that, or just don't care?

You seem to be A-OK with a certain part of humanity starving. That's really something to celebrate, huh? Is this the supremacy of whiteness talking?

Author:  Falcon A [ Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

Hey Cleanser, who are you to try to tell people what to do?

Watch Hannity? How about GFY.

Author:  canpakes [ Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

ajax18 wrote:
My taxes sure came out better than last year.

Can you elaborate? My understanding is that only limited aspects of the new tax law - such as for medical expenses and personal casualty loss - were retroactive into 2017, and very little else. How did any new tax law help your situation?

Regardless, you might consider putting aside some of the ‘winnings’ into an investment account payable to your children after your death, as they’ll be on the hook threefold for whatever you gain. In this case, maybe ‘winning’ should be relabeled for what it really is - ‘taking’, from your children’s generation, considering how Trump is rapidly increasing the debt through his newly-reduced tax rates for his well-to-do pals.

ajax18 wrote:
And there hasn't been any shortage of Medicaid.

How is this a help, and what did Trump do to make more Medicaid recipients?

ajax18 wrote:
Illegal immigration went down before DJT even won the election.

It seems to be back on the rise. But how did this help your situation? Were they stealing frames from your cases?

ajax18 wrote:
One thing we've already learned from North Korea is that negotiating from a position of strength rather than apologizing for our country and trying to befriend Islamic extremists works a lot better.

Right. Instead, we’ll promise to be Kim’s friend and if he ever actually comes through on denuclearization, we can start shipping pallets full of cash to him and his regime-mates. In the meantime we’ve abruptly halted exercises that we’ve run for decades because Kim thought they were ‘provocative’. You guys used to do apoplectic freakouts when Obama bowed too low to some foreign leader somewhere; now Trump kowtows on demand to both Kim and Putin. : )

In the meantime, North Korea has done nothing more than make a promise as they have a dozen times before, the Middle East is falling under greater influence of Russia, China continues to steal US intellectual property while Trump stomps over our own DoC in an effort to prop up a Chinese company that sells our tech to bad actors like Iran, Social Security and Medicare are going to be out of cash even sooner than expected, debt continues to increase, your healthcare costs are getting exponentially more expensive, the stock market has stalled, wages are still relatively stagnant, your water is going to be getting a bit chunkier, energy prices are increasing directly due to Administration policies, and you’re going to dish out a few dozen billion dollars (get your kids bank account ready for that, too) for a ‘wall’ that illegals will dig under in 12 minutes with a shovel.

Call me skeptical, but I’m not really seeing much ‘winning’ going on here.

Author:  canpakes [ Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

Oh, ajax, I forgot to mention that the labor participation rate is still headed downward. Remember when that used to irk you so much during Obama’s time in office that you’d post about it here and how it supposedly reflected a failure of his policies?

Do you still feel the same way? Or is Hannity perhaps telling his viewers that a declining LPR is now doubleplus good?

Author:  Themis [ Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

ajax18 wrote:
I still care about deficits.

You sure have gotten all quiet about it now that Trump is president. Why no complaining about Trump ballooning the deficit and debt? Are you old enough you think you won't have to pay it back, but your children will?

Author:  Hawkeye [ Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

ajax18 wrote:
My taxes sure came out better than last year. And there hasn't been any shortage of Medicaid patients. Most still ask for me since I speak espanol. Illegal immigration went down before DJT even won the election. Watch Hannity. He goes 100mph enumerating the good things that have happened since DJT was elected. One thing we've already learned from North Korea is that negotiating from a position of strength rather than apologizing for our country and trying to befriend Islamic extremists works a lot better.

If you're doing better financially this year it is only because you made a career move. I forget what you did, but you brought it up in a previous post, and it was something you could have easily done earlier if you weren't so stupid at running your own business.

Meanwhile, we who understand economics aren't at all surprised that the tax cut didn't do anything Trump promised.


Workers’ wages fall after passage of GOP tax cuts

Author:  canpakes [ Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

Hey, anyone remember when Fox droned on and on about manufactured ‘pay to play’ allegations with the Clinton Foundation? I wonder if they have any interest in this:

A line of credit Kushner and his father hold with Israel Discount Bank jumped to as much as $25 million during the past year, from under $5 million in late 2017, his most recent financial disclosure shows. He recently closed similar credit lines with U.S.-based firms, according to the filing.


