Maintaining the family business

541085768Some people say we shouldn’t point to the foibles of President Hookerpiss’s family, because criticism of him should be aimed at his policies. But if you know about this

President Trump lashed out on Wednesday at the Nordstrom department store chain for dropping his daughter Ivanka’s accessories and clothing line, once again raising ethical questions about the relationship between his presidency and his family’s sprawling business interests.

And this …

Melania Trump’s lawyers recently noted in a February 6 court filing that the First Lady’s “brand” had lost “significant value” and that “major business opportunities” in the “multiple millions of dollars” that “were otherwise available to her have been lost and/or substantially impacted.”

Her attorneys further lamented that Melania Trump “had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person, as well as a former professional model and brand spokesperson, and successful businesswoman, to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories,” among them apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care, and fragrance. As my colleague Emily Jane Fox recently noted, Melania Trump is at least being transparent about the way that other members of her family may be viewing the White House—as a vessel to get filthy rich.

And let’s not forget the boys

One of President Trump’s sons made a business trip to Uruguay in early January that cost taxpayers $97,830 to put Secret Service and embassy staffers in hotel rooms, according to a new report.

Eric Trump visited the South American nation on behalf of the Trump Organization before his father’s Jan. 20 inauguration, The Washington Post reported Friday.

In the coastal town of Punta del Este, Eric Trump met with real estate brokers, dined at a beachfront eatery and spoke at an “ultra exclusive” party at Trump Tower Punta del Este, according to the report.

The Secret Service spent $88,320 on hotel rooms, according to purchasing orders analyzed by the Post, and the U.S. Embassy in the capital city of Montevideo paid another $9,510 so staffers could stay in hotel rooms and “support” the Secret Service for the “VIP visit.”

… you see that the motto of this clan is “grifters gotta grift.” The Lugenorange’s economic policy for America is to put as much money in his family’s pockets as possible.

So the family is fair game.

Let the games begin.

While so much of his attention is taken up with making sure that he and his family are adequately enriched by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Trump hasn’t actually done much of anything real on the economy. There’s been no legislation signed, and just a few executive orders preparing to roll back regulations from the Obama years protecting workers and consumers. As NBC pointed out, by this time in previous presidents’ terms, they had either signed major economic legislation or were well on their way.

What Trump has done instead, in addition to try to prop up Ivanka’s clothing line, is stage a bunch of events in which he took credit for micro developments he had nothing to with. For instance, on Wednesday the chief executive of Intel went to the White House so he could announce in Trump’s presence that the company will be creating 3,000 jobs at a factory in Arizona. This is the latest in a series of such events, at which clever business leaders realize they can get a bunch of free publicity and win the favor of the most powerful person in the world by letting him take credit for something they were going to do anyway.

 

A Nightly Scene in London: 1855

An observation on homelessness and poverty from Charles Dickens titled “A Nightly Scene in London”

On the fifth of last November, I, the Conductor of this journal, accompanied by a friend well-known to the public, accidentally strayed into Whitechapel. It was a miserable evening; very dark, very muddy, and raining hard.

There are many woful sights in that part of London, and it has been well-known to me in most of its aspects for many years. We had forgotten the mud and rain in slowly walking along and looking about us, when we found ourselves, at eight o’clock, before the Workhouse.

Crouched against the wall of the Workhouse, in the dark street, on the muddy pavement-stones, with the rain raining upon them, were five bundles of rags. They were motionless, and had no resemblance to the human form. Five great beehives, covered with rags— five dead bodies taken out of graves, tied neck and heels, and covered with rags— would have looked like those five bundles upon which the rain rained down in the public street.

“What is this! ” said my companion. “What is this!”

“Some miserable people shut out of the Casual Ward, I think,” said I.

We had stopped before the five ragged mounds, and were quite rooted to the spot by their horrible appearance. Five awful Sphinxes by the wayside, crying to every passer-by, ” Stop and guess! What is to be the end of a state of society that leaves us here!”

