Biden is the Best for National and World Problems, and Trump is Proving that every day

Yahoo Finance on attacks on Fauci:

Just the latest example was during a recent campaign call in which Trump said, “People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” before going on to say, “He’s been here for 500 years.”

There are some very good people advising Trump. Christopher Wray is one, Director of the FBI. Anthony Fauci is another, member of the White House Task Force on Coronavirus. Fauci has served 6 presidents as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He was first appointed in 1984 and has helped lead the U.S. response to a range of diseases like HIV/AIDS to Ebola and Zika.

What qualifies as good and bad with Trump? First, people must give him credit for things he hasn’t done and things you know aren’t true. He’s been like that his whole life. Truth is not particularly important. Putting a positive spin on everything is all important.

All Trump wants Dr. Fauci to do is sing high praises to Trump and tell everyone that everything will be alright. All Trump wants from Christopher Wray is to smear Biden by declaring Hunter Biden is under investigation.

The sad truth is the cases of Covid-19 are on the increase in certain areas. It tells us we are not doing enough to control the spread. We are not rounding the corner.

A sign reads “In Fauci We Trust,” referring to the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci, outside a home in Rockport, Massachusetts, U.S., July 13, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder – RC2FSH9HM5N3

Trump likely will fire Director Wray after the election, because he is honest. Trump also criticized Wray over the FBI director’s testimony that antifa is an ideology and not an organization, contradicting Trump’s claim that it should be declared a “terrorist organization” engaged in attacks on cities.

“These are thugs, these are bad people,” Trump said Friday, adding “they are anarchists and they are agitators and they are looters and rioters and everything else.”

Please Vote. And vote for the man who will put what’s best for the country ahead of what is best for himself and re-election.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Biden is best for Global and National Problems – Part 4

Character

Honesty and working for the best interests of our country instead of a political party are two essential characteristics of a good president. It was George W. Bush who suggested a third characteristic – Humility.

What I find incredible, is that after the truth is revealed, Trump does not back down. Whether it is Mexico is going to pay for the wall or some absurd conspiracy theory, he doesn’t let go of it. It’s like it becomes part of his repertoire. The best explanation comes from Jared Kushner, “Controversy elevates the message” and facts don’t really matter.

I will just add a few quotes from those closest to the President in recent years. I really like this wonderful axiom:

Facts are threatening to those invested in fraud. DaShanne Stokes.

“I think we need to look harder at who we elect and I think we should start, all of us, regardless of what our views are of politics, I think we should look at people running for office and put them through a filter, what is their character like, what are their ethics and if elected, are they willing to represent all of their constituents and not just their base.” General John Kelly, former Chief of Staff.

A former White House chief of staff, retired Marine general John Kelly, told friends that Donald Trump’s “dishonesty” is “astounding” and “pathetic”, a report has said. “The depths of his dishonesty is just astounding to me,” the retired Marine general told friends, according to a report by CNN. “The dishonesty, the transactional nature of every relationship, though it’s more pathetic than anything else. He is the most flawed person I have ever met in my life,” he allegedly said. As reported in CNN. See link at the bottom.

When Trump called Mexicans “rapists” in the speech announcing his candidacy on June 16, 2015, Priebus called him and said, “You can’t talk like that. We’ve been working really hard to win over Hispanics.”
― Bob Woodward, Fear: Trump in the White House

From his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, “As I’ve been saying since the beginning, Trump was a mobster, plain and simple.”

“His style is chaos itself. And when you have chaos at the top of the federal government, that creates chaos throughout every other level of government. That means, we can not perform our security functions well. Elizabeth Neumann, Former Assistant Homeland Security Secretary for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention.

The lies and deceptions are accelerating, as people are now going to the polls in many of the swing states. According to CNN:

For fact checkers, the period from Friday through Sunday was one of the most challenging of Trump’s entire presidency: he made at least 66 separate false or misleading claims over that three-day span. In other words, it was 66 false or misleading claims without even counting all the times he repeated some of those same 66 claims over the course of the three days.

Trump did have a packed schedule. On Friday, he made a speech to Florida seniors and held rallies in Florida and Georgia; on Saturday, he held rallies in Wisconsin and Michigan; on Sunday, he held a rally in Nevada.

This one is from his recent rally in Florida:

Trump boasted in Florida: “Since the China virus, we have created — a record in the history of our country — 11.4 million jobs over just a short period of months.” Yes – true, but it neglects the loss of 22 million jobs over the prior two months. Since Trump took office, there has been a net loss of jobs.

Biden is the clear winner in the area of honesty, working for the American people and at the same time, being humble.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Fact Checking Trump’s massively dishonest weekend

Sept 29 debate

I will skip over the usual commentary on the back and forth interruptions and name calling.  The statements made, and their truthfulness are listed below.  In some cases where a rating was not provided, but from the context, it was clear that the statement was false, I have labeled it so, followed by an asterisk.   Others might label some statements as misleading or taken out of context.  Statements are sometimes is included in congressional reports for political purpose.

On climate change, I will follow up with a summary on the differences between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.  One clear take away from the debate was that Joe Biden’s approach to climate change is not the “New Green Deal.”   It was too bad that Donald Trump seemed fully prepared to ridicule a plan that wasn’t Biden’s.

Trump “I brought back 700,000 jobs. (Obama and Biden) brought back nothing.”   FALSE

Trump is wrong about the job gains on his watch; the actual increase is about 450,000 prior to the pandemic.  As for Obama and Biden, they saw gains of 916,000 if you start counting with the recovery from the Great Recession, which is the fairest comparison if you also ignore the losses under Trump during the pandemic.

Trump [Joe Biden] “had 308,000 military people dying because you couldn’t provide them proper healthcare in the military.”  FALSE

Donald Trump falsely says 308,000 military people died waiting for care on Biden’s watch.  The number comes from a VA inspector general report that found the VA’s data “virtually unreliable.” The figure includes people who had been dead for many years, some before 1998.  It includes people who never applied for benefits.

Trump “You said you went to Delaware State but you forgot the name of your college.” FALSE

Biden once said that he got his “start” at at the school because he received support there when he announced his bid for Senate on the campus.  Trump is taking his comments out of context.

Trump “The mayor of Moscow, his wife, gave your son (Hunter Biden) three and a half-million dollars.”  FALSE *

This was not rated by Politifact, however in their summary they state:  “A Republican Senate committee report said a Russian widow sent $3.5 million to a partnership co-founded by Hunter Biden. Biden’s lawyer says he did not co-found the partnership and had no stake in it. Democrats say they reviewed the Republicans’ documentation but did not find a specific link to Hunter Biden.”  It has been labeled false because the Republicans were given an opportunity to support the link between Hunter Biden and the partnership by releasing the documents  and failed to do so.

Trump:  Numerous statements concerning potential fraud with mail-in balloting. FALSE *

Washington Post “As usual, Trump offered a baseless conspiracy theory that widespread use of mail ballots during an infectious-disease pandemic would lead to massive voter fraud. There is simply no evidence for these claims. The Department of Homeland Security says Russia is spreading the same kind of disinformation to sow doubts about mail balloting and the integrity of the U.S. election.”

