Showing posts with label Musk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Musk. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Trump, Musk, Mexico

How the House of Trump Was Built Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America” ......... “a narcissistic drama seeker who covered a fragile ego with a bullying impulse.” ........ Trump relished fights with Republicans more than with Democrats, Haberman explains, because he prefers battles over “interpersonal dynamics such as loyalty and respect” over ideology or policy, of which he cares little and knows less. ......... the political establishment dealt with Trump the only way it knew how — with lots and lots of paper. ....... From Trump’s perspective, the Mueller investigation constituted the “ultimate showdown” against his deep-state enemies, Baker and Glasser write, meaning “the Democrats, the F.B.I., the intelligence agencies, the news media, the State Department, the Pentagon, the career civil service, the establishment writ large, fellow Republicans who had never fully accepted him. In other words, Washington.” ......... Not even the Constitution fazes Trump, whose recent call for the document’s “termination” is the ultimate battle against paper. ......... “These folks don’t get it that when they come after me, people who love freedom rally around me,” he declared. “It strengthens me.” Trump always tries to turn paper fights into personality fights and then rallies people to defend him. For Trump, personality beats paper, and the support of his people beats everything. ......... “The psychological state of the world’s most powerful man was a source of never-ending speculation, commentary and concern in a way that simply had no parallel in American history” ........ the son of a Trump Organization executive who recalls the first time the future president fired off a tweet on his own, without staff help. “He later compared the moment to the scene in the movie ‘Jurassic Park,’ ” Haberman writes, “when dinosaurs realize they can open doors themselves.” Apparently the secret to writing a Trump best seller is to compare him to an angry, carnivorous beast that terrifies little kids. ......... Even an assault on the Capitol is acceptable if the opponents arrayed against them are not just wrong but wicked. .......... Marjorie Taylor Greene, the QAnon-friendly Republican House member from Georgia who has minimized the Capitol riot as “Witch Hunt 2.0,” is one of Draper’s main examples. First Greene blamed the violence of Jan. 6 on antifa infiltrators, and later she excused it because the Declaration of Independence encouraged the people to overthrow tyrants. She has taken her statements even further of late, telling a Republican gathering in New York that if she and Steve Bannon had organized the attack on the Capitol, it would have succeeded, and it would have been armed. She later dismissed the remark as a “sarcastic joke,” but Draper emphasizes how even “her most outlandish rhetoric has become G.O.P. talking points.” ......... the “emotional kinetics” that would compel so many people to gather in Washington on a single day and commit violence upon the seat of American democracy. ......... He changed America by revealing it.

What’s the Key to Understanding Donald J. Trump? Start With Queens. “Confidence Man,” Maggie Haberman’s biography of the former president, argues that it’s essential to grasp New York’s steamy, histrionic folkways. . Trump has called her “a crooked H[illary] flunky” and “an unprofessional hack” while giving her endless interviews, including three for this book. ....... Haberman’s thesis is that you can’t really understand Donald Trump unless you’re familiar with the steamy, histrionic folkways of New York’s political and construction tribes. She devotes nearly half her book to his life before the presidency. “The dynamics that defined New York City in the 1980s stayed with Trump for decades,” Haberman writes. “He often seemed frozen in time there.” ........ Trump’s use of phrases like “the Blacks” and “the gays” brings back memories of my grandmother denigrating “the Irish” who lived next door. ........ “I can invite anyone for dinner,” Trump said after his inauguration in 2017. But he remained an outer-borough brat, intimidated by elites. As president, he threw tantrums when he thought people were lecturing or talking down to him. In an infamous meeting with the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon, “Trump knew that he was being told something he did not fully comprehend,” Haberman writes, “and instead of acknowledging that, he shouted down the teachers.” .......... Sharpton expressed admiration for Trump’s manner: “If Trump had been born Black, he would have been [the boxing promoter] Don King. … Because both of them — everything was transactional.” .......... He traversed the commercial arc of the past 40 years — moving from (failed) business mogul to celebrity to “brand,” just as American free enterprise moved from the production of steel, to casino games on Wall Street, to celebrity “influencers” on reality TV. .........

He wasn’t a very good businessman, but he played one on “The Apprentice,” which was how most Americans met him.