As we stood looking at them, a decent working-man, having the appearance of a stone-mason, touched me on the shoulder.

“This is an awful sight, sir,” said he, “in a Christian country!”

“GOD knows it is, my friend,” said I.

“I have often seen it much worse than this, as I have been going home from my work. I have counted fifteen, twenty, five-and-twenty, many a time. It’s a shocking thing to see.”

“A shocking thing, indeed,” said I and my companion together. The man lingered near
us a little while, wished us good-night, and went on.

We should have felt it brutal in us who had a better chance of being heard than the working-man, to leave the thing as it was, so we knocked at the Workhouse Gate. I undertook to be spokesman. The moment the gate was opened by an old pauper, I went in, followed close by my companion. I lost no time in passing the old porter, for I saw in his watery eye a disposition to shut us out.

“Be so good as to give that card to the master of the Workhouse, and say I shall be glad to speak to him for a moment.”

We were in a kind of covered gateway, and the old porter went across it with the card. Before he had got to a door on our left, a man in a cloak and hat bounced out of it very sharply, as if he were in the nightly habit of being bullied and of returning the compliment.

“Now, gentlemen,” said he in a loud voice, “what do you want here?”

“First,” said I, ” will you do me the favor to look at that card in your hand. Perhaps you may know my name.”

“Yes,” says he, looking at it. ” I know this name.”

“Good. I only want to ask you a plain question in a civil manner, and there is not the least occasion for either of us to be angry. It would be very foolish in me to blame you, and I don’t blame you. I may find fault with the system you administer, but pray understand that I know you are here to do a duty pointed out to you, and that I have no doubt you do it. Now, I hope you won’t object to tell me what I want to know.”

“No,” said he, quite mollified, and very reasonable, ” not at all. What is it?”

“Do you know that there are five wretched creatures outside?”

“I haven’t seen them, but I dare say there are.”

“Do you doubt that there are?”

“No, not at all. There might be many more.”

”Are they men? Or women?”

“Women, I suppose. Very likely one or two of them were there last night, and the night before last.”

“There all night, do you mean?”

“Very likely.”

My companion and I looked at one another, and the master of the Workhouse added quickly, “Why, Lord bless my soul, what am I to do? What can I do ? The place is full. The place is always full—every night. I must give the preference to women with children, mustn’t I? You wouldn’t have me not do that?”

“Surely not,” said I. “It is a very humane principle, and quite right; and I am glad to hear of it. Don’t forget that I don’t blame you.”

“Well!” said he. And subdued himself again. …

“Just so. I wanted to know no more. You have answered my question civilly and readily, and I am much obliged to you. I have nothing to say against you, but quite the contrary. Good night!”

“Good night, gentlemen!” And out we came again.

We went to the ragged bundle nearest to the Workhouse-door, and I touched it. No movement replying, I gently shook it. The rags began to be slowly stirred within, and by little and little a head was unshrouded. The head of a young woman of three or four and twenty, as I should judge; gaunt with want, and foul with dirt; but not naturally ugly.

“Tell us,” said I, stooping down. “Why are you lying here?”

“Because I can’t get into the Workhouse.”

She spoke in a faint dull way, and had no curiosity or interest left. She looked dreamily at the black sky and the falling rain, but never looked at me or my companion.

“Were you here last night?”

“Yes, All last night. And the night afore too.”

“Do you know any of these others?”

“I know her next but one. She was here last night, and she told me she come out of Essex. I don’t know no more of her.”

“You were here all last night, but you have not been here all day?”

“No. Not all day.”

“Where have you been all day?”

“About the streets.”

”What have you had to eat?”

“Nothing.”

“Come!” said I. “Think a little. You are tired and have been asleep, and don’t quite consider what you are saying to us. You have had something to eat to-day. Come! Think of it!”

“No I haven’t. Nothing but such bits as I could pick up about the market. Why, look at me!”

She bared her neck, and I covered it up again.

“If you had a shilling to get some supper and a lodging, should you know where to get it?”

“Yes. I could do that.”

“For GOD’S sake get it then!”

