Five Tweets That Reveal Trump’s Character

When I was a kid, we had a name for just saying what you thought unfiltered. It was “diarrhea of the mouth.” Today, Twitter has rendered that faux pas obsolete. Now your verbal outflow can reach tens of thousands – even millions – of people in minutes.

Which makes a bad case of diarrhea of the mouth that much worse.

However, that hasn’t given Donald J. Trump even a moment’s pause. Here are a few of his recent spewings that reveal his character very clearly…

February 25 – Spike Lee Accepts an Oscar

Be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes, or better yet not have to use notes at all, when doing his racist hit on your President, who has done more for African Americans (Criminal Justice Reform, Lowest Unemployment numbers in History, Tax Cuts, etc.) than almost any other Pres!

Lee never mentioned Trump. He praised his grandmother. He remembered the enslavement of his ancestors. And he ended on a positive note:

“The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing! You know I had to get that in there.”

Why does Trump assume choosing love vs. hate is an attack on him? Sounds like a guilty conscience. Maybe because he knows his “more for African Americans” claim is pure B.S.?

After all, this is the guy who said the Central Park Five should remain in prison… even after DNA evidence exonerated them.

February 25 – The Border Wall

We have a State of Emergency at our Southern Border. Border Patrol, our Military and local Law Enforcement are doing a great job, but without the Wall, which is now under major construction, you cannot have Border Security. Drugs, Gangs and Human Trafficking must be stopped!

Trump has made several references lately to prayer rugs at the border, women tied up with their mouths covered with duct tape, and other scenes from the Hollywood movie “Sicario.”

None of these scenarios have been recorded actually happening on our southern border… but Trump uses them to push for his wall.

Apparently, Trump doesn’t know the difference between a movie and a documentary.

February 22 – New U.N. Ambassador

I am pleased to announce that Kelly Knight Craft, our current Ambassador to Canada, is being nominated to be United States Ambassador to the United Nations….

….Kelly has done an outstanding job representing our Nation and I have no doubt that, under her leadership, our Country will be represented at the highest level. Congratulations to Kelly and her entire family!

When Trump anointed Craft as ambassador to Canada, the Canadian press noted she had donated more than $265,000 to the Trump campaign in 2016. She and her husband had also donated almost $3 million to other Republican causes.

Her qualifications as a diplomat? Well… ahem… a speech to the U.N. general assembly under George W. Bush.

February 21 – The Jussie Smollett Controversy

.@JussieSmollett – what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA

I’m not going to defend Jussie Smolett here… but this seems a bit hypocritical from the man who called Neo-Nazis “fine people” after the Charlottesvlle incident.

And it took him days to make any comment on the Coast Guard officer who planned to kill liberals. Even though he weighed in on the Smollett case almost immediately

February 20 – NYT Is “Enemy of the People”

The New York Times reporting is false. They are a true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!

Once again, Trump directs his hate and anger at the press. At this point, it doesn’t even matter what the story is. Trump is stoking hate – and thus advocating violence – against the press.

The problem is the press is reporting the truth. Trump calls any news story he doesn’t like “fake news.” Then foments violence against the source.

Look, if you’re still excusing Trump, it’s time to stop. The man is out of control. And out of touch with reality. How long can you deny evidence we have on video?

Trump is racist. He’s anti-American. And he has no respect for our Constitution.

He needs to go.

Is there room for conservatives in America? Absolutely. But only those conservatives willing to work within the bounds of our Constitution.

Our Democracy has lasted for 200 years. Let’s not allow one self-absorbed billionaire make a mockery of the greatest political experiment in human history.

I Have My Suspicions…

For some reason, back in 2016, the Trump folks started sending me e-mails. Now, I was subscribed to a few left-leaning organizations. But nothing that would signal I was a good bet to send money to Pumpkinhead’s campaign.

Still, I’m sure they were e-mailing every list they could get their hands on. E-mail is cheap, and if you hit a dozen names on a list of thousands, it could more than pay for your efforts.

Just out of curiosity, I let them send me mail for a couple of weeks. Most of the e-mails were exactly what I expected…

  • The world is coming down around your ears.
  • You’re awash in illegal aliens. And most of them are terrorists.
  • The Democrats want to tax you to support brown babies.

