AuthorTopic: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread  (Read 110478 times)

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Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« on: December 02, 2016, 10:49:33 AM »
Now that the "election" is OVAH, we got at least 4 years of The Donald to deal with here.  I am kicking off this thread with the latest Newz, that His Trumpness has now tapped such Wall Street notables as Stephen Schwartzman and Jamie Dimon as his advisors on Jobs.  Yup, he's a real CHAMPION of J6P!  lol.

Fucking morons who voted for Trumpty-Dumpty will now get precisely what they deserve.  More ass-fucking from the .01%

RE


Trump Turns to Schwarzman, Dimon for White House Panel on Jobs
Toluse Olorunnipa

December 2, 2016 — 7:20 AM AKST
Updated on December 2, 2016 — 8:53 AM AKST

    Some advisers favor free-trade deals and donate to Democrats
    President-elect facing criticism for appointing billionaires

President-elect Donald Trump turned to some of Wall Street’s biggest names on Friday to create a panel of business leaders that will give him strategic advice on the economy after he takes office, including two financiers with deep Democratic roots.

Blackstone Group LP Chief Executive Officer Stephen A. Schwarzman will chair the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, which will begin meeting with Trump in February, after his inauguration, according to a statement from his private-equity firm. JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon and BlackRock Inc. Chairman and CEO Laurence Fink, major donors to Democratic politicians, will also sit on the panel.

“This forum brings together CEOs and business leaders who know what it takes to create jobs and drive economic growth,” Trump said in a statement issued by Blackstone. “My administration is committed to drawing on private sector expertise and cutting the government red tape that is holding back our businesses from hiring, innovating, and expanding right here in America.”

Presidents traditionally turn to business leaders for advice on the economy. For example, President Barack Obama named CEOs from companies including Xerox Corp. and Dow Chemical Co. to an advisory committee on international trade, while Schwarzman has partnered with the current administration on efforts to hire veterans.
Dimon, Fink

Dimon, 60, has led JPMorgan since 2005. Unlike competitors, it remained profitable during the financial crisis. A self-described Democrat who has advocated liberal positions, he’s also the banking industry’s most prominent defender and an occasional critic of its regulators.

He was at one time rumored to be under consideration as Trump’s Treasury secretary. He did not endorse a candidate in the presidential election.

Fink, 64, has been critical of Trump in the past. He was once floated as a possible Treasury secretary under Obama or Hillary Clinton, had she defeated Trump.

Other panel members include General Motors Co. Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove, Bob Iger of Walt Disney Co., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. President and CEO Doug McMillon, and former Boeing Co. Chairman Jim McNerney.

Trump has turned to business leaders, bankers and Wall Street executives to fill his cabinet, selecting former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive Steven Mnuchin as his nominee for Treasury Secretary and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross for Commerce Secretary.
‘Open Dialogue’

Barra said in a statement that her participation on the panel “offers us a seat at an important table where we can contribute to a constructive and open dialogue about key policy issues.”

At a rally in Cincinnati on Thursday, Trump said his administration would include “some of the greatest business people in the world,” brushing off criticism that he has appointed too many millionaires and billionaires.

“One of the networks said, why would he put on a billionaire at Commerce? Well, that’s because this guy knows how to make money, folks,” Trump told the crowd.

Trump said the business leaders he was selecting for his cabinet were “killers” who would help him implement a sweeping agenda of tax cuts and new trade deals.

Many of the business leaders serving on Trump’s panel support some of the trade deals Trump railed against as a candidate, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership that he says he will exit.

Other panel members include former General Electric Co. Chairman and CEO Jack Welch, Goldman Sachs’s lead independent director, Adebayo Ogunlesi, who is also chairman and managing partner of Global Infrastructure Partners, and Ginni Rometty, CEO of International Business Machines Corp.

Rometty wrote Trump a three-page letter on Nov. 14 outlining ideas that she said “can advance a national agenda in a time of profound change.” She defended IBM’s operations overseas, and allowed that “in the years ahead, there will be issues on which we agree, and issues on which we do not.”
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Trump’s Economic Plan: This Isn’t Going to Work
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2016, 01:09:25 AM »
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/25/trumps-economic-plan-this-isnt-going-to-work/

November 25, 2016
Trump’s Economic Plan: This Isn’t Going to Work

by Mike Whitney

Will Donald Trump be good for the US economy?

The American people seem to think so. According to a recent survey taken by Gallup “Americans have relatively high expectations (of) the president-elect… Substantial majorities (upward of 60%) believe the Trump administration will improve the economy and create jobs. A slim majority (52%) say he’ll improve the healthcare system.”

Even more impressive, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index spiked to a 93.8 -high in November, signaling a significant improvement in overall consumer attitudes about the economy.

Analysts attribute this change in outlook to the recent presidential election which showed a marked-uptick in optimism “across all income and age subgroups across the country.”

“The initial reaction of consumers to Trump’s victory was to express greater optimism about their personal finances as well as improved prospects for the national economy,” said Richard Curtin, the survey’s chief economist.

So, people are not just giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, they genuinely think their economic situation is going to get better under the new president.

