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In my last couple of columns I’ve been discussing how the American left has blown its collective mind over the election of Trump and its hair-on-fire antics in trying to turn the tides of time to before Nov. 8, when their queen-bee-in-waiting, Miss Pantsuit, was still just a stone’s throw away from her coronation.

As I’m writing this (who knows what they’ll come up with tomorrow?) the Next Big Thing is that Russia hacked the DNC computers because “they wanted Trump to win.”

It’s splashed all over the place in the leftist media. Big headlines; op-ed topic du jour.

But let’s examine this for a moment. Still unexplained is why the Russians would want Trump over Clinton. Are the Dems trying to imply that he’s a Russian agent or something? A Manchurian Candidate?

It certainly can’t be that the Russians were afraid of Clinton. After all, as secretary of state she was an abysmal failure; all of her policies led to disastrous consequences, from the Arab Spring meltdown, to Benghazi, to China’s resurgent aggression in the South China Sea, to Russia’s own newly energized militarism in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. So no, that can’t be it.

Another aspect of this issue – the one the left doesn’t seem to raise and, in fact, wants to distract people away from – is really basic: if there was nothing in those hacked emails to hide, what’s the big deal, anyway?

This is the modern computer era. Everybody gets hacked. That’s a given. There’s even a phrase for it: “The internet is forever.”

Never write, post, publish or email anything you don’t want to see splashed all over the web. Even kids know this. So what was in those “hacked” emails that supposedly brought Clinton down?

Truth. The simple truth.

Those emails, whether hacked by the Russians or someone else, revealed the depths of corruption of the Clinton cabal in its maneuvering to win office, from the manipulations of Debra Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile in stealing the primary from Bernie Sanders, to the complicity of the Clinton team in her illegal email rig, to the cooperation of the allegedly “independent and unbiased” press, right on down.

But there’s also a further reality. Those hacked emails didn’t actually reveal anything people didn’t already know about Clinton. All they really did was confirm what people already knew: that Clinton is cynical and corrupt to her core and surrounds herself with like-minded people. Nothing new here, move along.

Thus the net impact of those hacked emails, in reality, was pretty much a big, fat zero.

Let’s face it. This latest burst of sanctimonious outrage is nothing more than another effort to deny the reality of the election outcome and a lame attempt to besmirch and delegitimize the guy who won the election fair and square: Donald Trump.

My Armenian mother told me there’s an old-country maxim that goes: “Write it on ice.” In other words, if you write something down that you might not want people to see later, it will disappear forever when you write it on ice, which melts.

But you never know about anything written on paper – or nowadays in emails.

So the lesson for the Dems is this: Next time, don’t document your corruption in emails. Better yet, why not consider abandoning that corruption all together?

Brian Baker is a Saugus resident.

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  • Ron Bischof

    Russian “hacking” is the new hotness!

    Never explained is by what methodology, specifically, Russia was able to cause less voters to select Hillary Clinton.

    What is it?

    • Brian Baker

      Yeah, Ron, exactly. If they were involved at all, which is highly questionable at best, what did they do? Help confirm a truth that was already evident to all: that Clinton’s a career corruptocrat and pathological liar (not to mention unindicted federal felon), and that the DNC worker bees are her accessories.

      In a normal world, you’d think that was something people would actually WANT to know about, right?

      • Ron Bischof

        I consider the leaks of Podesta and DNC emails as a whistleblower public service, Brian.

        To assert the emails of political operatives is a compromise of government systems is laughable on its face.

        • Brian Baker

          I agree again, Ron. I think “whistleblower” is an absolutely appropriate characterization.

    • lois eisenberg

      “Russian “hacking” is the new hotness”
      Do you mean to say that the Russian hacking is ” sexually excited” ???????

      • Ron Bischof

        Is that your hot take, Ms. Eisenberg?

    • Gene Walker

      The whole “Alt Right” thing lacked traction, so “The Russians Are Coming” is the next conspiracy dujour.

  • Ed Shalom

    Even Republican senators are outraged by the Russians, but they are over-ruled by the Don Juan lemmings…..they are SOOOO thrilled to have a sex criminal in the White House they will excuse anything.
    PS: Where are the RNC e-mails that were stolen but never released ? The could be love-notes from Daddy Dearest Trump to his honey child Ivanka….

