He said/she said …

If the real thing don’t do the trick
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn, burn, burn, burn, burn to the wick
Oooo, Barracuda, oh yeah

Lyrics from Barracuda by Heart

He said, she said and then the video said.   And the video showed the truth as plain as day.

I am talking about the recent spat between Representative Frederica Wilson and White House chief of staff,  General John R. Kelly.    The statement by Kelly was that Wilson bragged how she secured $20 million for a South Florida FBI building in 2015 through twisting Obama’s arm.   It would have been another dumb and distracting feud, except the speech had been video taped by the Sentinel Sun.  What Representative Wilson had done was just the opposite – she acknowledged the help of Senator Marco Rubio,  Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Curbelo, all Republicans, and she never took credit for the funding of the building. In fact, she wasn’t even elected to Congress when funding for the building occurred.

The building was named after two slain FBI agents. Wilson did take credit for approval of the name of the building just days before the dedication.

Pretty mean spirited stuff from the White House.   Lesson to General Kelly- don’t escalate a feud, if it means crossing over between what is an opinion to what is a lie.  For this one, I don’t need any research, it’s all on the video.  See link:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-reg-wilson-kelly-tape-of-speech-20171020-story.html

It may be pretty small, but it looks like the White House is lining up on the side of the lie instead of the truth.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

Advertisements

Most recent lies and half-truths

Summary of President Trump,  Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Nikki Haley more important  lies and half truths in the past  4 weeks.

Trump mislabels Obamacare subsidy as gift to insurers

 Mostly False by Politifact.com.   

This piece of Obamacare was designed to protect lower-income families from hefty out-of-pocket costs. The policies they bought on the Obamacare exchanges came with deductibles and co-pays, but instead of paying those themselves, the insurance companies do.Who gets the money? The doctors, hospitals and labs that provide the services.  At the end of the day, the federal payment covers the insurer for footing the bill…  Every health care economist we reached said if the companies don’t gain any cash from the transaction, then there is no gift, no bailout or whatever term one might use. The one grain of truth is that anything that makes insurance more affordable increases sales, even if by a small amount.

“We’re the highest developed nation taxed in the world.”  Donald Trump

False by Politifact.com

Looking at tax collections relative to the size of the U.S. economy and the number of people, the numbers tell a different story. The United States ranks 28th in tax revenues as a percentage of GDP and 13th on a per-capita basis. Trump said his view is “exactly correct.” In fact, it is exactly incorrect. We rate this claim False.

“And I think that his [Trump’s]  engagement with Congress is something that never happened under President Obama. They were never allowed to debate it. They were never allowed to discuss it. So, now Congress is going to be fully engaged on the threats of Iran.” Nikki Haley,  US Ambassador to the UN.

Mostly False by Politifact.com

Haley wrongly says Congress had no input on Iran nuclear deal… Senators considered a separate, and ultimately unsuccessful, measure that would have given them the the power to block the agreement through a resolution of disapproval. A procedural vote on the resolution fell short of the 60 votes needed to override a Democratic filibuster. Despite the resolution’s failure, by passing the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, Congress was able to have some authority and say in the final agreement. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who spearheaded the bill, has touted the legislation for taking “power back from the president” and forcing the executive office to be transparent.

“I think if you look to Chicago, where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year, they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there.” White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Pants on Fire by Politifact.com. There was a brief time between 2008 and 2010 — the window during which Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban had been invalidated but Chicago’s still stood — where that might have been true. But federal court rulings effectively undid city and state laws severely restricting gun use and ownership in the Chicago. When it comes to the concealed carry of weapons, Chicago has less authority to impose limitations than do many other large U.S. cities.

(Personal note-  this is recycled  Trump BS used in the 2016 election.  It was untrue then, as it is now.)

