Saturday, August 17, 2019
Rob Bluey / Flickr Mitt Romney at CPAC...

Mitt Romney showed us the GOP’s soul. And we laughed at him.

Corporations are people too, my friends.   Mitt Romney Anybody remember that old line from the Mittster? I sure as hell do. It was pundit gold, and along with his imbecilic “47%” comment from a closed fund raiser, sealed Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign as being conducted by a hopelessly out of touch 1%er with no regard for the rest of us. I don’t have to remember that moment with crystal clarity, because I just saw a tape replay of it yesterday. Mitt Romney died on that particular hill that day, and he fought all the way to the end, continuing to try to explain why corporations were actually people, even while he was being jeered off of the stage. And when I saw that replay, and Romney’s passionate, logical, fervid defense of his statement, while boo’s cascaded down around him, it struck me. Mitt Romney was dead serious when he said that corporations were people too. And in his mind he was right. Because, as Romney was trying so desperately to explain to the scoffing crowd, when you think about it, all of the benefits that actually accrue to a corporation are ultimately passed down the line to living, breathing human beings. Basically those “little people” make the corporation a viable, living, breathing organism. And nothing that George Orwell put into 1984 even comes close in the chill of its implication. Long before Mitt Romney was a presidential candidate, and long before he was the Governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, Romney was a businessman, a venture capitalist. Or, considering the business practices of his Bain Capital, he was more accurately a vulture capitalist. He made his money by taking what belonged to others, mainly the failing companies he bought, and selling it off to keep the money for himself, nothing went back to the people who built the original company in the first place, except pink slips. And he was good enough at it to become one of the top-tenth-of-one-percent himself. The man knows of what he speaks. When Romney told us that corporations were people too, he wasn’t just committing a gaffe, he was telling us the ruling philosophy of the Republican party. How do we know this? Because, while the Democrats love to tout themselves as the party of the “working man,” the GOP has more and more steadily become over the years the “business friendly” party. The GOP itself no longer even bothers trying to deny that it a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America, mainly because nobody would believe them. And Mitt Romney’s ill advised statement is exactly how corporate America thinks. This explains so much about Donald Trump, it’s not even funny. In Donald Trump, the oligarchs of corporate America have their dream president. Donald Trump is the real life political equivalent of Governor William J. LePetomain, Mel Brooks zany character from Blazing Saddles, who famously stumbled out from behind a curtain in his office, his pants around his ankles, because his Attorney General, Hedley Lamar, had interrupted him fondling his secretary back there. If you can’t see that for yourself, there’s nothing that I can say that would convince you. Trump is the perfect ventriloquist dummy for corporate America in the White House for two reasons. First of all, like LePetomain, he is a totally compliant idiot. Just like in the movie, you stick […]

Wile E Trump. Suuupergenius!

It’s the economy, stupid!   Bill Clinton You know, sometimes you just have to give the devil his due. And Donald Trump has a better line of bullshit than a ’70’s pot dealer. Every president likes to take credit for a good economy, but Trump has taken it to the level that he’s now practically taking credit for creating freakin’ money! The difference is that most other presidents knew well enough to temper their credit, because what goes up, goes down. Trump’s particular gift is bullshitting people into forgetting that there are actually two economies out there, one for companies and rich shitpokes, and another one for the rest of us slobs. Yes, the stock market is up, consumer confidence is high, and unemployment is low, all of which give people like Shelly Adelson and Mitt Romney nocturnal emissions. But wages are still largely stagnant, people are working too many jobs to survive, and nobody is feeling the love from his vaunted tax cuts. And yet, Trump somehow or other manages to convince people living in houses with trucks on cinder blocks in the front yard that they’re better off because he’s playing fiduciary chicken with China. Which brings us to His Lowness’ latest financial brain fart. Trump is threatening to slap a punitive 10% tariff on all remaining Chinese imported goods starting on September 1st, apparently because the Chinese are not folding-spindling or mutilating to his satisfaction. If Trump follows through on this threat, he’s going to be sending Larry Kudlow out of the White House on another stretcher before too long. Because taking any such action will take away the one thing that Trump, and by extension the rest of the GOP, have to run on. The economy. Here’s what I’m talking about. Right now, the punitive tariffs are scheduled to take effect on September 1st. But most economists agree that there is anywhere from a 6-12 week lag from the time tariffs are imposed, and when they have a practical effect on consumers. This is because most companies, especially retailers, tend to carry a certain amount of “stick,” to replenish shelves. And existing stock, as well as anything that had shipped from Chinese ports before September 1st are exempt from the tariffs. So, what happens in 6-12 weeks from September 1st, especially in the 8-12 week range? You guessed it. The holiday shopping season, the make-or-break time of the yer for almost every retailer in America. And what do they get to unveil? New, higher prices! On almost everything. Am I the only one here who thinks that if people go Christmas shopping only to find the items they want are 10% higher than they were a month ago, they may to decide to spend a little bit less, just in case inflation is setting in? And if retailers report weaker, quite possibly much weaker holiday spending than previously expected, you think that might signal a drag on consumer spending, and make people hold back even more? It’s a self repeating, vicious cycle, and Trump will start it. And it doesn’t just stop with the holiday season, because Trump’s new round of tariffs are expected to affect pretty much everything that China exports that isn’t already under tariff. And guess what? Isn’t it funny that 70% of the shoes sold in America, regardless of brand, […]