    • Ron Bischof

      “RNC e-mails”, Mr. Shalom? Source please.

      I know of only a single email account linked to a long-departed RNC staffer that was compromised.

    • Brian Baker

      Shalom! Dude! Get a grip!

      “And the truth shall make you free”. All those hacked emails did was confirm the truth. Didn’t you even read the column? Or were you so busy being hysterical that you just skipped immediately to the comments section?

    • Ron Bischof
      • Brian Baker

        Great GIF, Ron. If there were a way to do it, and I’d known about it at the time, I’d have embedded it in the version I published at my blog.

        Apparently Shalom’s following Lois’s usual practice of using other people’s columns and LTEs as a platform from which to launch pointless screeds that really have nothing to do with the actual topic.

        Oh, well… SSDD.

    • Jim de Bree

      “Where are the RNC e-mails that were stolen but never released ?”

      I was watching Smirconish on CNN this morning and one of the points mentioned was that last summer the FBI notified the RNC, DNC, Clinton campaign and Trump campaign of the potential for Russian hacking. Podesta claims that is a lie and that he was never notified. (Podesta also was the one who was foolish enough to reply to e-mails that let the hackers in.) The RNC apparently worked with the FBI to ascertain the extent of potential hacking.

      The former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, Michael Hayden, spoke at a cyber security conference I recently attended and he said you cannot keep hacker out, but what is important is what you do to contain them once they get in.

      It is clear that the RNC attempted to contain damage by a number of means including obtaining FBI assistance. However, the DNC and the Clinton campaign failed to comprehend the disruption that occurred and did nothing. It makes you wonder about the private server that Hillary maintained while she was Secretary of State.

  • Ed Shalom

    The primary news story from Hackgate is that both the FBI and CIA’s assessment is that the highest levels of the Russian government (duh….does this mean V. Putrid was involved ?) sought to influence the Presidential election on behalf of Don Juan Trump, and that both the DNC and RNC were hacked. My basis for this was the article at the link below (an excerpt follows the link).

    While the RNC has denied that they were hacked, we must ask a simple question: How would they know ? Are they privy to the assets of the US intelligence agencies ? Furthermore, if we are to accept the pronouncements of the knuckle-head Herr Trump, the only way to detect a hack is to catch it in the act – as such, Lover Boy Trump has proclaimed from his command bunker in Trump Towers that he does not even accept that the Russians hacked the DNC.

    To make things more confusing, Don Juan lemmings are proposing that the Reds (no longer the Evil Empire) performed a service to US voters in releasing DNC e-mails, and that it had NO influence on voters (this is in spite of the fact that the Trumpsters crowed about these e-mails and their contents at every opportunity.

    To be sure, we cannot expect harmonious talking points from Humpty Dumpty, his surrogates, and the Don Juan lemmings – they are not only spewing out the hatred from the alt-right, but are doing so from an alt-reality mindset. How else to explain that Don Juan lemmings are OK with supporting a sex-criminal for President (Please don’t mention Clinton as a moral equivalence) – are they OK with the daughters and wives of the United States being assaulted by Dirty Don ? Perhaps the Joe Six packs have been reading history books, and are aware of the medieval tradition of ” droit du seigneur”, and are honored to serve up their own wives and daughters to Don Juan; perhaps as kinky Californians, they actually just want to watch.

    WASHINGTON — American intelligence agencies have concluded with “high confidence” that Russia acted covertly in the latter stages of the presidential campaign to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances and promote Donald J. Trump, according to senior administration officials.

    They based that conclusion, in part, on another finding — which they say was also reached with high confidence — that the Russians hacked the Republican National Committee’s computer systems in addition to their attacks on Democratic organizations, but did not release whatever information they gleaned from the Republican networks.

    • Ron Bischof

      “While the RNC has denied that they were hacked, we must ask a simple question: How would they know?”

      Ad Ignorantium? Your posts continue to amuse, Mr. Shalom!

      Have you considered that they took the FBI advisory seriously and weren’t brain dead about information security like those non-governmental organizations, i.e. the DNC and Clinton Campaign/Foundation?

