Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘GOP’ Category

Who Do Republicans Listen To?

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Kevin Drum has a brief post worth reading. In it, he comments on this graph:

gop-proclivities

I find it odd that as Republicans become more able to help others (as their income increases) they become less inclined to help others. I wonder if it is simply that wealth undermines one’s morality and compassion. (Certainly Jesus seemed to think so—but what does he know?)

Written by LeisureGuy

21 September 2016 at 10:29 am

Posted in Daily life, Democrats, GOP

Another hard look at Trumpkins by Jennifer Rubin

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Jennifer Rubin writes in the Washington Post:

A cottage industry of apologists for Donald Trump and his supporters has sprung up to excuse, justify, infantilize and pity his core group of white, non-college-educated males who lash out at immigrants and globalism more generally. Victims ignored by elites! The Emmy winners mock them! There are more than a few problems with this.

First, conservatives used to stand up for “creative destruction,” the rise and fall of businesses and entire industries, which is an intrinsic part of a dynamic free market. If you’re not a hard-core Libertarian, the average conservative has considered the solution to this problem to be a safety net and tax, education and other policies that allow workers to rebound; it has never been to halt the marketplace or shift to a government-planned economy. The latter has been tried and has failed, as conservatives are quick to point out when ridiculing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or other anti-capitalist wags. It also exempts these voters from responsibility for their lives. The coal town is depopulated? Yes, that’s sad, but why are they not moving — as immigrants do — to where the jobs are?

Second, the ills about which Trump and his apologists complain have little to do with the plight of many of their supporters (whose average salary is $72,000, much higher than that of the average Sanders or Hillary Clinton supporter). The things Trump demonizes — free trade and immigration — did not cause the decline of low-skilled manufacturing (automation did that); they have, however, contributed to the resurgence of high-skill manufacturing in the United States to such an extent that we have record numbers of unfilled manufacturing jobs. If Trump were railing about the lack of job training programs, that would be one thing, but he is not, of course. Constructive measures that do not involve attacks on others are of no concern to him. He’s simply casting about for targets for white, lower-class rage.

Third, Trump’s defenders seem to demand that we treat members of his base delicately for fear of ruffling their feathers and damaging their self-esteem. . .

Continue reading. There’s quite a bit more and she doesn’t let up.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 September 2016 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Election, GOP

Trump Foundation Involved in Yet More Corruption—But Let’s Investigate the Clinton Foundation Instead

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Newspaper reporters apparently like a challenge, thus they ignore the continuing sleazy practices of the Trump Foundation and spend all their time writing innuendos about the Clinton Foundation, but finding nothing of any significance and ignoring the valuable work the Foundation has done. Journalism in the US is in a shocking state.

Kevin Drum notes:

Donald Trump’s foundation is in the news again:

Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents.

In one case, from 2007, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club faced $120,000 in unpaid fines from the town of Palm Beach, Fla., resulting from a dispute over the size of a flagpole. In a settlement, Palm Beach agreed to waive those fines — if Trump’s club made a $100,000 donation to a specific charity for veterans. Instead, Trump sent a check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity funded almost entirely by other people’s money, according to tax records.

Sorry Donald. You’re not allowed to use your charity to pay off your business obligations:

“I represent 700 nonprofits a year, and I’ve never encountered anything so brazen,” said Jeffrey Tenenbaum, who advises charities at the Venable law firm in Washington. After The Post described the details of these Trump Foundation gifts, Tenenbaum described them as “really shocking.”

“If he’s using other people’s money — run through his foundation — to satisfy his personal obligations, then that’s about as blatant an example of self-dealing [as] I’ve seen in a while,” Tenenbaum said.

I don’t think I can count the number of reporters who have investigated the Clinton Foundation or the number of pieces they’ve written. The net result has been (a) no actual serious misconduct uncovered, but (b) a steady drumbeat of stories implying that something improper was going on.

Now then: how many reporters have been investigating the Trump Foundation? I might be missing someone, but basically the answer is one: David Fahrenthold of theWashington Post. The net result has been (a) plenty of actual misconduct uncovered, but (b) very little in the way of public attention to it.

This is why so many people can somehow believe that Hillary Clinton is less trustworthy than Donald Trump. In truth, it’s not even close. Trump is probably the world champion in the sport of lying; he cares about nothing but enriching himself and getting even with his enemies; and his political positions change with the wind. He’s just about the least trustworthy person on the planet.

But he’s entertaining. Gotta give him that. And really, isn’t that what matters?

Written by LeisureGuy

20 September 2016 at 11:07 am

“I’ve never seen an AP lede like this one”

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Take a look. You can tell that the person writing the AP piece was hitting the keys pretty hard.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 September 2016 at 1:22 pm

Posted in Business, Election, GOP, Media

Calling a lie a lie, and another look at Donald Trump’s sole interest in his campaign and policies: Benefiting Donald Trump

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Just read it. Jesus.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 September 2016 at 12:48 pm

The Trumps are getting closer inspection and more pressure than ever before. Some can’t handle it.

