Richard “Ric” Grenell is the former Trump Administration acting Director of National Intelligence and was appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany. The NY Post said that Grenell is the “First gay cabinet member” and he noted that President “Trump rejects identity politics.” Grenell ripped the Obama-Biden Administration in camera and in other statements, making the evidence-based argument that they abused their power in various illegal ways to undermine the Trump Administration.
The Wednesday night 8.26.2020 televised address by Grenell is the latest example of a not-so-subtle evidence-based case being made by the Trump-Pence campaign during the Republican National Convention (RNC) that paints a picture of the hypocrisy and deception of several so-called “progressives” and their media minions. Those ‘tolerant progressives‘ are apparently behaving in an apparently inconsistent manner with their leftist claims of inclusiveness when the person in question doesn’t adhere to their specific political vision.
That’s a message several progressives in media and academia have made, as MHProNews has spotlighted in reports like the one linked below.
The argument being made by Grenell to the Obama-Biden campaign could similarly apply with prominent figures backing Democrats such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, George Soros and other “progressives” who are leftist-supporting mega-billionaires. Indeed, without naming specific names, Grenell’s RNC address speaks of the special interests and their lobbyists that the Democratic Party and their nominees Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are beholden to, because they foot the bills.
In that context, the statement to MHProNews by a senior-level Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) insider has revealed purported examples of posturing support for minorities that include people of color as well as homosexuals. Those claims are being examined and explored as a potential upcoming report.
While Grenell acknowledges is homosexual orientation, it is never mentioned in this RNC address. That too might be seen as a subtle slap at the DNC, where “identity politics” are celebrated and showcased. But it is apparent that “identity politics” are divisive by design. So why is it that Democrats point their finger at Republicans for being divisive, when key aspects of the Obama-Biden coalition was built around divisive identity politics? Isn’t that just one more example of finger pointing where three more fingers are pointing back at those making the allegation?
Dismantling the Smokescreens and Spin Machines?
Paraphrasing what Guy Benson, another openly homosexual but conservative writer has said, propaganda is deployed precisely because it can be effective on millions.
MHProNews has explored on several occasions the vexingly powerful impact that repetition of misinformation and deception can produce. History provides numerous examples dating back well over a century here in the U.S., but that type of deception has also occurred in numerous other nations too.
At this time, what Grenell and several other RNC speakers have de facto done is make a forceful case based upon years of personal experiences that when examined against Democratic “finger pointing” claims against President Trump make those allegations ring hollow or reveal them to be outrageous lies when examined in the light of factual evidence.
The tropes used by scores of Democrats against President Trump include racist, homophobic, misogynistic, xenophobic, and the like.
Yet, the first three nights of the RNC convention have directly challenged each of those notions.
- Blacks, Hispanics, an Indian-American and others have spoken to the what they say are false claims of racism. They point to their own lived experiences, plus the policies that Trump Administration has put into place that have benefited minorities such as Opportunity Zones, criminal justice reform, and trade deals that benefit minorities as well as others.
- To the oft-repeated allegation that President Trump is misogynistic, a parade of women that include minorities have flatly stated what is historically true of businessman Trump’s career. Women were promoted based upon merit and have held key roles in his campaign and administration from the beginning.
- To the claim that POTUS Trump is xenophobic, he held a naturalization ceremony which welcomed people of color as American citizens who came to this nation legally. Perhaps most evidently, First Lady Melania Trump spoke of her husband who married a legal immigrant who had her own successful career in fashion years prior to his 2016 campaign. Melania’s example visually undercuts both the misogynistic and xenophobic claims at once.
- But the speech by Ric Grenell also goes to the heart of the xenophobic and homophobic slurs used by his opponents. Agree or disagree, the 2015-2016 election cycle candidate Trump made a point of embracing homosexuals and protecting their rights. Grenell explained that nationalism was a good thing for Americans, because that is what the leader of a nation is supposed to do, represent his people, not that of a global elite.
For those who have been following the RNC and DNC conventions, each has painted a very different view of reality. Of course, they will challenge each other’s narratives. That’s politics. But the question then becomes which ‘narrative’ is closer to or comports with reality?
The chart below was designed to be useful in spotting false arguments used by someone in any kind of discussion or debate. Once someone learns these methods of manipulation, it becomes rather easy to spot logical fallacies, such as an ad hominem, red herring, finger pointing, paltering, and other tactics that are used to mask the truth.
Journalist Dayen and Progressive Solon Ripped Buffett for Deceptive, Racist Practices
“David Dayen is a journalist who writes about economics and finance,” says part of his bio in the progressive left-of-center media site, Solon. Dayen “is the author of “Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud…”
In an article in Solon entitled “Warren Buffett is a phony: Every liberal’s favorite billionaire is actually cut-throat, not cuddly,” which had the subheading “Buffett’s brand is progressive, and Democrats love to bask in his endorsements. The reality is very different.”
