Monday, 28 November 2016

the art of the deal or fool me twice, we don’t get fooled again

Via the always brilliant Boing Boing, we are directed (despite the redirections and distractions, “You can call us Aaron Burr from the way we’re dropping Hamiltons) to the New York Times’ massive expose on the president-elect’s outside business interests and potential for conflict of interest. Whilst there’s no law banning a sitting president from having commercial investments and like the expected nicety of disclosing one’s tax returns, it is strongly suggested—per the reasonable person clause, but there’s no teeth to it. 
Scholars cite the emolument clause, which was inserted into their constitution to prevent future British monarchs from becoming too cozy with the president, and could be interpreted, abstractly as billeting foreign heads of state at his own hotels rather than the rink-a-dink White House. More than just disdain for tradition and perception (also begging what sort of legal precedence and ruling could be construed in this environment) one needs to ask when leader negotiate with the US president, whom are they addressing: the politician with the American public’s welfare at the fore, or a business man looking after the continued prosperity of private ventures. The reporters believes that this conflict has already been demonstrably challenged by the president-elect’s accord with the government of Agrabah Turkey over its purge following a staged-coup attempt that saved his resorts on Bosporus Riviera and persuaded people to overlook all that talk about banning Muslims—or previously with golf courses in Scotland and Ireland. Of course corruption and graft have always accompanied politics and arguably full-disclosure and transparency in the vein of a media-magnate like Silvio Berlusconi might be preferable to those whose connections are behind the scenes. What do you think? It’s not as if from one day to the next the president-elect’s empire came into being, but to protect those properties, the stakes for the wheeling and dealing just got exponentially higher, trillions to investment valued in the tens of millions and untold fringe benefits for foregoing a salary of a couple hundred thousand dollars per annum.