Trump fails conflict of interest test

Within a few days Donald Trump will be the President of the United States of America. His conflicts of interest are his Albatross. They have the potential to destroy his administration.

The big story at the press conference on January 11, 2017 was supposed to be about how the President-Elect is dealing with his conflicts of interests. Donal Trump is a master of diversion, and the subject took second place to his arguments with the press. And they fell for it.

Trump is not putting all his businesses into a blind trust, as is the precedent. His sons are going to continue running the business. His only concessions are: “no foreign deals while he is President” and “an ethics adviser to be appointed to the management board of the trust to oversee any potential conflicts of interest.”

The Office of Government Ethics said Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest plan is “meaningless” and sets up the incoming administration for constant controversy.

The plan does not match the “standards” of US presidents over the last 40 years.

Trump’s lawyer questioned that he should be expected to give up his businesses interests. Well yes, that goes with the job.

If Trump doesn’t like the conditions of employment, he’s free to resign.

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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.

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UNacceptable