Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Defending The Whole Package

It wasn't pre-meditated, so they can't be charged with murder in the first degree. But Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle should be charged with manslaughter following their interview on MSNBC with Representative Lee Zeldin, a Republican from New York.  A Crooks and Liar diarist notes

"I've had an opportunity to spend some quality time with Ivanka and a little bit of time with Jared [Kushner] as well," Zeldin explained. "I am super impressed with Ivanka Trump. She brings a tremendous amount of intellect and class. She cares about certain issues -- child care tax credits, paid family leave."

MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle interrupted: "Can I just say one thing? As much as I appreciate you talking about fine manners and class. As a professional woman and a mother, it's tough for me to stomach someone looking at me and talking about the great class, when you have the most senior woman in the White House saying nothing when her father says vicious things about a news anchor."

"That statement is just tough to swallow," Ruhle said.

"Well, yeah" Zeldin stuttered. "Ivanka obviously loves her father."

"I love mine too," Ruhle shot back.

"Ivanka Trump, she is super smart," Zeldin insisted. "She is highly capable in her own right. She could be a great United States senator."

"What are her credentials?" Ruhle wondered.

"She's got the full package," the congressman declared.

Given that Donald Trump is famous (not infamous, if we can be honest) for once saying of Ivanka "if she weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her," it's not surprising Trump surrogate Zeldin would describe the President's daugher as having "the full package." Still, Ruhle persisted:

"What are her credentials to be a United States senator?" Ruhle repeated.

Zeldin pinned Ivanka Trump's Senate qualifications to the fact that she is a businesswoman who wants lower taxes.

"She makes all of her products overseas," Ruhle observed.

Co-host Ali Velshi agreed: "She does not make a single product in America. Does that not move you at all?"

Zeldin then argued that the interview was unfair.

"All of the sudden, it's one question after another, trying to get me to beat up on Ivanka Trump," he griped. "How is she qualified for United States senator? Making our tax code more competitive."

Zeldin stated "first off, there are six million different ways to becoming a United States senator," though to be fair to him, were Jared's wife not Jewish, Zeldin probably would have said "five million," "four million," or "many." But he was rattled, so we move on to Zeldin contending

But so you can start with someone's experience in business, someone's ability to understand our tax code, and you know what is preventing a business from expanding and creating more jobs.. We're upset when jobs leave our country.

Of course, Ivanka Trump, shipping jobs overseas, is among the reasons jobs are leaving our country. In October, 2016 there was an inspection, conducted by of the factory at which her clothing line is manufactured, by "an industry self-monitoring collective, the Fair Labor Association, which includes companies like Nike" and

Workers at the G-III factory in China were required to work 57 hours a week “on a regular basis” to hit production targets, inspectors found. Though Chinese law sets the limit for overtime at 36 hours per month, workers in all of the factory’s departments exceeded that limit, working up to 82 hours of overtime a month between September 2015 and August 2016. The factory’s workers made between 1,879 and 2,088 yuan a month, or roughly $255 to $283, which would be below minimum wage in some parts of China. The average manufacturing employee in urban China made twice as much money as the factory’s workers, or roughly 4,280 yuan a month, according to national data from 2014.

Fewer than a third of the factory’s workers were offered legally mandated coverage under China’s “social insurance” benefits, including a pension and medical, maternity, unemployment and work-related injury insurance, inspectors found. The factory also did not contribute, as legally required, to a fund designed to help workers afford housing, inspectors said. Workers earned five days of leave a year, though a small fraction of experienced employees were eligible for more …
Inspectors also cited the factory for a number of workplace safety concerns.

Quite the model capitalist, the President's daughter is. But Zeldin argued that Ms. Trump has other important characteristics because "as a great mom, as a great wife, she has great education, she has great ideas on important isues that help families." Zeldin told us neither why this particular "great" mom and wife is any more qualfied to be a trusted adviser to the President of the United States than your next-door neighbor, nor how he knows she is a "great" mom and wife. (Funny, isn't it, how the more prestigious and allegedly demanding professional job an individual has, the more he or she is venerated as a great spouse and parent?)  Further, while Ivanka Trump was allegedly utilizing all her great qualifications

the Trump White House signed an executive order revoking another Obama order, this one requiring that companies with federal contracts comply with labor and civil rights laws. Two gender-protective rules were gutted: paycheck transparency and a ban on forced arbitration clauses in sexual harassment, assault, and discrimination cases. As she was taking a strong public stand for feminism, Ivanka’s dad was taking a strong public stand defending an alleged sexual predator (Bill O'Reilly).

It's not surprising that Ivanka Trump has devoted supporters among conservatives. Her recently-published book "Women Who Work: Rewriting Rules for Success" is both a paean to corporate capitalism and while entitled "Women Who Work," promotes the virtue of women on the fast-track to financial succcess and rests on the assumption that homemakers do not work.  Criticizing the tome, Michelle Goldberg observed

Ivanka contrasts “proactive” people, who are “passionate and productive,” with “negative people,” those who are “swayed by the external and are frequently the victim of circumstance.” Her worldview, it turns out, is not so different from her father’s. Both see society through the lens of quasi-mystical corporate self-help, the sort pioneered by Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking and a major influence on Donald Trump. In their schema, success is proof of virtue and people are to blame for their own misfortune. If Ivanka Trump hasn’t expressed any outrage at the cruelties her father is inflicting on the poor and vulnerable, it may well be because she doesn't feel any.

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