When American Presidents Protect Foreign Governments...

If a blockbuster new report from Newsweek is any indication - a Donald Trump presidency would be one giant conflict of interest.

The problems stem from Trump's massive business empire - the Trump Organization.

According to journalist Kurt Eichenwald, who wrote the Newsweek piece, the company's "....[dealings] reach into so many countries that it is impossible to detail all the conflicts they present in a single issue of this magazine".

But here's the thing - as bad as Trump is - he's not the first American presidential candidate to have an unsavory relationship with a foreign government.

Both Bushes had deep financial ties to the Saudi royal family - and 15 years after 9/11 - some people still wonder whether those financial ties played a role in President George W. Bush's decision not to look too closely into a potential Saudi role in 9/11.

It was sketchy then - it's still sketchy now.

Which is why many people support a bill passed by Congress that would allow Americans to sue the Saudi government for the role it may have played in the 9/11 attacks.

They think a lawsuit could shed further light on the Bush-Saudi connection.

But do you know who doesn't support this bill?

President Obama.

He said he would veto it - because it "threatens American national security - and he did.

But is that really true?

Who's he trying to protect?


pokerzion's picture
pokerzion 6 years 25 weeks ago

Yeah... I'm going to send this out to a few places, but somehow we need to reach these people. Here's my attempt, and please anyone send any feedback they have. Thanks.

This letter is to you, my conservative friend!

I’m a liberal. I always have been, and always will be from all accounts. If you’re a conservative reading this article right now, I’m told that there’s no way you’ll listen or hear what I have to say, and that we’re so polarized as a nation right now that it’s pretty much a waste of time. I know that’s total and utter bullshit.

You’re my neighbor. Quite literally you are. I live in Orange County, CA. It’s an extremely conservative pocket of an otherwise very progressive state. I’m married and have two children, and I often talk to you on the soccer or baseball field and we share a few laughs and screams as our kids enjoy some fun and friendly competition on the weekends. We pass each other as we’re leaving our houses and say hi, and occasionally run into each other on a walk and exchange some pleasentries. That’s the America I live in and love. And because I do love it so much, I’m not going to allow the forces in action to tear us apart and pit ourselves against each other. That is total and utter bullshit.

We have poll after poll that prove that you and I have very similar concerns, fears, and values. We’re going to disagree on some things, and that’s what makes us human, unique and ultimately beautiful. Those differences are a good thing. So when and why did we stop listening to each other, valuing our differences, and appreciating them? I have a theory, and I think if you read it, in the end, you’ll agree with me. But if you don’t agree with me, I won’t call you names. I might laugh at you silently, but never to your face. I’m not rude after all. J I will in the end respect your opinion and you, and that’s where we need to be as a country if we really want the country we all deserve and should have.

I want to first say, that as a representative of the liberal party, I’m going to go out on a limb and speak for a majority of them on a couple of things I think you’ve been told by our corporate media are true about our goals as a group and party, that are extremely far from the truth. To begin with:

  1. I don’t want your gun. Heck, I don’t even really know how to use one, and don’t really see the need. But clearly you do, and that’s fine. I just want some basic safety rules about using guns and purchasing them that I’m pretty confident you’d agree with. I want to limit their access by people with violent and criminal behavior, and terrorist.
  2. I don’t want your bible. One of my favorite parts of the American experiment is the freedom of religion. The freedom to see the world how you want to, and to have a relationship with any GOD you feel brings you closer to understanding your world, yourself, and your neighbor. I’m completely down with that. All I want is to protect us from repeating history by trying to blur too many lines between church and state. It’s the primary reason we left England and formed this beautiful country to begin with. The founders understood that this separation HAD to be diligently protected and respected, or we would just repeat history. Let’s honor their goal and not repeat history.
  3. I don’t want to support lazy people. I work hard for my money. You have to now a days. The economy has been so tilted in the favor of the wealthy elite, that we’re all forced to work much harder for our vacation time, our incomes, our retirement, and our rights as workers. I’ve yet to meet any liberal on any protest march or through casual conversation that has said to me that they think we should just give away our money. Instead we look at social programs as more cost effective methods to societal problems. Everyone has a lazy Joe or two in their family. No matter what you do to help them, they just aren’t going to get off their butt and do their fair share. Society is like your extended family, and unfortunately there’s some Joe’s out there. By and large though, people want to participate and feel good that they are making a contribution to their families and society. I’m more than open to any discussion about how to make social safety nets more robust and take up less of our hard earned money, but so far, I personally haven’t heard a better argument. We know what the outcome is if we cut these nets. It isn’t going to make people work harder, it’s going to make them steal, rob, and cause even bigger issues in our neighborhoods than already exist. Like I said, I’m open to any discussion, and I think most progressives are as well, but we already know the result of not having any social safety nets (think pre 1930’s).

