Capitalism Made Me Do It

#45, Donald Trump the Elder is again weeping onto his gold cufflinks. This wee melodrama concerns his (and his daughter Ivanka’s) foreign sourcing. In the midst of his ironically misnamed Made In America Week, the House of Trump source their booze, clothes and tchotchkes typically via Chinese or Pakistani sweatshops.

He, honestly truly, pulled out the basest of disingenuities — he and his daughter are forced, forced they tell us, to use the suppliers who offer the lowest prices. That’s the evil corollary of one of the big lies of fantasy capitalism. That is, the only duty of managers is to maximize profit. Anything else is an abrogation of duty of shareholders, a failure.

Well, kiddies. That’s hooey.

First, if capitalism was its perfect version, if supply-and-demand worked as promised, there would be some justification for such amorality. Alas, we live in a nation of oligopoly and monopoly and government protection of and intervention for corporations.

Businesses in general do not respond to the ideal market forces in timely fashion. They really can’t claim they must do this or that when they have real reasons and choices. Nothing demands they be brutal and vicious to make a profit, much less that maximum short-term profit is the only goal.

Pic Note: Public domain image of a 1913 Ford assembly plant.

Let’s think about a serious capitalist, a certain Henry Ford. He loved his money and made a lot of it. Yet he was much, much smarter than #45.

For example, Unlike textile magnates, railroad builders and mine owners, he took a broad view as well as a narrow one (yes, Ford was savvy enough to look short and long simultaneously).

He pioneered the assembly line, but was not a vampire or monster about it. He paid more than other manufacturing owners…and for good reason. As he put it, he wanted his workers to earn enough to buy the cars they made. And they did, which made him even richer than if he had underpaid and overworked them.

Today, this Trump character claims that because he got a transfer undergraduate degree from a good business school and that he didn’t totally blow his multi-million dollar inheritance, he is the epitome of a capitalist. He also claims that he’ll make America great again while hiring American and buying American.

The latter set is total jive. His companies source overseas from the cheapest, from steel to finished goods to contractors. He seems to get the maximum-profit sliver of capitalism. He misses the broad view that Ford understood well.

So, consider whether any of the Trumps or any business owner at all made a slightly smaller profit margin, while helping their workers, industry, state and nation grow and prosper. The mindless subset of self-proclaimed capitalist may scream that the shareholders would never allow that and would force them out.

Of course in Donald and Ivanka’s cases, that won’t happen. They don’t lead public corporations. Even if they did though, the optics and PR of (pause to allow the Ann Coulter types of retch) the gentle altruism of helping the nation and workers would surely hold the day. The greediest of shareholders might switch their investment to a more parasitic company. Meanwhile, we see that socially responsible companies do quite well, thank you very much, and have no problem attracting cash.

Capitalism has its uses, but hiding behind it simply to exploit does not serve anyone in the supply chain or in this case the nation. I fear #45 does not have the brain power to see the issues, much less to lead the nation in solving them.

 

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Inevitable GOP Grudge

About that cliché of elephants never forgetting, U.S. Republicans truly do not, ever. It happened with Nixon and we are still bearing the aftereffects. It’s about to happen again with Trump.

When Pres. Richard Nixon slithered out of the White House in disgrace, that was a not-to-be-forgotten humiliation, for the party more than for Tricky Dick.  That POTUS hopped about between amoral, immoral and criminal. He snuck away before the Senate could impeach him, and then his VP-becoming-President Gerald Ford pardoned him, so he never faced criminal trials and certainty of prison.

Years later, Nixon was re-imaged as a statesman. In fairness, as terrible as he was domestically and as much as he disdained democracy, our laws and the Constitution, he had foreign-policy credentials — much stronger than any Democratic President since FDR.

In those ways of escaping impeachment, get-out-of-jail-free cards, and rehabilitation, he fared much better than he deserved. Nonetheless, the GOP has never forgotten his disgraced exit.

I have no doubt that is why they so eagerly pursued Bill Clinton’s impeachment, constantly threatened Barack Obama with various legal actions, and did beyond their best to smear and bring bogus charges against Hillary Clinton. They don’t, can’t, won’t forget.

So here we are coming around the flee or take-it bend with Donald Trump. As has been the norm with post-WWII GOP Presidents, his appointees and staff are resigning or facing various charges. That won’t stop.

As it all closes in on this young presidency for an old man/boy, at some point he is likely to realize he’s cooked and facing either absconding or impeachment. I have predicted here that he is most likely to play his usual drama queen, quitting while saying the mean old media and Congress won’t let him do wonderful things and save the nation.

