Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Trump and Conflicts of Interest.

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Trump is organizing his administration but he is facing another crisis.

The Wall Street Journal is giving him painful and unwelcome but good advice.

He must liquidate the family business.

One reason 60 million voters elected Donald Trump is because he promised to change Washington’s culture of self-dealing, and if he wants to succeed he’s going to have to make a sacrifice and lead by example. Mr. Trump has so far indicated that he will keep his business empire but turn over management to his children, and therein lies political danger.

Mr. Trump has for decades run the Trump Organization and during the campaign said if he won the Presidency he’d turn over the keys to Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka, all of whom are now serving on the Trump transition. A company spokesperson says the family business is “in the process of vetting various structures” and that the ultimate arrangement “will comply with all applicable rules and regulations.”

Some of Mr. Trump’s lawyers have called the plan a “blind trust,” which past Presidents have used to protect their assets from the appearance of conflicts-of-interest. But that set-up typically involves liquid assets like bonds and stocks, not buildings or a branding empire. Mr. Trump will know how any given decision will affect, say, the old post office property in Washington, D.C. that he’s leasing from the federal government (another conflict). By law blind trusts are overseen by an independent manager, not family members.

The Journal is correct. I don;t know how Trump is going to do this but he has to.

Dick Cheney divested himself of millions of dollars in assets but was still vilified by the left.

Halliburton’s business with the military has grown substantially since Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney took office. The company rose to seventh-largest military contractor in 2003 from 22nd-largest in 2000.

The contracts did not prove to be as profitable as executives had hoped, however, and accusations of political favoritism led to a public relations nightmare. On Thursday, Halliburton said it was considering selling its subsidiary that holds the contracts in Iraq.

Mr. Cheney’s financial disclosure statements from 2001, 2002 and 2003 show that since becoming vice president-elect, he has received $1,997,525 from the company: $1,451,398 in a bonus deferred from 1999, the rest in deferred salary. He also holds options to buy Halliburton stock.

Mr. Cheney’s critics concede that there is no concrete evidence that he has pulled any strings on Halliburton’s behalf. But he has refused to answer a request from Democrats in Congress that he provide an accounting of any communications he and his staff have had with Halliburton or actions they have taken on Halliburton contracts.

Trump will face this squared.

He needs to face the reality of Democrat dishonesty and do the prudent thing.

I have no idea how he will accomplish this.

Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, is already calling for hearings about all of this. Trump and his party don’t need to worry much about that given how favorable the 2018 map is, but as we just found out last week, anything can happen in politics. If a nasty recession hits next year and Democrats end up winning back the House or Senate, all of these conflicts will be explored at length in congressional inquiries in 2019.

Cummings is despicable but those are the people who will harass Trump and try to destroy his presidency. He must anticipate this.

Mr. Trump’s best option is to liquidate his stake in the company. Richard Painter and Norman Eisen, ethics lawyers for George W. Bush and President Obama, respectively, have laid out a plan, which involves a leveraged buyout or an initial public offering.

Mr. Trump could put the cash proceeds in a true blind trust. The Trump children can keep the assets in their name, and he can transfer more to them as long as he pays a hefty gift tax. Finally, Mr. Trump should stipulate that he and his children will have no communication about family business matters.

He needs to have someone working on this.

President Trump

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

I never thought, except in a few moments of fantasy, that I would be able to say that.

I have been interested in Trump as a phenomenon all year.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Wilson conceded that “Trump is still a very powerful force right now” because he appeals to part of the of the conservative base that Wilson said was activated by his “nativist” message. Wilson insisted that the donor class “can’t just sit back on the sidelines and say, ‘oh well, don’t worry, this will all work itself out.’”
“They’re still going to have to go out and put a bullet in Donald Trump,” Wilson said. “And that’s a fact.”

Wilson is an alleged GOP consultant. Trump may be fatal to many GOP consultants as they were not only mistaken but disloyal to the team they were supposed to belong to.