I could list even more positions I think we’d be on the same page about, that the media has tried to convince both of us that we’re on opposing sides, but I think this is the core of the major misunderstanding that’s happening right now in our country. Because of the immense wealth concentration we’ve had in the last 35+ years in this country, the wealthy elite have a strangle hold on the political direction and views of this country. If we don’t stop, get absolutely raw honest with one another, you’re going to have even more extreme Donald Trump’s representing your party. And I’ve spoken to enough of you to know that most of you are embarrassed by your candidate. I’m here to say that the change we need to correct these issues literally lies in your hands. You’re going to need to entertain the possibility, that maybe, you haven’t been as informed or correct in your positions in supporting what has now become the new Republican party. This is not the same party I understood and knew growing up, and I’m confident you know that at some level.

So let’s put all of the bullshit aside, and I want you to just entertain this one idea for a moment. Because this one idea, and shift in our collective understanding of it, will in my opinion, re-shape the financial future of this country. Do shoe manufacturers create new jobs by getting more money from tax breaks, and thus they create more jobs because of this additional money they have from not paying as much in taxes? A company hires and creates just enough jobs in order to make the absolute most profits for themselves, and if they are publicly traded, for their investors. If they just hired more people from this extra new revenue they have now, they’d make less money for themselves and their stock holders. That goes against business 101. The answer is, no. Of course they wouldn’t. Would this extra money allow for them to create some kind of innovations in their industry that could create more jobs? If anything, a lot of the innovation would be in automation, which would eliminate jobs. There’s no real sound reason that someone could point to that will explain how this money would create new jobs. That’s why it was famously called, “Voodoo Economics” By Bush Sr. back in the 80’s, and why supply side economics has never worked anywhere, ever. It hasn’t worked in this country, and it never will.

Now, if I instead give those take breaks to average family’s that spend near 100% of their income, can this create new jobs? Yes, of course it does. And why does it? Because it’s the first thing you learn if you’ve ever taken an economics 101 class. Demand creates supply. It does not work the other way around, and anyone telling you otherwise is quite literally conning you. People have the money to purchase goods and services, and that creates demand, which in turn creates jobs. It really literally is that simple.

I could go on and on about how and why this con got started, but I want you to at least entertain this idea and reasoning for a bit. Then take a look at Donald Trump’s Tax Plan. You can find it on his website here. Just spend the 5-10 minutes reading it. You’ve already spent time reading this article to this point, might as well go big and go all the way. Compare it to Hillary Clinton’s tax plan considering what you just read. You can find it here. If you think Donald Trump’s tax plan is going to create jobs and help this country reduce its debt and service its needs, please re-read the last couple of paragraphs. Think about it some more. Ask questions to people you respect, but most importantly, don’t take Donald’s word that what he is saying is true. Because I’m here to tell you as your neighbor and someone who cares deeply about the future my kids will have in this great country, that’s it’s just simply not true. It is the same recycled plans that got us into deep recessions, because this makes the people at the top very very rich when these bubbles burst and they can buy up land and property cheaply (among other things).

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on… all of us. Let’s entertain the idea that a lot of us might have been wrong, and change our path. I trust you will do the right thing.

