White House graft

The Trump family is wasting no time in making serious money from the presidency. Trump’s threat to abolish the One-China policy and “negotiate” it was settled to his personal financial benefit. The business deal in Oman he claimed during the campaign he’d refused because it was a conflict of interest continued right on schedule — and we paid part of the cost of accomplishing it. And Trump’s daughter does business in Japan as well as other countries with her father’s position giving her leverage. She began using that leverage right after the election.

The proper term for all this is “graft.” But in their case, it’s legal.

We’re also paying expensive, round-the-clock security for two homes in addition to the White House. Plus Trump makes money from charging to house Secret Service. We’re paying for his kids’ business travels too.

It’s up to Congress to end this idiocy instead of cutting other agency budgets to accommodate it. No other president has made so much green stuff from his position in this way. So far he’s done little for our country except take credit for things he had nothing to do with. He has, however, made quite a tidy sum for himself.

Trump and chief strategist Steve Bannon intend to run diplomacy from the White House, leaving Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a mere figurehead. Since no one in the White House is exactly qualified, it’s easy to assume this is intended as the way to leverage his business interests. Given what we knew before about financial dealings in Russia and his insistence on making Russian dictator Vladimir Putin happy, this is no surprise. It may well become the template for dealing with other governments.

This is a man and his family who cannot have enough money, give nothing to charity and have never lifted a finger to help people any other way. Trump is being sued for his lifelong practice of cheating in business and we are now the source of “other people’s money” he brags about.

What’s not to love?

Shelby Muhl, Prairie Hill

The Gathering: 2017

In this season of our splintered, raucous society, I share a story of unity, purpose and hope. On Sunday, April 9, churches across denominational, cultural and economic lines will join together to sing, seek the Lord and pray for our city, Baylor University and our nation, as well as help stock local food pantries. It’s The Gathering and it begins at 6:30 p.m. Palm Sunday in McLane Stadium. The Gathering in 2015 brought together 35,000 people from across Central Texas for a night of worship and a collection of 14 tons of canned food. It is happening again and at a perfect time!

Waco and Baylor have had rough spots in the news media in recent months. Let’s come together April 9 and enjoy some unity, some healing and some prayer. We can use it. God certainly hears us!

John Durham, Waco