Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sieg Heil Der Donald!, Cont.

UPDATE:  Read the Washington Post, Democrats can stop Trump via the electoral college. But not how you think., which notes:

"To become president, a candidate must get a bare majority of 270 votes when the electoral college meets Dec. 19.

As Alexander Hamilton explained, the electoral college provides a backstop in the event voters select a dangerously unfit candidate. 'The process of election,' Hamilton wrote, 'affords a moral certainty that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.' Electors would use their judgment to prevent the 'tumult and disorder' that would result from 'this mischief' of presidential candidates exploiting 'talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity.' One might call it the cooler-heads college. . .

The only way Democrats stand any chance of persuading Republican electors to abandon Trump is with a dramatic gesture of true bipartisanship. If all 232 Democratic electors pledge to reach across the aisle and vote for a Republican alternative to Trump, it would take just 38 GOP electors to make that person the next president."

Read also the Washington Post, The electoral college should be unfaithful.
"Trump has shown a daunting disregard or ignorance of the Constitution and of law. Regarding the use of torture, he has said that the military must follow his orders — even if they are illegal. More recently, he declared that flag-burning should be a crime and that flag burners be punished by 'perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail.' The remark was one of his off-the-cuff inanities — since 1989, flag-burning has been protected political speech, and citizenship, we’d like to think, is forever. The tweet — so few words, so much meaning — spoke to Trump’s abysmal lack of knowledge but, more important, contained an emotional truth. Trump despises dissent and often reacts emotionally to setbacks or challenges.

Now, ask yourself what might happen if there were a huge terrorist incident on American soil. Might this man of little knowledge and no restraint attempt to suspend civil liberties? . .

I have too much faith in America and its institutions to think that Weimar is the future. It is, however, a warning, not something that shouldn’t be discussed, but something that should be mulled. The differences between Weimar Germany and contemporary America are significant but so, increasingly, are the similarities."

Read the Washington Post, Trump isn’t Hitler. But the United States could be another Germany.

Read also: Sieg Heil Der Donald!

Trump's Big CON: He's Really a Crony Capitalist

UPDATE V:  Trump's "actions are dangerous, and the more so when they generate popular acclaim."

Read the Washington Post, Donald Trump is practicing presidential extortion of companies for symbolic political gain.

UPDATE IV:  "Trump’s transition has ended any remaining doubts that his promise to 'drain the swamp' of corrupt government was a lie. Based on his post-election moves, it seems the Trump White House will be an experiment in crony capitalism on steroids.

After playing to the country’s populist mood as a candidate, Trump has surrounded himself almost exclusively with corporate elites. While the appointments of chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon and attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) fired up his base, Trump has loaded up his transition and Cabinet-in-waiting with members of the establishment he claimed he would crush. Trump’s team, with few exceptions, is filled by the 'swamp creatures' we’d expect in virtually any Republican administration."

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s team of faux populists and real crony capitalists.

UPDATE III:  "In the thick of his reelection campaign in 2012, President Obama devoted six paragraphs in his State of the Union address to his plans to reverse a flow of factory jobs to foreign countries.

He called to end tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs, to cut taxes for domestic manufacturers and to levy a minimum tax on multinational corporations. He implored businesses to 'ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country,' and he told Congress 'It is time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America.'

'Send me these tax reforms,' Obama said, 'and I will sign them right away.'

Congress — including the Republican-held House of Representatives — never sent Obama any of those reforms. In the official Republican response to the speech, the then-governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, chided him for not focusing on a different economic issue, the growing national debt. Later that year, the GOP nominee for president, Mitt Romney, declared in a debate with Obama that 'the idea that you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is simply not the case.'

Obama repeatedly proposed measures to punish offshoring companies and reward domestic producers. None of them were as far-reaching or punitive as President-elect Donald Trump's threat to slap a 35 percent tariff on goods imported from "any business that leaves our country for another country. . .

[Now Republi-CONs are] endorsing a version of the policies they have long derided as 'crony capitalism.'"

Read the Washington Post, Republicans have a double standard when it comes to Trump’s threats of 'retribution'.

UPDATE II:  "[T]here is a whiff of Putinism in the combination of bribery and menace that may have affected Carrier’s decision — the bribery of tax breaks, the menace of potential lost defense contracts for Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies. . .

