Attack of the Climate Change Deniers

More than 9 out of 10 climate scientists agree: Human activity has at least acceleratedclimate change. And those changes are scary. Consider these facts:

  • Bees are rapidly disappearing, at least partly due to climate change. Countless plants depend on bees for pollination – including many crops. If bee numbers drop too low, famine won’t be far behind.
  • Warming Arctic waters have shrunk the extent of pack ice. Arctic seas are also frozen for shorter periods. Polar bears are starving. As apex predators, they reflect the health of their ecosystem. And it’s not looking good.
  • The Colorado River – the source of water for millions – is drying up. Major reservoirs are shrinking. At the same time, the population of the southwest is exploding. This is a recipe for disaster.
  • The latest research shows methane gas emissions – a major by-product of fracking – are much higher than previously thought. Methane is a key contributor to global warming… and far more dangerous than CO2.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration props up the dying coal industry and loosens restrictions on polluters. For Trump and his allies, man’s contribution to climate change is still in question.

At least, as long as the money keeps flowing.

But it’s getting harder to find climate-change deniers… especially outside the U.S.

Not to worry. A pro-Trump think tank has found one. And deniers are calling her “the anti-Greta Thunberg.”

Just 19, But Smarter Than the World’s Scientists

Naomi Seibt is young, blonde, and eloquent. She’s everything the Trump administration hates about Greta Thunberg… except she’s on their side.

Seibt doesn’t deny climate change. Or even that it’s partially man-made. But she doesquestion its effects. According to Seibt, climate change activists are blowing it all out of proportion.

Over 90% of the world’s climate scientists say she’s wrong. But that doesn’t stop Seibt. After all, she’s 19, and has the backing of the Heartland Institute – a pro-Trump think tank. In fact, she’s on their payroll.

As is Trump’s former security advisor, James Taylor. At a climate conference in Madrid, Taylor explained his plan to undercover journalists from CORRECTIV.

“… he intends,” they report, “to make a young YouTuber from Germany the star of climate denier [sic], and how he works closely with German partners whose ideas are consistently cited by the AfD in the Bundestag.” (The AfD is Germany’s ultra-conservative anti-immigrant party.)

That young YouTuber is Seibt.

Seibt denies ties to AfD… but at least one AfD branch claims her as a member. And Heartland’s Taylor says she’ll be working for his think tank to counter Thunberg’s message. In fact, in a phone conversation, Taylor suggests Heartland can control – at least to an extent – what Seibt will say in her videos.

Lo and behold, Heartland now features a speech given at a “Climate Realist Forum” in Madrid… which their site seems to link loosely – and wrongly – to the UN climate forum there. According to CORRECTIV, Seibt’s keynote address was given to a “crowd” of about 20… almost half of whom were speakers at the event.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement for her (now paid-for) positions.

The Company You Keep

According to Britain’s Independent, Seibt’s mother, an attorney, has represented AfD members. Some within the AfD also claim Seibt has been a member of their youth branch.

Seibt, a former economics student, says, “… these days, climate change science really isn’t science at all.” She also calls concern over climate change – which she labels “alarmism” – “… a despicably anti-human ideology.”

She has also spoken out against Germany’s liberal immigration policies and feminism. And addressed an AfD gathering at least once.

Seibt also lines herself up against some 97% of qualified climate scientists… and proclaims their work “alarmist” and wrong.

It was probably inevitable climate-change deniers would look for an “anti-Greta.” Thunberg’s message resonates with millions. And she’s spurring people to action.

That’s something Trump’s fossil fuel supporters can’t tolerate. Clean energy – and a healthy environment – will cost them money. And American business is notoriously focused on the short-term.

So, Heartland has hunted down a pretty young thing to counter Thunberg’s message. There’s just one big difference…

Thunberg is right.

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Sources:

Butler, D. and Eilpern, J., “The anti-Greta: A conservative think tank takes on the global phenomenon,” The Washington Post. Feb 23, 2020.

“The Heartland Lobby,” correctiv(dot)com. Feb 11, 2020.

Cockburn, H., “Anti-Greta: Far-right groups trying to turn teenager into climate change-denying version of Greta Thunberg,” The Independent. Feb 24, 2020.

Let’s Hope We Can Last ‘Til November

Politics have always caused friction. But 2020 is shaping up as the knock-down, drag-out battle of our lives. Take the “racist” video of Joe Biden just released by the Right.

In it, we hear Biden run down African and Asian culture. Except we don’t. We hear a couple dozen words, taken out of context. Thirteen minutes of context. In fact, we don’t even get the whole second sentence.

But the usual suspects jumped all over Biden, and the video clip spread across social media like wildfire. The truth is, Biden didn’t say anything bad about Asian of African culture. He was criticizing the culture handed down through English common law.

Expect to see lots more of these distortions in the coming months. Along with more efforts to suppress Democratic votes. Take the new voting law in Texas, for example.

They Can’t Win if They Can’t Vote

Hillary won the 2016 popular vote by nearly 3 million. The Right doesn’t want a repeat. Especially in states that may be in play this time around.

In Texas, a new law bans “temporary” polling places that aren’t open during 100% of early voting. That may sound innocent enough. After all, it’s giving all voters equal opportunities to vote, right?

Sort of. But here’s the thing: Many districts are strapped for cash. They can’t afford to open all polling places all the time. So, they have to close down these temporary polling places. Which tend to be at colleges, elderly housing, and other locations that – Surprise! Surprise! – lean Democratic.

