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Kushner, Conflicts of Interest, and the Culture of Corruption (2)

 

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Part 1: Kushner and the Culture of Corruption
It’s clear that the Trump Administration’s culture of corruption comes at a steep cost to the country.
Part 2: Conflicts of Interest
Here’s are five of the most recent instances where Trump is likely violating some of the most basic government ethics rules.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: Kushner and the Culture of Corruption

The Progress Report, Center for American Progress Action Fund

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/03/01/business/01kushner-print/merlin_134678906_1b50bb34-08f9-484a-a3af-e4ba0514f7a9-superJumbo.jpg March 1, 2018 | Just days after Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and adviser, had this security clearance downgraded, and had it reported that foreign countries pegged him as vulnerable for exploitation because of his debt, he’s under scrutiny again for meetings he took with private equity firms and banks at the White House. According to a report from the New York Times, after Kushner met with Apollo Global Management at the White House, his family business, Kushner Companies, received a desperately-needed $184 million loan. Additionally, Kushner Companies received a whopping $325 million loan from Citigroup, whose executives also held meetings at the White House.

Experts agree that there “is little precedent for a top White House official meeting with executives of companies as they contemplate sizable loans to his business.” (Both Kushner and the companies deny any wrongdoing.) While Kushner got his loans, these companies were amongst the biggest beneficiaries of loopholes mysteriously kept in the tax bill. And they’re not done: Apollo is seeking to gain profits under Trump’s infrastructure proposal.

Whether it’s on tax policy, infrastructure, or secret international diplomacy (Kushner’s role in the Russia crisis remains under suspicion), it’s clear that the Trump Administration’s culture of corruption comes at a steep cost to the country.

The Center for American Progress Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan policy institute and advocacy organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. Our aim is not just to change the conversation, but to change the country.





Part 2: Conflicts of Interest

The Progress Report, Center for American Progress Action Fund

https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/320/cpsprodpb/503D/production/_92614502_hi036530794.jpg During the 2016 presidential campaign, one of the biggest concerns raised by voters was Trump’s potential conflicts of interest involving his family’s business. More than a year after the election, those worries turned out to be well founded and often times not readily apparent to most Americans. Here’s are five of the most recent instances where Trump is likely violating some of the most basic government ethics rules.
• Last week, Donald Trump Jr. was in India, promoting the Trump Organization. During the trip, ads promised a meeting with Trump Jr. if they invested $38,000 in the Trump Organization. And one panel led by Trump Jr. was entitled, “Reshaping Indo-Pacific Ties: The New Era of Cooperation,” which sounds a bit too close to a government official’s words.
The Trump Organization claims it donates profits from foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury—but it’s refusing to share any details.
• President Trump’s reelection campaign has launched, and its home is the Trump Tower in Manhattan. The rent is $37,000 a month, and who’s footing the bill? The Republican National Committee.
• One of the leading ethics watchdogs in D.C.—Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)—has charged the Trump administration with accepting gifts from foreign governments, which would be a clear violation of the emoluments clause.
• Some of CREW’s concerns revolve around Trump’s business in Panama, which is now subject to an investigation by Panama’s federal prosecutors.

The Center for American Progress Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan policy institute and advocacy organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. Our aim is not just to change the conversation, but to change the country.

Related:

Romano: The moral corruption of Florida politicians, John Romano, Tampa Bay (FL) Times 

http://www.tampabay.com/storyimage/HI/20180301/ARTICLE/303019982/AR/0/AR-303019982.jpg?MaxW=950&cachebuster=399378Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes and Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, talk on the floor of the House during a joint session of the Florida Legislature in January. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay (FL) Times]

  • A lot of it has to do with districts that are drawn in a way that favors one party over another. A lot of it has to do with voters who do not pay attention and give elected officials a free pass.
  • It’s ugly. It’s corrupt. It’s Florida.
  • Related: America’s Descent Into Madness

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Romano: The moral corruption of Florida politicians

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Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes and Florida Senate President Joe Negron, R- Stuart, talk on the floor of the House during a joint session of the Florida Legislature in January. [Scott Keeler | Tampa Bay (FL) Times]

  • A lot of it has to do with districts that are drawn in a way that favors one party over another. A lot of it has to do with voters who do not pay attention and give elected officials a free pass.
  • It’s ugly. It’s corrupt. It’s Florida.
  • Related: America’s Descent Into Madness

 

John Romano, Tampa Bay (FL) Times 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Editor%20Comment%20icon.jpg Evergreene Digest Editor's Note: It's not just Florida that's corrupt. This exact same story could've been written about any state in the country. Only the faces are different.

