Sunday, December 22, 2019

On Hunter Biden

How are board members selected in most companies. Do they need experience in the field? Is it wrong for them to be chosen because of their knowledge of the American political system, or for knowledge of American law? His being Joe's son probably had something to do with his being selected, but does it follow that Burisma was seeking illicit favors from the then vice-President? And, does it follow that he got any? To make these claims requires further evidence.

44 comments:

Legion of Logic said...

His being Joe's son probably had something to do with his being selected, but does it follow that Burisma was seeking illicit favors from the then vice-President? And, does it follow that he got any?

If he had been a Republican, that's certainly what CNN and Washington Post would be "speculating".

Regardless, I put no stock in the Hunter Biden "controversy". It is the purview of the executive branch to ensure money is not going to corrupt regimes, and the Ukranian prosecutor in the Biden "controversy" was internationally condemned for not investigating suspect officials. I see no problem with Biden tying foreign aid to the firing of a corrupt prosecutor.

bmiller said...

It is the purview of the executive branch to ensure money is not going to corrupt regimes,

I think that's an impeachable offense, right?

Legion of Logic said...

I wish we could empty out the entire lot of them and start over.

bmiller said...

I think we'd end up in the exact same place.

There was a time when most people could agree on what was fair and reasonable. I don't think all people value being fair and reasonable any more.

One Brow said...

I am copying the content of a post someone else made in a forum I frequent.

I addressed this in a previous post: it's not particularly uncommon for board members to be from lots of different industries because they aren't involved in day to day management of the company. As a result, while your questions make a surface level sense, they aren't reflective of the reality of corporate governance.

Maybe an example would help illustrate this point. I picked a random large company about which I had no knowledge regarding board composition: General Motors.
https://www.gm.com/our-company/leadership/board-of-directors.html

The board includes:

1. A former GM Executive
2. A former chairman of a space exploration company
3. A former officer of Lockheed Martin
4. The former CEO of a Pharmaceuticals corporation.
5. A former investment officer from Harvard
6. Someone from Henry Kissinger's geopolitical consulting firm
7. The chairman of Hewlett Packard
8. A former Wal-Mart officer
9. An executive of a diesel engine company
10. A dean of a canadian business school
11. The CEO of E-bay

I expect similar results if you do spot checks on lots of companies. Some have intuitive connections to the company's core business - many don't.

Rosemont had a relationship with Burisma. Hunter Biden worked for Rosemont. Burisma brought new board members on, including two high profile people from Rosemont. That's the whole story. I agree that board members getting paid as much as they do for their role is pretty much ********. Just one more distortion of the free market. :p

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
It is the purview of the executive branch to ensure money is not going to corrupt regimes,

I think that's an impeachable offense, right?

Only when done for personal benefit, not for the interest of the country.

oozzielionel said...

Only when done for personal benefit, not for the interest of the country.

This could be a false dichotomy. The interest of the country and personal benefit could align. If, in the interest of the country, an investigation concluded that there was corrupt influence by a prior administration, that could result in a positive outcome to the administration who exposed the corruption.

One Brow said...

oozzielionel,

While I agree that they could align, and have no problem when they do align, I don't see how, in the case of withholding funds from the Ukraine until they announced an investigation into Biden, they did align in this particular case.

oozzielionel said...

If there actually was any indication of corruption with even one of the Biden's, then an investigation is appropriate in a corruption rich environment like Ukraine. In the past, an investigation was something less than an accusation. It was something routine and secret with no harm if nothing was found, because it was confidential. However, an investigation is now weaponized in the minds of some. The announcement of an investigation is now as effective as a conviction. This is part of the problem. Trump was wrong to adopt the strategy of the left to conquer through innuendo. The serial accusations against Trump have all ended dry, only landing on unrelated issues on the periphery. Yet, they do their damage. And there is no consequence for false accusations.

Legion of Logic said...

The previous Ukrainian administration also acted against Trump in favor of Hillary, which by all appearances made Trump pretty mad at them. He doesn't handle slights well.

The infamous phone call was with a new, and more friendly, administration. Trump could very well wish for a stronger ally to conduct investigations into matters that he might not trust from the previous administration, since they were hostile to him.

If that phone call is an impeachable offence, then every president in history and to come will deserve impeachment. And with the scumbag Democrats setting such a hideous precedent, future presidents very well might face just such a reality unless the Democrats are strongly chastised. The best thing that could happen in 2020 would be for Pelosi and Schiff and Schumer to be replaced with someone with integrity.

Legion of Logic said...