Trump:  He falsely claimed that Biden supports the Medicare for All plan. He never did.  Reference: Factcheck.org FALSE *

Biden/Trump:  Trump said “I don’t think” Kellyanne Conway, his former White House counselor, said “riots and chaos and violence help his cause,” as Biden claimed.   I’m going to rule in favor of Trump on this one, and give Biden a FALSE.

Conway’s actual statement was, “The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.”  Conway is clearly saying that Trump’s handling of the existing situation shows he is the better leader.

Biden:  He said billionaires have gotten $300 to $400 billion wealthier during the pandemic, but he is referring to a study that ignored the financial losses by wealthy stockholders early in the pandemic.  Reference Factcheck.org FALSE *

Biden  “We have a higher deficit with China now than we did before.”  MOSTLY FALSE

The most inclusive measurement, for goods and services, shows that the U.S. trade deficit with China was smaller under Trump in 2019, the most recent full year, than it was in any of the final three years of the Obama administration.  Looking only at goods shows the trade deficit was generally higher under Trump than it was in the Obama years, but it declined in 2019 to around the level as the final year of the Obama administration.  [Note: Politifact presents a graph which does not show much difference between Trump and Biden on China trade deficits].

Biden: Biden got it wrong when he claimed there was “15% less violence” during his time in office than today. The violent crime rate dropped under Trump. FALSE *

Ref: Factcheck.org

Biden:  Biden falsely charged that the Trump administration did not try to send experts to Wuhan, China — where the novel coronavirus outbreak emerged late last year — during the early stages of the pandemic. (Ref Factcheck.org)  FALSE

It’s a pretty outrageously false statement, given HHS Azar’s statement.  On January 6, we offered to send a CDC team to China that could assist with these public health efforts,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a Jan. 28 press conference.   China made public the discovery of a new virus, and Azar within a week wanted to send CDC experts to Wuhan.    It was China that did not want CDC experts in Wuhan.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Voting Fraud

RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES!   Donald Trump’s Tweet, June 22.

The above tweet from Trump is total  nonsense.  It should be shoveled into a pooper scooper.   Twitter has flagged some of Trump’s more outrageous claims.

I and my wife are mailing in our ballots in the 2020 presidential election.  Many citizens will do the same in Florida.   We do not have to be absent from Miami to get one. It is expected that many people will use the mail in option with the Covid-19 risks.  Unfortunately, many others may not vote at all.  In 2016, 43% of eligible voters did not vote.

Voting fraud is extremely rare.  Investigations have uncovered cases, but never a systematic abuse.   The principal safeguard in election is voter registration, which gives officials opportunity to weed out any invalid voters.  See links below.  A study by the Washington Post found 0.0025% of votes were fraudulent.   So, given a million voters, we might have 25 votes that were not acceptable.  Sometimes valid votes are not accepted because people over time change their signature.

There are research groups who will, for a fee, find cases of voter fraud.  People who are guilty of committing a felony may not know that they are ineligible to vote.  This depends on the state they live in.  So, they are a handful of people committing “accidental” voter fraud, because if they had known, they would have never voted.  This is a minuscule number of voters.

Some people may still like to show up at the polling stations, because they are concerned their vote will not be counted.  There is some truth to this.  If their ballot does not show up before the deadline, the wrong return envelope is used or the signature does not match the one on record, then the ballot will be rejected.  About 1% of all mail-in ballots are rejected.    But, all properly sent in ballots have to be counted.

So, please ignore everything Donald Trump says.   Two reasons he is saying this:  (1) Higher turnout favors a Democratic win and (2) He can claim the election was rigged if he loses.

Please Vote 2020.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Analytical modeling from Moody’s showed Trump’s chances of winning were significantly higher when voter turnout is low, based on historical trends.

Click to access president-election-model.pdf

Washington Post: Minuscule number of potentially fraudulent ballots in states with universal mail voting undercuts Trump claims about election risks

Washington Post:  Here’s the problem with mail-in ballots: They might not be counted.

New York Times Arrested, Jailed and Charged With a Felony. For Voting.

New York Times: The Facts About Mail-In Voting and Voter Fraud

Fact Check:  Trump’s Latest Voter Fraud Misinformation

 

 

Free Speech and Social Media

The power of social media is huge.   In a survey, 19% of all Americans say they follow Donald Trump’s tweets.  Fact checking websites show that the worst lies come from anonymous social media bloggers on Facebook and Twitter.   Donald Trump comes in a close second in terms of lies, with only 4% of his statements being 100% true and an incredible 69% of his statements being mostly false, false or pants on fire according to Politifact.

Twitter has never refused a tweet from  Donald Trump.  Even when he’s attacking Twitter,  it  all goes through exactly as he sends it, and the 19% of our population can read his lies.  Often his lies are then supported on conservative commentary on cable news (Fox and OAN to name a couple).

However,  Twitter attempted to discourage false information by adding a label on his tweet.

What you need to know
– Trump claimed that mail-in ballots would lead to “a Rigged Election.” However, fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud.
– Trump falsely claimed that California will send mail-in ballots to “anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there.” In fact, only registered voters will receive ballots.
– Five states already vote entirely by mail and all states offer some form of mail-in absentee voting, according to NBC News.

Simple and factual.   Trump really stepped over the line by saying anybody can get a ballot.  His comment of a rigged election can be considered an opinion, based on false information.    Please read this stuff.  Worse, cable stations repeat this.  A friend of ours was repeating exactly the same story, because it was all over the news.

I remember how one “prominent doctor” on Facebook in Brazil, all people had to do was to take zinc pills to prevent Covid-19.   Go dancing, drinking, etc and take zinc.  No thanks.  Brazil just passed 25,000 deaths as we passed 100,000.  Their outbreak started after ours.

Social media allowed Trump to promote  hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a preventative and possible cure of Covid-19.  It was neither and those people so gullible to believe him, could have risked their lives, as the medication actually increases the chance of dying from Covid-19.  And yet, cable network shows (it is not responsible journalism) like Fox News and OAN were blasting other the liberal media for not letting folks know there was this quick and safe treatment for Covid-19.

Executive orders from the White House will not shut down social media.  Our First Amendment allows Twitter to add labels as they see fit, and  also for Trump to post obvious lies with immunity.

I am hoping the real push back will come from 80 million Americans who  recognize this stuff from Trump is false (or Fake News as he likes it).    We will have open and free elections.   No, the liberal media are not hiding some quick solution to Covid-19.  The quack cures for Covid-19 were harmful to ones health.

I do not send or receive tweets.  To me, that’s like bathing in a river of slime. (see Ghostbusters II).   I am quite frustrated by people who think they can become informed by reading this stuff.

I’ll end this blog by repeating some of my favorite fact checking sites.

Stay tuned and healthy,

Dave

Factcheck.org

CNN Fact Check

Politifact.com

Snopes.com

How Covid-19 pushed Twitter to fact-check Trump’s tweets

Washington Post:  Trump lashes out at social media companies after Twitter labels tweets with fact checks

CNN: Cornered by the coronavirus, Trump returns to a familiar strategy: Attack Obama

These are several commentaries worth reading:

Cornered by the coronavirus, Trump returns to a familiar strategy: Attack Obama

Trump’s $200 billion trade deal with China already at risk due to coronavirus

Donald Trump’s legacy may be he turned a recession into a depression, just like Herbert Hoover did in the 1920’s.