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March 1, 2018 | In times like these, you often hear Florida’s Legislature described as tone-deaf. I’m sorry, but that’s a sadly charitable portrayal.

Calling lawmakers tone-deaf implies they don’t understand the current mood surrounding them. I think they fully understand it. They just choose to ignore it.

Take a moment to consider what’s happened in recent days.

John Romano, Tampa Bay (FL) Times  Columnist

Full story … 

Related:


https://philoforchange.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/fear_anthony-frieda1.jpg?w=720[Credit: Anthony Frieda.]

America’s Descent Into Madness, Henry Giroux, Counterpunch

  • America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War. – John le Carré
  • The Politics of Cruelty
  • The Corporation as Psychopath

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Help expand your impact by forwarding this story to any friends looking to get involved in 2018.


 

Analysis: Major Corporations Have Spent Just 6% of Tax Cut Windfall on Workers. Guess Where the Other 94% Went.

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn attend an event to celebrate Congress passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with Republican members of the House and Senate on the South Lawn of the White House December 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Almost everyone— nonpartisan commentators, economists, and even President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser —predicted that corporate shareholders and CEOs, not workers, would be the primary beneficiaries of the Republican tax law, and several recent analyses have shown that prediction to be ...
  • "You mean corporations aren't using the bulk of their tax cuts to create jobs and boost workers’ wages like Trump promised? Weird..."


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Wednesday, February 28, 2018 | Almost everyone—nonpartisan commentators, economists, and even President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser—predicted that corporate shareholders and CEOs, not workers, would be the primary beneficiaries of the Republican tax law, and several recent analyses have shown that prediction to be right on the money.



"Post-tax cut raises, bonuses, and other worker investments announced by 90 of the largest publicly-traded corporations average just six percent of the total windfall these companies have received from the biggest tax cut in U.S. history," the group found.



 

While many corporations immediately launched aggressive PR campaigns crediting the tax plan Trump signed in December with new "investments" in employees, a study by the nonprofit group JUST Capital published on Wednesday found that the sensational headlines touting worker bonuses obscured the fact that the vast majority of the law's benefits have gone straight to the pockets of wealthy shareholders.


https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/authors/johnson.jpg?itok=Xrr2HegA Jake Johnson, staff writer, Common Dreams <https://www.commondreams.org>

Full story … 

 

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Broad Coalition of National Election Reform Groups Unite to Challenge Two-Party Duopoly

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Institutional political barriers including closed primaries, partisan gerrymandering, a contrived “two-sided” media, and party-friendly campaign finance rules are just the tip of the institutional iceberg that props up the failing duopoly …

Jim Jonas, Independent Voter Network

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Jan 22, 2018 | To focus the combined strengths, skills, and experience of some of the nation’s leading election reform organizations toward increasing voter participation and electoral competition, a prominent group of nonpartisan political reform leaders have formed the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers.

Founding members include representatives from the Bridge Alliance, Independent Voter Project, the Chamberlain Project, FairVote Action, Open Primaries, the Centrist Project, California Forward, and Let Colorado Vote.

Jim Jonas, interim executive director of the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers

Full story … 

Welcome to Evergreene Digest This Week, February 23, 2018.

Including links to over 750 websites and over 40 highlighted items featuring:

Feature Article | Henry A. Giroux: Gun Culture and the American Nightmare of Violence, Henry A. Giroux, Truthout / Rise Up Times

http://www.truth-out.org/images/images_2016_01/2016_0110g_.jpg Demonstrators gather outside the State Capitol for a rally about expanded gun rights in downtown Austin, Texas, January 1, 2016. (Photo: Ilana Panich-Linsman / The New York Times)

  • Militarism provides ideological support for policies that protect gun owners and sellers rather than children.
  • Related: Special Project | One Big Thing: Students Protest the Gun Culture, Shootings; Demand Action

Publisher's Choice | Against Charity ~ Daniel Raventos & Julie Wark, Mathew Snow, Jacobin 

Rather than creating an individualized “culture of giving,” we should be challenging capitalism’s institutionalized taking.

