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Thread: An ACTUAL conflict of interest... and an abuse of power

  1. #1
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    Default An ACTUAL conflict of interest... and an abuse of power

    Yup, the Trumps, in a clear effort to emulate the Romanoffs of early 20th century Russia (or, more appropriately, the oligarchical control of modern Russia, by Putin), are engaging in conflicts of interests so blatant, it's stunning.

    The White House hosted a technology roundtable last month featuring 17 prominent thinkers and tech CEOs, including Apple’s Tim Cook, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and OpenGov’s Zachary Bookman.

    Oh, you’re unfamiliar with OpenGov and its CEO? You’re not alone. The startup, which helps governments be more transparent in their financial decisions, was by far the smallest company with a seat at the table.

    It also was the only one at the event to have received substantial funding from Thrive Capital, a venture capital firm whose founder and managing partner is Josh Kushner, brother of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser.

    Jared, who organized the tech roundtable for the president, had a financial interest in Thrive Capital until earlier this year, reports The Wall Street Journal, when he sold his stake in the company to his brother.

    Critics have long noted that the Trumps’ and Kushners’ wide web of business dealings are a clear source of conflicts of interest, potentially in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

    “Given the nature of OpenGov’s business and its desire to obtain work with the federal government, participation in the summit provided the company with invaluable access — to senior administration officials who could recommend the firm to federal agencies and to leaders of tech giants that might be interested in investing in (or possibly buying) the company,” Dana M. Radcliffe, a professor of business ethics and public policy at Cornell’s Johnson College of Business, told HuffPost, spelling out why Jared Kushner’s actions are a problem.

    “In benefiting OpenGov, this coveted opportunity benefited the Kushner family, who have a stake in the startup,” Radcliffe added. “Moreover, none of OpenGov’s competitors were invited to the conference.”

    Reached for comment by HuffPost, Thrive Capital was very clear in stating it had nothing to do with soliciting an invitation to the government-sponsored event for OpenGov.

    “Thrive Capital did not play any role in OpenGov’s invitation,” spokesman Jesse Derris told HuffPost in a statement, “and was not aware of its participation in the meeting until after the fact.”

    The White House did not respond to questions from HuffPost regarding its selection process for participants. As such, it’s unclear why it specifically contacted a company linked to the Kushner family instead of an OpenGov competitor like Socrata, which told HuffPost it has contracts with numerous federal agencies and confirmed it was not invited.

    “This was not a ‘potential’ conflict of interest but an actual one — a conflict on which Kushner acted, violating important responsibilities he has as a senior government official,” Radcliffe said.

    “Kushner’s inviting OpenGov to the meeting was an abuse of his office not only because it benefited his family but also because it gave the company an unfair advantage over its competitors. As a public official, Jared Kushner has an obligation not to use the power of his office — or government funds — for the benefit of himself or his family — an obligation he clearly violated.”
    "Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it."
    --- Charles Pierce







  2. #2
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    Default Re: An ACTUAL conflict of interest... and an abuse of power

    The people in power don't want to do anything and the people who want to do anything are not in power. We're f*cked for a while. I suppose all we can do is hope to minimize the damage to the country in the meantime. I'm just finishing up Al Franken's book, I think you read it too. He's a good guy but the difficulties he describes getting anything good done is depressing. I'm glad he stays with it tho.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: An ACTUAL conflict of interest... and an abuse of power

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    The people in power don't want to do anything and the people who want to do anything are not in power. We're f*cked for a while. I suppose all we can do is hope to minimize the damage to the country in the meantime. I'm just finishing up Al Franken's book, I think you read it too. He's a good guy but the difficulties he describes getting anything good done is depressing. I'm glad he stays with it tho.
    I agree, Franken's book was excellent... and he's the kind of politician we desperately need in this country.
    "Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it."
    --- Charles Pierce







  4. #4
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    Default Re: An ACTUAL conflict of interest... and an abuse of power

    Remind me please, what happened to the The House of Romanov?
    "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Alice

  5. #5
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    Default Re: An ACTUAL conflict of interest... and an abuse of power

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    The people in power don't want to do anything and the people who want to do anything are not in power. We're f*cked for a while. I suppose all we can do is hope to minimize the damage to the country in the meantime. I'm just finishing up Al Franken's book, I think you read it too. He's a good guy but the difficulties he describes getting anything good done is depressing. I'm glad he stays with it tho.
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...-Minnesota#top #25

  6. #6
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    Default Re: An ACTUAL conflict of interest... and an abuse of power

    Quote Originally Posted by John of Phoenix View Post
    Remind me please, what happened to the The House of Romanov?
    "The family was roused from sleep around 2:00 a.m. and told that they were being moved to a newer, safer location. They dressed quickly but informally. They were then led from the house where they had been staying and taken across a courtyard and down some stairs, then through a number of corridors and small dark rooms, few of which were lit. They reached a room at the end of one particular corridor that had a single electric light burning dimly. They asked for and were brought two chairs for the youngest children to sit on. The family members were then left alone for several minutes. Suddenly, a group of armed men led by Yurovsky entered the room. Yurovsky read an announcement from the local Duma explaining that they must all be killed immediately. Nicholas was utterly perplexed, and asked Yurovsky, "What? What?" Yurovsky eventually responded by saying, "This!" and shot Nicholas in the chest. Thus commenced the messy, botched affair.At first, all of the gunmen, who loathed the Tsar immensely, shot at Nicholas, who immediately fell dead from multiple bullet wounds. Then the dark room filled with toxic smoke and dust from the spray of bullets, and the gunmen shot blindly, often hitting the ceiling and walls, creating yet more dust. Alexandra was soon shot in the head by Ermakov, and killed, and some of the gunmen themselves became injured. It was not until after the room had been cleared of smoke that the shooters re-entered to find the entire remaining Imperial family still alive and uninjured. Maria tried to escape through the doors at the rear of the room, which led to a storage area, but the doors were nailed shut. The noise as she rattled the doors attracted the attention of the drunken military commissar Peter Ermakov. Some of these were now quickly shot in the head, but several of the others, including the young and frail Tsarevich, would not die either from multiple close-range bullet woulds or bayonet stabs. Finally, each was shot in the head. Even so, two of the girls were still alive 10 minutes later, and had to be bludgeoned with the butt of a rifle to finally be killed. Later it was discovered that the bullets and bayonet stabs had been partially blocked by diamonds that had been sewn into the children's clothing. The bodies of the Romanovs were then hidden and moved several times before being interred in an unmarked pit where they remained until the summer of 1979 when amateur enthusiasts disinterred and re-buried some of them, and then decided to conceal the find until the fall of communism. In 1991 the grave site was excavated and the bodies were given a state funeral under the nascent democracy of post-Soviet Russia, and several years later DNA and other forensic evidence was used by Russian and international scientists to make genuine identifications." wiki

  7. #7
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    Default Re: An ACTUAL conflict of interest... and an abuse of power

    The expansion of Crony Capitalism. One more example of the enacting of Acton's Dictum.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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