      Meanwhile, out of the fever swamps and back in the real world, this:

      Electors won’t get intelligence briefing: report
      BY MARK HENSCH – 12/16/16 05:23 PM EST

      What’s next for conspiracy theorists desperate to nullify a free and fair election?

    • Brian Baker

      ((((((((((((((((((((((((( sigh ))))))))))))))))))))))))))

      And again, Shalom, exactly WHAT was revealed in those hacked emails?


      Did you even read the column, or are you just so stuck on mindlessly repeating the same meaningless garbage that you can’t take the time?

      Bud, if those hacked emails were full of lies, I’d be just as outraged as you are. The difference would be that my outrage wouldn’t be a bunch of sanctimonious tripe.

      But they weren’t were they? Those emails were the Hildebeest’s own words, confirming the FACT that she was lying through her teeth at every opportunity, and colluding with her fellow corruptocrats. Jeez, bud, where’s your outrage that they STOLE THE PRIMARY FROM BERNIE SANDERS? Hmmmmm…?

      But hey, thanks for the chuckle. You’re becoming as entertaining and funny as Lois.

  • Ed Shalom

    Don Juan supporters NEVER respond to the issue of his being a sex criminal……this is a “Request for Clarification” from the Don Juan lemmings – Please choose which one of the 3 modes of sexual assault you approve of:

    1. It is OK for Don Juan Trump to sexually assault women as long as they
    are not our wives and daughters

    2. It is OK for Don Juan Trump, and no one else, to sexually assault our wives and daughters

    3. It is OK for anyone to sexually assault our wives and daughters

    • Brian Baker

      No, little guy, you don’t seem to get it. There’s already a topic here. Read the column, and you can see what it is.

      Nobody cares about your loony little irrelevant rant. Maybe you can submit it to The Signal as an LTE. Hey, think of it as an opportunity! You can expand it with some of your other conspiracy theories, like how the 9/11 attacks were an inside job!

      They might laugh themselves into a coma, and it could slip through and actually get published!

  • Ed Shalom

    I was hoping the Don Juan lemmings would take a stand on his sex crimes – instead the response so far is a rant about 9/11, and a statement that “Nobody cares about your loony little irrelevant rant”. This is totally false: many decent people DO CARE about Dirty Don’s assaults, in particular the brave women who have spoken out about his reptilian assaults upon them. Maybe the poster is one who would be honored by assaults upon the women in his life by Herr Trump. Putting aside Don Juan’s documented practice of grabbing women by their genitals, the very thought of some poor woman having Dirty Don’s ugly lizard tongue shoved into their mouth should make any man worthy of the name cringe in disgust – all the Tic-Tacs in the world that Dirty Don placed in his mouth in preparation could never make his attacks acceptable. WE CARE, EVEN IF YOU DON’T.

    • Brian Baker

      Sorry, little guy, you’re off-topic. As I said, feel free to write about your sex fantasies somewhere else.

      BTW, you really are a disgusting little man, aren’t you? If you have any class at all, it’s purely of the low variety. What IS this pornography you insist on splashing all over the place, anyway? Are you fixated on displaying your own perverse fantasies in public for all the world to see?

      Goooooooooooood grief. Get a grip, bud.

    • Ron Bischof

      But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. – Matthew 15:18

      • Brian Baker

        Kinda makes me wonder what they teach at MIT, and if JPL might actually stand for Jet Perversion Labs…

  • Brian Baker

    Thanks, Bill.

  • Ed Shalom

    (I am writing this “white
    paper” based upon perception of a

    clear and imminent danger to our country – it will be sent to the FBI)

    For the very first time
    in our history, we are about to have a President who owns very significant
    assets, both property and intellectual, distributed in many places in the US
    and around the world. Compounding this is the announced intention of the President-elect
    to maintain ownership and indirect assets regarding these assets throughout his
    Presidency, including the intimate involvement of his children.

    Until recently, the implications of this impending situation have only been discussed from a
    “conflict of interest” perspective. This is understandable, based upon our first reactions.

    Upon deeper thought, the implications of the planned arrangement raise questions, and perhaps threats, that are not just based upon financial interests, but which impact, in a very
    direct and threating way, our physical security.