Fox News Attacked Trump’s Worsening Trade War, Trump Can’t Handle It

If you’re just now tuning in, Donald Trump has been livid with Fox News for some weeks now. He’s been tweeting vitriol at them, “Remember who put you there!” and asking his friends, “What the hell is wrong with Fox?” Maybe it’s the Murdoch sons, whom Trump describes as “very liberal” but in all events, Fox is not doing what Fox is programmed to do, in Trump’s mind, which is: to 1) agree with him on all things, 2) amplify his positions 3) give him supporting material for his views, which he can then repeat and retweet. That’s their job and boy, today, they really stepped out of line and the cognitive dissonance in Trump’s tiny mind must be banging like an anvil. Shep Smith started out a piece Thursday, “any notion that we’re in a manageable trade dispute with China is now dispelled. This is a trade war. America just fired another shot. And you are about to pay. The trade talks with the Chinese effectively collapsed today. The president announced new tariffs today. The markets were retreated today — in a big way. The Dow was up nearly 300 points. Then the president tweeted about the new tariffs. That was 1:30 this afternoon. See it. Now the Dow is down 228. A more than 500-point plunge. What does this mean?” Well, we can tell you one thing that it means. Trump is furious. It’s bad enough the stock market turned on him, but the same afternoon, Fox News does as well? Here’s what got the ball rolling. …buy agricultural product from the U.S. in large quantities, but did not do so. Additionally, my friend President Xi said that he would stop the sale of Fentanyl to the United States – this never happened, and many Americans continue to die! Trade talks are continuing, and… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2019 …We look forward to continuing our positive dialogue with China on a comprehensive Trade Deal, and feel that the future between our two countries will be a very bright one! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2019 So now Trump’s going to put an additional tariff on China. Could it be that he really believes that a tariff is defined as a check which another government writes to the Treasury, because that’s what he’s been plying his base with, tales of “billions of dollars being deposited into the Treasury.” Unfortunately, that heretic Shep Smith kept going on and explaining things, and there was no discussion of giant checks being written to the government. Smith actually described a tariff as a tax — fancy that? You mean it’s not a check, like Trump says it is? Oh, noes. The WalMart Patriots aren’t going to like this one bit. The moo moos and the flip flips are going up. Here’s what else Smith said: “everything the Chinese sells to the U.S. will be taxed at a higher rate. Every toy, every piece of clothing, every bag of tea, every drop of oil, and American consumers are the ones footing the bill. First, the importers will pay it, then the distributors will pay up, and the stores will pay it, then they will pass it to you. The buck stops with you. You pay. That’s how this works. Always. […]

Dispatch from The Airline Wars – Trump Ridicules American Airlines CEO, Sides w Mideast...

(Above – I’d like to help you out al Baker but my hand’s a little light.) During a July 18th meeting in the Oval Office, which was held in secret and is just now being reported out by NBC news, CEOs of some of the biggest airline employers in the states (and other interested parties) met with Trump, Mulvaney and the new PressSec to protest that three middle-east carriers —  Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways —  are subsidized by their governments and undercutting their businesses. Trump responded by ridiculing American Airline’s CEO Doug Parker for his stock prices, fixating on Delta Chief Ed Bastian’s decision to not show and told the Americans to take it up with his Department of Transportation – where it is NBC’s determination that they will lose. USA Today “The three CEOs outlined their problems with government subsidies given the airlines — Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways — by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in an op-ed published by USA TODAY on July 15. “Subsidies allow these carriers to fly money-losing flights in a way no rational commercial airline could afford,” the three CEOs wrote. They added, “This administration knows a trade violation when it sees one. The United States must act decisively to hold Qatar and the UAE accountable. Failure to do so would reward bad behavior and signal to other countries that they too are free to exploit American workers. That is a dangerous precedent that our airline workers and our country cannot afford.” Trump, according to NBC News, made fun of Parker for American Airlines’ stock prices and “repeatedly harped on Bastian’s absence.” NBC News reported in order to get Trump’s attention, the three American CEOs placed ads on Fox News.” There you have it, folks: America First! Or maybe second or third… but if you want a hearing make sure you go on Fox News.

Trump Gives Credit To Ivanka For Jobs Created During Obama’s Term, Plus Ones That...

