Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Trump Deploys Lies As Distractions



President Donald Trump meets with congressional leaders Monday, Jan. 23, at the White House.

As president, Donald Trump, on his own or through surrogates, persists in lying, and in doing so in ways seemingly designed to draw attention from larger, far more important matters of governance.
Again Monday, Jan. 23, Trump used his first official meeting with congressional leaders to falsely assert millions of “illegal” immigrants had robbed him of a popular vote majority, repeating an obsession with election results that began even before the actual vote count.
In the weeks preceding the Nov. 7 poll, Trump told rally audiences a loss for him would be because the process was “rigged.” In the full official count that preceded the formal Electoral College outcome, he popular vote decisively went to Democrat Hillary Clinton by a margin of almost 2.9 million votes, or 2.1 percentage points, making Trump the third-worst-performing “winner” in American history, behind Rutherford B. Hayes and John Quincy Adams, both of whom won in the Electoral College, but lost the popular vote.



Trump’s assertions of a landslide Electoral College victory was also patently false, and has been proven so by the official record and by numerous fact-checkers. That he continues to dwell on the implications of his popular vote loss, even after taking office as president, should be of deep concern to all Americans, regardless of political ideology.
What do you think? Post your comments below.

Resources:
The New Republic’s take on Trump’s persistent election-outcome fixation is here.
The New York Times report on Trump’s meeting with congressional leaders is here.
The New Yorker’s “alternate facts” summary of Trump’s fixation with “illegal voters” is here.
Popular vote record for America’s presidential candidates is here.
The only registered study of non-citizen voting and its presumed impact is here.
The certified Electoral College results are here.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump Takes Oath as President

In inaugural address, new president sets bleak tone; changes already under way

PBS/YouTube

Donald J. Trump, 70, combative real estate billionaire and former reality TV personality, took the oath of office Jan. 20 as the nation’s 45th president, pledging an “America first” administration.
In contrast to his campaign rhetoric, Trump said, "The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. And I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never, ever let you down."
The speech, which Trump said he wrote himself, also stands in contrast, however, with the hopeful prospects contained in similar remarks by his predecessors, presenting a dark outline of the nation’s ills: Mothers and children trapped in inner-city poverty, rusted factories "scattered like tombstones across the landscape," sweeping crime, gangs and drugs, and a failing educational system. "This American carnage stops right here and stops right now," Trump said.
Inaugural addresses of recent past presidents have generally included upbeat challenges, such as President John F. Kennedy‘s challenge to “fellow Americans”: “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
Even amid war, President’s Franklin D. Roosevelt declared in his first inaugural address, “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Trump’s 16-minute address stressed an administration dedicated to “everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.” In reality, however, he will govern with a Cabinet that is poised to include 17 people with an estimated worth of $9.5 billion to $14 billion – more wealth than one-third of all American households combined.
He spoke of a bold infrastructure plan that would “get our people off of welfare and back to work, rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.” In fact, as more Baby Boomers retire, the rate of participation in the labor force is declining, and will continue to do so for several more years. The nation’s unemployment rate – the percentage of the available work force seeking jobs – declined during the Obama years to stand at 4.7 percent. In all the months since 1948 the median jobless rate was 5.6 percent.
The new president vowed to reinforce old alliances and form new ones, specifically through a united effort against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.” In that statement, Trump revealed his ignorance of the nature of terrorism as a state of mind, not a specific enemy. Terrorism can’t be wiped off the face of the earth unless every human being on the planet is destroyed. The sad reality is “one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter.
Perhaps the larger concern is that Trump said nothing that would reassure the thousands of protesters who demonstrated in Washington and across the nation that he would unify the sharply divided populace and work for social justice for all Americans. A sense of that was revealed on the official White House Web site even before the official inauguration ceremony. The site, www.WhiteHouse.gov, outlined stern Trump policies on criminal justice and immigration – including building that wall. There are no longer any references to LGBTQ rights.
What priorities do you think the incoming Trump administration should address? We welcome your comments below.

Sources
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/20/donald-trump-inauguration-day-president-white-house/96782700/
http://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trumps-presidency-a-look-at-his-proposed-policy-shifts-1484908203
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2017/jan/20/donald-trump-inauguration-the-world-holds-its-breath-live-coverage
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-inauguration-washington-20170120-story.html
Additional reading
A summary of some of the new president’s campaign promises is here.
Trump’s inaugural address, as prepared for delivery, via CNN, is here.
A Pew Research Center review of the Obama presidency’s legacy is here. Fact-checking the state of the economy as a new administration takes over, from Factcheck.org is here.
The official White House site’s new line on social justice issues is here.
CNN provides a look at Inauguration crowd sizes here.


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