Posts Tagged ‘USA Today

19
Nov
16

The Era of Apprehension: The Trump Effect

The above music video conveys the feeling of all of the people who did not vote for Donald Trump. With all of the false campaign promises, the lies, the misogyny, the bigotry and the violent rhetoric, it is no wonder the the Trump Presidency will usher in “The Era of Apprehension.” There is some hope that it wouldn’t be as bad as all of that, after all, a lot of Americans are optimists. (Obviously, we are not all that optimistic or we wouldn’t have elected a candidate that felt that the United States of America  was the worst nation in the world).

So, would the not-Trump voters be happy if he does not destroy the world?

And would Trump supporters be happy if he did nothing and kept the process rigged?

Those are the questions: posed by the following article in the November 17,2016 edition of USA Today

 

Why It Might Not Matter if President Trump Keeps His Promises

Why It Might Not Matter if President Trump Keeps His Promises – USA Today

President-elect Donald Trump is backing off of some of his more dramatic campaign promises, but – and don’t breathe a word of this to George H.W. Bush – neither his supporters nor his opponents seem very upset.

Studies show that most presidential candidates have honored most of their campaign promises. Once elected, however, everyone compromises, backtracks or fudges to some extent.

For a variety reasons – including his supporters’ love of him, his opponents’ hatred of his proposals and a general acknowledgement that Trump is best taken seriously but not literally – this president may prove more immune than most to the political cost of broken promises.

John McGlennon teaches government at the College of William & Mary: “Both sides are willing to give him more flexibility than a conventional candidate would be allowed.’’

More, certainly, than the 41st president. Bush failed to win re-election in 1992 after campaigning in 1988 on a promise — “Read my lips: No new taxes!’’ – he later felt compelled to break.

Possibly because few major candidates have run for president with such drastic proposals, many Trump opponents are relieved that he apparently won’t try to do everything he said he’d do. And many Trump supporters say they never really expected him to do everything he said he’d do.

First, some Trump opponents.

“I prayed that he would have a change of heart, that he’d realize that some things he said he’d do he cannot do,’’ such as vaporize the Affordable Care Act, says Angelina Iles, a retired school employee who lives in Pineville, La., and voted for Hillary Clinton.

With that prayer seemingly answered, she has another: “That he’s backing off because he’s learned that the bullying attitude he had in the campaign won’t work once he’s in office.’’

After Trump passed 270 electoral votes on Election Night, David Bugh of Lancaster, Ohio, a pastor and small business owner, says he was afraid. But given signs of what he calls Trump’s “moderation,’’ says “I’m a little less pessimistic now.’’

Even a diehard Never-Trumper like Democrat Rich Langan of Ashwaubenon, Wis., a retired police officer, says he’s trying to keep an open mind: “I’ll give him six months.’’

As for the Trump supporters.

Despite some fiery campaign rhetoric, “once he’s in office he’ll soften up on pretty much everything,’’ says Barry Fixler, who last year opened his own local Trump headquarters in Bardonia, N.Y.

And that’s fine with Fixler, a jeweler. “In his heart, Trump loves people. He won’t do anything to drastically affect people,’’ such as non-criminal illegal immigrants. “He’s not going to throw out children (of illegal immigrants). He’s just going after the criminals and ISIS.’’

Many Trump voters say their man’s opponents were spooked by his campaign promises because they didn’t understand how he works.

Gene Dunn is a longtime Trump admirer who took his son out of school to attend Trump’s presidential campaign announcement at Trump Tower. Trump’s campaign promises were “standard The Art of the Deal practice,’’ he says, referring to Trump’s 1987 best seller. “Asking for the whole enchilada, but settling for what’s reasonable. And all sides can claim victory.’’

A. D. Amar, an Indian immigrant and business professor who lives in Warren, N.J., agrees that many of Trump’s campaign promises were really opening gambits: “That is Trump’s style as a negotiator. He throws the extreme negative outcome at his opponents. This brings them to the table, and then whatever they get after the negotiation is better than what Trump originally threw at them.’’

Here’s how President-elect Trump has been rewriting candidate Trump:

  • Some elements of the Affordable Care Act, which he’d promised to repeal and replace, are worth keeping. He cited provisions requiring coverage of pre-existing medical conditions and allowing children to remain on parents’ plans until they turn 26. “I like those very much,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal.
  • Some illegal immigrants are “terrific people,” and his priorities are 1) securing the border and 2) deporting criminals. The number of all illegal immigrants is around 11 million; criminals in that group number anywhere between 800,000 and several million.
  • Some sections of the “big beautiful wall’’ he’s vowed to build along the border might actually look more like fencing.