The real result of these shut-downs won’t be equal voting opportunities for all… but the denial of voting rights to groups that tend to lean leftward.

It’s just another example of the Right’s program of voter suppression. After all, the Left can’t win if its voters can’t vote.

And while the Right is suppressing the vote on the Left, they’re revving up their base. Take their boss’s constant refrain as an example…

Meet “The Do-Nothing Democrats”

How many times have you heard President Trump call his opponents “the do-nothing Democrats”? Dozens… scores? To hear Trump and his allies tell it, the Dems have focused on nothing but impeachment since Trump “won” the election.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy quoted the Right-leaning WA Times on this topic. According to McCarthy and the Times, House Dems have issued more subpoenas than they have passed bills.

 

The Times claims only 46 House bills became law in 2019… while the Dems issued 56 subpoenas. Can you believe it?

No; you can’t. The House passed a whopping 298 bills during 2019’s legislative session. Most of those bills were blocked from coming before the Senate by Majority Leader “Moscow Mitch” McConnell. In other words, House Dems got a lot of work done. But the GOP scuttled all that hard work in the Senate.

No matter how hard the House works to serve voters, they’re only one-third of the equation. The Senate has to pass the same/similar bill… and then the president must sign the resolved bill to make it law.

The House did it’s third of the job. But Trump and his allies in the Senate kept these bills from becoming law. The Times article was extremely misleading… McCarthy knew it… but he pushed the lie for political gain.

And speaking of “do-nothing…”

Where’s That Wall… the Obamacare Repeal… Etc.?

Here’s an interesting fact for you: From 2016 to 2018, Republicans controlled the White House, the Senate, and the House. So where were all the accomplishments Trump promised in his first 100 days?

With the entire Congress behind him, Trump didn’t manage to build a single inch of new Wall in those two years. To date, his administration has only managed to replace some aging sections of existing wall. And the concrete he promised us was abandoned long ago.

He didn’t replace “Obamacare,” either. In fact, the GOP still doesn’t have a coherent healthcare policy. And it’s been almost a decade since the Affordable Care Act was first passed. In 10 years, Trump’s party has only managed to chip away at the edges of the act.

And how about that massive tax cut for the Middle Class. Oh, you haven’t seen it? That’s because it was never included in Trump’s tax package.

According to the Congressional Research Service, neither growth nor wages have benefitted from Trump’s tax plan. But the rich have.

The plan – which Trump supporters said would pay for itself – has fallen 95% short. Yup. Trump’s tax cuts have only generated a 5% payback. Which means the national debt will skyrocket. But don’t worry. Thanks to the new tax laws, big corporations and the rich won’t have to cover the shortfall. That will be left to the working stiffs.

 

Things haven’t gone according to plan. So…

Where Is Trump as All These Plans Fall Apart?

Our Commander in Chief spent one of every five days in 2019 at his golf properties.

That’s right. The man who wouldn’t have time to play golf essentially fiddled while Rome burned. We face a nuclear crisis with North Korea… out of control climate changes… healthcare costs most Americans can’t afford… college debt that threatens to sink a generation… and so many more challenges.

But Trump golfs every fifth day. Even worse, he golfs at his own properties… ensuring your tax dollars fill his coffers. While the national debt spirals ever upward.

Now he wants a second term. Really?

We tried the maverick thing. And it turned out exactly as Progressives predicted: We’re in the worst financial mess our nation has faced since the Great Depression. Sure, the stock market is doing great. But most Americans aren’t invested in the stock market. And their wages have stagnated.

Our foreign service is a shambles. We’re seeing health and ecological protections disappear. Heck – to please his trophy-hunting sons – Trump has even eased restrictions on importing animal parts from hunting endangered species!

And the assault shows no signs of slowing.

Which is why we must hold out. Why we have to help everyone we can register to vote. And help them get to the polls. Or submit a valid absentee ballot.

I’ve said it before – and I’ll say it again: We’re facing our Democracy’s last gasp. We can save this noble experiment at the ballot box. But only if we marshal all our forces against those who would make our nation an oligarchy.

We just need to hold out until November.

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Dinan, S., “Nancy Pelosi, Democrats produce more subpoenas than laws,” The Washington Times. Oct 22, 2019.

“House Passes 298 bills to end 2019 legislative session,” KITV Island News. May2, 2019.

Chait, J., “Study Finds Trump Tax Cuts Failed to Do Anything But Give Rich People Money,” NY Magazine. May 29, 2019.

Where the H*ll Are the Democrats?

The GOP tweets propaganda several times a day. Their chairwoman also tweets propaganda on a daily basis. The President tweets propaganda almost non-stop. Fox News issues pro-Trump tweets. And various members of Congress tweet their support for the President regularly.

An endless stream of pro-Trump B.S. floods the Twitterverse non-stop.

Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership seems to tweet almost never. There’s a steady stream of unanswered GOP lies and deceptions. All being sucked up by voters. But virtually no opposition from official Democratic sources.

Here’s the thing: If you repeat a lie often enough, people begin to believe it. The GOP lies just become part of the national narrative.

In other words, Trump is winning – at least in part – because the Democrats can’t seem to post more often on Twitter.

So how can we fix this problem? The answer is depressingly simple.

The Truth Is Powerful… But Only if You Use It

I’ve seen dozens of GOP claims on Twitter that the impeachment inquiry is a “witch hunt.” It’s the same claim they made throughout the Mueller inquiry.

