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Richard Zombeck
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Richard Zombeck is a freelance writer and podcaster living in the Boston area.

As a contributing blogger to Huffington Post and www.samuel-warde.com/ he writes mostly about social, consumer, and political issues.

Zombeck is also a contributor to T&Z Talk, a podcast with co-host Tony Trupiano.

Zombeck’s writing career started as a dare and out of desperation. A professor, after having read one of his papers out loud to the class, cursed him by suggesting that he pursue a writing career. Shortly thereafter he landed his first writing gig as a staff reporter with a North Carolina newspaper, when they were still printed on paper.

For five years he covered and wrote about everything and anything that came across his desk: school boards, cops, murders, drug busts, fires, tattoo artists, doll house hobbyists, elections, giant turtles known as “Cooters” and the 90-year-olds named “Pearly” that catch them – His articles were regularly picked up and published nationally by the Associated Press.

As a result of an unnatural fascination with technology and a living wage he turned to technical writing. For nearly 15 years he cranked out technical manuals, how-to instructions, created step-by-step online videos, and wrote software and app reviews for Adobe Systems, Inuit, and Bitstream.

Having worked in restaurants, tech support, and as a reporter, Zombeck has developed and cultivated a cynical view when it comes to human nature and behavior.

You can see more at T&Z Talk

Entries by Richard Zombeck

New Clinton Ad Is More Anti-Hillary Than Anti-Trump

(7) Comments | Posted May 27, 2016 | 9:28 AM

To the untrained eye, Hillary Clinton's new anti-Trump ad may appear to cast the blame of the financial crisis and subsequent foreclosures on Donald Trump, but to the millions of people who were there to witness the carnage, it casts a much more negative light on her.

To the casual observer the ad makes Trump look like the sleazy opportunist that he is, but it also makes the Democrats and Clinton look disingenuous and smug.

The ad opens up with a picture of Trump with his signature sh*t-eating grin plastered across his face with an overlay stating, "In 2006, Donald Trump was hoping for a real estate crash."

The text fades to, "9 million Americans lost their jobs. 5 million people lost their homes." Que the ominous music and scenes of destitute neighborhoods and then another shot of a grinning Trump followed by, "And the man who could be our next president was rooting for it to happen."

Then the coup de grâce: Audio from Trump during an interview in 2006, before the mortgage crisis.  "I sort of hope that happens, because then people like me would go in and buy," Trump says. "If there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you know, you could make a lot of money."

So what's the problem? The problem is that as much as I hate to admit this, Donald Trump and people like Donald Trump did not cause the financial crisis or the mortgage and foreclosure crisis. People like Donald Trump may have profited from the crisis and taken advantage of rock bottom prices once people lost their homes. They may even have done so with little or no compassion for the people who suffered and who continue to suffer from the reckless and unregulated actions that caused the crisis, but they did not cause it. They did what businesses and investors do. They saw an opportunity and profited from it. Albeit at other people's misfortune.

While one could argue that it was scummy, sleazy, and even heartless, it was not illegal. It may have been, by some standards, unethical, but you'd be hard pressed to find someone on Wall Street that would agree with you on that point. It's business and it's what we've come to expect from the financial sector.

Elizabeth Warren has come out, to a degree, in close to the same vein during a recent speech, saying:

What kind of a man does that? What kind of a man roots for people to get thrown out of their house? What kind of a man roots for people to get thrown out of their jobs? What kind of a man does that? I'll tell you exactly what kind of a man does that. It is a man who cares about no one but himself. A small, insecure money-grubber who doesn't care who gets hurt so long as he makes a profit off it.

Good point. And she's right. What kind of man does that, and do we want him in charge of and representing the country? Do we want a man who would not think twice about swooping in and buying up homes that once belonged to people who had lost everything through no fault of their own and due to the irresponsible actions of Wall Street? Do we want our president (or anyone representing us in government) to be that uncaring and void of compassion? Should a man who wants to be president of the "greatest country in the world" be able to sleep at night knowing that he profited from his constituents' pain and suffering, much less that he hoped for it? Do we want to give a man like that the power and ability to be able to trigger another financial crisis just for his own personal profit?