Author:  Hawkeye [ Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

How Donald Trump Shifted Kids-Cancer Charity Money Into His Business

LIKE AUTUMN LEAVES, sponsored Cadillacs, Ferraris and Maseratis descend on the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York, in September for the Eric Trump Foundation golf invitational. Year after year, the formula is consistent: 18 holes of perfectly trimmed fairways with a dose of Trumpian tackiness, including Hooters waitresses and cigar spreads, followed by a clubhouse dinner, dates encouraged. The crowd leans toward real estate insiders, family friends and C-list celebrities, such as former baseball slugger Darryl Strawberry and reality housewife (and bankruptcy-fraud felon) Teresa Giudice.

The real star of the day is Eric Trump, the president's second son and now the co-head of the Trump Organization, who has hosted this event for ten years on behalf of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. He's done a ton of good: To date, he's directed more than $11 million there, the vast majority of it via this annual golf event. He has also helped raise another $5 million through events with other organizations.

The best part about all this, according to Eric Trump, is the charity's efficiency: Because he can get his family's golf course for free and have most of the other costs donated, virtually all the money contributed will go toward helping kids with cancer. "We get to use our assets 100% free of charge," Trump tells Forbes.

That's not the case. In reviewing filings from the Eric Trump Foundation and other charities, it's clear that the course wasn't free--that the Trump Organization received payments for its use, part of more than $1.2 million that has no documented recipients past the Trump Organization. Golf charity experts say the listed expenses defy any reasonable cost justification for a one-day golf tournament.

Additionally, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which has come under previous scrutiny for self-dealing and advancing the interests of its namesake rather than those of charity, apparently used the Eric Trump Foundation to funnel $100,000 in donations into revenue for the Trump Organization.

And while donors to the Eric Trump Foundation were told their money was going to help sick kids, more than $500,000 was re-donated to other charities, many of which were connected to Trump family members or interests, including at least four groups that subsequently paid to hold golf tournaments at Trump courses.

All of this seems to defy federal tax rules and state laws that ban self-dealing and misleading donors. It also raises larger questions about the Trump family dynamics and whether Eric and his brother, Don Jr., can be truly independent of their father.

Especially since the person who specifically commanded that the for-profit Trump Organization start billing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the nonprofit Eric Trump Foundation, according to two people directly involved, was none other than the current president of the United States, Donald Trump.

IN ORDER TO understand the Eric Trump Foundation, you need to understand the Donald J. Trump Foundation. The president was never known for giving his foundation much money, and from 2009 to 2014, he didn't give it anything at all. Outsiders still donated, though, allowing Trump to dole out their money to a smattering of more than 200 charities as if it were his own, with many of the donations helping his business interests.

Eric Trump set out to do things differently. Coming out of Georgetown, he decided he would try to translate the good fortune he had inherited into support for children's cancer research. Why this cause, especially for a guy who still doesn't have kids? "It's a great question--it's one that I've been asked before--and I'm not really sure," he says. "I think there is something about that innocence that has always affected me." After visiting various hospitals, he chose to give to strength, St. Jude, the world's best-known pediatric cancer center.

Eric Trump set up his foundation as a public charity, a classification that allows it to raise most of its money from outside donors. In 2007, when he was 23, the first Eric Trump golf tournament took place, raising $220,000. A compelling sales pitch evolved--the free golf course and the donated goods and services assured donors that every penny possible went to charity. The Eric Trump Foundation employed no staff until 2015, and its annual expense ratio averaged 13%, about half of what most charities pay in overhead. His original seven-person board was made up of personal friends, an innocuous lot who helped sell tournament tickets, which last year ranged from $3,000 for a single all-day ticket to $100,000 for a pair of VIP foursomes.

For the first four years of the golf tournament, from 2007 to 2010, the total expenses averaged about $50,000, according to the tax filings. Not quite the zero-cost advantage that a donor might expect given who owned the club but at least in line with what other charities pay to host outings at Trump courses, according to a review of ten tax filings for other charitable organizations.