What happened? Richard Fernandez has a theory.

Hillary’s real enemy was Obama’s real record of failure added to her own. Low-wage growth, a disastrous foreign policy, a catastrophic Obamacare, and numerous scandals to name a few weighed down on her like an anvil heavier than any insult that Donald Trump could lay upon her.

It’s important for progressives to realize this, for they are even now casting about for something to blame. Paul Krugman tweeted: “I truly thought I knew my country better than it turns out I did. I have warned that we could become a failed state, but didn’t realize …” Realize what? That the electorate wouldn’t notice the last administration’s debacles?

A lot of this can be laid on Obama. He has been a disastrous president. I thought he would be all along.

In February 2008, I posted this.

Jones had served in the Illinois Legislature for three decades. He represented a district on the Chicago South Side not far from Obama’s. He became Obama’s ­kingmaker.

Several months before Obama announced his U.S. Senate bid, Jones called his old friend Cliff Kelley, a former Chicago alderman who now hosts the city’s most popular black call-in radio ­program.

I called Kelley last week and he recollected the private conversation as follows:

“He said, ‘Cliff, I’m gonna make me a U.S. Senator.’”

“Oh, you are? Who might that be?”

“Barack Obama.”

Obama had no record of accomplishment. Jones put his name on bills he had had nothing to do with.

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Does Hillary Clinton have Parkinson’s Disease?

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

The Hillary collpase last Sunday has prompted a lot of speculation on her condition. Early on I was inclined to blame her neurological condition on her history of concussion and cerebral vein thrombosis.

That seemed logical, given her history. However, it does not explain her quick recovery. It also has nothing to do with pneumonia.

This video has now convinced me that she has Parkinson’s Disease, and it is fairly advanced. In the video, the physician mentions Apomorphine, which is not morphine but an alpha adrenergic drug used in Parkinson’s Disease.

Currently, apomorphine is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

What use does it have in Parkinson’s? It is used for “Non-motor symptoms.”

What does that mean ? Parkinson’s Disease is characterized by a serious of motor disabilities.

The cardinal symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are resting tremor, slowness of movement (bradykinesia) and rigidity. Many people also experience balance problems (postural instability). These symptoms, which often appear gradually and with increasing severity over time, are usually what first bring patients to a neurologist for help. Typically, symptoms begin on one side of the body and migrate over time to the other side.

These symptoms are typically controlled with Dopamine like drugs, such as L-Dopa. There are other symptoms less easily controlled.

For example, in advanced cases, difficulty swallowing can cause Parkinson’s patients to aspirate food into the lungs, leading to pneumonia or other pulmonary conditions. Loss of balance can cause falls that result in serious injuries or death. The seriousness of these incidents depends greatly on the patient’s age, overall health and disease stage.

Hmmmm.

There are also side effects of L Dopa.

L-DOPA therapy is further complicated by the development of movement disorders called dyskinesias after 5 – 10 years of use in most cases.

Dyskinesias are movement disorders in which neurological discoordination results in uncontrollable, involuntary movements. This discoordination can also affect the autonomic nervous system, resulting in, for example, respiratory irregularities (Rice 2002). Dyskinesia is the result of L-DOPA-induced synaptic dysfunction and inappropriate signaling between areas of the brain that normally coordinate movement, namely the motor cortex and the striatum (Jenner 2008).

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Hillary Clinton and cavernous sinus thrombosis.

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

The episode of Hillary Clinton’s collapse at the 9/11 Memorial Sunday has raised some interesting questions. Several years ago, she had a series of neurological events.

Getting a true picture of the events requires that we go to British newspaper sites, as the US media has shielded her for ten years.