But this so-called “witch-hunt” has snared an awful lot of witches. Where are the Dems’ posts pointing out how many Trump operatives have pled guilty – or been convicted? Or how many Russian operatives have been indicted?

The Dems seem to leave their defense to individual posters. The party has no clear response. So, the GOP’s message takes the forefront in voters’ minds. Even though it’s usually untrue.

The Dems’ lack of a clear response gives the GOP’s point credibility. Faced with an unbroken onslaught of GOP propaganda, reasonable voters will go with the flow.

The Dems have seemingly ceded the Twitterverse to the GOP. Is it any wonder Donald Trump is still in the White House?

Reclaiming Barak Obama’s Turf

It wasn’t that long ago an Internet-savvy candidate used the online world to pull off an “impossible” victory. An unlikely candidate turned, “Yes, we can,” into “Yes, we did.” And Barack Obama became the first African-American president of the U.S.

The GOP may have learned from Obama’s victory, but the Dems apparently didn’t. And pro-Trump tweets, on the party level, outnumber anti-Trump tweets by a wide margin.

Why is this important? For one thing, widely distributed tweets are far more likely to be featured on the platform.

As of this writing, Donald Trump has 67 million followers on Twitter. Newsweek reports almost a third of them – 29% – are fake accounts. Still, that’s nearly 41 million real people following Trump.

Twitter is more likely to feature a tweet from a celebrity with 41 million followers than someone with 41… or 41,000… or even 4.1 million. Especially when that celebrity is the President. When he tweets 130 times over a single weekend… well, that’s a heck of a lot of impressions.

Add in multiple daily tweets from his allies – many with millions of followers of their own – and, Houston, we have a problem.

Obama may have held the high ground early on… but the rest of his party seems to have missed the memo. The GOP has broken the code, and they’re flooding Twitter with propaganda. Virtually unchallenged by their opponents.

It’s Not Too Late… But We’re Getting Close

You know who has more Twitter followers than Donald Trump, by a wide margin? Barack Obama. He proves an intelligent and measured voice can even command more attention than a raging nut job.

Party stand-outs, like AOC, are building solid followings. But Trump has a years-long jump on these rising stars. Still, if the Dems built a real social media strategy, they could at least be competitive.

Today, the GOP posted a clip from Fox News, featuring Devin Nunes declaring the impeachment hearings a “disaster” for the Dems. Really? Maybe Nunes didn’t see his own face after Gordon Sondland’s testimony. “Deer in the headlights” doesn’t do it justice.

Witnesses swore under oath Trump was only interested in getting dirt on the Bidens. That most of his top aides were in the loop on this. That he had no real interest in corruption. And that it was made clear to the Ukraine government the military aide and a Trump/White House visit hinged on a Biden investigation.

This is what Nunes calls a “disaster” for the Dems? Clearly this is a joke ripe for a sarcastic reply. Nope. Cue the crickets. I follow the Dems on Twitter, and there was nothing in my feed. Zero. Zip. Nada. Nothing!

It appears the Dems have either the laziest, or the dumbest, social media team on Earth. Twitter should be awash in impeachment hearing news from the Dems.

Where’s the outrage over Lindsay Graham’s “investigation” of the Bidens? Can you say “Benghazi”? I can. In fact, I’ve covered that charade at least twice.

GOP conspiracy theories? Pizzgate isn’t whacko enough for you? Trump’s links to birtherism? Deep state sabotage? Come on! What are you waiting for? Those naked pics of Trump Nunes said you were after?

The GOP and its allies have made a mockery of our political system. Up is down. Black is white. In is out. And the Dems are tweeting about tech giants and Black Friday deals. Geez! You can’t leave allthe hard work to CNN.

It’s not too late to fight back. But we’re getting uncomfortably close. You need someone tweeting 20, 30, 50 times a day. Not just in response to the GOP propaganda… but getting your story out in advance of their B.S.

If you don’t fight back now, you’ll lose more than the 2020 election. You’ll lose much of the brittle support your party has left.

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Cole, B., “Trump Has 15 Million Fake Twitter Followers,” newsweek(dot)com. May 22, 2018.

The GOP Has Abandoned American Ideals

“You people with this phony Emoluments Clause.” That’s what Donald Trump said to reporters. A safeguard enshrined in the United States Constitution. And Trump calls it “phony.”

You’d think this would be the final straw for GOP lawmakers. The line none of them would cross.

You’d think. But you’d be wrong. Even after he’s attacked the Constitution itself, Republican leaders still back their boy. Another example of party before country.

But it’s not the only one. Not by a long shot.

For the GOP, Lies “Trump” Truth

GOP members of Congress recently forced their way into a closed committee meeting on impeachment. They demanded a more open and “transparent” process. The Dems, they claimed, were holding secret meetings… and keeping GOP members in the dark.

Never mind that half the committee is made up of Republicans – who could share info with their fellow Repubs. Never mind this was exactly the same policy followed by Trey Gowdy’s GOP Benghazi investigation.

And – most importantly – never mind the committees are following rules laid out by the GOP-majority Congress in 2015.

Now that a Republican is under scrutiny, the process is somehow unfair.

Here’s how insane this “protest” is…

Fox News commentator, Andrew Napolitano, called out the GOP Congressmen on their protest.

That’s right. A Fox News contributor told Conservative members of Congress they are wrong. That’s how far off the charts the GOP has gone.