But in 2011, things took a turn. Costs for Eric Trump's tournament jumped from $46,000 to $142,000, according to the foundation's IRS filings. Why would the price of the tournament suddenly triple in one year? "In the early years, they weren't being billed [for the club]--the bills would just disappear," says Ian Gillule, who served as membership and marketing director at Trump National Westchester during two stints from 2006 to 2015 and witnessed how Donald Trump reacted to the tournament's economics. "Mr. Trump had a cow. He flipped. He was like, 'We're donating all of this stuff, and there's no paper trail? No credit?' And he went nuts. He said, 'I don't care if it's my son or not--everybody gets billed.' "

Katrina Kaupp, who served on the board of directors at the Eric Trump Foundation in 2010 and 2011, also remembers Donald Trump insisting the charity start paying its own way, despite Eric's public claims to the contrary. "We did have to cover the expenses," she says. "The charity had grown so much that the Trump Organization couldn't absorb all of those costs anymore." The Trump Organization declined to answer detailed questions about the payments. But it seems that for the future president, who Forbes estimates is worth $3.5 billion, a freebie to help his son directly fight kids' cancer took a backseat to revenue.

"I saw that Eric was getting billed," Gillule adds. "I would always say, 'I can't believe that his dad is billing him for a charitable outing.' But that's what they wanted."

It's also very consistent. The Donald J. Trump Foundation famously acted like an arm of the overall business, using the charity's money to settle a Trump business lawsuit, make a political donation and even purchase expensive portraits of its namesake. Meanwhile, Trump businesses billed the Trump campaign, fueled by small outside donors, more than $11 million to use his properties, chefs and private aircraft.

At first the extra bills did not cost the Eric Trump Foundation anything. Shortly before the spike in costs, the Donald J. Trump Foundation donated $100,000 to the Eric Trump Foundation--a gift explicitly made, according to Gillule, to offset the increased budget. Thus, the Eric Trump donors were still seeing their money go to work for kids along the same lines as previous years.

The Eric Trump Foundation declined to comment on that donation. In effect, though, this maneuver would appear to have more in common with a drug cartel's money-laundering operation than a charity's best-practices textbook. That $100,000 in outside donations to the Donald J. Trump Foundation (remember: Trump himself didn't give to his own foundation at this time) passed through the Eric Trump Foundation--and wound up in the coffers of Donald Trump's private businesses.

"His father, Mr. Trump, always, until the presidency, had a very, very tight rein on what was going on," says Gillule, referring to the company's golf courses. "The buck always stopped with him."

THE COSTS FOR ERIC'S golf tournament quickly escalated. After returning, in 2012, to a more modest $59,000--while the event brought in a record $2 million--the listed costs exploded to $230,000 in 2013, $242,000 in 2014 and finally $322,000 in 2015 (the most recent on record, held just as Trump was ratcheting up his presidential campaign), according to IRS filings. This even though the amount raised at these events, in fact, never reached that 2012 high.

It's hard to find an explanation for this cost spike. Remember, all those base costs were supposedly free, according to Eric Trump. The golf course? "Always comped," he says. The merchandise for golfers: "The vast majority of it we got comped." Drinks: "Things like wine we were normally able to get donated." And the evening performances from musicians like Dee Snider of Twisted Sister and comedians like Gilbert Gottfried: "They did it for free." So many sponsors donated, in fact, that the event invitation has carried enough logos to make a Nascar team proud.

Eric Trump, in speaking with Forbes, maintains that "our expenses on a tournament that made us somewhere in the $2 million range every year was somewhere around 100 grand," even though his foundation's tax records show costs soaring to $322,000. When asked for an itemized list of expenses, the Eric Trump Foundation declined to respond.

Thus it's hard to figure out what happened to the money. All the listed costs are direct expenses: Items like overhead and salaries appear elsewhere in its IRS filings. Even if the Eric Trump Foundation had to pay the full rate for literally everything, Forbes couldn't come up with a plausible path to $322,000 given the parameters of the annual event (a golf outing for about 200 and dinner for perhaps 400 more). Neither could golf tournament experts or the former head golf professional at Trump National Westchester. "If you gave me that much money to run a tournament, I couldn't imagine what we could do," says Patrick Langan, who worked at the club from 2006 to 2015. "It certainly wasn't done that way."

