Don’t Say “Sorry” That’s What Got Jimmy the Greek

Donald Trump is a 70 year old autocrat who is used to running roughshod over his employees, contractors, wives and children. Like many macho guys of a certain age, he doesn’t believe in apologies, or admitting he’s wrong. I’m sure that, like Archie Bunker, he has a chair in his apartment in Trump Tower that you better not sit in because it’s his.

But now we know the exemplar that he keeps in the back of his mind all the time as the proof that not apologizing is the smarter strategy. In this piece in which they talk about how Trump believes himself immune to the criticism of being “xenophobic” or “nativist” because people don’t know what those words mean, he is quoted as telling Boston conservative Howie Carr that:

“Whatever you do, don’t apologize,” Trump said, according to Carr. “You never hear me apologize, do you? That’s what killed Jimmy the Greek way back. Remember? He was doing okay ’til he said he was sorry.”

For those of you under a half century of age. Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder was a gambler, a football prognosticator who was on the pre-game shows on CBS in the 70s and 80s to give his opinions on who would win games (but not for betting purposes because that would be wrong!). That is until he made some comments about black athletes having been bred to be superior because of slavery and other racial issues. Funny, but he was 70 at the time of his completely unforced error. He made statements that didn’t necessarily prove he was racist, but they were certainly not smart for someone in public to make at that time or today.  At best it was cringeworthy like when your grandfather still calls black people “coloreds”.

 

If you read the comments on You Tube you will read numerous defenses of what he said claiming that he was right and he was fired wrongly for speaking his mind. What he said was not racist, hell it wasn’t even offensive, he was giving the blacks credit!  Yeah, you go with that.

Trump remembers Jimmy “the Greek” as being a truth teller who got fired because he apologized – which is crazy.  He got fired because if you’re on TV you can’t say those things and keep your job any more than Paula Dean could have kept her stupid cooking shows  when it came out she had  done and said some very racially insensitive things.

Trump and his ilk can bemoan “political correctness” (I hate even typing those stupid words) all they want, but like when you say your wife looks like she gained weight and she won’t talk to you for days, you may be factually right, but everybody in the fucking world knows you shouldn’t have said it.  An apology is the least you can do.

Taking a stand for saying stupid things and never apologizing is exactly what you’d expect from a 70 year old baby who never made the passage to the 20th century, no less that 21st. It’s immature and thoughtless to just blurt shit out, not brave.

If you think it is, spend 10 minutes at any retirement home and you’ll hear all kinds of truths being told by people in diapers whose younger selves would be aghast at what they’re saying.  They have dementia, which is an excuse. Stupidity and arrogance is not.

Brexit (and Trump?) Supporters Afraid of Robots

The unofficial exit polls from Britain are quite interesting because what we can reasonably conclude from them is that the people who voted to leave the EU were largely trying to roll back the 21st century, possibly all modernity (hm, sounds kinda like Isis, without the wholesale slaughter).  And this is where the parallels to Trump supporters are not strained beyond recognition.  The people who want to take out the improvements in society, besides globalism, which benefits are debatable, reacted like this was their chance to roll back the calendar to a better time when they felt they were on top of the societal food chain and their hair was thick and lustrous.

LR-by-demographics 1

We know the olds wanted out way more than the youngs, and the poors and poorly educateds too, led the way. Conservatives were more likely to want to go. But there’s more interesting and revealing stuff here. They asked questions about certain things and whether they were a force for good or ill in society.

Ill-vs-Good-768x757

If you thought multiculturalism, social liberalism, feminism, environmentalism and globalism was good you wanted to stay.  But if you thought those things were bad, very very bad, you wanted to shut the doors, lock the windows, hide under the bed and ignore the EU as if it had been the cause of those movements. As if exiting the EU would bring us the UK back to 1955.

The kicker here being attitudes towards the internet.  People who thought the internet was a force for ill – perhaps they had been viciously attacked on Twitter – were almost as likely to vote leave as people who hated immigration.