    This observation is obvious: in numerous locations around the world, such as luxury hotels and golf courses, or consumer products such as clothing, ties, suits, and so on, the assets of the President of the US will be directly accessible to the public at large. From a financial standpoint, the conflict of interest perspective deals with another obvious point: to the extent that the public either patronizes or avoids the Trump “brand”, it is a back door to influencing national politics
    (hopefully, if the Democratic half of this country are smart , they willboycott and divest themselves of all things Trump).

    But the true threat isnot financial, but based upon safety and security for all US residents. The
    fact that the assets of the POTUS are spread over so many arenas that are
    accessible to the general public means that they are vulnerable to numerous
    threats to both property and persons that can be either domestic or foreign.

    For example, hotels are exposed to various forms of terrorism, either domestic or foreign, such as physical means that include guns and explosives, and biological attacks that can include the use of poisonous chemicals such as anthrax. Products such as clothing, ties, suits, and so on are susceptible to contamination as well.

    As such, for the safety of our public areas to the general public, as well as for the safety at the
    staff in the hotels and stores that carry the Trump brand, these threats must be acknowledged ASAP, and should be significant drivers in our national plans.

    It seems clear that these treacherous waters can be avoided at very little downside to all parties
    involved. The primary driver must be to insure the safety of all those involved in the staff and/or customers of Trump enterprises. The one and only way to achieve this is for all Donald Trump’s assets to be sold and put into a blind trust. This arrangement is by the far the very best for the population at large, which should not have to deal with fear related to consuming Trump’s

    Much has been made of arguments such as the US bought into this sticky mess, it has been “baked into the cake”, and so on. First of all, Donald Trump has talked about a blind trust, albeit in a very illogical way. Secondly, the fact that dangers in this “new world order” were not identified at first does not mean we should ignore them.

    We are constantly hear that Donald Trump’s family love America, so here’s a very simple way for them to show it. Since were told about they are all worth hundreds of millions of dollars, even after a “fire sale” of their assets, they will be financially secure for generations: how many blue-collar Trump supporters can say this? Further, if there are any dangerous incidents regarding Trump properties, such as hotels, these assets could plummet in value.

    The intent of this white paper is to point out something that has not been in the public discourse regarding a Trump presidency, and to “ring the alarm bells”, and make it clear that a genuine
    blind trust for Donald Trump’s assets is absolutely required for the safety and security of all citizens – if the Trumps really love America as they claim, they can help the rest of us to take part in the physical security that they enjoy in Trump Tower. If they refuse, they should be held accountable for endangering the safety of our citizens for their financial gain, and all “locked up” for life if a single American life is lost as a result of their greed.

    • Brian Baker

      Oooooh, the FBI!

      Maybe they’ll be more interested in reading it than I am. I notice you’ve also sprinkled around here like the litter it is. Over on Lois’s thread, too.

      Dude, you’ve really gotta get a grip. Get this: NOBODY CARES.

      Here’s some reality for you to chew on. The Electoral College has spoken. Trump’s the President-Elect officially, whether you like it or not.

      Bud, you’re in for a miserable four or eight years. Gotta say, I find the schadenfreude simply terrific.

      • Ron Bischof

        • Brian Baker



    • Ron Bischof

      May I suggest you publish your “white paper” in a public form online, Mr. Shalom?

      • Brian Baker

        Or perhaps on a roll in a dispenser in the rest room, which is about all it’s good for.

        • Ron Bischof

          Au contraire, Brian! Mr. Shalom should receive full recognition for his no doubt scholarly “white paper”. Perhaps the FBI will find his poems of interest as well.

          Why should readers of his comments be the only ones to benefit from his insight?

          • Brian Baker

            I’m sure that “recognition” will be forthcoming.

            Agent: “I recognize that guy. Keep him outta here!”

      • Gene Walker

        Great idea Ron, what joy that would bring!

    • Gene Walker

      Please, please, please send your musings to the FBI!

  • Ed Shalom

    I must thank those who have chosen invective rather than
    reason in their response to my posts. They remind me of Dorothy Parker’s famous
    definition of “horticulture”, namely that “you can lead a whore to culture, but
    you can’t make her think”. I suppose
    this is why “Lover Boy’s Loyal Lemmings” have “taken the 5th” with regard to
    defending Dirty Don’s sex crimes, and charge that the mere description of his
    predatory acts as “pornographic”. Unfortunately for these defenders, the
    subject will come up over and over and over again until they are forced to take
    a stand.