Opaque accounting doesn't help, as the Eric Trump Foundation began hosting a few other golf events and fundraisers; former board member Kaupp says some were lumped into the cost figures of the Westchester event on the IRS filings. Hundreds of thousands of dollars over this time went directly to the Trump Organization, including one payment of $87,000 to Trump's golf course in Washington, D.C., which hosted a separate event for St. Jude.

For his part, Eric Trump offers no indication that the charity is paying for much beyond the day in Westchester. "I'm sure if I hunted, I could find examples of expenses associated with the charity that aren't due to day-of activities," he says. "But I would probably have to think pretty long and hard about that."

IT DOESN'T SEEM A COINCIDENCE that at the same time the Eric Trump Foundation went from what appeared to be a clean, efficient operation to a seemingly Byzantine one that suddenly found itself saddled with costs, there was a clear shift of control.

In 2010, the year the economics of the tournament suddenly pivoted, four of the seven original board members, who were personal friends of Eric, left. Those 4 were eventually replaced by 14 new board members, the majority of whom owed all or much of their livelihoods to the Trump Organization. Six of them were effectively full-time employees, including Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and executive vice president Dan Scavino Jr., who both serve in political roles for President Trump. Another owns a company that billed the Trump campaign $16 million. Add in Eric himself, as well as his wife, Lara, and 9 of the 17 Eric Trump Foundation board members had a vested interest in the moneymaking side of the Trump empire. The foundation had become a de facto subsidiary of the Trump Organization.

"They were wearing two hats," says Langan, the former director of golf, who says he sat in on meetings where he couldn't tell where the business ended and the charity began. "You're dealing with people talking about the event and the charity who also at the same time are thinking about it as a corporation and as a business. It's a for-profit club. You know, they're trying to make money."

Until this board turnover, the Eric Trump Foundation pretty much did what it told its donors it would: send its money to St. Jude. But starting in 2011, more than $500,000 was redirected to a variety of other charities, many of which were personal favorites of Trump family members and several of which had nothing to do with children's cancer--but happened to become clients of Trump's golf courses.

In 2012, the Eric Trump Foundation sent $5,000 to a charity called Abilis, which provides services to people with disabilities. That same year, Donald Trump's nephew Fred Trump, whose son has cerebral palsy, hosted the inaugural Golf for Abilis fundraiser at the Trump National Westchester. Over the next five years, Abilis spent an estimated $240,000 hosting tournaments at the property.

In 2013 and 2014, the Eric Trump Foundation paid $15,000 for tables at a gala for the Little Baby Face Foundation, according to a spokesman for the latter foundation. Over the next three years, Little Baby Face spent an estimated $100,000 to hold golf outings on the Trump course. The foundation denies any direct connection between the two transactions.

Janet McHugh, the founder of a small charity named Julie's Jungle, was delighted to receive $25,000 in total donations from the Donald and Eric Trump foundations in 2013--money she figured came from Eric and Donald Trump personally. Two years later, her charity hosted a golf tournament at Trump National Hudson Valley. McHugh says the decision to hold her tournament there was unrelated to the donation. "They didn't comp us the golf course," she says. "We paid."

Altruism as a business-development strategy isn't necessarily illegal. But a situation in which outside donor money is redeployed away from the core mission in ways that seem to ultimately benefit the family that pays the majority of the board is--at best--an appearance problem.

Other extra expenditures raise eyebrows. In 2013, for example, Eric Trump used his foundation's money, rather than his own, to pay $1,600 to the American Society for Enology & Viticulture for a copper wine still and an antique bottle washer at a trade event and fundraiser that he was keynoting. Eric runs the family vineyard in Charlottesville, Virginia, about an hour down the road from where the event took place. "I have no idea what that is," says Eric Trump, referring to the payment.

In 2012, the Eric Trump Foundation wrote a check for $25,000 to the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts. That same year, George Rodrigue, who had said that his famous "blue dog" paintings sometimes sold for about $25,000, created a portrait of Donald Trump for the auction at Eric's event. That portrait ended up hanging over the couch in Eric Trump's house, where he was photographed sitting beneath it two years later.