Trump White House Changes Its Story on Michael Flynn

State Department inspector general becomes the latest watchdog fired by Trump

Authorities in Wuhan ‘didn’t like to tell the truth,’ top Chinese adviser says

I found this article very interesting. because Dr.  Zhong Nanshan could level blame at local officials within Wuhan and still keep his job.  Good lesson for Trump that wrongdoing is better out in the open.

Dave

 

More Covid-19 True and False

Same rules apply.  You can guess who said it, and this time I have added a corporate executive in addition to politicians.  I put a lot of trust in Drs. Birx and Fauci, because of decades of experience in infectious diseases.  I don’t bother with bloggers on Facebook or Twitter.  I’ve only included the most recent statements.  In cases where I did not see a judgement by Politifact or others on the truthfulness of statements, then I added “inaccurate” or “accurate” labels based on the discussion.

1. Regarding the risks of coronavirus transmission on an airplane, “It’s as safe as an environment as you’re going to find.”

2. “Don’t forget, the cupboard was bare. The last administration left us nothing. We didn’t have ventilators, we didn’t have medical equipment, we didn’t have testing.”

3. On potential deaths: “Those models that you’re mentioning are talking about without mitigation.”

4. “The tests were broken. You saw that. We had broken tests. They left us nothing.” [note:  They refers to the Obama administration]

5. “Nancy Pelosi was out there at the end of February, talking about let’s go dancing in Chinatown in San Francisco, because she wanted to prove that there was no problem. But there was a problem. Schumer was talking in March, about there’s no problem. I banned people from coming in, in January.”

6.  “They told us, when we put on our travel ban — a very strong travel ban — there was no need to do it. ‘Don’t do it.’ They actually fought us.”

7. “There was credible information to suspect human-to-human transmission in December 2019, which should have spurred the WHO to investigate, and investigate immediately. … Through the middle of January, it parroted and publicly endorsed the idea that there was not human-to-human transmission happening despite reports and clear evidence to the contrary.”

8. Says Joe Biden has “written a letter of apology” for calling Trump’s travel restrictions from China “xenophobic.”

Answers:

  1. Mostly false:  Claim by Gary Kelly, May 3, 2020.  Southwest CEO’s boast about airplanes’ low COVID risk overlooks key concerns.  Studies show that infectious disease transmission can occur on airplanes, particularly if you are seated next to someone who is carrying an illness.  Some research suggests that airplanes’ highly effective ventilation systems make them safer than other enclosed modes of transportation, like subways.  But it is difficult to maintain social distancing on an airplane — especially compared with being at home, in an office or at a grocery store.   [My note:  There is considerably more discussion on this topic in www,politifact.org .  I’ve heard some flights are nearly empty, and if that happens to be the case, it will be much better.  Temperature checks and mandatory wearing of masks also are good measures taken by some airlines. ]
  2. Mostly False. Claim by Donald Trump, May 5, 2020.  ABC News interview.  Trump’s sweeping generalization — which he has made before — is Mostly False. The state of the Strategic National Stockpile was not where it needed to be for the pandemic, particularly with N95 masks, which were not replenished after the H1N1 outbreak in 2009. But it wasn’t bare. In November 2019, the former director of the stockpile described it as an $8 billion enterprise, with extensive holdings of many needed items.  Muir followed up on this one, asking Trump why he did not do more to address the stockpile during his three years in office. Trump blamed Democratic efforts to investigate him over Russia and Ukraine, including the impeachment trial.
  3.  False.  Claim by Donald Trump, May 5, 2020 ABC News Interview. Presented with dire outlooks for COVID-19 deaths over the summer months, Trump incorrectly said they did not take into account mitigation efforts, such as social distancing and mask requirements.  Muir asked Trump about dire COVID-19 predictions from two institutions, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The University of Washington’s updated model shows 134,000 Americans could die by August, nearly double their previous projection. Contrary to what Trump said, this model factors in mitigation efforts. “We’ve never put forward a forecast that included no mitigation,” said institute spokeswoman Amelia Apfel in an email. The other model Muir mentioned, from Johns Hopkins University, stems from an internal federal government slideshow. That document contained one slide that projected 3,000 deaths per day by June.  The information came from a model created by Justin Lessler, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Lessler told NPR that his scenarios do assume some degree of mitigation.
  4. Pants on Fire False.  Claim by Donald Trump, May 5, 2020 ABC News  Interview.  This claim, which Muir did not correct, rates Pants on Fire. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. There was no “bad” test to inherit for detecting a new virus.
  5. Inaccurate.  Claim by Donald Trump, May 5, 2020, ABC News interview. Note this was considered inaccurate, and not labeled in the  three categories by Politifact.   Pelosi did visit the Chinatown area in San Francisco on Feb. 24, encouraging residents to eat and shop. But she didn’t talk about people going dancing, and she didn’t say there was no problem concerning the coronavirus. “I’m here today, particularly, to say thank you to the community for the sense of family values and sense of community that they provide,” Pelosi said. “But also to say to everyone: we should come to Chinatown. Precautions have been taken by our city. We know that there is concern surrounding tourism, traveling all throughout the world, but we think it’s very safe to be in Chinatown and hope that others will come.”Pelosi, at another point, specifically stressed that people be concerned about the virus.”Prevention, prevention, prevention,” she told reporters. “We want people to be concerned and vigilant. However, we don’t want them to be afraid.”When it comes to Schumer, Trump’s wrong. Here’s Schumer, in a joint statement with Pelosi, on Feb. 27: “The United States government must do more to address the spread of the deadly coronavirus in a smart, strategic, and serious way and we stand ready to work in a bipartisan fashion in Congress and with the administration to achieve this necessary goal. Lives are at stake — this is not the time for name-calling or playing politics.” And lastly, Trump’s criticism of Schumer and Pelosi ignores some of his own statements and actions in February and March. On the same day Pelosi was touring San Francisco’s Chinatown, Trump tweeted: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.”
  6. Inaccurate.   Claim made on numerous occasions by Donald Trump, including prepare remarks at a press conference, April 7, 2020.  Politifact did not provide rating beyond inaccurate.  These are their comments:  WHO did not recommend travel bans, but Trump magnifies the extent of the disagreement. We found no record of WHO objecting to the American policy specifically. On Jan. 30, WHO declared that COVID-19 had reached the highest level of alert, a Public Health Emergency Of International Concern. It said “all countries should be prepared for containment” and urged them to launch testing and tracing programs. In its statement, WHO said it “does not recommend any travel or trade restriction.” But it also acknowledged that countries could impose limits, saying, “Countries must inform WHO about travel measures taken, as required by the International Health Regulations.” Those regulations, first drafted in 2005 after China hid the SARS epidemic from the world, spell out what each country and bodies like WHO must do in the face of a new infectious disease. The document says that countries need to explain why a travel ban is warranted. Trump announced a ban Jan. 31, which took effect Feb. 2. The United States had company in banning entry from China. Singapore moved on Jan. 29, Italy suspended all flights Jan. 31, and Australia imposed a ban on Feb.1, to mention just a few of the more than 40 nations that acted at about the same time.Factcheck also felt Trump misused the claim of a “travel ban” on China as follows: Not a “travel ban.” At least four times in April, the president said he had imposed a “travel ban” on China or “closed the border.” But the Trump administration’s travel restrictions stopped well short of a “ban.” The policy, which took effect Feb. 2, prohibits non-U.S. citizens who have traveled to China within the previous two weeks from entering the U.S., but the new rules don’t apply to U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents and their immediate family members.

