Trump targets European car-makers with big plants in states he won

President Donald Trump, expressing his ire over trade imbalances this weekend, made a peculiar choice: He focused his criticism on two European brands, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, that have significant investments in two of the nation’s most Trump-friendly states.

“Open up the barriers and get rid of your tariffs,” Trump said of the European Union’s trade policies in a wide-ranging and rollicking address in Pennsylvania Saturday. “And if you don’t do that, we’re going to tax Mercedes-Benz, we’re going to tax BMW.”

.. BMW has an assembly plant employing more than 9,000 people in Spartanburg, South Carolina; about a third of the BMWs sold in the U.S. in 2017 were produced in the country, the company said. A Mercedes-Benz factory employs 3,500 people near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, according to data from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
.. Trump’s latest attacks, meant to stir up populist enthusiasm, could backfire politically if they instead spur fears that jobs in Trump country might be in jeopardy.
.. Trump likely hopes tariffs on European car imports would spur the German companies to make more vehicles in the U.S. But he said the unpredictability of Trump’s trade policies would more likely have the opposite effect.
.. “A countervailing factor would be a reluctance of the Germans to ‘reward’ this behavior, especially if it’s unclear where trade policy is going,” Ikenson told POLITICO. “His unorthodox and sometimes erratic behavior ultimately discourages investment in the United States.”
.. “Should we get tariff walls, it would have an impact on jobs in the United States,” BMW CEO Harald Krueger said last week
.. “China wins when we fight with Europe,” Graham said. “China wins when the American consumer has higher prices because of tariffs that don’t affect Chinese behavior.”

When ‘Miss’ Meant So Much More: How One Woman Fought Alabama — And Won

June 1963. Gadsden, Ala. Mary Hamilton, 28, stood in a courtroom before a judge.

She was a black civil rights activist, arrested for nonviolent protest. And the judge was losing his patience.

The atmosphere in Gadsden that summer “was truly frightening and terrifying,” says Colin Morris, a history professor at Manhattanville College. “The Klan was highly active. On more than one occasion there had been attacks in Gadsden.”

But Hamilton wasn’t frightened. She was furious. She refused to answer the prosecutor’s questions.

“I won’t respond,” she said, “until you call me Miss Hamilton.”

It wasn’t just about an honorific. It was about respect and racial equality. Her demand was an act of defiance that would eventually bring her name before the U.S. Supreme Court and set a precedent for how witnesses are addressed in courtrooms today — with equal courtesy.

.. Mary Hamilton was constantly confusing and infuriating men in authority by standing up to their disrespect.

In Lebanon, Tenn., when a mayor visited her cell and referred to her as “Mary,” Hamilton corrected him. It was Miss Hamilton. Hamilton and Michaels recalled the moment in their oral history: “And if you don’t know how to speak to a lady,” Hamilton told the mayor, “then get out of my cell.”

At the time, throughout the ’60s, many white people — particularly in positions of authority — refused to use honorifics like “Miss,” “Mrs.” or “Mr.” to refer to black people.

.. Barbara McCaskill, an English professor at the University of Georgia, studied the narratives of black Americans and the civil rights movement. She said her own mother vividly remembered being denied the honorific “miss” as a young woman.

“Segregation was in the details as much as it was in the bold strokes,” McCaskill says. “Language is significant because language calls attention to whether or not we value the humanity of people that we are interacting with. And in segregation the idea was to remind African-Americans and people of color in general, in every possible way, that we were not equal, that we were inferior, that we were not capable. And language becomes a very powerful force to do that.”

.. Which brings us to Gadsden, Ala. In 1963, Hamilton was arrested for picketing and brought before the court for sentencing. Once again, officials refused to call her Miss Hamilton.

She refused to answer. The judge — muttering lewd comments about what he’d like to do to her if she were in his kitchen — ordered her to answer the prosecutor and apologize. But Hamilton was buoyed by rage at the judge’s dismissiveness, and by the support of the lawyer assisting her.

She refused. She was fined and sentenced to a few days in jail for contempt of court.

Her lawyers appealed the case, saying that the prosecutor and judge had denied Hamilton her constitutional rights by treating her differently from the way they treated white witnesses. Eventually her case landed before the Supreme Court in Hamilton v. Alabama.

The justices issued a summary reversal, overruling the Alabama courts without even calling for oral arguments. Their brief decision effectively said that a court could not address black witnesses differently than white ones.