I am sorry they didn’t ask about robots, but we can certainly guess how that would have turned out.

It’s not really all about economics, or even brown people, it’s at its heart about an inability to come to terms with a changing world and a shared delusion that it can be changed back.

This is a delusion certainly shared by Trump supporters on this side of the massive body of water the in crowd euphemistically calls “the pond.”

Also, kind of interesting that capitalism was split 51-49 on both sides of the debate. The economic system we are forever wed to like an old fashioned Catholic couple, isn’t  all that overwhelmingly popular anymore.  Half of us are looking around at younger, prettier, maybe more  adventurous economic systems to flirt with. There’s hope there.

Trump the Fraud – Part the Infinity

The WaPo has really dug in on his charitable giving, which shows that he’s a liar, a fraud and maybe worst of all cheap, chintzy, a fucking blow hard miser!  He’s always claiming to give so much to charity, but it’s a lie. To be charitable to him, maybe it’s another indication that he just doesn’t have the kind of money he claims.  He’s cheap for a billionaire, but he’s also cheap for a millionaire.  There are average people out there who give more than he has. They just don’t go around claiming to have given millions and not backing it up.

In all, when the $1 million gift to veterans is added to his giving through the Donald J. Trump Foundation, Trump has given at least $3.8 million to charity since 2001. That is a significant sum, although not among billionaires. For example, hedge fund titan Stanley Druckenmiller, just behind Trump on Forbes’s rankings of net worth, gave $120 million to his foundation in 2013 alone.

What has set Trump apart from other wealthy philanthropists is not how much he gives — it is how often he promises that he is going to give.

Over and over again, claims that proceeds and profits would go to charity and no evidence that it did. And when he did give it wasn’t much, and it wasn’t necessarily to the charities he claimed to give to. My favorite:

From 1987 to 1991, Trump gave away $1.9 million of his money through the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

He gave $101,000 to veterans, according to a Post analysis of tax records from that time.

He gave $26,000 to the homeless.

He gave $6,450 to AIDS research.

He gave $4,250 to multiple sclerosis research.

The amount for those categories was $137,000, or 7 percent of the total.

A foundation for indigent real estate brokers. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Even his foundation gave way more to his schools, and his kids’ schools than to the truly needy. By the way he hasn’t given his foundation and of his personal money since 2008.

Nobody has to give anything, but you can’t go around claiming to be the most charitable, the most generous, and actually be Scrooge.  Then you’re just an asshole.

Oh yeah, this is Donald Trump we’re talking about so, yeah that’s about right.

Judge Posner: No Value in Studying the Consitution

Wow! Talk about the anti-Scalia. Richard A. Posner is one of the most respected conservative legal minds in the country. He sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. He has spent years criticizing the concept of “originalism” that Scalia was so in love with he wanted to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

Maybe Posner goes too far in the other direction. In Slate he wrote this:

I see absolutely no value to a judge of spending decades, years, months, weeks, day, hours, minutes, or seconds studying the Constitution, the history of its enactment, its amendments, and its implementation (across the centuries—well, just a little more than two centuries, and of course less for many of the amendments). Eighteenth-century guys, however smart, could not foresee the culture, technology, etc., of the 21stcentury. Which means that the original Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the post–Civil War amendments (including the 14th), do not speak to today. David Strauss is right: The Supreme Court treats the Constitution like it is authorizing the court to create a common law of constitutional law, based on current concerns, not what those 18th-century guys were worrying about.

In short, let’s not let the dead bury the living.

Posner is a conservative who adheres to the liberal concept of the living Constitution – the thing has to evolve over time to comport to a changing society, otherwise it’s as meaningless as any piece of moldy parchment in a museum. I agree.  I can’t even imagine the inflexibility of thinking that we have to only interpret the document the way men in the 18th century did. Period. It’s absurd and we’ve certainly fallen into a rut where amending the Constitution has become almost unthinkable at a time when the world is changing faster than ever. We’re surely not keeping up. See the Second Amendment, please! (Below I added what I believe is the best gun control ad ever created, the connection to the 2nd Am. is obvious.)