While it is possible he might stick it out and take impeachment, I don’t think that would give him the deniability he so often uses.

When he is forced from office one way or another, the GOP also will not forget. Already, they bait-and-switch with Dem miscreants. Of course Bill Clinton accepted fellatio in the White House, former Rep. Anthony Weiner is a pathetic sexter, and a handful of other Dems have run afoul of laws or social norms. They can’t or won’t consider the huge number of their party who are proven crooks, adulterers and worse. It’s key to pretend here.

The point is when Trump stomps away, that will be the real beginning of the newest GOP feud and grudge fest. They will live and act primarily to pay back Dems for anything that happened with their guys, regardless of how many Republicans joined in calling out and punishing Trump and his minions.

Personal responsibility is not a Republican hallmark.

Of course, for the nation, the big pity is that we have much to accomplish to fix problems and to advance us economically, socially and politically. When Republican office holders are as stupid, malicious and counterproductive as they were with Obama, much less gets done.

Still, let’s get on with it. Dump Trump, and accept that the GOP will play at revenge instead of cleaning their own house. As a group, they just don’t have a culture of advancing the nation.

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Oh-oh-I-was-so-scared defense

Excuse me, boys and girls, how do we stop this horrifying carnival ride? Just today, a jury acquitted a murderous police officer of a cold-blooded slaying. Stopping black motorist Philando Castile for an alleged damaged tail light, Jeronimo Yanez claimed he feared for his life, even though Castile was passively obeying and told him he had a licensed gun.

Not only is the norm for murders by LEOs, it parallels exactly those atavistic states with stand-your-ground laws.

Basically, the first clown who whips out a gun and shoots to kill gets a free pass. Oh, oh, I felt threatened. The jury says, “You did the right thing.”

Like hell.

Whether it’s a cop or a citizen at home or a plain folk guy who imagines himself a vigilante, No it isn’t OK.

In particular, if you are a police officer, you have been trained at length on defusing interactions and on, well, being brave. If ordinary interactions in your job make you want to pee your trousers and compel you to murder citizens, you need to lose your badge and likely go to jail.

Go a pair — balls or tits, depending. Do not kill someone on a whim and claim irrational, emotional fear.

 

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Minor Trump Cautionary Tale

What is it about bad guys that makes them think they are so clever? Whether’s a courtroom or police procedural drama, the murderers, thieves, spies and such get their smugness botoxed from their faces when they are undone.

A certain current POTUS has clearly spent too much of his life feeling clever. Perhaps underlings do not unmask him because of his inherited wealth or because of their jobs or deals depend on him is moot. He blusters, lies and deludes himself nonstop.

Those of us who came of age with Perry Mason or Columbo or Watergate hearings know how that invariably ends. The clever are the fools in waiting. Cleverness inevitably falls to real smarts.

Just following Jim Comey’s written and oral testimony in the past few days, we saw taunting, delusional tweeting by Trump and even a cleverness blowup by his private attorney.

#45 asserted that he was completely vindicated. The opposite was true, not even counting what we did not get to hear in closed session. Then bumbling lawyer  Marc Kasowitz turned up the cleverness dial by pretending that Comey had leaked classified and privileged documents and so screwed up the timeline and cause-and-effect that even his leak lie had no punch.

There’s the big lesson we should all learn by observing criminals and politicians. If you think you are being clever, you are not.

Retrace, rethink, and forget that. If you are invested in how an idea and stance fool everyone else, you are the fool.

We saw that in Richard Nixon’s I-am-not-a-crook ploy. At hand, Trump moderately successfully smeared his primary and general election opponents with flaky, dishonest and dishonorable derision. Perhaps worst was corrupt Hillary, while he and his nepotistic administration are proving his lifelong pattern of corruption. The stains he rubs on others end up on his hands.

Numerous good writers have supported the same cliché — if you love a phrase in your work, delete it. That’s the cleverness parallel.

Poor, dumb Donny Jo is not likely to get it. He remains the smart aleck blurting out his embarrassing joke again and again. He awaits the praise of the teacher and students…praise unlikely to come. And the ensuing laughs are not in appreciation.

 

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Hate Can’t Keep You Safe

The two most recent and most horrific London terror attacks put spotlights on NYC and LA and Seattle and Boston and like that. What does a Muslim ban have to do with safety and prevention? What will the dummies do when U.S. cities are the locales?

That ignorant, stupid POTUS alternately tweets and brays that if only we keep this or that group from visiting the U.S. of A. all will be well. Turtle feathers, says I!