  “Ending the estate tax would “protect millions of small businesses and the American farmer.” Donald Trump

Pants on Fire by Politifact.com.  For 2017, the Tax Policy Center estimated, based on past tax data and modeling, that 11,310 individuals will have estates big enough to file an estate tax return. “After allowing for deductions and credits, 5,460 estates will owe tax,” the center concluded. “Over two-thirds of these taxable estates will come from the top 10 percent of income earners and close to one-fourth will come from the top 1 percent alone.”

Trump Misleads on High U.S. Drug Costs,  Factcheck.org

Prescription drug experts say it is broadly accurate that branded prescription drug prices are higher in the U.S. than other countries, though they say Trump is stretching, or cherry-picking, when he says prices are “double, triple, quadruple” what people pay in other countries.

Trump says this means, “as usual, the world is taking advantage of the United States.” But experts say the U.S. is responsible for the high cost of drug prices, not other countries.
“It is more the drug companies that are taking advantage of the U.S.” Glen T. Schumock, director of the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomic Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago, told us via email. “We allow the drug companies to do this by not regulating drug prices. Other counties are just doing what makes sense, and what we should do.

Fact-checking President Trump’s speech on the Iran deal,  Washington Post Fact Checker, October 14, 2017

The outright lies and half truths are pretty astonishing.  See link:

Fact-checking President Trump’s speech on the Iran deal

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Trump’s Malicious Lies

He has attacked FBI Director Comey as a leaker of classified information, the acting Director as  Andrew McCabe as corrupt,  the head of the Justice Department, Jeff Sessions and Rob Rosenstein of using poor judgment in the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.   His latest attacks have been against Robert Mueller,  accusing him of a unwarranted  investigation of the Russian meddling in the 2016 and ignoring the crimes of Hillary Clinton in dealing with the Russians.

Although the harshest attacks come from Trump himself on the actions of the Justice Department,  in other areas, Trump is touting the accomplishments of the Justice Department, particularly the war on drugs, and crack down on human trafficking and illegal immigration, without any mention of Jeff Sessions.

The head of the Justice Department and FBI can be fired at a moments notice without cause.  Director Jim Comey learned he had been fired from CNN news broadcast.  Andrew McCabe is no longer in the direct line of fire.   The new FBI Director, Christopher Wray began his job yesterday.   If he feels that Hillary Clinton broke the law during 2016, he is free to investigate this activity.  Investigations can be closed, then re-opened.

I did not include attacks on the Washington Post and the New York Times from their reporting.  I previously posted my reasons why the New York Times reporting should be trusted, and that the newspaper is thriving, not failing.

The most serious accusations are against Robert Mueller, because Trump will use this as a pretext to remove him.  Jeff Sessions is far from being weak. Here’s the headline from the front page of the New York Times, “Under Attack, Justice Dept. Pushes Ahead, Quietly Carrying Out Trump’s Agenda.”  It goes on how Jeff Sessions is at work by 6:15 am, and starts his day on a treadmill, and a bowl of instant oatmeal in the microwave.  He hand-washes the bowl.

So, what were the malicious lie told by Trump?  It is the uranium story.  All fact checkers I know (Snopes.com, Politifact.com and factcheck.org find the essential details in  Trump’s narrative are false.    Here it is (snopes.com):

Allegations of a “quid pro quo” deal giving Russia ownership of one-fifth of U.S. uranium deposits in exchange for $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation are unsubstantiated.

No US uranium can be exported to Russia, not before the deal and not afterwards.  Russia may have an interest in US uranium mines, but Russia doesn’t get any uranium from the US.   The “quid pro quo” is simply a polite way of saying that Russia bought Hillary’s support, by slipping 145 million to the Clinton Foundation.    The whole story falls apart because the bulk of the  contributions were made in 2007, long before the buyout of Uranium One.

The whole uranium story should have fallen apart long ago because the timeline is all wrong.  The Snopes article states:

Of the $145 million allegedly contributed to the Clinton Foundation by Uranium One investors, the lion’s share — $131.3 million — came from a single donor, Frank Giustra, the company’s founder. But Giustra sold off his entire stake in the company in 2007, three years before the Russia deal and at least 18 months before Clinton became secretary of state.