The results are particularly significant when we realize that the economy not only topped the list of important issues going into the November elections, but that also (according to a survey conducted by Edison Research) “Three in five voters said the country was seriously on the wrong track and about the same number said the economy was either not good or poor. Two-thirds said their personal financial situation was either worse or the same as it was four years ago. About one in three voters said they expected life to be worse for the next generation.”

In other words, the election was a referendum on Obama’s handling of the economy, in which 60 percent of those surveyed, think was a failure. These results also suggest that, had Obama made any attempt to address wage stagnation, shrinking incomes, student debt, or widespread economic insecurity, Hillary Clinton would probably be president today. As it happens, the victory went to the anti-establishment outsider who promised a fundamental change in direction, Donald Trump.

This is particularly worth thinking about now that protests have broken out in cities across the country and liberals are accusing Trump supporters of voting for a racist. No, the majority of Trump supporters did not vote for a racist (surveys also show that a majority of these people support a way for undocumented immigrants to attain US citizenship) nor do the approve of the white nationalist movement. They voted for someone who they thought would change the economic policies that have been destructive to their interests. Trump won the election because he addressed the issues that matter to ordinary working people and refrained from such foolishness as running around with his hair on fire blaming the Russians for everything under the sky. Hillary Clinton got exactly what she deserved.

Now the question is: Can Trump deliver?

The question is not only important for the American people, but also for the Trump administration that figures its prospects for success depend largely on an economic revival. Steve Bannon, who is Trump’s chief strategist and advisor, knows that he won’t be able to build a strong, divers coalition to support his political revolution without boosting growth and improving conditions for working people. That’s why fixing the economy is Job 1.

Here’s a quote from Bannon:

    “The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f—ed over. If we deliver…”we’ll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we’ll govern for 50 years. That’s what the Democrats missed. They were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It’s not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about.”…

    “It’s everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I’m the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it’s the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We’re just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution — conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement.” (Ringside with Steve Bannon, Hollywood Reporter)

I don’t pretend to know anything more about Steve Bannon than I’ve read in the newspapers and on the Internet. What I do know, however, is that if he is sincere in his desire to defeat the corrupt political establishment and build a coalition that “will govern for 50 years”, he’s going to have to find a way to climb down on his hardline immigration policies in order to implement his economic strategy. That said, I expect Trump will settle on some way to minimize the damage he has done to himself and call on congress to get more involved in the hot-button immigration issue. In other words, he’s going to have to punt if he wants to govern.

Bannon is the main architect of Trump’s economic plan, a plan that has already earned broad public support, but a plan that won’t succeed unless it is drastically changed. Here’s why:

Trump’s economic plan can be broken into three parts: Tax cuts, deregulation and fiscal stimulus.

As far as tax cuts, there are three main subsets:

1–The corporate tax rate, which Trump wants to drop from 35 percent to 15 percent.

2–A tax cut on the so-called “repatriation of funds”– which lowers the rate on roughly $2 trillion of cash that’s currently stashed overseas by uber-rich US businesses that have been evading US corporate taxes for years. Trump wants to give these tax dodgers a one-time “holiday” with a 10% penalty for companies that agree to bring their cash back to the US. Trump believes that the one-time tax break will increase business investment and employment in the US. Critics say the scheme will not work unless the economy strengthens and demand grows.

3–Trump also wants to reduce the top tax rate from 39.6% to 33%, while making modest reductions to the other brackets. Under the Trump plan, “a taxpayer who makes between $48,000 to $83,000 a year would save about $1,000 (while) people in the top 0.01%, making $3.7 million or more in a year, would receive $1 million in annual tax savings.” (USA Today)

Here’s a brief summary from economist Dean Baker:

    “According to the analysis of the Tax Policy Center at the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, (Trump’s) tax plan will reduce revenue by more than $9 trillion (close to 4 percent of GDP) over the course of the next decade. This tax cut plan would effectively add close to $800 billion to the annual deficit when it first takes effect, with the amount increasing over time……

    “According to the Tax Policy Center, more than half of Trump’s tax cuts will go to the richest one percent of the population. The richest 0.1 percent will get tax cuts that average almost $1.5 million annually. The Trump tax cut is consistent with the fundamental principle of the Republican Party, and unfortunately many Democrats, of putting as much money as possible in the pockets of the rich.” (Republican deficit hawks abandon their religion, Smirking Chimp)

As you can see, most of the benefits from the proposed tax cuts go to the extremely rich. How does that fit with Trump’s campaign promise:

    “I am proposing an across-the-board income-tax reduction, especially for middle-income Americans…The tax relief will be concentrated on the working and middle-class taxpayer. They will receive the biggest benefit – it won’t even be close.”

    The tax cuts look like a serious betrayal of Trump’s supporters. They also look like a misguided , short-term strategy that will derail Bannon’s plan for broad coalition based on a strong economic growth and rising wages. This latest iteration of “trickle down” economics will not help him achieve that goal.

