Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week
There are lessons here for every city, county, and state that has seen companies take tax credits provided to them in hopes of creating or maintaining jobs and run away, leaving locals to pay the tab.
Dan O’Brien at The Business Journal of Youngstown, Ohio, in collaboration with Pro-Publica writes—Ohio Just Ordered GM to Repay $28 Million in Tax Breaks for Closing the Lordstown Auto Plant:
The state of Ohio on Monday ordered General Motors to repay $28 million in public subsidies for reneging on its promise to keep its sprawling Lordstown plant open.
The automaker, which had pledged to keep operations going until 2040, closed its assembly plant last October, drawing criticism from elected officials in both political parties, including President Donald Trump. At the time, GM cited the collapsing market for small cars; Lordstown produced the compact Chevrolet Cruze.
But state officials said the closure violated the terms of two economic development agreements GM signed with Ohio more than a decade ago. Between 2009 and 2016, the company received more than $60 million in tax credits to maintain operations at the massive plant, which employed over 4,000 people.
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by Robert Faturechi
It was caught on tape. A Seattle police officer lunged into the backseat of a patrol car. The Black woman detained inside had been combative, but she already had her hands cuffed behind her back. Still the cop punched her in the face, breaking an orbital bone.
The Seattle Police Department moved to fire the officer for excessive force, but in November 2018, the cop’s union lawyer was able to convince an arbitrator to overturn the termination.
The implications of the incident went beyond the officer. The entire Seattle Police Department was under an agreement reached with the Obama administration Department of Justice because its officers had a pattern of abuse similar to the incident in the patrol car. That agreement, known as a consent decree, forced the department under tight federal oversight until it reformed itself. The Seattle police had already made a string of changes, including ending unconstitutional stop-and-frisk and improving training.
Today's program from our podcasting affiliate, The Bob Cesca Show:
Rude Pundit -- [Explicit Language & Content! Not Safe For Work or Kids!] The great Lee Papa is also known as the Rude Pundit. You might know Rude from such websites as rudepundit.blogspot.com or you might know Rude from his weekly appearances on the Stephanie Miller Show. Either way, you know Rude combines smart political analysis highlighted by expletives that'd make Sam Kinison blush, so get ready for our obscenity filled recap of last nights presidential debate in which Donald Trump was a geyser of screechy madness. Meanwhile, if you like today's show, take some time to sign up for our bonus content at patreon.com/bobcescashow.
The effort by Donald Trump, Attorney General Bill Barr, and their henchmen to drop the government's perjury case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn has turned into an epic display in abuse of power.
During a hearing Tuesday, Flynn lawyer Sidney Powell finally admitted under tough questioning that she had directly briefed Trump and one of his campaign attorneys on the case two weeks ago, and she requested that Trump not issue Flynn a pardon, according to Politico.
Q Mr. President, can you explain what you meant last night when you said that the Proud Boys should “stand back and stand by”?
THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know who the Proud Boys are. I mean, you’ll have to give me a definition, because I really don’t know who they are. I can only say they have to stand down, let law enforcement do their work….But again, I don’t know who Proud Boys are. But whoever they are, they have to stand down. Let law enforcement do their work.
Nope, no denouncement there. Just a feeble claim that he’s never heard of a widely known violent white-supremacist group whose members zealously support him. (Trump has played this game for years.) This has prompted a few Republicans to criticize Trump, but most of them are still remaining silent. On the other hand, apparently Jake Tapper has finally had enough:
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) September 30, 2020
34 days to go.
The Trump campaign may be hoping to give former campaign manager Brad Parscale the “coffee boy” treatment now that he’s under investigation over campaign finances and the Trump family is reportedly worried he’ll start talking.
Parscale, you probably recall, was taken into custody by police on Sunday after his wife reported that he was armed and threatening suicide. That was just hours after the New York Times dropped its bombshell about Donald Trump’s taxes.
On Sunday, the Trump campaign issued a statement, “Brad Parscale is a member of our family and we love him. We are ready to support him and his family in any way possible.”
Now, that “member of the family” – who is also reportedly under investigation for stealing up to $50 million from the Trump campaign and the RNC – is being quietly disappeared from the campaign website.
From The Daily Beast:
Amazingly enough, Donald Trump’s lies were not the main story coming out of Tuesday night’s debate. But that’s only because Trump’s constant interruptions and personal insults sucked up more attention. The fact-checkers had a lot to work with, but, as CNN’s stellar fact-checker Daniel Dale pointed out, “Most of [Trump’s] false claims were ones he's made before and which have been repeatedly fact-checked and found to be false, rather than one-time slips or gaffes.” So a lot of the fact-checks could be at least somewhat plug and play using existing content.
