Day 174: The Government is not a Business

Trump and his family are self described business folks. While their legacy in business is debatable, that they come from the corporate world not political becomes more obvious everyday. We don’t know yet if Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia last year but the Trump family isn’t making it easy for innocence to be considered. 
This week Donald Trump Jr. became the center of the Russian storm. After days of having his ever changing story disproven by leaks, he released the emails in question. They did not vindicate him. When asked if he would like information on Clinton gathered by Russia to aid his father, he says he would love it. He brought Kushner and Manafort to the meeting, the Russian lawyer ended up not having anything on Clinton. Leaving us in a situation where we know that the Trump campaign would have colluded but not if they did. 
Ignore the discussion of impeachment for a moment. What other implications are there? One is a revelation behind the curtain. Political operators have long been portrayed as ruthless anything goes types in movies but the real political world always had norms and bounds. I’m not saying they are knights of the round table. Yet even the Gore campaign called the FBI when someone leaked Bush’s campaign bible to them. This event shows the business world core of the Trump universe one where damning emails end in a fine and mea culpas but in politics things end differently just ask Abramoff.
The anti-left media keeps yelling Ukraine like its Benghazi (as a waste of time). A low level former staffer is not the same as a high campaign advisor and candidate’s child. Manafort did in fact lobby for pro Russia candidates in Ukraine and was unable to hide it. Whether the decision to remove support for Ukraine in its war against Russian invasion from the GOP platform came from Manafort is unknown. In the end, evidence from a foreign public investigation is not close to the same as a foreign nation stealing documents from a political opponent to aid a candidate. As Watergate taught us having your own countrymen steal documents is damning without foreign involvement. 
The emails aren’t a smoking gun for criminal proceedings but they without a doubt bolster Mueller’s investigation. One can only wonder what subpeonas will uncover.
-E.C. Fiori

Day 151: Found Them

Day 40: What is the Ministry of Truth?

Facebook’s announcement of an experimental partnership between third party fact checkers: Snopes, PolitiFact, the AP, ABC news, and Where people request certain links to be factchecked and if they are and found to be false or misleading a warning without reasons behind the warning will pop up before the article opens. Many people on the left and right are wary of this development. For many conservatives, a third of the fact checkers (AP and ABC news excluded) have a liberal bias. For many on the left, this is an expansion of corporate control of media trying to take away their “truth”.


Facebook has the legal right to control its platform that it lets us use. I do think that it can be worrisome to think that there will be blind faith in the warning. I think that this is an opportunity for us all to challenge our dogmas. We all could use a hand in expanding our worldviews and many times that hand needs to come from the opposition. Not saying we are all wrong all the time, but we need to be fluid in our responses. Adapt to the situation at hand not the one in the mind. I think that this experiment is a good step forward and should be expanded to include more viewpoints. We need some radical changes but those changes aren’t possible without agreement and I am speaking about Climate Change. It truly is a bipartisan problem that will alter every human’s life. In the age of Elon Musk, no one can question the possibilities in renewable energy that could occur. I believe we need to support if not with funds than beneficial regulations that aid his innovations while improving the quality of life for his labor. We need to use Capitalism to challenge ourselves for real innovation rather than use our money for novelty add ons. We need the hoarded wealth to be reinvested into the American Dream. None of which is possible without dialogue. If fact checking and discussions not in comments but in researched detail can engage us with each other than it is worth trying. Facebook as a form of communication and a company must respect their power. I think this is a step towards a better social media environment in the age of bullshit heralded by Trump and Putin.
-E. C. Fiori

Day 26: There is no House

Everyone knows the house always wins. The American republic may have an elite, but as this election show, they don’t own the system. Trump showed that for both media output, both left and right publishers endorsed Clinton. They might pay eighteen bucks to see a celebrity, but they won’t let that celebrity decide their fate. There is no house in America, just we the people.

-E.C. Fiori

Day 9: Let the Kleptocracy Begin, A Crown for a Thief, Nepotism Becomes Law

What is it that separates a legitimate government from an illegitimate one? There are a lot of answers to that question, but right at the top is corruption. Personal profit from “public service” makes you the definition of a warlord.

In every government there are varying degrees of corruption. The “tipping point” as it were, is the personal profit of those at the very top. It becomes impossible to cleanse the corruption without destroying the institutions that have been co-opted into a money-making apparatus. In the most destitute of countries, this is a constant theme. The exploitation of the people for individual gain in the name of “government”.

As I write this, this pattern has unerringly already begun in the president-elect’s inner circle. Trump’s children, as members of his “transition team”, have security clearances even though they have never been vetted, like all members of the state and defense department have. They also run all of his business interests, which begs the question “won’t it be really tempting to use the full weight of classified U.S. Intelligence when making business decisions?”

While these might be questions only cold hearted cynics could dream up, the question we should really be asking is “was your cultural revolution against political correctness worth turning our country into a kleptocracy?”

With his son-in-law currently seeking a position in the white house, these are questions for the cynic no longer. Nepotism is not the same as corruption in business. It undermines the institutions we depend on, and only constant vigilance for one thousand, four hundred and sixty-one days will keep our trust in those institutions alive.

-Jack Delaney

Day 7: The Audacity of Denial

America voted for Donald Trump, not choosing the name out of thin air but based on his eighteen month campaign in which he presented ideas that vanquished nineteen other contenders. He was far from the only “outsider” that stood on the stage. If you are wondering why I am saying this, it is because many people have reacted to Trump’s election with “we don’t know what he will do”. We aren’t discussing what happens in a black hole. The man may have not laid out clear policies, but he did propose many ideas for executive orders and laws.

We cannot deny the words, he ran on. Whether it is dancing with the notion of a forced registry for muslims or withdrawing from NATO. He has time to announce new plans. While we wait we can see his daughter using the presidential light to advertise her jewelry line. As Giuliani said we won’t want to put his kids out of work by putting his assets into a trust like every past president in the modern era. We would not want a separation between wealth and authority. Not that they couldn’t start new ventures quite easily, I wonder if Ivanka or Trump owns the jewelry company. I doubt he will put his other unknown economic interests both domestic and foreign outside Trump corp. We never saw the tax returns, another modern precedent from the richest nominee in history that includes George Washington. Along with the hacked emails, I feel I am looking at a Nixon. Post watergate pre hearing, speaking of past presidents with IRS and legal issues. This is the man is currently mulling arresting his defeated political opponent. This is not American democracy. This is a banana republic. Brietbart is Trumptv. He never needed to start his own network.

On the Supreme Court, he will seek a nominee that will overturn Roe v Wade, but keep Obergefell v. Hodges. Not sure what the logic is behind that. The Roberts court oddly enough is the last institution that could redeem itself. The final guardian of the constitution. Each justice must live up to the higher ideals bestowed upon the court by our Founders. Equal justice for all. Ensuring freedom continues by preventing government overreach. I trust the court will fulfill its duties and pray that no harm befalls any of the current justices during Trump’s presidency.

-E.C. Fiori