WTF: July 30, 2020

Corruption as far as the eye can see.

I wonder sometimes why friendly PACs or the Democratic party aren’t talking corruption at every opportunity. Because we can disagree on every single issue if we want to, but I have never met anyone, no matter how kinky, who enjoys getting cheated.

Take insider trading. Does anyone beyond the beneficiary love that? I don’t think so. Kodak’s stock performance has raised some eyebrows… Do you think Sens Loeffler (R-GA) and Burr (R-NC) made some trades? Like the ones they made after their COVID briefing and before the market tanked which were then brushed aside by Trump’s fixers at the DOJ?

CNBC: Kodak executive chairman addresses jump in trading activity before government deal was announced

On Monday, 1,645,719 shares traded hands, far surpassing Friday’s 74,893 trades, and Thursday’s 80,840 trades. Not including this week, over the last year the average daily trading volume has been 236,479, according to FactSet.

The stock soared more than 200% on Tuesday after the company said it had been awarded a $765 million loan to start producing drug ingredients under the Defense Production Act. On Tuesday more than 284 million shares traded hands.

The buying activity continued into Wednesday, with the stock at one point surging more than 500% as retail investors, among others, piled into the name. As the stock bounced around, shares were halted for volatility more than 15 times. Kodak wound up closing 318% higher for its best day on record.

The strategy appears to be do so much criming and corruption that people tune out.

This article has a good long list of some of the more egregious examples of the admin’s utter contempt for the rule of law and the concept of ethics. The bottom line: his corruption is breaking America and has directly resulted in the death of 150,000 Americans and counting.

Mother Jones: Donald Trump’s Corruption is Killing Americans

The president’s pandemic response is straight from the same Make Trump First playbook. For all the corruption he has enabled, enacted, and exercised—that we know of—there likely remains more to be rooted out. After all, as Trump sees it, the government does not exist to defend the people from killer viruses or foreign attempts to subvert American democracy. It exists to protect and serve him. (The use of federal security forces to violently clear away peaceful protesters so Trump can hold a meaningless photo-op was a clear example of Trump-uber-alles statism.) That is the core corruption of his presidency. It is manifested in minor acts of sleaze (buy Ivanka’s stuff!), major acts of policy (let’s kill regulations for industries that donate to us), and monumental decisions with immediate life-or-death consequences for thousands of Americans (don’t warn of a pandemic because that could screw up my reelection). Graft, grift, and greed have been—and always will be—a problem in government. But with Trump, corruption kills.

Washington Post: William Barr’s new defense of Trump actually unmasks his corruption

When Attorney General William P. Barr delivers his long-awaited testimony to a House committee on Tuesday, he will engage in all manner of clever hair-splitting and obfuscation, as all good personal attorneys do.

President Trump picked Barr for exactly that role, as Trump revealed in advance by raging at Barr’s predecessor for failing to protect him sufficiently. Barr has subsequently functioned as Trump’s chief defender with a dedication that surely surpassed Trump’s wildest expectations.

And so Barr will obfuscate and hair-split both to protect Trump and to obscure his own role in doing so. Fortunately, Barr’s written opening statement to the House Judiciary Committee already showcases how he will go about this.

Reupping this article from American Prospect about the ripple effect of corruption at the head of government and how it infected every department of the executive branch.

American Prospect: Mapping Corruption: Donald Trump’s Executive Branch

But the personal corruption of the Trumps themselves perversely masks the sliminess perpetrated by literally thousands of presidential appointees, from Cabinet officials to obscure functionaries. Amid all the distractions, it’s hard to focus on the more consequential crookedness and follow out the plotlines of all the sordid stories, and grasp the brutal consequences visited upon countless people. We lunge from scandal to scandal without ever filling in the bigger picture, or taking proper account of all the knaves, thieves, and corporate stooges and their handiwork.

The Week: Trump only has one real skill: Corruption

Big challenges often compel even mediocre presidents to rise to the moment, to do great things. Trump speaks often of greatness, but during 2020 he has instead been reduced to his essence: a cheap, gold-plated hood on the make. Americans need so much better right now.

It is necessary to criticize this president day after day, week after week for his awfulness. But it is also too easy. Donald Trump didn’t arrive at this point sheerly on his own merits. As MSNBC’s Chris Hayes pointed out on Friday night, Trump has been aided and abetted — both in his corruption and his ineffectiveness — by a Republican Party that seems incapable of much beyond amassing power and passing tax cuts.

Who knows if this is the way to convince your Fox News, QAnon, OAN obsessed loved ones, but it’s worth a shot. If we didn’t have to spend so much time trying to save democracy,  we might even be able to, I don’t know, feel joy again.

Oh and this happened...


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