Outback 6 years 25 weeks ago

Obama's part of the same Neo-Liberal cabal that Hillary and Bill belong to. Always has been. So meet the new boss .... same as the old boss....

pokerzion's picture
pokerzion 6 years 24 weeks ago

So what's your solution?

kentw's picture
kentw 6 years 24 weeks ago

Well, who IS Pres Obama trying to protect? And why?

Outback 6 years 24 weeks ago

Well, Pokerzion (Jewish card shark? ;-D, as I see it, we (the people) desperately need a third party. You can't slide a thin dime between the two major political parties any more because both of them are trying to outdo each other to please their corporate masters. Sanders had the message right, but failed to deliver in the end because (IHMO) he didn't want to go down in history as the next Ralph Nader. But in fact, he would have perfermed a far greater service had he linked up with Jill Stein. True, that might have split the progressive vote. True, it might have resulted in a Trump victory, and a calamitous decade, or worse. But what if that third party bid had come close? Next time around we might have a real choice, not the "lesser of two wevils". Until we get past this binary mindset, we might as well give up. And speaking of that, the notion that people are neatly divided into "liberals and conservatives" must end. For example, I'm an independent with progressive leanings but also a gun enthusiast, a concept that blows the mind of my liberal friends. We need, collectively, to start seeing things in shades of grey and start engaging in critical thinking.

dladdwolf's picture
dladdwolf 6 years 24 weeks ago

If I had to guess, I suspect that President Obama has made a chess-like calculation on his veto. There is a down-side to opening Pandora's box for other nations to sue our nation (which the legislation could do), eliminating the immunity that the United States enjoys in other parts of the world.

If the legislation is passed by an overridden veto, there would be a political shield for the president from negative fallout from its passage. While there is a refreshing aspect to having our behavior subject to legal scrutiny from other entities, there is also the down-side; yet no nation should be able to transgress with impunity.

Having Congress override the veto vests the responsibility with the same body that has thwarted President Obama's efforts to improve our domestic conditions over the past seven-plus years.

What goes around, comes around. Let the blame fall where it must....

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 6 years 24 weeks ago

Obama knows the bill would open up a "can of drones" so to speak. The United States would be bombarded, excuse the pun, with lawsuits related to drone strikes and the collateral killing of innocent people.

Outback 6 years 24 weeks ago

Well that sounds good until you consider that Obama has been "all in" for the TPP, which opens this country up to all manner of litigation regarding even our environmental protections.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 6 years 24 weeks ago

As Thom has pointed out many times....if we lose the executive branch we lose the Judicial branch too, but we lose the Supreme Court for decades. Appointees for 30, 40, 50 years!!!! Vote third party at your own peril.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 6 years 24 weeks ago

Clinton wants to end Citizens United...that seems like quite a contrast to the Teapublic Party. Bernie is doing what we need to do, he has infiltrated the Democratic Party...follow his lead.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 years 24 weeks ago

Shame! The fear and paranoia!

How can citizens of the usa sue the government of a sovereign nation???

This mistifies me... no end!

The sheer arrogance is incredible-----

earthdog 6 years 24 weeks ago

Worried about turnabout? How about instead of stopping a means of achieving justice, you stop illegal wars and illegal drone assassinations instead.

larm007's picture
larm007 6 years 24 weeks ago

Hear! Hear!

