The Moron’s Guide to American History

Thanks to Donald Trump, we’ve discovered just how little we know about the American Revolution. But Trump set us straight… which we all should appreciate.

For example, you may have thought General Cornwallis was English. Nope. Trump pointed out he was “of Yorktown.” In one of the great ironies of the Revolutionary War, Britain’s top general apparently surrendered in his hometown.

We also learned Washington seized control of the war in the air. In a stroke of remarkable foresight, General Washington took control of the airports more than a century before man’s first powered flight.

And – in the only known case of an army traveling through time – Patriot soldiers defended Fort McHenry “under the rocket’s red glare.” Thus ensuring the poem that became our national anthem would be written more than 30 years later.

And that’s just some of the nonsense Trump spouted on July 4th. But it’s not like that’s all the nonsense he’s ever spouted. Not even just for this holiday…

Out of Touch With Reality

Dreaming Donnie also told us the Continental Army was “named after the great George Washington.” It wasn’t.

A few days earlier, he claimed the army was bringing “brand new” Sherman tanks to the D.C. celebration. “Brand new” tanks that haven’t been in service since 1957. If you’re counting, that’s more than 60 years ago.

Even the “brand new” M-1 Abrams tanks he touted have been in service since 1980. So they don’t really qualify as new, either.

Trump makes a habit of spouting off on subjects on which he knows almost nothing.

Who can forget when he brought Frederick Douglass back from the dead for Black History month? “… Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.”

Or when Trump falsely claimed Finland’s president told him they “rake” their forests to prevent wildfires. “… they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things,” he said, “and they don’t have any problem.”

Donald Trump has little regard for facts. Which becomes deeply troubling when you consider he has access to the nuclear codes.

Utterly Consumed With His Own Image

Donald Trump is never really wrong. At least, according to Donald Trump.

Negative press is always “fake news.”

The Trump Tower meeting with Russian agents offering dirt on Hillary? Fake news. It was about adoptions.

Donnie, Jr. actually knew it was about dirt on Hillary? Fake news. He had no idea.

Little Donnie’s e-mails show he should have been aware? Fake news. He didn’t read the subject lines.

Donnie, Jr. wrote, “I love it!” in response? Fake news, because nothing came of it.

Cohen paid off Stormy Daniels? Fake news… And on and on it goes.

CNN, the “failing” New York Times, and The Washington Post are all “fake news” in Trump’s mind. And “the enemy of the people.” Why? Because they paint an unflattering – though accurate – portrait of a self-centered would-be autocrat.

On the other hand, Trump heaps praise on “news” organizations like Info Wars, Breitbart, and Fox News. Why? They stroke his ego. Fox News personalities routinely praise Trump for making moves they trashed Obama for. (Case in point, being open to meet with Kim Jong Un.)

Like the reality star he is, Trump is consumed with his image. To the point where the President of the United States favors sycophants over experts for key government positions… recklessly threatens any regime that stands up to him… and publicly trashes our intelligence services when they don’t agree with his “gut feelings.”

Again, this is a man who has access to the nuclear codes. If you’re not frightened yet, you’re made of sterner stuff than I am.

The Sobering Lesson History May Soon Teach Us

Many politicians are telling us not to worry. The Constitution is strong enough to withstand a Trump overreach.

But our Constitution is only as strong as the will of the people. And right now a minority of those people own the majority of the guns… and they tend to be pro-Trump.

Look at what just happened in Oregon. Republican state legislators went into hiding to prevent a vote on a climate bill. The governor called on the state police to round them up. Well-armed right-wing militias threatened violence in response… forcing the state house to close.

Trump has hinted he may not accept election results if he loses in 2020. This from the guy who openly “hinted” violence would break out if the Left pushed his followers too hard.

“I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people,” Trump told Breitbart in March, “but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

Revolutionary War airports? That’s a sign of incredible stupidity. Conflating the Revolution with the War of 1812? Gross ignorance.

But underestimating the danger Trump poses to our democracy? That’s item #1 on the Moron’s Guide to American History.

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.