1998 Blood Clot
Clinton’s first known blood clot occurred in 1998, while she was still first lady.
Clinton experienced symptoms while attending a fundraiser for Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who would soon become her Senate home-state colleague. Her right foot swelled up to the point where she couldn’t put on her shoe.
Clinton got quietly taken to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda for treatment at the time. She was found to have ‘a big clot’ blood clot behind her knee, Clinton wrote in her memoir, ‘Living History.’
She called it ‘the most significant health scare I’ve ever had,’ the Washington Post noted.
According to her physician, Mt. Kisco physician, Lisa Bardack, Clinton was advised at the time to take Lovenox, described as a short-acting blood thinner, when she took flights. The meds were discontinued when she went on Coumadin.

That history has not been discussed, to my knowledge in light of her recent problems.

2009 Blood Clot
Clinton had a second blood clot incident in 2009. The episode was described by her doctor in a 2015 letter.
The doctor didn’t provide a detailed description of the event. Rather, she wrote that Clinton’s ‘past medical history is notable for a deep vein thrombosis in 1998, 2009 and a concussion in 2012.

Her extensive air travel might be a factor in the DVT episodes. This has been referred to as Economy Class Syndrome, and was first described by physicians at London’s Heathrow Airport. There are other factors involved.

In recent years, the association between air travel and the incidence of deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism has become clearer. Epidemiologic studies reveal an increased relative risk of thromboembolism after flights of more than 8 hours and especially in subjects at higher risk for this disease, due, for example, to congenital thrombophilia or the use of oral contraceptives. However, the absolute risk of deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism after prolonged air travel is very small. Studies have shown that a combination of factors present during prolonged air travel may account for increased activation of coagulation. There is no definitive proof that elastic stockings are effective in reducing the incidence of clinically relevant thromboembolism during air travel. Acetylsalicylic acid is not effective in the prevention of thrombosis during air travel and may be dangerous.

Hillary Clinton certainly does not travel “coach class.” What about the concussion?

2012 Blood Clot and Concussion
Clinton got a bad stomach bug and fainted at her home in Washington in 2012, an event that led her to get a concussion. Information about what exactly had happened emerged only slowly over time.
As her doctor put it, ‘In December 2012, Mrs. Clinton suffered a stomach virus after traveling, became dehydrated, fainted and sustained a concussion.’
The then-secretary of state wasn’t seen in public between Dec. 7th and when she left the hospital in New York January 2, 2013.
Clinton experienced ‘double vision for a period of time and benefited from wearing glasses with a Fresnel Prism,’ a special corrective lens, her doctor wrote in a letter voluntarily released to the media in 2015 as part of Clinton’s presidential campaign. Her concussion ‘resolved within two months,’ Bardack wrote.

That is a very severe concussion and would disqualify anyone with that history from the US military. The whole story is suspicious.

Clinton was diagnosed with a blood clot in the brain, transverse sinus venous thrombosis, and began anticoagulation therapy, her doctor wrote.
Clinton had to work from home and postpone planned testimony before a House Benghazi committee.

That is NOT part of a concussion and suggests a much more severe condition.

Cerebral venous and sinus thrombosis (CVST) can present with a variety of clinical symptoms ranging from isolated headache to deep coma. Prognosis is better than previously thought and prospective studies have reported an independent survival of more than 80% of patients. Although it may be difficult to predict recovery in an individual patient, clinical presentation on hospital admission and the results of neuroimaging investigations are–apart from the underlying condition–the most important prognostic factors. Comatose patients with intracranial haemorrhage (ICH) on admission brain scan carry the highest risk of a fatal outcome. Available treatment data from controlled trials favour the use of anticoagulation (AC) as the first-line therapy of CVST because it may reduce the risk of a fatal outcome and severe disability and does not promote ICH. A few patients deteriorate despise adequate AC which may warrant the use of more aggressive treatment modalities such as local thrombolysis. The risk of recurrence is low (< 10%) and most relapses occur within the first 12 months. Analogous to patients with extracerebral venous thrombosis, oral AC is usually continued for 3 months after idiopathic CVST and for 6-12 months in patients with inherited or acquired thrombophilia but controlled data proving the benefit of long-term AC in patients with CVST are not available.

