Friday, December 9, 2016

Trump's Three Best Cabinet Picks So Far

I have been very critical of most of Donald Trump's picks for his Cabinet and senior staff.

With so many war-hungry generals and Goldman Sachs insiders, there is a lot not to like.

That said, there are three picks that I consider promising for anyone who appreciates freedom and free markets. Those three are Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder,  EPA nominee E. Scott Pruitt and Housing and Urban Development nominee Ben Carson.

Andrew Puzder, who heads the company that owns Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, was tapped Thursday to head the Labor Department by Trump.

Puzder has been outspoken about his views that too much regulation is hurting the restaurant industry and that a significant increase in the minimum wage would lead to job losses or prompt companies to look for ways to automate tasks more quickly. This is just plain truth Puzer speaks. Given the minimum wage is evil and puts mostly young black kids out of work, this is promising.

And the feminstas are already objecting to this interview he gave (via AP):
Here's what Puzder had to say about the ads at that time. Answers are trimmed and edited for clarity.

Q: How did these ads start?

A: It started with an ad agency we used to have called Mendelsohn Zien, and a guy named Jordin Mendelsohn. He came up with the idea to use Paris Hilton in an ad and make it a very cutting edge ad, where she was washing a Bentley.

Actually, he tried to chicken out. He called and said, "I don't think we should do this ad, I want to talk to you." But I called him back and I said, "I want to do the Paris Hilton ad."

This was 2005.

(Mendelsohn says he didn't like the initial ad his team developed, but didn't object to the final version he worked on.)

Q: How do you get women to do the commercials?

A: We have a history of picking these young women before they hit their peak. We put Kate Upton in an ad a month before she got the cover for Sports Illustrated. At the time we picked her, we just said, "This is a beautiful woman."

We just did an ad with (model and actress) Charlotte McKinney, which kind of created Charlotte McKinney. It was her walking through a farmer's market. You think she's naked until the end, and you see she's got clothes on. It's for the all-natural burger.

Q: Do models now see Carl's Jr. ads as a platform?

A: We did an ad last summer where (Sports Illustrated model) Hannah Ferguson was washing a big Ford pickup truck for the Texas barbecue burger. We did an event in Texas and I was talking to her. She said, "All us girls at Sports Illustrated, we all talk about who's going to do the next Carl's Jr. ad and how can we be the model that does the next ad?"

(A representative for Ferguson says she never made the statement.)

And Padma's manager contacted us. You know who Padma is?

Q: Padma Lakshmi?

A: Yeah, Padma actually put in one of her cookbooks how when she was modeling as a teenager, her parents moved to Los Angeles. They couldn't eat meat, right? But she would sneak out to a Carl's Jr. and get a Western Bacon Cheeseburger, and then lick the barbecue sauce off her fingers when she got home, so her parents couldn't tell.

Padma's manager called and said, "Did you see this in the book?"

So we put her in an ad where she eats a Western Bacon Cheeseburger.

We get a lot of actresses, whose names I won't tell you, who contact us, who we don't end up using in the ad because they're not right for the brand.

Q: What are some examples without saying names? Are they not the right age?

A: Some of it may be age relevant. Although, Heidi Klum is no spring chicken.

It depends on a lot of interlocking factors, and what products we're promoting. First of all, you really need to be able to eat the burger like you're loving it. We don't want somebody that's going to go out there and say, "Well, I don't eat burgers."

You really have to go at it. You really have to attack it.

Q: Has there been a problem with that?

A: We used Kim Kardashian in an ad. But Kim really couldn't eat the burgers. Luckily, we had a salad we were promoting, so we used Kim in the salad ad. But if we had not been promoting a salad, we probably never would've done an ad with Kim, because she wasn't good at eating the burger. She's too tiny. She's really little.

(A representative for Kardashian disputed the account and said a salad ad was chosen because Kardashian had a fitness DVD and wanted to eat something that fit with her brand.)

Q: Do you get a lot of complaints about the ads?

A: They'll send out an email blast. I won't name the organization, but there are a couple organizations that do that.

One of these groups is headed by a very nice woman who I met at the Republican Convention in 2012. And she came up and said, "Andy, I read your stuff, I read what you write, and I agree with you politically. But I want you to know I'm the head of X organization and we do these email blasts because we really don't like your ads."

I grabbed her hand and said, "Thank you." And she said, "What do you mean?"

I said, "If you guys don't do an email blast with one of our ads, I run into the head of marketing and say, 'What's the matter with the ad?'"
In other words,  Puzder could be interesting. Here's one of his ads.

With regard to Pruitt, he is a mixed bag,  Atlantic Magazine puts it best:
In a certain light, [E. Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma] is an inspired choice to lead the EPA, as he has made fighting the agency a hallmark of his career.... Trump will likely use the powers of the presidency and the legal expertise of Pruitt to block or weaken the Obama administration’s attempts to fight climate change...And Trump will be able to try for more than that. For what distinguishes Pruitt’s career is not just his opposition to using regulation to tackle climate change, but his opposition to using regulation to tackle any environmental problem at all. Since he was elected Oklahoma’s attorney general, in 2010, Pruitt has racked up a sizable record—impressive in its number of lawsuits if not in its number of victories—of suing the EPA.

Many of these suits did not target climate-related policies. Instead, they singled out anti-pollution measures, initiated under previous presidential administrations, that tend to be popular with the public.
Thus, in addition to being anti- wacko climate change legislation, he is pro big business when it comes to plain old pollution. Atlantic again:
In 2014, for instance, Pruitt sued to block the EPA’s Regional Haze Rule. The rule is built on a 15-year-old program meant to ensure that air around national parks is especially clear. Pruitt lost his case.

Last year, he sued to block a rule restricting how much mercury could be emitted into the air by coal plants. He lost that, too.

And early in his tenure, he sued to keep the EPA from settling lawsuits brought by environmental groups like the Sierra Club. That one was dismissed.

He has brought other suits against EPA anti-pollution programs—like one against new rules meant to reduce the amount of ozone in the air—that haven’t been heard in court yet. While ozone is beneficial to humans high in the atmosphere, it can be intensely damaging when it accumulates at ground level, worsening asthma and inducing premature deaths. The American Lung Association calls it “one of the most dangerous” pollutants in the United States.
Pollution becomes a complex issue when it is managed by government. The free market alternative would be much preferable. Pro big business would go out the window. See  Economics and the Environment: A Reconciliation for how this would work. HINT: It wouldn't be Pruitt lording over the options.

Ebeling and Hornberger were tough on Carson in a recent video, but I think there might be hope for Carson at HUD.

Democracy Now reports:
HUD is a $48 billion agency, which oversees public housing, ensuring low-income families have access to safe homes and neighborhoods... He’s been a vocal critic of HUD’s fair housing rule, which requires local communities to assess patterns of income and racial discrimination in housing. Carson has described the rule as a, quote, "mandated social-engineering scheme." Carson said, quote, "This is just an example of what happens when we allow the government to infiltrate every part of our lives. This is what you see in communist countries."
HUD needs to be shutdown, with this kind of thinking by Carson something close to that may occur.

Time will tell.



  1. It would be one hell of an accomplishment if Puzder can end minimum wage

  2. Puzder may be right on the minimum wage, but his ads are another reason not to patronize Carl's Jr./Hardee's. Besides crap food, their ads are soft core porn. I met Carl Karcher once at a seminar, and I don't think he would approve of the advertising campaigns the company now uses.

  3. "Besides crap food, their ads are soft core porn."

    Sounds like feminism. The ads are obviously for mature people who can handle the human body.