Trump’s scam charity not helping his ‘I’m not corrupt’ defense
An impeachment-wary President Donald Trump wails that he’s not corrupt, a judge fines Trump $2 million for running a charity that was definitely corrupt and a racist person dictates seating at a Buffalo
Wild Wings? Just another week in America 2019, one that again has me gasping for breath and asking: “What the (BLEEP) just happened?”
Trump fined $2 million for running super-sleazy charity: When you’re battling impeachmentworthy charges that you used the office of the presidency for political gain, it’s probably not great to have a judge fine you $2 million and confirm that you used your former charitable organization for political gain.
But this is Donald Trump we’re taking about, so of course that’s what happened. On Thursday, a New York state judge resolved a lawsuit that alleged Trump used his charitable foundation for political and business purposes by ordering Trump to pay $2 million to several charities.
Judge Saliann Scarpulla ruled that Trump “breached his fiduciary duty” to the Trump Foundation when he let staff from his presidential campaign plan a fundraiser for veterans’ charities in 2016. She wrote that “the Fundraiser and distribution of the Funds” were used “to further Mr. Trump’s political campaign.”
Hey, no biggie, just an alleged billionaire using a fundraiser for veterans to benefit himself politically. There’s no way this guy could be corrupt, right?
Trump clucks like a chicken while impeachment marches on: President Donald Trump maintained his traditionally calm and rational demeanor last week as the congressional impeachment inquiry moved. … I’m kidding, the president seemed more unglued than ever, ranting at rallies, tweeting like there’s no tomorrow and generally acting as innocent as a dog with a mouthful of hamburger.
House committees involved in the impeachment inquiry released testimony from closed-door depositions, giving Republicans the transparency they had demanded and immediately making them wish they had demanded a bit less transparency.
The under-oath testimony from several Trumpappointed figures painted a clear picture that the administration held up congressionally approved military aid to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory about 2016 election interference and equally debunked corruption claims against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
Making matters worse for the president, the impeachment inquiry will move into public hearings this week, giving Americans a chance to watch testimony live on television.
Trump and his assorted minions in the right wing media fell back on attacking the whistleblower, who, given the hundreds of pages of testimony already on record, is as irrelevant to this case as facts are to Fox News viewers.
I’ll wrap this segment up with a fun memory: Back in 2006, when Vice President Mike Pence was a U.S. congressman, he said on the House floor, “Without the assurance of confidentiality, many whistleblowers will simply refuse to come forward.”
I guess things change when you have your dignity surgically removed.
Illinois Republicans propose ethics rules, Democrats Google ‘ethics’: Speaking of widespread corruption, the few Illinois Democrats not presently under federal investigation might want to consider some changes to state ethics rules being proposed by Republican state lawmakers.
While clearly trying to capitalize on the wideranging public corruption investigation targeting Democrats like Sen. Thomas Cullerton, Sen. Martin Sandoval and ex-Rep. Luis Arroyo, it’s tough to argue that the Republican-led push for greater transparency is anything but a sound idea.
Per a Tribune report: “The proposals from House Republicans include requiring lawmakers to provide more detailed information about their financial interests on annual statements of economic interest; instituting special elections to fill vacant seats in the House and Senate; loosening the control House committee chairs have over the fate of bills; and barring lawmakers and close family members from working as lobbyists at the local level.”
The legislature will almost certainly adjourn for the year without taking these recommendations up. But House Republican leader Jim Durkin noted: “If the Democrats are serious about at least trying to restore some confidence in the public, we shouldn’t have to wait till next January, next spring.”
He’s right. This seem like a no-brainer. Unless, perhaps, Illinois Democrats are all tied up spraying federal-agent repellent outside their office doors.
Buffalo Wild Wings removes ‘accommodating racists’ from the menu: Proving once again that racism and stupidity are alive and well in America, a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Naperville found itself at the center of a national story after a racist diner asked that a party of 18 be moved to different tables because he didn’t want to sit near black people.
Restaurant employees tried to move the family, to which the family rightly said, and I’m paraphrasing: “Nope. We’re out of here.”
Company officials expressed an appropriate level of horror over what happened, fired the employees who tried to accommodate the racist and seem to be listening to the family members’ suggestions of steps they can take to make sure something like this never happens again.
Regarding the racist and others like him out there, my colleague Dahleen Glanton put it best: “The most we can do is let them know that we are as intolerant of them as they are of other people.”