Quick Updates

Few really quick comments:

US Tax Cuts:   Headlines in the NYT on Tuesday, sums it up pretty nicely, “Rosy Forecast for Economy Defies Evidence.”   with the lead line, “When President Trump adds his distinctive signature to the tax bill, he will be making a huge bet that the Republican strategy of deep cuts for businesses and wealthy individuals will fuel extraordinary growth across the board.”    He’s termed the tax cuts as “rocket fuel.”   It’s a bet, and there are many doubters including Goldman Sachs, which forecasts a meager 2.5% GDP growth rate,  which will mean big deficits for 2018.    A few House Republicans voted against the  tax bill,  as Republicans are supposed to be conservative minded, and want to reduce not increase the national debt.   The reductions in corporate tax rates are permanent, but all benefits to individuals expire in 2025.

Hezbollah:  Just as my Hezbollah story was posted,  a story published by Politico  slammed the Obama administration for not investigating Hezbollah criminal activities, to push forward with the Iran nuclear deal.   There were many immediate strong denials from officials close to the investigation at the time.  It really got out of control, not about Obama administration, but the fact that a number of newspapers did not immediately make this their lead story with 2″ headlines.   Republicans immediately attacked the press for lack of coverage.      See links at bottom of page.

Backlash on Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem:  VP Mike Pence “2017 Christmas Pilgrimage”  was being planned in October, but it’s not going to happen.   It would have been a nice TV show, made to order for the Republican conservative base.   NYT reports,  “When he first floated the idea of a trip in October, Mr. Pence, an evangelical Christian, vowed to highlight the persecution of Christians at the hands of Islamic State extremists, and he scheduled meeting with several Christian leaders, which was sure to play well with his conservative American base. ‘Christianity now faces an exodus in the Middle East unrivaled since the days of Moses,’ he said in a speech sprinkled with biblical references. ‘Help is on the way.’   NYT reports many leaders both Christian and Arab have cancelled, as they can see this simply as a political stunt.  There are real humanitarian crises in the area, but they relate to the Palestinian refuge camp in Lebanon, and Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.  Not likely stops for Mike Pence – too many Muslims there. See NYT link below.

Mike Pence went to Afghanistan to visit troops over Christmas – which was very successful.

The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn the US for recognizing Jerusalem.    Seven countries sided with the US (Guatemala, Honduras, Togo, Nauru and Palau, Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia).

Fact Check Whoppers of 2017 (Fact Check) and Liar of the Year  (Politifact)

And the winner is,  (drum roll)  President Dald J. Trump    He has not wasted a minute, from inauguration day (crowd size largest in history) to just last week, on the tax bill (tax bill will raise taxes for the rich, my taxes will go up).   And how can we forget, “Obama had the Trump tower bugged.”    Bob Corker wonderful quote, “Donald Trump has difficulty dealing with the truth.”

 

Politifact.com:  Trump is now a 3 time winner of “Lie of the Year”  (2015, 2015 and 2017) for the lie of the year.  He takes the honors for (drum roll) “Russian election interference is a ‘made-up story.'”    He’s called the media’s reporting of Russian interference as “Fake News.”   His attacks are way out of the ballpark as he calls reporters both disgusting and dishonest.

In 2016,  Donald Trump was the winner as one who would promoter of false news stories.   Politifact stated: “Fake news found a willing enabler in Donald Trump, who at times repeated and legitimized made-up reports.”

Candidate Donald Trump did not disappoint in 2015, taking first place again, and this time not for any one single lie, but for a constant stream of false statements as he hit the campaign trail.  “Trump’s 2015 inaccurate statements exhibited range, boldness and a disregard for the truth. By December 2015, we had rated 76 percent of Trump’s claims Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire. No other politician had clocked more falsehoods on our Truth-O-Meter, and our only real contenders for Lie of the Year were Trump’s. We rolled all them into one big trophy in 2015.”

See links below.

Well, have a Merry Christmas.   I’m giving this blog a rest until next year.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Fact Check – Whoppers of 2017

VP Mike Pence Trip to the Middle East is Canceled

Politico:  The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

Washington Post: Former Obama officials criticize Politico story alleging weakness against Hezbollah

Sessions orders review of abandoned Hezbollah-linked drug prosecutions

AG Sessions chose his words carefully.   He’s simply is saying  Department of Justice will review this matter, without addressing whether the Politico story is correct.     This is not the first attempt by Josh Meyers to allege something terribly wrong with Obama’s nuclear deal negotiations.

Much Ado About Nothing: Politico’s Iran Deal Investigation Debunked