This alarmist garbage got old fast, so I unsubscribed. End of story, right?

Well, not exactly…

Republican Deja Vu

A few weeks later, I started getting the same Republican e-mails again…

  • Anti-immigrant rhetoric.
  • ISIS is at our borders.
  • Pumpkinhead is the only solution to our woes.

I put up with it for a couple of days, then unsubscribed a second time.

That’s when something funny happened.

The Republican Party e-mails stopped. But e-mails from dozens of shady marketers started. Exactly at the same time.

It was as if someone had given my e-mail address to shady marketers as soon as I’d hit the unsubscribe button.

And the avalanche of garbage e-mails hasn’t stopped since.

Now, don’t get me wrong, all these e-mails go straight to my junk folder. And I delete them daily. But it sure seems odd. The day after I told the RNC to get lost for the 2nd time, all these junk mail e-mails flooded my inbox.

Is this the Right’s way of “punishing” folks who don’t support their candidate? Maybe not… but it sure looks that way.

Right in Line With Party Policy

If there’s one thing you can say about the Right, it’s they hold a grudge.

  • Two years after Pumpkinhead was sworn in, they’re still chanting, “Lock her up.”
  • Anything that’s not perfect is because Obama “left us a mess.”
  • And any legislative failures are the fault of the Dems… even though Republicans controlled both houses of Congress for the first two years of Trump’s reign.

It seems completely in character for the Right to unsubscribe someone… and give their e-mail address to shady marketers. Follow the letter of the law… then abuse it to punish your opponents.

That’s why God created junk mail folders. He anticipated vengeful right-wingers and provided an easy way out.

Are e-mails pushing CBD oil… hyping Russian girlfriends… or promoting “natural Viagra” a nuisance? Not when I can delete them all with a couple of clicks.

And, Lord knows, they’re a lot less annoying than the pure B.S. pushed by Eric Trump and the rest of the far-right imbeciles.

Trump’s Emergency: Where Have We Seen This Before?

Mostly harmless foreigners cross the U.S. border. The flames of hysteria – fed by an over-zealous nutcase – grip the citizenry. The nutcase demands a massive response. Chaos ensues.

Trump’s border emergency is so far out in left field, it could be the plot of a zany comedy.

Oh, wait… It is.

Does Trump Watch Too Much Classic TV?

Maybe he’s been watching Turner Classic Movies. Or tunes in to the mid-day movie on one of those off-brand digital networks. Or just likes to stream old movies. I’m not sure.

Whatever the case, we’ve seen the plot for Trump’s border crisis before. Because it’s eerily similar to the 1966 comedy The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!

In the movie, a Russian sub runs aground off the coast of Massachusetts. It’s not on a spy mission. The captain just wanted to get a better look at the U.S.A. But they’re stuck on a sandbar.

So a landing party heads ashore to find a boat to help free the sub. They don’t want trouble. They don’t want to hurt anyone. In fact, they don’t even want to be noticed.

But of course they are. And they’re mistaken for the first wave of an invasion. Soon, an over-zealous nutcase has organized patriotic citizens to defend against the invasion.

In the movie, sanity eventually prevails. The Russians help save a little boy, and the townspeople realize they mean no harm. The townsfolk then help the Russians escape. Humanity triumphs, and disaster is averted.

But I think Trump may have fallen asleep during the movie’s last 20 minutes. Because it doesn’t look like his version of this movie has the same ending.

Trump Doesn’t Want Happily Ever After

Trump has a notoriously short attention span. Some White House aides slip his name into briefing documents, because it’s the only way to keep him reading. Others use charts and graphs to make key points. Otherwise, the president won’t pay attention.

Trump may have stolen most of his border emergency plot from The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! But he obviously didn’t watch to the end of the movie.

Because Trump’s version includes concertina wire… a massive troop build-up… and over-stepping his Constitutional authority to execute an end run around Congress.

Here are the facts:

  • A majority of Americans don’t want Trumps wall.
  • A majority in both houses of Congress doesn’t want the wall, either.
  • There is no legal way for Trump to finance the wall.

So Trump has taken a two-pronged approach to get his way.

Step One: Lie Through Your Teeth

Republicans controlled both houses of Congress during Trump’s first two years in office. Yet no new wall was built. There were some repairs. But new wall? Nope.