The GOP theory of economics seems to be that the economy was bad under Dubya but then miraculously did a 180 the exact moment that Trump got elected president. Those eight years in between, when the actual transformation took place, is not something they care to acknowledge at all. In any event, Thursday was the one year anniversary of Trump and Ivanka’s “Pledge To America’s Workers.” LOL – As Trump and Ivanka celebrate their "Pledge to American Workers" today, the White House is pushing the idea that Trump is to credit for job growth that not only started under Obama but ALSO job growth that happened while Obama *was still president*. — Kendally Brown (@kendallybrown) July 25, 2019 Here’s the 1:00 photo op. It’s terrific. Trump is in a hardhat and Nepotism Barbie plays work, with goggles, wrench, a control panel and all kinds of neat stuff. If they keep producing these, we recommend that you begin stocking motion sickness bags near the computer. Today, is the 1-year anniversary of our #PledgetoAmericasWorkers!!! We have reached 12 MILLION (!!!!) commitments to train & skill American workers from +300 companies. The Pledge is a commitment to 12 Million American lives improved! 🇺🇸 — Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) July 25, 2019 Twelve million commitments to “train and skill.” Skill is a noun. How do you “skill” somebody? Oh wait, I know — it’s like little kids say, “I learned him how to play checkers.” Ivanka is going to skill-learn workers. Or something. Trump just loves to go on and on about being “the Jobs President.” Bunk. In point of fact, less jobs have been created per month since he took office than under the last two years of Obama’s second term. ProPublica: President Donald Trump likes to claim credit for the American job boom. He’s not the only president to celebrate job creation under his watch, but Trump is unusual among his peers for frequently attributing specific jobs at specific companies to his own actions. The U.S. economy has been producing jobs at a healthy clip for years, creating 188,542 jobs a month on average in the first 24 months of Trump’s presidency, compared with 202,417 jobs a month in the last 24 months of the Obama administration. But how much credit does Trump deserve? We tracked the president’s tweets and speeches about job creation to try to figure out how well his claims stacked up. The answer is: Not well. Since the election, Trump has made 35 claims that companies would create 8.9 million jobs in the U.S. thanks to his policies and actions. Some of the new jobs he touted failed to materialize. Many of the new jobs he took credit for were, in fact, planned before he took office. We found that only about 154,000 of those jobs have been created so far. Roughly 122,000 of those were genuinely new positions, as opposed to slots that were planned before the presidential election. The bottom line: Only 797 jobs are attributable to Trump, according to the companies that did the hiring. And this is how Ivanka’s “Pledge To America’s Workers” has really been working out. Take Trump’s claim in February that his daughter Ivanka created “millions of jobs” through the Pledge to America’s Workers, a White House initiative to encourage professional […]

MarketWatch: ‘Business Conditions At Worse Level Since 2008 Financial Crisis’

The problem with having two news narratives running in the country simultaneously, is that real problems aren’t getting the attention that they deserve. Trump’s idiotic game with China and tariffs is causing an economic slowdown. MarketWatch: The business environment is deteriorating — fast. That is according to a gauge of business conditions tracked by Morgan Stanley, […]

Trump-Bashing Is Good For Your Health, Chinese Call It ‘Stress Relief’

Donald Trump is mocked and reviled worldwide. During the 2016 election, Mexicans were smashing Trump pinatas, and playing a Trump video game, which gave the player a choice of throwing a soccer ball, a cactus or a Tequila bottle at a moving Trump, to score points. (My favorite was the Tequila bottle.) Now, the Chinese, […]

Putin Boasts Russia Will Supply Poultry And Soy Beans to Chinese Market America Gave...

Rueters MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would supply soy beans and poultry meat to China and that the United States had effectively given up on that market. Putin was speaking at the Russia Calling annual investment forum. Mission accomplished. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… To receive articles of mine not published elsewhere become a […]

WaPo: ‘Conservatism Has Become A Racket and Trump Is The Grifter In Chief’

