Right-wing banking startup may be close to bankruptcy

My, my, my.

Yet another (alleged) right-wing charlatan manages to sleaze money out of some MAGA leading lights in exchange for a failing project that sounds as if it never really had a coherent business plan to start with:

An A-list group of financial backers including Ken Griffin and Peter Thiel gave Toby Neugebauer tens of millions of dollars to build a new kind of bank—one aimed at people who see Wall Street as too liberal.

The potential customer base was huge, Mr. Neugebauer and his business partner, former Mike Pence chief of staff Nick Ayers, told the investors. Plumbers, electricians and police officers, the pitch went, are fed up with big banks that don’t share their values.

The startup, called GloriFi, initially aimed to launch with bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages and insurance, while touting what it called pro-America values such as capitalism, family, law enforcement and the freedom to “celebrate your love of God and country.”

Within months, the investors’ money was nearly gone, and GloriFi was on the verge of bankruptcy. It missed launch dates, blaming faulty technology and failures by vendors, and laid off dozens of employees. It stumbled with products; for instance, a plan to make a credit card out of the same material used for shell casings failed when the company realized the material could interfere with security chips and potentially be too thick for payment terminals, according to people familiar with the matter.

Some employees alleged that Mr. Neugebauer had a volatile temper and drank on the job, and the company’s unusual workspace—Mr. Neugebauer’s home—added distractions.

After months of disarray, Mr. Ayers, who didn’t have a managerial role, and some top investors unsuccessfully pushed for Mr. Neugebauer’s ouster as chief executive, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Neugebauer said no investors asked him to resign, saying he had “nothing but support.” Of the criticism of his alleged drinking, he said, “The attacks on what I do in my home after 5 p.m. are beneath” The Wall Street Journal.

“Our 84 co-founders and our great partners stick by our accomplishments,” Mr. Neugebauer said.

As the Wall Street Journal article goes on to note, it’s been pretty much a train wreck from start to finish.

My favorite part is the selling point that “the potential customer base was huge.”

I don’t think the MAGA world is all that big to start off with. They’re such loudmouths that they get a lot of attention and they suck up a lot of political oxygen. But I think the hardcore true believers stand at about 33% of the GOP faithful and it seems to be staying around that number.

But then you whittle those numbers down to potential customers who are willing to walk away from their established FDIC-insured brick-and-mortar bank just because the brick-and-mortar bank tries to be responsible in its banking practices?

I don’t think the MAGA world is populated by a bunch of financial geniuses, mind you.

I just don’t think that many of them will be willing to risk their life savings to send a message of Bank of America about investing in fossil fuels.

From the GloriFi home page.

NC Lt. Gov. comes out in favor of abolishing science, social studies, in grade schools

In case you are wondering where the GOP and its Breitbart/QAnon nutjobs are heading with their, thus far, highly successful efforts to eviscerate public school systems to point that there is a serious qualified teacher shortage across the country, look no further than North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson.

Robinson, you may recall, worked at a furniture factory and was basically a political nobody. That is, until April of 2018 when the Greensboro (NC) City Council was debating whether to cancel a gun show in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting.

Robinson gave an unhinged gun rights speech, which was shared by a a right-wing congressman on Facebook, and that, my friends, is enough to qualify you for statewide office in NC.

Robinson is mulling a run for NC governor in 2024 and, to that end, he released a “memoir” full of his whack job political stances.

For instance, education is perhaps the top policy priority for Robinson. Because, as any fevered right-winger can tell you, honest public education leads to kids questioning whether America was chosen by God to lead the world, whether women can do more than birth babies, and whether the Grand Canyon is really only 4,000 years old and created by Noah’s flood.

Robinson said he’d work to keep history, science and a number of other subjects out of first through fifth grade curricula and instead prioritize reading, writing and math.

“In those grades, we don’t need to be teaching social studies,” he writes. “We don’t need to be teaching science. We surely don’t need to be talking about equity and social justice.”

Robinson also reaffirms personal views on climate change that became a major issue in the 2020 election. “Guess what? Most of the people of North Carolina know global warming is junk science,” he writes.

As lieutenant governor, Robinson is a voting member on the State Board of Education. He nonetheless says he’d like to eliminate the department if he could.

“I would get rid of it,” Robinson writes. “We need to have one entity, one person, where the buck stops. Right now we have at least three: the school boards, the state superintendent of education and the local school systems—and none are truly answerable to the others. We need one entity to be in charge of education in the state so that when the legislature has questions and concerns, they can go to that single institution and expect to influence the way education is done.”

Yep. There you have it. They really do want to get rid of public education, although the marginally smarter among them tend to not say it so clearly out loud.

These kinds of things are coming out more and more because these types of people are not from the, shall we say, genius end of the political spectrum. Now we have a Supreme Court that makes lesser wingnut minds among them feel more protected, more bold. Eventually they think saying this stuff out loud is going to mark them as truth-tellers and thrust them into the spotlight and right-wing stardom.

Hey, it worked for North Carolina’s Lt. Gov.

BTW, Robinson also writes in his book about how women “love to be able to talk a man into submission.”

Eeeew, eeew, TMI, TMI!

Robinson also noted on Facebook when the movie Black Panther came out:

It is at once funny and sad how African Americans need Hollywood to VALIDATE them. I have been bitting my tongue about this silly Black Panther comic book movie, but I can’t any longer. It is absolutely AMAZING to me that people who know so little about their true history and REFUSE to acknowledge the pure sorry state of their current condition can get so excited about a fictional “hero” created by an agnostic Jew and put to film by satanic marxist. How can this trash, that was only created to pull the shekels out of your Schvartze pockets, invoke any pride? You want something to be proud of? How about pulling your heads out of the sand and start speaking up and telling the HARD TRUTHS about the excesses that are destroying many black communities? How about you stop doing the heavy lifting for Democratic politicians during elections, only to have them pay you in crumbs and ignore you till they “need” you again. And how about some of you men go home and take your rightful place in that 70% of homes where you are SORELY NEEDED. I know a lot of people here will not like this message. But guess what, I DON’T CARE! I’m not here to please you. I don’t need your validation….

and I certainly don’t need Hollywood’s.

(Emphasis added.)

As the good Dr. Angelou noted, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”

You can read the rest of the article at this link. If you dare.

NC Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson.