Donald Trump

Trump's Carrier Cronyism, Goldman Sachs' Revolving Door, and Obama's Late-Breaking Reefer Sanity

Matt Welch discusses these issues plus fake news and Thanksgiving poisonings on FBN's Kennedy tonight at 9 pm ET


On tonight's Kennedy (Fox Business Network at the special time of 9 p.m. ET, with a repeat at midnight), I'm the meat in a babe sandwich between Party Panelists Julie Banderas (Fox host) and Katie Pavlich (Townhall editor), and accordingly we spend a not-insignificant time talking about vomit and diarrhea. (Let's just say there was a Thanksgiving Party that went horribly wrong involving 75 percent of this evening's participants.)

We talk firmer substance, too, including the cronyism of Donald Trump's Carrier intervention, the ridiculousness of the suggestion that somehow Goldman Sachs had been hopelessly exiled these long years until Trump's shock victory, and the belatedness of President Barack Obama's otherwise welcome conversion to the maybe-let's-legalize-pot train. It's a fun show and you should watch!

NEXT: Broad Expansion of FBI's Hacking Authority Begins Today

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  1. I’m the meat in a babe sandwich … and accordingly we spend a not-insignificant time talking about vomit and diarrhea.

    Crusty has the weirdest boner…pretty much always?

    1. I’m the meat in a babe sandwich

      Honey ham?

  2. I’m the meat in a babe sandwich

    Fake and gay.

  3. “Obama’s Late-Breaking Reefer Sanity”

    Late? LATE? Are you fucking kidding me!? Where was your fucking pen and phone the last 8 years, dickhead? It’s real easy for you to play golf and hang out with Beyonce and Jay Z while people rot in a rape cage over a plant, isn’t it, you self righteous hypocrite? Want to prove something? Get out your ‘pen and phone’ and de-schedule cannabis right now, or go to hell. No wait. De-schedule cannabis AND go to hell.

    1. But how’s he gonna chase those sweet lobbyist dollars when he’s out of office now that the funky wind’s a-changin’?

  4. I demand explanation for why we can’t get 5th Column notifications @ Reason. Dammit, this website must do all things for everyone, especially me!

    in seriousness tho, if we cant make snark about it in the comments, it deprives us of a large portion of its value.

    1. *in keeping with that – i hereby nominate this the default 5th column comments section this week.

      Mike picked the same “worst editorial about Casto’s death” i would have picked. I couldn’t believe they ran it. I had to go back and double check that Castro had in fact kept blacks out of government positions for 40 years.

      It reminded me of this.

      1. booo. Sf’d link. this was the editorial

        1. He met with Malcolm X once and had a picture taken with him. That totally makes him a purveyor of racial justice.

          1. Moynihan (I think) pointed out that while the editorial was headlined “Fidel Castro was an unwavering champion of racial equality“”

            … the writer somehow managed to avoid claiming he’d actually championed “racial equality” in Cuba itself… but that he did do so in America.

            which is mostly sort of par for the course for Commie dictators. The Soviets loved to point fingers at poor American race-relations as proof of our ideological inferiority…

            The Norks, as an exception, seemed to have no problem with it.

    2. Glenn Garvin is also somehow the best guest you’ve ever had on. Unless I missed the time you broke out the Ouija board and spoke to Lemmy’s ghost.

    3. Where’s the link? I can’t be expected to find the thing myself.

    4. I’ll 5th-columnize here tomorrow.

  5. “Trump’s Carrier Cronyism”

    No shit right? What the fuck does this idiot think he’s doing? If he was a real President elect he would know that cronyism is reserved for green energy companies, electric car makers and the occasional bank and other car maker bailouts. What a fucking joke!

    1. I’m not privy to exactly what Trump said to Carrier. But apparently, Reason is. I’m not being sarcastic, just saying I don’t know the plan. I mean did Trump promise corporate tax cuts and deregulation across the board to American based companies, or did he specifically tell Carrier that if they stay in the USA, that his lobbyists will descend on Congress and specifically target the passage of regulation that will crush their competitors?

      1. My take on it is Indiana gave them some tax breaks, which has nothing to do with the fed gov at all, and then maybe held a carrot on a stick for the parent company, (can’t remember the name) about not losing their Gov contracts. It all doesn’t sound like “cronyism” at all to me, but I am not as smart as the people who write all the articles and talk for a living. I thought cronyism was quid pro quo for a campaign donation like the Solyndra episode.

        1. The point I was stupidly making was about the freak out I am seeing over this new cronyism. Like any cronyism would be new.