What are the possible consequences of CVST ? A comment in the Wall Street Journal today suggests one.

“The clot does not dissolve or disappear as Clinton camp has inferred. About 1/2 of patients will continue to have a blocked vein, & half will have partial reopening of the vein, but either way, there will always be some insufficiency in drainage…. It is not a question of whether the intracranial pressure increases. It is a question of how severe and how bad are the symptoms that follow…I have treated numerous patients for this very issue—the consequences can lead to significant disability. It deeply concerns me that one of the 2 leading presidential candidates may have such serious health issues…Hillary [must release] her full & unaltered medical records.”

I have seen epidural and subdural hematomas from trauma, sometimes rather trivial trauma, but I have no experience with cavernous sinus thrombosis from trauma. That is usually a consequence of local infection, such as sinus or ear infection.

The next subject is her blue sunglasses, which are often prescribed for seizures. They can be used to treat Photosensitive Epilepsy.

Hmmm… Could those blue sunglasses be cross polarized lenses ?

One of our patients had clinical seizures that were inadequately suppressed with moderate doses of valproate (VPA) but completely suppressed with blue cross-polarized lenses. The second patient’s photoparoxysmal response was suppressed by both parallel-polarized and blue cross-polarized glasses, whereas the third patient’s photoparoxysmal response was not suppressed by either.
CONCLUSIONS:
These preliminary data suggest that blue cross-polarized lenses may be useful in the treatment of photosensitive epilepsies and that their efficacy can be predicted in the EEG laboratory.

Maybe Hillary needs to release her EEG results.

My brief review of the medical literature shows that cerebral venous thrombosis is rare and I can find no reports of association with trauma or concussion. Something else is going on.

Reading the tea leaves.

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Once again, Richard Fernandez finds the essential point.

Russia isn’t governed well. But people don’t rise to power in Russia according to their skill at solving public policy issues. They climb a ladder by how well they can grip the rungs of guns, bribery and deceit. Putin’s “political socialization took place as vice mayor of St. Petersburg in the 1990s, where … one of his key roles was acting as a liaison between the political and criminal authorities. It was the Wild Wild East, a world where duplicity was the norm, rules are for sissies, and only might makes right. It was a world where informal networks ruled and you controlled people by corrupting them.”

Such jungles tend to evolve very capable predators.

Putin, in my opinion, has done a fairly good job with Russia given the serious problems they have as a nation.

Madison tried to warn us about the risk of corruption, or as he called it, “Faction.”

Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.

We now are at serious risk of electing the corrupt member of a cabal of self interested manipulators of the public interest for private gain.

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What is “alt-Right” in this year’s election ?

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

There is a new theme for the Democrats in this year’s election. Hillary calls it the “Alt-Right.”

The New York Times is alarmed.

As Hillary Clinton assailed Donald J. Trump on Thursday for fanning the flames of racism embraced by the “alt-right,” the community of activists that tends to lurk anonymously in the internet’s dark corners could hardly contain its glee.

Mrs. Clinton’s speech was intended to link Mr. Trump to a fringe ideology of conspiracies and hate, but for the leaders of the alt-right, the attention from the Democratic presidential nominee was a moment in the political spotlight that offered a new level of credibility. It also provided a valuable opportunity for fund-raising and recruiting.

Jared Taylor, editor of the white nationalist publication American Renaissance, live-tweeted Mrs. Clinton’s remarks, questioning her praise of establishment Republicans and eagerly anticipating her discussion of his community.

According to Hillary and the Times, Donald Trump is defined by those who say they support him more than by what he says himself.

If Hillary and Bernie Sanders are supported by communists, does that make them communists ? This is an odd year and will get worse.

A better explanation of “alt-Right” is provided by two spokesmen for another view.