If and when Americans try to pin candidate Trump’s promises to President Trump, they will have their work cut out for them, says John Baick, who teaches American political history at Western New England University in Springfield, Mass.

One problem is sheer volume – the “many, many promises made on the campaign trail,’’ says Baick. “There is almost certainly no candidate who has produced more verbiage, in person and in digital form, than Donald Trump.’’

Another is the lack of specifics. Trump, Baick says, “can claim that he has kept many simply by taking symbolic steps.’’ For instance, it may be enough if Trump starts to build the wall, just as John F. Kennedy gets credit for starting a man-on-the-moon program that was not scheduled for completion until after what would have been his second term.

In defeating the GOP establishment in the primaries and Clinton in the general election, Trump may already have kept his biggest, most emotional promise to supporters, McGlennon says: “As long as they feel he’ll bring an end to business as usual in Washington, they’ll worry about the details later on.’’

But there will be a later on.

McGlennon says that while there’s merit to the idea that Trump spoke to his supporters in ways that should not be taken literally, “The question is how long the public will be satisfied with that. At some point people want specifics. Is Trump disciplined enough to provide them?’’


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Editor’s Note

Actually the USA Today article was a puff piece will no real insightful value. But it does bring up the discussion that is truly meaningful.

Can Somebody with Such Low Expectations Be Successful?

Let us start with the crux of the article: can somebody with such low expectations, be successful, just because they started out with such low expectations? The USA Today article suggests yes. But let us further dissect this. For Trump supporters, they feel that the promises were false to begin with. That they were happy just to find somebody who felt their anger. What were the Trump supporters angry about? You name it, they were angry about it, logical or not, they were angry. They were angry because they had been whipped up into a frenzy for the past eight years by their favorite media outlets. (It will be interesting to see, with a Republican President and Republican Congress, if the Angry White Man Network becomes the Kumbaya Channel or the Network of Apologists).

So, if Trump does not do anything about the Free Trade Deals and he brings no jobs back to America, the Trump supports will not care. If the corporations take a higher percentage of profits and the middle class further sinks into the poverty levels, the Trump supporters will not care (they have been supporting that plan since 1980). If the system is even more rigged and the USA enters more wars, the Trump supporters will not care. If the economy goes into recession, they will say it was Obama’s fault. The Trump supporters will be happy that their favorite born-millionaire and “champion of the working-class people” won the election. It does not matter if he sucks at the office. His supporters will stay by him. That is plain and simple. Even if Trump gets impeached for treason in the next six months, he will always be popular with his supporters. Nothing can tarnish him (from that side).

Will Non-Trump Voters Be Happy That He Doesn’t Destroy the World?

How about from the other side -the non-Trump voters and critics? Will they be happy just for the simple reason he does not destroy the country? The answer is no. Yes, they will be relieved, but they won’t be happy. They live with this belief: Every day is a possible day that an idiot could destroy the world or part of the world, or parts of society or collapsing of economies. So, would the Non Trump voters be happy that that Trump does not do all those things? Again, NO! Just relieved. How about some specific issue that non-Trump voters care about? Would non-Trump voters be happy if Trump does not dismantle The Affordable Care Act? No, but they would be relieved. You don’t get credit for doing nothing (or for threatening to do something bad and then not do it.)

How about anything positive? The only measure that I can see in the foreseeable future that would make Non-Trump voters not hate Trump would be to pass an Obama-like Infrastructure Spending bill of 2009. Remember, the GOP stopped other stimulus/infrastructure bills in 2010,2011,2012, 2013,2014, etc. So, we shall see if the President-neglect can pass a “non-GOP” bill. (Funny, the GOP always used to fund infrastructure bills, but that was until the election of President Barack Obama, who also passed the GOP sponsored health care bill – which ultimately was re-named The Affordable Care Act). My feeling is that the non-Trump voters will see Trump like they did George W. Bush. They were both clowns, doing bad wherever they went, although this new clown wears make-up 24 hours a day. The final answer to USA TODAY – no, the non-Trump voters will not be happy. And the Trump supporters will be happy even if he brings on “The End Of The World.”

30
Jan
14

Greenpeace: China-made kids’ clothes carry toxic risk

Greenpeace: China-made kids’ clothes carry toxic risk.

The study, citing laboratory analysis of 85 samples, many concern parents in the USA, as China is the world’s largest garment exporter.

Published in USA Today, December 17, 2013.

BEIJING – Kids’ clothes made in China’s two largest children’s wear production bases contain hazardous chemicals that pose potential health risks for children, says a new report by the environmental group Greenpeace.

The report urges Beijing to cut toxic residue in China-made clothes — many of which are exported to Europe and the USA — by establishing proper chemical management regulations.