We know that he and real Republicans don’t understand American principles and laws. We know they hate the liberties that our democracy exercises that differentiate us from the rest of the world. In fact, they make it plain they hate freedom and want oppressive government.

Yet, what #45 has been calling for has two huge flaws. First, and affirmed by courts from one coast to another, his proposals are patent violations of our First Amendment’s religion clause. They target exclusive brown-skinned folk who are not avowed Christians.

Second, with the extreme and notable exception of the 9/11 attacks, the thousands of Americans murdered on our soil are the opposite of #45’s bugbears. Our terrorists have been native born, white Americans, nearly all of whom identify as Christian.

Of course, we know these people as our basest criminals. The white, American self-identified Christians are invariably the rapists, adulterers, child abusers and murders, only more recently becoming domestic terrorists. There was a history in that latter category too, think the K.K.K.

So if #45 and his minions want to further limit our liberties in the guise of security, keeping out Muslims from six countries won’t do it…at all…particularly when the 9/11 crew was almost entirely from Saudi Arabia. They are investors whom #45 loves and gives a free pass to for travel.

We can be sure the emboldened ISIL and other terrorists won’t obey the borders and visa regulations, halting on the East side of the Atlantic. When they come to a city new you, you can be positive #45’s policies did absolutely nothing to prevent the deaths and maiming and, well, terror.

 

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Trump Kicks Against Goads

Lackaday, Donny Jo. The huge lesson before you will not disappear by neglect or denial. Our incidental POTUS has again chosen to teeter on the most dangerous path — feigning innocence while humming, “Catch me if you can.”

He returned from a disastrous foreign trip, replete with numerous Administration scandals, to assert all are fake news. We can easily understand why someone so dull-witted would rely on the artifice that has worked for him several times. Unfortunately for him (think Dunning-Kruger effect) as so many other dummies and mommy’s boys, he is not aware of the limits of such bluster.

I believe the current set of problems is beyond even his B.S. powers. He is no Mandrake the Magician or Obi-Wan Kenobi. He cannot misdirect the world’s attention from these entanglements.

Take his central premise — detailed, multi-sourced reporting by the likes of the WaPo and NYT are made up because the first wave of articles does not list every source. Each of us uses the internet and knows the stupidity and duplicity of trolls who demand details and links to all sources so that can find nits to pick and then claim everything is a fake, fake news in this case.

His double dog dare to reputable media can only backfire repeatedly and continuously. Only one actor here is a serial, pathological liar. As the evidence mounts and more witnesses are emboldened, his bluster will sound fainter and fainter. As his minions, including his son-in-law, face accusations to charges to trials or pleas, his imagined control will vanish.

Until recently, I bought into the concept that a GOP-dominated Senate would never impeach Trump. Yet, he has overplayed his had so far and given leeway to way too many corrupt buddies, I do not see any clean way out for him.

Were he more noble or driven by grand aims, he might be seen as a tragic figure. This is simply low comedy. The man is too dumb to know how to pick a fight he has a shot at winning.

 

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Lessons Unlearned, POTUS Version

A certain Donny Jo Trump, the incidental POTUS learns not. He returns to the dry well, ever expecting water.

Most recently, as one example, the federal appeals court in Richmond told him to take a hike. His clearly religion-based proposed travel ban has lost throughout the country, as unconstitutional, a clear violation of our First Amendment. Yet, Donny goes back again and again, pausing only to decry the unfairness (to him personally) of this or that court.

Alas. our titular President proves repeatedly that is both grossly ignorant and stupid. How embarrassing for us as a nation… He neither understands how our government or laws work nor human obligations to others.

We can only conclude:

  • He never took nor got civics as taught to the Boomers
  • He does not understand such basic concepts as separation of powers among governmental branches
  • He’s an inherited-wealth mama’s boy, who whines when he doesn’t get his way all the time

I have both patriotism, again as taught to Boomers, and ego in play here. I want my POTUS to be bright, compassionate, and, well American. He is none of those.

The old lad has survived to 70 without the basics of Americanism. Worst of all, he stupidly runs into the same walls. No, you don’t get your way because you inherited wealth. No, you don’t get a pass on the Constitution because your mother loved you. No, trying the same inane executive order does not suddenly make it legal when one court after another slaps you down.

Just too dumb.

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Non-Comical Comey

The WaPo The Fix column implying that unemployed guy James Comey wants to take down Donald Trump (a.k.a. the incidental POTUS) intrigues. One can suppose he’d have delusions of grandeur. But…delusions?

While the rest of Congress and all D.C. squealed and scrambled like Greek wannabes during pledge week, Comey took down the Dem Prez nominee Hillary Clinton (a.k.a. the coulda, shoulda been). Now he could easily do the same with 45.