So, not unlike the Nation or others in progressive as well as conservative media that have ripped Buffett for hypocrisy, Dayen drilled down naming Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders as examples of posturing one thing, while doing another.
“In 2008, when Barack Obama needed a general election validator to soften the liberal edges played up by his opponents, he touted an endorsement from Warren Buffett in his first national ad,” said Dayen for Solon.
“When the Democratic Party wants to prove to the nation – or maybe to the media – that they have non-threatening, common-sense, middle-America values and ideas, they turn to the Oracle of Omaha. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t map culturally as a liberal. He’s rich! He’s a businessman! He’s from flyover country! And yet he wants to pay a higher tax rate than his secretary!” Dayen adds a parenetical muse, “(Mind you, he doesn’t right now, but his heart is in the right place, I suppose.)” That harkens back to a satirical quote used by MHProNews, shown below.
Rephrased, Buffett says one thing, but does another, argues Dayen.
“Because this narrative [about Buffett] is forged in steel, it doesn’t seem to bother any Democratic strategist that their go-to supporter has spent the past couple of years evading taxes, ripping off poor people and minorities, and throwing up roadblocks to renewable energy. Warren Buffett the cuddly icon doesn’t match Warren Buffett the ruthless capitalist, but they’re the same person. And the question Democrats must ask themselves is: At what point do they stop swooning over this guy?”
The column in Solon continues, “Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway owns Clayton Homes and Vanderbilt Mortgage, the nation’s largest mobile-home empire and its companion predatory lender. An investigation by the Seattle Times and BuzzFeed over the weekend detailed Clayton and Vanderbilt’s schemes.” The terminology error – mobile home instead of manufactured home – is in the original.
“Clayton Homes targets minority communities with advertising and high-pressure sales tactics. Those borrowers are led to believe that only Vanderbilt can finance their mobile home purchases. Then, Vanderbilt issues them loans swollen with thousands of dollars in hidden fees. And black, Native American and Hispanic borrowers receive far higher interest rates than their white counterparts, even if the white borrowers earn less.
One Latina woman received a loan at 14.2 percent after being approved at 8 percent. They didn’t even translate the mortgage documents into Spanish or provide an interpreter, after making the sale based off Spanish-language ads. When loans like this inevitably fail, Clayton repossesses the home and resells it, marking up the price and earning more in fees each time.”
Longtime MHProNews and MHLivingNews readers will recall that a study for the Minneapolis Federal Reserve came to similar conclusions and likewise cited the Seattle Times/Center for Public Integrity/BuzzFeed reporting.
Dayen elaborated by saying that “These discriminatory tactics match a chronic problem inside Clayton’s offices, with seven documented court cases from workers alleging racism on the job. As Clayton’s customers are increasingly non-white – nearly one in three last year, compared to one in five in 2008 – the company obviously finds gouging minorities extremely lucrative. Clayton made more than $500 million in just the first three quarters of 2015.” It should be noted that the article was published later that year.
“This is not the first major mortgage fraud investigation targeting Buffett’s mobile-home business this year; the same reporting team detailed other underhanded Clayton/Vanderbilt tales back in April, stories of high-cost lending that traps borrowers. Buffett publicly defended the businesses in May, saying, “I make no apologies whatsoever about Clayton’s lending terms.” Buffett even tried to disparage the credibility of one of the investigation’s reporters, because his sister worked at a law firm that sued home lenders, including Clayton. The company called the most recent story “activism masquerading as journalism.””
MHProNews has noted that several Democrats in Congress have complained about these practices, but apparently don’t have a problem with their fellow Democrats accepting campaign contributions and endorsements from Buffett.
Rephrased, much of Dayen’s report and analysis in Solon fits a broader pattern of known evidence and facts.
After noting purported misdeeds by Buffett in the energy and environmental sectors, the economics journalist said “Buffett does not even follow his own populist guidelines on taxes that national Democrats love to parrot. His business model of buying companies and canceling their dividends shields most of his net worth from taxable income. Berkshire Hathaway’s deferred tax liabilities total around $61 billion, money owed but not yet paid to the government. He has used stock splits to buy companies without paying taxes on the acquisition, like the 2014 purchase of Duracell, which saved him $1 billion. And Buffett provided financing to a high-profile merger between Burger King and Tim Hortons, done at least in part to save on taxes, even if it wasn’t a classic “inversion” deal to move a corporate headquarters overseas.”
The analysis by Dayen reflects in part the value of setting a historic context for current events. For instance, he draws to a close by saying the following about the 2016 election cycle.
“Warren Buffett may be a charming guy in person. The spectacle of a billionaire who drinks Coke and eats potato sticks every day is surefire media catnip. But Buffett’s drive for profit comes at the direct expense of key elements of the Democratic coalition, from environmentalists to minorities. Yet Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and the DNC wear his endorsement as a badge of honor. This may not be toxic right now, but it’s only a matter of time if the headlines pile up.
