He called the deal the “eighth wonder of the world,” and traveled to Wisconsin to participate in a fake ground-breaking ceremony, complete with golden shovels, but now President Donald Trump is forced to do damage control after one of the biggest iPhone manufacturers, China’s Foxconn, changed its plans and announced it will not be making LCD TV screens at the Wisconsin plant.
Then-governor Scott Walker gave the $4.7 trillion manufacturing maven tax breaks worth $4.8 billion to bring a $10 billion 20-million square foot state-of-the-art flat-panel display factory, that was supposed to “create 3,000 jobs with the potential to grow to 13,000 new jobs,” according to a Foxconn press release.
But as The Guardian reported at the time, even “if 13,000 new jobs are created, Wisconsin would be paying $346,153 per job at a subsidy of $4.5bn. An astronomical sum, but nothing compared to the $1.5m per job cost if the deal ends up creating just 3,000 new positions.”
And yet, President Trump heralded this as a massive achievement, which it never was.
Now, it’s even worse than it originally was, and President Trump is scrambling to save face.
Reuters reported this week Foxconn has ditched plans to build the $10 billion manufacturing facility, and instead will operate a campus to employ “mostly engineers and researchers,” possibly with some light manufacturing. They’re now calling it an “advanced manufacturing facility as well as a hub of high technology innovation,” but being silent as to what that means or how many jobs they will be creating.
“In Wisconsin we’re not building a factory. You can’t use a factory to view our Wisconsin investment,” the special assistant to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou told Reuters.
This has become a major catastrophe for Trump’s legacy. It was supported to exemplify that he was the great deal maker he claimed, and that he could revive U.S. manufacturing, which was never possible.
Desperate for some good news and to do damage control, President Trump Friday afternoon tried to brag that he called Foxconn’s CEO, and suggested he saved the deal, which would be false. He also tweeted out a CNBC article that literally calls a new Foxconn press release “damage control.”
Great news on Foxconn in Wisconsin after my conversation with Terry Gou! https://t.co/2wtuCdl7TX
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 1, 2019
The Foxconn press release in the article does not offer any new details, does not say the manufacturing jobs are saved (they are not) or anything new – it just repackages what Reuters had reported two days earlier.
CNBC notes that Foxconn “isn’t clarifying what kind of jobs will be housed at the $10 billion plant.”
Bottom line, Foxconn is not going back to the original deal, and it appears there will not be 3000 or 13,000 new Foxconn manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin.
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‘Smug’ Trump Kicks Off 10 Day Golfing Vacation With $10 Million Mega-Donor Hamptons Fundraisers
Trump thinks “the Democrats don’t seem like a threat,” according to a former White House official.
President Donald Trump will be out of the office for the next ten days. He is going on vacation, spending the next week at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club, as he does every August. But on his way to the Garden State Air Force One will take a detour to the Hamptons, where two billionaire real estate developers will hold separate mega-donor fundraisers that are expected to deliver $10 million in just a few hours to the Trump re-election effort. Tickets to one, now highly controversial fundraiser, held by SoulCycle, Equinox Fitness, and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross start at $5600 and go up to $250,000.
The Associated Press sets the scene, noting the President is “confronting a storm of crises, at home and abroad, that could set the course for his upcoming re-election bid,” which, it should be noted, literally began the same day he was sworn in to office in 2017.
Trump’s “aides say his attention will be focused on golf, cable news and Twitter. They often worry about the scattershot outbursts,” the AP notes, “that can emerge when Trump escapes Washington and has more access to his friends and less to his staff.”
The President is clearly in trouble, and some are questioning why he’s on vacation as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi formally requested the President just yesterday use his constitutional authority to call the Senate back in to session to pass strong and meaningful gun violence protection legislation.
“With his poll numbers stalled and his ability to rally the country questioned, he’s being tested by an escalating trade war with China that may slow the economy, rising tensions with both Iran and North Korea and, in the aftermath of the latest mass shootings, pressure to act on guns and face accusations of his own role in fostering an environment of hate.”
In fact, he has little “ability to rally the country,” which is his own fault. The “escalating trade war with China that may slow the economy” is his own fault. The “rising tensions with both Iran and North Korea” are his own fault. And “the latest mass shootings” are in part his own fault, given his refusal to do anything about violent white supremacism, domestic terrorism, the gun crisis, and right wing extremists.
