Deplorable Trump, deplorable Roy Moore

Hillary Clinton famously called many of President Trump and his supporters deplorable:

And if you have read about the ones he says he’s likely to support, he’s not kidding. In fact, if you look at his running mate, his running-mate signed a law that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT Americans. And there’s so much more than I find deplorable in his campaign: the way that he cozies up to white supremacist, makes racist attacks, calls women pigs, mocks people with disabilities — you can’t make this up. He wants to round up and deport 16 million people, calls our military a disaster. And every day he says something else which I find so personally offensive, but also dangerous.

You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?
The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now how 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric.

Roy Moore is the sort of person she was talking about so, of course, Trump is campaigning for him. Besides being a probable pedophile and all-around sleaze, here’s some more:

At Moore’s Florence rally, the former judge outlined all the wrongs he sees in Washington and “spiritual wickedness in high places.” He warned of “the awful calamity of abortion and sodomy and perverse behavior and murders and shootings and road rage” as “a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins.”

In response to a question from one of the only African Americans in the audience — who asked when Moore thought America was last “great” — Moore acknowledged the nation’s history of racial divisions, but said: “I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another…. Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”

At the same event, Moore referred to Native Americans and Asian Americans as “reds and yellows,” and earlier this year he suggested the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were divine punishment.

Moore tends to prefer his interpretation of Christian Scripture to laws and court orders, which has twice put him out of a job for defying federal court rulings.

And more:

The Guardian reporter interviewing Moore asked about Russia, noting that President Ronald Reagan once said the Soviet Union was “the focus of evil in the modern world.”

“Could say that very well about America, couldn’t you?” Moore responded. “Well, we promote a lot of bad things. Same-sex marriage.”

The reporter said that was “the very argument that Vladimir Putin makes.”

“Well, maybe Putin is right,” Moore said. “Maybe he is more akin to me than I know.”

The final piece of resurfaced commentary came via CNN, which highlighted a speech Moore gave in 1997 criticizing the theory of evolution.
“We have kids driving by shooting each other that they don’t even know each other,” he said. “They’re acting like animals because we’ve taught them they come from animals. They’re treating their fellow man with prejudice because we’ve taught them they’ve come from animals, not from God, who despises that sort of thing.”

And he will probably be a Senator by the end of Tuesday.

Republican Tax Cuts

So the Republicans have passed their Tax Cuts for the rich bill in the Senate and it’s everything you have come to expect in a Republican bill:

With the Senate split 52 to 48, Republicans barely had votes to spare. But the bill’s passage was made possible by a near-complete Republican embrace of the idea that about $1.5 trillion of tax cuts will pay for themselves, by producing enough economic growth and additional federal revenue to offset their costs to the Treasury.

That belief was contradicted by several studies, including one from Congress’s official economic scorekeeper, which Republicans dismissed as overly pessimistic.

Mr. McConnell waved off any deficit concerns. “I’m totally confident this is a revenue-neutral bill,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a revenue producer.”

Ignore Senate rules: check; ignore facts: check; help the wealthy: check. And look at the actual bill which was made public about two hours before voting began (of course lobbyists helped write the thing so had it long before that) and included pages such as (click to see the pdf):

Doc1

Kevin Drum lists some the things added to get some votes:

The senator from Texas is getting a break for private (i.e., mostly Christian) school tuition. The senator from Kentucky won passage of a provision allowing car dealers to deduct interest paid on loans to stock showrooms. The senator from Missouri, whose son is a lobbyist for MillerCoors, scored a provision that cuts taxes on imported beer and liquor. The senator from Georgia, home of Delta Airlines, got a provision that penalizes foreign airlines. This is all being done via handwritten notes at the last second, and the result is that about $600 billion of taxing and spending has been redirected within 24 hours without a single hearing.

Congratulations Republicans, you have passed a horrible bill.

Donald Trump is a sick joke

So the pick to be the interim leader at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is:

Richard Cordray, the Obama-appointed leader of the bureau, abruptly announced he would leave the job at the close of business, a week earlier than anticipated. He followed up with a letter naming his chief of staff, Leandra English, as the agency’s deputy director.

The White House retaliated, saying that the budget director, Mick Mulvaney, who once characterized the consumer protection bureau as a “sad, sick joke,” would be running the agency.

Mulvaney tries the usual lies:

“I believe Americans deserve a C.F.P.B. that seeks to protect them while ensuring free and fair markets for all consumers,” he said in a statement. “Financial services are the engine of American democratic capitalism, and we need to let it work.”

Grab your wallet when a Republican says they want to protect the consumer. Mulvaney doesn’t like the CPFB:

Mr. Mulvaney, who as a Republican congressman from South Carolina was a co-sponsor of legislation to shut down the consumer bureau, had been widely anticipated.