A federal judge has also ruled the inquiry is legal. House rules allow for subpoenas – and standing committees can interview witnesses in secret – much like a grand jury.

Now that Dems control the process, GOP legislators protest. But they had no objections when Hillary Clinton was the subject of the Benghazi investigations.

Back then, closed committee hearings were critical. In defending closed hearings, GOP Rep. Gowdy said, “Interviews also allow the committee to safeguard the privacy of witnesses who may fear retaliation for cooperating or whose work requires anonymity, such as intelligence community operatives.”

Good reasons for closed-door meetings. Unless, of course, you’re a GOP Congressman trying to defend the indefensible. Then those safeguards become threats to democracy.

And an excuse to breach their own party’s rules…

The Twisted Logic of Matt Gaetz, et al

Perhaps no GOP rep encapsulates the insanity of “party-first” politics than Florida’s Matt Gaetz.

“The Democrats’ impeachment process deserves to be in front of the American people and not behind closed doors,” Gaetz tweeted. “I was proud to lead the charge for transparency with my Republican colleagues last week.”

Yup. Gaetz is proud to lead the charge against his own party’s rules. Proud to breach the sanctity of a secure Congressional hearing room. Proud to bring smart phones into a Congressional chamber where all outside electronics are banned. And probably proud of the pizza they ordered during their “protest.”

Yes… The brave GOP protestors sent out for pizza to sustain themselves during their protest.

According to Gaetz, “Schiff’s anarchic impeachment sham has devolved into mayhem and is entirely antithetical to constitutional principles.”

It’s anarchic, because… what? Because the majority of American voters favor impeachment? A sham because it’s enshrined in the Constitution?

It’s devolved into mayhem? Really? The only mayhem has been the assault on the secure Congressional hearing room by GOP reps. And it’s hard to imagine that a process enshrined in the Constitution is “entirely antithetical to constitutional principles.”

Keep in mind we’re talking about a president who’s used his office to enrich his family business time and again. Who’s uttered more than 13,000 recordedlies since taking office. And who set a quid pro quo to release funding Congress directed for a key ally.

He’s favored the word of a Russian oligarch over the findings of our combined intelligence community. He’s consistently praised dictators, while alienating our democratic allies. And he’s nominated ethically challenged cronies to the highest executive offices in the land.

Yet Gaetz and company consistently defend Trump. The GOP has abandoned American ideals. Winning for the party has become more important than serving their country. And “the party” represents – more and more – a shrinking base of wealthy white males.

The GOP Is Bringing Us Back to America’s Beginning

Our Founding Fathers had vision. But it was vision informed by a narrow view. Wealthy white men had controlled their world for as long as they knew. So, they established a nation with high ideals… but hampered by the view that wealthy white men were superior.

Bit by bit, America grew. We slowly accepted that blacks, Native Americans, and women were equal to white males. We fought past open racism… past segregation… past immigration quotas… past religious barriers… and past prejudices against women.

Black Americans counted as more than 3/5 of a person. Women won the right to vote. Native Americans were counted as citizens. We made progress.

The GOP wants to change all that.

Their immigration policies favor rich whites. And ban “undesirables.” Their tax plan – already enacted – favors the rich. Who are mostly white.

They want to control women’s reproductive choices. They want to expand a prison system already the most extensive in the world. They want to slowly strangle Social Security and Medicare – in favor of a bloated military budget.

The GOP wants to take us back to a time when wealthy white men controlled everything. Essentially, back to the beginning of our Republic. But with no chance for growth.

Which is why we have to stand firm. To fight every regressive step the GOP champions. To call out anti-Americans like Matt Gaetz for what they are: Regressives.

The GOP has no interest in progress. Just the opposite. Their goal is to turn the clock back. Back to a time when all the power was in the hands of a few rich white men.

It’s Time for America to Wake Up!

Note: I completed the original version of this article yesterday, then went online to find Nancy Pelosi’s announcement.

The Trump administration is out of control. Every time they manage to circumvent the law, they rise to a higher level of contempt for our Democracy. It’s gotten so bad, they’re almost not even trying to hide it. Just look at Rudy Giuliani’s most recent turn on the Sunday talk shows.

On CNN, he denied pressuring Ukraine’s president to “investigate” Joe Biden and his son. (Hunter Biden had a business relationship with a Ukrainian gas company.) Just 30 seconds later, Giuliani admitted it was true.

Then he called the claim he’d applied pressure “ridiculous” – immediately followed by saying he was proud for doing it – and then said once again the claim was “ridiculous.”

Now, we may be used to this sort of insanity from Giuliani – the President’s personal lawyer. But is it normal? Is it sane? Not by a long shot.

But Giuliani’s insanity offers good cover for his boss’s “admission creep.”

No… Maybe… Yes, But Who Cares?

Donald Trump has a style for making admissions. First, he denies he did something. Next, he waffles. Then he makes a low-key admission… and finally harps about “who cares?” Deny, suggest, minimize.

It’s worked pretty well for Trump so far. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise he used this tactic when faced with claims about pressuring Ukraine’s newly elected president to dig up dirt on Trump’s leading foe in the 2020 election.

First, he didn’t bring up Biden. Then he did, but there was no pressure. Now we know he may have brought up the topic as many as eight times during a single call.

And when combined with the way he held up sorely needed aid to Ukraine… well, let’s just say it’s suspicious.

Because Trump appears to have held hundreds of millions of dollars hostage to his investigation demands.

And now his administration is doing all it can to prevent Congress from exercising its Constitutional oversight duty.

