For those of us who know facts matter and that Donald Trump simply can not tell the truth–not even in his inaugural address —comes the following. It is simply stunning to me that so many were so blind to the con artist who asked for their vote. I thought of the gullible today as the horse-rot spewed forth.
Crime in America
Trump: “ . . . And the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”
Trump: “You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.”
Fact-check: While Trump won the electoral college, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. Photos from Trump’s inaugural speech seem to suggest that several hundred thousand fewer people turned up to watch his swearing-in.
Trump: “We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.”
Fact-check: In terms of overall gross domestic product, the United States is still the wealthiest country in the world at over $18 trillion, according to World Bank data. While median income and wages have stagnated, U.S. stock market indices are at record highs, and U.S. Treasuries remain among the safest and most stable assets in the world. The U.S. unemployment rate is under 5 percent—the lowest level in a decade.
Trump: “Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.”
Fact-check: Economists are not so sure. According to a Moody’s Analytics report released on Friday, Trump’s trade, immigration, and tax proposals would dramatically decrease U.S. economic output and result in the loss of 3.5 million jobs. Similarly, Capital Economics estimates that Trump’s proposed 45 percent tariff on Chinese goods would result in a 10 percent increase in U.S. retail prices.
Trump: “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have bore the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed.”
Fact-check: Congressional compensation levels have remained stagnant since 2009, according to the Congressional Research Service. Most members of Congress and delegates in Washington make $174,000—though congressional leaders do receive greater compensation. Trump’s own administration, meanwhile, is stocked full of a record number of billionaires, worth a combined $14 billion. Trump’s proposed tax plan would create a windfall for the top 0.1 percent, boosting the after-tax income of the richest Americans by nearly 20 percent. The median household is expected to see a benefit of just 5 percent.
Less than an hour after Trump took the oath of office the White House’s webpage on climate change disappeared, the latest sign that the new administration will divert resources – and attention – from the issue.
The WhiteHouse.gov site where several pages are now changing or altogether disappearing — including a page on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.
The Obama administration introduced the White House LGBT page to highlight major legislative achievements, historic court victories and important policy changes for gay and transgender people. The page also shined a spotlight on certain campaigns for gay rights such as the “It Gets Better” campaign to help those in the LGBT community struggling with thoughts of suicide.
That campaign, as of this writing, still redirects to an archived “Strengthening Civil Rights” page. But, of course, all of that is subject to change. However, any mention of LGBT is now gone.
We thought about a way our expressions could be made to our neighborhood and those who pass our way during this dark time for our nation as Donald Trump takes the oath of office. On Thursday we flew a black and white American flag.
Before sunrise this morning a pure black flag was raised at our home to display the feelings we share with so many others in this land who are most uncertain, and in many cases fearful, about the nativist, xenophobic, and unconstitutional bluster coming from the Donald Trump administration.
It is a dark period for this nation.
Thought all my thinking friends might need something lighter to read.
President Ulysses S. Grant ran into some issues during his pair of inaugural ceremonies. At his first inauguration in 1869, he asked guests to kindly check their coats. After the ceremony was over, the “illiterate” coat check attendants couldn’t read the tickets, according to historians. Four years later, the coat check wasn’t necessary. Grant’s staff neglected to heat the room where the inauguration ball would take place. It was the coldest day on record for a March inauguration, at negative 15 to 30 degrees with wind-chill. Birds were supposed to fly in honor of the celebration, but they died — falling on the heads of guests as they danced.
As a reader of history I have always thought it unseemly when President John Adams left town in the early morning hours prior to the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson. There is a grand pageantry that marks our nation as special from its beginning with the transfer of power. I hate to see that undermined.
But having said that there is also no other time like the one we now are embarking upon. When a candidate does not respect the tone and style of running for president or demeans whole segments of the electorate then that too undermines the alliance between those who wish to govern and those governed. The reaction to that campaign and the lack of presidential character since the election has made for the place we now find ourselves. I find it more comforting over the past months to read of the past.