    [Note: Our borders were very open. Certainly what the news of coronavirus deaths in China created was the early returns of Americans from China.

  7. Inaccurate: Claim made by Donald Trump. Health experts say Trump is wrong about early, credible evidence of human-to-human transmission. “There were questions, but no solid confirmation,” Boston University global health researcher Davidson Hamer said. “It wasn’t until mid January that reasonable evidence began to come out.”  So, Trump is right when he points to mid January as the pivot point, but he’s off the mark about the quality of the information earlier. On Jan. 12, WHO said that “there is no clear evidence that the virus passes easily from person to person.” On Jan. 14, WHO’s lead investigator Maria Van Kerkhove told reporters that “it is possible that there is limited human-to-human transmission, potentially among families, but it is very clear right now that we have no sustained human-to-human transmission.” Van Kerkhove however warned that a wider outbreak was possible and that WHO had told hospitals around the world to take steps to prevent spreading the infection. On Jan. 19, Chinese officials confirmed human-to-human transmission.We asked the White House and the Trump campaign to explain the basis for the claim about evidence from December. We did not hear back.

    The closest match we found were reports about a doctor in Wuhan who warned his colleagues in a chat group about a disease that looked like SARS on Dec. 30. Local officials muzzled the doctor, who later died from COVID-19.  “We now have good evidence that Chinese authorities knew about the spread and were hiding it at this time,” said Ashish K. Jha, Director, Harvard Global Health Institute. “Whistleblowers and ‘rumor mongers’ among healthcare professionals were silenced. But it’s unclear how much the WHO could have possibly known about that at the time.”

    Hamer said that he might have been too trusting of what China was reporting, perhaps because the government was much more transparent than it had been in 2002 with the SARS pandemic. He was hearing from his global health colleagues at the time that “this was the real deal.” Hamer thinks WHO could have been faster.  “They took a little too long to declare this a major emergency,” Hamer said. “They waited a week to 10 days to come out and say this thing was moving quickly and was a global health concern.”  [Note: I believe the reference is to Dr. Davidson Hamer, Professor of Global Health and Medicine, Boston University].

  8. False.  Claim made by Donald Trump, Fox News virtual town hall meeting. May 3, 2020.   Without evidence, Trump claims Biden sent him apology letter over China travel ban. The Biden campaign said an apology letter to Trump “never happened.” We found no public record of any letter of apology from Biden.  Biden’s deputy campaign manager declared Biden’s support for the China restrictions in a statement to CNN on April 3, a Friday. The statement was not an apology. Biden has used the word “xenophobic” several times in reference to Trump and his actions, but never directly in reference to the ban Trump placed on travel from China.

A longer explanation of these statements and the lack of support can be found at Politifact.   When pushed, Trump goes on the offensive.  The enemies:  China, World Health Organization, the media,   and a host of states with Democratic Governors.   The attacks on the media are generally the New York Times,  Washington Post and CNN.

The enemy is really none of the above.  It is Covid-19.

Stay tuned and healthy,

Dave

Links:

Fact-checking Donald Trump’s criticism of the World Health Organization

Politifact:  Coronavirus

Washington Post Opinion: ABC News’s David Muir is no match for Trump’s falsehoods

Recent Fact check, Donald Trump:

 

 

 

 

 

Covid-19 Quiz (True or False)

These are all statements reviewed by Politifact, and rated on the basis of True, mostly  true, mostly false, false or pants on fire.  All these quotes come from elected officials and have been made in the last 3 weeks.  You can also guess who made the comments or their party (Republican or Democrat).

    1. Republicans “have shown themselves willing to cut millions off their health insurance and eliminate preexisting condition protections for millions more, even in the middle of this public health crisis.”
    2. “We’ve tested more than every country combined.”
    3. “Some states, like Montana and Nebraska, are getting more than $300,000 in federal stimulus money per reported COVID-19 case. New York is the hardest-hit state and yet we are getting only about $12,000 per case.”
    4.  Texas “either is near the bottom or at the very bottom when it comes to testing per capita.”
    5. “Hundreds and hundreds of labs are ready, willing, and able.”
    6. “Until this week, they [OSHA] weren’t even enforcing these guidelines [for coronavirus]. Still today, OSHA is not specifying which rules employees must follow or how to keep their workers safe and healthy.”
    7. “This is COVID-19, not COVID-1, folks. And so you would think the people charged with the World Health Organization facts and figures would be on top of that.”

Answers:

  1. True, Barrack Obama,  April 14, 2020:  The White House and congressional Republicans have maintained support for a lawsuit that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act ― the law that prohibits charging people more for health coverage because of preexisting conditions and that extended insurance to millions of previously uninsured Americans.  Striking down the ACA would make people even more vulnerable to COVID-19 harm, experts say, citing potential medical and financial damage.
  2. Pants on Fire, Donald Trump, April 20, 2020: The United States has performed more coronavirus tests than any other single country. But it has not done more “than all major countries combined.”  The raw tally of coronavirus tests isn’t a good metric, experts say. When you control for population, or consider other meaningful statistics, the United States is still far behind on its COVID-19 response.
  3. Mostly True, Andrew Cuomo, April 12, 2020.  In the first round of federal funding for health care providers, New York state has received far less money than less-affected states, according to an analysis by Kaiser Health News.  Cuomo addressed only one segment of the stimulus aid, and glossed over the distinction between states and the health care providers within those states. The funding source he tweeted about sends money directly to providers, not to states.  Subsequent batches of funding are supposed to favor states with higher coronavirus case loads.
  4. True, Veronica Escobar, Representative to Congress from Texas, April 22, 2020.  Texas is one of the states that has administered the fewest coronavirus tests per capita. At the time of Escobar’s statement, only Virginia and Kansas had tested fewer people per capita than Texas.
  5.  False, Donald Trump, April 22, 2020.  Donald Trump exaggerates number of untapped coronavirus testing labs.  The president said the White House has a list that shows many untapped labs are ready to go to do more testing. Labs exist, but how many are ready to handle the patient specimens sent to them is unknown.
  6. True, Joe Biden, April 15, 2020, OSHA released coronavirus guidelines in early March, but they function as suggestions or recommendations and are not enforceable.  OSHA then released enforcement instructions in mid-April with a focus on enforcing general, existing safety standards and has not told inspectors how to apply those standards to the current crisis. During an April 15 virtual town hall meeting with front-line workers, former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democrats’ presumptive nominee for the White House, was asked by a meat processing worker what he would do to protect workers like her from COVID-19.  “We lost a co-worker at my plant because there is no regulation to protect meat chain employees,” said Safaa Elzakzoky, who is also a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. “We can’t work safely and get people the meat that they need to eat. So what would you do to protect a worker like my friend who just died?” In his response, Biden called attention to steps taken by the Obama administration during the H1N1 outbreak and criticized the Trump administration. He focused on “failures” by the Labor Department and its Occupational Safety and Health Administration to use regulatory powers to protect workers, including OSHA’s lack of action in enforcing specific worker safety guidelines related to COVID-19.
  7. False, Kellyanne Conway, April 15, 2020, Kellyanne Conway misleads on name for COVID-19, says it’s ‘not COVID-1’.  Conway suggested that the World Health Organization should have been on top of the novel coronavirus earlier on because “this is COVID-19, not COVID-1.” COVID-19 stands for “coronavirus disease 2019” — reflecting the year in which the disease was first identified. Conway later said on Twitter that she knows why the disease is named as such.