Perhaps Eric bought the painting for himself at the auction or on the aftermarket. Perhaps Rodrigue gave or sold him a copy. What does Eric say about the donation? "Let's follow up later on," he replies, when asked about it in a phone call, before getting off the line.

Later the next day, after being told Forbes had several other questions, he sent a paragraphs-long text message, which read in part: "I was reflecting on it last night and have to say I was really disappointed when you said the story would be 'fair.'... It seems like there is a motive against either myself or my family. And if that is the case, I would simply rather disengage." A spokesperson for the Trump Organization similarly declined to respond further to questions about Eric and Donald Trump.

THE ULTIMATE TRAGEDY HERE is that the Eric Trump Foundation has done so much good. Yes, Eric has indulged in the family trait of vainglory, from Eric Trump bobblehead dolls at the tournament to statements that leave the impression he's giving the money personally, even though tax records suggest he's donated six figures total, at most. (Trump wouldn't tell Forbes how much he's given to his own foundation. "I think it's totally irrelevant," he says, citing the fact that "we never charge" for use of the courses.) But in 2015, a new intensive-care unit at St. Jude opened with Eric Trump's name on it, and the foundation's money has funded research into a rare form of cancer.

It's hard to imagine how the early incarnation of the golf tournament--big hauls, understandable costs--would have any problem continuing to spew out millions for years to come. Last year, the Eric Trump Foundation donated $2.9 million, according to St. Jude.

But in December, Eric Trump said he would stop fundraising. Running an event with an increasing commingling of business and philanthropy created the kind of conflict-of-interest (not to mention image) concerns that similarly plagued Ivanka Trump's aborted attempt to auction off a coffee date on behalf of Eric's foundation.

More recently, the foundation has rebranded itself as Curetivity. A spokeswoman for the organization said it would continue hosting golf tournaments to raise money for St. Jude. A Curetivity event was held this past May outside Washington, D.C., with Eric Trump in attendance, at the Trump National course.

Author:  Hawkeye [ Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

Special counsel eyeing Russians granted unusual access to Trump inauguration parties

Several billionaires with deep ties to Russia attended exclusive, invitation-only receptions during Donald Trump’s inauguration festivities, guest lists obtained by ABC News show.

These powerful businessmen, who amassed their fortunes following the collapse of the Soviet Union -- including one who has since been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department -- were ushered into events typically reserved for top donors and close political allies and were given unprecedented access to Trump’s inner circle.

Their presence has attracted the interest of federal investigators probing Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Matthew Olsen, a former senior national security official who now serves as an ABC News consultant, said their presence at inaugural events is “very concerning.”

“This reflects a Russian strategy of gaining access to our political leaders at a time when they are just forming a government,” Olsen said. “They don’t need to be spies in the James Bond sense. They are powerful people with significant wealth who are in a position to exert influence on U.S. policy makers. And they’re in a position to report back to Russian intelligence services on what they’re able to learn.”

The presence of people with Kremlin ties in Washington for Trump’s inaugural celebration was first reported by The Washington Post. But the guest lists obtained by ABC News offer a new glimpse at the level of access granted to several well-connected oligarchs.

Several donated enough to the Presidential Inaugural Committee to qualify for tickets to a “Candlelight Dinner” in Washington’s Union Station on the eve of the inauguration, a perk for $1 million contributors, the list of attendees show. Guests were treated to a preview performance by singer Jackie Evancho, a one-time runner-up on "America's Got Talent," who would go on to sing at the inauguration the following day.

A handful celebrated Trump’s surprise victory at the black-tie “Chairman’s Global Dinner,” an exclusive 500-guest affair held the same night in the Greek-columned Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium whose attendees included close Trump friends, high-ranking campaign aides, and an array of foreign ambassadors and dignitaries. The inaugural committee treated them to a dinner of butter-poached lobster, coffee-crusted beef tenderloin and chocolate raspberry dome. For entertainment, casino mogul and Trump pal Steve Wynn flew in Las Vegas show girls to perform a Broadway-style rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”

According to a source with knowledge of the congressional investigations, at least one oligarch was ushered into Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol for the traditional Inaugural Day luncheon, hosted by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies – an event typically out of reach to donors and even most rank-and-file members of Congress.

