Give Him Credit For Consistency…

Give Trump credit for one thing: he’s consistent. He has gone through a year of campaigning and four years with the title of President without learning much of anything about effective political strategy or even how government operates. He has remained fixated on one thing and one thing only: himself.

As Americans have been treated to yet another in a tiresome stream of Presidential hissy-fits–this time, about affixing his signature to a document negotiated by his own administration–we’ve once again allowed a Trumpian tantrum to distract from a very interesting provision contained in the National Defense Authorization Act that he vetoed at about the same time. His explanation for that veto–the first time ever that an NDAA has been vetoed–was that it included a provision requiring the renaming of military bases that are currently named for confederate generals, in what I’m sure he agrees was a war of northern aggression…

Heather Cox Richardson pointed to what was likely the real sticking point.

It includes a measure known as the Corporate Transparency Act, which undercuts shell companies and money laundering in America. The act requires the owners of any company that is not otherwise overseen by the federal government (by filing taxes, for example, or through close regulation) to file a report that identifies each person associated with the company who either owns 25% or more of it or exercises substantial control over it. That report, including name, birthdate, address, and an identifying number, goes to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The measure also increases penalties for money laundering and streamlines cooperation between banks and foreign law enforcement authorities.

America is currently the easiest place in the world for criminals to form an anonymous shell company which enables them to launder money, evade taxes, and engage in illegal payoff schemes. The measure will pull the rug out from both domestic and international criminals that take advantage of shell companies to hide from investigators…

As Richardson points out, the ability to use shell companies to mask what is really going on means America’s political system is awash in secrecy. The Donald almost certainly wants to keep it that way.

We know that the Trump family has embraced the use of shell companies. Michael Cohen used such a shell company to pay off Stormy Daniels. Media outlets have recently reported that Jared Kushner created a shell company that allowed Trump to secretly spend more than $600 million in campaign funds. New York prosecutors have been investigating a number of other money-laundering accusations–many including Deutsche Bank, where officers managing his accounts recently resigned.

Not only would the Corporate Transparency Act make shell company shenanigans illegal going forward, its provisions would apply to existing entities. As Richardson writes,

Congress needs to repass the NDAA over Trump’s veto—indeed it is likely that the CTA was included in this measure precisely because the NDAA is must-pass legislation—and both the CTA and the NDAA bill into which is it tucked have bipartisan support. Trump has objected to a number of things in the original bill but has not publicly complained about the CTA in it. It will be interesting to see if Congress repasses this bill in its original form and, if not, what changes it makes.

Follow the money…


  1. I too am anxiously watching the Senate’s reaction to the veto. Will they strip the CTA from the original bill, or will they really put it to Trump and keep the bill intact?
    Meanwhile, this old lady wants to know if Senator Elizabeth Warren had anything to do with writing that CTA bit of legislation.

  2. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

    I will put forth my argument regarding Trump’s one year of campaigning and four years with the title “president”. Donald Trump has been periodically threatening to run for president for decades; he has not stopped campaigning since he slithered down that escalator in 2015 and continues today campaigning for the 2020 and 2024 presidential elections. As for the title “president”; how many have noticed how often newscasters and elected officials refer to him simply as “Trump” or “Mr. Trump”; foregoing the honorable title of President?

    His veto of the National Defense Authorization Act, containing the Corporate Transparency Act, is probably his primary reason to veto the entire Act due to the CTA “hidden in the small print” of the NDAA. The public reason given has been his stand against renaming military bases named for Confederate Generals. This is in keeping with his racist White Nationalist administration and Congressional foundation.

    Out of the past: “Trump creates evidence faster than the House can draw up Articles of Impeachment.” Washington Post, December 7, 2019

    With Trump it always leads to “Follow the money…”

  3. First, Trump’s apparent consistency is due to his psychopathy. Second, perhaps his trainer and master, Vladimir Putin wants shell companies here to continue laundering his money. Duetsche Bank is about to be sanctioned, so Putin needs a new “friend”. VOILA!

  4. I completely disagree with this statement: “He has gone through a year of campaigning and four years with the title of President without learning much of anything about effective political strategy or even how government operates.”

    Those who still believe the government is a republic/democracy are the ones who don’t know how the government works. We are an oligarchy ruled by the few. The POTUS is just a figurehead. I believe Ike warned us in his farewell speech about who was running the government. The political parties are actors. Trump is an actor. Trump’s gambit raised enough money since the election to pay off the loans he owes to Russian oligarchs.

