How Corruption is Already Shaping Policy

Note: Forgive me if I refuse to use the man's name. He's much too egomaniacal and loves plastering that name everywhere. To me, he is Berzelius Windrip, the Huey Long character in Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here.

Below are the official positions and policies proposed or adopted that we KNOW relate to Berzelius Windrip's personal businesses. As you know, he has refused to release his tax returns -- letting us know where the conflicts of interest lie -- and has refused to divest himself of assets that might be impacted by his actions as president. Compare that to President Carter's selling off his peanut farm, just in case. Interestingly, Republicans still investigated that peanut farm for six months in 1979...but seem unconcerned about Berzelius Windrip's vast assets.

Opposition to the European Union: Yesterday in conversations with UK Prime Minister Teresa May, he admitted his business dealings with the EU were difficult. And now we as a country must oppose the EU. He chose an ambassador to the EU, Ted Malloch, who likened it to the former Soviet Union and holds the EU in contempt.

Ban on Immigration from Certain Middle Eastern Countries: Already we have the horrors playing out in airports around the country as immigrants, refugees and foreign nationals from certain countries are forbidden entrance. Yet other countries -- in fact, the countries that have been home to most of the terrorism perpetrated on American soil -- are not included. Why? Because Berzelius Windrip has business dealings in those countries.

Restarting the Dakota Access Pipeline: The Army Corps of Engineers, environmentalists and tribes agree that this pipeline is a danger to the areas it crosses and the water tables around it. But Berzelius owns stock in DAPL and one of his first decrees was to clear the way for the pipeline to continue.

Undermining NATO and Removing Sanctions on Russia for its Ukraine Annexation: His pandering to Russia has been the most concerning to Americans and may involve more than just profit, with suggestions that blackmail could be a part. But in spite of his denials that Russian business is important, there are so many entanglements with Russia and Russians (notorious Russian Mafia included) that the denials hold no water.
In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. said Trump's businesses "see a lot of money pouring in from Russia." 
"And in terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia. There's indeed a lot of money coming for new-builds and resale reflecting a trend in the Russian economy and, of course, the weak dollar versus the ruble," he said. (CNN)
There is considerable suspicion that -- since Wall Street banks had cut him off because he had stiffed them too many times in various bankruptcies -- he was beholden to Russians for major loans as well.

Reversing Washington Criticism of Phillipine President Duterte's Brutal Drug War: Duterte has ordered -- and claims to have personally committed -- the murders of thousands suspected of drug use. US Policy had been harshly critical of this brutality, but now all that has changed, with the new president praising Duterte's handling of the drug war. Trump Tower in the Phillipines is still under construction and has had some official barriers, soon to dissolve, one suspects. And who did Duterte name as special envoy to the US? Berzelius Windrip's business partner, Jose E.B. Antonio.

Undermining the One China Policy: Before taking office, the president-elect created turmoil in our relations with China by engaging with Taiwan's president. Why? Apparently the family hotel business has been eyeing erecting a hotel in Taipei and son Eric is scheduled to visit Taiwan to pursue that objective.

Threats to Deport Gulen to Turkey to Appease Erdogan: Turkey's tyrannical president Erdogan has forced the removal of the family's name from its Istanbul hotel and has been vocal against the anti-Muslim tenor of his campaign. But in exchange for the opposition leader Gulen (living in Pennsylvania and protected by the US), Erdogan is now softening his approach and welcoming the family's name back into Turkey. In a November phone conversation, Berzelius Windrip praised his Turkish business partner Dogan to Erdogan. Erdogan then arrested Dogan and may be holding him to trade for Gulen.

Relations with Argentina: During a November 14th phone conversation, the president-elect asked Argentina's president Marci to loosen up the permitting process that has held up a family hotel project in Buenos Aires. The obstacles then disappeared and the hotel construction moves forward. What tit-for-tat went on that benefits Marci we do not yet know.

Relations with Japan: Remember when daughter Ivanka, who has business with the bank run by Japan's Prime Minister Abe, was invited to sit in on the meeting with Abe? Given our military relationship with Japan, what does Japan expect in payment for assisting the family business?

Any one of these deals should result in impeachment for violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution. That Congress has not even convened a committee to investigate corruption is extremely disconcerting. And this may be but the tip of the iceberg.

Neither foreign nor domestic policy is being determined based on the intelligence of or advice from experts in our government. Those experts are being removed summarily and ideologues and profiteers being put in their places. Scientists are being hushed at NASA, the Interior Department and the EPA. Cabinet members hostile to the missions of their agencies being seated to head the Education Department, the EPA, the Labor Department and Commerce.The wholesale removal of expertise from the State Department a few days ago and of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the Armed Forces from the National Security Council -- replaced by white supremacist ideologue Stephen Bannon -- is dangerous beyond reckoning.

Consider also the following actions by the family to cash in on the presidency.

Access to the President being Sold by his Sons: An Inauguration Week event with his two sons as founding members, sold million-dollar tickets to donors wanting cheek-to-cheek time with the new president.

Mar-a-Lago Doubled Membership Fees to $200,000: Berzelius Windrip's vacation resort (which he owns) -- where residents can rub shoulders with the president -- just doubled its fees from $100,000 to $200,000, the new price for access.

My daughter's work in international development required her to work with corrupt two-bit dictators around the world. Her stories were shocking and horrifying, where permission to do good work was based on how much graft the royal family stood to gain rather than how much good could be done for poor villages. This is now our road.