As Trump takes the oath of office he starts with not the faith or support of a large segment of the nation. His fav/unfav numbers stand at 38% positive, 48% negative (vs. Obama’s 67%-13% in Jan. 2009, Bush 43’s 50%-30%, and Bill Clinton’s 64%-16% in 1993). In addition, only 44% approve of Trump’s transition handling (vs. 71% for Barack Obama in Jan. 2009 and 77% for Bill Clinton in Dec. 1992). In other words, there’s little to suggest a long or rosy honeymoon for Trump.
Factor in the major concerns that arise from the Emoluments Clause and the meddling and influence of Russia on the election of Trump and it is clear that even Republicans are going to be seeking answers.
More immediately, there are questions about whether Trump’s team is ready to take over the sprawling federal government. Many agencies will head into the weekend with vacancies for key positions and a perceived lack of direction from transition officials.
His Cabinet nominees have also run into headwinds amid allegations of financial improprieties, physical violence, and concerns about preparation for top-level jobs.
While most president-elects try to bind the wounds of a contentious campaign season Trump traveled in the opposite direction and stoked more anger against him. Consider that Obama threw an inaugural ball in honor of opponent John McCain in 2009 and it is easy to see the failure of Trump in trying to make inroads with those he offended.
Rough and bumpy is the only outcome we can expect from this day.
Each outgoing president writes a letter and leaves it in the Oval office desk for the new incoming leader of this nation. I have always been interested to know what words of wisdom one caretaker of America gives the next one. Now we have more insight.
Now for the first time, the letters written by President George W. Bush to President Barack Obama in 2009, and the one Bush received from President Bill Clinton in 2001, have been released to the public.
The full text of Bush’s letter to Obama:
Jan 20, 2009
Congratulations on becoming our President. You have just begun a fantastic chapter in your life.
Very few have had the honor of knowing the responsibility you now feel. Very few know the excitement of the moment and the challenges you will face.
There will be trying moments. The critics will rage. Your “friends” will disappoint you. But, you will have an Almighty God to comfort you, a family who loves you, and a country that is pulling for you, including me. No matter what comes, you will be inspired by the character and compassion of the people you now lead.
God bless you.
The full text of Clinton’s letter to Bush:
Today you embark on the greatest venture, with the greatest honor, that can come to an American citizen.
Like me, you are especially fortunate to lead our country in a time of profound and largely positive change, when old questions, not just about the role of government, but about the very nature of our nation, must be answered anew.
You lead a proud, decent, good people. And from this day you are President of all of us. I salute you and wish you success and much happiness.
The burdens you now shoulder are great but often exaggerated. The sheer joy of doing what you believe is right is inexpressible.
My prayers are with you and your family. Godspeed.
Every single day since the election there are two or three times when James will say the following words as I make breakfast, or brush my teeth before bed, or pour afternoon coffee. “‘You have to hear this.”
Then he reads a report that stops me from whatever I was doing to either utter a disdainful response or smirk and laugh at the simple minded. If you ever wonder why so many Americans laugh at conservatives well read on. And if laughing at these folks makes us elitist…..well, hell yes, then call us elitist as we sure do not want to be like them.
The absolute stupidity of the incoming Trump Administration has no basement. It just keeps getting worse and worse. What does this story say about the IQ of Rick Perry–a conservative Republican who wanted to get rid of this federal agency? He did not even know what the agency did! And he still did not know when accepting to be the secretary!
When President-elect Donald J. Trump offered Rick Perry the job of energy secretary five weeks ago, Mr. Perry gladly accepted, believing he was taking on a role as a global ambassador for the American oil and gas industry that he had long championed in his home state.
In the days after, Mr. Perry, the former Texas governor, discovered that he would be no such thing — that in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal.
Two-thirds of the agency’s annual $30 billion budget is devoted to maintaining, refurbishing and keeping safe the nation’s nuclear stockpile; thwarting nuclear proliferation; cleaning up and rebuilding an aging constellation of nuclear production facilities; and overseeing national laboratories that are considered the crown jewels of government science.
“If you asked him on that first day he said yes, he would have said, ‘I want to be an advocate for energy,’” said Michael McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist who advised Mr. Perry’s 2016 presidential campaign and worked on the Trump transition’s Energy Department team in its early days. “If you asked him now, he’d say, ‘I’m serious about the challenges facing the nuclear complex.’ It’s been a learning curve.”