Of Special Interest | Demanding a Clean DACA Bill, Now! Alvaro Huerta, LA Progressive 

  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Pro-DACA%20Demonstration.jpgWhile undocumented immigrants and their allies continue to organize against the racist Trump administration and complicit Republican leaders, Democratic leaders, who depend on the Latina/o vote, have failed miserably.
  •   http://soaw.org/img/calltoact.gifRelated: Make a Call for Dreamers

 

Special Project | One Big Thing: Students Protest the Gun Culture, Shootings; Demand Action, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

One Big Thing: Student Protests * Gun control walkout: Teens protest around the country by leaving schools * Right wing pundits attack student survivors of mass shooting, and Donald Trump Jr approves; * America's youth is sick of shootings. It's time to let them lead the way. * Marco Rubio almost got away with his routine. Then he met Cameron Kasky.

Series | 1968 Reduxed and Revisited: Look How Far We’ve Come (That Was Sarcasm) — Part 2 of 5, John Fisher, Medium 

  • https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/2000/1*1LtFriBLDLWsgQ1_NeBoKA.jpegThe Series: As the country approaches the 50th anniversary of one of the most controversial, volatile, and important years in our country’s history, We the People of the United States of America find ourselves facing many of the same issues that led us to the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel, the bloodiest year of the Vietnam War, screams of “the whole world is watching” at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the floor of the Ambassador Hotel, and Black fists being raised in the air at the Mexico Summer Olympics. So much has changed, true. We’ve come so far, but in a lot of ways, we’re right back where we started and even further behind.
  • Part 12: There will continue to be a vilification of certain demographics of U.S. and world citizens, but a new and surprising bad guy — excuse me, girl — and battleground may be making its appearance on the political stage.

Series | A Nation Under Trump, Part 3 - Trump has put anti-immigrant campaign promises into action, Maria Benevento, National Catholic Reporter (NCR)

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/An%20Immigration%20Rally%20near%20US%20Capitol%2C%20Sept.%2026%20%2717.jpgA woman holds a child during an immigration rally near the U.S. Capitol in Washington Sept. 26. (CNS/Tyler Orsburn)

  • The Series: As the anniversary of Donald Trump's election as president of the United States approached, the NCR staff wondered if the calls to action that persisted immediately following the election remained as urgent.
  • Part 3: Trump does seem to be making an effort to intensify his immigration policies. On Oct. 8, he released a list of priorities that include hiring more ICE agents, cracking down on visa overstays and sanctuary cities, building a border wall, facilitating deportation of unaccompanied minors and asylum seekers, and shifting to a "merit-based" immigration system.
  • Related: Demanding a Clean DACA Bill, Now!

Bloggers & Columnists | Henry A. Giroux





All this and more in:

Activism & Organizing

Net Neutrality Update, Lucia, FreePress.net

  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/FreePress.net%20%7C%20Operation%20One%20More%20Vote.pngOn (February 27), internet users, small businesses, online communities, public-interest groups, and popular websites will mobilize to flood lawmakers with calls, emails and tweets. Our goal: to secure the final vote in the Senate needed to pass a resolution of disapproval that would overturn the FCC’s Net Neutrality repeal.
  • We need your help to make this happen: RSVP to join us online on Feb. 27.
  • Related: Net Neutrality Fight Shifts To The States

Human Rights

House votes to gut the Americans with Disabilities Act; Justice Department Scraps ADA Guidance, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • Part 1: House votes to gut the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • A House bill would make it harder for people with disabilities to hold businesses accountable for inaccessibility.
  • Part 2: Justice Department Scraps ADA Guidance
  • Attorney General Sessions is rescinding several guidance documents clarifying the implications of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Peace & Non-violence

Parkland School Shooting Survivors Announce National ‘March For Our Lives’; Go After Rick Scott, Rubio, Paul Ryan As NRA Enablers, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Parkland School Shooting Survivors Announce National ‘March For Our Lives’.
“This is about us begging for our lives.”
Part 2: Parkland Students Go After Rick Scott, Rubio, Paul Ryan As NRA Enablers.
(Parkland Students') rage is so … raw it might even effect change in this sick culture.

Cold War Then. Cold War Now, William Blum, Dandelion Salad 

  • https://farm7.staticflickr.com/6154/6186943798_22e6015151_z.jpgIn 2015 in Brussels, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) formally voted to accept the District of Columbia as a new member. UNPO is an international democratic organization whose members are indigenous peoples, minorities and unrecognized or occupied territories who have joined together to protect and promote their human and cultural rights, to preserve their environments and to find nonviolent solutions to conflicts which affect them.
  • Related: Bernie Keeps Promoting The New Cold War and the U.S. ‘Forever Wars’, and Yes, We Need To Talk About It

and much more. Enjoy!

