Posts Tagged ‘GOP’

Trump Appoints ‘Foreclosure King’ As Treasury Secretary

December 2, 2016

Trump Appoints 'Foreclosure King' As Treasury Secretary

President-elect and self-proclaimed swamp-drainer Donald J. Trump has named Goldman Sachs alum and former hedge fund partner Steve Mnuchin as his Treasury Secretary. Mr. Mnuchin, who was finance chair of the Trump campaign and the producer of Suicide Squad, became infamous as the “Foreclosure King” when his OneWest Bank foreclosed on over 36,000 family homes during the financial crisis. OneWest specialized in “harsh, repugnant and repulsive” foreclosures on the homes of minority families and the elderly, and in one celebrated case foreclosed on a 90-year-old woman over a 27 cent error.

The Department of the Treasury controls mortgage guarantee agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and runs the MHA mortgage relief program and the Hardest Hit Fund, which helps homeowners most in danger of foreclosure due to the financial crisis. Oh, it also regulates banks.

More:

“Trump Treasury pick made millions after his bank foreclosed on homeowners,” Lorraine Woellert, Politico

“Steve Mnuchin: Evictor, Forecloser, and Our New Treasury Secretary,” Peter Dreier, American Prospect

“Trump Was Always Going to Be a Gift to Wall Street. His Pick for Treasury Secretary Proves It.,” Jordan Weissmann, Slate

“Donald Trump voter who lost her home to new Treasury pick Steven Mnuchin has ‘no faith in our government anymore,’” Josh Boak and Jeff Horowitz, AP via Salon

“Angus King: Trump’s not draining swamp, he’s adding alligators,” Mark Hensch, The Hill

Bonus:

“Before heading to the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin will grace the silver screen in ‘Rules Don’t Apply,'” Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

“The fiancée of Trump’s twice-married new Treasury Secretary, 53, is 35-year-old actress who sparked fury after she ‘invented parts of her memoir about nearly being killed in Africa,'” Jennifer Newton, Daily Mail

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Ben Carson at HUD: Pyramid Scheme?

November 30, 2016

Ben Carson at HUD: Pyramid Scheme?
Last we heard of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, he was proposed for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, presumably because he lives in a house and once lived in a city. We assume President-elect Trump will appoint a city planner as Surgeon General.

Dr. Carson’s fascination with Egyptian pyramids may influence U.S. cityscapes during the Trump administration. On the other hand, his spokesman told the press that Ben Carson thinks he’s unqualified to run a federal department. Any department. Oh, and the good doctor recently diagnosed the HUD-administered Fair Housing laws as “communist.”

More:

“Ben Carson Is Trump’s Pick for HUD Secretary, for Some Terrible Reason,” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

“Ben Carson for HUD Secretary, Why?” Kriston Capps, CityLab

“Stop Treating HUD Like A Second-Tier Department,” Andrew Flowers, FiveThirtyEight

Update:

“Turns Out Ben Carson Didn’t Grow Up in Public Housing,” Adam K. Raymond, New York Magazine

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Mike Pence Casting Out the Lobbyists From the Trump Transition Team

November 18, 2016

Mike Pence Casting Out the Lobbyists From the Trump Transition Team
“Swamp-drainer” Donald Trump’s initial transition team was chock full of the very lobbyists he had railed against on the campaign trail. It was embarrassing, so the president-elect brought in holy warrior Mike Pence to drive the money changers out of Trump Tower. Trump Tower has revolving doors, but the new administration’s incoming officials will pledge to forego lobbying for 5 years. As we know, ethics are very important to the founder of Trump University.