    Speaking of lemmings, it is a misconception that they commit
    mass suicide, as they will throw themselves off cliffs during migration, which
    can be driven by overpopulation. As such, their behavior can be seen as a form
    of Darwinian population control, so the analogy to the “Donald Firsters” (whoops!
    Is the phrase “America First” ?) lemmings is appropriate.

    Regarding my background, I am pleased that posters in this
    forum are making assertions (true or not) about my education and employment
    that are highly complementary, and cannot wait for them to make disclosures
    about their backgrounds, so that we can compare resumes. I do agree with their
    decision to cease trying to make inferences about my religion, and to couple
    this speculation with ugly references to crematoria….how creepy was that !

    The blindness of the lemmings is manifesting itself in two parallel
    tracks. The first is their refusal to
    acknowledge that Don Juan Trump is a sexual predator – I will eat my hat if he
    makes good on his pledge to file lawsuits against the brave women who have
    spoken to his crimes – can you just imagine Humpty Trumpty testifying under oath during the discovery phase of these suits ?

    The second form of blindness is a refusal to even provide an
    intelligent rebuttal to an important hypothesis, which is that it is not in
    America’s interest to have the assets of our President exposed to terrorists
    and/or deranged individuals at home and abroad. Anyone with a real knowledge of
    intelligence would appreciate that the security aspect of Dirty Don’s assets
    should be studied seriously. The results
    of such an attack upon these assets, which could arise from many sources (e.g.,
    an individual who was angry about being deported) would be catastrophic for the
    perception of American responsibility, not to mention the value of these
    It boggles my mind that the
    political views of Don Juan lemmings take precedence over protecting women from
    sexual predators, and protecting property and persons from a terrorist magnet
    that will result from the Tricky Trumpster’s intrinsic conflicts of interest.

    I guess you can lead a whore to culture…..

    • Brian Baker

      Little guy, you really are stuck on stupid, so I’ll say it again in the smallest words I can think of, so maybe — MAYBE — you’ll get it.

      This column isn’t about Trump’s “sex crimes”, so you’re WAY off topic. Thus, no one cares about your endless blathering about it (“Blathering” was three syllables. Too long for you?), except you yourself. You have a very unhealthy obsession there, bud. You might want to seek treatment.

      Now, I know you think you’re the smartest guy in the room (and you’re doubtless right, when the room is otherwise empty), but that doesn’t cut any ice. You want to carry on about your topic, then hey! Write your own column and send it in. Maybe it’ll get published.

      But until it does, all you’re doing is making yourself look like even more of a nut than usual. And that’s quite the accomplishment, given your history!

    • Brian Baker

      Oh, I almost forgot!

      (((((((((( phew ))))))))))))

      If there’s still time before you send your letter “to the FBI”, you should also add something about your thoughts on the 9/11 attacks. That way it’ll be routed to the right department.

      The sign on that door says: “Rosie O’Donut Tin-Foil Hat Conspiracy Theories Department”.


  • Gene Walker

    I seems The Signal is trying to clean up the comments section, I guess not; Shalom is still here.

    • Brian Baker


      I noticed the same thing.

  • Ed Shalom

    I must thank the Don Juan lemmings for encouraging me to further promote my opinion piece regarding the Trump assets, and the risk they pose to us. The Utube link below contains a presentation of this point of view to a wider audience, one which did not have to be filtered through the self-appointed gatekeepers of Herr Trump on the Signal forum…how petty can they be ?
    Comments from the lemmings are welcome on the Utube site, but they must rise above the “scorn and derision” level on the SCV Signal, or experience scorn and derision from educated folks….yes, that’s right – we educated folk like to debate about the FACTS:

    • Ron Bischof

      “Utube link”

      “educated folks….yes, that’s right – we educated folk”

      YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California, United States. The service was created by three former PayPal employees Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim in February 2005. In November 2006, it was bought by Google for US$1.65 billion.

    • Brian Baker

      Oh, good grief, Shalom.

