What Was Worse About Trump's CPAC Speech, The Lies Or The Overtly Fascist Overtones?
The lies weren't the worst part of Señor Trumpanzee's CPAC speech yesterday. It was the fascist tone, eagerly devoured by his collaborators, that got to me. Anyone who has familiarized themselves with the World War II era and the rise of Naziism would have heard the signals loud and clear, likely inserted, very consciously, into Trump's speech by one of the neo-Nazis around him-- either Bannon, Gorka or Miller.
The media is avoiding the topic. It's bizarre to talk about it. It's easier to discuss how many lies he told. Not that it's so easy since he lied in nearly every paragraph of the speech the little fascist shits rotifer him. The Washington Post's fact checkers, Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, noted that the speech "was littered with some of the president’s favorite and frequently cited falsehoods" and picked out 13 whoppers. Here are some of them:
“I saw one story recently where they said, ‘Nine people have confirmed.’ There are no nine people. I don’t believe there was one or two people. Nine people …. They make up sources.”Trump is referring to a Washington Post article that disclosed that then-national security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials. The Post report prompted a firestorm that led to Flynn’s firing by Trump, because it turned out that Flynn had misled Vice President Pence and other administration officials about whether he had discussed sanctions.
The article cited information provided by “nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls.” (Calls by the Russian ambassador are monitored by intelligence agencies.) No White House official has disputed the accuracy of the article-- and indeed, it resulted in Flynn’s departure from the administration.
“The dishonest media did not explain that I called the fake news the enemy of the people. The fake news. They dropped off the word ‘fake.’ And all of a sudden the story became the media is the enemy.”Trump is making a distinction without a difference. This is the tweet in question:
Trump listed five mainstream media organizations-- the New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN-- as the “fake news media” and declared that they are the enemy of the American people. By listing major media organizations as the enemy, Trump was clearly making a statement about the broader news media.
“These are bad dudes. We’re getting the bad ones out, okay? We’re getting the bad-- if you watch these people, it’s like gee, that’s so sad. We’re getting bad people out of this country, people that shouldn’t be whether it’s drugs or murder or other things. We’re getting bad ones out, those are the ones that go first and I said it from day one. Basically all I’ve done is keep my promise.”Trump is referring to the recent arrests of undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes, or the “bad dudes.” Trump takes credit for fulfilling his campaign promise of cracking down on illegal immigration, but these arrests are routine. ICE has always targeted dangerous criminals in enforcement priorities. The recent arrests, however, did include people who would not have fallen under narrowed enforcement priorities under Obama.
Still, 25 percent of the arrests were of people who had lesser charges and noncriminal convictions. According to anecdotes of recent arrests, undocumented people with traffic violations were subject to arrest. They are not the “bad dudes,” like drug dealers or murderers, that he describes.
“In the Middle East, we’ve spent as of four weeks ago, $6 trillion. Think of it.”Trump is lumping together the wars in Iraq (in the Middle East) and Afghanistan (in South Asia), which together cost about $1.6 trillion from 2001 to 2014. He is also adding in estimates of future spending, such as interest on the debt and veterans care for the next three decades.
“Obamacare covers very few people-- and remember, deduct from the number all of the people that had great health care that they loved that was taken away from them-- it was taken away from them.”Trump essentially repeats a false GOP talking point that previously earned Four Pinocchios. The Obama administration calculated that about 20 million people have gained health coverage as a result of the ACA, a figure that seems reasonable. Meanwhile, the number of plans that were canceled is far lower, though there appears to be no research that has determined exactly how many people had their policies canceled because the health insurance did not comply with the Affordable Care Act.
An estimated 2.6 million people received notices of cancellations, but there was such an outcry over reports of cancellations that the Obama administration rushed to issue waivers that would allow people to keep their plans. Forty states accepted the waiver policy-- which in most cases remains in effect until December 2017. So a vast majority of the people who might have received notices actually were able to keep their plans, even up until today.
It’s important to remember that the individual insurance market has a lot of ebb and flow, with people moving in and out of it as they change jobs, so the odds are many people who might have been affected by plan terminations would have already switched plans. One study found that in the 2008-2011 period, only 42 percent of policyholders in the non-group market retained that coverage after 12 months, with many moving to an employer-provided plan when obtaining a new job.
“ICE came and endorsed me. They never endorsed a presidential candidate before, they might not even be allowed to.”This is one of Trump’s favorite claims. Federal agencies can’t endorse political candidates. The unions representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and Border Patrol agents did endorse Trump. Both groups said Trump was their first-ever endorsement. But they did not do so unanimously. The National Border Patrol Council endorsement was based just on the vote of 11 union leaders, which sparked controversy among union members. Agents in El Paso, in a 14 to 13 vote, narrowly failed to have the local union disavow the endorsement.
“I’m also working with the Department of Justice to begin reducing violent crime. I mean, can you believe what’s happening in Chicago as an example? Two days ago, seven people were shot and I believe killed. Seven people, seven people, Chicago, a great American city, seven people shot and killed. We will support the incredible men and women of law enforcement.”Seven people were shot and killed in Chicago on Feb. 22, the deadliest day in the city so far this year. Homicides in Chicago so far are on track with the same period in 2016, when Chicago recorded the most homicides in two decades, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Overall, violent crime is on a decades-long decline since the height of the crack cocaine epidemic in the early 1990s. In 2016, there was an uptick in the homicide rate in the 30 largest cities. It’s too early to say whether this uptick indicates the return of a crime wave. One outlier city, Chicago, was responsible for 43.7 percent of the total increase in homicide rates in 2016. Trump continues to focus on one outlier city, whose violence-- while a growing concern for local officials-- is not representative of overall national trends.
“Ford and Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Intel, and so many others are now, because of the election result, making major investments in the United States, expanding production and hiring more workers. And they’re going back to Michigan and they’re going back to Ohio and they’re going back to Pennsylvania and they’re going back to North Carolina and to Florida.”Trump keeps giving himself credit for business decisions made before he became president. For instance, Ford’s decision has more to do with the company’s long-term goal-- particularly its plans to invest in electric vehicles-- than with the administration. Here’s what Ford chief executive Mark Fields said about the company’s decision to abandon plans to open a factory in Mexico: “The reason that we are not building the new plant, the primary reason, is just demand has gone down for small cars.”
Meanwhile, the January jobs report, showing 230,000 jobs were created, reflects the last month of the Obama administration. The data was collected in early January, when Obama was still president.
“It’s time for all Americans to get off of welfare and get back to work, you’re going to love it, you’re going to love it, you’re going to love it.”“Welfare” is a broad term and can apply to people who are working but receiving some government assistance. If someone is receiving means-tested assistance, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are not working.
Not all people eligible for welfare collect benefits. When they do, many of the benefits are contingent on the recipients working or actively searching for jobs, as a result of an overhaul of welfare signed into law by Clinton in 1996. And even low-income families receive some level of public assistance.
Trump is apparently unaware that participation has declined in means-tested programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).
“I took a lot of heat on Sweden. And then a day later, I said has anybody reported what’s going on? And it turned out that they didn’t-- not too many of them did. Take a look at what happened in Sweden. I love Sweden, great country, great people, I love Sweden. But they understand. The people over there understand I’m right.”Trump had referred to rising crime rates in Sweden, but the country’s overall rate has fallen in recent years. Sweden has welcomed refugees and immigrants, but Swedish crime experts do not agree that the country’s immigration policies are linked to crime.
Just two days after Trump made his false claim, riots broke out in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood in Stockholm, the country’s capital. That neighborhood was the scene of riots in 2010 and 2013, stemming from anger directed at the influx of refugees and migrants into the country.