The waters on that one are muddied, since it was based off a Politico investigation that Senate Republicans were unable to verify. But Trump doesn't strike me as the sort to sift information carefully, so just reading that article, and hearing that Ukrainian officials favored Hillary, would likely be enough to turn Trump against them and to dismiss them as not useful.

Talon said...

If that phone call is an impeachable offence, then every president in history and to come will deserve impeachment. And with the scumbag Democrats setting such a hideous precedent, future presidents very well might face just such a reality unless the Democrats are strongly chastised. The best thing that could happen in 2020 would be for Pelosi and Schiff and Schumer to be replaced with someone with integrity.

There's nothing scummy about holding the president accountable when he abuses power. If Trump actually believed the Bidens were corrupt why send his personal lawyer to dig up dirt and strong-arm the desperate Ukrainians rather than start a formal investigation? No probable cause perhaps?

If Trump was generally concerned about corruption why only mention the Bidens and Crowdstrike? New evidence shows that Trump asked the OMB to withhold funds within a few hours of a Fox News poll showing him losing to Biden.

https://twitter.com/MSNBC/status/1209278288960638978

It's suggestive that Trump believed he could lose and wanted to ruin Joe Biden's run for office with an announcement from the Ukraine. Sondland testified Trump didn't even care about a full investigation, just an announcement. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/11/sondland-testimony-trump-never-wanted-biden-investigation.html

“I never heard,” Sondland said, “anyone say that the investigations had to start, or had to be completed. The only thing I heard from Mr. Giuliani or otherwise, was that they had to be announced [publicly] in some form and that form kept changing.”

If Trump's call for the Biden investigation is as innocent and perfect as Trump claims why initially hide transcripts of the call on a sensitive server? Why only release a memo and not a full transcript? Why block officials who could exonerate him from testifying? Why can't House Republicans formulate an actual defense of Trump outside of screaming hysterics, pizza fueled "protests" and ad hominems against House Democrats?

The most "hideous precedent" is being set by the Senate GOP who have already declared they have no interest in impartiality or objectivity (McConnell and Graham) and are working with WH counsel. The best thing to happen is for Trump to resign, get removed or get replaced in 2020 and for his GOP sycophants to be replaced with candidates with integrity who won't repeat debunked Kremlin talking points and goofy conspiracy theories.

Starhopper said...

Talon,

What you fail to understand is that Trump isn't a politician - he's a cult leader. And like so many previous cult leaders, he is a serial sexual predator who is primarily interested in lining his own pockets. His followers and enablers have abandoned all reason in their mindless, slavish support for their Dear Leader, and allow nothing to penetrate their thought proof armored casings surrounding their unwavering loyalty.

I used to think that atheists were the greatest practitioners of what Ilion on this site used to call "intellectual dishonesty", but the MAGA hatters have left the atheists in the dust when it comes to that.

I think it would be easier to convert a Jehovah's Witness than to deprogram a Trump supporter. It's an exercise in futility.

I only hope that the Democrats don't even try, but concentrate on firing up their own base to outvote the idiots who continue to support this obvious fraud, this misogynistic racist xenophobic bigot, this cager of children, this insulter of disabled persons, this blasphemer, this serial sexual predator, this con man and thief, this pathological liar, this violator of his oath to protect and defend the constitution, this demeaner of veterans and POWs, this schoolyard bully, this abject coward, this servile patsy to the worst dictators and strongmen around the world, this clear and present danger to our American democracy, this (let's face it) enemy of all that is good, true, and wholesome.

Starhopper said...

Oh, and Merry Christmas Eve to all!

bmiller said...

I think it is irresponsible for Victor to stoke up hatred during the Christmas season by making his post. He had to know he would bring out the worst in people.

One Brow said...

oozzielionel said...
If there actually was any indication of corruption with even one of the Biden's, then an investigation is appropriate in a corruption rich environment like Ukraine.

However, if there is not any indication of corruption with one of the Bidens, then this becomes POTUS using Presidential power for personal gain. So, what's the evidence for corruption?

In the past, an investigation was something less than an accusation.

This has never been true in human history.

Trump was wrong to adopt the strategy of the left to conquer through innuendo.

Specks and planks.

The serial accusations against Trump have all ended dry,

By "dry", you mean 'often well-documented, but overwhelmed in the media by the next scandal'?

One Brow said...

Starhopper said...
I used to think that atheists were the greatest practitioners of what Ilion on this site used to call "intellectual dishonesty", but the MAGA hatters have left the atheists in the dust when it comes to that.

Quoting Ilion is a great way to have yourself taking lightly. I was not aware you considered me intellectually dishonest; I'm a little disappointed.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
I think it is irresponsible for Victor to stoke up hatred during the Christmas season by making his post. He had to know he would bring out the worst in people.