        2. I think even independent of the reality of the details of the deal, Trump is using the instance to actually *tout* his own personal, individual intervention into the economy on “America’s Behalf”.

          Meaning – even if its less-technically “crony” than people might be claiming… he’s certainly *pretending* that he IS exactly that crony. He’s basically advertising his protectionism and willingness to interfere with individual companies as part of his ‘merits’ as a leader.

          1. I have listened all day too Jake Tapper repeats of how Trump has to do a lot more work to get up to as many jobs as Pres Obama has created, so I don’t think a Pres claiming he has the controls of job creation is a new thing either.

            The protectionism slant is another matter. Ya, I get that is not where we want to go, but with the Dems claiming there is no chance for working people other than to accept they have no jobs and should all be re-trained for some new unicorn industry really didn’t fly. It would be nice if free trade didn’t take a hit with that, but I haven’t seen anyone waving that flag.

            1. I don’t think a Pres claiming he has the controls of job creation is a new thing either.

              No, definitely not. Just that its a little different to tout that you personally managed to scuttle a single-company’s relocation.

              *i think obama came damn close to this with the Pfizer/AstraZeneca deal.

          2. Let’s pretend for a moment that our President-elect were a libertarian.

            If a libertarian offered a company a tax cut before taking office and a corresponding spending cut after taking office, would we really care if said libertarian were self-aggrandizing?

            Is it really “market meddling” to let companies keep the money they earned?

            I’m not saying you’re wrong in being cynical. I’m just saying to check your foundations because there might be a few proggy termites that have wormed their way in. Remember that it’s proggy thinking that tax breaks are “corporate welfare” and that letting people keep their earnings is “theft” from the public purse.

            1. Remember that it’s proggy thinking that tax breaks are “corporate welfare” and that letting people keep their earnings is “theft” from the public purse.

              Sorry – you’re confused.

              Its true that tax-cuts across the board are not corporate welfare

              Tax-breaks handed out to specific companies as political favors? Sorry – that’s exactly the sort of behavior that libertarians should always oppose.

              Because it turns the government into an economic referee who needs to be “bribed” for your company to ‘succeed’.

              I don’t know the details of the Carrier deal. From what i’ve heard anecdotally, it was nothing to screech about really (*no different than the sorts of stuff done literally *daily* across the country)

              But i still reinterate my point above = which is that Trump is openly patting himself on the back for “saving*” a company from making an economic decision which it had previously determined to be in its own best interests

              (*one could also say, ‘threatening’)

              Its not the president’s job to police the decisions of specific companies. Hell, its not his job to strongarm the DoJ either, but of course he does. As i mentioned with the AZ/PFE deal – Obama and other presidents have also done similar stuff, and i personally think its a gross over-reach of executive authority.

              1. I’m unaware of any distinction between a “tax cut” and a “tax break.” Even a unilateral tax cut across the board still leaves in place a mass of cronyist bullshit where the legislative branch picked winners and losers. It’s going to take a lot of work to unravel that ball of string.

                I don’t know the details of the Carrier deal.

                Neither do I. And I agree with you that Presidents should not be monkeying with the market. On the other hand, there is as yet no evidence that he received anything for making a deal with Carrier. This may be the first in a long line of tax reductions for lots of companies to help keep them in the country, and a libertarian should totally be on board with lower taxes as long as they are not used to pick market winners and losers or enrich politicians and their allies.

                As I said, you’re not wrong to be cynical. We’ve got a long line of cronyist dickholes who have sat in that seat to base our judgment off of, and it’s reasonable to believe that this is another “meet the new boss” scenario.

                I remain unconvinced that I’m in any way confused about the economics.

                1. And I should mention that there is virtually no way for a President to take any action whatsoever that isn’t going to have an effect on the market. He could do something as innocuous as declare International Talk Like a Pirate Day to be a recognized holiday, which would cause it to be printed on calendars, drive up demand for pirate regalia, etc.

                  All actions are market actions. The only real consideration is whether they make the populace freer from the government or more enthralled to it.

                2. I’m unaware of any distinction between a “tax cut” and a “tax break.”

                  the former (“cuts”) is by force of law, and applies to everyone. It is a reduction of the headline rate in any given tax category.

                  the latter (“breaks/credits/subsidies”) are handed out by government officials to specific firms as part of their agency-regulation. they exploit the complexity of the code such that the “rules” which apply to everyone are given a specific waiver for a specific company.

