Presidential credentials and other links

Someone a long time ago argued that “character” is a valid consideration in a president: we can’t anticipate things like 9/11, Katrina, the 21st century housing bubble, etc. so the president’s character—his capacity to lead, to adapt, to make fast, good decisions—is as important as his plans and proposed policies. And I think that’s a reasonable point. Recently, some businessmen made the same point about Trump: “If you’re hiring someone to be a chief executive, you don’t ask them to lay out every decision they’ll make, years ahead of when they’ll make it. You hire someone whom you trust, and you let them run things. Beal says he knows that Trump will do the right things to make the economy perform better. ‘You’re going to say, ‘How?’ ’ he told me. ‘I don’t know how. I know that sounds crazy. That’s how the real world operates.’

Except as noted at the link, there’s very little reason to trust Trump: he was a god-awful businessman, he’s openly ramping up hostility to non-whites and non-Christians and seems to be running a really bad campaign. It’s the equivalent of arguments that we should trust W to run the country because he was “authentic,” a plain-spoken farmer (yes, that’s how some people painted him), a fighter pilot (he was grounded almost 30 years before his presidency for blowing off his flight physical), a guy you’d like to have a beer with (in contrast to snobbish “elitist” Al Gore)—i.e., it’s bullshit. Though given CEOs routinely get big bonuses while running companies into the ground, maybe that is how their idea of the real world operates.

•Speaking of unqualified, Tennessee politician Rick Tyler is running on a platform of Make America White Again. Which he explains is totally not a racist statement, it’s about going back to the 1960s when there wasn’t much immigration, no violent crime, no break-ins. Of course all these statements are inaccurate, and even if they weren’t, wouldn’t “bring back the good old days” make more sense if that’s what he meant?

•Mortgage services really suck at their job, which is bad for homeowners.

•Donald Trump thinks racial profiling is common sense. It’s not.

•David Neiwert reminds us that anti-gay terrorist acts come from the American right, not just radical Islam.

•Some recent decisions by the eight-person Supreme Court. One good win on affirmative action, one loss on immigration, among other effects.

•The reasons medical drugs cost us more. And here’s how little it takes for a pharmaceutical rep to convince a doctor to switch to prescribing a new drug—though as noted at the link, this doesn’t always prove the doctor is being bought.

•If the ceasefire in Columbia’s brutal civil war holds, it’s a great thing.

•Even a U.S. senator has trouble getting her cable company to remove an unwanted “protection plan.” The line that leaped out at me was one cable staffer explaining that ““If we’re not making profit off every single line-item [in your bill], we’re doing something wrong.”

•Pushing to ban gun-purchases to people on the no-fly list is, as I mentioned recently, a bad gun-control tactic.

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Filed under economics, Politics

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