I’m sure that you join me in my relief that the party of small government, the Republican Lords of Fiscal Conservatism, are at the helm of the ship of state. That means that everything with the federal budget should be neat and tidy, right, not like what you have when one of those profligate Democrats is in office, buying pork barrels and setting fire to cash? Take a look at this stat, shared by none other than Kellyanne’s hubby, and see where our economy really is at, under Donald Trump. yet another national disgrace — George Conway (@gtconway3d) May 13, 2019 Now George Conway sounding the alarm is interesting, being that he’s not only married to Trump’s adviser, Kellyanne and a Republican — but guess what’s stranger still? He’s not the only Republican playing Paul Revere at this moment in time, when because of Trump’s moronic foreign policy gambits, the country is teetering on a brink of economic disaster that we haven’t seen since Dubya drove us over the cliff. If you read nothing else today, columnist Max Boot blows the lid off the conservative racket, and delineates how we got to where we are in this country. Washington Post: You can debate when the conservative movement became a racket — I nominate 1996, the year Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes created Fox News Channel to monetize right-wing outrage — but there is no doubt it has long since passed that point. If you have any doubt, look at the recent revelations about the National Rifle Association, probably the single most powerful conservative lobbying group in America. The NRA’s long-serving executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, told his followers: “It’s up to us to speak out against the three most dangerous voices in America: academic elites, political elites and media elites. These are America’s greatest domestic threats.” So LaPierre must be a man of the people, selflessly dedicated to the goal of two assault weapons in every house and a bazooka in every garage, right? Actually, protecting the “right” of anyone to buy any gun at any time turns out to be a lucrative racket. The NRA paid LaPierre $927,863 in 2014, $5,051,249 in 2015 and $1,358,966 in 2016, according to the group’s tax returns. In 2016, eight other NRA executives also made more than $500,000. But that is only the beginning of their compensation. […] LaPierre’s reported compensation is just part of a larger, troubling pattern at the NRA that could threaten its tax-exempt status. An investigation by the New Yorker and the Trace found that “a small group of N.R.A. executives, contractors, and venders has extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from the nonprofit’s budget, through gratuitous payments, sweetheart deals, and opaque financial arrangements. Memos created by a senior N.R.A. employee describe a workplace distinguished by secrecy, self-dealing, and greed, whose leaders have encouraged disastrous business ventures and questionable partnerships, and have marginalized those who object.” […] A similar culture of impunity exists across the right. Leaders are being lavishly rewarded, and their misdeeds are being covered up as long as they rile up the rubes. Fox News host Sean Hannity makes a reported $36 million a year and owns his own airplane while railing, like LaPierre, against “elites.” Fox News’s parent company, meanwhile, became notorious for paying tens of millions of dollars to settle lawsuits regarding sexual harassment charges brought against some of its biggest stars, including Ailes […]
Guardian News / YouTube Five times Donald Trump refused to...

Trump Doubles Down On Fantasy ‘Trade Wars Are So Good And Easy To Win’...

Fox’s Chris Wallace actually got Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow to admit on air that Donald Trump doesn’t have a clue how tariffs actually work. CHRIS WALLACE: Trump keep saying China pays the tariffs he's imposed. That's not true. American importers do, right? LARRY KUDLOW: Both sides pay. CW: The Chinese aren't paying! LK: No, but they'll suffer GDP losses. CW: But Trump says China pays. LK: Both sides will suffer. — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 12, 2019 Now #brokeahontas, Trump’s newest trending Twitter handle, has no idea how things are actually paid for in this life, because paying bills is not his thing. That’s for the plebes like you and me, who don’t have the benefit of tax laws that allow us to weasel out of our obligations and welch on all our responsibilities, and do it multiple times, no less. Americans are going to pay dearly for Trump’s trade war fantasies. That was evident long ago, but now the topic is heating up, since Mango Moron announced on Friday that tariffs would be raised on $200 billion of goods from China from 10 percent to 25 percent. The Chinese government is of course retaliating. Cover your head and duck, because this is not going to be pleasant. Meanwhile, people who actually know a thing or two about how the economy and  international trade really work, are weighing in and it is worrisome to say the least, how wide the gap is between Trump’s simplistic notions and the actual ways of the world. The exact opposite has been proven. — Ben White (@morningmoneyben) May 13, 2019 Trump lies like the proverbial rug. Remember his now-famous line, “If you just say it, they’ll believe it. I don’t know why, but they do.” That’s his philosophy of life, in a nutshell. Yeah. The people who “don’t get it” include your own economic advisors —> Maybe if you just ban all trade, you’ll achieve “10% GDP”. Just say it, they’ll believe it. — Michael Clemens (@m_clem) May 13, 2019 Here’s some more winning. Soybean prices. So much winning. — Peter Kaufman (@inklake) May 12, 2019 GDP got a boost because imports fell after surging in the second half of 2018 to beat tariffs that were then put on hold (until now) — Scott Lanman (@scottlanman) May 13, 2019 The Oval Office is occupied by a sociopath suffering from Dunning-Kruger effect (see my other post this morning) and he honestly believes that if he just tells a convincing enough lie that people will buy it and he’ll do just fine — and why wouldn’t he believe it? It got him to the highest office in the land via television, on a career with zero elective office, not even a seat in student council in high school. Too bad this is real life and there’s a terrible price to be paid for this folly and you and I are picking up the tab. Trump is borrowing money from the Department of Defense budget to subsidize the farmers and so we lose on taxes — and I pray to God the farmers have enough sense not to vote for this moron a second time. If they do, they have a death wish, plain and simple. Here’s a good synopsis of how Trump is […]

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