Nobody is above the law.  Hillary Clinton, her staff and the Clinton Foundation must play by the rules.   I particularly like the way Snopes concluded the piece:

An enormous volume of interest and speculation surrounds the workings of the Clinton Foundation, which is to be expected. Given the enormous sums of money it controls and the fact that it is run by a former U.S. president who is married to a possible future U.S. president, the foundation deserves all the scrutiny it gets, and more.

At the same time, for the sake of accuracy it’s crucial to differentiate between partisan accusations and what we actually know about it — however little that may be.

This was published in October 2016, as Trump was storming the country with “Crooked Hillary” narratives.  Now the attacks have turned to Robert Mueller, as enemy number one.   He is directed to investigate Russian interference into the 2016 election, so he really can’t extend his investigation to a contribution received in 2007 by  Guistra  to the Clinton Foundation as payoff for a decision after he no longer had a stake in the company.   Whole narrative is really flaky.

I was very glad that no pardon was given to Hillary Clinton nor anyone in the White House or Clinton’s foundation before Obama’s departure.

Trump is trashing everyone who isn’t in the White House.  At least, isn’t currently in the White House. The heat is definitely on as Robert Mueller has convened a grand jury to examine criminal activities associated with Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

The latest Quinnipiac Polls show that most Americans do not trust Trump.  I wonder why?

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Fact check:  West Virginia Rally  (much more fiction than fact

Snopes.com  Russian to Judgment

(note the Brietbart connection, with Clinton Cash book in 2015)

West Virginia Rally- Trump: Politifact.com West Virginia Rally

The special counsel “should be looking at the … uranium (Hillary Clinton) sold that’s now in the hands of very angry Russians.”

Politifact on Uranium story

New York Times, 2015 article on the buyout transaction. 

 

 

 

How much of what Trump says is true?

All politicians lie.
All politicians lie.
All politicians lie.

Ok, I said it 3 times, just so you remember.    Other officials lie too.   The White House Press Secretary, the leaders in Congress,  news commentators, of which there way too many these days, candidates running for office, both Republicans and Democrats – they are all  liars.

So why should I single out Donald Trump?   I really didn’t.  The fact checking sites, factcheck.org and politifact.com find nearly every weak, that he has lied to the American people, on very important issues.

The most recent example is his speech yesterday, on the health care bill to be voted on in the Senate, where he stated:

“Obamacare has broken our health care system. It’s broken. It’s collapsing.”

Politifact responds, “As for the individual insurance market, the part of Obamacare that Trump has said before is in a death spiral, we have rated statements like that False.”

Link:  http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/jul/24/fact-checking-donald-trumps-health-care-speech/

Trump also was caught in a huge lie that his plan about allowing insurers to sell across state lines, would bring insurance premiums by 60 to 70%.  He made up this stuff!

Link: http://www.factcheck.org/2017/07/selling-insurance-across-state-lines/

It is true that both Democrats and Republicans have told huge lies during the health care debate.   House leader Nancy Pelosi stated that hundreds of thousands of people will die under Trump’s health care bill.  Politifact concludes that the relationship between health care policies and mortality rates is really difficult to determine,  and Pelosi (and Bernie Sanders)  distorted the research in this area by saying many people will  die as a result of Trump Care.

Link:  http://www.factcheck.org/2017/07/deaths-health-care-bill/

The Russian investigation has produced all sorts of terrible lies from Trump, including allegations of criminal activity by FBI Director Comey, as follows from factcheck.org.

President Donald Trump made the unfounded accusation that former FBI Director James Comey illegally “leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media.” His claim appears to have been based on a news story that makes no such determination.

Link: http://www.factcheck.org/2017/07/trumps-unfounded-leak-claim/

And likely confirmed by Jay Sekulow, a frequent guest on Fox News and part of Trump’s legal defense team.   Way too much poop for me.

