Friday, March 03, 2017

Putting Trump's Endless Lies Under The Microscope


Although there was more enthusiasm among Americans for Obama's first speech to Congress and even for George W. Bush's first, I was still pretty surprised to read that most Americans liked what they heard from Trump Tuesday night. I guess they like being lied to. Maybe they find it comforting. The bar had certainly been set very low but one of my old friends from college mentioned in a comment that she couldn't watch it but that her husband did-- or at least tried. "he could only tolerate Trump for a short while and shut it off. In my lifetime, watching Lyndon Johnson, Nixon and George Bush on television was a nightmare-- I could not stand looking at their faces. It is hard to imagine that things could get worse, but they have by far. The Orangeman fills me with deep disgust and revulsion. He flaunts his disrespect for the American people, the Constitution and democracy. With his inability to read a book, let alone several pages of a briefing, I am certain he never read the Constitution. Did he absorb American history in high school? Long live Frederick Douglas! He is so ignorant, dangerous, disturbed, deeply corrupted and traitorous with the Russians and yet the Republicans applauded him last night like he is some terrific leader. Congress is becoming the Nazis 2.0. I fervently hope that the American people are not morphing into the Germans. I don't think so and hope not-- it is evident that many, many Americans are deeply upset about what is going on and are taking a stand against this horror. Maybe truth, reason and morality will win out in the end! This country has certainly faced major obstacles in the past and overcome them."

Andrew Griffin covered the speech for the Independent in the U.K., where President Snowflake had just cancelled his visit because of the intensity of the opposition from ordinary Londoners who don't want that fat racist lout in their city. Griffin reported that "almost every major claim made in it appeared to be false." Even if American journalists and pundits largely missed it, journalists abroad saw right through the cavalcade of lies.
He appeared to wrongly claim that he was responsible for a vast reduction in the price of the F-35 jet, as well as falsely characterising a report into the problems of immigration.

The President's speech made contested claims about the value of immigration, his success in office, his plans for tax reform, and healthcare coverage.

While much of the speech was focused on the same rhetoric that Mr Trump led his campaign with-- including a commitment to bring jobs back to the US and boost the military-- he also made a number of factual claims about his work as president.

TRUMP: "According to the National Academy of Sciences, our current immigration system costs America's taxpayers many billions of dollars a year."

THE FACTS: That's not exactly what that report says. It says immigrants "contribute to government finances by paying taxes and add expenditures by consuming public services."

The report found that while first-generation immigrants are more expensive to governments than their native-born counterparts, primarily at the state and local level, immigrants' children "are among the strongest economic and fiscal contributors in the population."

The report found that the "long-run fiscal impact" of immigrants and their children would probably be seen as more positive "if their role in sustaining labor force growth and contributing to innovation and entrepreneurial activity were taken into account."

TRUMP: "We've saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by bringing down the price" of the F-35 jet fighter.

THE FACTS: The cost savings he persists in bragging about were secured in full or large part before he became president.

The head of the Air Force program announced significant price reductions in the contract for the Lockheed F-35 fighter jet Dec. 19-- after Trump had tweeted about the cost but weeks before he met the company's CEO about it.

Pentagon managers took action even before the election to save money on the contract. Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the aerospace consulting firm Teal Group, said there is no evidence of any additional cost savings as a result of Trump's actions.

TRUMP: "We will provide massive tax relief for the middle class."

THE FACTS: Trump has provided little detail on how this would happen. Independent analyses of his campaign's tax proposals found that most of the benefits would flow to the wealthiest families. The richest 1 percent would see an average tax cut of nearly $215,000 a year, while the middle one-fifth of the population would get a cut of just $1,010, according to the Tax Policy Center, a joint project by the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute.

TRUMP: "Ninety-four million Americans are out of the labor force."

THE FACTS: That's true, but for the vast majority of them, it's because they choose to be.

That 94 million figure includes everyone aged 16 and older who doesn't have a job and isn't looking for one. So it includes retirees, parents who are staying home to raise children, and high school and college students who are studying rather than working.

They are unlikely to work regardless of the state of the economy. With the huge baby-boomer generation reaching retirement age and many of them retiring, the population of those out of the labor force is increasing and will continue to do so, most economists forecast.

It's true that some of those out of the workforce are of working age and have given up looking for work. But that number is probably a small fraction of the 94 million Trump cited.

Pravda means "truth"
TRUMP: "Obamacare is collapsing ... imploding Obamacare disaster."

THE FACTS: There are problems with the 2010 health care law, but whether it's collapsing is hotly disputed.

One of the two major components of the Affordable Care Act has seen a spike in premiums and a drop in participation from insurers. But the other component, equally important, seems to be working fairly well, even if its costs are a concern.