“It’s incredibly unusual,” said Stephen Kerrigan, who planned the 2009 and 2013 Obama inaugural festivities and said every guest was scrutinized for foreign ties. “Particularly if they were going to be within arm’s reach of the President, they went through an intensive vetting process.”

Names on the guest lists of the Candlelight Dinner included Victor Vekselberg, the billionaire head of the global conglomerate Renova Group, who was later sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury “for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy,” and his American cousin Andrew Intrater. Late last year, Vekselberg was stopped at a New York airport by federal agents working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and questioned, according to the New York Times. The Times also reported that Intrater was separately interviewed by the special counsel.

Author:  canpakes [ Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

We elected President Cartman, and this is his plan to Make America His Bank Account Great Again.


Author:  aussieguy55 [ Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

"Bottom line, California’s GDP is number 5 in the world, having surpassed that of the UK this past year. 38 million Californians out produce 140 million Russians. Take that Mr. Putin! California’s GDP growth rate has been running 50% greater than that of the US as a whole. Of all the risk capital invested in the US, fully half is invested in California, 35% just in the Bay Area. No other state receives more than a single digit percentage. A lot of conservatives would dearly like to see California fail and tell this lie about California being a “mess”, or “out of control” but the facts say the opposite. California is the standing reproach to right wing dogma and our comparative success drives the right wingers nuts." Go California

Author:  Chap [ Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

Scott Pruitt has finally found a sense of shame and resigned. Or maybe even Trump started to find him just a teeny bit too toxic. Or maybe there's more stuff we haven't even heard of yet ...

Author:  Chap [ Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

The updated article I linked to now says:

In recent weeks, the barrage of headlines over Pruitt’s alleged impropriety at the EPA escalated – prompting several staff members to resign.

A whistleblower revealed earlier this week that Pruitt kept a secret calendar to hide meetings with industry representatives. Staffers reportedly met in Pruitt’s office to alter or remove records of the meetings. It also emerged that Pruitt asked staffers to use their personal credit cards for his hotel bookings.

As of last month, Pruitt’s activities were the result of at least 14 separate federal investigations.

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government watchdog, reacted to Pruitt’s resignation with a one-word statement reading: “Good.”

Even some Republicans, who had grown tired of defending Pruitt’s daily controversies, celebrated the news of his departure.

“Finally. Actually he did a horrible job,” Carlos Curbelo, a moderate Republican congressman from Florida, tweeted in response to Trump.

“He was a disaster and an embarrassment from day one, and the country is far better off without him.”

Author:  Some Schmo [ Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

Chap wrote:
Scott Pruitt has finally found a sense of shame and resigned.

I welcome this bit of good news (although I'm not sure that shame was the impetus, given what I've read about this guy).

Author:  MeDotOrg [ Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

My feeling is that Pruitt resigned not because Trump was dissatisfied with his job performance, but the optics of his blatant corruption would have been too much of a problem for the GOP in the fall. Trump will make sure his successor continues to dismantle clean air and water standards. He'll just do it more quietly.

Author:  canpakes [ Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

I’m going with the idea that Trump and Pruitt both agreed upon the resignation a while back, but strategically held out for a moment when releasing that news could shift attention away from something else that Trump was embroiled within. As the whole ‘family separation’ thing has ended up causing a bit more damage to the Cartman Administration than expected - and has persisted longer than Trump found useful - he gave Pruitt the go-ahead to step down now in the hopes that the press will follow this new Shiny Object. :smile:

Author:  Xenophon [ Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

canpakes wrote:
I’m going with the idea that Trump and Pruitt both agreed upon the resignation a while back, but strategically held out for a moment when releasing that news could shift attention away from something else that Trump was embroiled within. As the whole ‘family separation’ thing has ended up causing a bit more damage to the Cartman Administration than expected - and has persisted longer than Trump found useful - he gave Pruitt the go-ahead to step down now in the hopes that the press will follow this new Shiny Object. :smile:
Whether this was planned out so precisely or not remains to be seen. That is definitely a prevailing theme of this administration though, through so much crap at the fan that hopefully none of it sticks (to mix a metaphor or two).