A specter is haunting the dinner parties, fundraisers and think-tanks of the Establishment: the specter of the “alternative right.” Young, creative and eager to commit secular heresies, they have become public enemy number one to beltway conservatives — more hated, even, than Democrats or loopy progressives.
The alternative right, more commonly known as the alt-right, is an amorphous movement. Some — mostly Establishment types — insist it’s little more than a vehicle for the worst dregs of human society: anti-Semites, white supremacists, and other members of the Stormfront set. They’re wrong.

I wasn’t even aware of this controversy until Ann Althouse put up a post on the subject after Hillary raised it.

She quotes a man who was ejected from the Hillary speech.

“I call myself alt right because the conservative establishment right in this country does not represent my views, they are just as much to blame for the disaster taking place in America as the left, the alt right to me is fiscal responsibility, secure borders, enforcement of immigration laws, ending the PC culture, and promoting AMERICA FIRST (Not Sharia First)… If you come to this country legally, follow the laws, learn our language, and love the country, you are equal, no matter your color, or religion. Basically alt-right is to separate ourselves from the failing establishment right.

That post led to over 300 comments on her blog. She then posted a survey. The results were interesting.

alt-right poll

I voted for the choice “I’m most of all of what it stands for but I don’t use that term, myself.”

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What are George Soros motives?

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

George Soros is a Hungarian born billionaire who seems to be funding a lot of malicious mischief around the world. Why ?

Soros was born in Hungary in 1930.

That Wiki article is very favorable to Soros and does not mention a few things.

There is considerable discussion of Soros’ role under the Nazis.

It has been alleged that he was a collaborator. Apparently, he did admit doing some things that could be criticized although the role of a 14 year old is pretty weak.

It was a tremendous threat of evil. I mean, it was a — a very personal experience of evil.

KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this [Christian] protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.

Mr. SOROS: Yes. Yes.

KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.

Mr. SOROS: Yes. That’s right. Yes.

KROFT: I mean, that’s — that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?

Mr. SOROS: Not — not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don’t — you don’t see the connection. But it was — it created no — no problem at all.

KROFT: No feeling of guilt?

Mr. SOROS: No.

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Trump and the disconnected elites.

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Peggy Noonan has an excellent column today suggesting she understands why Trump is popular with the non-elite countrymen (and women).

She discusses Angela Merkel and her invitation to Muslims to invade Germany.

Last summer when Europe was engulfed with increasing waves of migrants and refugees from Muslim countries, Ms. Merkel, moving unilaterally, announced that Germany would take in an astounding 800,000. Naturally this was taken as an invitation, and more than a million came. The result has been widespread public furor over crime, cultural dissimilation and fears of terrorism. From such a sturdy, grounded character as Ms. Merkel the decision was puzzling—uncharacteristically romantic about people, how they live their lives, and history itself, which is more charnel house than settlement house.

Germans are unhappy about the behavior of Muslim men, the majority of the immigrants.They are not at all happy.

The anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), now the third-most popular political party in Germany, adopted a manifesto calling for curbs to migration and restrictions on Islam. The document calls for a ban on minarets, Muslim calls to prayer and full-face veils.

May 2. Hans-Georg Maaßen, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, revealed that around 90 “predominately Arabic-speaking” mosques in Germany are under surveillance. He said they involve mostly “backyard mosques” where “self-proclaimed imams and self-proclaimed emirs” are “inciting their followers to jihad.” He called on moderate Muslims to work with the government to fight extremism and defend the constitutional order. Maaßen was speaking ahead of a security conference in Berlin at which he said that his agency we receiving on average four terror alerts every day: “The Islamic State is committed to attacking Germany and German interests.”

Missus Merkel is unmoved.

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Is Trump losing it ?

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

This has been a “bad week” for Trump. What it has been is a week of unrestrained hatred by the left wing media.

