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Former Ethics Chief Calls Trump White House a Kleptocratic 'Embarrassment'

Former Ethics Chief Calls Trump White House a Kleptocratic 'Embarrassment'

Jake Johnson, staff writer

With the Trump White House reeling from internal turmoil, burgeoning scandals, and investigations that have reportedly reached into the finances of the president's family, Walter Shaub—forme

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Kleptocratic … just like Congress and the Pentagon …


For Trump democracy is merely an inconvenience. What will history say about this era? The Republicans are letting Trump get away with all this like they don’t know that it is wrong. How can not revealing who has been given an ethics waiver be ethical?

Democracy redefined?

It is happening here - thanks to the Republicans!


Trump not only is post-truth, he is post-ethics and post-decency. And post-democracy. He can do this because he works within a framework of a party that accepts lying as a tool for winning. In an op-ed piece today in the NY Times Paul Krugman dates this lying is okay strategy back to a 1970 article by Irvining kristol, a leading voice of the neoconservatives. Basically Kristol endorsed what we now called trickle down economics even though he had no idea if ir worked or not. We know now of course that it can’t work but it remains a stable of the Republican’s playbook. Probably you can go back further in time to the beginning of the John Birch Society to trace the lying is okay strategy of the right wing. The slippery slope of lying has all these years later left the Republicans in a state where lying is as necessary as eating, drinking, and sleeping.


Most of ‘our’ politicians are there for personal financial gain. It’s just more obvious with Trump.


Thank goodness we have the honest Democrats to counter them, huh?


The Democrats are much more truthfull then the Republicans. Krugman notes this in his article. Just look at fact-checking of the primary debates. High truth telling scores for Sanders and Clinton. The Republicans, with the exception of John Kasich, were way behind. Trump of course led the pants on fire category. The climate change debate certainly shows that Democrats tell the truth much more than Republicans. Who’s lying? According to the views of essentially all of leading climate scientists in the world it is the Republicans who are lying. The Democrats are telling the truth.


I presume, that you meant that sarcastically, but there is indeed a movement of promoting honest Democrats working hard to replace the corrupt, rotten core of that party in 2018/19 and again in 2020/21 here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/s4p?source=bnc


The only difference between rump and his predecessors is that while before, the wheeling and dealing was done behind closed doors and lobbyists just whispered in the ears of elected officials, and now they are being given complete run of the federal government at all levels and with an ‘in your face’ brashness that eclipses all who came before. This will be their downfall. And maybe out of all this chaos we will get a more responsive,transparent and inclusive government. One can only hope.


Trump isn’t just padding his own wallet and that of his family members, he is the agent for large powerful corporations and billionaires like the Koch Brothers. Trump wouldn’t be able to do so much destructive work in so little time without a lot of legal and other advice from the dirty elites.


You mean, you mean, splutter, splutter, the Trump administration is, dare it be expressed, unethical?! Oh, wait a minute, I can’t believe such a claim in CommonDreams because ethical education is constituent of the humanities disciplines, and CommonDreams pays almost no attention to these disciplines. CommonDreams editorial preference is focused on the whiz bang STEM disciplines, to the almost complete exclusion of the humanities, and only little more to the social sciences, but for economics. Give me toys with which to play, and then let me fuss about ethics of which I do not care to learn. Way to go CommonDreams!

Let’s not get dragged down with gloom and doom. What Trump’s doing is hardly new. Recall Lincoln-Bedroom-gate, where Pres. Bill Clinton offered the Lincoln Bedroom to big campaign contributors.

We need to think positive: Suppose Pres. Don offers free stays at Trump hotels to Kim Jong-Un and the Iran’s Revolutionary Guards? (This dramatic gesture would, of course, be paid for with taxpayer funds.) It would be at least as effective at promoting peace as previous presidents have been.

Sounds like you must be pretty well off my dear Sir and male, white, of European origin. Otherwise you would feel the damage and attempted harm caused by Trump policies in your gut. No president in my lifetime has ever told the cops to beat the shit out of or outright kill immigrants and those of non European origins or build a wall between Mexico and the US, or promote his personal business using the public office, etc, etc… numerous criminal behavior.


There is, in my opinion, a phenomenon today that is dreadfully under appreciated. The idea of consequences to actions seems to be one of those things that has become suspended in the false time/space of corporate media.
Consequences exist long before their manifestation in the material world. Failure to acknowledge this is being observed every day in the spreading of societal diseases set in motion by Trump et al.

In a kleptocracy cum oligarchy, the first colonization is of the mind in the words and rhetoric pumped with steroidal vigor. Though, the fact that the media is ALREADY colonized by if it bleeds it leads (to profit) - is no small part of the epidemic and one reason the public action of boycott sees the puppeteers scrambling to criminalize it. WHY? Because - apparemtly - in a kleptocracy IT WORKS!