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Ivanka Trump, for example. Christina Cauterucci writes in XXfactor:

Ivanka Trump is turning into her father. The usually composed and genteelbusinesswoman gave a very Donald Trumpian interview to Cosmopolitan on Wednesday, in which she denied that Donald has said the things he’s said, stumbled over basic questions about his new maternity leave proposal, and scolded the reporter for doing her job. Then, when the interview turned out to be more pointed than a sweet conversation between gal friends, Ivanka bounced.

Donald Trump’s Ivanka-backed plan proposes six weeks of paid unemployment benefits for women who physically give birth to a child, paid for by cutting “fraud” in the unemployment insurance system. It does not include any paternity leave or leave for a mother who adopted her child or whose partner gave birth. Paternity leave has been proven to have lasting effects on greater equality in housework, child care responsibilities, and wages. Cosmo reporter Prachi Gupta pointed that out, and Ivanka brushed it off:

Paternity leave is said to be a great factor in creating gender equality. So I’m wondering, why does this policy not include any paternity leave?

This is a giant leap from where we are today, which is sadly, nothing. Both sides of the aisle have been unable to agree on this issue, so I think this takes huge advancement and obviously, for same-sex couples as well, there’s tremendous benefit here to enabling the mother to recover after childbirth. It’s critical for the health of the mother. It’s critical for bonding with the child, and that was a top focus of this plan.

OK, so when it comes to same-sex—

So it’s meant to benefit, whether it’s in same-sex marriages as well, to benefit the mother who has given birth to the child if they have legal married status under the tax code.

Ivanka did not elaborate on what difference legal marriage makes if the leave plan only benefits the partner who gives birth, nor on whether it might also be important for fathers and non­­–birth mothers to bond with new children. But she got testy when Gupta asked her for more information on gay couples who adopt.

Well, what about gay couples, where both partners are men? . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

16 September 2016 at 7:43 pm

A case of really bad Republican timing

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Matt O’Brien reports in the Washington Post:

It’s generally a bad idea to say something is a failure right after its biggest success.

That may seem sort of self-evident, but apparently it isn’t. Take House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.). He has been trying to recast the presidential campaign as a contest between Hillary Clinton and not Donald Trump, but rather his “Better Way” agenda — basically tax cuts for the rich, spending cuts for the poor and deregulation for big business — and what he says would be President Obama’s third term. Now, as part of that, he recently had this to say about the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, whose job is, well, to protect consumers from financial malfeasance.

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-2-03-54-pm

This was not the best timing. The CFPB, after all, just fined what’s supposed to be one of the best run banks in the country — Wells Fargo — $185 million for allegedly creating 2 million bank and credit card accounts for customers without their knowledge so that bank employees could hit their rather ambitious sales goals and get — earn isn’t quite the right word here — bonuses. That sure seems like the definition of protecting people to me.

Ryan’s spokesman didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

This is a lot more important, though, than just an inopportune tweet. It shows us what the non-Trump portion of the Republican Party’s priorities are. Those are, on the one hand, trying to get more people to become investors and, on the other hand, trying to get rid of investor protections. Now let’s back up a minute. It’s important to remember that Republicans don’t think the financial crisis was a case of bankers blowing up the global economy because that was what maximized their year-end bonuses, but rather the government pushing bankers to blow up the global economy out of a misguided attempt to help poor people buy homes. Never mind that it was Wall Street banks, and not Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, that were behind the subprime boom. Or that even a conservative former Federal Reserve official says there’s no evidence that the Community Reinvestment Act, which outlaws redlining, “contributed in any substantive way” to the housing bubble’s bad lending.

That’s why Republicans seem to think that trying to stop financial fraud is a bigger problem than the risk of financial fraud itself. Indeed, Ryan’s budget would give less money to the market cops at the Securities and Exchange Commission. It would also get rid of the CFPB’s independent funding — right now it gets its money from the Fed so that it’s free from influence from members of Congress who might not be free from influence from bank lobbyists — and replace its independent director with a five-person bipartisan committee. His anti-poverty plan, meanwhile, would make it legal for financial advisers to once again recommend things that are in their own — but not their clients’ — best interests. (Believe it or not, that was changed only in the past year). And on top of that, House Republicans want to make it easier for penny stock companies — which, the SEC has warned, are a veritable playground for scammers and other assorted manipulators — to issue shares without as much oversight.

It’s as if Republicans are telling people to jump in a pool that Democrats are worried is shark-infested — and then saying that the real problem is there are too many lifeguards.

Republicans say this is all about consumer choice. It’s not the government’s job, they say, to tell people which financial products they can and cannot buy. Why shouldn’t I be able to take out a risky mortgage that I can probably pay back just because my neighbors might not be able to? Well, the answer is that if enough of them don’t, as we found out in 2008, it’s not just their problem — it’s everybody’s. And besides, is the freedom to take out a potentially dangerous loan or get bad financial advice really something we should be worrying about? What about the insiders who profit off their info, the bankers who move your money into accounts you didn’t ask for, the advisers who steer you into high-fee investments, and the con artists who pump up their penny stocks and then dump them on unsuspecting investors? These people exist. Regulators have caught them. Why should we do less about it? . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

16 September 2016 at 2:08 pm

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