.......... An Iowa man explained his reason for supporting Trump: “I watched him run his business.” ......... Trump found his true calling when he started selling his name to foreigners who wanted to put it on buildings. He peddled products like Trump wine and Trump Steaks, and scams like Trump University, to a gullible public seeking gilt by association. .......... numerous occasions when Trump lacked the stomach to sack staffers face to face ............ Trump resorted to an old New York modus, backstabbing and rumor-mongering and humiliation, to get Kelly to resign. ......... Trump “enjoyed the chaos of [his staff] fighting with one another” ......... He learned how to stay one step ahead of the sheriff. This was, and remains, his greatest skill. ........ Trump accepted a $20 million Super PAC contribution from the billionaire Sheldon Adelson to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. ......... Trump understood that the best defense was, at times, to be offensive. ........... He knew he could stiff his lawyers and the small businesspeople who were his subcontractors. “Do you know how much publicity these people get for having me as a client?” ......... he deployed words with a litigator’s precision ....... He has created a brutish new standard for American politics, and put a terrible dent in our democracy. .......... We will be very lucky, indeed, if he doesn’t prove our downfall.

Americans Are Realizing Tesla Isn’t the Only Electric Car many of the best electric wheels on the market today are not made by Musk........ The new competition makes Musk’s recent role as the town crier for the red-pilled online right especially puzzling and, for his car company, perilous. ........ perceptions of Tesla have been falling steadily since May, shortly after Musk began his bid for Twitter; between October and November, the period when Musk took ownership of Twitter, sentiment among Democrats toward Tesla plummeted, while favorability among Republicans rose slightly. ....... Tesla’s sales and profits remain strong, its production capacity keeps ramping up, and it’s likely to benefit greatly from clean-vehicle tax credits passed in the Inflation Reduction Act that President Biden signed in August. But its success could get sidelined by Musk’s tweets. ........ “I don’t care if you’re selling pizza or popcorn or whatever you sell — getting into politics with customers never wins” ........... With such great alternatives that carry none of Musk’s political baggage, why does he keep acting as if customers had no choice — as if he were the only game in town? ......... At its towering peak, last fall, Musk’s car company hit a stock market valuation of more than a trillion dollars, greater than the combined value of the five largest automakers in the world. Tesla looked unstoppable. .......... Then, inexplicably, Musk turned to Twitter and pushed Tesla off a cliff. This year, as he sold tens of billions of dollars of Tesla shares to finance the Twitter deal and seemed to stake his reputation on taming the squabbles roiling one of the most divisive places online, Tesla’s shares plummeted by more than 60 percent. Its slump is deeper than that of most of its rivals and far more than that of the S&P 500, which is down about 19 percent for the year. ....... Unlike just about every other carmaker, Tesla spends almost nothing on advertising. Musk is and has long been the company’s sole marketer and chief evangelist, the main force driving the world’s desire to buy Teslas. And so any alteration in his cultural standing will affect the company’s standing, too. His time running Twitter has been “a massive brand destruction for Musk and for Tesla” .........

As Remote Workers Flock to Mexico City, Airbnb and Housing Prices Soar American and Europeans are using Airbnb to find long-term rentals in Mexico’s capital, pushing housing costs higher and, critics say, forcing out local residents. .......... The flow of foreigners has yet to slow down, causing housing costs to rise, displacing residents and upending the fabric of neighborhoods. ........ Some units soon appeared on Airbnb — at rates more than four times the monthly rent — and new neighbors, mostly speaking English, now fill the hallways. ......... the kind of comfort a salary paid in dollars or euros can afford. ......... landlords taking advantage of record demand for long-term stays on platforms like Airbnb ....... threatening to make large swaths of the city, where the average monthly salary is $220, unaffordable to many locals. ........ remote workers are leading to the “forced displacement of families.” ......... English speakers pour out of cafes and, on Sundays, cantinas are packed with young people in sports jerseys, the televisions switched from soccer to American football. ........ The tour includes preparing tamales from handpicked ingredients and floating along the neighborhood’s famous network of ancient canals. .

Twitter Users Report Widespread Service Interruptions The issues surfaced several days after Elon Musk said he had shut down one of the company’s major data centers. .