We/ve been much more vitriolic in other threads.

Merry Christmas to all.

Starhopper said...

One Brow,

I do believe that atheism (not necessarily individual atheists) is intellectually dishonest in not acknowledging the utter nihilism and amorality (not immorality) that are the inevitable end product of atheism. Such denial is likely a defense mechanism. It's hard to accept that life is totally meaningless and that there is no rational basis to being good.

But Trump supporters are far worse, by a long shot, in that they know that their Dear Leader is all the things I listed above, and yet insist that it either does not matter or they they do not care.

bmiller said...

'Christians' spouting hate on Christmas Eve.
What an example to set.

Starhopper said...

Huh? Since when is expounding the unvarnished and perfectly objective truth "hate"?

Strange perspective you have. Must be guilt feelings.

bmiller said...

Loving your neighbor does seem to be a strange perspective to non Christians.

bmiller said...

Imputing evil motivations to those who disagree with you seem to be the creed of a different cult.

Starhopper said...

If you think a single word of what I wrote is "hate", then kindly demonstrate where I'm wrong. Otherwise, I'll have to assume that you're just engaging in projection.

I note that the only one bringing up "hate" here is you. I'm just dispassionately dealing with plain fact. Every word of my posting is just "the way it is". No hate needed.

bmiller said...

Have fun indulging yourself on Christmas Eve.
You apparently aren't interested in what you look like to others.

Starhopper said...

"Imputing evil motivations to those who disagree with you"

Funny. That's what your president does all the time. No one can criticize him without being "sick", "shifty", "corrupt", or worse.

Starhopper said...

"You apparently aren't interested in what you look like to others."

I have zero interest in how I appear to MAGA hatters, just as I care not what neonazis, white nationalists, Putin lovers, members of the Westboro Baptist Church, or Islamic extremists think of me.

Starhopper said...

"non Christians"

In my books, a Christian is anyone who can recite every word of either the Apostles' or the Nicene Creeds and mean it. Everything else is not part of the definition.

You can even support the current president and be a Christian (although you would not be acting as one).

bmiller said...

Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!

May everyone and their family have a Merry, Peaceful and Safe Christmas.

Legion of Logic said...

There's nothing scummy about holding the president accountable when he abuses power.

That's not what makes House Democrats walking human excrement. Starhopper may think I'm a Trump supporter and thus part of this "cult" - another talking point being spread by his obvious news sources - but if I appear to be supporting Trump, most likely what is happening is that I am actually opposing Democrats, and the two happen to coincide.

If Trump got kicked out of office, I wouldn't care. If Pelosi and Schiff got kicked out, I'd be buying a round for everyone in celebration. And I don't drink.

bmiller said...

I thought we were through with the Airing of Grevances.

Isn't it time now for Feats of Strength?

Starhopper said...

"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men! May everyone and their family have a Merry, Peaceful and Safe Christmas."

Amen to that!

bmiller said...

Gloria in Excelsis Deo
Love the harmony.

bmiller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bmiller said...

Best Ever version of "Oh Holy Night"?

I like solo versions of this one versus choirs once I heard a young girl in our Church sing it. But that doesn't describe what she did with it.

Starhopper said...

I love too many Christmas carols for any one of them to be my favorite, but here are some top contenders:

O little Town of Bethlehem

Josef Leiber, Josef Mein

O Magnum Mysterium

Enjoy!

bmiller said...

Apologies. Had a technical malfuntion. I like Silent Night but "Oh Holy Night" was the song I was referring to.

Mahalia's Oh Holy Night

bmiller said...

Hadn't heard of 2 of the 3.

I liked "O Magnum Mysterium" the best of those.

One Brow said...

Starhopper said...
I do believe that atheism (not necessarily individual atheists) is intellectually dishonest in not acknowledging the utter nihilism and amorality (not immorality) that are the inevitable end product of atheism. Such denial is likely a defense mechanism. It's hard to accept that life is totally meaningless and that there is no rational basis to being good.

What would "acknowledging" consist of for you? Everyone dies, the earth will be consumed by the sun, and the universe will end in heat death? That's true whether you are religious or not.

As long as life is not meaningless to me, why would I need external justification for it?

Much like the prisoner's dilemma, everyone making the sacrifices needed to be good makes the world better for them and others. That's not enough of a reason?

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
Loving your neighbor does seem to be a strange perspective to non Christians.

How so?

bmiller said...

Is Hunter Biden morally upstanding man?

One Brow said...

Are the accusations of some random lawsuit reliable evidence otherwise?

Legion of Logic said...

If the accused is a Republican, yes. May not hold true the other way around though.

bmiller said...

At least he's not as bad as Paul Pelosi Jr.