I put the money into her hand, and she feebly rose up and went away. She never thanked me, never looked at me— melted away into the miserable night, in the strangest manner I ever saw. I have seen many strange things, but not one that has left a deeper impression on my memory than the dull impassive way in which that worn-out heap of misery took that piece of money, and was lost.

One by one I spoke to all the five. In every one, interest and curiosity were as extinct as in the first. They were all dull and languid. No one made any sort of profession or complaint; no one cared to look at me; no one thanked me. When I came to the third, I suppose she saw that my companion and I glanced, with a new horror upon us, at the two last, who had dropped against each other in their sleep, and were lying like broken images. She said, she believed they were young sisters. These were the only words that were originated among the five.

And now let me close this terrible account with a redeeming and beautiful trait of the poorest of the poor. When we came out of the Workhouse, we had gone across the road to a public house, finding ourselves without silver, to get change for a sovereign. I held the money in my hand while I was speaking to the five apparitions. Our being so engaged, attracted the attention of many people of the very poor sort usual to that place; as we leaned over the mounds of rags, they eagerly leaned over us to see and hear; what I had in my hand, and what I said, and what I did, must have been plain to nearly all the concourse. When the last of the five had got up and faded away, the spectators opened to let us pass; and not one of them, by word, or look, or gesture, begged of us.

Many of the observant faces were quick enough to know that it would have been a relief to us to have got rid of the rest of the money with any hope of doing good with it. But, there was a feeling among them all, that their necessities were not to be placed by the side of such a spectacle; and they opened a way for us in profound silence, and let us go.

My companion wrote to me, next day, that the five ragged bundles had been upon his bed all night. I debated how to add our testimony to that of many other persons who from time to time are impelled to write to the newspapers, by having come upon some shameful and shocking sight of this description. I resolved to write in these pages an exact account of what we had seen, but to wait until after Christmas, in order that there might be no heat or haste. I know that the unreasonable disciples of a reasonable school, demented disciples who push arithmetic and political economy beyond all bounds of sense (not to speak of such a weakness as humanity), and hold them to be all-sufficient for every case, can easily prove that such things ought to be, and that no man has any business to mind them. Without disparaging those indispensable sciences in their sanity, I utterly renounce and abominate them in their insanity; and I address people with a respect for the spirit of the New Testament, who do mind such things, and who think them infamous in our streets.

jhw-v13-p0025

We’re either living in Bizarro World or Oceania

bizarro_world_001In Bizarro World in the DC Universe, reality is reversed in every manner. So

— A lyingracistanti-Semiticxenophobichomophobicmisogynisticpedophile thief is considered qualified to run the most powerful country in the world. (Just click on every highlighted word in that sentence.)

— A president of the United States can win an election by getting 2.5 million fewer votes than his opponent.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has garnered at least 65,527,625 votes in the 2016 presidential election, over 2.6 million more than the president-elect, who has received at least 62,851,436 votes, according to figures released Wednesday by The Cook Report, a nonpartisan election analysis organization.

Completely made up news is treated as reality.

The proliferation of fake and hyperpartisan news that has flooded into Americans’ laptops and living rooms has prompted a national soul-searching, with liberals across the country asking how a nation of millions could be marching to such a suspect drumbeat. But while some Americans may take the stories literally — like the North Carolina man who fired his gun in a Washington pizzeria on Sunday trying to investigate a false story spread online of a child-abuse ring led by Hillary Clinton — many do not.

baumhswBut in Oceania, where in the year “1984,” Big Brother is always watching through the telescreen, ministries perform the opposite function of what they’re named for. So:

— The proposed head of the Department of Labor wants to make it easier for businesses instead of workers.

On Thursday, Trump announced that he would nominate as his labor secretary Andrew Puzder, a fast-food executive who has opposed additional overtime pay for workers and expressed skepticism about increasing the minimum wage. That followed a pair of Twitter messages Wednesday evening in which Trump attacked an Indiana union leader who had criticized him, saying the official had done a “terrible job representing workers.”

