Monday, August 28, 2017

Jobs and jabs

From the FiveThirtyEight’s Significant Digits email:
50 jobs
The state of Iowa will give Apple $208 million in tax breaks in exchange for promising to create at least 50 jobs as part of a $1.4 billion datacenter project near Des Moines. Iowa, I will gladly hire a personal assistant in the Des Moines area if you give me $4 million dollars in tax incentives. [Yahoo]
Well, we’ve known for a long time that cities and counties and states are so desperate for corporate investment that they are willing to pay what amounts to bribes to lure said corporations.


Trump Gives Mattis Wide Discretion Over Transgender Ban. That’s the good news, I guess. The bad news is that Trump troubled himself to sign a ban against transgendered persons serving in the military. HIs rationale made no sense. But since when has anything he does made any sense? With all the things on the presidential plate, he has time to stew about what’s in your pants?

And then there is another matter he has time to stew about before Hurricane Harvey. A Pardon for Arpaio Would Put Trump in Uncharted Territory. We are now in that territory.

CHICAGO — Note: Friday night, after this Op-Ed was published, it was announced that President Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio.

At his rally in Phoenix on Tuesday, President Trump strongly implied that he would pardon Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., who was found guilty in July of criminal contempt for defying a judge’s order against prolonging traffic patrols targeting immigrants. This is not idle presidential chatter: On Thursday morning, CNN reported that the White House has prepared the necessary paperwork, along with talking points for its allies.

This is uncharted territory. Yes, on its face the Constitution’s pardon power would seem unlimited. And past presidents have used it with varying degrees of wisdom, at times in ways that would seem to clash with the courts’ ability to render justice. But the Arpaio case is different: The sheriff was convicted of violating constitutional rights, in defiance of a court order involving racial profiling. Should the president indicate that he does not think Mr. Arpaio should be punished for that, he would signal that governmental agents who violate judicial injunctions are likely to be pardoned, even though their behavior violated constitutional rights, when their illegal actions are consistent with presidential policies.

Consider this a test case. If Trump gets away with this, he can pardon anyone for anything at any time - no matter what the gravity of the offense.

Here is what a Montmartre street artist thinks of all this.

France looks better every day.

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