Trump and congressional Republicans want to repeal the whole thing, which risks leaving millions of people uninsured if the replacement plan has shortcomings. Some critics say GOP rhetoric itself is making things worse by creating uncertainty about the future.

The health law offers subsidized private health insurance along with a state option to expand Medicaid for low-income people. Together, the two arms of the program cover more than 20 million people.

Republican governors whose states have expanded Medicaid are trying to find a way to persuade Congress and the administration to keep the expansion, and maybe even build on it, while imposing limits on the long-term costs of Medicaid.

While the Medicaid expansion seems to be working, the markets for subsidized private health insurance are stressed in many states. Also affected are millions of people who buy individual policies outside the government markets, and face the same high premiums with no financial help from the health law.

Larry Levitt of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation says "implosion" is too strong a term. An AP count found that 12.2 million people signed up for this year, despite the Trump administration's threats to repeal the law.

But a health care blogger and industry consultant, Robert Laszewski, agrees with Trump, saying too few young, healthy people have signed up to guarantee the stability of the insurance markets.

TRUMP: His budget plan will offer "one of the largest increases in national defence spending in American history."

THE FACTS: Three times in recent years, Congress raised defence budgets by larger percentages than the 54 billion dollars, or 10%, increase Mr Trump proposes. The base defense budget grew by 41 billion dollars, or 14.3%, in 2002; by 37 billion dollars, or 11.3%, in 2003, and by 47 billion dollars, or 10.9%, in 2008, according to Defence Department figures.

TRUMP: "According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offences since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home-- from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Centre."

THE FACTS: It is unclear what Justice Department data he's citing, but the most recent government information does not back up his claim. Just over half the people Mr Trump talks about were born in the US, according to Homeland Security Department research revealed last week. That report said of 82 people the government determined were inspired by a foreign terrorist group to attempt or carry out an attack in the US, just over half were native-born.

Even the attacks Mr Trump singled out were not entirely the work of foreigners. Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his Pakistani wife killed 14 people in the 2015 attack in San Bernardino, California, was born in Chicago.

It is true that in the immediate aftermath of September 11, the FBI's primary concern was with terrorists from overseas feared to be plotting attacks in the US, but that is no longer the case.

The FBI and the Justice Department have been preoccupied with violent extremists from inside the US who are inspired by the calls to violence and mayhem of the Islamic State group. The Justice Department has prosecuted scores of IS-related cases since 2014, and many of the defendants are US citizens.

Carol Shea-Porter won her seat on the same day that Trump beat Clinton in her New Hampshire district. Trump won the district with 48.2% but there was a good deal of ticket splitting and Shea-Porter beat Tea Party incumbent Frank Guinta 161,828 (44.2%) to 157,011 (42.9%), despite spoiler Shawn O'Conner's 34,612 votes (9.4%). Carol watched Trump's speech Tuesday evening and reminded her constituents back home that "“In his first forty days in office, President Trump has created deep divisions in our country. He has disregarded the fundamental values our nation was built on: tolerance for religious and ethnic diversity, freedom of the press, and the rule of law."
President Trump spoke falsely tonight when he claimed we are experiencing the worst financial recovery in more than half a century. The fact is, when President Obama took office on January 20, 2009, we were losing 700,000 jobs a month, and at this point in his term we had already passed a bipartisan jobs bill that 9 out of 10 economists agree saved our country from a Great Depression. We have now had 76 straight months of private-sector job growth thanks to President Obama’s leadership.

Tonight, President Trump mentioned economic priorities I strongly support-- investing in infrastructure and enacting tax relief for the middle class-- but the truth is that almost half of his first 100 days have passed with zero action on these priorities.

There is no better example of words without action than his Affordable Care Act rhetoric, which is being confronted with the reality that tens of thousands in New Hampshire now have access to care, even if they have a pre-existing condition that would have excluded them from coverage before, and even if they need treatment for substance abuse or PTSD. Our health care system has changed for the better, and the people of this nation have said loud and clear: we’re not going back.

The only actions Donald Trump has taken as President are dragging us backwards, not forwards. In his speech, President Trump boasted about his hiring freeze for ‘non-essential’ federal workers. But the truth is, the men and women at the Manchester VA Medical Center who work to ensure our veterans get the care they deserve, are essential. The workers who have made our Shipyard the best in the world, like Paul O’Connor, my guest for tonight’s speech, are essential. There are countless men and women working in New Hampshire and across the country who President Trump doesn’t see, but we know they are the key to our nation’s prosperity.

