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Day to Day Politics: The Trump Report, No 2

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Author’s note: The arrival of a blatant liar, one who has taken it to unprecedented levels, as the 45th President of the United States necessitates close scrutiny. The Trump Report will appear regularly in Day to Day Politics.

1 I have progressively published the cabinet appointments Donald Trump has made with the comment that we have reached the point in politics where TRUTH is something that politicians invent and convince us to believe rather than TRUTH based on factual evidence, argument and reason.

In this edition of the Trump Report I was going to list a few more when I received the following from an American friend Ben Williamson:

2 “With every new cabinet pick Trump makes, I’m more and more determined his goal is the total collapse of government.”

“What? American kids are falling behind in education? No problem! I’ll appoint a woman to run it who has zero experience in education, founded the most well-known pyramid scheme in the world, and hates public education. She did give me a bunch of money after all.”

“What? Because of budget cuts, only one out of four families that qualify for HUD actually get placed in a home? No problem! I’ll appoint a guy to run it who thinks people in government housing are all lazy moochers!”

“What? Republican governors are getting caught knowingly allowing corporations to pollute and poison their constituents? No problem! I’ll appoint a guy to run the EPA who is an anti-environmental extremist who hates the EPA and the Clean Air and Water Act.”

“What? There’s a serious problem with racism in law enforcement? No problem! I’ll just appoint as my top law enforcement official a well-documented racist from the most racist state in the nation.”

“What? Lenders like Goldman Sachs robbed billions from the American people? No problem! I’ll appoint one of their top executives as Treasury Secretary to handle ALL your money.”

“What? People are taking notice of the gargantuan conflicts of interest my appointments have? No problem! I’ll just hire a bunch of former military leaders who are extreme ideologues to use the military to dissolve the government and install me as Emperor!”

One of those military leaders he refers to must be John Flynn. Let’s do a quick rundown on Flynn.

Paul Waldman writing for Fairfax said:”Flynn was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, was fired by President Barack Obama for a number of reasons, including mismanagement. His staff got so used to him believing things that were obviously false that they began referring to them as ‘Flynn Facts’. Nevertheless, he had a complete certainty in his own rightness.”

“Flynn believes that Islam is “a malignant cancer” that is actually “a political ideology” that “hides behind this notion of it being a religion.” He has tweeted that “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL” while posting an anti-Islamic video and asking people to “please forward this to others.” On his Twitter feed, he has a propensity for spreading fake news stories from the right-wing fever swamps.”

Thanks for that, Ben.

3 On other matters you would have to agree with Trumps tweet about the cost of the new Air Force One:

“Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!”

Whoops, then we find out they never had an order in the first place.

4 On Foreign policy he had this to say:

“We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with,” the president-elect said on Tuesday night in Fayetteville, near Fort Bragg military base in North Carolina.”

“Instead our focus must be on defeating terrorism and destroying Isis, and we will.”

Can someone explain that to me?

5 This also made big news in the US:

He stepped from his plane and an impromptu gust of wind caught his tie revealing that the front and back portions were held together by sticky tape./

Only in America.

6 Donald Trump speaks differently and a whole new concept of how you react to what he says seems to be evolving in the media. One that forgives the absence of fact. One example is that you should take him seriously, not factually.

Or this from Richard Wolffe:

“This is the problem with the media. You guys took everything that Donald Trump said so literally,” he said. “The American people didn’t. They understood it. They understood that sometimes – when you have a conversation with people, whether it’s around the dinner table or at a bar – you’re going to say things, and sometimes you don’t have all the facts to back it up.”

I’m sorry but around the dinner table or at the bar people generally accept that you are often not in procession of the facts. But we are talking about the President Elect of the United States. Changing the way we communicate to justify the President Elect’s  frequent lying is not justifiable under any circumstances.

7 When asked why he doesn’t appoint people of “modest means” to his Cabinet he replied, “I want people who made a fortune”.

8 The CIA revelation that there is evidence to show that the Russians interfered directly in the election to advantage Trump raises the question would he have won without it.

My thought for the day.

“Have we reached the point in politics where TRUTH is something that politicians have convinced us to believe rather than TRUTH based on factual evidence, arguments and assertions?”

 

17 comments

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  1. wam

    A truly great giggle today, Lord.
    He has hit one ‘truth’. The rabbott’s warplanes are crap. (Wonder if he sold shares before he sent the tweet? Would that be insider trading?)

    Can’t wait for his assessment of a diesel submarine deal 250% dearer than the other two tenders, based on miniature modifications to a full size nuclear submarine which is still on the plans and not expected to be built till 2019??

  2. Max Gross

    Quite soon now we will stop giggling, both in the USA and here in Australia. Anti-fact, anti-science, anti-intellectualism is no laughing matter

  3. Jock McLaren

    Max Gross: Totally agree. This is dangerous. That’s spelled DANGEROUS.

  4. Michael Taylor

    Max, I can’t remember the source but I saw an article yesterday about the Republicans introducing a bill which, among other things, would make it mandatory for a school teacher to be armed with a gun. Holy crap!

    It is currently illegal to take a weapon to a sporting event. They want that lifted too. I can’t imagine the consequences of allowing a weapon to be taken to a game of football. One would easily assume that a person would only take, say, a machine gun to the footy for one of two reasons: to use it to kill people, or to use it against another person who is killing people.

    Around 33,000 Americans die each year from shootings. Watch that number skyrocket if that bill is passed, if not now, but in Trump’s America.