    Unfortunately, the other parts of Trump’s economic plan are equally dismal. For example, Trump is determined to repeal many of the key provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, the toothless bill that Congress passed in order to prevent another financial meltdown. At present, Texas congressman, Jeb Hensarling — an outspoken critic of Dodd-Frank appears to be the frontrunner in the competition for US Treasury Secretary. Hensarling, who just last week said “Dodd-Frank was a grave mistake”, is pushing his own Wall Street-friendly Financial CHOICE act, which would replace the bill with a “pro-growth, pro-consumer” alternative” that would protect the banks from ‘growth-strangling regulation.” (Housingwire)

Is that what we really need, more laws to protect the banks?? Check out this clip from Fortune Magazine:

    “Hensarling wants to put the market in charge. His view is that encouraging banks to hold lots of capital (as Dodd-Frank does) goes far enough by itself to shore up the system, making banks far safer than the law’s dense web of stress tests, complex limits on trading, and banning of mortgages and credit cards deemed “abusive” by regulators. Now that Republicans control Congress and the White House, it’s highly possible that the Hensarling manifesto, or a large part of it, will become law…

    “I will not rest until Dodd-Frank is ripped out by its roots and tossed on the trash bin of history,” (Hensarling) declared in a recent speech. The centerpiece of the CHOICE act is a provision that would exempt banks from the more restrictive Dodd-Frank regulations…” (This Congressman Could Turn the Dodd-Frank Financial Reforms Upside Down, Fortune)

The idea that a Congressman can devote all his energy to lifting the ban on “abusive mortgages” — just eight years after abusive, predatory, toxic mortgages blew up the global financial system costing roughly $50 trillion and years of agonizing retrenchment– seems almost treasonous, doesn’t it? And yet, at the very least, Hensarling is likely to become one of Trump’s chief advisors on financial regulations. Go figure?

What, in God’s name, is Trump trying to achieve? On the one hand, he blames the Fed for inflating another gigantic asset bubble and, on the other, he tries to remove the regulatory obstacles to bubble-making. What sense does that make?

Here’s a little more background on Trump’s crusade against regulation. This is from the Wall Street Journal:

    “Donald Trump has tapped a longtime critic of heavy regulation to flesh out his new administration’s plans for remaking the financial rule book, including the potential dismantling of much of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul.

    Paul Atkins served as a Republican member of the Securities and Exchange Commission from 2002 to 2008, where he spoke out against big fines for companies, arguing they punish shareholders. Now Mr. Atkins, 58 years old, is the member of the president-elect’s transition team charged with recommending policies on financial regulation, according to current and former regulators briefed on the matter.

    Mr. Trump has detailed little about his views on financial regulation beyond his vow to dismantle the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.” (Donald Trump’s Point Man on Financial Regulation: A Former Regulator Who Favors a Light Touch, Wall Street Journal)

Trump also wants to dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which recently imposed a $100 million fine on Wells Fargo for using bank employees to create more than 2 million unauthorized accounts to meet sales quotas. The action was applauded by consumer groups across the board which is why Trump will make every effort to defang the watchdog agency. The president-elect appears to be gearing up to eliminate any rule that impairs Wall Street’s ability to rake in bigger profits, whether it puts the American people at risk or not.

So how does this square with Steve Bannon’s comments about coalition building and desire for a stronger economy?

I can’t figure it out, after all, Bannon sounds like a true believer, a no-nonsense, red-blooded, blue collar working guy who hates the Wall Street, the Republican establishment and the mainstream media. What’s not to like about that?

But how does Bannon’s hardscrabble upbringing, his commitment to tea party uprising, and his take-no-prisoners combativeness, jibe with these flagrant tax giveaways, this anti-worker deregulation, and a fiscal policy that only benefits the uber wealthy? I don’t get it??

In an extremely persuasive interview with Buzzfeed News, Bannon disparages the new strain of “Ayn Rand” capitalism that objectifies people and turns them into commodities. He expands on this idea by giving a brief synopsis of the financial crisis that many will find galvanizing. Here’s a clip:

    “The 2008 crisis, … which, by the way, I don’t think we’ve come through — is really driven I believe by the greed, much of it driven by the greed of the investment banks. …
    And one of the reasons is that we’ve never really gone and dug down and sorted through the problems of 2008. Particularly the fact — think about it — not one criminal charge has ever been brought to any bank executive associated with 2008 crisis. And in fact, it gets worse. No bonuses and none of their equity was taken. So part of the prime drivers of the wealth that they took in the 15 years leading up to the crisis was not hit at all, and I think that’s one of the fuels of this populist revolt that we’re seeing as the tea party…

    The bailouts were absolutely outrageous, and here’s why: It bailed out a group of shareholders and executives who were specifically accountable. …

    In fact, one of the committees in Congress said to the Justice Department 35 executives, I believe, that they should have criminal indictments against — not one of those has ever been followed up on. … (and) Middle-class taxpayers, people that are working-class people, right, people making incomes under $50,000 and $60,000, it was the burden of those taxpayers, right, that bailed out the elites. …

    It’s all the institutions of the accounting firms, the law firms, the investment banks, the consulting firms, the elite of the elite, the educated elite, they understood what they were getting into, forcibly took all the benefits from it and then look to the government, went hat in hand to the government to be bailed out. And they’ve never been held accountable today. Trust me — they are going to be held accountable.” (This Is How Steve Bannon Sees The Entire World, Buzzfeed News)

Repeat: “They are going to be held accountable.”

