Jul 092017

2017 G20 Summit, 2018 Global Climate Action, Volvo Electric, Ethics Belly-Up In Washington


Highlights of last weeks’ Los Angeles news, California news, United States news and world news


The 4th of July has come and gone.


Los Angeles sworn in its Democratic City Leadership for the second term: good for us and good for our City.  


Meanwhile in Sacramento, our fine Democratic Governor Jerry Brown announced that San Francisco will convene the 2018 Climate Action Summit. His unprecedented decision will make California the first U.S. STATE to host an international climate change conference with the direct goal of supporting the Paris Agreement. (What else to do when the federal government consists of billionaires who can afford to evacuate to an alternate planet while the rest of us can’t? Someone had to take the lead and coordinate efforts to keep the United States and the Earth from boiling over….) California supports the Paris Agreement even if President Trump doesn’t. Thanks God, Governor Brown – unlike the President – has the wisdom, foresight and integrity of a leader!


President Trump went to Europe to attend the 2017 G20 summit. Among the “highlights” of his trip were:

  • a visit to Poland, among the topics President Trump discussed with the Polish President was freedom of the press


  • and his first, closed-door, meeting with President Putin. The two leaders agreed on a temporary cease fire in Syria. President Putin denied any “meddling” in our elections.
  • Ivanka Trump has taken her father’s seat – and his role – on an occasion or two astounding us and the leaders of the world. (After all, the G20 summit is a conference of elected world leaders, not a family party.)


While the 2017 G20 summit run its course isolated from the “real world” outside, massive crowds took to the streets of Hamburg, Germany to protest the spread of unbridled capitalism that tramples workers rights….


Here at home, Mr. Walter Shaub Jr., the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, announced that he’s resigning. Having tried unsuccessfully to enforce ethics rules on the current administration, Mr. Shaub is doing the only honorable thing he has left: he is giving up a job which duties are impossible to fulfill.

He tried to convince President Trump to separate himself from his private business affairs and failed. He agonized over issuing improperly requested retroactive ethics waivers to White House staffers. Having faced numerous ethical improprieties that couldn’t be – and shouldn’t have been – ignored, he eventually gave up.

Asked directly by an interviewer whether the White House / President Trump committed any actual violations, the Director of the Office of Government Ethics replied diplomatically that as much as it is possible that no major rules were broken by the current administration, the actions of the White House raise so many ethical concerns that the public will never know for sure whether the President’s actions are driven by the best interests of the Country or his desire to enrich himself.

When the Director of the Office of Government Ethics gives up because ethics is rejected and ignored by the White House, it is time to worry. When our own government refuses to act in ethical way; when the proposed changes, new laws and regulations raise too many ethical questions (case in point, the healthcare bill that no sane member of the House supports) REMEMBER that the guy in charge of enforcing ethics walked away in despair. (And he knows more than we do.)

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich




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