Now that Democrats control the House, Trump has taken a different approach: Lie, lie, lie.

His new “Finish the Wall” slogan is part of his PR plan to convince his base he’s been building the wall all along. Which he hasn’t.

He’s now taken to saying he’s completed significant sections of wall… and claiming the Democrats are trying to deny him the funds to complete his work. Because they want “open borders” and to let rapists and murderers overrun America.

Never mind the statistics show undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.

Never mind that most undocumented immigrants arrived here legally and simply over-stayed their visas.

Never mind that most drugs are brought in through established checkpoints.

In Trump’s mind, belief is more important than reality. So he spews lies with no regard to what’s really happening.

Step Two: Demonize Anyone Who Dares Speak the Truth

“Fake news” has become Trump’s go-to attack on anyone who questions his claims. CNN – which has taken pains to verify Trump’s claims – is a frequent victim.

The Washington Post has fact-checked Trump from the beginning. They simply compare his claims to the verifiable facts. In Trump’s eyes, they’re “fake news,” too.

Any journalist or media outlet that dares to disagree is declared fake news” by our Liar-in-Chief.

It almost seems Trump is unaware most of his public statements over the last 40 or so years have been recorded…

Either he’s unaware, or he knows his base doesn’t care. As long as he holds to his racist agenda, they’ll swallow anything he spews out.

You Can Make a Difference

Reality is powerful. And the reality is that Trump lost the popular vote. By a margin of nearly 3 million. And that’s in spite of Republicans’ best efforts to suppress the votes of minority and poor Americans.

Speaking of minorities… Trump’s wall is supported by a minority. Most Americans want a citizenship path for DACA youth. We don’t want family separations. We don’t want asylum seekers sent back to Mexico.

Most Americans are humanitarians, not racists.

Because we outnumber Trump’s racist base, we have an opportunity. Your representatives in Washington know their jobs depend on votes. And if they think they’ll lose their cushy job in the next election cycle, watch how many of them decide to switch sides.

But a lot of us have to make our voices heard. We have to let our representatives in Congress know how we feel. And that’s easily done…

Just go to https://www.congress.gov/contact-us for their contact info. Then let your representative and senators know how you feel. Any elected official who thinks their job may be on the line will respond.

Members of Congress will stand with Trump only as long as they think it boosts their re-election chances. If backing him threatens their job, watch how quickly they can change their minds.

We don’t have to let Trump rewrite the ending to this story. Humanity can still win out over hate. You just have to act.

The Boy Who Cried “Pocahontas”

Well, Trump has done it again. His attacks on his enemies have left a remarkable trail of collateral damage. There just seems to be no end to his ignorance.

His performance with surviving Navajo “code talkers” was abysmal… using them as a talking point to attack Elizabeth Warren. In front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson… arguably our most bloodthirsty president.

But that shameful performance wasn’t enough for Trump. He apparently feels he hasn’t rubbed enough salt in Native Americans’ wounds. On January 13, he found yet another way to make light of their centuries of suffering.

And now he seems to have done it yet again, with a mocking reference to the Trail of Tears.

No Awareness of History

On January 13, Trump posted a clip from an Instagram video by Warren. Never mind that her video was awkward. His response quickly made us forget her awkwardness.

“If Elizabeth Warren, often referred to by me as Pocahontas,” he tweeted, “did this commercial from Bighorn or Wounded Knee instead of her kitchen, with her husband dressed in full Indian garb, it would have been a smash!”

Let’s break this down just a bit…

  • The Battle of the Little Bighorn was essentially triggered by the white man’s desire to claim Indian land for the gold recently found there.
  • Wounded Knee was nothing short of an unprovoked massacre. Most of the casualties were women and children.
  • Both “battles” are examples of how little value the U.S. government put on Native American lives.

These battles took place in the latter half of the 19th century. At a time when the federal government was breaking treaties left and right. It’s one of the most shameful periods in our history.

So, of course, Trump sees these encounters as fodder for attacks on his enemies. After all, one of his heroes is Andrew Jackson, chief author of the Trail of Tears.

And Trump has shown just about as much respect for Native Americans as his hero.