Bravo! He wants to lock them up. He wants the bankers to be held accountable and locked up! Who doesn’t want that? Every working slob in America wants that. This is why Bannon has attracted such a loyal following; it’s because his analysis of the financial crisis and its aftermath are “dead on”. The American people know they were ripped off, know that Wall Street is infested with crooks and parasites, and know that the country is governed by a corrupt and unaccountable oligarchy of racketeers.

Bannon has tapped into powerful feelings of frustration and rage, and he’s built a thriving movement on top of them. But where’s the beef? His economic policy just doesn’t deliver the goods. Bannon is talking the talk, but he’s not walking the walk.

The tax cuts don’t deliver for working people and neither does deregulation. So what about the third part of Trump’s economic plan, the fiscal stimulus component?

Bannon says he’s the driving force behind the $1 trillion infrastructure development program. Unfortunately, the program is little more than a scam. Let me explain:

    Typically, when people think about fiscal stimulus, they imagine expensive Keynesian “shovel ready” infrastructure projects with lots of well-paid government workers building bridges, roads, rapid transit systems and even schools. That’s not what this is. According to economist Jared Bernstein:

    “Instead of just allocating the needed resources as in the traditional approach, they propose to “offer some $137 billion in tax breaks to private investors who want to finance toll roads, toll bridges, or other projects that generate their own revenue streams.”

    Since the plan depends on private investors, it can only fund projects that spin off user fees and are profitable. Rural roads, water systems, and public schools don’t fall into that category. Neither does public transit, which fails on the profitable criterion (it depends on public subsidies.” (Trump’s misguided flirtation with Keynesianism, Politico)

This isn’t going to work. It’s completely self defeating. This is just more of the same, more handouts to big business. The whole point of fiscal stimulus is to get money in the hands of the people who will spend it fast, rev up the economy, boost growth, generate more demand and get the economy out of its eight-year-long funk. The rebuilding of infrastructure is secondary, in fact, it doesn’t even matter. What matters is getting money circulating in the perennially-moribund economy. Caspice?

Here’s more on the Trump infrastructure boondoggle from an article in the Washington Post:

    “Trump’s plan is not really an infrastructure plan. It’s a tax-cut plan for utility-industry and construction-sector investors, and a massive corporate welfare plan for contractors. The Trump plan doesn’t directly fund new roads, bridges, water systems or airports, as did Hillary Clinton’s 2016 infrastructure proposal. Instead, Trump’s plan provides tax breaks to private-sector investors who back profitable construction projects. … There’s no requirement that the tax breaks be used for … expanded construction efforts; they could all go just to fatten the pockets of investors in previously planned projects…

    Second, as a result of the above, Trump’s plan isn’t really a jobs plan, either. Because the plan subsidizes investors, not projects; because it funds tax breaks, not bridges; because there’s no requirement that the projects be otherwise unfunded, there is simply no guarantee that the plan will produce any net new hiring. …

    Buried inside the plan will be provisions to weaken prevailing wage protections on construction projects, undermining unions and ultimately eroding workers’ earnings. Environmental rules are almost certain to be gutted in the name of accelerating projects.” (Trump’s big infrastructure plan? It’s a trap. Washington Post)

These so called “public-private partnerships” are just another way for big business to suck money out of the government. They don’t help the economy, not really, and they don’t help workers either. If Bannon is serious about building his coalition on the back of a robust economy, there’s an easier way to do it. First get rid of the corporate ideologues and supply side radicals whose theories never work. Then hire a team of reputable economists who have first-hand experience implementing thorny stimulus programs of this magnitude. (Joseph Stiglitz, James Galbraith, Dean Baker, Michael Hudson, Jack Rasmus)

Then start with the low-hanging fruit, that is, put money into already-running programs that will produce immediate results. For example, in James Galbraith’s epic article “No Return to Normal” the economist recommends increasing Social Security payments. Think about that. It’s a complete no-brainer. The people who live on Social Security spend every dime they get every month, which means that — if their payments go up by, let’s say, $200 or more per month– then all that dough goes straight into the economy which is what fiscal stimulus is all about. Also, increase food stamp funding, lower the Medicare age of eligibility, and rehire a portion of the 500,000 federal workers who lost their jobs in the Crash of ’08. These policies will put money into the economy immediately, boosting growth, increasing wages, and strengthening the prospects for whatever political party happens to be in office.

The point is, fiscal stimulus doesn’t have to be a boondoggle and it doesn’t require “shovel ready” jobs. All that’s needed is a competent team of economic advisors who know what the hell they’re doing and the political will to get the job done. Trump’s economic plan doesn’t do that, all it does is slightly improve GDP while trillions of dollars are transferred to the bank accounts of behemoth corporations and Wall Street cronies.

If Bannon is serious about fixing the economy and rebuilding the Republican party, my advice to him would be: Give Galbraith a call.
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MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.
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Trump Names Carl Icahn as Adviser on Regulatory Overhaul
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2016, 03:34:49 AM »
Carl Icahn!  King of the Leveraged Buyout!  Now chief REGULATORY Advisor to Trumpty-Dumpty!  :o

Talk about putting the Foxes in charge of the Henhouse!  ::)


Yup, The Donald is a real Man of the People alright.  The RICH PEOPLE!