To be clear: Fact-checkers did include former Vice President Joe Biden in their work, but while he made a few statements that registered as not quite right, he was well within the norm of accuracy for 90 minutes of speaking without notes. Trump, on the other hand, was off the charts. According to Dale, “There were times, particularly during the conclusion of the debate, when almost every comment from Trump was inaccurate.”
One fact check came not from people working for media organizations but in real time, directly from the person Trump lied about:
Picking out a low point in Donald Trump’s entirely subterranean performance on Tuesday night is difficult, but he definitely dropped down a bolgia or two when he handed out his instructions for the white supremacist group Proud Boys to stay on call to hurt people on demand.
Trump: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what, I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem.”
Trump not only said he was happy to call out the militia group, he … didn’t. Rather than telling them to stay out of cities and stop making trouble, Trump delivered the message that they should “stand by” because “somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left.”
Only, as it’s become increasingly clear that not everyone on Capitol Hill shares Trump’s love of white supremacy groups that really do ride into cities in busses with the intention of causing harm, Trump has decided that there’s a slight problem. Which is—you need to forget your lying eyes. And ears.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday afternoon, Trump declared that he doesn’t know who the Proud Boys are. And he also denied that he ever told them to stand by to attack. Because, sure, you’ll believe that.
It's been 1,376 days since the House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to take up, and at midnight Wednesday, the government runs out of funding with the end of the fiscal year. The election is in 33 days. The Senate should take care of government funding Wednesday by passing the continuing resolution the House passed last week. The White House hasn't said anything about a veto, so we can breathe on that front until Dec. 11, when this bill expires. We're trying not to think about the hornet's nest that could be poking, since that's the same week the states are deciding electors (Dec. 8) and the electors vote (Dec. 14).
But that nightmare is two-and-a-half months away. We'll set it aside to consider the last-ditch preelection push for coronavirus stimulus from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The House will vote Wednesday evening on the bill they introduced Monday, while talks between Pelosi and Mnuchin, and between Mnuchin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, continue.
Rep. Katie Porter demanded to know why Celgene had increased the prices of a cancer drug over 300% in the past decade or so from the then CEO Mark Alles. His compensation increased as revenue increased.
A handful of newly elected Democrats, including Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Katie Porter of California put drug industry CEOs on the defensive Wednesday like they’ve never been before.
The trio of freshman lawmakers used an Oversight Committee hearing to press the CEOs of Teva, Celgene and Bristol-Myers Squibb — painfully and directly — on the results of an 18-month investigation into the pricing of two drugs: Teva’s Multiple Sclerosis drug copaxone and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s multiple myeloma drug revlimid.
Porter, a former consumer protection attorney who has made a name for herself by embarrassing CEOs with prosecutorial questions and a white board, lived up to her reputation. She used that white board to display Celgene’s repeated price hikes for revlimid, which now costs $763 per dose, up from $215 in 2005, and demanded that Mark Alles, who served as Celgene’s CEO until Bristol Myers Squibb acquired the company in 2019, on explain whether the drug had improved over the same time period.
When Alles tried to insist that the drug was approved for new indications, Porter pressed harder.
For the purposes of boasting on the campaign trail, Donald Trump would love to have an agreement with Russia to extend the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) for a year (maybe two) while a comprehensive replacement treaty is negotiated with the Russians and China is arm-twisted into signing it as well. The decade-old treaty limits the type and number of strategic nuclear weapons the two nations can deploy. But there are no signs the Kremlin is seriously interested in moving on this, if at all, with anything like the speed Trump needs to be able to tout it as one of the great achievements of his regime. And Beijing has made clear that it’s not interested in restricting its arsenal of nukes as long as Russia and America have so many.
Mind you, this isn’t a new treaty itself, just the short-term prolongation of the old one to provide time to negotiate that new treaty. The Russians have said during negotiations that they would be okay with an extension of the treaty without preconditions. The White House, however, insists on several, including expanding the new treaty to cover tactical nukes and other weapons not covered by New START. Without action, the treaty expires Feb. 5, 2021. It would be a simple matter to extend the existing treaty as much as five years, since that option is written into the 2011 agreement negotiated by President Barack Obama. However, given that this is Trump, the fact of its origin alone may be why he so very much wants a new treaty. You know: Obama cooties.
Trump went into full damage control mode Wednesday afternoon after he once again refused to condemn white supremacists at the s**t show of a "debate" last night.
Someone on his staff must have told him that he needed to respond to Sen. Tim Scott who said this about Trump's racist blow horn that his out-and-proud racist followers understood perfectly:
Reporter: “Do you find that concerning, the president's refusal last night during the debate to condemn white supremacist groups?"