In the post-Citizens United age, politicians would be stupid to push away a wealthy donor. But they also don’t have to go out of their way to plaster that donor’s name all over their advertising…Warren Buffett’s brand sets him apart, but the style of capitalism he practices doesn’t. There’s nothing unique or benign about how Buffett’s money is made and who loses in the equation. Either Democrats are so desperate to have a billionaire validator that they overlook these flaws, or they sincerely believe in how Buffett earns his fortune. Either one isn’t exactly flattering.”
Keep in mind that this is a progressive journalist writing in a pro-Democratic or “progressive” publication. But he is hardly alone, as MHProNews has documented through quotes like the one below.
When numbers of people across the left-right spectrum begin to question the authenticity of Buffett and his business practices, isn’t there sufficient evidence that the man is what they allege him to be? A posturing phony that manipulates the system for his own benefit? When Democrats go along, aren’t they revealing something about themselves, as Dayen suggests?
The Buffett-Gates-Soros Effect
While not always naming names, Grenell’s address specifically points to the theme of powerful elites and special interests who run the show in the Biden campaign. It is a theme that President Trump himself used in the 2016 cycle.
Indeed, Grenell made clear what Trump said and did by upending years of problematic foreign policies that failed to serve the national interests, and more specifically, the interests of everyday Americans of whatever background. As candidate and as president, Mr. Trump challenged “the Establishment” of the GOP as well as among Democrats. He specifically ripped the policies and their high cost in blood and treasure of President George W. Bush as well as President Barack H. Obama.
Being a nationalist is summed up as America First, said Grenell. That policy is good for people from whatever “identity” group, is near the core of Grenell’s argument. It is one that has been supported by an array of people who spoke this week about their own lived experiences during the RNC, including those who have been lifelong Democrats.
The argument is being made by the Trump Campaign that the Biden-Harris ticket is backed by billionaires who are protecting their own interests. If those billionaires – like Buffett – truly wanted to help everyday Americans of whatever background, then why didn’t they do so under the Obama-Biden years? Why are some prominent billionaires and Wall Street types enthused about the Biden-Harris ticket? Are voters supposed to believe that they are working for the common man’s interests, or that of other billionaire market manipulators?
Calling the pandemic the Wuhan Virus, the China Virus, or other such terms has been labeled by the left as racist and xenophobic. But President Trump himself made the obvious point, that calling it that points to the nation of origin which could have stopped the pandemic from harming the U.S. and over 180 nations around the world.
Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, George Soros, the tech or online business oligarchs and others grew richer during this pandemic. That graphic will be updated in a new report in the near term, because their wealth has continued to surge as independently owned businesses have often been hobbled by the policies of often Democratic mayors and governors that have kept smaller firms restricted in a manner that de facto benefits the oligarchs who are thus getting richer.
Rephrased, the system is rigged. Note that for accuracy, not all of those billionaires reported by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) are necessarily key Democratic supporters and mega-donors. That said, no less than four of the top 5 noted above have been.
Closing MHProNews Analysis and Commentary
Certainly, one can question why the Trump Campaign has not yet explicitly gone after in a sustained and explicit fashion Gates, Buffett, Soros, and others in the “deep state” planted during the Obama-Biden years. Specific examples of how that has impacted our segment of the affordable housing industry is linked below.
Perhaps the Trump campaign is holding back a more focused attack as a matter of strategy or timing? There are reasons to believe that Attorney General William “Bill” Barr could have several revelations or even charges of public interest between now and the election.
What is clear is that despite posturing as the party of the downtrodden and abused, numbers of Democratic candidates have used the finger pointing ploy to mask their own records that keep millions locked in poverty or lower wages by decades of failed policies. To a degree, there are Republicans who have argued for trade or immigration policies that pre-Trump mitigated against the interests of tens of millions of Americans.
But it is precisely the takeover of Trump-supporters of the GOP that is causing the party to attract a fresh look by minorities.
The pragmatism and transaction nature of many Trump policies defy traditional Democratic and Republican stances on several issues, such as continuing endless wars or allowing the U.S. foreign policy interests to be held hostage to energy producing countries or those who have lower wages that benefited from past-trade deals. By intention or happenstance, that purportedly transactional nature of President Trump has brought some from normally Democratic constituencies into his vision of a populist GOP tent, along with supporting traditional Republican-backed causes like religious liberty, the second amendment, and so on.
American people and America first domestic and foreign policies are entirely coherent, despite what several panelists on CNN have said during the RNC speech breaks. CNN attempts during those breaks to spin their narrative which is openly pro-Biden-Harris and Democratic. CNN fawns over Bill Gates and others like him.
The power of repeating a narrative or falsehood time and again is being challenged by the Trump campaign.
Will the Trump challenge work enough to overcome examples of media bias, spin, and misinformation?
In less than 10 weeks, the nation and the world will know.
There is always more to come, so stay tuned with the runaway number one source for authentic “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.
For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
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