We’re adding new material daily. Come back and visit us often.

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Weekend Read: It’s past time for white supremacy to die

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  • In the last year we’ve seen the growth of the so-called “alt-right,” a rise in neo-Nazi groups and, in response, a spike in black nationalist groups.

The common thread?

White supremacy.

This weekend we're bringing you an editorial by our Intelligence Project Director Heidi Beirich from our latest Intelligence Report, reminding us that if we want to reverse a trend that saw hate groups rise for the third year in a row, we must dismantle the white supremacy that's embedded so deeply in American society.

  • Related: Hate Groups Attack Southern Poverty Law Center, and Some Journalists Pile On

Heidi Beirich, Southern Poverty Leadership Conference (SPLC)

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February 24, 2018 | There were two dynamics that determined the fate of America's radical right in 2017: the election of President Trump and the fallout from the Charlottesville, Virginia, deadly white nationalist rally.

Extremists rode a wave of euphoria from Trump's January inauguration until August 11, finally having found an uncucked politician who reflected the world they wanted to see: a world where racism was sanctioned by the highest office, immigrants given the boot and Muslims banned. Riding high, a wide range of extremists who usually don't get along — from heavily armed militias, to polo-attired white nationalists, to Klansmen, to neo-Nazis — all joined forces in mid-August in Charlottesville.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Heidi%20Beirich%2C%20Southern%20Poverty%20Law%20Center.jpgHeidi Beirich leads the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, which publishes the award-winning Intelligence Report and the Hatewatch blog. She is an expert on various forms of extremism, including the white supremacist, nativist and neo-Confederate movements as well as racism in academia.

Full story …

Related:

Hate Groups Attack Southern Poverty Law Center, and Some Journalists Pile On, Sharona Coutts, Rewire 

https://rewire.news/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/GG-740x525.png “Last week I did a monologue on the Southern Poverty Law Center and they took issue, yes 'issue,' with me, with some of the statements made on the show, including a joke, a joke, that they do virtually no law,” Fox News' Greg Gutfeld said in a heavily sarcastic tone. Fox News / YouTube

  • Far-right groups attacking the SPLC claim that the group has lost its credibility because it has targeted groups such as the Family Research Council and others on the far right.
  • Related: The New York Time’s Assault on Press Freedom

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Henry A. Giroux | Gun Culture and the American Nightmare of Violence

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Demonstrators gather outside the State Capitol for a rally about expanded gun rights in downtown Austin, Texas, January 1, 2016. (Photo: Ilana Panich-Linsman / the New York Times)

  • Militarism provides ideological support for policies that protect gun owners and sellers rather than children.
  • Related: Special Project | One Big Thing: Students Protest the Gun Culture, Shootings; Demand Action

Henry A. Giroux, Truthout / Rise Up Times

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/American%20Culture%20of%20Violence_2.jpgSunday, January 10, 2016  | Gun violence in the United States has produced a culture soaked in blood - a culture that threatens everyone and extends from accidental deaths, suicides and domestic violence to mass shootings. In late December, a woman in St. Cloud, Florida, fatally shot her own daughter after mistaking her for an intruder. Less than a month earlier, on December 2, in San Bernardino, California, was the mass shooting that left 14 people dead and more than 20 wounded. And just two months before that, on October 1, nine people were killed and seven wounded in a mass shooting at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon.

Mass shootings have become routine in the United States and speak to a society that relies on violence to feed the coffers of the merchants of death. Given the profits made by arms manufacturers, the defense industry, gun dealers and the lobbyists who represent them in Congress, it comes as no surprise that the culture of violence cannot be abstracted from either the culture of business or the corruption of politics. Violence runs through US society like an electric current offering instant pleasure from all cultural sources, whether it be the nightly news or a television series that glorifies serial killers.

Henry A. Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department and the Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy. His most recent books are America's Addiction to Terrorism (Monthly Review Press, 2016) America at War with Itself (City Lights, 2017) and American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism.

Full story … 

Related:

Special Project | One Big Thing: Students Protest the Gun Culture, Shootings; Demand Action,  Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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One Big Thing: Student Protests * Gun control walkout: Teens protest around the country by leaving schools * Right wing pundits attack student survivors of mass shooting, and Donald Trump Jr approves; * America's youth is sick of shootings. It's time to let them lead the way. * Marco Rubio almost got away with his routine. Then he met Cameron Kasky.

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