Another pattern we’ve seen over and over.

  • Trump allies stonewall Congressional committee investigations
  • Cabinet heads refuse to comply with laws requiring them to turn information over to Congress
  • Trump’s Justice Department refuses to prosecute those charged with contempt of Congress

The result is an Executive Branch that has effectively removed itself from any checks and balances on its whims. And this lawlessness is aided and abetted by “Moscow Mitch” McConnell and his Congressional cronies. Who back Trump’s actions… no matter how outrageous.

But this latest affront to our Democracy may be the last straw… or the last gasp.

Has Trump Finally Awakened the Sleeping Giant?

Yesterday (09/23/19), seven Democrats called out this latest Trump misadventure in an op-ed piece in the Washington Post. What makes this article stand out is this:

  • The authors are all freshmen members of Congress – usually a quiet bunch
  • None of them are members of “The Squad”
  • All of them have a background in the military, defense, or intelligence.

And they’ve plainly stated the allegations against Trump are an impeachable offense… the withholding of the whistleblower complaint from Congress is illegal… and that Congress must take immediate action.

But will it? Nancy Pelosi hasn’t been open to calling for impeachment. Maybe she thinks it will mobilize Trump’s base. Could she be facing a mutiny?

If she refuses to take Trump to account for his blatant flouting of the law, she should. Yes; she’d rather see him in prison… blah, blah, blah. But her only control is over the here and now in Congress. So, this is her one chance to act.

We can’t allow the corruption to continue. Congressional leadership must step up. The Trump administration’s assault on Democracy could do permanent damage. For goodness sake, the man “jokes” about staying in office beyond two terms.

And he’s openly stated he might question any election result that doesn’t put him on top. Is it any wonder he’s courted the favor of well-armed white supremacists?

Congress must act now. If they don’t treat this scandal as the last straw, it may become our Democracy’s last gasp.

Addendum: A Reason for Hope?

So much has happened since I began this article. Trump released the “transcript” of his call… The Senate unanimously called for the administration to release the whistleblower report to the appropriate committees… Nancy Pelosi had finally had enough and got the impeachment ball rolling.

Perhaps most heartening of all, there were darn few Republican lawmakers on the attack. Even Lindsey Graham seemed muted in his response.

Sure, Graham said the move to impeach is “insane,” but he didn’t have any of his usual swagger and righteous indignation. Instead he looked sweaty and tired. There was no conviction in his voice.

What Graham should keep in mind is that this isn’t the only reason to start impeachment proceedings. Just the one that broke the camel’s back.

Mueller outlined 10 times Trump likely obstructed justice during the Russia probe. There’s the sudden jump in Air Force personnel staying at his Turnberry golf resort… putting thousands into Trump’s personal coffers. There’s the influx of foreign dignitaries staying at Trump properties.

There’s the “unindicted co-conspirator” issue with paying off mistresses to remain silent. Don’t forget: His fixer went to jail over these illegal campaign contributions. And Trump was in the mess up to his neck.

And, of course, there are the other issues in the whistleblower complaint that we don’t even know yet.

If Congress is smart, they’ll charge Trump with everything applicable. Which could make letting him off the hook political suicide for his die-hard supporters in the Senate.

So, maybe – just maybe – we have reason for hope.

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Cisneros, G., et al, “Seven freshman Democrats: These allegations are a threat to all we have sworn to protect,” Washington Post. Sep 23, 2019.

Bonus Post: Five Tweets That Reveal Trump’s Character

The current administration commits so many scandals and outrages, that it’s nearly impossible to keep up. We have quite a few articles that were abandoned as a more pressing issue came up. Here’s one from earlier this year. It still applies.

 

How anchored is Donald Trump to reality? Well, based on his tweets, not very.  Here are a five spewings that reveal Trump’s 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 completely cleared 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 on our southern border… but Trump uses them to push for his wall.

And then cannibalized key military projects to add to the wall. Apparently, he 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… One speech to the U.N. general assembly under George W. Bush. Simply put: Money over qualifications.

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.

Trump has insulted tens of millions with racist tweets… but hasn’t apologized for any of them.

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.

If the New York Times is failing, as he claims… why does he have to spend so much time pointing it out? The NY Times’ subscriber base is one of the most robust in the industry.

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 the evidence? It’s all on video.

Trump is a 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 let one self-absorbed billionaire destroy the greatest political experiment in human history.

The Real Meaning of “POTUS”

“@BarackObama played golf yesterday. Now he heads to a 10 day vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. Nice work ethic.”

  • Donald Trump, Aug 15, 2011

Donald Trump never had a problem criticizing President Obama’s golf schedule. In fact, he posted 27 tweets about Obama golfing before the 2016 election.

For example, in 2016, he tweeted, “While our wonderful president was out playing golf all day, the TSA is falling apart, just like our government! Airports a total disaster!”

And in Dec 2014, he wrote, “Obama has admitted that he spends his mornings watching @ESPN. Then he plays golf, fundraises & grants amnesty to illegals.”

Another Trump tweet from 2014 reads, “We pay for Obama’s travel so he can fundraise millions so Democrats can run on lies. Then we pay for his golf.”

Clearly, this is a man who believes the Commander-in-Chief has no business playing golf. The same man who cancelled a trip to Poland because of Hurricane Dorian… and spent the next two days playing golf.

Um… Commit hypocrisy much?

