South Korea’s fate

The victory for democracy in South Korea, with the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, might herald it’s next disaster.

There will be three crucial elections in 2017.

In France, the election of Marine Le Pen could see the country leaving the European Union, signaling the beginning of the end of the European Union.

In Germany, Angela Merkel could be ousted, and liberal democracy would lose its last hope.

In South Korea, the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye will precipitate an election. Ban Ki-moon, the outgoing Secretary-General of the United Nations has ambitions to replace her.

Ban Ki-moon’s legacy at the United Nations provides evidence that his election as South Korea’s president would be a disaster.

The end of Kofi Annan’s tenure as Secretary-General was tainted by the oil for food scandal in Iraq. Annan instigated an investigation which culminated in the Volcker report making recommendations to ensure that the identified corruption at the United Nations could not happen again.

Part of this was the establishment of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) that reported directly to the Secretary-General. Ban tried to shut it down, and severely hampered the operation.

In 2010, the head of OIOS wrote a scathing 50 page memorandum to Ban, in which she accused him of undermining the office. In it she makes clear that he was also working against the specific direction of the USG through his efforts. There is a covering memorandum sets out her complaints.

The OIOS is the internal office that is quoted as being so ineffective in investigating the incidents that happened in Kosovo and Bosnia. The memorandum explains why that was the case, and that Ban is directly implicated.

More at:
Broken System: The Failure to Punish High Level Corruption at the UN
Corruption Rears its Head Again at the United Nations
End of Assignment Report Inga-Britt Ahlenius
Inga-Britt Ahlenius Confidential Memo Portrays UN Chief As Secrecy Obsessed, Against Accountability
Note to the Secretary General
South Korea’s parliament votes to impeach President Park Geun-hye
UNacceptable

Tramping on democracy

Donald Trump, the president elect, recently made racist comments about a federal judge presiding over a federal lawsuit against Trump. He challenged the judge’s independence because of the judge’s name is of Mexican origin. The judge is American, not Mexican, making Trump’s charge nonsense, but the episode establishes that Trump understands the concept of conflict of interest.

Trump has substantial business interests, which could benefit from decisions that he makes as the President of the USA.

He has promised to separate himself from his business interests by putting his family in charge of the business. Most professionals would not consider this to be adequate separation. But even then, the family remain politically involved at the deepest level. Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner, is completely involved in the selection of the cabinet.

Chris Christie, the presumptive Attorney General, was recently fired from Trump’s transition team on Kushner’s insistence. Christie was the federal prosecutor who jailed Kushner’s father.

This is the epitome of nepotism and conflict of interest.

Trump is tramping in the pillars of democracy.

More at:
Abbreviated pundit roundup: Trump can’t avoid his massive conflicts of interest
An ethical double standard for Trump?
Democrats’ bill to force Donald Trump to divest business empire
Donald Trump and the Lawsuit Presidency
Donald Trump: A list of potential conflicts of interest
Donald Trump’s Business Dealings Test a Constitutional Limit
Donald Trump Very Recently Implied That Chris Christie Should Be Indicted
Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest
Dynasty
Firings and Discord Put Trump Transition Team in a State of Disarray
Four Ways Donald Trump Might Try to Hire Family in the White House
Government Ethics Office Says Trump Should Divest Himself Of His Businesses
How did ‘less than stellar’ high school student Jared Kushner get into Harvard?
How Donald Trump should handle conflicts of interest
Senate Democrats Would Like To Remind You That Donald Trump Still Hasn’t Released His Tax Returns
Top Three Issues that Could Lead to Trump Impeachment if Issues Aren’t Addressed
The tower of silence
Trump drops ‘no new deals’ pledge
Trump hands over business empire to sons
Trump Says Judge’s Mexican Heritage Presents ‘Absolute Conflict’
Trump’s Businesses Could Be Tripped Up By A 2012 Insider Trading Law
Trump’s Indonesian Business Partner Is Knee-Deep in Dirty Politics
United States Office of Government Ethics
What conflicts of interest could Donald Trump have as president?
What is the Emoluments Clause?
Would Donald Trump’s business abroad compromise his ability to lead?

The first big test

Donald Trump’s first big test will be his choices for the cabinet posts.

After he offended Mexicans, the British, Muslims, the Chinese, Koreans, Europeans, and the Japanese, the person that he chooses as America’s top diplomat will need to be an accomplished professional, capable of repairing the almost irreparable damage.

That choice will tell the world whether the shock of the election justifies their concern.

More at:
Donald Trump Announces Presidential Bid By Trashing Mexico, Mexicans
Donald Trump calls profiling Muslims ‘common sense’
Donald Trump Mocks Asians With Broken-English Accent During Campaign Rally In Iowa
Donald Trump on North Korea going to war: ‘Good luck, enjoy yourself folks’
Donald Trump’s Asia Policy Would be a Disaster
Japan and South Korea hit back at Trump’s nuclear comments
Trump rips U.S. defense of Japan as one-sided, too expensive
U.K. Parliament debate: Donald Trump gets pummeled by the British
Why should America defend Europeans who won’t defend themselves?