I did not include any statements from Facebook or social media bloggers, because so many postings are false.   It is very sad to see all the unjustified bashing of the World Health Organization, because we need them desperately to distributef vaccines and medicines in the future.

Stay tuned and safe,

Dave

www.politifact.com

Who are Schumer’s four witnesses?

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has referred to the Senate hearings as a sham trial, as McConnell in the initial rules, rejected calling witnesses or issuing subpoenas for documents.  Yet, after the Bolton’s unpublished manuscript was leaked to the New York Times, the pressure to call him was definitely on.

There are two names I think everyone recognizes:  Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the White House’s Chief of Staff and John Bolton, former National Security Adviser.  Then there are two lesser known officials :  Robert Blair and Michael Duffey, both working for Mulvaney in different capacities.     I think if Schumer has his way, he would start with Blair and Duffey.  It would put pressure on Mick Mulvaney to tell the truth.   Just working up the food chain, of course.

Robert Blair: An assistant to the President, appointed by Mick Mulvaney as Trump’s Chief of Staff 

Blair, who was associate director for national security programs in the Office of Management and Budget, followed Mulvaney in January to the White House when Mulvaney became acting chief of staff. Mulvaney made Blair an assistant to the President. Blair serves as Mulvaney’s senior adviser for national security issues.  Blair’s hiring allowed Mulvaney to have a hand in national security issues without having to go through former White House national security adviser John Bolton. After Bolton was fired, one administration official said that Blair could be a favorite to replace Bolton because of his support from Mulvaney.

Blair was one of just a small group of officials on the line during Trump’s controversial phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Mulvaney was not.  During the July 25 call, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden — despite there being no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe Biden or his son, Hunter, in Ukraine. The phone call was part of a whistleblower’s complaint that alleged Trump sought “to solicit interference” from Ukraine in the upcoming 2020 election, and that the White House took steps to cover it up. Trump has denied doing anything improper.

Before joining the Trump administration, Blair worked for the past 14 years as a staffer for several committees in the House of Representatives. His last position was staff director on the House Subcommittee on Defense Appropriations. He previously worked as a regional adviser for Africa at the US State Department of State from 2001-2003.  According to his LinkedIn profile, he received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and two master’s degrees from Tufts University. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa during the mid-1990s.

Michael Duffey, OMB, associated director of national security programs  

Michael Duffey, a politically appointed Office of Management and Budget official, was given authority by the White House to keep aid to Ukraine on hold after career budget staff members questioned the legality of delaying the funds.  Duffey previously served as executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin.  “While career civil servants put an initial hold on the aid, Michael Duffey, associate director of national security programs in OMB, was given the authority for continuing to keep the aid on hold after the career staff began raising their concerns to political officials at OMB, according to people familiar with the matter,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Duffey also began overseeing the process for approving and releasing funds for other foreign aid and defense accounts, according to the report.  Trump’s order to withhold nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine in July is at the heart of House Democrats’ move to launch an impeachment inquiry into allegations that Trump used U.S. foreign policy powers to benefit himself politically.  Duffey, 41, left Wisconsin’s Republican Party in December 2016 when he was named to then-President-elect Donald Trump’s national security team at the Pentagon. He joined the administration when another prominent Wisconsin politician, Reince Priebus, was Trump’s chief of staff. Priebus held that post until July 2017.

What makes Michael Duffey’s testimony so important, is an email he wrote about 90 minutes  following   Trump’s  phone  call  to  Zelensky,   notifying  the  Department of  Defense,  that  a hold had  been  put  on  the  Ukraine military  aid,  and  given  the  sensitive  nature  of  this  hold,  this  information  limited to those with a need to know.  It further confirms the testimony of Sondland and others,  that it was a “dollars for dirt” deal.

This memo was released in December 2010 as part of a FIOA requestl

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Truth Matters 2

Wow. What a day!  Trump’s letter to Pelosi sent on Dec 17, 2019 repeats Politifact  “Lie of the Year” for 2019 and also the lie that I thought should have won (my personal favorite).  It adds some “golden oldies”  well known to be false.

Here’s the lie that got  Trump the 2019 award:

“…  so-called whistleblower who started this entire hoax with a false report of the phone call that bears no relationship to the actual phone call that was made.”

As so carefully analyzed by Politifact, the whistleblower’s report coincides very well with what the transcript says.

Trump’s lie is embedded in another misleading statement, that the White House was denied the right to call or  cross examine witnesses.  CNN reports:

Allowing the subject of an impeachment inquiry to call witnesses or present counter evidence is not required in either the Constitution or House rules. Furthermore, the House voted in late October to allow Mr. Trump’s lawyers to cross examine witnesses once the impeaching hearing moved to Judiciary Committee. But the White House declined to participate. If the House successfully votes to impeach a federal official, the Senate then holds trial. The impeachment rules in the upper chamber do offer the impeached person some rights.

But, this letter also contains my personal choice the lie of the year, as follows:

You know full well that Vice President Biden used his office and $1 billion dollars of U.S. aid money to coerce Ukraine into firing the prosecutor who was digging into the company paying his son millions of dollars.

That’s exactly the line Trump planned to use to gain the support of the Americans in 2020.  Except he would add,  “This is based on an ongoing investigation by the President Zelensky of Ukraine as announced in 2019” if the whistleblower hadn’t ruined his plans.  You know what – he’ll probably still use it.   He can say that this is based on an investigation by Rudy Giuliani or an  OANN investigation or Attorney Joe DiGenova research., passed on to the FBI.

Well, of course Rep. Pelosi knows this is  total rubbish, because the firing of Ukraine’s General Prosecutor Shokin was very well explained  in the House Judiciary Committee report as follows:

Similarly, there is no legitimate basis for President Trump to claim former Vice President Biden behaved improperly in calling for the removal of Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin. When he called for Mr. Shokin’s removal, then-Vice President Biden acted in accordance with and in furtherance of an official United States policy and the broad consensus of various European countries and the International Monetary Fund.615 Indeed, in late 2015, the International Monetary Fund threatened Ukraine that it would not receive $40 billion in international assistance unless Mr. Shokin was removed.616 Vice President Biden was subsequently enlisted by the State Department to call for Mr. Shokin’s removal—and in late 2015 and early 2016, he announced that the United States would withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees unless Mr. Shokin was dismissed.617 Ultimately, in March 2016, Ukraine’s parliament voted to dismiss Mr. Shokin.618 Moreover, multiple witnesses confirmed that the removal of Mr. Shokin would have increased the likelihood that Burisma would be investigated for corruption, not the opposite, given that Mr. Shokin was widely considered to be both ineffective and corrupt.619 Any suggestion that former Vice President Biden called for Mr. Shokin’s removal in order to stop an investigation of Burisma, the company whose board Hunter Biden sat on, is inconsistent with these facts.620

I’ve left in the footnotes 615 to 620, which are references to documents in the report.

