Posts tagged ‘trump lies’

Numbers without any Meaning

President DFF was out spreading lies again this weekend, oh, and using totally misleading numbers. I have discussed before numbers like the national debt which have no meaning whatsoever until compared to our earnings. Example: I only have $10,000 is total debt is meaningless unless we know your income to service that debt. If you are jobless, you are in deep kimchi. National debt has no meaning until we know the nation’s GDP (earnings). This discussion is part of my never-ending crusade to promote critical thinking.

As a project manager I was involved in building the Chemical Demilitarization Facility in Tooele Utah. It was a massive concrete facility to take apart chemical munition and then destroy the chemical nerve agents (and blister agents). Progress and schedule are almost everything in construction (along with safety and quality). So in our monthly progress meeting I am looking at a slide that says the contractor placed 100 tons (I am making these number up) tons of concrete and 40 tons of steel this week (Yes these were heavily reinforced walls). Say what? Big numbers, but meaningless unless you know what was scheduled that month. Numbers are always relative to something else to be meaningful. A restaurant rated as a 5 is only meaningful if you know it is a 10 point scale. If it is a 5 point scale, you may pass over something wonderful.

Obvious right? So there is President DFF out spewing numbers this weekend which he thought were really, really big in his limit vernacular, but were either meaningless or misleading because we don’t have the rest of the story. This is probably okay with the Trumpets as anything he says or does is just peachy. But for the rest of us whose brain has not been eatened by some horrible stupid virus, we need the context. So here is some examples from the NYT this morning fact checking the guy:

“ISIS, we have 98% of the land back.”

True, but what has he done in policy or approach other than continue on Obama Administration policies? Nothing. This is one of his trademark tactics, taking credit for other people’s work as you will see in the following.

“So we’ve created three million jobs since Election Day. Nobody thought that was possible.”

Actually it was totally expected since Obama created 2.6 million jobs during the last 13 months of his administration, and he is taking credit for Obama’s job numbers from November through January which was about 500,000 jobs, so in comparison to Obama he only created 2.5 million jobs. We are on the same curve basically with the same slope.  Where is the massive improvement from the tax cut and slashing regulations?  Oh those numbers.  I guess those of us who did not think that was possible were those of us that thought the economy would crash by now under President DFF, but that is coming.

“African-American unemployment two months ago reached the lowest level in history and last month it went up a little bit, right? And I made the mistake, because I didn’t know it went up, and it wasn’t quite as good but it wasn’t historic. So I was in a different month and I said un employment is the lowest level in history. They killed me. Because it was the previous month. But here’s the good news. The new month brought it down to the lowest level. So now it’s the lowest level.”

Same lie.  He is taking credit for a trend that the economy under President Obama was on, decreasing African-American unemployment steadily from 16.4 percent in August 2011 to 7.8 percent in January 2017, right before Mr. Trump took office.  Get the trend (no pun intended).  And one might ask, as part of critical thinking, what has President DFF done for African-Americans?  What policy directly affected them?  None.  Once again he is taking credit for what his supporters would never give President Obama credit for.

Now here is one that is a lie, and should worry you:

“We spent $7 trillion in the Middle East over a 17-year period, $7 trillion as of three months ago”

First it is false. Best estimate we have according to the NYT is $1.88 trillion between 2001 and 2017.  That is still a lot of money, whose spending started by who again?  No, not Obama, Bush.  The $7 trillion number comes from extending out the costs to 2053 and includes veteran’s care, terrorism-prevention spending, etc.  So first, he does not understand the numbers he is spewing, and second if he is going to get that down are we going to cut veteran’s care and terror prevention?

So the conclusion here is that either he does not understand what the numbers mean, or he does not care and just lies to puff up his ego.  But what is really sad is that I would bet it would not be just the Trumpets who did not get these lies, but a large part of the American public that does not think critically.  Time to start.

The World We Live In

How did we get here? Garrison Keillor* gave us this this morning:

The greatest absurdity of our time is You Know Whom, which goes without saying but I will anyway. What his election showed is that a considerable number of people, in order to demonstrate their frustration with the world as it is, are willing to drive their car, with their children in the back seat, over a cliff, smash the radiator, bust an axle and walk away feeling good about themselves. No other president in modern times has been held in contempt by a preponderance of people from the moment he said, “So help me, God.” The playboy blather, the smirk of privilege, the stunning contempt for factual truth — how can the country come together when the president has nothing in common with 98 percent of the rest of us?