  5. We cannot give Trump all of the credit or blame for consistency; below I have copied and pasted a quote from President John. F. Kennedy’s Civil Rights speech on June 11, 1963:

    “We face, therefore, a moral crisis as a country and a people. It cannot be met by repressive police action. It cannot be left to increased demonstrations in the streets. It cannot be quieted by token moves or talk. It is a time to act in the Congress, in your State and local legislative body and, above all, in all of our daily lives.”

  6. Trump is indeed consistent. Thus his objection to renaming military posts is racist, of course, but he also hates white people who stand in his way, so he’s consistent. The CTA may be stripped from the bill in the Senate since senators, like Trump with Stormy, money laundering and theft of campaign funds via is son in law, may have reason to see it go the way of all coverups. Trump might not have (in truth) objected to the CTA if it were inapplicable to current shells, and yes, as Theresa opines, I suspect my primary choice for president, Elizabeth Warren, had something to do with it. I hope so, and I hope it stays within the omnibus bill since we need defense not only from without but also from within.

  7. There goes the Trump Organization’s rinse cycle. Следи за деньгами indeed.

  8. I think Heather Cox Richardson hit on the crux of the veto. I was amazed that something like that could have slipped in, and then passed by both parties. There don’t have to be too many Republican Senators to buck the party and do what is right for the country to vote down an amendment, but would Mitch McConnell shut down the country by refusing to bring a vote to override the veto.

    Somebody was very clever with a significant piece of legislation.

  9. WADR – now tucking totally non-related stuff into legislation is “very clever”, when you agree with it. We need to stop that crap and conduct governing in the open and transparently. This now-commonplace ideological/partisan tactic is why Americans don’t trust government and don’t vote.

  10. Todd,
    no doubt the money from oleg etc, but hes still getting support when he dives on 1/21 from russia. putin will open arms him,and if trump wants to reneg,his SS will protect him..but trumps dream is a hotel in red square. its status for him and putin get free residence. oleg will no doubt be the hand out between freaks. like we discussed i earlier discussions,the media equal time. if this country had any idea that trump was dealing backroom hands with thugs,in real life,would that had made a diffrence if national media was to expose it? he is under investigation for money laundering thru his casinos and property with russians. (James Henry and Jim brower,heritage fund rip)trumps life is all me. Americans who support a democracy have now seen how the rule of law in trumps world works. maybe some house cleaning from the feds own records now,would set a standard. anyone who participated back when,the demonstrations were against war and race issues, how the fbi recorded all the places and took names. chicago,kent,gainsville,oakland,berkly. im sure with all the tracking by cell phone radar, whos,who,and when. of course the rule here was off shore,etc. investgative journalists are now in the spotlight. Assange is in front of a extradition hearing right now. the rules regarding journalists hang in this judgement. if hes extradited,the rule of free journalism will be under the same spotlite as the protesters,and our cell phone tracking. we may have a place for the off shore loopholes in this defence bill, but we damn sure dont want people who have the backbone to point a solid finger at whos,screwing who. trumps regard for the free media is the same as corprate Americas regard for free media. trump didnt like the truth following him, and damn sure had all of corprate American media think tanking every word out his sewer. the real positive here is, we have witnessed how,and who,can devise,and shape Americans thoughts and actions into jerking the leash,and getting its way..

  11. Theres a list of what trump has erroded in workers rights and strenthened corprate labor laws.
    the EPI.ORG w/Robert Reich. only 50 ways to screw your worker. (song anyone?) and they still see trump as a god..

  12. The wealthy have plenty of advantages over the poor in maintaining wealth redistribution up. We talk about them almost daily here. The Corporate Transparency Act removes only one but it’s a start towards the goal of letting workers, the creators of everyone’s wealth, keep more of what they create.

    What, Georgia, can be done about unseating Mitch McConnell as assistant dictator?

  13. Thank you, Joanne, for the reminder: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Vernon, yes, the fool’s psychopathology puts strict limits on his behavioral repertoire. It even makes him think that he is in charge of himself!
    Peggy, there are some who think that, indeed, he will go to an island, Jeffrey Epstein’s, where, these folks think, Jeffrey may be living.
    It is always follow the money with Dumpy. And, he always has an excuse. If congress overrides the veto, with the CTA intact, the drama quotient in the WH will soar to new, still more dizzying, heights

  14. From the Guardian:
    Donald Trump suffered fresh humiliation on Monday when more than a hundred Republicans joined Democrats in the House of Representatives to override his veto of a $741bn defence bill.

    If, as expected, the Senate follows suit later this week, it will be Congress’s first such rebuke of his presidency, which has only three weeks left to run.

    During a high-stakes day on Capitol Hill, the Democratic-controlled House also voted to boost coronavirus relief payments to $2,000 per person. Bernie Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, is pushing for a Senate vote on the $2,000 payments.

