Trump and the Blind Trust, with a nod to Obama.

NPR has a nice summary of the blind trust issues with a brief survey of recent conflicts.

Two weeks ago, the Washington Post pointed out that Trumps “adult kids” are, in fact, participating in the transition. And because we live in the era of ' "War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, Freedom is Slavery.”’, there’s an actual discussion of what constitutes a blind trust. Vanity Fair suggests Mitt Romney had already moved the bar at the presidential level.

From the Vanity Fair article: "As a freshman senator, Barack Obama—whose wealth comes almost entirely from his book royalties—set up a blind trust but later that same year sold all of his stocks and closed the trust because he decided that even such an arrangement could not protect him from the appearance of a conflict. Most of his wealth is now invested in U.S. Treasury bonds and diversified funds—about the most transparent option available. What’s good for the country is good for Obama, and vice versa, to coin a phrase.”

The Obama presidency is relatively scandal free. As far as I can recall David Petraeus is the only administration official convicted of a crime. And, as far as I can recall, this is the first administration since Jimmy Carter that a senior staffer hadn’t been convicted of a felony during the administration.

NY Times: Potential Conflicts Around the Globe for Trump, the Businessman President

Mr. Trump has acknowledged a conflict of interest in Turkey. “I have a little conflict of interest because I have a major, major building in Istanbul,” he said during a radio interview last year with Stephen K. Bannon, the Breitbart News executive who has since been designated his chief White House strategist. “It’s a tremendously successful job. It’s called Trump Towers — two towers, instead of one. Not the usual one. It’s two.”

These tangled ties already have some members of Congress — including at least one Republican representative — calling on Mr. Trump to provide more information on his international operations, or perhaps for a congressional inquiry into them.

“You rightly criticized Hillary for Clinton Foundation,” Representative Justin Amash, Republican of Michigan, said in a Twitter message on Monday. “If you have contracts w/foreign govts, it’s certainly a big deal, too. #DrainTheSwamp”

GSA's Trump Hotel Lease Debacle

As the clock ticks down towards President-elect Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration, the window is rapidly closing on the General Services Administration’s opportunity to extricate itself from the Trump Organization’s lease of the historic Post Office Pavilion. The lease—in which Donald Trump would, in effect, be both landlord and tenant—now presents unprecedented and intolerable conflicts of interest.

Why Corruption Matters

Paul Krugman explains all.

Remember all the news reports suggesting, without evidence, that the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising created conflicts of interest? Well, now the man who benefited from all that innuendo is on his way to the White House. And he’s already giving us an object lesson in what real conflicts of interest look like, as authoritarian governments around the world shower favors on his business empire.