The letter is nasty, with numerous false or misleading statements, including:

Speaker Pelosi, you admitted just last week at a public forum that your party’s impeachment effort has been going on for two and a half years

Just the opposite is true.  The 2 1/2 years is the Mueller investigation, which was initiated by the Justice Department.  After the report was completed, the Speaker was reluctant to begin impeachment proceedings.  Yes, other Democrats felt the impeachment case was strong, but Pelosi held out.  The obstruction of Congress would have occurred in either the Russian or Ukraine case.  With the Ukraine scandal, Trump really handed Pelosi a much more straight forward violation of the constitution.

And Trump adds one of his all time favorite lies:

Congressman Adam Schiff cheated and lied all the way up to the present day, even going so far as to fraudulently make up, out of thin air, my conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine and read this fantasy language to Congress as though it were said by me.

Fact checkers know this as the “short version” of the big lie.  The longer version of the lie, told at Trump rallies, is that Schiff first invents the conversation, then Trump reveals to the public the real transcript exposing Schiff as a liar.  Great at rallies, but twice as false as the shorter version.  I call the longer version, the comic book one, because it not only has a villian (Schiff) but a hero to boot (Trump).     From the New York Times critique of the letter:   In a congressional hearing in September, Mr. Schiff said he was conferring the “essence” of the conversation that was meant to be partially “parody.” His account veered from the transcript in chronology and details at points, but it generally tracked with the transcript’s version of what Mr. Trump said on the call.”  The longer version is absolutely wrong, because Schiff’s summary of the conversation was done after the transcript was released in September.

The tone of the letter is angry and inappropriate for anyone holding high office.   It is taking aim at elected representatives, who come to Congress to represent their constituents.  It attacks the FBI.    The critical information is the letter has been proven to be untrue.

The letter was characterized by Rep. Pelosi as “sick.”  The headlines in the New York Times,  “Trump’s 6-page Diatribe Belittles Impeachment as an “Attempted Coup,”  The polemics are disgraceful.  The lies are consistent with the last 3 years of Trump’s presidency.  See link for the letter.  There are dozens of analyses of the letter on the internet.

I would just say it is sad when we have a president with so little regard for the truth.

Please don’t count on Facebook postings, Twitter,  Fox and OANN commentators, Trump rallies  and other sources for factual news, particularly on impeachment.   These are sources of misleading and frequently false information.

I invoke the Daniel Moynihan admonition: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”   If we start to get straight the facts, our differences are likely to be less.

I also like to recent comment Judge Amy Berman Jackson, ‘”If people don’t have the facts, democracy doesn’t work.”

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

There is a lot of good fact checking website as I list under the links.

Letter-From-President-Trump-Final

Politifact website

CNN Fact Checking

Factcheck.org

 

 

 

 

Truth Matters

I believe in truth.  Lying from high officials can do great harm.  They use social media to rapidly spread lies.  Political parties use lies to increase their base.

Politifact 2019 lie of the year goes to Donald Trump.  He is now the four time award winner (2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019).  Yes, I was unhappy that he did not get the award in 2018,  but I suspect they wanted to draw attention how very harmful lies  from anonymous sources or obscure websites that go viral  on social media.   The headline for the 2018 lie was: “Online smear machine tries to take down Parkland students” and it relates to the protests movement after 17 students were gunned down at a high school in Florida.  “Claiming some of the students on TV after #Parkland are actors is the work of a disgusting group of idiots with no sense of decency,” wrote Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Twitter on Feb. 20.  Kudos to Rubio and others who quickly denounced this lie.  Politifact did  not attributed to any one person, but to obscure unnamed  websites.  Politifact names  OANN commentator Graham Ledger for broadcasting the theory that students were “crisis actors” and Donald Trump, Jr. liked a tweet stemming from the Ledger commentary.  It is the commentators on  OANN (Outside Any Normal News) that conspiracy theorists find an audience.  Anything for a rating, right!

Ok, back to 2019 Lie of the Year:  ” Donald Trump’s claim whistleblower got Ukraine call ‘almost completely wrong'” won the award.  There are a whole slew of lies, Trump has originated or re-tweeted,  on virtually every topic,

But this one seems to be one of his all time favorites.  According to Politifact:

Since the Sept. 26 release of the whistleblower complaint about his call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump has insisted more than 80 times that the whistleblower’s account is fake, fraudulent, incorrect, “total fiction,” “made up,” and “sooo wrong.” (sounds like Trump)

It was likely a tough choice, because Donald Trump  lies continuously.  I liked the 2017 lie of the year:   Russian election interference is a ‘made-up story’  or in 2016: Fake news.  Trump is not considered the source, but the enabler of this lie.    The 2015 award is for  campaign misstatements of Donald Trump.    President Obama also won an award for a lie in 2013: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it”  but I think the real difference is, that he apologized for this lie.

My choice of the lie for 2019 would be: “Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire its prosecutor …. the prosecutor said he was forced out for leading a corruption probe into Hunter Biden’s company. … Democrats want to impeach President Trump for discussing this investigation with Ukraine’s President.”   which was part of an ad campaign for Trump’s re-election.   It is very clever, because the real lie is in the information not provided.  The prosecutor was corrupt and had sidelined the Burisma investigation,   The pressure to fire Prosecutor Shokin came from the US, IMF  and EU leaders.  See links below.

The Washingon Post calculated  Trump has lied 15,413 just in the last 3 years since becoming president.  It looks like the lying is going to get worse (hard to imagine).   See last link.

Wake up America, – We are much better than this.  (Elijah Cummings)

Stay tuned,

Dave

10 things Donald Trump got wrong about impeachment in 2019, fact-checked

The silence of the year: What did Hunter Biden do for Burisma?

Lie of the Year 2019: Donald Trump’s claim whistleblower got Ukraine call ‘almost completely wrong’

A look back at Lie of the Year, 2009 to 2018

President Trump has made 15,413 false or misleading claims over 1,055 days

 

Who is telling the truth in the impeachment hearings

Politicians lie.  They all do it.  But they also get caught doing it.  That’s the purpose of fact checking organizations.  Trump supporters have a lot to explain, and their defense of Trump includes a lot that is just not true.  I encourage my followers to fact check what they read here, and it really isn’t hard. Also, “main stream media” such as CNN and the print media, including  the New York Times and Washington Post are very reliable sources of information.  The House Intelligence Committee puts an incredible amount of raw information,  i.e. transcripts of testimony and documents on their website.  It is hard to keep up with all of this, but it is out there.

It is very consistent for Trump to launch a counter offensive attack on impeachment, by supporting and often retweeting  statements by Republican senators, which are without foundation, when his actions are indefensible.

Here is a short list of statements  which are absolute rubbish:

Question 1: Did President Barack Obama immediately fire all Bush-appointed ambassadors “the day he was elected office”?

FALSE

As is the custom, Obama immediately replaced most — not all — of Bush’s politically appointed ambassadors. Obama did not remove any of the career appointees to ambassadorships.

Sources:  Factcheck.org and politifact.com

Question arises because Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was recalled after a smear campaign was launch against her by people close to Donald Trump, including Rudy Giuliani and Representative Pete Sessions.  There is a lot more to this story, but Trump got caught before he could put a political appointee into the Ambassador position.

