consultants are sandburs

Monday, December 05, 2016

Could they make America great again simply by spreading some of their wealth? Don't bet on the question being put to a test; but likely so, were it tested.

WaPo, here, publishing thoughts about Trump cabinet nominees:

As a group, they have much more experience funding political candidates than they do running government agencies.

[...] “It fits into Trump’s message that he’s trying to do business in an unusual way, by bringing in these outsiders,” said Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor in presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. But Trump and his team, she added, won’t be able to draw on the same sort of life struggles that President Obama did, in crafting policy to lift poor and middle-class Americans.

“They’re just not going to have any access to that” life experience, she said. “I guess it will be a test — does empathy actually matter? If you’re able to echo back what people are telling you, is that enough?”

Trump’s nominee for commerce secretary is industrialist Wilbur Ross, who has amassed a fortune of $2.5 billion through decades at the helm of Rothschild’s bankruptcy practice and his own investment firm, according to Forbes.

Ross’ would-be deputy at the Commerce Department, Todd Ricketts, is the son of a billionaire and the co-owner of the Chicago Cubs. Steven Mnuchin, who Trump named to head the Treasury Department, is a former Goldman Sachs executive, hedge fund executive and Hollywood financier.

Betsy DeVos, a Michigan billionaire who was named as Trump’s education secretary, is the daughter-in-law of Richard DeVos, the co-founder of Amway. Her family has a net worth of $5.1 billion, according to Forbes. Elaine Chao, the choice for transportation secretary, is the daughter of a shipping magnate.

It is a group that has long spent big to influence politics. Mnuchin, Ross and DeVos each made hundreds of thousands of dollars of political contributions within the last two years, according to In Ross’ Manhattan office, next to a window overlooking Central Park, there is a table filled with pictures of Ross with candidates to whom he has contributed, including John A. Boehner, Michael Bloomberg and Bill Clinton.

[...] In their first interviews Wednesday after being unveiled as cabinet nominees, Mnuchin and Ross pitched their business experience as beneficial to the goals of boosting workers.
“I think one of the good things about both Wilbur and I, we have actually been bankers,” Mnuchin told CNBC, adding, “We’ve been in the business of regional banking, and we understand what it means to make loans.”

[...] Future appointments could further increase the wealth of Trump’s cabinet. Harold Hamm — a self-made oil industry executive who ranks 30th on the Forbes 400, a list of the wealthiest Americans, with a net worth of $16.7 billion, — is on Trump’s shortlist for secretary of energy. [...]

[italics added].

Also, if Willard Romney gets a cabinet share that would be just more distance between that cabinet and, oh, let's say at least 47% of the nation, but Willard's not necessary to the wideness of the gulf. Only incremental.

It seems each and each other will have a great American experience helping their class; but what had you expected?

And they said Boris Yeltsin governed by oligarchy. As to America at large - the bulk of the populace beyond oligarchs, what you see is what you get, and you ain't seen nothing yet.

They could write a song on that theme.

A Politico item, "Democrats to give Trump Cabinet picks the Garland treatment," is worth reading on its own merit, while raising a question: Why has the press not pressed Trump on the question of his Scalia replacement number one choice? The Garland nomination died Nov. 8, but readers might wonder - is it better to let the question get less current sunshine because Trump might - possibly - appoint a less egregious demagogue than Scalia, if left to without attention. Attention now and who knows? Lift a rock, find another Roberts?

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