Author: Paul Blumenthal

United Airlines Is No Angel

THE HUFFINGTON POST WASHINGTON ― The U.S.-based air carrier United Airlines is no angel. The 91-year-old airline, which on Sunday called police to violently remove a passenger who refused to give up his paid seat to a United employee, has a troubled recent history of public relations disasters and serious legal problems. Most prominently, United Airlines dabbled in corporate bribery in U.S. politics from 2011 to 2014. During those years, the airline provided special money-losing flights from Newark, New Jersey, to Columbia, South Carolina, to curry favor with David Samson, then chairman of the Port Authority of New York...

Read More

Trump’s Budget Director Blames Everyone But The President For Obamacare Repeal Failure

THE HUFFINGTON POST WASHINGTON ― There is “plenty of blame to go around” for the failure of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump’s budget director said Sunday. Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget and a former congressman from South Carolina, said on “Meet the Press” that both the hard-right House Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday Group share blame for sinking the American Health Care Act. “You could blame it on the Freedom Caucus if you want to but there’s also a lot of moderates — Charlie...

Read More

Chuck Schumer: Democrats Could Work With Trump If He Ditches His Hard-Right Policies

THE HUFFINGTON POST WASHINGTON ― Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that Democrats won’t work with President Donald Trump unless he ditches the House Freedom Caucus and his “hard right” policies. “The president campaigned as a populist against the Democratic and Republican establishments,” Schumer said on ABC’s “This Week.” “He ran as a defender of the middle class. The minute he got into office, maybe led by Vice President [Mike] Pence or some of the others, he moved so far to the hard right that it’s virtually impossible for us to work with him.” “If he changes, he could have...

Read More

Government Lets Trump Off The Hook For His Washington Hotel Conflict Of Interest

THE HUFFINGTON POST WASHINGTON ― The General Services Administration said Thursday that Trump International Hotel in Washington isn’t violating its lease with the government, even though it appears to prohibit an elected official from benefiting. The declaration by the GSA that the president’s business is in full compliance with lease terms comes after the Trump Organization modified its business structure to conform to legal language that appears to prohibit an elected official from taking part in the lease. In addition, Trump said he removed himself from management positions with his companies and placed his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric...

Read More

A Lot Of Lobbyists Are Holding Their Annual Events In Trump Properties

THE HUFFINGTON POST WASHINGTON ― The American Land Title Association, the main lobbying arm of the title insurance industry, will host 1,000 members at its annual gathering this October, which will be held at the Trump National Doral golf course and resort in southern Florida. The annual event, known as ALTA One, provides members with the “opportunity to network and build relationships with colleagues,” according to an invite for the event. It will also allow an organization actively lobbying President Donald Trump’s administration to put money in the president’s pocket. When Trump took office, he decided to maintain ownership...

Read More

Who Is Vetting The People At Mar-A-Lago? Democrats Want To Know.

WASHINGTON ― House Democrats are asking three federal agencies to explain the security measures implemented at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida to screen members, visitors and employees. Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) sent three separate letters on Friday to the FBI, the Secret Service and the Department of Labor asking each agency to explain how they are handling security at the club that the president has visited in three of his first four weekends in office. The letters were signed by 32 House Democrats. The letters come one week after Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were photographed by Mar-a-Lago members while reviewing intelligence reports on the club’s public patio during a sensitive discussion about a missile test-fired by North Korea. The White House has since stated that they did use a sensitive compartmented information facility on site to review intelligence documents. Security procedures for the review of members, their guests and the club’s employees, however, have not been revealed. That night there were dozens of club members on hand sitting mere feet away from the president. Many sat with guests, who did not pay the annual $200,000 membership fee. There was also a wedding party in one of the club’s banquet halls, which the president popped into and gave an impromptu speech. (The groom’s father was a donor to the president’s campaign.) Facebook “If it is just...

Read More

Here’s Why The Ivanka Trump Nordstrom Scandal Is A Really Big Deal

WASHINGTON ― Before taking the oath of office as president of the United States, Donald Trump swept aside concerns about conflicts of interest arising from his family business with a clear assertion: “The president can’t have a conflict of interest.” It only took three weeks into the real estate magnate’s presidency for this statement to be proven false. Although the recent spat between Ivanka Trump and Nordstrom department store is minor in scope, it has prompted, at the very least, a question of whether White House adviser Kellyanne Conway broke ethics laws by urging people to buy the president’s daughter’s branded products. But it is much more important than just that. It also shows that the president is incapable of emotionally disconnecting himself from his family’s brand-driven financial interests ― and that this incapacity has trickled down to his staff. It reveals the fiction of any separation the president maintains from his Trump Organization while it is headed by his adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric Trump. Further, members of the president’s staff appear to believe that it is their jobs, as paid representatives of the president, to defend his personal and his family’s private business interests rather than the interests of the American people. There appears to be no conception in the White House that the family business is separate from the business of government. “I actually think this...

Read More

Steve Bannon Believes The Apocalypse Is Coming And War Is Inevitable

WASHINGTON ― In 2009, the historian David Kaiser, then a professor at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, got a call from a guy named Steve Bannon. Bannon wanted to interview Kaiser for a documentary he was making based on the work of the generational theorists William Strauss and Neil Howe. Kaiser, an expert on Strauss and Howe, didn’t know Bannon from Adam, but he agreed to participate. He went to the Washington headquarters of the conservative activist group Citizens United, where Bannon was then based, for a chat. Kaiser was impressed by how much Bannon knew about Strauss and Howe, who argued that American history operates in four-stage cycles that move from major crisis to awakening to major crisis. These crises are called “Fourth Turnings” — and Bannon believed the U.S. had entered one on Sept. 18, 2008, when Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke went to Capitol Hill to ask for a bailout of the international banking system. “He knew the theory,” Kaiser said. “He obviously enjoyed interviewing me.” Bannon pressed Kaiser on one point during the interview. “He was talking about the wars of the Fourth Turnings,” Kaiser recalled. “You have the American Revolution, you have the Civil War, you have World War II; they’re getting bigger and bigger. Clearly, he was anticipating that in this Fourth Turning there would be one at least as...

Read More