It may be appealing as a model to America’s president-elect, too.

The problem is that it doesn’t work. Russia’s economy is shrinking, year by year, and no matter how many factory directors Putin humiliates, it won’t start growing again without structural and political reform.

The U.S. economy has challenges, including the loss of manufacturing jobs and the insecurity many workers experience. But it is far healthier than Russia’s, with steady economic growth, low unemployment and a far, far higher standard of living.


A key reason is that the U.S. economy is governed by laws, not by the whims of the nation’s rulers."

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s Carrier deal is right out of Putin’s playbook

Read also the Washington Post, Trump’s Carrier deal could permanently damage American capitalism.

UPDATE:  "Donald Trump promised to punish U.S. companies that ship manufacturing jobs out of the country. Instead, judging from the way he has handled the Carrier Corp. matter, he plans to reward them. Quite handsomely, in fact.

As should be standard practice with Trump, pay attention to the substance, not the theater. United Technologies, the parent company of air-conditioner-maker Carrier, has been threatening to move more than 2,000 jobs from Indiana to Mexico. Trump addressed this specifically during his campaign, vowing to hit the company with a punitive tariff.

'If they’re going to fire all their people, move their plant to Mexico, build air conditioners, and think they’re going to sell those air conditioners to the United States — there’s going to be a tax,' Trump said on 'Meet the Press' in the summer. 'It could be 25 percent, it could be 35 percent, it could be 15 percent, I haven’t determined.'

As it turns out, how about zero percent?

In fact, how about giving United Technologies state tax breaks worth about $7 million over the next decade, in exchange for moving only 1,300 jobs to Mexico? That’s basically the deal offered by Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who happens to be governor of Indiana (and thus in a position to offer the tax relief). . .

The company still gets to lay off many of the targeted Indiana workers and replace them with much cheaper Mexican labor. It gets partial compensation from the state government. And instead of worrying about a potential tariff, United Technologies can anticipate a major reduction in the federal corporate tax rate. That’s something Trump promised on the campaign trail — and also, reportedly, in a recent phone call with United Technologies chief executive Greg Hayes.

In a Post op-ed, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) put it this way: 'Just a short few months ago, Trump was pledging to force United Technologies to 'pay a damn tax.' .?.?. Instead of a damn tax, the company will be rewarded with a damn tax cut . Wow! How’s that for standing up to corporate greed? How’s that for punishing corporations that shut down in the United States and move abroad?'

So imagine you’re a CEO who wants to send, say, 5,000 manufacturing jobs overseas. Having learned from the Carrier example, you might begin by announcing that unfortunately you are forced to eliminate 10,000 jobs because of the crushing tax burden. Even if you really want to move the jobs to Vietnam or Kenya, just say you’re looking at possible sites for a new plant in Mexico. That’s sure to get Trump’s attention.

When Trump calls offering tax breaks or enterprise zone incentives or free rounds of golf in Scotland, whatever goodies he tosses in, hold out for a while — then reluctantly, in the spirit of patriotism and Making America Great Again, announce you’ve agreed to cancel half of the 10,000 job cuts. You’d still be meeting your original goal of eliminating 5,000 jobs, only now you’d also have a lower corporate tax bill and a tee time at Turnberry.

The Carrier deal is just the latest piece of evidence suggesting that Trump’s populist rhetoric about championing the working stiff and cracking down on greedy globalist corporations was all a bunch of hooey."

Read the Washington Post, Trump will helm a government of, by and for corporate America.

Read also the Washington Post, Why lots of people think Trump’s deal to save 1,000 Indiana jobs was a bad idea.

The Republi-CON's new economic strategy -- bribe corporate America.

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s deal to keep Carrier jobs in Indiana includes $7 million in state subsidies.

Read also the Washington Post, Bernie Sanders: Carrier just showed corporations how to beat Donald Trump.

Republi-CONs are hypocrites, they were/are livid whenever there was/is government intervention into private enterprise.

Remember their claims in response to the financial crisis -- that Obama used corporate subsidy to distort the 'free markets' -- and demanded a balanced budget instead.

Now, government debt for corporate welfare is fine.