President Trump’s vision of our country excludes so many of the people who make New Hampshire great. His speech propagated anti-immigrant sentiments that cannot coexist with our proud history as a nation of immigrants. Our immigrant neighbors in New Hampshire are not violent criminals; they are our doctors, our students, our small business owners. We must not allow his divisive rhetoric to obscure the principles on which our Founders built this nation.

Finally, we must acknowledge what President Trump left unsaid tonight. The American people have unanswered questions about his financial holdings, and especially about his ties to Russia. The first forty days of his Presidency have been defined by chaos and resignations. Until President Trump discloses the information we the people demand about his conflicts of interest, we cannot trust anything he says, including his speech tonight.
Her guest, the Paul O'Connor she referred to above, is the former president of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard’s Metal Trades Council. He recently retired after 40 years of civilian service and now serves as an IBEW International Representative. He had something to add about Trump's address as well: "The vision for America President Trump outlined tonight is wrong for the working men and women in New Hampshire. We need fair wages, good healthcare, fair immigration policies, and a government that works for people, not profits. The working men and women of New Hampshire will not be fooled by this President’s hollow promises, but will judge him by his actions, which so far have failed to reflect the values that make our country truly great."

Tuesday night, journalists reported that Trump had managed to "act presidential"

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At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only Bernie hadn't backed HER! the Horrid Harridan in his Quixotic quest to reform the Democratic Party from within. I'd feel so much better about his prospects to actually influence ANY changes if he'd led his followers out of the Convention once it became clear that they deemed him inconsequential.

But as we just saw with Keith Ellison, Bernie has been essentially castrated and cast out of any positions of real influence. The Party leaders don't care anymore about anything he says, for they know he's lost too much of his support to do much more than make noises that they can ignore. Warren will experience the same thing soon, for her outbursts are anathema to the Wall Street criminals who can barely hold off the oil baron revolt of the Republicans.

Because the economic elites are at war with each other, an influential independent such as Bernie could have stolen the football from them both and scored. But because so many of us watched him meekly succumb to Party Pragmatism, the fire has been put out, drowned, stirred to eliminate any embers, and pissed upon for good measure. The Police State isn't going to allow any further interruption of the advancement of the interests of the Corporatist Empire regardless of which half wins the war.

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great speech by Sanders. He knows what he is talking about. A life spent in public service is worth a great deal, as opposed to one spent prancing around pretentiously. Which way will we go now? I think most people do not want to waste their time on Earth.

At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernie lost me when he turtled and jumped on the $hillbillary Hindenburg.

I'd have stayed with him if he had pied pipered his delegates and probably a winning electorate out of the convention with both birds raised.
But he endorsed and campaigned for the anti-Bernie, which is a betrayal I cannot forgive. I'm not alone.

That said, the 40% who blindly support drumpf with their Nazi salutes and 47 IQs don't care that he lies whenever his mouth is open. Just like the lies in the bible, Koran and other scriptures... they only believe harder when you prove the lies. It's a feature/flaw of human beings. The guarantee of our ultimate extinction (see: easter island)

So the 60% KNOW without proof that when the orange Hindenburg's mouth is open, lies are emanating. And the 40% think he's jesus.

So this is kind of a waste of space.

At 1:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that the myriad lies of 2007-2008 candidate Obumma did as much to usher in Herr Hair as did the 2016 anti-campaign of the hapless, hopeless, power hungry candidate chosen to run against HH.

John Puma

At 6:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Puma speaks wisely.

But also remember how quickly Obummer abandoned the very liberal pose he adopted as the 2012 Nominee during the campaign. I recall wondering who this liberal was, for he sounded nothing like "President" Obummer. I'm sure that the American people recalled this when HER! stood up in 2016, with many recalling the wiseguy words of Dubya: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again."

Take THAT to the suburban Republicans you cared about, Podesta!

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John and 6:59, veritas.

But it wasn't just the campaign (and speechified) lies. It was his and democraps' vast sinkhole of deeds and refusals to act that created the vacuum that sucked up the orange Hindenburg (the zeppelin, not the addled anti-Semitic president that gave the world Hitler).

ACA was a chapter play that fooled voters and enriched corporations. Count up the total number of bank fraudsters and torturers that went to prison. Won't take long. it's zero. dodd-frank is a joke that enabled TBTFs to become TBTFer. And on and on. Then there is the irrational russophobia, drone murders, Syrian catastrophe, IS and other clones, openly anti-labor, mute on Crosscheck and the repeal of much of the voting rights act... so many more.

And, finally, fraud lifting $hillbillary to run as obamanation III?

Not that the hapless democraps can understand, but a wise man once said "Nature abhors a vacuum". Even the science-denying Rs understand this. Kind of.


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