Simply Out of Touch With Today’s America

Andrew Jackson accomplished a lot. But it wasn’t necessarily good for our country. Here’s a quick look at this man Trump idolizes…

  • Jackson was an unapologetic slaveholder.
  • His “Indian removal” policy led to the Trail of Tears.
  • His education was spotty and he was an avowed “flat-earther.”

In other words, Jackson was a semi-literate racist. Just the sort of man Trump would idolize. And does.

Trump installed a portrait of Jackson in the Oval Office. And used it as a backdrop for his infamous “honoring” of Navajo code-talkers. Very sensitive.

He’s made light of acts of betrayal by the U.S. against Native Americans. To score political points against a rival.

Most recently, Trump taunted “Pocahontas” that he’d see her on “the TRAIL.” Apparently making a joking reference to the Trail of Tears.

Maybe Trump should read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Well, if he were much of a reader. He appears to be only semi-literate, just like his hero.

So the truth of broken treaties… of forced marches… of blood in the snow… will probably remain a mystery to him. Just as the poverty of so many of today’s Native Americans escapes him.

So he’ll continue to mock Warren with cries of “Pocahontas.” To worship as a hero a man who fought to marginalize – or destroy – Native American cultures. And to make light of some of the cruelest events in our nation’s history.

All of which underscores just how out of touch this sorry excuse for a president is with America today.

Out of Step… Out of Touch… Out of Excuses

President Trump wasn’t able to rally enough support to build his southern border wall when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress. So, once Democrats took control of the House, he suddenly couldn’t live without it.

Trump’s allies and apologists made light of the predicament of some 800,000 federal workers who were left wondering how they’d feed their families… pay their mortgages… or meet other financial obligations.

This all points to a Republican Party that’s out of step with America… out of touch with the average voter… and out of excuses for such bizarre behavior.

Just listen to what Trump’s apologists were saying…

“A Little Pain”

Want to know how out of touch Trump’s allies are? Just listen to his daughter-in-law. Speaking to furloughed federal workers, Lara Trump said, “… this is so much bigger than any one person. It is a little bit of pain, but it’s going to be for the future of our country.”

“A little bit of pain.” To a Trump, that’s apparently what losing your home is. Or scraping to feed your family. As you teeter on the brink of losing healthcare. Do you think Lara Trump might be just a little out of touch with reality?

You’d have to be to think Trump’s wall is more important than the food on the table and roof over the heads of 800,000 federal workers and their families.

The numbers show most undocumented aliens arrive here with valid visas… and simply overstay them. And most drugs coming through the southern border pass through legal, established checkpoints.

Of course, none of the Trump children will feel the pinch of mommy and daddy having to choose between paying the mortgage and buying food.

And Lara Trump is hardly alone.

“I Don’t Really Quite Understand Why”

Trump’s Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, weighed in on the crisis, too. Of federal workers going to homeless shelters for food, Ross said, “Well, I know they are… and I don’t really quite understand why.”

Ross’s solution to no paychecks? Federal workers should just borrow against future earnings. By the way, the Commerce Department’s credit union currently charges almost 9% interest.

Food bank vs. 9% interest? If you don’t understand that, you’re hopeless. Cut any worker’s pay by 9% and tell them it won’t be a problem.

Trump tried to defend Ross’s words. Ross, he said, just didn’t express himself well. He meant to point out how local banks and grocery stores would “work with” furloughed workers. Are these the same grocery stores Trump thinks demand a photo ID before they’ll sell you a box of cereal?

Ross – who has $700 million in assets – hardly has to worry about losing a paycheck. And neither does Lara Trump, whose husband earns millions from the Trump organization.

Now, just weeks after the longest partial shutdown In U.S. history, Trump appears poised to hold 800,000 federal workers hostage yet again. Even before some federal workers have been paid for the last shutdown.

Barring that, he’s threatened to declare a non-existent emergency to side-step Congress. Or divert funds designated for other purposes.

However, many Republican lawmakers don’t have a taste for more Trump shenanigans. The worse his behavior, the better the chances they’ll lose their jobs. Trump may not understand the message of the midterms, but they do.

Let your representatives in Washington know the wall is a no-go. It’s easy. Just visit https://www.congress.gov/members to get their contact info, and send an e-mail.

Let them know you oppose Trump’s wall. And that you won’t vote for anyone who enables his bad behavior.