I have no answer and I have a hard time with that 46.4% of voters that drove the car over the cliff. Why would you want to be brought together with them? We see where one right-wing nut group tried to create a false story about Roy Moore to discredit the very media we depend on to see what is really going. As the evidence piles up, Alabama is the shinning example of how people are totally out of touch with reality and facts. But out of touch does not really describe it. What seems more in play here is their ability to deny the obvious, to pathologically believe what they want to believe that in the end, will do us all great harm. The Bible as the law giver instead of the Constitution? Oh, and whose interpretation of that contradictory mess of fables? We are insane.

This has always troubled me as a man who tries to operate, no matter how uncomfortable, on facts and data. I would love to believe that salt is good for you, and sugar, especially in ice cream, is health food. But they are not, and if I do not take appropriate measures on consumption, not only will I be a blimp, I will go down in flames long before I am ready. In the same vein, I would love to believe that if we cut taxes, the economy would take off, the treasury coffers would fill up with all the new activity, and wages would all rise. Trouble is, that is not what happens. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the deficit balloons. We know that for a fact, but here we are with a tax bill that may pass that is an abomination. Let’s take away a tax deduction on interest paid on student loans, tax college endowment funds, and remove the deduction for teachers buying school supplies so we can give away money to the wealthy? That is only scratching the surface. How did we get to this insanity?

I have a theory. No surprise there. It has to do with the fact that in the Western World, we are more religious than any other nation. Note how well religion on a national scale has worked for Muslim nations. Yet that seems to be the way we are moving if you listen to Roy Moore or many Republicans. And my theory is simple: If you can suspend your disbelief to believe religion and their nonsense stories as fact, it is a short trip to denying anything you don’t want to believe. I watched Bill Maher’s Religulous again last night and in doing that, voting for President DFF became quite understandable. I strongly recommend you watch this movie again (showing on HBO or maybe Showtime). Try to remove the brainwashing you have had all your life about religion and think Trump. Then all of a sudden you get it.

Maher points out that what people assume as fact, is of course not fact, but hearsay. He points out (and he leaves no religion untouched) that many of their beliefs are nonsense (talking snake), and in my favorite scene points out to worshippers that the whole Joseph/Mary/Virgin birth is a later telling of an earlier pagan version (actually about 32 of them) and the same can be said for the resurrection. They simply don’t believe it. It also says something about them not really examining their religion, which of course is the whole point of faith. So why is that?

Because they need it. They need to believe, so they do. But watching grown men, otherwise intelligent, ignoring their intelligence and skepticism on religion is revealing in the time of Trump who pumps out false narrative after false narrative that is quickly accepted by his followers. Maher, in one of what I think is the most revealing segments (because most of the movie is confronting people in a nice way with their illogic and can be uncomfortable), is with a small trucker congregation at a truck stop church. He says the following:

I think that being without faith is something that is a luxury for people who are fortunate enough to have a fortunate life. You know you go to prison and you hear a guy say, “You know what buddy, I got nothing but Jesus in here.” I can completely understand that. I think not having faith is a luxury some times. You are in a foxhole you probably have a lot of faith. So I get that, but you guys aren’t dumb.You are smart people. How can smart people, how can they believe in a talking snake, people live to 900 years old, and the virgin birth, you know, that is my question.

Now there it is. How can they believe that stuff or worse, a fairy godfather that guides your life when everthing around us tells us that is not true. How can they believe the lies that President DFF puts out? How do they quickly discount real news labeled by him “fake”?

Because they need to and that trumps everything else. In some ways religion has poisoned our minds to rational thinking. We have been indoctrinated from birth in faith-based believing and it is no surprise that in modern times we can once again be thrust into the dark ages by a Donald Trump in an instant, because people are afraid and they need to believe there is a savior. And in that logic comes all the atrocities we have seen throughout history caused by religion, and those President DFF and Republicans are now perpetuating on America and our values.

You know, religion may be a part of us that allowed us to survive in almost impossible situations, not giving up hope, and progressing as a civilization.  For some, it still does, but it could also be what brings us down in a modern world where the opportunities for us to destroy ourselves when we delude ourselves have never been so easy.  Maybe religion has become a dangerous drug. But God Bless America.

*Now he is out for allegations for improper behavior.  Are Men the devil? See yesterdays blog.  Oh let’s wait until we find out what really happened. Certainly we are flawed.


Well, there are no tapes!  Actually, we don’t really know that.  What we know is there may or may not be tapes, but if they exist, they back up Comey’s testimony.  This answer was always a forgone conclusion and no one should be surprised.  The VicLic now pretends he did not start the rumor and one has to wonder for what purpose would you do that but to intimidate, which of course, backfired.  So on one hand you have the Liar in Chief, and on the other you have the Village Idiot in Chief.  Nice to know in one episode he can display both of his major character traits.

