Patterico's Pontifications


Report: Trump’s Stalled Buenos Aires Project Revived After Call with Argentinian President

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:00 pm

Remember that call Trump had with the Argentinian President? There were rumors that he had discussed a Trump Organization project in Buenos Aires in that call. But Trump’s people argued that the project was already approved, and that the subject never came up. Now a new report says the project was stalled before the call, after which it suddenly was revived:

Three days after the phone call between Trump and Macri on Nov.14, Trump’s associates at Buenos Aires firm YY Development Group announced that the construction project would go ahead, in an interview with La Nación (link in Spanish). The tower’s construction had reportedly been held up for years, for various reasons, with YY Development actively restarting construction permit requests when pro-business Macri took over from statist former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Jan. 2016.

There’s nothing substantive to confirm that the phone call and construction announcement are linked, but local news media have reported that the call itself was arranged in very unusual fashion. Macri, who is son of one of Latin America’s richest men and has reportedly known Trump since beating him at golf in the 1980s, had backed the wrong horse at the election, openly supporting Hillary Clinton. Accordingly, a crisis meeting was called to work out how to put relations on the right track (Spanish language) with Trump’s administration.

La Nación reports that foreign minister Susana Malcorra eventually made contact with Trump’s son Eric, with the assistance of close Trump business associate Felipe Yaryura. An Buenos Aires-based businessman and a co-owner of YY Development, Yaryura was with the Trump team and family at the post-election celebrations in the Hilton hotel in New York. Malcorra and Eric Trump reportedly had a “nice and cordial” conversation, with Eric telling Malcorra that his father would talk with Macri when his timetable allows. He then put her in touch with Trump’s foreign affairs team.

Trump has taken a very cavalier attitude towards the entire conflict of interest issue, telling the New York Times that the law is on his side and that the President can’t have conflicts of interest:

It’s reminiscent of Nixon’s dictum that it’s not illegal if the President does it.

Trump doesn’t even have to bring up a deal like this in a call with a foreign leader. As long as he still retains a financial interest in the Trump Organization, foreign governments will do him favors. And he seemingly has no intention of changing that scenario. It’s a side benefit!

Apparently Trump thinks that, having won the Presidency despite a lifetime of shady deals and questionable ethics, there’s no reason to change who he is now. Apparently he thinks he has no need to worry about the inevitable barrage of stories to come about the obvious inherent conflicts of interests between his businesses and his office.

Maybe he’s correct about that. But it doesn’t make it right.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

Nikki Haley In, Ben Carson Willing

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:40 am

[guest post by Dana]

In spite of throwing barbs and accusations at each other during the primaries, President-elect Donald Trump has selected governor of South Carolina and daughter of Indian immigrants Nikki Haley as U.N. ambassador.

Here is Trump’s statement:

Governor Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country. She is also a proven deal maker, and we look to be making plenty of deals. She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage.

Haley explains why she accepted the nomination:

I always expected to finish the remaining two years of my second term as governor. Not doing so is difficult because I love serving South Carolina more than anything. I was moved to accept this new assignment for two reasons. The first is a sense of duty. When the President believes you have a major contribution to make to the welfare of our nation, and to our nation’s standing in the world, that is a calling that is important to heed. The second is a satisfaction with all that we have achieved in our state in the last six years and the knowledge that we are on a very strong footing.

Haley will remain governor of South Carolina until confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Her detractors have pointed out that she agreed to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of her state’s capitol, she is a favorite of the GOP establishment, and that she is soft on immigration (ironically then-candidate Trump made that accusation).

Also, in another move sure to “blunt criticism” that Trump’s selections have come from a pool of old white men, Dr. Ben Carson released a statement this morning saying that he would be willing to accept a position in the Trump administration:

Winning the presidential election was only the first step for those who love traditional America and do not wish to fundamentally change it. Now the hard work begins of restoring the values that made us great. We must bring back the compassion and the unity that empowers us and banish the divisiveness that weakens us. After serious discussions with the Trump transition team, I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly to making our inner cities great for everyone. We have much work to do in strengthening every aspect of our nation and ensuring that both our physical infrastructure and our spiritual infrastructure is solid. An announcement is forthcoming about my role in helping to make America great again.

Word is that Dr. Carson is being looked at to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. (On a side note, strolling through the post-election wasteland known as Twitter, I see that a number of people consider a black man being made the offer to head up HUD to be typically racist Because “Urban”. No mention that such an assumption is denigrating to Carson and bigoted in itself… ) And while it’s true that Carson has no experience running government, it’s hard to see just how he could screw up the agency any more than it already is.


New Hotline Helps Lefties Discuss Racial Justice at Thanksgiving Dinner

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:30 am

Worried about how to handle political discussions at the Thanksgiving dinner table? Have no fear! There’s a new hotline that helps you talk to your relatives about racial issues while they’re trying to enjoy family time together!

There is that famous old saying that one should never discuss politics or religion at the dinner table. But an organization created to help white people talk to other whites about race is urging the opposite approach this Thanksgiving.

Many Americans have expressed anxiety over attending this year’s holiday meal if the company’s politics will be mixed. But Showing Up for Racial Justice, or SURJ (pronounced Surge), is urging that people not shy away from uncomfortable conversations.

And if the conversation hits a stalemate, SURJ has created a hotline that provides real-time support to keep the dialogue going.

Inspired by Butterball’s decades-old hotline that provides turkey-cooking help over the holiday season, SURJ’s version invites anyone to text SOS to 82623 to receive a menu of hot-button topics including immigration, the economy, a “Muslim ban” and when someone says “I’m not a racist.” Then SURJ will send a brief talking point on that topic to help guide the conversation.

If the text prompt won’t do, there will also be representatives standing by to call the person and coach them through how to respond thoughtfully and not aggressively.

I read the above passage to my millenial daughter, and she asked me if it was from The Onion. It sure reads that way, doesn’t it? But it’s not. It’s from the Washington Post. Below, I have imagined how a call to the hotline might go.

MILLENIAL: Hello, I have an emergency. We’re here at the Thanksgiving dinner table and my Uncle Frank doesn’t want to have a discussion about racial justice.

HOTLINE: Not to worry, I can help you through this. Is he white?


HOTLINE: [Sighs] White people are the worst when it comes racial issues. I should know. I’m one myself.


HOTLINE: Let’s see. Have you told him about the history of racial oppression in this country?

MILLENIAL: Of course!

HOTLINE: Did you mention that as a white male, he has white privilege that he can’t get rid of?

MILLENIAL: More than once.

HOTELIN? And that he needs to be aware of that and atone for it?

MILLENIAL: Yes. He told me to shut up about politics for once and pass the stuffing.

HOTLINE: That’s a typical reaction. Here’s what you do. Write this down and tell Uncle Frank this, word for word. “Uncle Frank, this dinner is on hold until you admit the white man’s history of racial injustice, and promise to do better, starting with attending tomorrow’s Rally Against Racism.” Tell him that and let me know how it went.

[Noises in background, yelling.]

MILLENIAL: [Crying] He says I can’t have any pumpkin pie if I don’t stop talking about this. I gotta go. [Click and dial tone.]

HOTLINE: [Sighs] White people.


Happy Thanksgiving!

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

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