First there was the the saintly Khan family, which is being lionized by the left. The son was killed by a car bomb by another Muslim. Donald Trump opposed the Iraq War.

Mr Khan also has been accused of being a Muslim Brotherhood agent.

Khan is a promoter of Islamic Sharia Law in the U.S. He was a co-founder of the Journal of Contemporary Issues in Muslim Law (Islamic Sharia). Khan’s fascination with Islamic Sharia stems from his life in Saudi Arabia. During the eighties Khan wrote a paper titled Juristic Classification of Islamic [Sharia] Law. In it he elucidated on the system of Sharia law expressing his reverence for “The Sunnah [the works of Muhammad] — authentic tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).” A snapshot of his essay can be seen here:

I don’t know how valid this is but he is certainly a supporter of Islam and is attributing to Allah, Trump’s “mistakes.”

The father of martyred United States (US) soldier Captain Humayun Khan, Khizr Khan, has on Thursday said that the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is unacceptable to the US. He said that Allah makes people like Trump to make mistakes to discredit them in public eyes forever, reported Dunya News.

The Khan imbroglio was not the only controversy. Nude photos of Trump’s wife, Melania, appeared all over the internet. This began during the primaries, which Trump attributed to Ted Cruz.

Now, her immigration status is being questioned.

But immigration attorney Michael Wildes, who worked for the Trump Organization, told Univision that the GOP nominee’s wife obtained the green card in 2001 “based on marriage,” though she did not marry Trump until January 2005.

I have no idea where this is going but “immigration lawyers” will no doubt make a big deal of any issue they find.

There was a “crying baby” issue raised by leftists until they were forced to admit it never happened.

The enterprising fact-checkers at the Washington Post tracked down two sources — an eyewitness to the proceedings and the mother of said baby — and determined that Trump was, in fact, telling the truth Friday about how he treated the bawling infant.

The media has been cheering the news that Hillary widened her lead in polls.

However, more recent polls suggest the lead has returned to a tie.

What now ?

Trump has to get his campaign back on track. Everybody knew the media would demonize him, just as they demonized Romney in 2012.

NPR didn’t like his speech on Economics much, although they did provide a transcript.

He has made a gesture toward Republican unity by endorsing Ryan, McCain and Kelly Ayotte although I doubt voters care much about this.

I think McCain might lose his primary and I have donated to Ryan’s opponent in Wisconsin. Now what ?

The Hillary campaign is still worried about an “October Surprise” and her lies have kept the issue of her trustworthiness in public view.

Another terror attack would probably elect Trump. At present, I think it is a tie and we will see what happens.

Interesting comment on Hillary’s career.

Friday, July 29th, 2016

This was posted on facebook as a comment to a WSJ piece on her campaign strategy.

Dick Morris, former political adviser to President Bill Clinton: If you happen to see the Bill Clinton five-minute TV ad for Hillary in which he introduces the commercial by saying he wants to share some things we may not know about Hillary’s background, beware as I was there for most of their presidency and know them better than just about anyone. I offer a few corrections:
Bill says: “In law school Hillary worked on legal services for the poor.”
Facts are: Hillary’s main extra-curricular activity in ‘Law School’ was helping the Black Panthers, on trial in Connecticut for torturing and killing a ‘Federal Agent.’ She went to Court every day as part of a Law student monitoring committee trying to spot civil rights violations and develop grounds for appeal.

Was this true ? Snopes has a sort of rebuttal.

Hillary Rodham (as she was known then) wasn’t a lawyer then, either: She was a Yale law student, and like many of her politically-minded fellow law students who saw the latest “trial of the century” taking place just outside the main gate of their school, she took advantage of an opportunity to be involved in the case in a minor, peripheral way by organizing other students to help the American Civil Liberties Union monitor the trials for civil rights violations. Her tangential participation in the trial in no way helped “free” Black Panthers tried for the murder of Alex Rackley

So the description credited to Morris is correct.

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