Journalism vs. “Journalism”

Most people know to believe only news sources that offer proof of their claims. And openly admit when they get something wrong.

Real journalists have integrity. They check their facts. And they don’t hide from their mistakes.

And then there are “journalists.” Like Sinclair Braodcasting’s Boris Epshteyn. Whose journalistic standards are so low, he can’t even be bothered to click on a link to check a statement that sets him off.

What am I talking about? Be warned: You’re either going to laugh in derision, or smack your forehead in disgust.

Welcome to the “Right” Side of Journalism

A parody account on Twitter recently posted this: “PRESS RELEASE: We will not stay silent on the reckless move by President Trump puling out of the IMDb treaty with Russia.”

It’s hard to imagine that anyone could take this seriously. To begin with, IMDb is the Internet Movie Database, a popular site with movie information.

Plus, the name of the account is “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Press Release (parody).” It has the word “parody” right in the name.

But to Boris Epshteyn, Sinclair Broadcasting’s Chief Political Strategist. He seized on the tweet as proof Democrats are idiots.

Now, this is disturbing for two reasons. First, “parody” isn’t just in the account’s name. If you visit “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Press Release (parody),” you’ll see the account’s description repeats it’s a parody and claims to be “Political Satire.”

Apparently, Sinclair’s right-leaning standards don’t involve the difficult task of clicking on a link. Or reading the name of the source. Because wither one would have shown this was not a tweet from AOC.

Epshteyn plowed ahead with a nonsensical condemnation of Dems… and AOC in particular.

“Gotcha” Journalism… Without the Gotcha

“1. Dems messaging on Russia continues to be confused,” Epshteyn tweeted. “One minute they scream the president is Russia’s puppet the next they don’t want the president to be tough on Russia.”

He continues, “2. You mean INF? IMDb is the movie database that you seem to so desperately want to have a big profile on.”

Somehow, Epshteyn conflates support for treaties that might prevent worldwide destruction with not wanting to be tough. Is withdrawal the only option? Apparently it is, by his calculations.

And you have to worry about the intellectual capacity of someone who can’t see through such a completely transparent joke.

But what’s most worrying is Epshteyn is the Chief Political Strategist for a right-leaning string of TV stations that reaches a significant percentage of the American public.

Sinclair owns more than 170 stations… representing dozen of stations affiliated with each of the major networks. But Sinclair stations are required to run their parent’s editorial content – which leans distinctly to the right.

Epshteyn, who worked for Trump’s campaign – and in the White House – has run several pro-Trump segments on Sinclair stations.

So what are viewers to think when he posts a phony “gotcha” on Twitter?

Will We Say Good-Bye to Non-Partisan News?

According to the Washington Post, the Trump campaign offered a “no-commentary” deal to Sinclair that gave it exclusive access to the candidate.

And Trump’s FCC (Federal Communications Commission) chairman, Ajit Pai, apparently favors deregulation. The Post reports Pai met with Sinclair execs shortly before his appointment as FCC chairman.

Which could mean a single company could have coast-to-coast reach. Unfettered access to every voter. And the opportunity to push its own agenda.

This is scary. Especially considering Sinclair’s Chief Political Strategist is so blinded by partisanship, he can’t tell a parody is a parody. Even when the account’s name contains the word “parody.”

Even worse, Sinclair has formulated plans to circumvent the FCC rule barring a single owner from reaching more than 39% of the market.

But there’s good news.

America Gets a Reprieve… for Now

In August 2018, Tribune Broadcasting broke off its deal with Sinclair, and sued for $1 billion. Tribune claimed breach of contract.

According to the Tribune filing, “Sinclair’s entire course of conduct has been in blatant violation of the merger agreement and, but for Sinclair’s actions, the transaction could have closed long ago.”

CNBC reports, “A dozen Senate Democrats said in April Sinclair was deliberately distorting news coverage by forcing local stations to read scripts that criticized what it described as ‘the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country.’”

So maybe we’ve dodged a bullet. This time.

But it seems pretty clear forces on the Right are working hard to control what you can see and hear. This is a tactic used by tin-pot dictators for centuries. Control the news, and you control people’s thoughts and opinions.

That’s why we have to advocate for a lively, independent, and widespread news corps. Because if apparent morons like Boris Epshteyn are in charge, we’ll all be in trouble.

