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The Presidency as a cash cow


A company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, stands to receive more than $400 million from a prominent Chinese company that is investing in the Kushners’ marquee Manhattan office tower at 666 Fifth Ave.

The planned $4-billion transaction includes terms that some real estate experts consider unusually favorable for the Kushners. It provides them with both a sizable cash payout from Anbang Insurance Group for a property that has struggled financially and an equity stake in a new partnership.

The details of the agreement, which is being circulated to attract additional investors, were shared with Bloomberg. It would make business partners of Kushner Cos. and Anbang, whose murky links to the Chinese power structure have raised national security concerns over its U.S. investments. In the process, an existing mortgage owed by the Kushners will be slashed to about a fifth of its current amount.

President Donald Trump may be adding a new conflict of interest to the ones he has already accumulated regarding the nation of China — namely, his reported decision to host a two-day summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Trump is planning a key meeting between himself and the Chinese leader at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Axios is reporting, with “tentative dates” set for April 6-7. The summit is intended to diffuse tensions between the two countries on a number of geopolitical and economic issues.

In February, President Barack Obama’s chief ethics czar Norm Eisen told The Washington Post that “we’ve had a lot of presidents who hosted foreign leaders away from the White House, but we’ve never in history had one do it in a place where he’s selling memberships for hundreds of thousands of dollars a pop. Trump just could not resist the opportunity to make an infomercial for his property. He’s worked hard all his life to generate free media. Now he’s hit the mother lode, and he’s not going to stop.”


No Politico Wants to Know: We Are Patients

From the indomitable Donna Smith:

Patients haven’t had access to our doctors without the elephant in the room for a very long time now, and that elephant is greed, plain and simple. Until we decide that healthcare access through the expansion of Medicare is the best way to finally re-engage around healthcare for patients who need it, we will fail. Until we move away from greed-driven, winner-takes-all motivation for measuring health system success, we will not break the cycle of going from one dysfunctional model to another.

Greed in the systems — health and political — is nothing new. But in 2017, that greed has reached epic levels. Republicans are smirking and smiling their collective way toward making sure the wealthy are happy and the health industry dollars keep flowing into their coffers. Democrats must stop simply pushing back against the repeal of the ACA/Obamacare as a strategy to make the Republicans look bad leading into yet another campaign cycle for 2018. Patients are not stupid people. Patients know when they are being worked. Patients are angry and worried and even scared in some cases. Taking advantage of that anger, worry and fear for political gain is among the greediest things going on in this period.

The greed that is harming patients in the U.S. healthcare system is growing exponentially. Greedy insurance companies. Greedy providers — including greedy doctors (say it isn’t true), dentists, hospital systems, etc. Greedy pharmaceutical companies. Patients are never allowed to forget the greedy demands — premiums, co-pays and deductibles are calculated and collected from us before any healthcare is delivered. Most patients take that into account before submitting to the embarrassment and sadness of not being able to pay and the disgust about paying so much and in advance of any services actually rendered. Patients are so reviled by the entire system that the system works to protect itself from us. Patients ought never to forget our current place in the U.S. healthcare industry. Widgets. Patients are widgets. Broken widgets, damaged widgets and imperfect widgets interrupt profit flow.


How Progressive Cities Can Reshape the World — And Democracy

Wow. Pretty inspiring. Barcelona

1. The best way to oppose nationalist anti-immigrant sentiment is to confront the real reasons life is shit. …
The reason you can’t afford your rent is because of predatory tourism, unscrupulous landlords, a lack of social housing, and property being purchased as overseas investments. The reason social services are being cut is because the central government transferred huge amounts of public funds into the private banks, propping up a financial elite, and because of a political system riddled with corruption.

While Barcelona played a leading role in initiating a network of “cities of refuge,” simply condemning anti-immigrant nationalism isn’t enough. In a climate where popular municipal movements are providing a strong narrative as to what they see as the problem — and identifying what they’re going to do about it — it’s incredibly difficult for racist and nationalist narratives based on lies and hatred to take root. …

3. A politics that works begins by listening. …

5. Politics doesn’t begin with the party. …

And much more.



not sure if this will show up as I am having login issues.

comment posted by humphrey


The comment registered BUT I do not seem to be logged in. HAD to follow a roundabout path to comment and my user name shows up in a different shade of blue in the above comment.


LD if you read this maybe this will help in resolving the issue

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