Friday, November 18, 2016

That Ford Lincoln Plant, Trump Appointees, Icecaps Melting, And So Forth

First, you may be hearing that Donald Trump has already saved a Ford Lincoln plant from moving to Mexico.  The reality of the matter is a bit different.

Secondly, if you hear that businesses are having trouble getting access to credit due to restrictions on the financial sector (Dodd-Frank specifically), ask yourself whether or not this amounts to a bunch of bullshit or not.

Now, let's talk about some of Donald Trump's appointees.

Jess Sessions is official as the AG candidate.  Civil rights advocates are not thrilled.

In testimony before the committee, former colleagues said that Mr. Sessions had referred to the N.A.A.C.P., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other civil rights groups as “un-American” and “Communist-inspired.” An African-American federal prosecutor then, Thomas H. Figures, said Mr. Sessions had referred to him as “boy” and testified that Mr. Sessions said the Ku Klux Klan was fine “until I found out they smoked pot.” Mr. Sessions dismissed that remark as a joke.

Michael Flynn is most likely in as national security advisor.  He takes a hard line against Islamic militancy, and perhaps against Islam itself.  Emphases added mine:

Islamist militancy poses an existential threat on a global scale, and the Muslim faith itself is the source of the problem, he said, describing it as a political ideology, not a religion. He has even at times gone so far as to call it a cancer.

If you view Islam as a cancer, you'll certainly be pleased by Flynn's appointment.  If you think that waging a war against the world's second-largest religion is not likely to work especially well, his appointment would not be good news.

Jared Kushner, President-elect Trump's son-in-law, having recently settled scores with old enemies who happen to be political allies of his father-in-law, is looking to work around anti-nepotism laws to find a place in the Trump cabinet, which would be nothing new; Hillary Clinton worked around the law in the days her her husband's administration.

Then of course there's Benghazi aficionado Michael Pompeo for the CIA.  About Pompeo, what can be said.  If you thought Benghazi was truly a scandal, his appointment was good news.  If you think the diplomacy requires open embassies and that open embassies carry with them the risk of attack, you probably don't think much of the Benghazi scandal in the first place and ergo you don't think much of Pompeo.

Pompeo was backed by the Koch brothers, and I imagine that statement arouses strong feelings either way:

Mr. Pompeo was first elected to Congress with a large amount of financial support and a prominent public endorsement from the Koch brothers, and the Kansas congressman has remained closely aligned with them since. Individuals associated with Koch Industries are by far the biggest donors to Mr. Pompeo’s political career, contributing $357,000 to him since 2009. (NY Times)

Conservatives are likely popping open the champagne (if they can afford it - America hasn't been Made Great Again quite yet).  Liberals are in dismay.  A veteran of the Berlusconi years in Italy offers some advice for dealing with the coming Trump years that may prove salient.

In other news, the icecaps are still melting.  The North Pole is 36 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal.  This is either entirely natural, caused by man, or perhaps a Chinese hoax, although the Chinese deny it is a hoax.  Still, can you trust them?  They're (ostensibly) communists.

However you feel about all this, I hope you can be stiff.

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