My soft-sciences profs (anthropology, psychology, sociology) all said ascribing motives was the toughest and least exact part of the biz. We can be left wondering whether Comey wields his bolts from a platform of ego or self-righteousness or his Boy-Scout persona.

It makes no difference. If he can — and it sure looks likely —he shall dump Trump. Here’s a mid-level functionary who has already inscribed his own monument in history. He’s not through.

 

 

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Drive Out Demons — Impeachment Aftermath

Impeachment against Donald Trump, incidental POTUS, are increasingly likely to begin. As I recently predicted, he would certainly resign before any Senate trial.

He has a lifetime of quitting and doing the mommy’s boy it’s-not-fair act. He’s 70 and not likely to mature. He also is both too ignorant to know history and too stupid to grasp the law.

Familiar Feud

As much as  I shall be pleased to see him forced out, I do not want to hear his whinging. More important, I dread the inevitable decades of Republican spite and attempts to even the score.

Following Richard Nixon’s slithering retreat from the top office, GOP lawmakers obsessed with getting a Dem POTUS out of office. The more rational and mature response would have been to accept that he was dishonorable, dishonest, and disdainful of democracy and the rule of law. The party could have accepted that they operated in a poisonous environment and cleaned house.

Alas, that would have meant admitting current Dem moral superiority. That was a low bar though. Democratic politicians had their own share of corruption…a difference of degree and not kind. Nixon was simply base, even for a pol.

Every Dem Prez that followed and ever Dem nominee for the office had the hounds of political hell nipping at them, trying to drag them down. When they finally impeached Bill Clinton for lying about receiving fellatio, that should have settled them down.

Another round

But noooooo. They didn’t remove him from office or drive him out, as with Nixon. In their heart of hearts, voters largely know that Republicans are less honest and honorable, even among this group.

It seemed plain to many that the slander and lies about Hillary Clinton was more of the same feud. Maybe if they could get her jailed for imagined crimes, they would calm. As with her hubby, one would think that her defeat in the last election would have quieted the dogs. Again, noooo.

Here we are with Trump, as corrupt as anyone not already charged, tried and jailed.

Trump has broken too many laws and has one of the most corrupt administrations ever in the history of the office. His reckless bluster and his I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I taunts will not outweigh his sins.

He will go and many of those around him are likely to face various charges as well. Arrogance does not wash clean.

When Trump goes, the big feud will continue and intensify. I cannot see a large number of Republicans suddenly taking responsibility. The hunt to drag under Dem Presidents and candidates for the office will surely be nastier than ever and continue to dominate our political discourse.

Inevitable but boring…

 

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Donny Fell Down and Broke His Crown

The tumbling, accelerating fall of Donald Trump has become inevitable. We are left pondering the timing and specifics.

I am wont to make the bold strokes, even if that leaves me prey later to the captious who would quibble on details. Let them.

You read it here and can blame me later (I don’t scrub my blogs and podcasts) if I get it wrong. Incidental President Donald J. Trump will resign.

The preponderance of the small has become the preponderance of the great. Russian election hacking, business debt and maybe even scandal videos rise and stink. The influence peddling and profiteering off the POTUS slot by him, his family and businesses are only getting worse, more obvious and undeniable. The incessant, impulsive and arrogant violation of the Constitution and laws has left a wide trail.

Forget the firing James Comey thing. That only highlights Trump’s dual handicaps of stupidity and ignorance. We, in fact even GOP supporters, could not longer look away from the Russian corruption and illegality matters as a result.

Trump’s tired ploy of screaming, “Fake news!” has run its course. As past and certainly future witnesses testify under oath, and in contrast to the various Trump types honestly, there will be no ore hiding.

Trump will quit, claiming that the mean old bugbears of:

  • The Constitution
  • Separation of Powers
  • Congressional Duty to Budget and Oversight

would not let him do what was right and necessary for the nation. (The ousted dictator’s lament.)

He’s also made his Pee Wee Herman I’m-rubber-you’re-glue shtick incredible. He got unbelievable mileage during the campaign with  (crooked Hillary, lyin’ Ted, little Marco, low-energy Jeb, and goofy Elizabeth Warren. He fantasized himself rubber, but the reality of being crooked and corrupt increasingly and inexorably stuck to him. He is thoroughly corrupt and crooked. Bye bye.

He’s 70, in terrible shape and may not live that much longer. Yet he is sure to go into his encrusted mausoleum with his last words being how he was sinless and wronged.

B.S.

 

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