Posts tagged ‘fact check’

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Scott Pruitt, the EPA administrator, who was clearly there to dismantle the agency and make it a lap dog of corporations, oh, and don’t forget denying science, is in hot water over his ethical failures, and the latest, trying to fire or sideline those that have tried to call out his lapses. Now think about this. He was the elected Attorney General from Oklahoma. You know, the guy who enforces the laws. Now you understand the teacher strike there. The teachers do not want to be part of a government system that produces mindless morons like Pruitt or the people who put him in power. They want their kids to be able to think. Now Oklahoma is Redder than Red so any parallels you want to draw about voting for Trump, failed conservatism, and dumber than a brick are more than appropriate.

Here in River City (Sacramento) the Stephon Clark protests go on. As I wrote before, this is a tragedy, the cops executed this guy, and nothing is going to happen because the laws favor the police. And I can kind of understand the black communities anger, as much as any white dude can. But what they are doing is counterproductive. Sure Martin Luther King Marched, but he was fighting for equality and voter rights. He was trying to be lawful in a morally and ethical way and yet let police demonstrate their brutality and hatred.

The Sacramento demonstrators, sadly made up of mostly just the black community, are disrupting the community demanding the police officers be charged which, of course, they are not going to be. Totally wrong focus that highlights them against us mentality that then alienates the community. The proof, very, very sadly, is in a story that noted that a nurse fired for her racist comments saying Stephon Clark got what he deserved, had raise $25,000 on GoFundMe. African-Americans have real grievances and they are a special case, there is systematic racism, but to win this battle, they have got to quit making it about them as a special case. Strange how that works.

Michelle Goldberg wrote a really interesting piece this morning about QAnon, which I had never heard of, but where apparently the Trump faithful including Roseanne Barr get their fantasies about Trump. Apparently it is a site created to push the fantasy that all the chaos and incompetence you see is really all part of a brilliant secret plan to make things better with all the secret programs going on:

You don’t create a wild fantasy about your leader being a covert genius unless you understand that to most people, he looks like something quite different. You don’t need an occult story about how your side is secretly winning if it’s actually winning. Publicly, many right-wing politicians and pundits disdain the Mueller investigation and pretend to believe that Trump’s ties to Russia are negligible. But among part of the Trump base, the effort to explain them away appears to be creating psychic strain.

“You cannot possibly imagine the size of this,” said a Q dispatch last month. “Trust the plan. Trust there are more good than bad.” Q almost certainly doesn’t know any state secrets, but he, she, or they understand that some fervent Trump supporters require more reassurance than they’re willing to admit. Their desperate conviction that they will be proven right about Trump betrays a secret fear that they will be proven wrong.

It is amazing what people will do to not think and try to support what they want to believe. Had they been in charge, we would still think the sun revolved around the earth and voodoo medicine works.

Now and finally in the category of lying sack of shit, here is a summary of fact checks from President DFF’s statements yesterday. You will note that most of this is either a racist rant (be afraid, they will rape your women) to absolute lies about a myriad of issues:

“You remember my opening remarks at Trump Tower when I opened, everyone said oh he is so tough and I used the word rape. And yesterday, it came out where, this journey coming up, women are raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before.”

Now this is such an unmitigated lie and attempt at racial fear mongering.  Implicit here is Mexicans coming across the border will rape your white women.  Of course that is a lie, but similar to what Southern politicians did back in the 60s in regard to black men.  Then he tried to make it about the Caravan, except there is no known rapes among or by the Caravan people, and let’s just clear the air here.  Those people in the Caravan are coming to the border to turn themselves in and ask for political asylum.  They faced rape, murder, and the children being abducted in their home country due to drug gangs whose livelihood we support by our need for drugs, so they did what any loving parent would do.  He turns them into rapists and murders.  What a pig.

He then repeated the lie about chain immigration:

 “If you have a baby on our land congratulations, that baby is a United States citizen. We are the only ones…So this guy because he is here can get the Mother and the Father and the Grandmother and the cousins and the brother.”

This is another blatant lie.  In theory it would work, but each link in the chain takes years, sometimes decades to approve and get in the country.  The waiting list for a typical family is over 12 years.  It does not happen, another strawman. Here are some more from the NYT:

“They used to call it tax reform. And for 40 years, they couldn’t pass anything and they didn’t know why.”

False. Tax cuts were passed under Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Read more here.

“We had a trade deficit of almost $500 billion last year with China.”

This is exaggerated. The American trade deficit with China was closer to $400 billion in 2017. Read more here.

“In many places, like California, the same person votes many times. You probably heard about that. They always like to say, ‘Oh, that’s a conspiracy theory.’ Not a conspiracy theory, folks. Millions and millions of people, and it’s very hard because the state guards their records.”

This is false. There have been no credible allegations of fraudulent voting at anything close to this scale during the 2016 election. Read more here.

“We have very weak laws because of the Democrats,” the president said, adding, “We had very, very weak laws. We have the worst laws — you ever think catch-and-release, which we’re terminating very quickly.

