Corrupti-looza: Biden family wastes no time profiting from public office
In one-party states such as the old PRI-ruled Mexico, the stealing tended to start late. Before a Mexican president was escorted out for the next, he and his would sweep the presidential palace for everything not nailed down -- the lightbulbs, the toilet seats, the doorknobs and more. There were exceptions, but it was generally the known narrative. In more than one Latin American country, the last-minute asset grab on the way out actually had a name -- "La Pinata." After all, as former PRI mayor of Mexico City, Carlos Hank Gonzalez, used to say: "A politician who's poor is a poor politician."
Which brings us to Joe Biden, and his family's unusually fast scramble to profit from his public office right out the gate.
Son Hunter still has his 10% China equity fund stake, contrary to what had been reported, and a new art gig just perfect for bringing in money from non-transparent sources, as the New York Post, in this excellent report notes, all because his blow-pipe 'art' done as his personal art therapy is somehow so very valuable.
Brother Frank, meanwhile, is advertising his connections to old Joe for Florida law firm he's connected with, using Joe's name in a bid to drum up business. As New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin reported:
The latest sordid example involves one of Joe’s younger brothers, Frank Biden, appearing in a Florida law firm’s ad — on Inauguration Day no less. The ad used the president’s name to draw attention to the Berman Law Group’s class-action suit against sugar cane growers.
“The two Biden brothers have long held a commitment to pushing environmental issues to the forefront,” says the ad. “The president-elect has vowed to rejoin the Paris Agreement and wants to set ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets.”
The ad, first reported by CNBC, appeared in the Daily Business Review and carried a picture of Frank Biden and quotes him saying, “My brother is a model for how to go about doing this work.”
How touching. And shameless.
Brother James hasn't changed any, still under federal investigation for a hospital company that feds say isn't being run properly.
Bidens of all sorts are under federal investigation for tax evasion, money-laundering, and unregistered agent foreign ties, as this Politico report citing Hunter notes.
And it seems to be having a knock-on effect as Vice President Kamala Harris's stepdaughter, Ella Emhoff, an art student (which generally isn't the most employable of professions), has suddenly gotten a fancy modeling contract, to be a 'style icon,' which hadn't been her forte until the establishment noticed she was close to power. Now they're gushing about her, selling her as stylish as emperor's new clothes. Kamala Harris, meanwhile, might just owe someone a favor.
It's happening, Goodwin observes, because the Bidens have been doing it for decades, and never with any consequences. Now that Joe's 'the big guy' and not a mere vice president, for them it's all the better.
Which is true enough as far as it goes, but still doesn't entirely explain the speed of the influence-peddling and pocket-lining -- why, contrary to the Mexican and Latin American model -- did the rush to grab money start on day one?
With these questionable acts starting early -- despite Joe's call to brother Frank to 'watch yourself,' what seems a distinct possibility is that the family members think the gig is not going to last so the time to act is now.
Maybe they're betting Joe isn't going to last for one reason or another. That might explain why they are rushing to scarf up all they can without covering their tracks. They're like fund managers divesting a stock --- quickly, and all at once. Fund managers buy stocks quietly and gradually on expectations the price will go up, but when they think it's heading down, they don't play around, they dump it all at once and don't care who's watching.
That kind of desperation seems to be evident in House Biden's quick bid to cash in all at once, too. Do they know something we don't? Do they expect their window of opportunity will be short? How is it they can jump up so fast to cash in, even against warnings from Joe, who after all, assured the voters last fall with this malarkey:
“My son, my family will not be involved in any business, any enterprise that is in conflict with or appears to be in conflict, with inappropriate distance from the presidency and government,” he said.
Even with the spotlight on, for them, it's as if the walls are closing in and Gotterdammerung is beckoning. If that's not a vote of low confidence in the durability of Joe and his presidency, what really is?
Image: Screen shot from a camera aimed at a television set, processed with FotoSketcher.