    Trump had demanded direct stimulus payments to US citizens be increased to $2,000 as opposed to the agreed $600. On Monday the House voted 275-134 in favor of the higher sum, with 44 Republicans joining Democrats.

    Sanders said he would block the veto override vote until there was a vote scheduled on the direct payments, potentially forcing senators to stay in Washington DC over the holiday weekend. In a retweet about Sanders’ plan, Trump said: “Give the people $2000, not $600. They have suffered enough!”

    Sanders said: “This week on the Senate floor Mitch McConnell wants to vote to override Trump’s veto of the $740bn defense funding bill and then head home for the New Year. I’m going to object until we get a vote on legislation to provide a $2,000 direct payment to the working class.”

    This is typical a bloated Defense Budget will likely be approved. However, it will be a bitter fight with the GOP to approve a $2,000 payment.

  15. What we could use is a bill proscribing all of the anti-American acts Trump committed during the past 4 years. It would be long and detailed, and would include all of the infractions we believed presidents to be incapable of until Dumpty came along. At the top, I would put a requirement that the bill peremptorily forbid all attempts by legislators to place their lips (literally or figuratively) anywhere on the presidential corpus. Line 2 would make it a jailable crime for legislators to give in to attempts at bribery or intimidation by any government official or his agent. Clause 3 might restrict presidential love affairs with foreign dictators. Clause 4 would require the president to undergo an annual mental health checkup by a body of non-partisan psychiatrists required to publish their result. Could there be more?

  16. For all you folks clapping loudly for $600 or $2,000 direct payments to help those most suffering for the pandemic…suggest you consider (unlike Col. Sanders) how unbelievably this simply reinforces inequality:

    – $600 – payment will benefit 89 percent of households
    – $2,000 – payment will benefit 94 percent of households

    BONUS – under the House expansion passed yesterday, a family of five would get at least some stimulus money if they earned up to $350,000

    Governing is not pushing buttons…

  17. That’s what democracy at the level of the legislature is for. The President is objecting to the removal of history. The people did speak when they passed the bill. My question is Will the senate change the name of a building named after a racist democrat senator? Apparently not, No one objected to a systemic racist being elected President having sponsored the 1994 crime bill putting several black people into jail over a long period of time for petty crimes.
    Remember most people in the south didn’t own slaves, they objected at the tequest of states that opposed their “right to property”, slaves. It was the constitution that guaranteed the rights given by God thru that document. That document also established the freedom of all people not to have a government that taxed them to pay for other peoples welfare. The federalist papers outlined the rights not to be governed by a central government but the states govern themselves which makes up yhe democratic republic. If we forget thst this document is there to protect us from the corruption of men or women in which yhe governing body has declared a right tour property at whatever levrl deemed reasonable then we lose our freedom to the ehim of a political structure not intended for this land which was secured by our founders.

  18. The rights of men were guaranteed in the constitution. Thats what the civil war was fought over, the right of the individual not to be owned by anyone.
    The nation state not the central governing body should be making most of the laws, but even if we are to secure healthcare to be provided thru government means for the poor,the way to this is through the states. The corruption of the central government and those wishing to govern at this level are more likely to fall into corruption which will more likely be procured at a national level.
    This why we have a republic, we are much more likely to achieve a national healthcare by creating 50 Scandinavian type states of various degrees than to cause a federal government with uncontrollable debt to govern those not wanting to be governed by a central government.
    Politicians at the local level can more easily be controlled. For instance as Gov Newsom will keep his winery open and close down businesses in his state. Such hypocrisy can be more easily controlled as now people from both parties are upset with him.
    It appears that many Politicians are rarely in office for the good of the state, but for selfish reasons. Follow the money is correct, Stephen Colbert had Mr Trump on his program and said everyone loves Donald Trump and the crowd was cheering as he announced him as a possible candidate for President.
    No where is this clip to be found in social media. History on all levels is being destroyed for the sake of a narrative that makes the culture disappear.

  19. Less corruption at state and lower levels of government?

    Surely you jest.

    When you’re living under a lean-to in the forest, eating forage, wearing animal skins, you’re not under the control of a “central government”(a dog-whistle phrase).

    All governments are central. Some are hierarchical.

    Democracy doesn’t work for long. It has a shelf life determined by access to power grabs.

    George Washington warned us about political parties, and so did Ben Franklin with his apocryphal comment about “…a Republic, if you can keep it!”

    Parties are ideologies, the disaster recipe for politics where humans are involved.

    We’ve evolved to fail at governance. Political philosophers since ancient times knew it.

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