RE

http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-to-name-icahn-as-adviser-on-regulatory-overhaul-1482354552

Trump Names Carl Icahn as Adviser on Regulatory Overhaul


Billionaire investor already has helped with search for new head of Securities and Exchange Commission
Businessmen Donald Trump and Carl Icahn attended a 1988 boxing match between Mike Tyson and Michael Spinks in Atlantic City, N.J. ENLARGE
Businessmen Donald Trump and Carl Icahn attended a 1988 boxing match between Mike Tyson and Michael Spinks in Atlantic City, N.J. Photo: WireImage/Getty Images
By David Benoit
Updated Dec. 21, 2016 5:46 p.m. ET
196 COMMENTS

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn on Wednesday was named special adviser to the president on overhauling federal regulations.

Mr. Icahn, who has spent the past four decades battling big companies as an activist investor, already has been wielding influence in President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team. He is playing a central role in selecting the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, people familiar with the matter said. Interested candidates have reached out to him, and he is interviewing others at the request of Mr. Trump, the people said.

The 80-year-old has played a similar role in identifying Mr. Trump’s choices for other important posts. Mr. Icahn, who controls an oil refiner and has spent months berating the Environmental Protection Agency over a rule he says hurts the industry, helped Mr. Trump vet candidates to run the EPA.

He weighed in enthusiastically as Mr. Trump considered whether to nominate Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross to run the Treasury and Commerce departments, respectively. Both men were picked for the jobs.

    Trump’s New Appointments Shake Up Trade, Regulation

    Donald Trump selected billionaire investor Carl Icahn and economist Peter Navarro for his economic team, both of whom could jolt trade and regulation.

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    Senate Democrats have launched a campaign against Steven Mnuchin, Trump's pick for Treasury secretary, suggesting his confirmation hearing may be contentious.

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    Donald Trump Meets With Boeing, Lockheed CEOs

    Donald Trump met with the CEOs of the nation’s two largest defense contractors, two weeks after he publicly berated the cost of some of their projects.

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    The nomination of pro-settlement lawyer David Friedman as the Trump’s administration’s new envoy to Israel is winning praise from some in Israel but concern advocates of a two-state solution.

    Click to Read Story

    For President-Elect Trump, Loyalty Comes Second

    Donald Trump is forging a transactional path to the White House, assembling a cabinet based more on pragmatism than loyalty.


The position isn’t an official government job; Mr. Icahn won’t get paid and won’t have to give up his current business dealings. Yet it is the latest example of a quintessential outsider assuming power as Mr. Trump assembles his cabinet secretaries and advisers

Messrs. Trump and Icahn say U.S. businesses have been overregulated in the Obama administration, which they argue is causing them to hold back on investments and is slowing the economy. Mr. Icahn will now be a key player in Mr. Trump’s efforts to loosen the regulatory reins.

“I’m involved with Donald where he wants me to be—I believe he respects my views and I think he listens to me,” Mr. Icahn said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “What Trump is trying to achieve is to show business in a lot of this country they aren’t going to be ruined by absurd regulation by bureaucrats.”

In a statement, Mr. Trump praised Mr. Icahn’s negotiating skills and said “his help on the strangling regulations that our country is faced with will be invaluable.”

Since the 1970s, Mr. Icahn has been an outspoken critic of many corporate boards, arguing the corporate-governance system is broken and impedes growth. He is a pioneer among activist shareholders, who buy up stakes and push boards to change direction by selling assets, firing the CEO or buying back shares.

An influential role shaping federal regulations marks a new chapter in Mr. Icahn’s influence on Wall Street. It would have been largely unimaginable in his early career as a brash outsider who picked fights with corporate titans. He was derided for years as a corporate raider. He was so feared by companies that they sometimes offered to pay him to go away, a 1980s tactic dubbed “greenmail” that was later restricted.
Read More on Capital Journal

Capital Journal is WSJ.com’s home for Trump transition news.

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In recent years, Mr. Icahn’s views on shareholder activism have gone mainstream. These days, he generally manages to shake up corporate boards with less drama. He has taken stakes in giants such as Apple Inc., Xerox Corp., American International Group Inc. and eBay Inc.

As a prominent activist, Mr. Icahn has much at stake in the next SEC chairman. Activist fights are tightly controlled by the SEC. The agency issues rules that affect activists’ ability to do business and uses its enforcement arm to police their tactics. Activists and their corporate opponents regularly complain about the other side to the SEC.

The successor to current SEC Chairman Mary Jo White could have to decide whether activists will be forced to disclose their stakes more quickly after acquiring them and whether those disclosures need to include derivatives such as some stock options. Business groups that argue activists put their own short-term gains ahead of companies’ long-term futures urge such changes.
How Trump’s Election Predictions Came True
0:00 / 0:00
President-elect Donald Trump made eye-popping predictions during the campaign that were ultimately proven correct in America's 2016 presidential election. Here's a look back at the outsider candidate's crystal ball. Photo: AP

Historically, Mr. Icahn had largely steered clear of Washington. But he was an early backer of Mr. Trump and advised him throughout the campaign. He urged Mr. Trump to support efforts to let U.S. corporations bring home offshore cash and to end the carried-interest tax break that benefits many on Wall Street.