What the Clinton ad does, however, is disingenuous. The ad portrays Trump as a predator. The grin, the ominous music, the destitute buildings, and the huge over-sized foreclosure sign all point to Trump as the cause, when he was merely a hyena picking at the carcass of someone else's prey.

While it might be fair to say that Trump is a scumbag for proudly voicing and admitting to being an opportunist post-crisis, the real cause of the crisis were Clinton's close pals.

The real perpetrators were the banks who caused the crisis. If you've seen (or read) "The Big Short" you know that is what investors do - they take advantage of the market. What the banks did, by comparison, was to short the market while advising clients to bet in the other direction -- causing unions, hedge funds, pension funds, and the like to get slammed. It was a Ponzi scheme.

The companies responsible for this have agreed to pay huge settlements while taking no direct responsibility for any of the wrongdoing -- even though they have been accused of using fraudulent documents to kick people to the curb, among other things. Companies like CitigroupGoldman SachsMorgan Stanley, and JP Morgan Chase.

One of those names, Goldman Sachs, should stand out among the rest as the Wall Street behemoth that has paid Clinton $675,000 for three speeches - a subject of debate and contention with Senator Sanders and his supporters. The other companies equally large are, along with Goldman Sachs, among Clinton's top six donors, having contributed in the neighborhood of $800,000 each to her campaign. Apparently, Wall Street wasn't threatened significantly enough by Hillary's admonition to "cut it out" when she went down there to keep them from throwing money at her.

None of this is a big secret, nor is it some vague insider information. It's a topic that I and many others have written about for years after the crisis. It does beg the question, though, as to whether the Clinton campaign is smug enough to think that we're that stupid or that we've forgotten. And why would she give Trump enough ammunition to very credibly prove her hypocrisy?

Tony Trupiano and I had a conversation about this and other issues on today's episode of T&Z Talk. You can listen to it below and don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter at tandztalk.com.

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LGBTQ Kids Beg School Board For Fair Treatment

(4) Comments | Posted April 15, 2016 | 9:45 AM

Over the past few weeks we've seen much of what the unintended consequences of draconian anti-LGBTQ laws can do to a state. Businesses pull out, banks freeze expansions, rock bands cancel, entire film crews refuse to show up, and billions in federal funding for...

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Donald Trump Is Beginning His Exit Strategy

(417) Comments | Posted April 4, 2016 | 8:22 AM

Donald Trump does not want to be president. In fact, he never wanted to be president. His entire campaign has been a long con and a ruse to strengthen his brand and feed his ego.

Last week, Stephanie Cegielski, a strategist for the Make America Great Again super PAC published...

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Podcasting From a Blogger's Perspective

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2016 | 6:58 PM

Throughout the years of writing and blogging I've had the opportunity to venture into other forms of media like TV and radio. Some of my posts in Huffington Post would get picked up by other outlets and I'd be asked to appear on a few shows. About a year ago...

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Calling the GOP Debate 'Substantive' Doesn't Make It Less Crazy

(5) Comments | Posted March 11, 2016 | 1:24 PM

If you were watching the GOP debates last night, you may have noticed something missing. There was no screaming; none of the candidates were insulting other candidates; there was a level of civility; and the commentators, pundits, and even some audience members opined on the "substantive nature" of last night's...

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Washington Post Doubles Down On Bernie Sanders Smear

(9) Comments | Posted February 15, 2016 | 1:46 PM

Last week I posted a piece at Liberals Unite and Huffington Post about an article in The Washington Post by Pulitzer Prize winning writer Jonathan Capehart, in which he questions a photograph depicting Bernie Sanders at a University of Chicago anti-segregation protest. Based on the testimony of two people claiming...

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Those Photographs Of Bernie Sanders Are Real Despite What You've Heard

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2016 | 11:58 AM

The Clinton campaign's artful smear of Bernie Sanders is wrong. That is him in the photographs.

You may remember the Clinton campaign circulating a photograph of Barack Obama wearing a turban in an effort to portray him as a Muslim sympathizer. It was a little push to stoke the...

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Chris Matthews Has A Clear Conflict of Interest When it Comes To Bernie Sanders

(502) Comments | Posted February 9, 2016 | 8:17 PM

I've been watching Chris Matthews for a while. I like him. I liked the "thrill up my leg" comment he made during one of Barack Obama's campaign speeches. I like his brash, direct questions and sarcasm when he's interviewing someone he finds frustrating. I like the way he...