False. Mr. Trump is referring to a practice, not a law, where detained immigrants are released until court proceedings because of legal and logistical constraints. It has occurred under Republican and Democratic administrations alike, including under Mr. Trump. Read more here.

Conclusion:  President DFF is a lying sack of shit and the people who believe in him are deluded morons.  How is that for direct?  See Michelle Goldman above for how they delude themselves with a secret agenda even though he looks like a moron, walks like a moron, and talks like a moron.  If you want to be afraid, he is the one you should be afraid of.  Have a great weekend.  Carpe Diem.

The Problem

“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, the moderator for the third presidential debate, said in a Sunday interview that it isn’t his role to call out the candidates’ false claims.”

“That’s not my job,” Wallace told his Fox News colleague Howard Kurtz. “I do not believe that it’s my job to be a truth squad.”

NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt, who will moderate the first debate on Sept. 26 at Hofstra University, was unavailable Monday for comment, according to a network spokeswoman.

ABC News’ chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz, who moderated a 2012 vice presidential debate and will co-moderate the Oct. 9 presidential town hall debate with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, declined to comment through a spokeswoman. A CNN spokeswoman did not immediately respond for comment regarding Cooper’s view.  
So Trump can spew forth and it is up to Hillary to correct him?  Lying Hillary?  Oh, wait, that is what the right labels her but are a little soft on actual facts, just innuendo.  So we are left we he said/she said and that somehow enlightens us or does it just divide us to believe what we want to?

“It’s understandable why moderators would hesitate to throw themselves in the mix. The five moderators selected Friday by the Commission on Presidential Debates surely don’t want their performances to become highly partisan post-debate controversies ― as was the case last election cycle.”

So you are partisan if you are on the side of truth?  If one side lies more than the other and so you have to point out their lies more you are partisan?  Maybe that is where that expression, “The facts have a well-known liberal bias.” But what is the role of the press except to inform, not with shouting contests, but with analysis and facts. Oh wait, I forgot.  It is to entertain so their market share goes up.  I think I am going to throw up. (Source Huffington Post). And we wonder why half the nation is brain dead.  It is because our news media is brain dead.  Time to turn off the news for good.

The media has a vital role to play and the have failed miserably because we are in a new era.  I will leave you this from the article:

And when the New Yorker launched a new fact-checking feature last week, editor David Remnick wrote that “in the scale and in the depth of his lying, Donald Trump is in another category.”

But of course that would be the lying liberal media.  Time to watch FOX News or listen to conservative talk radio where we can get the “real” facts.

Update sort of:

As Congress returned from a seven-week recess on Tuesday, Senate Democrats again stymied a $1.1 billion plan to fight the Zika virus, demanding that Republicans drop an effort to block Planned Parenthood from receiving money to combat the mosquito-borne disease.

Not to worry children are being damaged as we speak, but we still have to defund Planned Parenthood.  They are evil.

Day 4 – Be Afraid America

As the headline in my Sacramento Bee said this morning:  Trump: America First.  What does that mean?  Would that be the bankers and finance guys who have always been first?  Would that be more tax cuts for the wealthy?  Would that tax hikes so we can pay for infrastructure improvements?  I could go on and on.  Mr. Trump is speaking to his followers in code.  It means white people and the status quo first.  And where are the policies so we can see how he will implement America First?  It will be very very good. It will be really really big.  I will get very smart people (like Pence?).  This is what they are all excited about?

The Donalds speech will probably go down as the longest ‘be afraid America’ speech in the history of Republican Politics.  His point was to stir the emotion of fear to cloud rational thinking.  Not hard in that group.  I won’t spend your time fact-checking his speech, it was full of lies, half-truths, and over simplifications.  Just the stuff you want to base policy on, if there is ever going to be any policy we can really examine.  Vox.com did a wonderful job of fact checking and you can read it here.  The speech was basically be afraid America and let Daddy Donald go get the boggy men after he trashes the Constitution.  It was embarrassing.  And the hoopla after was so insincere and incongruent with the speech.  Cower under the table Americans and nominate a giant con man, now drop the balloons and celebrate.  Yeah, we just did the stupidest thing in our whole lives!

Does anyone but me not see the parallels here to the 1930s in Europe where the WWI victors had put Germany in such a financial straight jacket that someone shouting slogans and blaming one class of people could be put into power to cause WWII?  Well you have to hand it to the Donald, he has learned from those days and he now blames various classes of people, not just one.  But the mindless abrogation of reason to promises of a better tomorrow are all the same with the same claim to tyrannical power.

If I were a Republican, I would be ashamed of what that convention represented.  Say what you want about Ted Cruz, and I have, he may be the only one to really understand Donald Trump.  This was a show of intolerance, ignorance, and blind allegiance to a religion, conservatism, THAT DONALD TRUMP DOESN’T EVEN BELIEVE IN.  It was, after all the talk of principles, toadying up to the winner.  It was mindless and mind numbing while talking heads explained to us about the strategy or lack there of, of the convention, the mindlessness and racism were totally ignored.  What is it that Donald Trump will do for America, and saying making it really really great again is not an answer?