Messrs. Trump and Icahn’s relationship dates back to their time running Atlantic City casinos. The pair sat together for the occasional big boxing match. Mr. Icahn’s wife, Gail, is on Mr. Trump’s inauguration committee.

Mr. Icahn is one of a handful of Wall Street powerbrokers who regularly get calls from the president-elect about their opinions on various topics.

Mr. Icahn, who calls himself a centrist, has said he wants to give back to the country. He often talks about how he rose from modest means to one of the nation’s wealthiest men. He has rejected criticism that he is only advising Mr. Trump to advance his own interests.
Billionaire activist-investor Carl Icahn speaks on the FOX Business Network in 2014. ENLARGE
Billionaire activist-investor Carl Icahn speaks on the FOX Business Network in 2014. Photo: Reuters

The Democratic National Committee reacted quickly to the announcement, criticizing Mr. Icahn as conflicted given his investments and business dealings.

“It looks like Trump isn’t the only billionaire set to profit off of the presidency,” spokesman Eric Walker said in a statement.

Mr. Icahn has at times compared his helping Mr. Trump to turnaround companies with activism, where he benefits but also makes other shareholders billions. He has said other shareholders don’t complain about his own gains.

Shares of Mr. Icahn’s CVR Energy Inc., an oil refiner, have climbed 67% since the election, boosting the value of his investment by more than $600 million.

When Mr. Trump said early on in his campaign that he would consider Mr. Icahn as a potential Treasury secretary pick, Mr. Icahn declined the offer, joking he doesn’t get up early enough for the job.

Famed for late-night negotiations with CEOs, Mr. Icahn has ribbed Mr. Trump about his own nocturnal habits. “I told him when you’re done tweeting, call me,” Mr. Icahn said. “I’ll be up.”

Write to David Benoit at david.benoit@wsj.com
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Artists & Musicians SNUB Trumpty-Dumpty
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2016, 03:45:59 AM »
This is HILARIOUS.  The Donald so far has not been able to get a SINGLE act to come perform at his inauguration, despite having more money than God.  Not even Celine Dion would do it, and she is as righty as you get!  :laugh:

Performing at the inauguration will be the Trump Family Singers.  ::)

What a fucking CLOWN!



RE

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/reliable-source/wp/2016/12/22/trump-claims-a-list-celebrities-want-to-come-to-his-inauguration/?utm_term=.2b8f490229ce

Trump claims A-list celebrities want to come to his inauguration
By Emily Heil December 22 at 11:24 PM

President-elect Donald Trump, left, and Kanye West pose for a picture in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP/Seth Wenig)

Here’s President-elect Donald Trump’s explanation-slash-spin for the dearth of celebrities so far slated for his inauguration: he doesn’t want them there. Take that, Katy Perry!

A Trump tweet on Thursday night seemed to be a defense against the drumroll of recent reports about celebrities who have turned down gigs to perform or otherwise be involved in his inauguration next month — an event that under the Obama administration had become a star-studded extravaganza. (Heck, even former president George W. Bush got then-chart-topping Ricky Martin and Jessica Simpson in 2001.)

“The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary,” Trump wrote. “NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!”

A spokesman for the inaugural committee did not immediately return an email asking to which celebrities Trump was referring in his tweet.

Basically, he’s saying that all the famous folk — and he’s implying that they’re the same musicians and actors who campaigned in droves for his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton — are simply begging to come, but he doesn’t want them there. Instead, he wants Real Folks.

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Pretty convenient. So far, the only solo performer confirmed for official events on inauguration weekend is sixteen-year-old “America’s Got Talent” contestant Jackie Evancho, who is booked to sing the national anthem at the swearing-in ceremony. (And though they’re not exactly tabloid faves, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is on deck, and so are the Rockettes.)

Others have turned down Team Trump, including multi-Grammy winning producer David Foster, who would have brought his deep roster of notable musician friends to the table. Acclaimed tenor Andrea Bocelli had been mentioned as a possible inauguration performer, although he faced a backlash on Twitter from fans vowing to #boycottbocelli for the move.

But in an echo of Trump’s Thursday tweet, the Trump campaign insisted they weren’t actually turned down at all. In a CNBC interview, Presidential Inauguration Committee head Thomas Barrack said it was the other way around — that Bocelli had volunteered, but, “Donald said, ‘You don’t need to.’”

Some “talent” signed up for events surrounding the inauguration: country act Big& Rich are headlining a concert put on by the Recording Industry Association of America, and Toby Keith and Alabama are set to perform at an “Opening Day” bash Trump’s sons, Eric and Donald Jr., are throwing the day after the swearing-in.

And more names of varying wattage are expected — the inaugural committee on Wednesday announced a “Make America Great Again” concert on the Mall similar to events held prior to previous inaugurals. Someone has got to take the stage.
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Offline JRM

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2016, 08:14:21 AM »
Narcissist in chief.

It's not even funny anymore.
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline Palloy

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2016, 01:47:25 PM »
OMG, is Whitney saying that Trump and Bannon didn't mean what they said during the election, and that they are actually on the side of the billionaires, just like the Republicans and Democrats have always been?  Whatever next ? - I expect after a very short romance, Putin will do something that Trump doesn't like, and then rapprochement will be over and Cold War 2 will be on in earnest.
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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2016, 02:05:35 PM »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2016, 03:29:38 PM »
It's not even funny anymore.