Really doesn’t like it:

‘‘The place is a wonderful example of how a bureaucracy will function if it has no accountability to anybody,’’ he told the Credit Union Times in 2014. ‘‘It turns up being a joke in a sick, sad kind of way.’’

This is a typical Trump appointment, he wants to get rid of the agency he has been assigned to run. I’m assuming the courts will have to weigh in on this, hopefully we get to keep someone who wants to keep the CFPB for a little while longer.

Conservatives and political correctness

Here’s how the NY Times frames the complaint against Starbuck’s holiday cups (bold added):

Controversy over the design of seasonal Starbucks cups is just one front in an annual culture war over the role of religion and liberalism in the five-week period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, a period that people inclined toward interfaith outreach might call “the holiday season.”

Like many divisive cultural debates, arguments over the Christian bona fides of seasonal Starbucks cups appear to have intensified during the 2016 presidential campaign as political and social tensions heightened in many areas of American life.

In 2015, Starbucks announced it would remove traditional holiday symbols, like reindeer and Christmas trees, from its holiday cups in favor of a more minimalist red design.

In a statement released at the time, the company said it wanted to “create a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity” and meant the cups as an invitation for “customers to tell their Christmas stories in their own way, with a red cup that mimics a blank canvas.”

That decision was met with an angry online backlash from conservatives and others who saw it as an example of political correctness run amok. Joshua Feuerstein, a conservative Christian activist with a robust social media presence, urged a boycott in a Facebook video that has been viewed over 17 million times.

If you think about it, this is exactly backwards. The conservatives are saying there is only one way to celebrate Christmas and they cry out if anyone dares to do it differently. Starbucks isn’t being politically correct here, the conservatives are.

Trump administration is rolling coal

Here’s the Trump administration trolling the world again:

The Trump administration made its debut at a United Nations conference on climate change on Monday by giving a full-throated defense of fossil fuels and nuclear energy as answers to driving down global greenhouse gas emissions.

The forum — the only official appearance by the United States delegation during the annual two-week climate gathering of nearly 200 nations — illustrated how sharply the administration’s views are at odds with those of many key participants in the climate negotiations.

George D. Banks, special adviser to President Trump on international energy issues, led a panel with top American energy executives. “Without question, fossil fuels will continue to be used, and we would argue that it’s in the global interest to make sure when fossil fuels are used that they be as clean and efficient as possible,” Mr. Banks said. “This panel is controversial only if we chose to bury our heads in the sand.”

Here’s an interesting comeback:

Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York mayor who has spent tens of millions of dollars on a campaign to shut down coal plants, said, “Promoting coal at a climate summit is like promoting tobacco at a cancer summit.”

The thing is, Donald Trump doesn’t recognize that. He is the king of political correctness, so if he thinks there’s no global warming then you’re not going to hear anybody from his administration talk about it and so you get comments like the one above by Mr. Banks.

Trump: America first after Putin

Here’s one direct consequence of President Trump’s America First policy:

A group of 11 countries announced Saturday that they had committed to resurrecting a sweeping multinational trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, without the United States.

Other countries are slowly but surely making progress on their own sweeping trade deals, without any participation from the United States. China is negotiating a potential deal with 16 Asia-Pacific countries, including Japan, India, and South Korea.

The European Union and Japan hope to strike separate trade pacts with a group of South American countries, Brazil and Argentina among them.

The rest of the world seems to have decided that they can make deals without the US which will put the US at a disadvantage.

But Trump backs away from the America First policy in some key places:

Trump heaped disdain on the former leaders of three US intelligence agencies — John O. Brennan, the former CIA director; James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence; and James Comey, the FBI director he fired this year — appearing to suggest that they were less trustworthy than Putin.
“I mean, give me a break — they’re political hacks,” Trump said. “You have Brennan, you have Clapper, and you have Comey. Comey’s proven now to be a liar, and he’s proven to be a leaker, so you look at that. And you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with that.”

Putin has spoken nicely about Trump and, in general, Trump likes people who speak nicely about him … even if that person tried to disrupt elections in the US.

 

MS-13 is horrible. Ok, it’s not too bad.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Trump have gone on and on about how horrible the Central American gang MS-13 is. Unless that is they’re talking about shipping immigrants back there:

More than 300,000 Central Americans and Haitians living in the United States under a form of temporary permission no longer need to be shielded from deportation, the State Department told Homeland Security officials this week.
The statement was issued a few days ahead of a highly anticipated DHS announcement about whether to renew that protection.
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent a letter to acting DHS secretary Elaine Duke to inform her that conditions in Central America and Haiti that had been used to justify the protection no longer necessitate a reprieve for the migrants.

As an aside, MS-13 formed in the LA area by Salvadorans displaced by the civil wars fomented by the US and it took root in El Salvador after the US deported many of them back to El Salvador. Reagan’s actions have come back to bite us.

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