This week hasn't been much different; Pruitt stepping down, tariffs kicking in, admin officials requesting more time to reunite families, Trump's dog-whistly rally... it is a deluge of BS that is hard to focus on any one thing.

Author:  aussieguy55 [ Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

Goebbels 'There was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted and would anyway always yield to the **er, and this will always be "the man in the street." Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology." Intellectuals in Trump's mind would be climate scientists many who have left the EPA. Watch Trumps crude clear and forcible and appeal to the emotions and instincts not the intellec" in Montana.

Author:  canpakes [ Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

The MCC has now been engulfed by The Trump Swamp ...

The White House has assumed control over hiring at a small federal agency that promotes economic growth in poor countries, installing political allies and loyalists in appointed jobs intended for development experts, according to documents and interviews.

Until the Trump administration, only the chief executive and several other top officials of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) were selected by the White House, former agency officials said. The chief executive, in turn, used authority granted to the agency by Congress to appoint about two dozen other staffers, primarily for their technical ­expertise.

But starting last year, the White House began naming political appointees to the lower-level positions, according to internal rosters obtained by The Washington Post and interviews with former employees and other knowledgeable people. The employees were warned by an agency leader they could lose their jobs to make way for the new political appointees, the former employees said.

Fourteen allies and Trump loyalists have been placed at the agency as political appointees so far — more than double the number of political staff on the day the president took office, the rosters show. Among them are a 2016 college graduate with a degree in English literature whose grandmother is a senior personnel official in the White House and a recent congressional intern who graduated in May with a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.


The MCC has about 300 employees and an $800 million annual budget. It has supported programs in dozens of developing countries.

After Trump’s inauguration, agency leaders did not initially hear from the White House, according to MCC employees at the time. In the spring of 2017, a senior official from the Presidential Personnel Office (PPO) asked several members of the leadership team to send over their ­résumés for review, people familiar with the matter said. Before long, a PPO official began making claims on the 30 appointed positions authorized by Congress.

The PPO is a White House organization responsible for selecting and placing 4,000 political appointees who carry out the president’s policies and run federal agencies. It has been a source of controversy over its vetting of nominees and the pace of appointments. PPO director Sean Doocey and a senior official in the PPO office, Katja Bullock, have been involved in lining up the political jobs at MCC, according to documents and interviews with people with knowledge of the office.

In a previous interview, a White House official acknowledged that Doocey and Bullock are former Bush administration colleagues and longtime friends, who with others traveled to Germany on vacation last year.

Several months after the trip to Germany, Doocey appointed Bullock’s grandson, Dillon Seamus Bullock, to MCC as a “staff assistant,” the Dec. 5 memo shows. Dillon Seamus Bullock, who was given a $50,000 salary, had no professional experience after graduating with an English degree from Belmont Abbey College in December 2016, according to his résumé and the Doocey memo.

As The Post has previously reported, Dillon Seamus Bullock is one of four of Katja Bullock’s relatives who have received political appointments in the Trump administration.

Doocey and Katja Bullock declined requests for interviews. During a brief phone call, Dillon Seamus Bullock also declined to comment.

Doocey’s office also arranged for the agency to hire Adrienne Spero as White House liaison. Though she was paid by MCC, she reported to Doocey, according to interviews with current and ­former employees.
Spero is a 2013 graduate of Ohio Northern University’s Pettit College of Law who worked as a law clerk at the Justice Department in 2015 and 2016. She and her husband, Casin Spero, a political appointee at Veterans Affairs, are social friends of Doocey’s, according to current and former Trump administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution

Author:  Kevin Graham [ Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

This really happened.

The United States accused a woman of being a Russian Spy and having ties to the NRA, who is accused of funneling Russina money to Trump.

The next day the Treasury Department ends requirements saying the NRA needs to identify their financial contributors.

Author:  Water Dog [ Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Swamp Watch News

Kevin Graham wrote:
The next day the Treasury Department ends requirements saying the NRA needs to identify their financial contributors.


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