Sen. Tim Scott: “I think he misspoke. I think he should correct it. If he doesn't correct it, I guess he didn't misspeak." pic.twitter.com/qxDTrg7ulT
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 30, 2020
His "correction" this afternoon was to pretend he's never heard of the Proud Boys.
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith isn't very bright, is she? Normally we shouldn't punch down on people whose intellect is smaller than a flea's pygidium but this person in particular is seeking a seat of substantial power — re-election as a U.S. Senator from Mississippi. Therefore, she is all but asking for it when she is a member of a party seeking to increase the suffering of millions of Americans, and runs a campaign ad claiming to represent all Mississippians, using footage of not one single American, let alone a Mississipian.
NEW: Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith's first TV ad highlights her work to bring jobs and growth "for all Mississippians."
But the people who appear in the ad are not Mississippians nor even Americans. Instead, they're Russian, Ukrainian, South African and Canadian.https://t.co/0cGYSP29RL
— Ashton Pittman (@ashtonpittman) September 29, 2020
How bad was Tuesday night’s debate? So bad that the above-the-fray Commission on Presidential Debates is planning on rule changes for the next debates.
“Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues," the CPD said in a statement. "The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly.”
Today the Lakers take on the Miami Heat in the first game of the NBA finals, and what better way to mark the occasion of their return to greatness than a tribute to the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s? These statues of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar, along with several others, are installed outside of Staples Center, where the Lakers should be playing the game tonight. Instead, in these perilous times, they’ll be playing in the Disney World bubble.January 11, 2020 — Los Angeles, California
It’s hard to get any more direct than Donald Trump reaching out to white supremacists militia to tell them to “stand by” for the day they’re called on to attack “the left.” But Trump didn’t let his calls for violence end with just telling his Charlottesville fans to keep their torches lit, or even telling his followers to crowd into polling places to practice some good old-fashioned voter intimidation.
But those weren’t the only times that Trump called for violence, or the only time he leaned on the racism steam whistle. Because in addition to making claims about the nonexistent antifa threat and outright lies about violence from “the left,” Trump also devoted some attention to the kind of violence that has been all too familiar in the news over the last months and years: police violence. In short, Trump is all for it. Fox News’ Chris Wallace may have been the moderator, but it was George Wallace that Trump was channelling with repeated statements about “law and order.” And if the inherent racism in that message wasn’t strong enough, Trump made sure to drive it home with repeated references to the suburbs … and he’s still at it.
Wednesday, Sept. 30 marks the end of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) 2020 fiscal year. It also marks the end of ICE’s deadliest year since 2005. CNN reports that 21 immigrants died while in the custody of the out-of-control agency during the 2020 fiscal year, more than one-third of them after testing positive for COVID-19. Among them was 61-year-old Cipriano Chavez-Alvarez, who was ordered released from prison by a federal judge due to his underlying medical conditions, only to then be snatched up by ICE. He died from COVID-19 on Sept. 21.
“But advocates said the novel coronavirus isn't the only factor to blame for the growing number of deaths in ICE custody,” CNN continues. It’s ICE’s intentional negligence that’s also led to completely preventable in-custody deaths, the House Homeland Security Committee said in a one recent report. “With respect to the medical care provided to detainees, the committee found that ICE and its contracted facilities frequently demonstrate an indifference to the mental and physical care of the migrants in their custody,” investigators said.
Amy Coney Barrett is not qualified to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Every circumstance of her acquiescence to this nomination disqualifies her. Her extremism disqualifies her. Her refusal to say she will not recuse herself from a challenge to the action from Donald Trump—the primary reason he wants her on the court—disqualifies her. It's all of those problems that are driving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham to jam her nomination through at breakneck speed.
By the end of Wednesday, Politico's Capitol Hill reporter Sarah Ferris reckons, Barrett will have met with about a third of Senate Republicans. She has already begun her hearing preparation, getting her schtick on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which she has called unconstitutional in previous statements, and Roe v. Wade—she is a rabid forced birther who belongs to an extreme charismatic Catholic sect. Her confirmation hearing is in 12 days, with McConnell and Graham fully intending to have her seated before the election, in time to hear arguments in Trump's challenge to the Affordable Care Act on Nov. 10 and in time to rule on a potential Trump challenge to the election results.
America has just had its first genuinely fascist moment—the day when the president claimed charge of a paramilitary street-fighting force comprised of white nationalist vigilante thugs and called on them to defeat his political enemies.
That is what Donald Trump did in Tuesday night’s presidential debate. When asked to denounce white supremacists, he demurred. And he specifically named the Proud Boys—a designated hate group that uses street violence to promote a far right-wing agenda—in handing out marching orders, telling them, essentially, to keep their powder dry for likely violence around the election: “Stand back and stand by.”