POTUS = Putter of the United States

As we’ve noted before, sources suggest Trump has spent about 20% of his days in office golfing. This from a candidate who said, “I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf.”

Yet he’s found plenty of time to play golf. More than once a week.

Even worse, when Trump plays golf, it costs. And costs big. An Air Force report from 2017 said one of Trump’s golf trips to Mar-a-Lago cost $142,380 per hour for the use of Air Force One.

Then add in millions of dollars for overnight stays for his entourage and security detail… plus the golf carts the Secret Service has to rent, etc. Considering most of these golfing holidays take place at Trump properties… this is a windfall for the president’s company.

So, the Putter of the United States – the guy who would have no time to play golf – is getting rich off America’s taxpayers.

Politifact reports Trump golfed 50% more by mid-2018 than Obama had during the same period of his first term. And Trump hasn’t slowed down any since then, either.

NBC News found Trump visited one of his golf properties on 150 days during his first year in office. That’s more than 40% of that year… spent at – if not on – one of his own golf courses.

This might have been forgivable… except Trump constantly criticized Obama for golfing. And claimed he wouldn’t have time to golf, if elected.

Yet he’s golfed one out of every five days he’s been in office. Including in times of national emergency… like Hurricane Dorian.

The Right was quick to side with Trump against Obama’s “golf habit.” Where are their voices now that Trump has eclipsed his own anti-Obama standard?

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Kirk, J., “The 27 times Donald Trump tweeted about Barack Obama playing golf too much,” SBNation(dot)com. Feb 3, 2018.

Kessler, G. “Fact check: Have U.S. taxpayers spent $72 million on Trump’s golf outings?” The Washington Post. Jul 27, 2018.

Graves, A., et al, “Who plays more golf: Donald Trump or Barack Obama?” Politifact(dot)com. May 18, 2018

Johnstone, L., “Tracking President Trump’s Visits to Trump Properties,” NBC News. Dec 29, 2017.

The Party of Lincoln?

I don’t want to beat a dead horse, so I’ll keep this short. Once again, racism has raised its ugly head in the form of a Republican leader.

Ronald Reagan, speaking to President Richard Nixon, made some of the most offensive racist remarks I’ve ever heard. “Last night, I tell you,” Reagan commented, “to watch that thing on television as I did. To see those monkeys from those African countries – damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes.”

That’s pretty bad… but so was Nixon’s response. He laughed.

That’s right. Two Republican presidents of the last half-century shared an incredibly racist moment.

The Republicans call themselves “the party of Lincoln.” But literally half their presidents in the last 50 years have been unapologetic racists.

And Trump is no different.

A Consistent History of Racism

Reagan’s opposition to civil rights legislation is a matter of record. And how much more do you need from Nixon than that laugh? Well, how about this:

“We’re going to [put] more of these little Negro bastards on the welfare rolls at $2,400 a family—let people like Pat Moynihan … believe in all that crap. But I don’t believe in it. Work, work—throw ’em off the rolls…”

Now, to his credit (?), Nixon followed this up with a claim he had “the greatest affection for” African Americans. But he also noted, “…but I know they’re not going to make it for 500 years. They aren’t. You know it, too.”

Nixon also appeared to blame African nations for the U.N. vote to seat Beijing in place of Taiwan in 1971.

“As you can imagine, there’s strong feeling that we just shouldn’t, as he (Reagan) said,” Nixon complained to then-Secretary of State Rogers, “he saw these, as he said, he saw these… these, uh, these cannibals on television last night, and he says, ‘Christ, they weren’t even wearing shoes, and here the United States is going to submit its fate to that,’ and so forth and so on.”

“Negro bastards”… “cannibals”… No racism there, right?

Reagan made quite an impression on Nixon on that call. “But he is, of course,” the president told Secretary Rogers, “outraged. And I found out what outraged him… and he said, ‘These cannibals jumping up and down and all that.’ And apparently it was a pretty grotesque picture.”

Yup. There’s the “party of Lincoln,” actively pursuing racial equality. But here’s the point…

The Tail Follows the Head

Some may claim “rogue elements” within the Republican Party are also racist. But that’s not how a body works.

The tail wags when the head tells it to. And if the racist tail of the Republican Party is wagging, it’s only because they’ve gotten a message from the head.

Like neo-Nazis at the Charlottesville protests being “fine people.” Or the “Send her back,” chanters at Trump’s recent rally being “incredible patriots.”

Or Trump’s misrepresentation of NFL players’ protests against police violence. He re-cast the protests as being anti-flag and anti-American. Not anti-violence.

Or his frequent attacks on majority-black communities as “rat-infested, “crime-infested,” or any number of other negatives. Noting “no human being” would want to live in Baltimore… suggesting those who do are something less than human.

The resurgence of open racism in America has taken its cues from the Racist-in-Chief. Trump has normalized racist sentiments. He consistently depicts non-whites as sub-human. And when anyone dares push back, he accuses them of racism.

Lincoln Is Spinning in His Grave

Lincoln may have been a reluctant convert to equality. But he saw it as the key to a successful Union. And to his credit, he took the ultimate political gamble. He fought Congress to make black Americans at least nominally equal to white Americans.

But the party of Lincoln has been hijacked. The GOP long ago abandoned the idea of equality. And that’s been abundantly illustrated by the party’s leadership over the last 50 years. Their fight to preserve segregation… their “separate but equal” charade… their opposition to the civil rights movement.

Nixon was a racist… Reagan was a racist… and so is Trump.

