Shiny and Chrome

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

(Cartoonist - Matt Wuerker)

In other news, former Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) nations are reportedly close to signing a deal to move on with the agreement without the United States. They have an agreement "in principle."

Meanwhile, acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke is reportedly considering resigning because the White House has pressured her to end protected status for Hondurans.

Finally, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has another major conflict of interest. He apparently owns a shipping business that will transport liquidized gas. This is a conflict because Ross is responsible for deals involving natural gas.

The shipping company’s own documents suggest that Ross’ company may benefit from an important initiative that he has led as commerce secretary: securing a trade agreement with China to increase U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The shipping company in which Ross' financial partnerships still have a 31 percent stake, Navigator Holdings, exports a different energy product, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). But Navigator’s own statements, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, say that when there’s a global expansion in LNG production facilities, that benefits the trade in LPG. That in turn could help Navigator’s bottom line, and thus Ross himself.

Ross’s heavy involvement in the trade agreement with China raises the question of whether his work as commerce secretary has had a “direct and predictable” effect on Navigator’s bottom line, potentially pushing the bounds of federal conflict of interest laws, according to Richard Painter, who served as the White House’s chief ethics lawyer during the George W. Bush administration.

  • ninjaf

    This cartoon…so totally right on the nose.

  • Aynwrong

    I love my nation and hope to see favorable outcomes for it’s and it’s citizens. That having been said, I can’t say I blame TPP nations if they choose to go their own way. Why in the world would they want their economies tied to ours when America is under the “leadership” of a maniacal jackass? Granted Trump won’t always be in the White House, but the world now knows that something as ridiculous as Trump can happen again.

    Good for the DHS secretary. The people coming from Honduras are refugees and need help and protection. Not demonization.

    • ninjaf

      She has only extended it for 6 months, instead of the usual 18-months, to give the next Secretary of Homeland Security time to come in and shoulder the decision. It is a brief extension but they are still in peril.

  • gescove

    Is there ANY person in the Trump administration that ISN’T there for the graft? Jeebus.

    • ninjaf

      Consulting my Magic 8 Ball, it says, “All signs point to no.”

      • Christopher Foxx

        Your 8 ball is broken because the correct answer is “Definately Not”.

  • Ceoltoir

    Get this, the Mad Max movies are actually in contemporary Australia. Strange things happen when the Aussies get lost in the Outback.