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Rosenberg, E., “Trump said Sinclair ‘is far superior to CNN.’ What we know about the conservative media giant,” The Washington Post. Apr 3, 2018.

Chang, A., “Sinclair’s takeover of local news, in one striking map,” Vox.com. Apr 6, 2018.

“Tribune Media sues Sinclair for $1 billion in damages after terminating $3.9 billion acquisition deal,” CNBC.com. Aug 9, 2018.

H.J. Res 37 – Trump Busts Obama Small-Biz Blacklist?

Trump Busts Obama Small-Biz Blacklist?

Did Donald Trump just sign an executive order that did some good (H.J. Res 37)?

The House Small Business Committee sure thought so. “POTUS just signed H.J. Res 37,” they crowed, “reversing the Obama Admin’s harmful ‘blacklisting’ rule barring small businesses from competing for federal contracts.”

Did Obama blacklist small businesses? The same president who opened up federal contracts to women’s and minority businesses?

Something sounds fishy here…

Was President Obama Anti-Small Business?

In August 2009, President Obama said we needed to open up more federal contracts to small businesses. Federal agencies hadn’t been hitting their small biz goals for years.

So he sent reps to 200 industry events over 90 days. Their mission: To help small businesses compete for more government contracts.

Fast-forward to January 24, 2013. The Washington Post headline reads, “Obama signs legislation to deliver more government contracts to small businesses.”

Even Republicans praised this 2013 bill. They said it opened up federal contract opportunities for small businesses. In fact, the bill was based on ideas from the House Small Biz Committee.

The same committee that just accused Obama of “blacklisting” small businesses. But does any of this sound like blacklisting?

So what exactly was this awful rule Trump just saved us from by signing H.J. Res 37?

The Obstacles Trump Really Removed by signing H.J. Res 37

In July of 2014, President Obama signed an executive order. The goal was “…to promote economy and efficiency in procurement by contracting with responsible sources who comply with labor laws…”

How? “…by ensuring that they understand and comply with labor laws.”

In simple terms, it required all contractors bidding on federal contracts to show they followed labor laws. Especially where safety and fair pay were concerned. The reporting period? A mere 3 years.

That’s the terrible “blacklisting” the Republicans claim. And President Trump just reversed. In other words, the right just made it easier for federal contractors to abuse their employees.

Don’t believe me? You can find Obama’s original order in the press release posted here.

So what’s the lesson? Sadly, it’s that you can’t believe anything you read or hear – even from Congressional committees. And especially from the White House.

Deceit, deception, and dishonesty are the orders of the day. And the only way you can combat them is to double-check every claim.

Resources:

“Another big win for America’s 28 million #SmallBiz,” House Small Biz Cmte, via Twitter. Mar 27, 2017.
Harrison, J.D., “Obama signs legislation to deliver more government contracts to small businesses,” The Washington Post. Jan 4, 2013.
“Obama Administration Increases Contract Opportunities for Minority Businesses,” The Network Journal. Aug 2009.
“Executive Order –Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces,” The White House, Office of the Press Secretary. Jul 31, 2014.

The Mess Donald Trump Inherited

Throughout his campaign Donald Trump mourned the loss of American greatness.

According to Trump, all the good jobs have gone overseas. African-Americans and Hispanics are living “in Hell.”. And “The American Dream,” he claimed, “is dead.” His goal: to make America great again.

What does that mean? Nobody seems to be able to say. Not even Donald Trump. But he did promise that if we elected him, we’d win so much, we’d grow tired of winning.

Much of the blame, Donald Trump says, can be laid at his predecessor’s feet. President Obama – Trump’s Kenyan-born, Muslim “founder of Isis” – ran the U.S. into the ground. And only Donald Trump can dig us out of the hole.

Fair enough. Let’s explore the hole that Obama dug…

The Mess Donald Trump Inherited by the Record: Obama vs. Bush

George W. Bush had eight years to push the Republican agenda. And he did so with gusto. But how well did his party do? Not too well. Unless you consider two wars and the Great Recession a good job.

But let’s be even-handed about this. Let’s look at some key numbers…

Unemployment: When Barack Obama took office, unemployment was at 7.6%. During the month Obama was sworn in, 7 million people lost their jobs.