More:

“Donald Trump’s Lobbying Ban Effectively Bans Very Little,” on Schwarz, The Intercept

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Image (“Mike Pence Casting Out the Lobbyists From the Trump Transition Team, after Antoine Jean-Baptiste Thomas”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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‘Downton Abbey’ Ex-Congressman Indicted on 24 Counts

November 16, 2016

'Downton Abbey' Ex-Congressman Indicted on 24 Counts

A federal grand jury has indicted former Congressman Aaron Schock on 24 criminal counts that include theft of government funds, wire fraud, making false statements, and filing false tax returns. Once a Republican star, he used federal and campaign funds to support a lifestyle of personal trainers and personal photographers, a stylish wardrobe, charter plane and helicopter trips for Hawaiian surfing, tango-dancing in Bueno Aires, glacier jumping in Patagonia and a plush Downton Abbey-themed Capitol Hill office with a $5,000 chandelier.

The Washington Post ran a feature on the office, and questions were raised. Mr. Schock resigned from Congress during an ensuing ethics inquiry, but an FBI investigation followed, and the Bureau’s findings were sent to the grand jury which has now returned the indictments. Looks like media coverage of Aaron Schock will be resuming shortly. Hope he’s still got the wardrobe for it.

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Trump Has An Enemies List. Are You On It?

November 14, 2016

Trump Has An Enemies List. Are You On It?
While President-elect Donald Trump has sounded gracious, magnanimous and conciliatory after his election victory, his advisors have not. At the Trump election night party, African-American Outreach Director Omarosa Manigault, Mr. Trump’s fellow reality TV star (Fear Factor, Girls Behaving Badly, The Apprentice, The Surreal Life, Celebrity Apprentice) told the Independent Journal Review:

“It’s so great our enemies are making themselves clear so that when we get in to the White House, we know where we stand …. But let me just tell you, Mr. Trump has a long memory and we’re keeping a list.”

In a campaign not noted for consistency, Ms. Manigault told PBS Frontline the same thing back in September:

(more…)

Judge Orders Bottled Water Delivery To Flint Residents

November 11, 2016

Judge Orders Bottled Water Delivery To Flint Residents

Federal Court Judge David M. Lawson has ordered Michigan state and local governments to provide home delivery of at least four cases of water a week to each resident of Flint, unless officials verify that the household has a properly installed and maintained water filter. Deliveries must continue until the city’s water lead hazard ends.

Bottled water had previously been available for pick-up at various locations throughout the city, but restrictive access hours and limits per family placed the burden on residents, 40 percent of whom live below the poverty line. Many do not own cars, and had to walk to and from the water supply centers.

As Judge Lawson observed:

“In modern society, when we turn on a faucet, we expect safe drinking water to flow out. As the evidence shows, this is no longer the case in Flint. The Flint water crisis has in effect turned back the clock to a time when people traveled to central water sources to fill their buckets and carry the water home.”

The water became tainted with lead in 2014 when the Republican state government privatized Flint’s water utility, which then instituted cost-cutting measure while charging residents some of the highest rates in the nation.

More:

“Federal judge orders delivery of bottled water in Flint,” Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

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Trumpismo Grabs America By the … Throat

November 9, 2016

Trumpismo Grabs America By the ... Throat
American voters have elected the honorable demagogue Donald J. Trump as the next president of the of the United States, and the news has been greeted with glee by strongmen, dictators, authoritarian leaders and far-right politicians across then globe:

“Russia’s Putin pleased as Trump win shocks world,” Nicole Gaouette, Elise Labott, CNN

“Philippines’ President Duterte says his country can enhance relations with the US and congratulates Trump, a month after telling Obama to ‘go to Hell,'” Jay Akbar, Daily Mail

“China Just Won The U.S. Election,” James Palmer, Foreign Policy

“Prime Minister Viktor Orban congratulated Donald Trump on his victory,” Jay Akbar, Daily Mail

“French far-right leader Le Pen hails Trump victory,” RFI

“Dutch extremist Geert Wilders expects Trump win to boost Europe’s racist right,” Reuters via Raw Story

“Nigel Farage and other far-right leaders hail Trump’s ‘historic’ US election win,” Toby Meyjes, Metro

“Why authoritarian leaders worldwide may be thrilled with Trump’s win,” Patrick Winn, GlobalPost

“The world’s demagogues offer simple solutions and a strong hand. Trump’s victory has been the latest reminder of this.” David Motadel, History Today

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Hot Election News

November 8, 2016

Hot Election News

There is a God, and She has a great sense of humor:

Steve Bannon, the chief executive officer of Donald Trump’s campaign, literally found his pants on fire during a campaign stop in New Hampshire last month, according to a report in the New York Times.