      Still polishing your tinfoil hat, I see.

  • Ed Shalom

    I’m happy to report that over 50 individuals from around the country looked at my Utube presentation thus far, and the ONLY snarky comment came from a troll on this forum – it’s nice to realize there is a bigger world than the Signal forum, and for the Don Juan “gate-keepers” to realize that the world is much bigger than the “Signal Sandbox” they live in. Isn’t it pathetic to see how some of them post multiple messages per day, EVERY DAY ??? Get a Life, dude! Why don’t you use your time to actually to something useful for others ???
    I’m repeating the link to web site below, and hope that the protectors of Dirty Don will soon have the chance to respond to my hypothesis in their VERY OWN SANDBOX !!! I cannot wait for the insults, derision, and scorn they will reply with, with of course the total absence of any facts.

    • Ron Bischof

      Wow! At “over 50 individuals”, you’re well on your way to YouTube superstardom! You can leave The Signal comments behind as you bask in your newfound celebrity.

      Any word back from the FBI, Mr. Shalom?

      • Brian Baker


        Yeah, 50. That really cracked me up. On a site like YouTube that many people could easily be just accidental hits.

        It’s also pretty funny that a guy who made such a whopping big deal about people posting under screen names posted…….. under a screen name!

        “MrEvillette”? Who the hell is that?

        Hey! Now you’re up to 51! And between Gene and me, at least 2 are actual, intentional hits! Going viral now!

        Wait, wait. I just looked at the counter. 58!

        Climbing the charts with a bullet!

        • Ron Bischof

          The 50+ wave is a precursor to the incoming tsunami! We were on the ground floor of history! Huzzah!

    • Gene Walker

      Wow, that’s exciting Edna! So many hits on the Utubes®, you should get your speech ready for when you pick up that Oscar®!

      What is next for your vast information communications network? Are you going to get one of those Twitter® machines?

      Your chest thumping made me think of this:

      Found it on the Utubes®

  • Gene Walker

    I decided to post a White Paper I did on Red China, posted it on the Utubes®. Check it out:

    • Gene Walker

      Over 70 views in an hour…not bad.

  • Ed Shalom

    Part 1 of LA Times article, Dec. 22 2106
    By Joseph Tanfani
    “Trump backs out of real estate projects around the world,
    but that may not be enough to avoid conflicts”

    WASHINGTON — The Trump hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan, would be
    “among the finest in the world,” Donald Trump promised two years ago, another
    example of “our involvement in only the best global development projects.”

    But the dream of a world-class Trump Baku died this month,
    with Trump saying he was backing out of the deal because of delays and blown
    deadlines caused by the developer, a 34-year-old with close family connections
    to the country’s government.

    The demise of Trump
    Baku is not an isolated decision. With his inauguration less than a month away,
    President-elect Trump’s company has pulled out of a few international business
    deals that might have created especially sticky conflicts and controversies for
    his administration.

    In addition to
    Azerbaijan, the company began to back out of a deal in another former Soviet
    republic, Georgia. It also canceled a hotel project in Rio de Janeiro that had
    been mentioned in a fraud investigation. And just days after the election, the
    Trump Organization shut down four companies formed this year seemingly in
    anticipation of a hotel deal in Jidda, Saudi Arabia.

    Trump’s companies this week agreed to a union contract at his hotel in Las
    Vegas and an organizing campaign at his new hotel in Washington, D.C. And his
    son Eric announced that he was suspending the activities of his charitable
    foundation after questions arose about whether donors might get favorable
    treatment by the new administration, a move first reported by the Washington

    Alan Garten, chief
    counsel for the Trump Organization, said the international moves were “business
    decisions, based purely on the status of the projects,” not because the
    president-elect was scrambling to clean up potential conflicts before he takes

    Trump himself was
    not even involved, Garten said — only sons Donald Jr. and Eric, along with
    other company executives.

    “His focus is
    solely on filling out his Cabinet and turning the country around,” Garten said
    of the president-elect.

    Even with the
    recent cancellations, Trump’s family company still profits from deals all over the world — a golf course
    in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; two hotel towers in Turkey; a luxury condo
    tower in the Philippines; a resort complex in the Dominican Republic.

