Friday Open Thread

“The name of ‘reform’ simply covers what is latently a process of the theft of the national heritage.”

–Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. allyncooper says:

    11 trillion dollars – the financial damage to the US economy caused by the housing/mortgage debacle 10 years ago aided and abetted by Wall Street criminality.

    0 – the number of Wall Street executives who were prosecuted and went to jail by AG Eric Holder in the Obama administration.

    Just follow the money…….

    • Where does the money go? It goes to the people who wrote the laws that made it legal to do what was done, or impossible to prosecute.

      We need the corporate equivalents of imprisonment and the death penalty.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        I think it goes from Republican slush funds to allycats bank account.  Never misses a chance to remind us how terrible Democrats are even though it brags about being an independent.  Trolls are what trolls do.

        • allyncooper says:

          Yep, I'm a troll awash in money from Republican slush funds.  That's why I would never criticize the GW Bush administration for allowing massive financial fraud to occur on its watch, or for lying to invade a country that never attacked us and was of no threat to the national security of the United States. But actually I have, numerous times.

          See, I'm smart enough to troll for both political parties, so I'm flush with cash from the Democratic slush funds as well.  Life is good.

          If McCain had won in 2008, my OP would be exactly the same except with the name of McCain’s AG in place of Holder.


      • notaskinnycook says:

        The t-shirt I'm wearing agrees with you, Phoenix: "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."

  2. Gilpin Guy says:

    What I'm trying to figure out is how the Dump Administration was able to impose tariffs of 20-50% with no warning or discussion.  You have a nice little solar installation business going and you wake up in the morning and find out that the Dump Administration decided to put you out of business.  How's that work.

    • Pseudonymous says:

      Because that's not what happened.

      Al Gore defends Trump, says he's not to blame for tariffs on solar panels

      "I don't typically defend him," Gore said during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday.

      "(But) I will say in this case it really did not start with him. This was a trade action brought by private companies. They chose a kind of midpoint in the range of alternatives … It could have been handled differently, should have been handled differently but it's not an utter catastrophe," he added.

      The U.S. International Trade Commission had recommended a 35 percent tariff in 2017, after receiving complaints by two solar panel manufacturers, Sunvia and SolarWorld. Both firms had long protested cheap Chinese solar imports had undercut the industry.

      "The large subsidies from China for exporting solar panels has put some other companies in the world at a disadvantage," Gore added.

    • Davie says:

      Here's Paul Krugman's analysis of the tariffs:

      The solar panel tariff is more interesting, and more disturbing, because it will surely destroy many more jobs than it will create.

      The fact is that the U.S. is largely out of the solar panel-producing business, and whatever the reasons for that absence, this policy won’t change it. Like the washing-machine tariff, the solar-panel tariff was imposed using what’s known in trade policy circles as the “escape clause” — rules that allow temporary protection of industries suffering sudden disruption. The operative word here is “temporary”; since we’re not talking about sustained protection, this tariff won’t induce any long-term investments, and therefore won’t bring the U.S. solar panel industry back.

      What it will do, however, is put a crimp in one of the U.S. economy’s big success stories, the rapid growth of renewable energy. And here’s the thing: Everything we know about the Trump administration suggests that hurting renewables is actually a good thing from its point of view. As I said, this is an administration of dirty old men.

      • ajb says:

        As I recall, there's already a 30% tariff on Chinese panels. So the Chinese now skate around the tariff by manufacturing the parts in China, but assembling them in Vietnam. The new tariffs are for panels assembled in Vietnam.

        I imagine the next step will be take advantage of NAFTA and assemble the panels in Mexico from Chinese parts, or in the U.S. using robots. Regardless, as Krugman says, this will not create U.S. jobs, just kill them.

        One last point: at this time, how much of the expense of a solar system is due to the cost of panels, versus other parts + labor? Anybody know?

    • JohnInDenver says:

      There has been news about the likelihood of a tariff decision for several months. No one knew IF Trump would actually impose or precisely WHAT he would impose, but people though it was coming.

      Sep. 22.2017:  SEIA Statement on Anti-Solar ITC Decision

      WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the International Trade Commission (ITC) found injury to the domestic crystalline silicon solar cell industry based on a petition brought by Suniva and SolarWorld. Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA):


  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    WTFOTD — heard on the radio today driving into work that a DPS plan to covert an old elementary school into affordable housing units for teachers has been scrapped . . .

    . . . because of opposition to the plan from residents in the neighborhood????????  The old school building will remain vacant . . .

    • allyncooper says:

      Read the articles. The opposition seemed to be from people who wanted the building reopened for a school, which is not justified since it was determined existing facilities have sufficient capacities for modest enrollment increases in the forseeable future.

      A number of years ago I was Assistant Director of a not for profit housing and community development corporation in the Pittsburgh area. One of our projects was the conversion of a vacant school building into affordable senior rental units. As a not for profit corporation, we had access to certain direct loans from HUD and other creative financing methods to put the deal together.

      DPS says its no longer being considered for housing, but with the usage as a school not justified, there is no reason given. Somebody should be asking some questions here.

  4. Pseudonymous says:

    Clinton kept adviser on 2008 campaign despite sexual harassment allegation

    Hillary Clinton decided not to fire a senior adviser on her 2008 presidential campaign who had been accused of sexual harassment, against the recommendation of her campaign manager, according to a report Friday in The New York Times.

    A 30-year-old campaign staffer had accused Clinton's faith adviser, Burns Strider, of harassment that included inappropriate touching and kissing her forehead and sending her suggestive emails, according to the Times, which cited several people familiar with what took place, including former campaign officials and associates of Clinton.

    After hearing of the complaint, Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle urged Clinton to fire Strider, but Clinton declined to dismiss him, according to the report. Instead, Strider went several weeks without pay and was required to undergo counseling, the newspaper reported.

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