Oh come on.  It gets funnier by the day!  :icon_mrgreen:


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Offline JRM

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2016, 03:44:40 PM »
It's not even funny anymore.

Oh come on.  It gets funnier by the day!  :icon_mrgreen:


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Well, that's the thing with scary clowns.  Sometimes they look like clowns who are funny and sometimes they just look very scary.  Mostly, this clown looks very scary to me at the moment.  I hope a metiorite will come down upon him and his running mate while they are visiting some big patch of desert, so no one else gets hurt.
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2016, 03:55:45 PM »
I hope a metiorite will come down upon him and his running mate while they are visiting some big patch of desert, so no one else gets hurt.

A bolt of lightning is very targeted.  I will raise my Mighty Louisville Slugger to the Heavens with my still good Left Arm I can get above the shoulder level on inauguration day and try to bring one down.


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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2016, 03:59:18 PM »
The world will thank you.  Or, rather, the lighting -- which would be "an act of god" and nothing that should interest ... well, you know who.
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline K-Dog

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2016, 06:04:45 PM »
I hope a metiorite will come down upon him and his running mate while they are visiting some big patch of desert, so no one else gets hurt.

A bolt of lightning is very targeted.  I will raise my Mighty Louisville Slugger to the Heavens with my still good Left Arm I can get above the shoulder level on inauguration day and try to bring one down.


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« Last Edit: December 25, 2016, 06:10:09 PM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

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Donald Trump and the Triumph of Climate-Change Denial
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2016, 01:11:29 AM »
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/12/donald-trump-climate-change-skeptic-denial/510359/


Donald Trump and the Triumph of Climate-Change Denial

The science of man-made global warming has only grown more conclusive. So why have Republicans become less convinced it’s real over the past decade and a half?



Lucas Jackson / Reuters

    Clare Foran Dec 25, 2016 Politics

Subscribe to The Atlantic’s Politics & Policy Daily, a roundup of ideas and events in American politics.

Denial of the broad scientific consensus that human activity is the primary cause of global warming could become a guiding principle of Donald Trump’s presidential administration. Though it’s difficult to pin down exactly what Trump thinks about climate change, he has a well-established track record of skepticism and denial. He has called global warming a “hoax,” insisted while campaigning for the Republican nomination that he’s “not a big believer in man-made climate change,” and recently suggested that “nobody really knows” if climate change exists. Trump also plans to nominate Republicans to lead the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department who have expressed skepticism toward the scientific agreement on human-caused global warming.
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Indeed, Trump’s election is a triumph of climate denial, and will elevate him to the top of a Republican Party where prominent elected officials have publicly rejected the climate consensus. It’s not that the presidential election was a referendum on global warming. Climate change barely came up during the presidential debates, and voters rated the environment as a far less pressing concern than issues like the economy, terrorism, and health care. But that relative lack of concern signals that voters have not prioritized action on climate change, if they want any action taken at all. Trump’s victory sends a message that failing to embrace climate science still isn’t disqualifying for a presidential candidate, even as scientists warn that the devastating consequences of global warming are under way and expected to intensify in the years ahead.

If Trump fails to take climate change seriously, the federal government may do little to address the threat of a warming planet in the next four years. A presidential administration hostile to climate science also threatens to deepen, or at the very least prolong, the skepticism that already exists in American political life. “If the Trump administration continues to push the false claim that global warming is a hoax, not happening, not human caused, or not a serious problem, I’d expect many conservative Republican voters to follow their lead,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communication.
A presidential administration hostile to climate science also threatens to deepen the skepticism that already exists in American political life.

The entrenchment of climate-science denial is one of the ways the United States appears to be exceptional relative to the rest of the world. A comparative 2015 study of nine conservative political parties in countries such as Canada, Germany, and Spain concluded that “the U.S. Republican Party is an anomaly in denying anthropogenic climate change.” Meanwhile, Americans were least likely to agree that climate change is largely the result of human activity in a 2014 survey of 20 countries, including China, India, Australia, and Great Britain.

Scientific reality does not seem to have escaped the distorting influence of political polarization in the United States. A paper published in Environment earlier this year suggests that as the Tea Party pushed the Republican Party further to the political right, it helped solidify skepticism of man-made climate change within the GOP. That happened as the Tea Party incorporated “anti-environmentalism and climate-change denial into its agenda,” the authors write, and subsequently became part of a broader “denial countermovement” made up of fossil-fuel companies as well as conservative think tanks and media outlets.

As the ideological divide between Republicans and Democrats has widened, so has the partisan divide over climate change. Scientific evidence that human activity is the leading cause of global warming has continued to accumulate in recent years, and the evidence for man-made climate change is now overwhelming. In spite of that, Republicans are slightly less convinced than they were a decade and a half ago that the Earth is getting warmer as a result of human activity. Democrats have moved in the opposite direction and become more likely to say that man-made climate change is real. This year, Gallup found that while 85 percent of Democrats believe human activity has lead to higher temperatures, only 38 percent of Republicans agree.