Now, perhaps I digress.  Back to the main question-  How much of what Trump says is true?   Politifact checked 427 statements of “fact” made by Trump, and determined 5% or 20 of these statements were true.  Yikes!  Of the other 95%,  12% were mostly true, and 15% were half true.   This leaves  an astonishing 68% on the side of mostly false, false and pants on fire.

Link: http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/

I always liked Patrick Moynihan’s quote: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

Do Republicans lie more than Democrats?   From a quick sampling of July’s reviews, it seems so, at least as of July 24, 2017:

Link: http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/

The worse of the bunch is not Trump or any other politician within Washington.   It’s  bloggers, specifically websites which broadcast, via email and twitter, a load of fictional stories.   These are lumped into the category of bloggers.

If a news story came from the Organization dedicated to the  Responsible and Truthful Analysis of the New (just for example, don’t Google this name),  and it can’t be collaborated with the mainstream media news, it is probably made up.   The fact checkers will help you filter out the nonsense.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

Trump’s Problems

It isn’t the media.  Every president has to deal with unfavorable commentary.  Obama had Fox News and a massive conservative radio and print media which hated him.

It isn’t leakers.    If the story inside the White House is very different from the public statements, this news gets out. People talk.

It isn’t the Democrats, now officially labeled the “obstructionists.”   They have the right to give an alternative viewpoint.   The give and take between Republicans and Democrats was necessary to pass many important laws.  This helps out government from being too liberal or conservative.

Trump’s scandals at the core are basically poor decisions.  Too much done spontaneously, because he believes he doesn’t need others.  And his ego is frightening.  It started with embarrassing comments made at the CIA Headquarters  on how big the crowd was at the inauguration,  then the disastrous travel ban leading to the firing of the Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, then to the firing of Comey,  sharing to top secrets with the Russians and the General Flynn scandal.

Trump campaigned non-stop, smearing Hillary Clinton as a crook, for her mishandling of emails and the attack of the embassy in Benghazi.   Plus, everything one could find in the tabloid press.

And we are only about a third of the way of the first of four years. Kind of scary.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Acting Presidential

The recent tweets on potential wire tapping of the Trump Towers by Obama, was shameful. Even Fox News recognized Trump’s reaction was wrong, because no president has the authority to order wiretaps.  It must come from the Justice Department, and be approved through a court hearing.

“Acting presidential” means nothing is done in haste.  Words are carefully chosen. You connect with the American people with verified facts and appropriate statistics.   Unlike a campaign, where comments are tossed about, and then forgotten, nothing is forgotten when it comes from the US President.

The President has the FBI and Justice Department to investigate violation of the law.  He has a team of experts to help him with appropriate responses.

Instead, it looks like Trump fires off another tweet, leaving his staff to find some way to frame an appropriate alternative meaning to his words.  It’s a tough job because he doesn’t back down.

At this point, his statements are 50 to 70% lies according to Politifact.  The most blatant lies (Pants on Fire) are at 17% and false statements are 33% resulting in 50% false statements.  Add in another mostly false statements (20%) results in 70% lies.  Truthful statements are rare events, with 4% in total.  I’m tracking the truthful statements, and will let you know if he makes any in the next few months.

Politifact on Trump

His last true statement according to Politifact 

Bottom line is if it comes from Trump, and it’s not just a statement of opinion, but presented as  factual information,  it is more likely a lie than the truth.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

Not again!

Trump blast Rep.   John Lewis’s district in Atlanta as being run down, falling apart and crime infested   CNN reality check rates the claim as  “False.”

He seems uninterested in toning down the rhetoric.

Politifact.com has checked many of his claims and found 242 of them (60 % of them) to be mostly false, false , or pants on fire false. Pants on fire comes in at 19%.

Politifact.com  

January  11, 2017 Press Conference:   Trump Press Conference Lies

Stay tuned,

Dave