‘The Lowest White Man’

Trump is not committed to that wall on principle. He is committed only to looking good as a result of whatever comes of it. Mexico is nevergoing to pay for it, and he knows it. He has always known it. That was just another lie. Someone must have stuck the phrases “chain migration” and “diversity lottery” into his brain — easy buzzwords, you see — and he can now rail against those ideas for applause lines.

But he is completely malleable on actual immigration policy. He doesn’t have the stamina for that much reading. Learning about immigration would require reading more words than would fit on a television news chyron.

.. If Donald Trump follows through with what he said during that meeting, his base will once again be betrayed. He will have proved once again that he was saying anything to keep them angry, even telling lies.

.. And once again, they won’t care.

.. That is because Trump is man-as-message, man-as-messiah. Trump support isn’t philosophical but theological.

.. when Alabama called a constitutional convention in 1901, Emmet O’Neal, who later became governor, argued that the state should “lay deep and strong and permanent in the fundamental law of the state the foundation of white supremacy forever in Alabama,”
.. In his essay “Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880,” W.E.B. Du Bois discussed why poor whites didn’t make common cause with poor blacks and slaves but instead prized their roles as overseers and slave catchers, eagerly joining the Klan. This fed the white man’s “vanity because it associated him with the masters,” Du Bois wrote.

.. If he had any ambition at all it was to become a planter and to own ‘niggers.’ To these Negroes he transferred all the dislike and hatred which he had for the whole slave system. The result was that the system was held stable and intact by the poor white.

Alabama, Despite History of Unruly Politics, Has ‘Never Seen Anything Like This’

Mr. Moore has gone about creating a real-life political science experiment, testing whether last year’s presidential campaign was an anomaly or whether voters remain just as willing to shrug off truth-stretching, multiple charges of sexual misconduct and incendiary speech.

.. told an African-American attendee at one of his events that America was last great when families were intact during the slavery era.

.. While Mr. Jones has not said anything nearly as incendiary as Mr. Moore has, he has attempted some political jujitsu amid the campaign’s racial politics, sending out a mailer featuring an African-American that read: “Think if a black man went after high school girls anyone would try to make him a senator?”

.. “I see parallels with one,” he said. “George Wallace.”

.. Wallace, the fiery segregationist governor, comes up often here these days. He was by turns an avid boxer, a circuit judge with lofty ambitions, a state leader who blatantly flouted federal authority, a symbol of defiance to the direction of the national culture, a hero to many rural and small-town whites and a politician who ran national campaigns on a promise to “send them a message” — all descriptions that perfectly fit Mr. Moore.

.. The elder Folsom elevated an Alabama tradition of tub-thumping economic populism in a state dominated for much of its history by a coterie of wealthy planters and industrialists, known as the Big Mules. While Folsom railed against the elite-owned “lyin’ newspapers,” much like Mr. Moore and right-wing populists today, he championed women and blacks along with poor whites.

Allegations against Roy Moore create awkward choice for suburban women in Alabama

a battle is emerging for voters like McCafferty: white suburban women who typically support GOP candidates but who, unlike many of their male counterparts, have become uneasy about Moore.

.. Each side, relying at times on the candidates’ wives to make their case, is presenting female voters

.. “I put a Doug Jones sign in my yard. I felt a little sick doing that. But I had to.”

.. The percentage of women in the state who had a favorable view of Moore dropped 11 points between mid-October and mid-November, from 47 percent to 36 percent; among men, Moore dropped by just two points.

.. Part of the argument to GOP voters, including suburban women who are skeptical of Moore personally, is that a Jones victory could put at risk the party’s control of the Senate and make it harder for Trump to win confirmation of federal judges who oppose abortion

.. a choice between an alleged sexual predator and a supporter of abortion on demand. Teresa Ferguson, a Moore supporter from a town 50 miles southeast of Huntsville, said she had been advising her peers to think of the Supreme Court and other Republican legislative priorities.

.. There is just a bigger picture here,” she said. “There is a goal greater, which is we will have to have another Supreme Court justice before too long, and we can’t afford to lose a United States Senate seat.”

.. Anger at the media, Jackson said, was allowing plenty of conservative voters to compartmentalize the story.

.. “Women are not so brand-oriented,” Griffith said. “They look at these things from a survival standpoint: ‘Who’s going to be best for my children?’ A man doesn’t seem to have that problem.”

.. both parties wonder how many are staying quiet

Stokely Carmichael

He was also frustrated to be drawn again into nonviolent confrontations with police, which he no longer found empowering. After seeing protesters brutally beaten again, he collapsed from stress, and his colleagues urged him to leave the city.[28]

.. Carmichael helped to increase the number of registered black voters from 70 to 2,600—300 more than the number of registered white voters.[2] Black voters had essentially been disfranchised by Alabama’s constitution passed by white Democrats in 1901.