                  Why do they do these favors? Because doing so might help some get re-elected/increase their popularity (see how pols frequently offer hundreds of millions in tax credits to sports-franchises)/give them an opportunity for a beneficial photo-op moment (see: today)… or hell, just to say they *could*. because wielding power like that means other businesses will come calling for similar favors. Because Govt is the Sugar Daddy.

                  This may be the first in a long line of tax reductions for lots of companies to help keep them in the country,

                  as i already pointed out – its *not* a tax reduction. It was a favor to a specific firm.

                  I don’t know what you mean by “cynical”. I’m not attributing any underhanded motivations to anyone. As I said = Trump is here openly flaunting his willingness to meddle in specific deals for political gain.

                  1. Honestly, “cut” and “break” are used synonymously practically everywhere. I know the difference between legislative reductions and bureaucratic. The latter is the only he can feasibly promise given that he hasn’t even been inaugurated yet.

                    As far as we know, he may well already have negotiated with enough members of congress to get an across-the-board cut in his hundred days. We simply don’t know, but it wouldn’t even necessarily be immoral to offer a tax incentive to remain in the country until legislation sits on his desk (as long as it applies evenly). We also don’t know if he’d be unwilling to offer that deal to the competition either. Saying “this is quid pro quo, case closed” when we have zero facts is just guessing. Probably correct guessing, but that’s not the equivalent of the truth.

                    1. “cut” and “break” are used synonymously practically everywhere.

                      Economic ignorance is widespread. So?

                      he may well already have negotiated with enough members of congress to get an across-the-board cut in his hundred days.

                      So you’re claiming that his current crony-ish meddling is somehow less-crony because (in theory he might possibly but no one really knows) … do something different in the future?

                      That’s sort of like saying, “Don’t mind the terrorism – someone will officially declare war *eventually*” Its not like it makes it retroactively ok

                      ‘lowering tax rates’ in the future isn’t some sort of exculpation of patronage-dealing in the present.

                      Also this whole “we don’t know” “we have zero facts”-stuff? is “argumentum ad ignorantiam”

                      Re: “quid pro quo” – No one ever suggested there was one. You should re-read the above point. Government officials handing out favors to politically-connected entities (aka “cronyism”) does not necessarily require any specific quid-pro-quo. and hardly ever does. Its mere existence creates a set of incentives whereby other businesses see the writing on the wall and change the way they invest their money. Instead of investing in things like “better technology” or “reducing cost-structure” to become more competitive, they spend their money on Lobbying. Because “success” means having friends in Govt.

                    2. At some point one has to acknowledge that two parties are talking past one another and not seeing eye to eye.

                    3. If you go back to my first point, i never even thought this was a particularly egregious example of blatant cronyism.

                      My point was merely the way Trump was milking the publicity of this, which certainly creates the impression of it. And even if its not that bad, its certainly nothing to praise.

    2. The biggest problem with the Carrier Deal(tm) is the longish-term precedents that it seems to set:

      (1) That private companies who make private business decisions to move their production overseas now requires the de facto permission of the president; and

      (2) That private companies can in effect extort the government into getting special favors, holding their employees as economic hostages.

      Even if this particular deal is relatively benign, you just know that there are others waiting in the wings to exploit its consequences to their own benefit.

      1. And yes I know precedent #2 happens all the time with companies moving to different states and cities, and the local/state governments offer tax “incentives” and special favors in order to keep them from moving or woo them away to their spot. But Trump is taking that same idea national, and that is worrisome.

  6. a Thanksgiving Party that went horribly wrong

    It is Pocahontas’ revenge

    1. From the comments:

      “poetsensei ? 3 years ago
      Humans should never hold unlimited power over other humans. It always leads to horrific results, thus the 2nd amendment. What if superior armed Mexica(Aztecs) had landed in Spain? Would the results have been different?

      omgwtfbbqhax1 > poetsensei ? 2 years ago
      Yes results wouldve been different. Don’t assume other races are corrupt and selfish as whites. Only white race targets and conduct genocides rapes and exploitation against weaker races. Aztecs if they were superior, would most likely tried to uplift Europeans and share their technologies. Something that white race refuses to do even today with third world populations in Africa.”

      I’m hoping that’s sarc. I’m afraid it’s the result of gov’t schools.

      1. the link was a joke. it was insinuating that the reason you get Thanksgiving Diarrhea is because of our collective Western guilt for the genocide of natives.

        1. oh, and i don’t think anything there is a joke. Those people aren’t the joking type.

        2. “the link was a joke”

          I knew that. I was just hoping the ‘brown people can do no wrong’ was a joke on them.

