Pastor better than MSM at keeping Trump in line

Donald Trump was invited to speak at a church in Flint, Michigan, but started to do a political speech instead. The pastor stopped him:

Donald Trump being Donald Trump lied about it:

Donald Trump is lashing out against an African-American pastor who interrupted him Wednesday to chide him for campaigning in her Flint, Mich., church.

“Something was up,” Trump told Fox and Friends on Thursday morning, calling the Rev. Faith Green Timmons a “nervous mess.”

“I noticed she was so nervous when she introduced me,” he said. “When she got up to introduce me she was so nervous, she was shaking. I said, wow, this is kind of strange. Then she came up. So she had that in mind, there’s no question.”

“The audience was saying, ‘Let him speak, let him speak,’ ” Trump told Fox and Friends.

This despite the fact that you can clearly hear the pastor in the video above supporting Trump when the audience heckles him. What a loser.

Anyway, Trump told the press that he was going to talk about birtherism today, but:

After Donald Trump spent a mere 30 seconds addressing President Obama’s birthplace during a 30-minute event that started an hour late at his new hotel in Washington, D.C., the anchors at CNN tore into Trump and his attitude toward the press.

They really need to talk to that pastor to see how it’s done.

Jeff Jacoby elitist extraordinaire

Jeff Jacoby writes this type of column every once in a while:

When your car needs fixing, you want someone knowledgeable about auto mechanics to diagnose the problem; when a weighty medical decision has to be made, you probably wouldn’t turn to inexperienced laymen to make it. The crafting of government policy — of tax law and defense budgets and judicial nominations and trade regulations — is at least as serious an endeavor as surgery and car repair. Many people, for wholly legitimate and understandable reasons, give no thought to governmental affairs. Fine, but why hector them to vote? If anything, they should be reassured that it’s OK if they don’t vote.

Here’s Jeff back awhile on Democrats:

At a Democratic fundraiser in Newton this month, offering what he called “a little bit of perspective from the Oval Office,’’ President Obama gave this diagnosis of the American political scene:

“Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now, and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time, is because we’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared. And the country is scared.’’

The smug condescension in this — we’re losing because voters are panicky and confused — is matched only by its apparent cluelessness. Does Obama really believe that demeaning ordinary Americans is the way to improve his party’s fortunes? Or that his dwindling job approval is due to the public’s weak grip on “facts and science’’ and not, say, to his own divisive and doctrinaire performance as president?

Hmm , it’s smug condescension when President Obama notes that voters don’t always have the best information when they vote, but when Jeff says the same thing and then says those people probably shouldn’t vote?

Jeff has made a career out of talking about ‘liberal elites’, such as here, but this is the true elitism–only some people should vote.

And, because I haven’t uploaded pictures for a while, here’s a non-elitist picture of a sunset:

14310569_1091171800930387_6987235377543207482_o

Thanks Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Let’s take a look at what the CFPB is doing these days:

Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) fined Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. $100 million for the widespread illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts. Spurred by sales targets and compensation incentives, employees boosted sales figures by covertly opening accounts and funding them by transferring funds from consumers’ authorized accounts without their knowledge or consent, often racking up fees or other charges. According to the bank’s own analysis, employees opened more than two million deposit and credit card accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers. Wells Fargo will pay full restitution to all victims and a $100 million fine to the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund. The bank will also pay an additional $35 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and another $50 million to the City and County of Los Angeles.

What exactly did they do?

According to today’s enforcement action, thousands of Wells Fargo employees illegally enrolled consumers in these products and services without their knowledge or consent in order to obtain financial compensation for meeting sales targets. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act prohibits unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices. Wells Fargo’s violations include:

  • Opening deposit accounts and transferring funds without authorization: According to the bank’s own analysis, employees opened roughly 1.5 million deposit accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers. Employees then transferred funds from consumers’ authorized accounts to temporarily fund the new, unauthorized accounts. This widespread practice gave the employees credit for opening the new accounts, allowing them to earn additional compensation and to meet the bank’s sales goals. Consumers, in turn, were sometimes harmed because the bank charged them for insufficient funds or overdraft fees because the money was not in their original accounts.
  • Applying for credit card accounts without authorization: According to the bank’s own analysis, Wells Fargo employees applied for roughly 565,000 credit card accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers. On those unauthorized credit cards, many consumers incurred annual fees, as well as associated finance or interest charges and other fees.
  • Issuing and activating debit cards without authorization: Wells Fargo employees requested and issued debit cards without consumers’ knowledge or consent, going so far as to create PINs without telling consumers.
  • Creating phony email addresses to enroll consumers in online-banking services: Wells Fargo employees created phony email addresses not belonging to consumers to enroll them in online-banking services without their knowledge or consent.

