Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Last Call For The Foxconn Flees The Chicken Coop

The biggest "deal" of Tangerine Tyrant's unfortunate era was the $10 billion Foxconn electronics plant in Wisconsin that was supposed to generate thousands of jobs, and prove that Republican economic policies were the key to American competitiveness in a global future. Instead, as I pointed out in October, the plant was all but abandoned before Trump lost the 2020 election, and now that Joe Biden is President, the massive tax boondoggle legacy of Gov. Scott Walker is a complete bust now, and Wisconsin taxpayers are stuck with billions in bills and a handful of jobs.

Taiwan electronics manufacturer Foxconn is drastically scaling back a planned $10 billion factory in Wisconsin, confirming its retreat from a project that former U.S. President Donald Trump once called “the eighth wonder of the world.”

Under a deal with the state of Wisconsin announced on Tuesday, Foxconn will reduce its planned investment to $672 million from $10 billion and cut the number of new jobs to 1,454 from 13,000.

The Foxconn-Wisconsin deal was first announced to great fanfare at the White House in July 2017, with Trump boasting of it as an example of how his “America first” agenda could revive U.S. tech manufacturing.

For Foxconn, the investment promise was an opportunity for its charismatic founder and then-chairman, Terry Gou, to build goodwill at a moment when Trump’s trade policies threatened the company’s cash cow: building Apple Inc’s iPhones in China for export to America.

Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronic devices, proposed a 20-million-square-foot manufacturing campus in Wisconsin that would have been the largest investment in U.S. history for a new location by a foreign-based company.

It was supposed to build cutting-edge flat-panel display screens for TVs and other devices and instantly establish Wisconsin as a destination for tech firms.

But industry executives, including some at Foxconn, were highly skeptical of the plan from the start, pointing out that none of the crucial suppliers needed for flat-panel display production were located anywhere near Wisconsin.

The plan faced local opposition too, with critics denouncing a taxpayer giveaway to a foreign company and provisions of the deal that granted extensive water rights and allowed for the acquisition and demolition of houses through eminent domain.

As of 2019, the village where the plant is located had paid just over $152 million for 132 properties to make way for Foxconn, plus $7.9 million in relocation costs, according to village records obtained by Wisconsin Public Radio and analyzed by Wisconsin Watch.

Foxconn, formally called Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, said the new agreement gives it “flexibility to pursue business opportunities in response to changing global market conditions.” The company said “original projections used during negotiations in 2017 have at this time changed due to unanticipated market fluctuations.”

After abandoning its plans for advanced displays, Foxconn later said it would build smaller, earlier-generation displays in Wisconsin, but that plan never came to fruition either.

Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Foxconn Chairman Liu Young-way told reporters in Taipei that the company currently makes servers, communications technology products and medical devices in Wisconsin, adding that electric vehicles (EVs) have a “promising future” there. He did not elaborate.

Liu had previously said the infrastructure was there in Wisconsin to make EVs because of its proximity to the traditional heartland of U.S. automaking, but the company could also could decide on Mexico.

Hon Hai shares fell as much as 1.6% on Wednesday morning, underperforming the broader Taiwan market which was down 0.7%.


So the Foxconn failure will at most produce 10% of the promised jobs, and still end up costing the state billions in tax incentives.


Black Lives Still Matter, Con't

As the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial was being announced, another Black girl was being shot to death by police in Columbus.

In an unprecedented move, Columbus police showed body camera footage of the shooting of a 16-year-old girl by a Columbus police officer just hours after the incident on the Southeast Side.

The shooting, which happened about 20 minutes before a guilty verdict was announced in the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd, prompted hundreds to protest at the shooting site and Downtown.

Ma’Khia Bryant: What we know about the 16-year-old girl fatally shot by Columbus police

The video shows an officer approaching a driveway with a group of young people standing there. In the video, it appears that the 16-year-old, identified now as Ma’Khia Bryant, who was moments later shot by police, pushes or swings at a person, who falls to the ground.

Bryant then appears to swing a knife at a girl who is on the hood of a car, and the officer fires his weapon what sounds like four times, striking Bryant, who died a short time later.

"It's a tragic day in the city of Columbus. It's a horrible, heartbreaking situation," Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. "We felt transparency in sharing this footage, as incomplete as it is at this time" was critical.
Ma'Khia Bryant called the police for protection, because girls were fighting outside her house. When they showed up, the girls were still fighting, she got involved, and the police made no effort to deescalate the situation, they just put four bullets in her chest and executed her. 

The officers at the scene then chanted "Blue Lives Matter" as they walked away from the slaughter.

One guilty verdict won't change the system. It will take thousands of cops imprisoned for murder to do so. And that means thousands of more deaths like George Floyd and Ma'Khia Bryant before America does anything about it.

But Black Lives Still Matter.


Steny Hoyer Versus The Stupid

House Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is finally laying down the law when it comes to dealing with endless House GOP sedition caucus idiocy.
House Democratic leaders believe they've found a workaround to defuse weeks of delay tactics used by hard-line Republicans that have irked lawmakers in both parties and brought much of the chamber's floor action to a halt. At least temporarily.

The conservative firebrands have sought to make life difficult for Democrats in protest against what they say are efforts to shut out the minority party. But their tactics have made it virtually impossible for Democrats and Republicans to fast-track so-called suspension bills — noncontroversial measures that are critical to running the House — and instead created a legislative slog.

Under the response shaped by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, leaders of the far-right Freedom Caucus would no longer be able to effectively seize control of the floor by demanding individual votes on dozens of suspension bills and forcing members to vote late into the night, at least for the rest of this week.

Instead, Hoyer plans to package much of that broadly palatable suspension legislation into a single block on the floor, which he said would “save us somewhere in the neighborhood of seven-and-a-half hours” of voting time.

“What we have seen in the past few weeks has been an unfortunate example of extreme partisanship getting in the way of even the most bipartisan legislation there is," Hoyer said in a statement, confirming POLITICO’s reporting on the planning.

In total, Hoyer said, the conservatives' tactics have cost at least 15 hours of votes on bills that otherwise could have been approved with little fanfare in a voice vote.

"There are Democrats and Republicans who want to get things done, and we will work around those who do not,” added House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern.

The Freedom Caucus has wrestled over how far to push its rebellion. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stopped by the group’s weekly meeting on Monday evening, where he encouraged members to fine-tune their strategy and focus on achievable goals. McCarthy also warned Freedom Caucus members that they could face potential consequences from Democratic leaders if they keep disrupting the floor.

One of the ultimate goals driving the Freedom Caucus' floor tactics is getting controversial Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) back on her committees after a bipartisan vote to strip her of those assignments. But Democrats are ruling out that demand.

“I’ve been meeting with Steny and I went to the Freedom Caucus last night. We had a good discussion,” McCarthy told POLITICO in a brief interview. “They want to fight. They’re frustrated with everything that’s happening, and I get all that. But my point is: What’s the goal, what’s the strategy
Even Kevin McCarthy is tired of Marjorie Taylor Greene and her merry band of neo-Nazis. Hoyer reining them in gives McCarthy more juice too, so he'll play along.

Of course, the House GOP sedition caucus will only resort to more extreme measures in the future...


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