Time and again, Trump denies his racism while sounding racist dog whistles. He claims ignorance, while white supremacists praise his words and actions. He protests his innocence, while his administration pursues a clearly racist agenda.

Why has the only black Republican Congressman just announced his retirement? Why is there only one black Cabinet member? And why has the Trump Organization been dogged by charges of racial discrimination since the 1970s?

Let’s face it. The party of Lincoln has become the party of White Privilege… and those in power are reluctant to share. Especially with people of color.

As for Honest Abe, he’s busy spinning in his grave.

Time to Wake Up! The Republicans Are Gaslighting America.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R – LA) just appeared on Fox News. One of his talking points? The so-called “Green New Deal.”

“The Green New Deal,” he said. “Just think about how laughable… cows are banned… planes are banned…”

Of course, this is pure B.S. But it’s a common GOP talking point. And, as they continue to hammer on this fantasy, their core supporters eat it up.

Scalise’s idiotic depiction of the Green New Deal came on the heels of a comment on how much Trump has done “to get this economy moving again.”

Which, in reality is almost nothing. The economy crashed under our last Republican president – George W. Bush. The economy got moving again under President Obama. Under Obama…

  • Unemployment dropped significantly
  • The stock market came roaring back
  • The avalanche of home foreclosures slowed to a trickle.

But Trump and the Republicans are taking credit for it all.

They’re Gaslighting America… and we have to call them on it every time.

The Republican Assault on Truth Rules the Twitterverse

My Twitter feed this morning included these pro-Trump posts…

  • The GOP quoted chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, saying “… the Democrat Party wants to take away Pretty much everything from the American people… to fund a health care plan.” This, of course, is blatantly false.
  • A GOP re-tweet of a McDaniel post claiming, “[Democrats]want the government to take over every aspect of our lives from education to health care.” Again, completely false.
  • A misleading post from Rep. Jim Jordan doing a hatched job on Jim Comey.
  • A post from Sarah Huckabee Sanders mis-stating the Democratic position on firearms.
  • A wildly spun post from the “Trump War Room” saying Pete Buttigieg accused Trump voters in his state of “supporting racism.” He didn’t. He said, at best, Trump voters are “looking the other way” on the issue. And the comment wasn’t aimed at Hoosiers.
  • Another GOP retweet – this one from Elizabeth Harrington – implying Beto O’Rourke was in favor of ignoring the 2ndAmendment, and wanted to take away everyone’s guns. O’Rourke actually said he was in favor of ending private ownership of assault weapons.

And on and on it went. Every single Republican tweet I read was either misleading or out-and-out false.

Luckily for us, the Democrats have an active well-orchestrated truth machine countering this onslaught on reality.

Just kidding. For the most part, the Dems seem to ignore the GOP gaslighting campaign… with just a few notable exceptions.

The Democratic Party Is Wimping Out

This morning’s tweet from the Dems? An offer to win two tickets to the next candidates’ debate. I kid you not.

The GOP flooded Twitter with misinformation – or massive “spin,” if you prefer. The Dems respond by offering two tickets to a snooze-fest. Really? Have they learned nothing from The Squad? Apparently so.

Meanwhile, a Republican PAC ran an ad during the Democratic debate depicting an image of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) going up in flames. That’s a violent act that encourages more acts of violence.

AOC responded by calling out Republican “hysteria” and laying out her party’s goals. Fellow Rep. Rashida Tlaib backed her up.

But the Democratic Party? Crickets.

I follow the Dems on Twitter, and they post far less than the GOP. The opposition is pumping out an endless stream of mis-information… and the Dems remain virtually silent.

For a growing number of voters, social media is a key source of information… and the Dems are blowing it. Who could have imagined a bunch of old white guys could out-gun the diverse Democratic Party on social media?

But it sure seems to be happening.

Guess what, Dems. If you don’t wise up, democracy as we know it will be at an end. So enough with the snooze-fest tickets already!

You have to fight back.

And that means more of your team has to spend a lot more time at their keyboards.

Demographics Are on Our Side

The GOP is the party of old white men. The party of religious conservatives. The party of white nationalists.

Democrats tend to be younger, more diverse, and technologically savvier. Better educated. So why isn’t the party reaching out more effectively on social media? Lord only knows.

The Dems lost state houses because the party focused on the big picture. And all but ignored local races. Now they seem to be losing the social media battle because…

Because… Well, nobody has a good idea why. Lack of trying, maybe? Did the party learn nothing from Obama’s online success? Apparently so.

The GOP is blanketing social media with misinformation. The longer the Dems ignore it, the stronger the grip these lies will have.

Look… Dems have the demographic advantage. They need to use it. They need to get more active online. To broadcast the truth on social media. To fight fear-mongering with facts. To call out the GOP’s lies and mis-representations.

To flood social media with the truth.

The Squad can’t do it for you. But they canset an example. Yes; they’re younger and more progressive. But – in the final analysis – their goals are the same as yours: An America that’s just. That shining light on the hill.

2020 is fast approaching. Our democracy may not withstand 4 more years of Trump. But it’s not too late.

President Obama showed how powerful social media can be. The Squad has shown how easily it can be turned to your cause.

The truth is a powerful ally. Use it to counter the GOP’s Gaslight campaign online. Because the alternative is unthinkable.

Are Underlings Enriching Trump?

The Left is up in arms over recent developments. And – at first blush – they seem to have ample cause.