.. Black residents and voters organized and widely supported the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO), a party that had the black panther as its mascot, over the white-dominated local Democratic Party, whose mascot was a white rooster. Since federal protection from violent voter suppression by the Ku Klux Klan and other white opponents was sporadic, most Lowndes County activists openly carried arms.

.. Although black residents and voters outnumbered whites in Lowndes, their candidate lost the county-wide election of 1965. In 1966, several LCFO candidates ran for office in the general election but failed to win.[31] In 1970, the LCFO merged with the statewide Democratic Party, and former LCFO candidates won their first offices in the county.[32][33]

.. Carmichael became chairman of SNCC in 1966, taking over from John Lewis, who later was elected to the US Congress. A few weeks after Carmichael took office, James Meredith was shot and wounded by a sniper during the solitary March Against Fear. Carmichael joined Martin Luther King Jr.Floyd McKissickCleveland Sellers and others to continue Meredith’s march. He was arrested during the march and, upon his release, he gave his first “Black Power” speech, using the phrase to urge black pride and socio-economic independence:

.. According to Carmichael: “Black Power meant black people coming together to form a political force and either electing representatives or forcing their representatives to speak their needs [rather than relying on established parties]”.[36]

.. Carmichael led SNCC to become more radical. The group focused on Black Power as its core goal and ideology.

.. Carmichael ultimately sided with those calling for the expulsion of whites. He said that whites should organize poor white southern communities, of which there were plenty, while SNCC focused on promoting African-American self-reliance through Black Power.[38]

.. Carmichael considered nonviolence to be a tactic as opposed to an underlying principle

.. that we were never fighting for the right to integrate, we were fighting against white supremacy. Now, then, in order to understand white supremacy we must dismiss the fallacious notion that white people can give anybody their freedom. No man can give anybody his freedom. A man is born free. You may enslave a man after he is born free, and that is in fact what this country does. It enslaves black people after they’re born, so that the only acts that white people can do is to stop denying black people their freedom; that is, they must stop denying freedom. They never give it to anyone.[39]

.. For a time in 1967, Carmichael considered an alliance with Saul Alinsky‘s Industrial Areas Foundation

.. Carmichael popularized the oft-repeated anti-draft slogan, “Hell no-We won’t go!” during this time.[44]

.. Carmichael was targeted by a section of J. Edgar Hoover‘s COINTELPRO (counter-intelligence program) which focused on black activists; the program promoted slander and violence against targets that Hoover considered to be enemies of the US government.[52

.. A March 4, 1968 memo from Hoover states his fear of the rise of a black nationalist “messiah” and notes that Carmichael alone had the “necessary charisma to be a real threat in this way.”[56

.. Hoover stepped up his efforts to divide the black power movement. Declassifed documents show a plan was launched to undermine the SNCC-Panther merger, as well as to bad-jacket” Carmichael as a CIA agent. Both efforts were largely successful: Carmichael was expelled from SNCC that year, and the rival Panthers began to denounce him.[57][58]

.. Carmichael was present in Washington, D.C. the night after King’s assassination in April 1968. He led a group through the streets, demanding that businesses close out of respect. Although he tried to prevent violence, the situation escalated beyond his control. Due to his reputation as a provocateur, the news media blamed Carmichael for the ensuing violence as mobs rioted along U Street and other areas of black commercial development.[62]

.. Carmichael soon began to distance himself from the Panthers. He disagreed with them about whether white activists should be allowed to participate in the movement. The Panthers believed that white activists could help the movement, while Carmichael had come to agree with Malcolm X, and said that the white activists should organize their own communities first.

.. in July 1969, Carmichael published a formal rejection of the Black Panthers, condemning them for not being separatist enough and for their “dogmatic party line favoring alliances with white radicals”.[2]

.. Carmichael’s suspicions about the CIA were affirmed in 2007, when previously secret CIA documents were declassified, revealing that the agency had tracked Carmichael from 1968 as part of their surveillance of black activists abroad. The surveillance continued for years.[67]

.. Kwame Ture, along with Charles V. Hamilton,[79] is credited with coining the phrase “institutional racism“—defined as racism that occurs through institutions such as public bodies and corporations, including universities. In the late 1960s Ture defined “institutional racism” as “the collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their color, culture or ethnic origin.”[80]

.. Garrow described the period in 1966 where Ture and other members of the SNCC managed to successfully register 2,600 African American voters in Lowndes County, Alabama, as the most consequential period in Ture’s life “in terms of real, positive, tangible influence on people’s lives.”[4]

Evaluations from Ture’s associates are also mixed, with most praising his efforts and others criticizing him for failing to find constructive ways to achieve his objectives.[81]

.. “Even though we kidded and called him ‘Starmichael,’ he could sublimate his ego to get done what was needed to be done….He would say what he thought, and you could disagree with it but you wouldn’t cease being a human being and someone with whom he wanted to be in relationship.”