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Michigan Rep:Why Is Gov. Snyder Using Dark Money To Fund PR Spin?

(0) Comments | Posted January 26, 2016 | 6:13 PM

Michigan State Rep. is concerned that Governor Rick Snyder is using dark money to hire two outside PR firms to spin the crisis in Flint. 

We were joined today on T & Z Talk by Michigan Democratic House leader Tim Greimel, who came on to discuss the water...

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Let's Put Sarah Palin in Charge of Veteran's Affairs

(136) Comments | Posted January 22, 2016 | 8:37 AM

Like everyone else in the world, I like to dump on Sarah Palin. Let's face it, when a public figure appears to be as idiotic as she does, we can't help it. Ridiculous, incomprehensible ramblings come out of her every time she's within spitting distance of a microphone, and when...

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President Ted Cruz's State Of The Union: An Exercise In Fantasy And Delusion

(64) Comments | Posted January 13, 2016 | 4:00 PM

Yesterday I wrote about Ted Cruz snubbing the president by skipping the State of the Union address. Arrogant and disrespectful as that might be, Cruz took it a step further. He delivered his own pre-response to Obama's address. His own State of the Union address. A glimpse into...

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GOP Has Gone Completely Off The Rails In Defense Of Mass Murder

(36) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 4:16 PM

The GOP is heading towards a disaster they may not easily recover from. In the last couple of weeks, they seem to have ratcheted up the crazy to a level beyond their typical insanity. As a good friend of mine put it, "It's like they've all contracted syphilis and have...

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A Socialist, Marxist Priest Is Scaring the Crap Out of the GOP

(2) Comments | Posted September 27, 2015 | 6:43 PM

I've never been particularly religious despite having grown up going to church on Sundays, singing in the choir, and doing a short gig as an altar boy; though in the Episcopal Church we were called acolytes. I understood the concept of God as an idea, a presence, and even a...

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Facebook Rolling Out Dislike Button -- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2015 | 4:44 PM

When I first heard about the recently announced prospect of Facebook rolling out a dislike button the same nauseating feeling I had in 2013, when Facebook decided to allow users to edit their posts came over me. The negative and unintended consequences of either of those just makes me...

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Facebook Patents Technology That Could Allow Banks And Businesses to Discriminate Based on Social Connections

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 2:14 PM

Facebook, the website everyone and their sister, brother, cousin, uncle, and friends you didn't even know you had is a member of just secured a patent on Tuesday that could help filter spam and offensive content and improve searches. Isn't that great? Less spam and no more nude pics, Obama...

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The GOP Debate Season Is Upon Us - Let the Games Begin

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2015 | 11:04 PM

If you couldn't sit through the two hours of the 2016 Republican Presidential Debate 'Voters First' Forum on CSPAN, not only do I understand, but I've got you covered. The event was organized by New Hampshire's Union Leader newspaper and took place on the campus of St. Anselm College...

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GOP Sets New Bar for Disgusting Rhetoric

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 9:38 AM

When I was a kid I liked to see how far I could push my teachers, parents, friends, church minister, and girlfriends with the things I'd say. I'd say outrageous things to get a reaction. I've done the same thing in my marriage trying to get a rise out of...

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Donald Trump Is the Perfect GOP Spokesperson

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 10:14 PM

Donald Trump has turned out to be the perfect spokesperson for the GOP. He says the things they think but are, unlike him, too afraid to say in front of cameras and into microphones. A look at the polls, which put Trump in first place, in some cases and...

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Republicans Are Going to Leave the Country and Set Themselves on Fire Due to SCOTUS

(1988) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 11:20 AM

Things are about to get weird. After months of hearing from conservatives and fundamentalists about how they were going to secede, leave the country, or burn themselves in effigy over same-sex marriage, the day has arrived. The Supreme Court has rendered their decision in a 5-4 ruling that same-sex marriage...

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New Walmart Ads: An Exercise in Lip Service

(2) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 9:35 AM

Have you seen the new Walmart commercials? They're fabulous. They're heartwarming. They bring back any faith in humanity you may have lost. Actually, they're a spectacular exercise in disingenuous, masturbatory fiction.

Walmart has begun to inundate the airwaves with their new commercials about how great they are. They want everyone...

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