Mike Pence stayed at Trump’s golf resort in Doonbeg, Ireland during his one-day trip to Dublin. Well, part of one day. Lunch and a meeting, really.

And Bill Barr booked a $30,000 holiday party at Trump’s Washington hotel.

Both moves sound like naked suck-ups. But the truth is a little more complex. And if we’re going to be honest – which we should – we can’t ignore any of the facts.

So, let’s dig in a bit to see if these moves are as awful as the Left has making them sound.

Back to the Emerald Isle

True fact: Mike Pence has Irish roots. And he worked at a pub in Ireland for a short while in his early 20s. Guess where that pub was?

A little village called Doonbeg.

What an odd coincidence!

Here’s another one: Mike Pence’s great-grandmother came from a little village in Ireland.

You guessed it: Doonbeg. That’s how he ended up at the pub.

It’s also part of the reason he stayed there during his recent European junket. His original plans called for a dinner at the pub where he’d worked so long ago.

It may be a coincidence, but it’s real. Still, it leaves some questions unanswered.

How Much Did This Cost Taxpayers?

Doonbeg is in the far west of Ireland. Dublin sits in the extreme east. So, staying in Doonbeg would involve a 3-hour drive – or 1-hour helicopter trip – to reach the meetings in Dublin.

Plus, Pence brought his wife and mother with him.

The White House says Pence paid for his relative’s expenses out of his own pocket. But there are other questions…

Could he have stayed in Dublin for less? Trump’s resort reportedly charges over $450 a night for a room. And what about the cost of the helicopter transport? It was only necessary because Pence stayed so far out. Did he pay for these extra costs?

Air Force Two costs $13,000 an hour to operate. Did the cross-island plans add to its operational hours?

Of course, Pence doesn’t travel alone. There’s staff and security to consider. If they all stayed at Trump’s property, how much more did that cost taxpayers over a Dublin stay?

This visit may not be quite as bad as the Left is trying to make it, but it’s still fishy at best.

Now… about that holiday party.

Is Bill Barr Just Sucking Up to the Boss?

OMG! The Attorney General booking a party at the President’s hotel? Talk about your conflicts of interest. Could there be a more blatant case of sucking up?

As it turns out, yes.

You see, A.G. Barr actually booked his party at the Willard Hotel. But the Willard had to cancel… because they discovered they had double-booked. When that happened, Barr called the – No, not the Trump International – the Mayflower. But they were also booked.

Barr didn’t try Trump’s hotel until after he’d consulted with ethics specialists at the Dept. of Justice. When they didn’t ban it outright, he booked the party at Trump’s hotel.

Here’s another little detail most accusers overlook: This isn’t a one-time event. Barr hosts a holiday party every year. So, it’s not something special to boost the boss.

This isn’t quite as sinister a move as some on the Left have tried to paint it.

But neither is it as innocent as the Right would like you to believe.

Don’t Do Business With the Boss

The Dept. of Justice (DoJ) is currently involved in lawsuits regarding the so-called “Emoluments Clause.”

Watchdog groups have sued the President over his profiting from enrichment through business dealings with foreign governments. The issue is complex, but here’s a simplified run-down…

The Constitution prohibits the president from enriching himself through gifts, bribes, etc. from foreign governments. It also bans undue influence from the various states.

The DoJ has been involved in several lawsuits regarding the Emoluments Clause. So, when the Attorney General – our top law enforcement officer – spends a minimum of $31,500 at a property owned by the president, it should raise a red flag.

Here’s the thing: Foreign nationals have clearly tried to influence Trump through his properties.

You see, unlike previous presidents, Trump refused to put his holdings in a blind trust. He says he handed over control of his companies to his sons… but he’s still the boss.

So, when a Saudi-backed lobbyist booked 500 nights in the Trump International Hotel, it set off alarms. As it should. It’s a clear attempt to influence the president… and seems to have worked.

The only problem? It didn’t set off any alarms for the President or his team.

Nor did Bill Barr’s party planning.

I don’t know what the DoJ ethicists were thinking… but they should take a clue from the Bible.

Avoid the Appearance of Evil

1 Thessalonians 5:22 is pretty clear. “Abstain,” it says, “from all appearance of evil.”

In other words, don’t do anything that looks fishy.

Both of our situations here look plenty fishy. Even when you add in all the mitigating circumstances.

Mike Pence – a devout Christian – should know better. I can’t say for Bill Barr. But there’s enough “appearance of evil” in both situations to give ordinary voters pause.

The Left, however, loses the moral high ground when they pounce – and mis-represent the situation. This shifts the debate from the actions of the perpetrators to the claims of their attackers.

To the Left: Don’t spin. You don’t need to spin. Haven’t Trump’s 12,000+ lies proven that already? Don’t his defenders – without a leg to stand on – show how weak their position is?

Stick to the truth. No exaggeration… no spinning. Don’t give the Right an opening to break down your arguments. You know they’ll find the flaws you create.

But they can’t fight the truth. It may not be as sensational as spin… but when they can’t defend against it, you win.

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Colvin, J., “Pence defends stay at Trump property in Ireland,” Associated Press. Sep 3, 2019.

Shortell, D. and Polantz, K., “Attorney General William Barr planning private holiday party at Trump’s DC hotel,” CNN. Aug 27, 2019.

Fahrenthold, D.A. and O’Connell, J., “Saudi-backed lobbyists paid for 500 nights at Trump’s D.C. hotel just after 2016 election,” The Los Angeles Times. Dec 6, 2018.