— The proposed head of the Environmental Protection Agency is against protecting the environment:

President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change — and much of the E.P.A. itself.

Mr. Pruitt, a Republican, has been a key architect of the legal battle against Mr. Obama’s climate change policies, actions that fit with the president-elect’s comments during the campaign. Mr. Trump has criticized the established science of human-caused global warming as a hoax, vowed to “cancel” the Paris accord committing nearly every nation to taking action to fight climate change, and attacked Mr. Obama’s signature global warming policy, the Clean Power Plan, as a “war on coal.”

— The proposed head of the Department of Education wants to dismantle public education:

President-elect Donald Trump announced that he would nominate billionaire activist and Republican fundraiser Betsy DeVos as his education secretary.

Education historian Diane Ravitch believes that—if confirmed by the Senate—DeVos will become the most radical, anti-public-school education secretary since the Office of Education was established in 1867. “Never has anyone been appointed to lead in the past 150 years who was hostile to public education,” Ravitch told Mother Jones.

— The proposed head of the Department of Health and Human Services wants to eliminate the program that has provided healthcare to millions of previously uninsured Americans:

Donald Trump has chosen a prominent critic of Obamacare as his secretary of health and human services, casting fresh doubt over the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Last week, Price said that whatever Republicans do to replace Obama’s healthcare law will bear a “significant resemblance” to a 2015 measure that was vetoed by the president. That bill would have gutted some of the health care law’s main features: Medicaid expansion, subsidies to help middle-class Americans buy private policies, the tax penalties for individuals who refused to get coverage and several taxes to support coverage expansion. The bill would have delayed implementation for two years.

— And the proposed head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development isn’t interested in housing or urban development:

Donald Trump’s selection Monday of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development sets up what could be a collision between the nominee’s philosophical aversion to social safety-net programs and an agency that administers some of the government’s most expansive programs for helping minorities and low-income people.

Who knows? Maybe we’re living in both places, and the national slogan is:

War am peace.
Freedom am slavery.
Ignorance am strength.

The joke of the day (and it’s on the pump truppets)

czkz2t2usaahn0x

And now, the true punch line:

On Thursday, Trump announced that he would nominate as his labor secretary Andrew Puzder, a fast-food executive who has opposed additional overtime pay for workers and expressed skepticism about increasing the minimum wage. That followed a pair of Twitter messages Wednesday evening in which Trump attacked an Indiana union leader who had criticized him, saying the official had done a “terrible job representing workers.”

The actions, coming just four weeks after Trump won the presidency in part by wooing union voters with promises of better trade deals and a manufacturing revival, fed fears among national labor leaders that Trump was now planning a broad assault on unions.

“The president-elect campaigned on reaching out to working people, and this is one of a string of nominations that run counter to that,” said Eric Hauser, the AFL-CIO’s strategic adviser and communications director.

HA, HA, HA!!! YOU FELL FOR IT YOU MORONS! Or as you truppets spell it:

morans

But since you lied your asses off when you said you were voting on the economy and jobs (which by the way have gotten extraordinarily better since your imaginary Kenyan Muslim usurper, Barack Obama, replaced the fine Christian incompetent you could have a beer with, George W. Bush, the dumber), just keep wallowing in your xenophobia and racism and blaming brown people for all your self-inflicted wounds while the tiny-fingered, mini-peckered plutocrat-in-chief you elected fills his cabinet with greedy oligarchs whose only desire is to take food out of the mouths of your children and steal the meds from your sickly ma and pa.

MORANS!

Budget? Budget?!? We don’t need no stinkin’ budget!

Just when you thought the Lugenorange and his army of pump truppets couldn’t do anything more to screw up the country

The Trump administration is seriously thinking about not submitting a budget to Congress next year.

Although the Congressional Budget Act requires the president to submit the fiscal 2018 budget to Congress between January 2 and February 6, Trump could easily say that it was the responsibility of the outgoing Obama administration to comply with the law before the new president was sworn in on January 20.