Seeing George Lakey in these pages is a godsend and I hope at least one article each day bears the tone and substance of antidote and methodology. YES! magazine has also kept the light on along with POGO (Project On Government Oversight) - with the humble power of the spirit “We have met the enemy and he is us”.

The artists, cartoonists, satirists are out there swinging at the edge - cutting paths for the diversity necessary to do away with predatory monopolies.
boing boing


It seems to me that there’s been “a cloud over everything the government does” for a VERY long time. It was disgust with this cloud and Tweetle-Dumb’s promise to dispel it by ‘draining the swamp’ – a lie that too many
of America’s “deplorables” were desperate to believe – that enabled him to win the election last year.

WHAT “policy aims”?   The almost daily reversals of Tweetle-Dumb’s positions opinions as revealed by his tweets reveal an almost complete lack of understanding of anything so complex as a policy (other than his
blind acceptance of the far-right desire to completely destroy anything resembling the ‘Commons’ we have historically shared for our mutual benefit). Whether he’s uninterested in or incapable of developing anything resembling a coherent long-range policy probably doesn’t matter:  whoever among his inner circle speaks loudest – or most recently – will determine the “policy” of the day.


This problem has existed long before the corporate media expanded it into what amounts to almost a national passtime – college kids partying instead of studying is just one example.  Tweetle-Dumb’s use of high-priced lawyers paid for by his father to bluff his way out of earlier crimes has of course contributed to a much more serious manifestation – our current Presi-Dunce’s apparent total disregard for the consequences of breaking the law.

Again, this is nothing new, and cannot be blamed only on Tweetle-Dumb. In fact he is probably more a conse­quence than a cause of the current chaos.  Exxon-Mobil under Tillerson was putting profits ahead of the long-term health of the entire planet long before Trump pulled America out of the Paris Climate Accord, and Big To­bacco buried the consequences of smoking as long as they could get away with it.  These are far from being the only examples of our nearly universal tendency to bury our heads in the sand when faced with long-term consequences of current actions.

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While I appreciiate your defense of the difference between " lie little " (D) and " lie big " R ", one thing is becoming increasingly apparent. It is that the Democrats could hand out gold bars to some CD commentators, the Republicans stale peanuts, and it would be the same in equivalency. And, since the Republican Party gives the purists the big wet kissoff immediately, they have to attack all the iffy Democrats. The preferred punching bag of disgruntled purists, everywhere. It’s a backhanded compliment, really. Nothing is worse than that.
This started with the Nixon Republicans and then, oh nos, Watergate! And, will never end until everybody born around 1950 is dead. Why? Their talking and walking White Jesus told them he’s a true bagman for God. And, he really likes big money and property. Even if it doesn’t’ belong to them. Maybe, especially so, because it doesn’t belong to them.
As we witness Republicans’ attempt to roll back almost a century of progress in less than four years, it’s the Democrats who are cited for coming up short. Trump may be the worst President in our country’s history, but to hear it told, the Dims will top all this tomorrow, somehow. Just you wait.

Since Trump was never thoroughly vetted by the Republican Party because " winning " ; and really recreated in his present form by the MSM, he gets the free pass which Mr. Shaub points out. The only deal is winning, got it? Winning, I tell you! President Trump has just ripped off the Freddy Krueger mask of the modern Republican Party. A persona of a wealthy, privileged white racist redneck in an expensive, empty suit. With the arm candy young wife, the phony clotheshorse of a daughter and septic sons aiming to do anything to please. All on a nightmarish quest for money, more money, incidental murders and general worldwide mayhem.
But, it’s the Democrats that are the problem.

Yeah but… not being new is not news. The experience of being confused when subjected to dissociative abuse is a conundrum worth articulating. Abuse of power dehumanizes. That is to say, it is parasitic by nature, like a psychological vampire introducing a numbing agent so its not ‘felt’ - that is to say, lands in a healthy psychological receptor. There is some learning required for acquisition of the jujitsu art/skills to repel and vanquish it. Ever wonder why the education model looks the way it does? It isn’t just the $$.

Confusion, Fear, Cynicism: Why People Don’t Report Hate Incidents

And what happens when an UN-healthy psychological receptor is targeted by an abusive manipulator?  The Russkies must have giggled with glee when they first spotted Tweetle-Dumb several years ago.  Whether or not they are responsible for hacking the DNC e-mails (it might have been an “inside job”), the combination of his sociopathic narcissism and indebtedness has given their vampires levers to wreak havoc in the West be­yond their wildest dreams.  Does anyone wonder who ‘suggested’ Paul Manafort as Trump’s campaign man­ager, or have the ‘RussiaGate’ skeptics forgotten Don Junior’s bragging about “all the money pouring in from Russia”, or where Pavlov was from?

Come on now Mr. Shaub- Tell us what you REALLY think!