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Thursday, March 7, 2019

Guy Who Dubbed Neo-Nazis “Very Fine People” Suddenly Concerned About Anti-Semitism

In August 2017, Donald Trump responded to the Charlottesville riots that resulted in the death of Heather Heyer by insisting that a violent mob of white nationalists—whose ranks included neo-Nazis chanting “Jews will not replace us”—also contained some “very fine people.” For his first International Holocaust Remembrance Day as president, the White House’s statement did not include any mention of Jews or anti-Semitism, a decision it defended by claiming that such a reference would have excluded all the other people who died, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and anarchists. While running for office, 
Trump tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton’s face against a backdrop of $100 bills alongside the Star of David, and closed out his campaign with a dog-whistle to anti-Semites about a group of Jews who make up the “global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.” But on Wednesday, the president insisted he’s super committed to stamping out anti-Semitism in a tweet that was 100 percent sincere and not at all politically motivated: 
Trump, of course, is all worked up after progressives in the House Democratic caucus protested plans to vote on a resolution condemning religious hatred, in the wake of the uproar over freshman Representative Ilhan Omar’s bad tweets questioning U.S. support for Israel. There’s plenty of hypocrisy to go around: Republicans spent years ignoring Rep. Steve King’s paeans to the white race, until King literally asked when the term “white supremacist” became offensive. In 2002, Rep. Steve Scalise, who bashed Omar on Fox News, just happened to pop up at a white supremacist-hosted rally. Just this week, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler attacked Republican Rep. Jim Jordan for an “inane AND anti-Semitic” tweet in which he spelled the name of billionaire Tom Steyer, a liberal activist whose father was Jewish, with a “$” in place of the S. (In a statement, Jordan’s spokesman said, “Congressman Jordan has always stood against hatred and bigotry,” adding somewhat strangely, “Also, according to public sources, Steyer is Episcopalian.”)

Omar, for her part, isn’t apologizing after criticizing a “political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” After Rep. Eliot Engel called her apparent reference to dual loyalty a “vile, anti-Semitic slur,” Omar shot back that the charge of anti-Semitism is “designed to end the debate” about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians—a sentiment echoed by Bernie Sanders in a statement Wednesday. 

The entire debate is surely above Donald Trump’s head, but that isn’t stopping him from weaponizing the issue to his benefit. Strangely, his pure moral outrage was nowhere to be seen in 2015, when he was telling a group of Jewish Republicans that they couldn’t control him because “I don’t want your money” or outing Jonathan Leibowitz—“I mean Jon Stewart”—as a Jew. In sum, everyone involved here is terrible.
Mark Zuckerberg’s new plan for Facebook is to become Snapchat
Accusations of election meddling and being a platform for society’s worst takes got you down? Sounds like a great time to pivot to a rival company’s business model:
Facebook will increasingly shift its focus away from public posts to encrypted, ephemeral communications on its trio of messaging apps, C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg said today in a significant new blog post. In a 3,200-word missive, Zuckerberg says that encryption will be one of the keys to Facebook’s future—and that the company is willing to be banned in countries that refuse to let it operate as a result.
Zuckerberg acknowledged that “many people don’t think Facebook can or would even want to build this kind of privacy-focused platform—because frankly we don't currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services,” but assured readers that’s all going to change, and you can definitely trust him this time.
Deutsche Bank encouraging employees not to focus on the dollar amount of this year’s bonuses
Deutsche Bank AG employees learned their bonuses on Wednesday, with many facing deep cuts and some bankers in New York and London receiving zero payouts, people with knowledge of the decisions said.
Many of those who avoided large cuts to their 2018 bonuses did so because they had guaranteed payouts, such as recent hires, the people said, asking not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak on the matter. Some top performers received raises, according to one of the people.
It’s been a rough number of years for the German lender, and that’s not even including its problematic relationship with Donald Trump. Last year, its equities trading unit lost roughly $750 million, and profit at the investment bank fell 48 percent. So employees probably might have seen this coming, not that that makes it hurt any less.
Surprise: another billionaire doesn’t like the idea of raising taxes on the rich
“Redistributive policy leads to inequality. It’s just the opposite of what you think,” real-estate investor Sam Zell insisted to CNBC today when asked about Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s calls for the wealthy to kick a bit more to the I.R.S. each year. Picking up where Ivanka “Americans Don’t Want a Handout; They want to Pull Themselves Up by Their Bootstraps Like I Did” Trump left off, Zell added: “Everyone in America wants to be rich. Everybody in America wants to succeed. That’s, by the way, what made America great, because everyone wants to move forward. Everybody wants to contribute. Everybody wants a piece of the pie, rather than wants it given to them.”
You’ll never believe it, but the Trump boys once employed an undocumented immigrant
Emphasis on once, cause Daddy’s got a base to keep happy. Per The Washington Post:
Juan Quintero, 42, was so trusted by the Trumps that he had not one but two jobs working for the family. He was a greenskeeper at the Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., where he would work eight-hour shifts on weekdays. Then he would put in five more hours each day as a contractor at the 171-acre hunting retreat called Leather Hill Preserve, which serves as a private weekend playground for President Trump’s sons and the property’s co-owners.
In January, Quintero lost his golf-course job after 18 years of employment—part of a purge of undocumented workers from Trump’s businesses amid revelations that the company relied on illegal labor for years, well into Trump’s presidency. Gone, too, was his side job at the hunting retreat . . . Eric Trump, who separately owns Leather Hill Preserve with his brother and several other partners, declined to comment. [Donald] Trump Jr.did not respond to requests for comment.
“All of the years you give them, and they just let you go,” Quintero told the Post in an interview. “They do not say, ‘Let’s do something, let’s try to help you.’ They simply said, ‘Your documents are not valid,’ and that is it.”

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