The Trump family’s grifting and exploitation of his office is so shameless and obvious to all that the stimulus package apparently has language preventing them from using it to benefit themselves. Although it does not name him but instead says that it applies to the president, other lawmakers, and their families, it is clearly Trump that lawmakers had in mind.
Amid the bullet points outlining the “significant improvements” Schumer said Democrats had made to the bill was a line prohibiting the family of the president, and other lawmakers, from receiving loans from Treasury department programs.
The letter said the deal would “prohibit businesses controlled by the president, vice-president, members of Congress, and heads of executive departments from receiving loans or investments from treasury programs. The children, spouses and in-laws of the aforementioned principals are also included in this prohibition.”
Before reaching a deal, Senate Democrats said they were concerned the economic stimulus could directly benefit the Trump family.
While this is good, you can be sure that this family of inveterate grifters will try and find a way to get around it, perhaps by using front companies.
My mind went from this bit of news to the 1949 film The Third Man, surely one of the greatest films of all time. Orson Welles plays Harry Lime who has enriched himself in post-war Vienna by stealing penicillin supplies, diluting it, and selling on the black market, resulting in many people suffering and dying. In this scene that takes place on a Ferris wheel, he tells his erstwhile friend Holly Martins (played by Joseph Cotten) in response to the reproaches of the latter that what he did is no different from what politicians do, when they cynically use their authority to enrich themselves at the expense of the rest while saying that they are working for the well being of people in general.
Now that this post has digressed into one of my favorite films, here is director Peter Bogdanovich saying that Welles told him that Harry Lime is one of the greatest star roles, even though Lime actually appears very late in the film, says very little, and does not have much screen time. He said the role is great because the anticipation of his appearance dominates the film from the beginning and that is what makes the character so memorable.
Also memorable is the theme music, from the film, now known as the Harry Lime theme, composed and played by Anton Karas on the zither.