Monday, October 3, 2016

Last Call For Rusted Orange Steel

Another week, another Kurt Eichenwald story in Newsweek on Trump's malfeasance, this time involving how he screwed US steel workers in favor of his current favorite free trade bogeyman, China.

Plenty of blue-collar workers believe that, as president, Donald Trump would be ready to fight off U.S. trade adversaries and reinvigorate the country’s manufacturing industries through his commitment to the Rust Belt. What they likely don’t know is that Trump has been stiffing American steel workers on his own construction projects for years, choosing to deprive untold millions of dollars from four key electoral swing states and instead directing it to China—the country whose trade practices have helped decimate the once-powerful industrial center of the United States. 
A Newsweek investigation has found that in at least two of Trump’s last three construction projects, Trump opted to purchase his steel and aluminum from Chinese manufacturers rather than United States corporations based in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. In other instances, he abandoned steel altogether, instead choosing the far-less-expensive option of buying concrete from various companies, including some linked to the Luchese and Genovese crime families. Trump has never been accused of engaging in any wrongdoing for his business dealings with those companies, but it’s true that the Mafia has long controlled much of the concrete industry in New York. 
Throughout his campaign, Trump has maintained that some controversial decisions for his companies amounted to nothing more than taking actions that were good for business, and were therefore reflections of his financial acumen. But, with the exception of one business that collapsed into multiple bankruptcies, Trump does not operate a public company; he has no fiduciary obligation to shareholders to obtain the highest returns he can. His decisions to turn away from American producers were not driven by legal obligations to investors, but simply resulted in higher profits for himself and his family.

So Trump loves to buy American unless buying Chinese is cheaper and makes him more money in the long run.  It's almost like his screaming about how America doesn't make good stuff anymore is just a ruse, as he's happy to buy overseas if it lines his pockets.

And this is the guy who is going to bring back high-paying factory and mill jobs to the US, when he won't even buy US steel that's already being made here?

I'd really like to know what all those "lifelong Democrats" who haven't voted for a Democrat for president since Carter think of Trump buying Chinese steel, because it sounds like to me that he only cares about his own damn self and always has.

Clinton And Criminal Justice

The main complaint I hear from other black voters who are hesitant to support Clinton is that she has no real plan for criminal justice reform and to end mass incarceration.  Now, nobody I've talked to plans to vote for Trump, and maybe one or two are thinking about Stein or Johnson, but the choice is much more "I plan not to vote for anyone unless they earn it" on the issue of police.

So what is Hillary Clinton's policy on fixing our broken policing system in America?  She made her case in Charlotte over the weekend.

In a humble church with a familiar name, Little Rock A.M.E. Zion, Hillary Clinton on Sunday made a passionate case for police reform and a direct appeal to the city's black voters, whose support she needs to win this swing state. 
Less than two weeks after the death of Keith Lamont Scott, a black man killed by police, Clinton arrived here Sunday morning with a message of sympathy for a grieving community and political promises, including “end to end reform in our criminal justice system — not half-measures, but full measures.”

She acknowledged that when it comes to understanding the plight of black families in America, she will never be able to replicate the symbolic empathy of President Barack Obama. “I’m a grandmother, but my worries are not the same as black grandmothers who have different and deeper fears about the world that their grandchildren face,” Clinton said. “I wouldn’t be able to stand it if my grandchildren had to be scared and worried, the way too many children across our country feel right now." 
Clinton’s visit to Charlotte was critical — she was so eager to visit that the campaign announced a trip last Sunday, when the city was still grappling with violent protests and looting. The trip was ultimately delayed by a week at the request of local lawmakers.
On Sunday, she was accompanied by her senior policy adviser Maya Harris, longtime aide Capricia Marshall and senior staffer Marlon Marshall, who is overseeing the campaign’s African-American outreach. 
Clinton’s challenge in North Carolina, where current polls put her trailing Donald Trump by about 3 points, is boosting the African-American vote that landed Obama a victory in 2008, when he won a state that had gone to the Republican nominee in the previous seven presidential election cycles. The key was Mecklenburg County, which includes the city of Charlotte, where Obama beat John McCain by more than 100,000 votes.

And that's true: black turnout in Mecklenburg, Orange (Chapel Hill), Durham and Wake (Raleigh) is the key to Clinton winning the state.  But more importantly, she does have a real plan for police reform.

Since the beginning of her campaign, Clinton has called for training police to de-escalate tense situations; common-sense gun reforms; and ending the “school-to-prison pipeline” by investing in education. But the Charlotte trip offered her a critical opportunity to make the case directly to black voters, with 36 days to go in the race. 
And the political message of the day was clear. Robin Bradford, who heads up the National Action Network’s Charlotte chapter, implored the congregation that “if you don’t utilize your right to vote, then you have no right to say anything.” 
“We do more than pray,” Clinton added in her remarks. “Everyone can vote.”

And that's important.  It's easy to dismiss Clinton's stated policies in all the noise over Trump and everything else, but they are there, and they are a universe better than anything I've seen out of Trump or Johnson or even Stein on this.

Black Lives Still Matter

Another day, another police shooting of a black man, another name as a hashtag on social media, this time in LA as an officer gunned down Carnell Snell, Jr. fleeing on foot after being pulled over for suspected auto theft.

The Los Angeles Police Department says it is investigating after an officer fatally shot a black man following a foot chase. 
LAPD officers say the incident started when they tried to perform a traffic stop early Saturday afternoon on a car with paper license plates. Officers suspected the vehicle, which contained at least two occupants, was stolen. The car failed to stop and officers gave chase, according to authorities. 
When the car finally came to a halt, two men fled on foot in different directions, the LAPD said in a statement. Two officers chased one of the suspects, following him to the rear of a nearby residence. 
An officer whose name has not been released then fatally shot the man, less than two blocks away from where the foot pursuit started. Paramedics declared the man dead at the scene of the shooting. 
No officers were injured and a handgun was recovered at the scene, the LAPD said. It was not clear Sunday what happened to the other man who fled the car. 
Several CNN affiliates and the Los Angeles Times identified the man killed by police as Carnell Snell Jr., 18. His mother, Monique Morgan, was visibly distraught as she told reporters her son was shot five times. 

Last time I checked, fleeing police on foot was not a capital crime, neither is grand theft auto.  The "handgun recovered at the scene" is what bothers me, as we've seen in both Charlotte and South Charleston that police don't have a problem with planting a gun at the scene to justify a "righteous shoot".  We'll find out that Snell "was no saint" and that the LAPD had no choice but to execute him on the spot, as always.

As with any officer-involved shooting, LAPD's Force Investigation Division will investigate and present its findings to Police Chief Charlie Beck. The chief, along with the LAPD board of commissioners, will determine whether the officer complied with the department procedures. 
The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office also plans to review evidence collected during the investigation. 
Crowds gathered near the scene of the shooting and remained there into the evening, but the demonstrations were peaceful. Police monitoring the protest initially wore riot gear, but removed it later, according to CNN affiliate KTLA.

So nobody else was hurt as a result of this at least, but anyone who expected the LAPD to be any different from the NYPD or any other major police department in this country was fooling themselves.

But black lives still matter.


Related Posts with Thumbnails