Question 2:   Is it true that several news organizations reported that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election. Senator Kennedy states, “It’s been well documented in the Financial Times, in Politico, in The Economist, in the Washington Examiner, even on CBS, that the prime minister of Ukraine, the interior minister, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, the head of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption League, all meddled in the election on social media and otherwise,”

A:   From Politifact.com:

FALSE

We found that these articles paint a picture of Ukrainian leaders fearful of Russia and of Trump’s comments that took a more conciliatory stance on Russian aggression. The news coverage shows Ukrainians preferred Hillary Clinton because she was tough on Russia. However, the articles don’t show a vast, top-down approach ordered to boost Clinton.

Kennedy mentioned The Economist multiple times. The Economist’s U.S. editor John Prideaux told us: “We are a bit puzzled by Sen. Kennedy citing us to the effect that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 elections.”

Republicans frequently mention a 2017 Politico article, which focused on the work of a Democratic political contractor who tried to dig up dirt on Trump and his advisers. We vetted it and found that the GOP has used its findings selectively.

Question 3:  Is Sen. John Kennedy similar accusation true?  The Senator says former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko “actively worked for Secretary Clinton.

FALSE

Answer by Politifact.com – see link.

His sources are  completely lacking.   It didn’t get the “Pants on Fire” designation, but it should.

Question 4:  What about the 2017 Politico story that shows the Sen. Kennedy statements are true?

FALSE

A:  “The article did not state that the Ukrainian government conspired with the Clinton campaign or the DNC,” said Melissa Cooke, a booking manager for Politico, in an email. “It also emphasized that the acts of Ukrainian officials to raise questions about Trump were not comparable to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, and reported that the then-Ukrainian government was trying to make amends with then-President-elect Trump.”

Senator John Kennedy is a Republican from Louisiana.

Question 5: Is Trump’s statement true: “They never thought, Dan, that I was going to release that call, and I really had no choice because Adam Schiff made up a call,” Trump said Nov. 15. “He said the president said this, and then he made up a call.”

FALSE 

Trump has repeated this statement numerous times.  Schiff already had the released memo, and was just giving a “dramatized synopsis” of key points.  See link.

—-

I’m stopping at 5 false statements for now.  For more false statements,  please follow this link to politifact.org   (Fact-checking Impeachment Claims) .    One of the few true claims came surprisingly from Fox News, and their legal analyst who stated it is perfectly legal to have witnesses testify in private.  I’ve included this link at the end.

There will be an enormous number of false statements, coming from Rep. Jim Jordan,  Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Attorney diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing (see link below), Sen. John Kennedy from Louisiana, and of course, Donald Trump.  I encourage everyone to check out these links and dig in more to get the truth.  It doesn’t come from Facebook or Twitter, that’s for sure.

In the coming few weeks, the false statements will increase.   Republicans know when the impeachment goes to the Senate, they have the votes to acquit Trump.   It is highly likely they will not only acquit him, but cast the Democrats as the true villains,  is concocting false evidence against Trump, because they can’t  deal with their loss in 2016 or because they can’t  win the election

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Sen.  Kennedy claims that Ukrainian President Poroshenko actively worked for Clinton is False

What we know about the Politico story at the heart of a Ukraine conspiracy theory

Did Obama Fire All Bush-Appointed Ambassadors?

Donald Trump gets Ukraine phone memo timeline backwards

Exclusive: Giuliani Ally Pete Sessions Was Eyed for Top Slot in Ukraine

Fox News analyst correct: Impeachment inquiry is following rules by questioning witnesses in private

Other Fact checking resources:

AP FACT CHECK: Trump and the people he forgets he knew

Politifact.com

Republicans Cherry-Pick Facts on Impeachment

Factcheck.org

Investigation #1 – 2016 elections interference

I’ll admit this – the narrative of the two investigations in return for aid money gets long and complicated, due to the many official involved and various meetings and encounters.   And as in any organization, there were a lot of short hand expressions, such as “2016 elections” which needs some explanation. So, here is how Trump laid it all out:

Trump began, “A lot of it had to do, they say, with Ukraine. They have the server, right? From the DNC — Democratic National Committee. The FBI went in and they told them ‘get out of here, you’re not getting it, we’re not giving it to you.’”

He continued, “They gave the server to CrowdStrike, or whatever it’s called, which is a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian. And I still want to see that server. You know the FBI has never gotten that server, that’s a big part of this whole thing. Why did they give it to a Ukrainian company?”

When Doocy asked Trump “Are you sure they did that? Are you sure they gave it to Ukraine?”, the president seemed to wobble, saying “Well, that’s what the word is.”

It’s is very wrong on a whole series of levels.   It begins with a huge lie.  One of the founder of Crowdstrike, is Dmitri Alperovitch, is  a Russian-American who has lived in the US since 1994 with no connections to the Ukraine.  The other two co-founders are George Kurtz and Gregg Morrison and are as American as apple pie.   I felt a bit silly looking up where each of the co-founders were born.  So the narrative begins with a “Pants on fire” lie.   When a computer gets hacked, the signs of the hack can be pretty subtle and not discovered for months.  A small piece of code, had been inserted into the server, which facilitated unauthorized  access to critical files.  There is no need to physically remove the server and dust for fingerprints.

The  Democratic National Committee (DNC) called Crowdstrike,  to determine if, in fact, the security had been breached and information stolen.    The top priority  is to remove any unauthorized code on the system to prevent future access. A secondary objective would be to figure out the origins of the code.   The code in this case, has been identified as

Now, there is a badly misconstrued morsel of truth, in what Trump is saying.    The DNC did decline an odd request by the FBI to allow the illegal access to continue, in order to get more evidence on the hacker activities.  I think this was very reasonable given the elections were 5 months away and a miserable time to conduct a sting operation.  From the Daily Beast website:

The DNC turned down one unusual FBI request early in the hack investigation. The bureau wanted access to the DNC’s network while the Russians were still in it, most likely to stage a counter operation against the GRU. The DNC declined, perhaps reluctant to have two intelligence agencies playing capture-the-flag in their systems five months before a presidential election. The DNC later authorized Crowdstrike to share full copies of the hacked servers with the bureau, giving the FBI access to the same evidence Crowdstrike had.

The GRU is the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian military.  The full copies of the server would generally be referred to as “cloned copies”  allowing the forensic experts to examine an exact copy of the operating system at the time the copy was made.  Crowdstrike turned over all  copies of the servers it made and all analysis to the FBI, who reached the same conclusion that the hack came from Russia.   Other organizations made the same conclusion.     Robert Mueller secured Grand Jury indictments on 12 GRU agents responsible for interference in US elections, including hacking.

But just for grins, let’s follow the Trump’s crazy story.   The FBI comes knocking on the door demanding the DNC  turn over the server.  Instead of complying with the FBI,  the IT guys at the DNC call Crowdstrike,  which takes physical possession of  the server  and puts it on a plane to the Ukraine.  I guess they do this in the dead of night, so nobody sees them pulling out all the equipment.  (fails the laugh test).      Now, Ukraine has total access to all the Democratic emails, by way of Crowdstrike operating under the orders of the DNC and they subsequently  leak them to Wikileaks.  We know that the FBI and others involved in computer forensics got the cloned copy of the server and concluded that this hack was done by the Russians.   So it follows that Crowdstrike would have to alter the cloned copy, inserting a false Russian code,  and putting their growing billion dollar company at risk.  Also, after removing the server,  Crowdstrike had to install an exact duplicate server, also in the dead of night, so nobody would notice the equipment is missing.   These systems work 24/7, with all kinds of security checks and backups.