Watching these four days has been like a nightmare of endless vanilla ice cream.  No ideas. No real discussion of the real problems that face us.  No uplifting speeches about an America that embraces our diversity.  Just hate, witch burning, and seas of whiteness everywhere, with a press that seemed to miss the obvious.  If this Republican nightmare is our future, one might have to rethink that American exceptionalism thing.  If these are the leaders of tomorrow, we are scrapping the bottom of the barrow.  Mindless irrational emotion over sound policies based upon facts and data.

No, Hillary is not perfect and she may show just how out of touch she is today with a pick of a mainstream Democrat for VP instead of a progressive.  But at least she is addressing our real problems with real solutions that we can touch, feel, and evaluate.  We can even have a rational debate about whether it is the best way forward.  Can you say that about anything that comes out of the Donald’s mouth?  What does it mean to be really really great or really really big?  What does America First really mean?

Oh, and one last thing.  Prior to the Donald’s speech was Peter Theil, billionaire, homosexual, and proud Republican.  Is he brain dead?  Okay, I get billionaire and proud Republican, but does he not get that the religious base of his party hates his guts?  Does he not get that if they could, they would ensure he could not have the rights of most Americans?  It makes you wonder if there is something genetic about partisan choice.

Anyway, thank god it is finally over and maybe they will have someone on the news who is not a fat white man telling us how perfect everything is going and how the Donald has united the Republican Party.  Maybe we might even get real news.  Oh, that would be too much to hope for.

Scary Times, Republican Debates, Democratic Inaction

I watched the Republican Debates and I could not help wondering if we have entered the Twilight Zone.  Facts were optional, misrepresentation was the rule of the day, and no one seemed to mind or care.  At one point when the question about what if you were offered 10 to 1 cuts to tax increases would you vote no, please raise your hands, it was a litmus test for ideological purity.  This could have been an election for the politburo in China with questions to see who was the most communist.  Thinking and original thought were eschewed.  Ideology was being tested and the purist was anointed and the test of ideology to reality was totally ignored.  It just boggles the mind that any of these are serious candidates to lead the country.

I guess what is so strange to me is that a fact check to correct all the misinformation would take longer than the debate itself (SEE FactCheck.org).  Yet neither the moderator or the audience even cared.  When Michele Bachmann indicated that the S&P downgrade was the proof that her stand to not extend the debt ceiling was the correct position, no one pointed out that S&P actually said it was the Michele Bachmann’s (Tea Party) intransigence and their willingness to default on our debt that was the reason for the downgrade.  This was only the most glaring outright lie that was easily shown to be false, yet no one seem to care as long as it supported their warped view of the world and met their ideological test.  We have entered very strange times when we can’t think rationally anymore.

In Democratic land, I listened to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Chairwoman of the Democratic Party, point out that America was seeing the weakness of these candidates and would have to choose Barack Obama.  That is a platform?  The other guys are nuts so pick me?  I don’t think that will fly.  If that is the approach of the Democrats, what will happen is that the vote turn out will be low and the most radical and rabid will win.  Somebody needs to hit the Democrats up the side of the head with a two by four.  It is the economy stupid, get a plan, and don’t come up with another Republican lite approach to cutting.  Come out fighting.  We are sinking here, not just Democrats, but the whole nation as we consort with cartoon characters from the Republican Party on an ideological and religious binge.  One has to wonder where the Obama is, you know the one that pointed out that people in the sticks cling to their guns and religion when they are scared.  He hit the nail right on the head, but we haven’t seen him since.

Meanwhile back at the vineyard, I pick up the paper this morning and see that a federal court has thrown out Obama’s medical reform package ruling that the Federal government cannot force people to buy health insurance.  I guess maybe a public option and collect taxes for it wasn’t such a bad idea, eh Barack?  I won’t try to discuss whether I think this ruling is just more of Republican nonsense or has a basis in real Constitutional limits.  But think about it.  We can’t even do the simplest things to get this country moving.  We are the only industrialized nation who maintains a private insurance (note that is different from providers) system, it is the most inefficient, expensive, least effective system of the industrialized nations, and the Republicans block any attempt to fix it. Actually they block any attempt to fix anything since they like things just the way they are.

Sadly, those of us out here in the hinterlands are waiting for Gigot.  He was a character in a famous play that was going to fix everything (he will save us with religious undertones), and he never shows up.  As the nation becomes even more schizophrenic, listening to Republicans who don’t make sense, hanging on to what is old and worn out, thinking God will give us some guidance at a prayer meeting in Texas, hunkering down and being afraid to try anything new, and the economy falling apart because we refuse to really change anything, we wait for the President to show up.  If he doesn’t, who is it that is going to challenge this slow slide into insanity?  Could it be that it is time to take matters into our own hands, take to the streets?  Wait, I can’t go out then, American Idol is on.