In January of 2017, unemployment stood at 4.8%. That month, the economy added 227,000 jobs. Under Obama, our economy saw one of its longest streaks of continuous job growth.

Foreclosures: Anyone who lived through the Savings and Loan crisis could have seen it coming. De-regulation let banks act recklessly to boost short-term profits. And, of course, their house of cards collapsed in 2008.

In 2009, one in every 45 households in the U.S. was under foreclosure. That’s almost 3 million foreclosures. According to RealtyTrac, foreclosures were up 21% over 2008 – and more than 50% over 2007.

2016 marked the third year in a row foreclosure rates fell into the “historically normal” range. 2016 rates were at their lowest level in 10 years. And more than half of the homes in foreclosure in 2016 had been financed in the cowboy years of 2004 – 2008.

Want more? We’ve got ‘em…

Terrible Crime Statistics and More

Violent Crime: Not long ago, Trump famously told a gathering of law enforcement head that murders were at their highest level in 45 years. Not exactly.

FBI statistics reveal more people were murdered in the U.S. during every year of George W. Bush’s presidency than were murdered in any year under Obama. (Stats only available through 2015.)

The U.S. murder rates – the number of Americans murdered per 100,00 – show the same trend. In fact, it holds even when you look at all the crimes the FBI tracks. Every year under Obama was lower than any year under Bush.

But don’t worry, Conservatives. Now we’re getting to taxes. Obviously, Bush will come out on top. Taxes are the Republican stronghold.

Taxes: Under President Bush, we saw massive tax cuts. Sure, half the benefits went to the top 20% of taxpayers… but these cuts were big.

Sorry, President Obama cut taxes more in his first two years than Bush did in his first full term. And 85% of some big cuts went to the bottom 80% of taxpayers. Of course, that doesn’t mean the rich didn’t benefit from Obama’s tax cuts.

When Obama took office, the rich paid 39.1% on all earnings over $297,350. When he left, the highest bracket – 39.6% – didn’t kick in until $415,050.

Yes, some of Obama’s tax cuts are temporary… but so were some of Bush’s.

War: Bush takes this category 2 – 0. Because President Obama managed to avoid dragging the U.S. in any new wars. But Bush started two. Through 2106, just one of them – Iraq – has cost more than $819 billion.

$819 billion is hard to imagine, so let’s look at it this way…

If I gave you $1,000 a day, it would take me more than 2.2 million years to hand over $819 billion dollars.

Under President Obama, spending on the Iraq War went from $143.9 billion in 2008 to just $5.0 billion in 2015.

Do the Math, Donnie

That’s the “mess” Donald Trump inherited. A stronger economy… lower taxes and lower unemployment… fewer foreclosures and less crime.

Sure, things aren’t perfect yet. But they’re a lot better than they were when Barack Obama took office. Based on Obama’s record, the best thing Trump could do would be to continue his policies.

But he won’t. Because the Republican Party is determined to undo Obama’s legacy.

The economy went south under the first Bush. During Clinton’s presidency, the economy rebounded. In fact, it flourished far beyond what even Reagan had promised.

Then came the 2nd Bush, and things went south again. Under Bush, our economy took its worst hit since the Great Depression. Then Obama took office, and things turned around.

What will it take for voters to wake up and smell the roses?

Giving the rich all the breaks… Letting businesses run roughshod over citizens… These policies don’t work. They didn’t work under Reagan. And they didn’t work under either Bush. Why would anyone think they’d work under a greedy narcissist like Trump?

Don’t buy the lies. And don’t stay silent. America doesn’t need to be made great. But we’re going to have to fight like Hell to preserve its greatness.

Trump didn’t inherit a mess. But, based on his first few weeks in office, he’ll certainly create one hell of a mess. Unless we all step up to stop him.

Resources:

“Increase in unemployment rate in January 2009,” Bureau of Labor Statistics. Feb 10, 2009.

“The Employment Situation — January 2017,” Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jan 2017.

Christie, L, “Record 3 million households hit with foreclosure in 2009,” Money.CNN. com. Jan 14, 2010.

“U.S. Foreclosure Activity Drops to 10-Year Low in 2016,” RealtyTrac. Jan 10, 2017.