So, is there anyone besides Trump  promoting this stuff?   Yes.  Vladimir Putin for one, who early on pointed the finger at the Ukraine, after the usual denials.  Similarly, he denied the assassination attempt in 2018,  on Sergei and Yulia Skripal.    There are three other individuals as far as I can tell.  Two other conspiracy have been convicted for lying to the FBI:  Paul Manafort and Roger Stone.  It was pretty obvious that these two individuals were desperately looking for ways  to avoid long sentences.  Also, helping the general cause cause was Julian Assange (Wikileaks)  who said he did not get the emails from Russian agents, but did not point the finger at Crowdsource or Ukraine.    Julian Assange remains in prison in England,   Obama did not extradite him to the US, so this of course feeds into the conspiracy narrative.   Trump said he would, but the stature of limitations may run out.  Also, he will be claiming his right as  journalist,  Of course, there are a whole slew of radical right wing websites which love to spin conspiracy theories.  But it isn’t easy to find a promoter who hasn’t been sued or imprisoned.    Almost forgot- Rudy Giuliani promotes this stuff because Trump wants him to.    When you are a personal  attorney, you stick with your client come hell or high water.   And Mike Pompeo has turned his head so many times, he’s getting neck pain.

Dr. Fiona Hill really nailed it at the inquiry, when she pleaded to the committee to reject these wild conspiracy theories, and accept the collective conclusions of the intelligence community and Mueller investigation, that Russia had interfered with the US elections.  Trump attempted to resurrect and reinforce a debunked theory about Ukraine’s “theft” of the DNC servers via Crowdstrike by withholding military aid to Ukraine is an impeachable offense.  Yet I believe the Senate will acquit him, as the Republicans hold the majority.   I am hoping that this victory will be short lived, when the US electorate overturns his Senate win.

I’ve only included a few links, because so much can be found by Google searches, including the incisive statements by Dr. Hill.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Wired:  July 16, 2016:   Here’s What We Know About Russia and the DNC Hack

(Wired got it right more than 3 years ago!  –  yet this, the FBI and Intelligence community couldn’t convince Trump)

Daily Beast:  Updated Oct 16, 2019: The Truth About Trump’s Insane Ukraine ‘Server’ Conspiracy

Trump Explodes About Ukraine Conspiracy on ‘Fox & Friends’

“Are You Sure They Did That?” Even Fox Questions Trump’s Ukraine Conspiracy Theory

Wikipedia:  Crowdstrike company

Daily Beast: June 17, 2018:  Trump’s ‘Missing DNC Server’ Is Neither Missing Nor a Server

They all lie!

This is the response I get when I tell a Trump supporter of Trump’s trouble with the truth.  He’s been amazingly consistent with lying throughout his career in real estate (see Wikipedia link below).   Just recently,  Trump stated that some of the DACA recipients were “harden criminals.”   Of course, that is a lie, because they would be immediately disqualified for the program if they have any convictions.  His record of 4% totally true statements from politifact.com website is really unbeatable among politicians.

Yes, they all lie, but nobody tells as many lies in both critical domestic and foreign areas as Trump.  He never admits he was wrong.  He is very self centered and often exaggerates his own success, while ignoring the accomplishments of others.

So, how does Trump’s record stack up with Biden, Sanders and Warren.  Or with Obama.   Trump is clearly the winner – far and above the biggest liar of  them all.

I used Politifact, and summed up the percentages each of them were as far as truthfulness (True, Mostly True and Half Truth):

Warren  (17% true, 38% mostly true, 42% half true)  =  87%
Sanders (13% true, 36% mostly true, 26% half true) =   65%
Biden   (13% true, 23% mostly true, 25% half true)  =   62%
Obama  (20% true, 27% mostly true, 26% half true)  =  73%
Trump   (4% true, 10% mostly true, 14% half true)  =  28%

Pretty incredible difference.   If I sum up the false and pants on fire category, the rankings would be:

Trump  = 50%
Obama = 13%
Warren =  0%

Of all the politicians,  Elizabeth Warren ranks the most truthful,  followed closely by the other Democrats.  Warren has made one statement considered mostly false or 13%.  Donald Trump is the most dishonest by almost any measure. Politifact does not consider how often a person repeats a lie.   The Washington Post does, and the tally in October 2019 came to an incredible 13,435 lies or misleading statements, over 993 days or 13.5 lies per day.  See links below.

Other websites have reveals many false claims from President Trump.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Politifact.com

Wikipedia:  Veracity of statements by Donald Trump

Factcheck.org Oct 11, 2019 Trump’s error filled cabinet meeting

https://www.factcheck.org/

Trump lies constantly

Who would go to a rally where Trump lies constantly?    I mean at his Texas rally, it was one lie every 3 to 4 minutes, for a total of 26 in 87 minutes.  And yet they were cheering all this rubbish.

Here’s a few whoppers:

Trump conflated his accusations against former Vice President Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden — railing against Hunter Biden’s business dealings, then saying that Joe Biden “takes a billion-five” from China and “allows China to rip us off.” He added, “So the Bidens got rich while America got robbed.”
Facts First: There is no evidence Joe Biden has received large sums of money from China or has otherwise gained wealth as a result of his son’s business dealings abroad.
Trump has previously made the “billion-five” accusation against Hunter Biden. While a conservative author has used this figure, it has not been proven. A lawyer for Hunter Biden, George Mesires, says the investment company in which Hunter Biden has an equity stake was capitalized with a total of about $4.2 million at today’s exchange rates, “not $1.5 billion.” Even this investment was not a direct payment to Hunter Biden; Hunter Biden holds a 10% stake in the firm, Mesires says, and has not made a profit to date.

Trump said again that the whistleblower who complained about his dealings with Ukraine “got it all wrong.”
Facts First: The whistleblower’s account of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was highly accurate — as the rough transcript released by the White House confirms.

Trump: Vowing to end the AIDS epidemic in the US within a decade, Trump said the Obama administration spent “no money on that.”
Facts First: The Obama administration spent $10.8 billion on domestic HIV/AIDS research between the 2013 fiscal year and 2016 fiscal year alone, according to a review by the Kaiser Family Foundation, and $85.1 billion more on domestic HIV/AIDS care, housing and prevention programs in those four years. It also spent $26 billion on international HIV/AIDS initiatives of various kinds over the same time period.

Trump said again that his tariffs on imported Chinese products have “cost us nothing,” claiming China has “eaten” the cost.
Facts First: A bevy of economic studies have found that Americans are bearing the overwhelming majority of the tariff costs, and Americans make the actual tariff payments.
Trump repeated his promise to “always protect patients with pre-existing conditions.”
Facts First: The Trump administration and congressional Republicans have repeatedly put forward bills and filed lawsuits that would weaken Obamacare’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Trump is currently supporting a Republican lawsuit that is seeking to declare all of Obamacare void. He has not issued a plan to reinstate the law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions if the suit succeeds.
Each of these were lies I caught easily.  These false statements related to some pretty important issues – the impeachment inquiry, AIDS epidemic, trade war with China, and Trump’s alternative to Obamacare,  I go back to the quote from the late Senator Moynihan:  “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
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