    Trump initially
    said he would announce his plan to resolve the potential conflicts between his
    business and his presidency this month, then pushed the date to next month. He
    has not provided any details and has blamed the controversy over his holdings
    on “the crooked media.”

    He has said he will
    turn over operations of his company to his children. But that alone would not
    necessarily resolve conflicts, experts say.

    Past presidents put
    their assets in blind trusts, outside their control; letting the children run
    the company would not meet the legal requirements for a blind trust, according
    to the Office of Government Ethics.

    “Unless the
    president divests himself completely from his business, even a seemingly
    innocuous thing can make a big difference,”
    said Farok Contractor, a professor of international business at Rutgers
    University. For example, a move as common as a policy change that could raise
    the value of the U.S. dollar could hurt Trump’s bottom line on overseas
    projects if they’re tied to other currencies, he said.

    Several ethics lawyers have said Trump would
    need to sell his holdings to someone outside the family to avoid

    “Just because the
    president isn’t legally prohibited from financial conflicts of interest,
    there’s going to be this cloud of doubt that follows every policy decision he
    makes,” said Jordan Libowitz, communications director at Citizens for
    Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a group that has been highly critical
    of the president-elect.

    “People are going to ask, is he making this
    decision in the interest of the American people, or in the interests of one of
    his foreign companies?”

  • Ed Shalom

    Part 2 of LA Times article, Dec. 22 2106
    By Joseph Tanfani

    Garten would not
    discuss any details of how Trump plans to turn over control of his businesses,
    saying that would “all be coming out in the next few weeks.”

    The now-terminated Azerbaijan deal was one illustration of
    how Trump’s business dealings could complicate foreign policy for the new
    administration. The oil-dependent country has a reputation for cronyism and
    corruption, with a small group of elite families controlling a large share of
    the country’s economy.

    “I would say
    corruption is a whole system in Azerbaijan,” said Thomas de Waal, a senior
    associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who has written
    extensively about the country and its neighbors.

    “There is no rule
    of law as we know it in the U.S. or a European country,” he said. “Everything
    is done through personal connections. When you deal with business in
    Azerbaijan, you’re dealing with individuals, and you’re dealing with
    politically powerful individuals.”

    For the Trump
    International Hotel & Tower in Baku, Trump made a deal with a company
    called Garant Holding, controlled by Anar Mammadov, a son of the country’s
    transportation minister.

    Mammadov has had a
    substantial profile in Washington, where he had a nonprofit called the
    Azerbaijan America Alliance. The organization now has a dead phone number and
    website. Mammadov and the group’s Washington lobbyist, James Fabiani, did not
    return requests for comment.

    Like most of his
    hotel deals, Trump did not develop the building but licensed his name. He
    entered the deal in 2014 and reported receiving $2.8 million in management fees
    for the hotel, housed in a gleaming 33-story curved tower in Baku — even though
    the hotel never opened. De Waal said the
    the real estate market in Azerbaijan has been hammered by the drop in
    oil prices and devaluations of the country’s currency.

    Azerbaijan shares a
    border with Iran, and the company has lobbied vigorously for the interests of
    its state-owned oil company and in
    hopes of swaying members of Congress to its side in a long-running territorial
    dispute with Armenia, another neighbor.

    But Garten said any
    potential issues on conflicts with U.S. policy are “not a basis to terminate
    the contract.” The Baku tower had been stalled for over a year, he said; he
    wouldn’t talk about how much money the company may be owed. The letter
    canceling the deal was sent Nov. 30.

    “It’s terminated —
    I mean, it’s over,” Garten said, saying there’s no continuing business dispute:
    “They don’t have to agree.”

    For now, the Trump
    name is still on the building, said Alex Raufoglu, an Azerbaijani journalist
    working in Washington. He said the cancellation would be seen as a message that
    Trump is creating some distance from
    the country’s president, Ilham Aliyev, who has cracked down on dissent
    and jailed opponents.

    The country had tried
    to play up the association with Trump by co-hosting a holiday party in Trump’s
    Washington hotel after the election.

    The Azerbaijani
    Embassy declined to comment on Trump or the hotel project.