“United States Crime Rates 1960 – 2015,” DisasterCenter.com. 2016.

“Tax Brackets,” MoneyChimp.com. 2017.

Linden, M. and Ettlinger, M., “Obama vs. Bush: Who’s the Bigger Tax Cutter?” AmericanProgress.org. Sep 13, 2011.

“Iraq War Costs Summary Table,” TheBalance.com. 2017.

Shall We Talk About Donald Trump’s Intelligence?

Donald Trump is as thin-skinned as they come. He has to be 100% right, 100% of the time. But he’s not.

When it comes to politics and world affairs, the Pumpkin-in-Chief rarely gets it right. And that’s created some awkward situations with our intelligence agencies.

The latest (as I write this) is with the DHS – the Department of Homeland Security.

Trump asked the DHS for a report on Muslim terrorism. His wanted backup for his travel ban on seven Muslim-majority nations.

But the DHS report doesn’t up the President. DHS said country of origin isn’t a good way to ID terrorists. Instead, they say, “… country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity.”

The report says terrorists looking to attack the U.S. over the last six years came from 26 different countries.

But The Orange One can’t accept any view other than his own. So he rejected the report.

Donald Trump’s Intelligence Strategy: If You Don’t Like Reality, Just Deny It

Trump and his surrogates swiftly attacked the DHS report. Just as they’ve attacked every other intelligence report that doesn’t fit Trump’s worldview.

Just look at his original “not-a-Muslim-ban” ban. He claimed it was to protect the U.S. But the conservative Cato Institute pointed out the ban was poorly targeted. Nobody from any of the countries Trump targeted has killed a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil since 1975.

Trump also has no business interests in any of these Muslim-majority countries.

But he does have investments in three Muslim-majority nations left off the list. And terrorists from these three nations have killed U.S. citizens on U.S. soil.

Saudi, Egyptian, and Emirati (U.A.E.) citizens have killed nearly 3,000 Americans since 1975 – mostly in the infamous 9/11 attacks.

According to the New York Daily News, Trump admires the Saudis. “They buy apartments from me,” the News quotes him as saying last year. “They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”

It seems property sales count more with Trump than actual risk.

Trump’s Pattern of Rejection Should Be a Red Flag

We should have seen this coming…

  • After the election, Trump chose not to receive daily intelligence briefings.
  • When an embarrassing intel report leaked, he blamed the intelligence community. And he compared them to Nazis.
  • Trump regularly insults our intelligence organizations in his tweets. Including suggesting the outgoing CIA director has leaked sensitive information.

And, of course, there’s the Russian interference thing. The entire U.S. intelligence community agrees Russia tried to influence last year’s presidential race. But Trump’s first reaction was to call the idea “ridiculous.”

This is more than a little spat. The man with his finger on the nuclear button consistently ignores and insults our intelligence community. But he accepts “information” from the likes of Fox News and Breitbart.com at face value.

Stay tuned for a very hairy four years.

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Postscript: I wrote the above before the latest Trump-Russia ties were revealed. Flynn, Sessions, and Kushner all appear to have had inappropriate contacts with Russian officials.

The current Russian government has crushed opposition media, murdered political opponents, and plundered that nation’s wealth. They annexed Crimea, sponsor a rebellion in eastern Ukraine, and may have meddled in Moldova’s recent elections.

These are all red flags to our intel community. But seemingly not to Trump.

Watch closely in the coming months. Don’t be surprised by a leak of Trump’s financial ties to Russian oligarchs. And it will have to be a leak. In spite of promises to the contrary, Trump now says he won’t release his tax returns.

References:

DeMarche, E., “Trump rejects DHS intelligence report on Muslim ban,” FoxNews.com. Feb 25, 2017.

Sommerfeldt, C., “President Trump’s Muslim ban excludes countries linked to his sprawling business empire,” New York Daily News. Feb 1, 2017.

“Trump rejects CIA intelligence of Russian hacking, lawmakers vow probe,” The Denver Post. Dec 11, 2016.

Herszenhorn, D.M. and Baker, P., “Russia Steps Up Help for Rebels in Ukraine War,” The New York Times. Jul 25, 2014.

Mutler, A., “Moldova official says Russia meddling in presidential race,” Associated Press, via U.S. News. Oct 4, 2016.