I've actually read the Plan for the New American Century in which was said "only something like a new Pearl Harbor" would galvanize the American People behind our going to war. The PNAC was written in the 90's. There is no way office fires brought down the Towers (3 of them, actually, and yet, there are still people here who think it was just the Twin Towers). They came down by controlled demolition. The 9/11 Commission said 'office fires'. There have been fires in Skyscrapers all over the world, some that burned far longer than they did in NY on 9/11. Only one time have "office fires" have brought down Skyscrapers. And that time was 9/11. And Tower 7 wasn't even hit by a plane. Nonetheless, late in the afternoon of 9/11, it came down in freefall speed just like Towers 1 and 2. I believe that the US was either actively or passively aware of what was going to happen and at the least, allowed it to happen. A lot of money was made on Wall Street related to the airline companies involved in 9/11. Bin Laden was never put of the FBI's most wanted list for 9/11 (although he had been put on that list for the bombing of US embassies in the late 90's...know why? The FBI said they had no hard evidence that bin Laden was behind the attacks.) All flights were grounded on 9/11 after the Towers were hit....except for the one flight carrying Saudi's that was allowed to leave this country on that day. Prince Bandar was a good friend of the Bushes. With our "New Pearl Harbor" the gates were open for our attacking countries in the Middle East. While we were told the hijackers were Saudi's, our first invasion was Afghanistan, the second was Iraq for having (non-existant) WMD's, and we maintain, to this day, a relationship with Saudi Arabia....so much so that since 2010 we have authorized $60 Billion in military sales to Saudi Arabia and have concluded $48 Billion of those sales. With Congress now pushing through a bill that would allow the Saudi leadership to be held responsible for 9/11 if the victims' families can prove that any Saudi officials played a role in the attacks, the Saudi officials are threatening to sell off up to $750 Billion in US assets if the law is adopted. Sounds like this is a huge can of worms. I got this financial information from The Guardian, a respected UK newspaper. The other stuff comes from my reading just about everything on 9/11 since 2002.

So, earthdog, I hear you and believe your suggestion is absolutely right on.

BoxCar's picture
BoxCar 6 years 24 weeks ago

ONE reason Obama vetoed any lawsuit bIll of US vs Saudi Arabia wb>

It'd open a "can of worms" for foreign entities to retalliate & SUE US for crimes

committed by good ol' USA over decades, invasions & conflicts since WW2

pokerzion's picture
pokerzion 6 years 24 weeks ago

Outback... I get it and I've been where you are. But unfortunetly, politics in this country doesn't work that way. You don't get everything you want in politics, that's just the way it is. So you can either spend your time complaining about that, and not accepting the reality in front of you, or you continue the fight within the system that exists. Bernie showed something very powerful that will have an effect on future democratic candidates, and that is that you CAN raise money from the people. The main reason the democratic party has slowly become more like the Republican party (although I disagree with you that they are the same, that is hyperbole imho), is because they convinced themsleves they can't compete with the amount of money that Republicans take from the corporacracy. Bernie shattered that myth, and he's now funding and helping other progressives campaign in a similar fashion. Additionally, assuming Hillary gets elected, Bernie will be a very powerful figure in congress for years to come. He did the smart thing, and moving to Jill Stien would have set this all backwards. If I thought what you're saying had any basis in reality, I'd be right there with your brother. But again, that's just not how our system works.

We just continue the never ending fight against greed and control over others that has existed all throughout time.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 years 24 weeks ago

Religion, patriotism, greed, and all other ideological nonsense -- based on the psychological fear innate to ego-driven thought patterns -- invariably divide us from one another. That division of thought is the underlying cause of war and all the other ills that beset human beings and the "tiny blue dot" upon which we live and depend. That is our long, sad history. Realizing the limitations of that type of thought at the deepest level of our mind is the ending of it.

downinit's picture
downinit 6 years 24 weeks ago

This has absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 or Saudi Arabia. It is just an attack on the sovereignty of nations that is draped in a flag and sold off under the guise of patriotism. It paves the way and provides legal precedent for the corporate tribunals and incoming flood of lawsuits by corporations against countries for infringing on their profit margins. It is just sad that TPP-loving Obama is the only one who has the brains and the balls to call it out for being a wolf in red-white-and-blue clothing.

It is obvious even to the brain-dead members of Congress that Saudi will never pay out a dime from the oncoming dog and pony show. If Congress cared about holding Saudi accountable, it would have taking the original investigation seriously and responded with sanctions. It is the multinational corporations that will hold all of the power and wealth in the 21st century, and this is just one more step in elevating them above individual countries in the pecking order.

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