  5. king1394

    Our own Liberals also believe that having made a lot of money indicates high quality in a decision-maker. While people are judged to be more capable than others based on their material possessions and ownership of property and businesses, we will continue to be led and governed by people whose main interest is money

  6. James O'Neill

    John, I generally agree with your analysis, but have two caveats. Regarding your point 8, there is zero evidence for that CIA claim, and the FBI have distanced themselves from it. That led to the ridiculous claim that the FBI are also under Putin’s thumb! Really, you can’t make this stuff up. Incidentally, read former UK ambassador Craig Murray’s comments on the CIA’s claim. He has been widely quoted, for example on Zero Hedge and Washington’s Blog. What I suspect is really going on here is a coup d’etat, aiming to deprive Trump of the presidency.
    My second point is that as horrible as Trump is, you need to mention that Hillary Clinton is no better and in some respects even worse. She is also a proven liar, corrupt and a warmonger. The latter fact alone should lead Australia to distance itself from the US as quickly as it can. Primrose Riordan in this morning’s AFR quotes a very well connected Chinese businessman on China’s view as to where our national interests really lie. We would do well to heed the warning.

  7. MichaelW

    As the old saying goes: How do you know when a politician has made a gaffe? They told the truth.

  8. John Lord

    I also read that Michael and I was horrified.

  9. wam

    The gun lobby needs to be tested. The excesses of the gun laws will eventually get so bad that the 10000 deaths that are ignorable now will become news even under trump.
    ps Lord
    Aug 2014:
    Under concealed gun laws:
    Hansen, without informing the school or parents, carries her pink handgun, Lucy, with her every day to each of the 14 schools in which she teaches. The 26-year-old teacher works with elementary, middle and high school students with hearing impairments in the Granite School District

  10. Aortic

    Gore Vidal again. ” anyone considering running for President of the United States, should immediately by definition be disqualified from doing so.” What he said.

  11. Marty McWreckanoid

    Despite the ridiculousness of Trump, I hope you’re not inferring that previous presidents told ‘the truth’.
    Oh, and I doubt that there is any veracity in the CIA’s assertion that the Russian gov’t had a hand in skewing election results. It’s the CIA, for f#@k’s sake.

  12. Jexpat

    @ James O’Neill:

    The Washington Post (basedon… unnamed ‘sources’) has declared Zero Hedge to be a Russian propaganda site… along with dozens of other independent news organisations. Sadly. that’s not satire or sarcasm.

    For more on this, here’s a partial repost of links and such put together on IA.

    Hypocrisy Behind the Russian-Election Frenzy

    The madness sweeping Official Washington and the mainstream media about alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election is pervaded by breathtaking hypocrisy.

    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/12/13/hypocrisy-behind-russian-election-frenzy

    Note: Anonymous ‘sources’ at the Washington Post (an outfit with a reputation for rather persistent dishonesty- even about basic arithmetic) has deemed the above author’s independent news service to be a Russian propaganda orga- one of dozens of progressive independent sites so deemed. He outlines this here: http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/11/28/washington-posts-fake-news-guilt

    Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has this to say: http://fair.org/home/rather-than-exposing-propaganda-wapo-shows-how-its-done/

    Point by point analysis from Glen Greenwald also clears several things up:

    Anonymous Leaks to the WashPost About the CIA’s Russia Beliefs Are No Substitute for Evidence

    https://theintercept.com/2016/12/10/anonymous-leaks-to-the-washpost-about-the-cias-russia-beliefs-are-no-substitute-for-evidence/

    In addition, Craig Murray claims to know the individual who leaked the Podesta emails to Assange, and writes about that here: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/comment-page-1/#comments

    (I cannot vouch for Mr. Murray’s credibility)

  13. James O'Neill

    @Jexpat. The Washington Post used to be a good newspaper. In recent years it has accelerated downhill and even faster since the Amazon billionaire took over. Their list of websites that are either Putin’s puppets or Putin’s dupes or worse is a disgrace to journalism. They seemed to have backtracked a little on that of late.
    It is clear that the Washington establishment do not accept the Trump victory and what we are witnessing is in effect a silent coup designed to prevent him from ever assuming office.
    There is a parallel campaign going on and that is to discredit the alternative media. It appears to be softening the public up for some form of control over the alternative media because they have exposed the msm for the BS artists they so patently are.
    I know Mr Murray and can vouch for his integrity and credibility even though we often disagree.

  14. JeffJL

    Hey James O’Neill. Any comment about the FBI now they have agreed with the CIA that Russia was involved in the hacking of the DNC server?

    As to your second point. You forgot to add she is a woman.

  15. James O'Neill

    JeffJL See Jexpat’s comment above. Quite apart from Assange and Murray debunking the claims, there are a number of technical analyses available that also discredit ‘the Russians did it’ meme. I have no more faith in the FBI than I do in the CIA.
    Your reference to my second point: what possible relevance is that?
    You might like to reflect on the fact that all this hoohaa about the Russians alleged behaviour deflects people from examine ing the content of the emails, which show a corrupt and undemocratic electoral procedure, with HRC at the thick of it.
    The second point you might like to reflect upon: what do you think the NSA spends its days doing?

  16. JeffJL

    So if the FBI back you side of the story up you will use them, but if they go against you you poo poo them. You don’t think that this makes you a cherry picker of facts?

    Were dirty tricks used. Undoubtedly. Without having access to the GOP emails at the same time to compare you cannot say that one side is better than the other. To claim that HRC would be a worse President than DT requires a special person to neglect all the positives about HRC and also neglect all the negatives about DT.

    Regards the NSA. Squirrel! A red herring. A distraction to the points. Another tactic used by people who would rather cherry pick their facts rather than look at the full picture.

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