Consider that we’ve only amended the Constitution 27 times in 240 years.  And those first 10 were the Bill of Rights that followed right on the heels of the ratification of the Constitution. So since then just 17!  The last one was in 1992.  It boggles the mind to imagine that the Founding Fathers themselves recognized their fallibility immediately and added a bunch of amendments, but since then we’ve practically deified them and their creation and deemed it perfect, don’t change a thing.

On the other hand, don’t even bother reading it?  Seems hyperbolic. Maybe a great incendiary starting point for a debate though.

Supreme Court Continues Run of Sanity

They struck down the crazy, onerous and completely disingenuous Texas laws created “to protect women’s health” that somehow only achieve making it very much harder for a woman to exert her sovereignty over her own body.

In a 5-3 decision, math dictates that even if Scalia had been there this would have gone right.  What we miss is his likely crazyballs dissent in which he would have cited Jesus, St. Thomas Aquinas and probably repeated nonsense about Margaret Sanger that he got on the internets.  Well, I’ll sleep fine tonight without that.

This should open the flood gates of challenges to similar laws in other states that have left it virtually impossible to get an abortion in those states.

Unfortunately, reality on the ground is that reopening women’s healthcare clinics should look into using abandoned missile silos because of the horrendous safety challenges providers face in our Jesus loving country chock full of the heavily armed and pious. Who Would Jesus Blow Away? is not a legitimate liturgical question.

 

I defer to Barry Ritholtz on Brexit

Smart guy this Ritholtz.  8 Things to Know About the UK Vote.

I love point 8. There’s no uncertainty here. The result was binary. They warned them of the consequences, now they’re happening, no real surprises. Right now people are selling stocks whose prospects have little to nothing to do with whether the UK is a part of the EU. As usual, it’s rather stupid.

I won’t beat this dead horse too much, other than to say that there were two options presented to voters: Stay and leave. Voters picked “leave,” despite warnings that exactly what is happening at the moment was going to happen. That isn’t what the term “uncertainty” means, and those who insist on using the word incorrectly subtract from the sum of human knowledge.

Affirmative Action Upheld by Supremes

The death of Antonin Scalia keeps paying dividends. It’s day 131 of the Court playing shorthanded, and yet palpably smarter and more, how shall I say it? Human!

Btw, did anyone think the GOP wouldn’t be able to string out the Garland nomination until after the election? How many times can we assert that they have to shame? Their conservatism is the most important thing in their lives, and like religious faith, it needs no positive reinforcement to remain unchallenged, it survives all evidence to the contrary. It rises above the business of the country under all circumstances. There’s no compromise. Like zombies, you just have to destroy (unelect) them.

The Supreme Court, with a 4-3 majority including Kennedy (excluding Kagan who recused herself because she had defended racial quotas for the Obama administration) upheld the affirmative action program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Kagan almost certainly would have voted with the majority, had she not recused, but she has ethical chops, unlike some of her brethren.

The story here being Kennedy, the increasingly rare “swing man” rejecting the Roberts/Alito/Thomas wing’s knee jerk conservatism that simplistically says, “the way to stop racism is to stop racism,” so you can’t have racial, gender or economic quotas or set asides.  Just accept people on the basis of their qualifications, period. And if that means going back to campuses that are overwhelmingly, homogeneously white, Christian and privileged in a country that decidedly isn’t, that’s just justice.

This is the case that during oral argument a still living Scalia questioned whether affirmative action was even good for minorities.

“There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas, where they do not do well,” Scalia said, “as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school … a slower-track school where they do well.” His comment drew audible gasps inside the courtroom.