          1. Are you two still fucking each other or has the Viagra run out?

            1. Fuck off, asswipe.

      2. I doubt that it’s sarcasm, and the fact that a number of native tribes were vicious, brutal people is probably kept from kids for the same reason that they don’t tell kids that Christopher Columbus was a slaver, rapist, and mass murderer.

        Thus, kids come out of the public school system believing that native tribes were all peaceful people who respected animals and were gentle spirits that the white man unilaterally screwed over and their white descendants should feel guilty about it.

  7. ha!

    Goldman Sachs vs. Norovirus?

    Yeah that is a tough call….

  8. At times, I see the libertarian point about democracy not working. In any decent and functioning dictatorship of the proletariat, for example, this women making false accusations about 3 million illlleggallls voting in California would be tossed right on her ass into a reeducation camp, which is clearly where she fucking belongs. From Salon:

    Paula Johnson, co-chair of the New Hampshire-based Women for Trump, pushed back against Camerota’s questioning. “You know, if you keep reporting on it, it’s going to grow like a cancer. If you forget about it then it’s probably going to go away…The media has to harp on everything. And it’s wrong.”

    Johnson continued that many anti-Trump voters had little room to complain if they failed to vote in the election. “Voting is a privilege in this country,” Johnson said before adding, “And you need to be legal not like [in] California where 3 million illegals voted.”

    A confused Camerota asked Johnson, “Where are you getting your information?”

    “From the media!” Johnson insisted. “Some of them were CNN, I believe.”

    An incredulous Camerota asked, “CNN said that 3 million illegal people voted in California?”

    Johnson then decided to source her false report with President Barack Obama.

    “I think there was a good amount because the president told people that they could vote,” Johnson claimed. “They said, ‘The president said I could vote. I’m here illegally.'”

    1. Fuck off, asswipe.

  9. re: The Meat in the Babe Sandwich

    tonight = Royal blue on royal blue.

    Must i find the previous times i’ve bemoaned ‘lack of contrast’ and link to them? smdh

    I think if you wanted to highlight your surrounded-by-babes implicit-studliness, you might have ditched the tie entirely and dropped two (not one, yes 2) buttons. As long as you’re not wearing a (shudder) crew neck underneath.

    Bolton shows up tonight? Is it because he’s still on the FBN paycheck, or he’s just genuinely simpatico w/ Kennedy? we may never know. No classic Bolton-red-tie, however. disappointing. His grimace-stache never fails to please.

    He’s a pretty good interviewee. He actually answers direct questions, which is an uncommon trait for anyone who holds any significant govt office.

  10. The level of class seemed to fall precipitously between Bolton and Juan Williams.

    Its like letting the opening act play after the headline band already performed. I’ll be at the bar.

    1. Yeah, war criminal switches seat with boring hack.

  11. Also = trivia detail for anyone who finds themselves watching Fox.

    The “” entrepreneur guy? Used to have a coke problem. Not judging, just saying.

  12. “The King’s College”?

    My god, Elvis has his own university?


    Through its commitment to the truths of Christianity and a biblical worldview, The King’s College seeks to transform society by preparing students for careers

    My second guess would have been that it was in Brooklyn (*Kings County).

    I really don’t know what to make of it. Bible beaters in NYC? Bow Ties??

    its some weird mix of ‘fake english boarding school’ and ‘creepy hip-christians

    Like an over-dressed christian-rock band

    1. Wait, there’s an evangelical Christian college in New York City? Seriously?

      1. Apparently. And the students dress like they’re extras in Chariots of Fire

  13. God! The arrogant douche of the comment board has 32% of the posts here. How does he type so fast and how does he come across as both boring and terribly irritating at the same time? I can’t figure it out.

  14. Lastly (i can’t sit though the whole thing) someone needs to have an intervention with kennedy: she clearly has “highlighter issues”. No one needs a whole jar full of them within arms reach at all time. I used to compulsively chew on pens – i know a problem when i see it.

    1. “Lastly”

      Please! Sweet Jesus.

      1. You seem really charming, do you realize this? I’m sure there’s so many here who wish they could be your friend.

      2. Fuck off, asswipe.

  15. “Bill Clinton caught sexting with Michelle Obama on election night”????

    Oh gawd that had better be fake news

  16. Oh, so close Matt. Sorry about your close loss.

  17. i’m happy for the carrier workers.

    that said, what i criticize are the people who think this was any kind of a new economic vision. it was political strong arming. at the end of the day it’s about making people think a problem was solved rather than actually fixing anything.

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