Or, as the AP says, “pressure to act on guns and face accusations of his own role in fostering an environment of hate.”
And while many across America are feeling increased stress and fear – a video this week of a car backfiring in New York City’s Times Square had hundreds running for their lives fearing yet another mass shooting – the AP says “The president himself does not seem bothered.”
“He doesn’t think he is facing any challenges. His attitude is, ‘The economy is doing great, I am putting the hammer down on China, the rest is just noise,’” said former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. “The media is against him, his supporters are for him and the Democrats don’t seem like a threat.”
“He’s going on vacation feeling smug.”
Sheriff Hopping Mad After Pence Skips Out on $24,000 Bill at $700,000 Campaign Fundraiser
“We’re not done,” the sheriff says.
A Colorado law enforcement officer is furious after Vice President Mike Pence came to Aspen, headlined an “intimate” $35,000 per couple Trump campaign fundraiser at a private members-only club ironically owned by two gay men, and left without paying his bill.
“You raise $700,000 in an hour, you should be able to pitch in to support the community that made you feel welcome,” Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo, speaking about the bill, told the Aspen Daily News.
Sheriff DiSalvo says the Vice President made no attempt to pay the $24,000 bill for local law enforcement, and made no attempt to even tell him where to send the bill. Ultimately, Pitkin County taxpayers may be on the hook.
“We had a SWAT team from Garfield County here that I want to see get reimbursed. We had Carbondale officers here that I want to see get reimbursed. They don’t have this kind of money — I don’t have this kind of money,” DiSalvo said.
“We had 64 total police officers on that assignment in the 20 or so hours that he was here, totaling 519 person hours,” DiSalvo continued. “Out of those 64, 14 were state troopers, and we don’t have a responsibility to pay them. But the 50 other cops that were here are all on the county dime.”
“I guess the whole thing is generally just somewhat disappointing to me,” DiSalvo added.
On Monday Sheriff DiSalvo had said, “I’m concerned we’re gonna get stiffed.” It appears he may have been right.
DiSalvo was not the only Pitkin County official who’s angry.
County Commissioner Greg Poschman told fellow commissioners “it was disturbing to me that candidates from both parties blow into town, collect a briefcase full of cash and then blow back out again without really ever doing any public outreach.”
“Mike Pence was just here … and cost us a lot of time and effort when everyone was stuck waiting for his way-oversized motorcade to go through. He could have driven through in a Jeep with a hat and sunglasses and nobody would’ve noticed.”
Poschman added, “does our sheriff really need to call up and make a strong suggestion that they pay their bill before they leave town? That doesn’t sit well with me, and I’m guessing it doesn’t sit well with the community, either.”
DiSalvo appears to agree.
“We’re not done,” DiSalvo says.
Now You Can Get Your Photo Taken With Trump for Just $15,000
President Donald Trump is traveling to El Paso, Texas Monday, where he will hold a “Make America Great Again” rally focusing on his demand for $5.7 billion to build his wall. The President is threatening to shut down the government again, Friday at midnight unless lawmakers meet his demands.
But President Trump will also be using his trip to fundraise for his re-election campaign and the GOP, which are virtually synonymous now that the RNC has made it extremely difficult to primary the President.
The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey tweeted out this invitation the Trump campaign is sending to those who’d like to pony up fifteen grand for the privilege of taking a selfie with the commander-in-chief.
Not on the president’s schedule but appears he is also doing some fundraising in Texas tonight. $15K for a photo, per invite. pic.twitter.com/bPzTO7WVXM
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) February 11, 2019
Team Trump is also sending out fundraising emails ahead of his visit later today to Texas, saying, “I need you to help put pressure on the Democrats” in Congress “and become an Official Build the Wall Member.”
“Please contribute at least $5 by 11:59 PM TONIGHT to become an Official Build The Wall Member and get on the list my team sends me tonight.”
“The time for action is NOW, we can’t sit back and continue to let the Democrats put the safety of American citizens at risk,” he adds.
“Go down in history as an Official Build The Wall Member, and be remembered for being one of the American Patriots that helped FINISH THE WALL.”
To be clear, construction of the wall has not yet been started.
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