    Garten said the
    company also has sent a default notice to the developers of another stalled
    Trump-branded project, in a Black Sea resort town in Georgia — also because,
    the Trump Organization says, the developers did not live up to the terms of the
    licensing deal. The developers, Silk Road Group, did not return requests for
    comment; after the election, it was quoted as saying it still hoped to complete
    the deal, even with Trump as president

    The Trump family
    also has apparently shelved hopes of a luxury hotel in Saudi Arabia. In 2015,
    as the Trump Organization was scouting for hotel deals in the Middle East, it
    set up eight companies with names like THC Jeddah Hotel Advisor, apparently a
    reference to the Saudi Arabian city. Four were closed that year, and the other
    four were shut down a week after the election, according to Delaware corporate

    “We looked at a
    deal and created entities in anticipation of a transaction, but there was never
    a transaction,” Garten said, adding that he did not know the details.



  • Ed Shalom

    For reference an e-mail from Joseph Tanfini, a professional journalist, is pasted below.
    Apparently, he is not of the intellectual caliber of the supporters of the sex criminal Don Juan Trump on this forum, who specialize in creating bogus entries on YouTube in a futile attempt to prove to themselves that they are IN CONTROL of their little sandbox. Since YouTube threatens their make-believe world, they have undertaken the ridiculous task of discrediting YouTube.
    They have yet to offer a single specific thought or refutation to all the facts, and confine themselves to playing silly games, and seem to think themselves the masters of scorn, derision, and put downs.
    IMHO, their attempt to shut down discourse on this serious subject is what one would expect of dedicated Jihadists. This is not to accuse them of consciously doing so, as they are merely playing out their neuroses.
    It’s been fun kicking sand back at them !!!
    Tanfani, Joseph
    Today at 1:59 PM

    Ed Shalom

    Mr Shalom,

    Thanks, that is a very good point. Thanks for writing and Happy New Year.
    Joe Tanfani

    From: Ed Shalom
    Sent: Saturday, December 24, 2016 5:40 PM
    To: Tanfani, Joseph
    Subject: Trump’s Business Conflicts are Not the Biggest Threat

    Mr. Tanfani:

    Thank you for your article “Navigating business conflicts” in Dec. 22 LA Times.

    Based upon the details you provided, I’d like to suggest to you that there is another critical dimension to this area, which you could follow up on. For example, your article states:

    “Even with the recent cancellations, Trump’s family company still profits from deals all over the world — a golf course in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; two hotel towers in Turkey; a luxury condo tower in the Philippines; a resort complex in the Dominican Republic. “The basic concern I have is that the global assets of Donald Trump may end up being “magnets” for terrorists and/or deranged people, and the only way to prevent this is for him to put his assets into a genuine blind trust, as all previous presidents have done for a 1/2 century. Because it poses a question about what may be a real and present danger, the issue was sent to the FBI’s “hot tip” line. The potential for such attacks can only be heightened by Trump’s strong condemnation of people in the Islamic world and/or Mexico, not to mention potential actions against these groups.

    • Ron Bischof

      Mr. Tanfani was being polite, Mr. Shalom. So am I.

      • Gene Walker

        I so enjoy Edna’s entries here. I picture him dressed up like Dana Carvey as “The Church Lady” from Saturday Night Live as he is posting his drivel.

        Edna is oblivious to Mr. Tanfani’s obvious attempt at avoiding further discussion of Edna’s point of view. He has no doubt received similar brush-offs so often from his other victims (Signal management, Sheriffs, FBI) that he now believes that being summarily dismissed = tacit agreement.

        Again, I feel sorry for his children.

  • Ed Shalom

    Thank you, Mr. Bischof, for slogging through these lengthy posts of mine. I wonder how you know that Mr. Tanfini was just being polite, since he is clearly one who provides facts rather than judgments. You seem to be identical to him in a reverse manner, since you provide judgments rather than facts (I have yet to see a single one from you!). However, since you say you are being polite, I will take you at your word, although I dread encountering you when you are being rude.
    There’s a big world outside your sandbox – why don’t you learn to enjoy it ?

    • Ron Bischof

      You believe you’re being witty and provocative, Mr. Shalom. It’s cute and you’re welcome to whatever pleasant fiction suits you. 🙂