Then we have the Republican healthcare bill which is of course a disaster.  It is basically gutting Medicare so if you are old, kiss it goodbye.  And this for a tax cut for the wealthy.  Republicans have no interest in providing healthcare for anyone.  Their social Darwinism just assumes sick people deserve to be sick.  President Obama came out of his cave and Facebooked this:

Former President Barack Obama on Thursday slammed Republicans over the Senate’s legislation to repeal Obamacare, saying it will “do you harm.” Obama defended the Affordable Care Act in a statement posted on Facebook and urged Republicans and Democrats to reach a compromise. “The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill,” Obama said. “It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else.” Republican senators hope to vote on the legislation next week, but at least four have said they would not support it.

Now in this is a truth and a giant lie. The truth is that it is nothing more than a massive transfer of wealth.  The lie is that somehow compromise is possible and this assumption is at the basis of all of the Democrat’s failures.  It has always been President Obama’s Achilles Heel in that he thought rational analysis and dialogue with the other side would produce compromise.  Democrats and Republicans are not going to compromise on health care, EVER!

Up to now Republicans have pushed out Demos and don’t give me the BS that that is what the Demos did in Obamacare.  They had a year to debate and add amendments of which over 100 Republican amendments were added, which they then turned around and voted against the bill.  So quit pretending the other side wants health care.  They want to end Obamacare and get lots of money for tax cuts and they cannot figure out a way to do that and keep their promises on keeping the good stuff and reducing costs.  The system is now collapsing because the Republicans kicked the support out from under the exchanges when they put the whole thing at risk.

And that is the challenge for the Democrats.  They just can’t seem to bring them to say the obvious about Republicans or admit that the only solution to Obamacare is a public option.  If you increase the risk pool you can lower costs by spreading them around, and keep the stuff that costs money.  So mandatory insurance and expand the health exchanges with a public option is the primary solution with cost controls and drug company negotiations thrown in.  It really is that simple and there is no other solution.  But Democrats just can’t seem to say that and Republicans will never allow it.  Ergo, there is no comprised fix.  Why not just draw the line and stand for something?

That brings me to my final topic of which the healthcare debate is such a giant example of what is wrong with Democratic Party.  Let me start with this:  Pelosi has to go.  So do most other leaders in the Democratic Party.  They have led us nowhere.  I personally think Nancy is a great American and a soldier, but, and this is where the healthcare debate comes in, who do we see attacking the Republican Senate health plan. Old people. And what do they offer.  Well they don’t want to alienate anyone so single payer is never going to come up.  But it is the only thing that will work and they just look feckless and out of touch.

The Democratic Party needs a new direction and a real strategic plan*.  That plan has to be built not on pandering to different voters in different regions who love coal, or want white power, or who is LGBT, but what we believe in and what works.  Either we believe in global warming and solutions or not. It is not some halfway for coal states. Either we believe in a woman’s right to choose, or we don’t.  There is not middle ground over there.  We are already standing on the middle ground on this one, as people have a right to choose.  No one is forced to do anything.  We either believe in progressive ideas about education, healthcare, and the economy or not.  That middle ground everyone talks about where we all get along is Republican Lite that has failed over and over and over and over again.

The silver lining in the losses last week, are that Democrats got another wakeup call after they ignored the one on Hillary.  In the meantime, the Republicans read the election as a referendum on the VicLic so now instead of holding back, they are all in.  It sets up the winning environment if Democrats can get their heads out of their ass.  First come out with a basic Democratic Bill of Rights for what we believe in.  Based upon that, what is our strategic plan to achieve it? Second, bring forward new leadership who are your vibrant speakers for that economic and social plan (Warren and others?).  Until you do that, it is lipstick on a pig.  Meanwhile, hanging on to the VicLic is the road to a disaster environmentally, economically, and in World politics.  It is coming.  So if Democrats finally figure out who they are and get ready, we could really turn this thing around.

*Note that in Georgia and other races the Republicans ran agains Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats.  “Really?  You would vote for a DEMOCRAT?”

The Democrat they are describing and the ones I hear about from conservatives where I live don’t exist.  It is the myth of a Democrat crafted so carefully over 30 years or more as a feckless lover of big government that wants to tax, tax, tax, and spend, spend, spend.  If you examine the real record, it has been Republicans who have caused the greatest increases in our deficit (if you are afraid of the deficit), and the economy has done better under Democrats.  Those are just facts, but that is not the fantasy Democrat that the Republicans created to bring Big Government into your lives.

It plays right into the healthcare debate when everyone forgets how the market place has screwed us over the years.  It is time to take that false construct head on and really paint Republicans for who they are, using Government to increase economic inequality.  Democrats so far don’t seem to know how to take that on yet, at least the old ones.  They need a face lift and it can’t be done under old leadership that has too much history.