Bannon, who previously served as the executive chairman of Breitbart News, was traveling with Trump on Oct. 28 when FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to lawmakers alerting them that the bureau found emails potentially ‘pertinent’ to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server.

While working with other aides to concoct a script for Trump’s teleprompter, Bannon realized that a hot TV light had caused his pants to began to burn.

‘I think my pant leg is on fire,’ said Bannon, according to the New York Times.”

—  “Trump campaign executive’s pants literally caught on fire: report,” Mallory Shelbourne, The Hill [links added]

Related:

“All ‘Pants on Fire!’ statements involving Donald Trump,” Politifact

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This Is How It Happens

November 7, 2016

This Is How It Happens
This is how it happens.

It’s election season and you’re a candidate. You mobilize armed supporters and tell them to watch polling places in minority neighborhoods because ethnic minorities are rigging the election against you. That’s how it works in the Third World, where elections are violent. In the U.S., voter intimidation is against the law, but one presidential candidate thinks that’s the way to “Make America Great.”

“You’ve gotta go out, and you’ve gotta get your friends, and you’ve gotta get everyone you know and you’ve gotta watch your polling booths, because I hear too many stories about Pennsylvania, certain areas. I hear too many bad stories, and we can’t lose an election because of you know what I’m talking about. So, go and vote and then go check out areas because a lot of bad things happen, and we don’t want to lose for that reason. We don’t wanna lose, but we especially don’t wanna lose for that reason. So go over and watch, and watch carefully. Because we’re gonna win the state of Pennsylvania, and if we win Pennsylvania, we take back the White House.”
Donald Trump, Manheim PA, October 1, 2016

“So important that you get out and vote. So important that you watch other communities, because we don’t want this election stolen from us.”
Donald Trump, Ambridge PA, October 10, 2016

More:

“Militia group calls on members to patrol polls on Election Day,” Kevin Sullivan, Washington Post

“Oath Keepers Founder Rallies Members To Watch Polls On Election Day,” Allegra Kirkland, TPM Livewire

“Specter of election day violence looms as Trump spurs vigilante poll watchers,” Lois Beckett and Oliver Laughland, The Guardian

“Roger Stone Group Planned To Send Out Poll Watchers With Fake Credentials,” Allegra Kirkland, TPM Livewire

“What Causes Some Elections to Go Violent?” Olga Khazan, The Atlantic

“Voting under the gun: elections and conflict around the world,” Thomas Flores, SIPRI

(more…)

GOP Health Plan: ‘Nothing, zero, nada.’

November 4, 2016

GOP Health Plan: 'Nothing, zero, nada.'
GOP candidate Donald Trump told a Pennsylvania press event/rally that he’ll implement the Republican health care policy and “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare.”

Barack Obama:

“They spend like an hour, ‘we’re going to repeal Obamacare.’ Okay. And then what are you gonna do? Well, then we’re going to repeal it and we’re going to give you something great. Okay. What? Well, something.”

“You watch the press conference and what you realize is they got no plan. They want to repeal because ideologically they’re opposed to the idea of helping these 20 million people get health insurance. It’s not like they don’t even have a pretense of a plan. They don’t even have a semblance of a plan. There’s not even a hint of a plan. Not even a mote. Not even a—there’s no plan. Nothing, zero, nada.”

“Obama: GOP Doesn’t Have ‘A Pretense Of A Plan’ To Replace Obamacare,” Allegra Kirkland, TPM Livewire

More:

“Trump’s Health Plan: Pay Your Own Medical Bills Using Money You Saved,” James Hamblin, The Atlantic

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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