Adolph Hitler—I’m not putting a judgment on what he did—if you asked me for my judgment morally, I would say it was bad, what he did was wrong, was evil, etc. But I would say he was a genius, nevertheless . . . . You say he’s not a genius because he committed bad acts. That’s not the question. The question is, he does have genius. Now when we condemn him morally or ethically, we will say, well, he was absolutely wrong, he should be killed, he should be murdered, etc., etc. . . . But if we’re judging his genius objectively, we have to admit that the man was a genius. He forced the entire world to fight him. He was fighting America, France, Britain, Russia, Italy once— then she switched sides—all of them at the same time, and whupping them. That’s a genius, you cannot deny that.[85]

.. “Our paper on the position of women came up, and Stokely in his hipster rap comedic way joked that ‘the proper position of women in SNCC is prone’. I laughed, he laughed, we all laughed.

.. This viciously anti-women outlook is another reason why all of these nationalist movements went nowhere

Why Roy Moore’s Law-School Professor Nicknamed Him Fruit Salad

George Thomas Wilson, a retired magazine-marketing and P.R. professional now living in New York City, has never forgotten his first criminal-law class, at the University of Alabama School of Law, in 1974.

.. “Finally, at the end of the hour, McGee said to him, ‘Mr. Moore, I have been teaching in this school for thirty years, and in all of that time you’re the most mixed-up person I’ve ever taught. I’m going to call you Fruit Salad.”

.. Moore’s opponent in the race is Doug Jones, a Democrat and former U.S. Attorney best known for prosecuting two of the Ku Klux Klan members behind the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, which killed four African-American girls.)

.. He called him “your average law student passing through.” Others offered harsher assessments.

.. “Roy always sat in front of us, and he would turn around and flirt. He’s the one thing that brought humor to us, because he was, well, kind of a doofus,” she said. “He’d yak at us. We were both single, rolling our eyes.” She added, “And then Roy would ask all of these questions to put himself in the middle of debating with an intelligent professor, and he was always cut to shreds.”

.. “He’d go to class, but he was argumentative, very stubborn, and not very thoughtful in his analysis of the cases. He was not a very attentive student. For the most part, students didn’t respect him much.” She added, “Of all my classmates, he was the least likely I’d think would become a U.S. senator.”

.. Moore had recently returned from Vietnam, where he’d been a military-police officer. Some who served under Moore there had referred to him, with sarcasm, as “Captain America,” chafing at his egoist style of command. One such officer, Barrey Hall, told the Associated Press, in 2003, that Moore’s “policies damn near got him killed in Vietnam. He was a strutter.”

.. Veterans told him that Moore demanded that he be saluted on the ground in Vietnam, Martin said, which everyone knew was a foolish thing to do. “When you go to Vietnam as an officer, you don’t ask anybody to salute you, because the Viet Cong would shoot officers,” he explained. “You’ve heard this a million times in training.” If Moore indeed violated this rule, Martin went on, “There’s nothing more telling about a person’s capability and character and base intelligence. It’s crazy.”

.. Martin, a self-described moderate, wrote an editorial in a local paper warning voters about his former student. In it, he describes Moore as a pupil so immune to logic and reason that he forced his exasperated teacher to “abandon the Socratic method of class participation in favor of the lecture mode.”

.. “He was very, very opinionated. To the point of just being ridiculous,” Melton said. “He had ultraconservative values and opinions. I’m not saying he wasn’t liked, he was just different.” Wilson said, “He was Looney Tunes from the beginning. But I never really thought he was malicious. Some of the verbiage that’s come out of him more recently, it’s a much harsher, meaner man than I remember.”

.. Most of Moore’s classmates didn’t recall Christianity being a noticeable part of his public persona. “I had no sense that Roy was a really religious person

.. “I can’t get into his mind, or his heart, but I think it’s all political. He’s demagoguing on those issues.”

.. I don’t think this Doug Jones has a snowball’s chance in Hell,” he added. “He’s a Democrat and they gonna  . . . ” Melton trailed off. “Hell, Moore will get sixty-five per cent of the vote.

.. Southern Baptists control the damn state. And they’ll vote for Roy. It’ll be a landslide.”