Yow, they’ve been a bad little bank. And remember, pretty much every single Republican, including one Donald Trump, wants to get rid of the CFPB and reduce oversight on the banks. After all, the banks are so very trustworthy.

Fuck

Yup, this is how I often feel these days:

What the fuck is going on? Donald Trump! Donald fucking Trump! He’s a jackass reality TV star. He’s goddamn clueless. For fuck’s sake, this can’t be happening. Can it? Fucking fuck. Why isn’t anyone calling it out? It’s like Alice in fucking Wonderland. How can we be doing this? Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

And on other days I feel worse. Fucking Trump.

The MBTA and Labor Day

So, Monday was Labor Day. Let’s see what happened the next day:

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is considering the privatization of driver and maintenance worker jobs, a prospect that could lead to the layoff of hundreds of employees, as it tries to cut into a multimillion dollar deficit.

The MBTA’s fiscal and management control board, which oversees the agency, told legislators in a report that MBTA management is focusing on drivers, operations employees, and maintenance workers — particularly for buses — because those areas account for about 85 percent of the MBTA’s operational costs.

Such privatization could mark Governor Charlie Baker’s most extensive effort to outsource MBTA jobs to date. It follows the T’s decision to pursue privatization of its warehouse and cash-counting operations, which potentially could eliminate more than 100 jobs.

Joe Pesaturo, a T spokesman, said that privatization “remains a critical tool” for the T as it seeks to close a $100 million deficit.

The day after Labor Day the control board decides is a good time to start pushing to weaken labor. They seem nice.

Update: It seems the report came out on Saturday.

Update 2: Here’s Charlie Baker last year:

“I do not want to privatize the T. I do not want to slash services,” Baker said, testifying about his plan to install a fiscal and management control board and free the transit agency from procedures required before state services can be privatized.

Baker said he hopes to supplement the T with privatized service, and Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack suggested areas that would be difficult or impossible under the current privatization requirements.

Pollack said she would not be able to convert the new late-night weekend train and bus service to smaller, private buses, and said there are questions about whether the T could contract for fare agents on the commuter rail.

Happy Labor Day

I hope everyone has had a good day celebrating workers and unions. And thanking them for having the day off, weekends, Social Security, child labor laws,  a minimum wage, safety rules, an 8 hour day, and a good wage. All of these were bought with hard work, dedication, and blood. So go celebrate but remember companies didn’t give us any of this, people had to fight for them. So as you celebrate thank the unions.

Apple CEO makes a funny

The European Union decided that a tax deal that Ireland gave to Apple Computers was illegal and says they have to pay money back to Ireland. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, is upset:

Timothy D. Cook, the Apple chief, defended the company’s tax practices in Ireland, countering European officials’ ruling this week that the Irish government provided illegal incentives which allowed the technology giant to pay essentially nothing some years. In an interview with the Irish broadcaster RTE, Cook said the company paid its fair share in Ireland, the United States, and elsewhere.

Cook noted that Apple planned to send some of its enormous amount of cash overseas back to the United States next year, although he did not specify how much. Those international reserves have been particularly divisive as they remain out of the reach of US tax authorities.

“The finding is wrongheaded,” Cook told RTE. “It’s not true — there wasn’t a special deal between Ireland and Apple.”

He continued, “When you’re accused of doing something that is so foreign to your values, it brings out outrage in you.”

That last bit is a joke, I assume, and it’s quite funny. Apple specifically moved its operation to Ireland to save billions of dollars in taxes and has basically said they’ll bring the overseas cash back to the US only if they get a special deal on taxes. But cheating on taxes is “foreign to their values”. Ha ha, good one Tim.

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