But while the new president not sending a budget to Congress might not be illegal, it would clearly be unprecedented.

Every in-coming president since the Congressional Budget Act went into effect in the mid-1970s has submitted a budget. In many years, those budgets (or amendments to the outgoing president’s final budget) were submitted months after the first-Monday-in-February deadline and were truncated versions of the usual multi-volume presentation. But, a fiscal plan with the new president’s priorities was consistently released for over 4 decades.

This doesn’t even qualify as anarchy anymore. This gives Cheeto and his Legion of Doom carte blanche to steal billions of dollars in the name of getting the government out of the private sector by privatizing everything the government does to keep us at least as an industrial nation. When the raping and pillaging is done, because a mass of alleged humanity though it was in their interest to vote for a rapist and pillager, we’re all going to end up in a fetal position begging the dictator to stop kicking us while we’re down.

A pump truppet is smacked in the face with our reality

66aeeff66959a10271e0be9fccc28f2cFrom the Associated Press:

When Donald Trump named his Treasury secretary, Teena Colebrook felt her heart sink.

She had voted for the president-elect on the belief that he would knock the moneyed elites from their perch in Washington. And she knew Trump’s pick for Treasury — Steven Mnuchin — all too well.

OneWest, a bank formerly owned by a group of investors headed by Mnuchin, had foreclosed on her Los Angeles-area home in the aftermath of the Great Recession, stripping her of the two units she rented as a primary source of income.

Let’s break this down. This woman lost the rental property she was counting on for income because of a recession created by the incompetence of the Republican administration led by George Bush (the dumber). The economy turns around and things actually get better under the Democratic president, who the hemorrhoidal oligarch says wasn’t born in this country, was actually a Muslim and didn’t deserve his college degree.

And the woman falls for the GOP’s pseudo billionaire anal inflamation from New York who says he’s a man of the people. The bedpan she calls a brain doesn’t even bother to consider that a billionaire in New York doesn’t associate with “the people.” He associates with other plutocrats, who in New York happen to be investment bankers.

These aren’t his enemies. This is his social circle.

So she votes for him, and guess what! He fills his Cabinet with fellow plutocrats. One of whom took her houses away, essentially stealing her money, taking food out of her mouth, and putting her shelter at risk.

Now, I should feel sorry for her, but here’s our reality. She knew that her man of the people was a lyingracist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, homophobicmisogynistic pedophile, and she happily voted for him anyway. Because, you know, build the wall, lock her up and make America great again. Which means she enthusiastically wanted the Lügenorange to make defenseless people suffer.

Only Miss Bigot McTruppet didn’t understand, she was a defenseless person.

So, suffer. You got your wish.

The job creator

So, the Lügenkarotte made a big production out of giving millions of dollars to a Hoosier air conditioner maker to save 800 jobs and in the process still managed to lose 600 jobs in Indiana. (From Fox News, because pump truppets can only wrap their minds around this):

By enabling Carrier’s Indianapolis plant to stay open, the deal spares about 800 union workers whose jobs were going to be outsourced to Mexico, according to federal officials who were briefed by the heating and air conditioning company. This suggests that hundreds will still lose their jobs at the factory, where roughly 1,400 workers were slated to be laid off.

Also, neither Trump nor Carrier has yet to say what the workers might have to give up or precisely what threats or incentives were used to get the manufacturer to change its mind.

Of course the truppets don’t bother with reality:

Cheering crowds greeted Trump during his victory lap through the Rust Belt this week following the announcement that the nation’s new negotiator-in-chief had struck a deal with heating and air conditioner manufacturer Carrier to keep a factory in Indiana from moving to Mexico. The agreement affected roughly 1,000 jobs and provided Trump the opportunity to deliver on a powerful campaign promise even before taking office.

The plant is just a sliver compared with the nearly 16 million new jobs generated under Obama as he guided the country out of the worst economic crisis since the Depression.

So net jobs for the head Cheeto: minus 600, after giving a company millions of dollars to save jobs. At that rate, he should match Obama’s job creation total by … never.