In a deeply divided country, adopting views on climate change that conflict with scientific evidence can actually be a rational choice. Liberals and conservatives frequently spend time with like-minded individuals, and people across the political spectrum may have a better chance of fitting in if they embrace shared partisan beliefs—regardless of whether those beliefs contradict scientific fact. This helps explain why highly educated Republicans are actually more likely to reject climate science. Yale University professor Dan Kahan put it this way in a 2012 Nature article:

    For members of the public, being right or wrong about climate-change science will have no impact. Nothing they do as individual consumers or individual voters will meaningfully affect the risks posed by climate change. Yet the impact of taking a position that conflicts with their cultural group could be disastrous. … Positions on climate change have come to signify the kind of person one is. People whose beliefs are at odds with those of the people with whom they share their basic cultural commitments risk being labelled as weird and obnoxious in the eyes of those on whom they depend for social and financial support.

The complexity of climate science may have made it easier for global warming to get caught up in partisan politics as well. Voters look to the positions adopted by their political party as a kind of mental shortcut when deciding what to make of complicated subjects such as climate change, according to research from Cynthia Rugeley of the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and John David Gerlach of Western Carolina University. That means that if Trump continues to voice climate skepticism after taking office, he could further cement skepticism among conservative voters. “I think it will reinforce climate denial among those who already doubt its existence. To that extent, yes, it will deepen denial,” Rugeley said in an interview.

The power and influence of corporations relative to the government might also help explain why skepticism has thrived. An ideological preference for free markets may make some politicians and voters in the United States more sympathetic to arguments that environmental regulations will hurt the private sector—even if those arguments are used to dismiss climate science. According to Matthew Paterson, a professor of international politics at the University of Manchester in England, skepticism over government intervention might help explain why climate skepticism also seems relatively entrenched in Anglo-Saxon countries such as Great Britain and Australia, though to lesser degrees there than in the United States. Fossil-fuel interests, in particular, have managed to inject doubt into the climate debate in the United States, Paterson argues, by “funding deniers, and anti-climate politicians, and giving them a public voice.”

The more voters are skeptical of man-made climate change, the easier it may be for politicians to justify inaction. It’s impossible to predict what Trump will do in office, but he already appears poised to dismantle President Obama’s agenda to combat climate change. He also seems willing to fill his administration with individuals who have cast doubt on the scientific consensus. Trump wants Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general, to serve as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt recently co-wrote an article claiming that scientists “disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.” Trump’s choice to run the Energy Department, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, has claimed “the science is not settled” on climate change. And his pick to lead the Interior Department is Republican Representative Ryan Zinke of Montana, who has reportedly said that global warming is “not a hoax, but it’s not proven science either.”

Despite significant pockets of skepticism and denial, particularly among conservative Republicans, there are plenty of Americans across the political spectrum who believe that man-made climate change exists. Gallup recently found that a majority of Americans believe human activity is causing global warming, and feel worried about the rise in temperatures. Concern over climate change increased among Democrats and Republicans from 2015 to 2016 with 40 percent of Republicans and 84 percent of Democrats reporting concern this year. If that concern continues to increase, skepticism may decline over time among American voters.

Whether skepticism dissipates or intensifies may depend in part on the actions of the Trump administration over the next four years. If Trump makes climate science and policy a high-profile target, he might provoke a backlash among moderate Republicans who do believe global warming is a serious problem. But skepticism within the GOP could intensify if Trump’s administration publicly misrepresents climate science and dismisses efforts to combat global warming as an expensive waste of time. If that happens, Democrats and liberal activists will counterattack, a dynamic that might cause partisan attitudes to harden further. That could leave the political debate over global warming more fractured than ever.
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Offline JRM

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2016, 08:24:08 AM »
Most Americans disagree with their congressional representative on climate change
https://thinkprogress.org/most-americans-disagree-with-their-congressional-representative-on-climate-change-95dc0eee7b8f#.xja2rcvyh

Quote
"59 percent of the Republican House caucus and 70 percent of Republicans in the Senate deny the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and humans are the main cause."

Quote
"The general public is way ahead of Congress — a recent poll found that 76 percent of Americans said they believed global climate change is occurring, including 59 percent of Republicans. And 67 percent support President Obama’s plan to regulate power plants to cut carbon emissions."


Surprise! A third of Congress members are climate change deniers
http://grist.org/climate-energy/surprise-a-third-of-congress-members-are-climate-change-deniers/

___________________________________________


Republicans in particular, and the US Congress more generally, are officially out to lunch with this issue.  The American people, however, are far more statistically likely to agree with what climate science indicates.   I don't think the Congress is as stupid as they pretend to be. They know what's up. But they are beholden to fossil fuel interests for campaign finance, etc.  I just wish Congress would stop embarrassing themselves and the nation.  (Not that we aren't about as embarrassed as we can be by having an orange clown as president, etc.)

My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline luciddreams

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2016, 10:01:24 AM »
What's that quote, something like "it's hard to get a man to believe something that's contrary to his job depending on it?"  Something like that.  I think that's what explains this phenomenon of climate change deniers.  Accepting AGW means that we have to change BAU.  The corporations depend on fossil fuels to continue doing business.  They are the vested interest, and therefor they control the dialogue. 

 

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