The Greenpeace study, citing laboratory analysis of 85 samples, found that some of the clothing made by two garment makers contained NPE, a hormone disrupter, and antimony, a chemical element used in making bullets.

Authorities are not taking action to tackle the problem, said Lee Chih An of Greenpeace East Asia in Beijing.

“We want to put more pressure on the government, to tell them there is urgency for change,” Lee said.

China is the world’s largest garment exporter, and kids’ wear is one of its fastest growing sectors.

The two clothing centers investigated, Zhili town in eastern Zhejiang province, and Shishi city in southern Fujian province, account for 40% of China’s total production of children’s clothing, according to Greenpeace. Shishi exports up to 80% of its output, mostly to the Middle East, but also Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe and North America.

Even the Chinese government’s quality control watchdog agrees that kids’ clothes can be dangerous. The Defective Product Administrative Center of China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision issued a consumer guide to parents in May advising parents to “buy light-color kids’ clothes, without fluorescent brighteners or pigment printing.”

A sample survey by the Beijing Consumer Association in June found 38% of children’s clothes did not meet quality standards.

China’s management of textile chemicals lags the European Union’s by 20 years, said Zhang Miao, a toxics campaigner at Greenpeace. “We can’t say that any brand has zero problems” of toxic residue, she said.

Previous Greenpeace studies exposed larger Chinese and foreign brands; this report focused on small and medium-sized enterprises because they represent the bulk of the industry. Such enterprises supply increasingly popular online businesses such as the Taobao.com retail site, Zhang said.

Some of the tested samples illegally used images of iconic U.S. characters such as Mickey Mouse. The report said third-party, independent laboratories found more than half of the 85 tested samples, all made in Zhili or Shishi, contained NPE and nine in 10 items made of polyester tested positive for antimony.

Phthalates, known for their toxicity to the reproductive system, were found in high concentrations on two samples, according to Greenpeace.

An Yiheng, vice secretary general of the children’s wear committee at the China National Garment Association (CNGA), declined to comment when contacted Tuesday by USA TODAY. The CNGA is a state-run body for China’s clothing industry.

Beijing housewife Zhang Xue, whose daughter is 2½, said she feels “pain in her heart” whenever she reads about toxic children’s clothes in China.

“All I can do now is to wash my daughter’s new clothes many times and put them in the sunshine for several days, as well as buying more light-color clothes,” said Zhang, 28. “I wish the quality standard in China could be stricter like in foreign countries, so I could worry less about my girl’s chances of getting sick.”

Contributing: Sunny Yang

07
Jul
13

‘American Made Movie’ touts USA brand appeal

‘American Made Movie’ touts USA brand appeal. After waiting forever for a movie to come out about the problems regarding three decades of outsourcing (sending jobs to other countries) and to combat this trend, there are two movies about the Made in America movement being released. The just released movie by Josh Miller, “Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey” had its initial premiere on July 4th. This documentary follows Mr. Miller across the United States using only things Made in the USA. If he didn’t have something made in the U.S. he went without, like without a mattress. Now there is a second movie coming out at the end of August. This is called “American Made Movie”. This movie was written by Vincent Vittoria and Nathaniel Thomas McGill. USA TODAY describes the documentary as: “It’s a by-now-familiar film about the decline of American manufacturing and its impact on communities – but with a twist.” [It is far from a by-now-familiar problem, there are so many Americans that have no idea that there is a problem. Editor’s note.]

“Instead of relying on trade barriers to protect manufacturing jobs, the film argues that Americans can tap into the same pride and craftsmanship farmers have used to fuel the movement toward locally grown food. Just as people will pay an extra $1 a pound for organic strawberries, Vittorio and McGill say the path to healthier U.S. manufacturing runs through persuading people to buy a $35 U.S. made slow cooker even when a $25 import is available.”

Editor’s Note

The last sentence is the tricky part isn’t it. The new message is “Pay for quality and you won’t be sorry”. We shall see if we can overcome “Cheapest is always Best” mindset.

Regarding the no trade barriers, I guess that is okay. However, the United States remains at a great disadvantage when it comes to import taxes. An American product always gets assessed an import fee (making it more expensive) when it is shipped to China or Bangladesh, etc. But the same product coming from China, Bangladesh, etc. is not assessed an import fee when they are brought into the United States, as part of the World Trade Organization agreement. That definitely needs to be remedied. Plus, the U.S. needs to drop that special tax break that helps companies move their jobs out of the country. (The U.S. government “pays” for the company’s moving expenses and the setting up of their new factories).

Great News

Now there are two movies out about the importance of Buying American.




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