Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Trump's Big CON: He's Gotta Help His Supporters Hate, Hate, Hate, Arpaio Edition

UPDATE:  "In his effort to create a reputation as 'America’s toughest sheriff,' Arpaio made blatant and illegal racial profiling the hallmark of his two decades in office. A 2011 Justice Department investigation found systemic and widespread discriminatory practices in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), covering both their interactions with the public and their operation of county jails. Not only were Latinos in the jurisdiction profiled, harassed, detained, and abused in myriad ways, but Arpaio also used the tools of his office to go after those who criticized him. . .

So that’s the person Donald Trump is considering making the first recipient of a pardon in his presidency: someone with a long history of racist actions and racist policies, who was finally convicted of a crime he proudly owned up to. Should anyone be surprised?"

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s first pardon: An authoritarian racist who thinks he’s above the law?

Read also the Washington Post, Trump considers pardoning Joe Arpaio, and gives racists a reassuring wink, which states:

[A]fter deploying first delay and then false equivalence, Trump finally did denounce the racists and white supremacists who chanted his name in Charlottesville last weekend. It then took him only a few hours to give those same racists and white supremacists a nod and a reassuring wink. How else should we interpret a possible pardon for the sheriff who ran the most racist department the DOJ has ever investigated?

Don’t fret, alt-righters. Trump still has your back.

He's gotta help his supporters hate, hate, hate.

And one of his earliest supporters promoted racist birther conspiracies.

Read the Washington Post, Trump says he’s considering pardon for Joe Arpaio.

Trump's Big CON: It's All About the Show, Explained, CONt. Part 3

"Every day brings new drama, but the Trump Show’s themes remain the same. He’s come to tell his people that everyone else is wrong and they are right.

'The change you voted for is happening every single day,' he proclaims, underscoring each syllable with a raised hand, as the crowd bursts into cheers. Behind him, two signs hang in the rafters of this small arena:

PROMISES MADE, reads one.

PROMISES KEPT, reads the other.

Washington is torn between paralysis and alarm. The Congress is at odds with itself and its president. The special counsel’s investigation gets hotter and hotter, and has just been taken to a grand jury. There is talk of a constitutional crisis.

Yet the Trump Show goes on.

The presidency in crisis! How can this possibly be sustained? Where will it end? What is going to happen? But the answer is right in front of us: It’s happening right now, on an endless loop. This is what’s going to happen, day in and day out—nonstop chaos, plot twists and cliffhangers, a furious, embattled president who finds new ways to shock while never seeming to change.

The show goes on. The ratings are terrific! Trump keeps campaigning for the election that happened nine months ago, determined to keep that feeling alive.

He lashes out at the Congress, including his own party’s failed health-care vote: “The Republicans and Democrats let us down on that.”

He laments the Russia investigation: 'A total fabrication.' It is, he says, 'just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics. It just makes them feel better when they have nothing else to talk about. What the prosecutors should be looking at is Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 deleted emails.'

At that, the crowd erupts into a sustained roar, and the old, gleeful chants of 'Lock her up!' can be heard.

The message to the faithful is clear enough: You are on the hook for this. An attack on me is an attack on you. To stop believing would be a betrayal.

'They’re trying to cheat you out of the leadership you want with a fake story that is demeaning to all of you,' he says. It’s us versus them, and them is everybody else.

Their T-shirts proudly proclaim their hatreds: TRUMPED THAT BITCH, DEPLORABLE ’N CHIEF, DEATH TO LIBERALS. A leering Trump head on the cartoon Calvin figure, pissing on a snowflake.

Outside, the protesters are massed on a corner, buffered by the riot police in their helmets and bulletproof vests. A middle-aged woman waves a HILLBILLIES AGAINST TRUMP sign as the afternoon’s summer storm clears.

The spectacle, by now, is deeply familiar. But it retains the power to shock.

This is the Trump show, the neverending Trump show, and we’re all still glued to our seats."

Read The Atlantic, The Trump Show Never Ends.

Read also The Atlantic, How America Lost Its Mind, which tries to answer the question:

"When did America become untethered from reality?"

Trump's Big CON: He Opposes Leaks

The Donald hates leaks, except when he loves them.

Read CNN, Trump retweets Fox News story containing classified info.

Trump's Big CON: 'I Saved Us', The Economy Edition

UPDATE III:  After just seven months in office, The Donald is claiming credit "record low" unemployment.

(You might remember that when he took office America was a 'rotten place, a decimated, destroyed and weak country'.)

"The short answer is that this is false. The unemployment rate in July was 4.3 percent. It was 4.8 percent in January, when Trump took office, so it was already rather low.

Moreover, six of the past 12 presidents could brag of an unemployment rate lower than 4.3 percent. It was as low as 4.2 percent under George W. Bush, 3.9 percent under Bill Clinton, 4.2 percent under Richard Nixon, 3.4 percent under Lyndon B. Johnson, 2.5 percent under Dwight D. Eisenhower and 2.7 percent under Harry Truman."

Read the Washington Post, President Trump’s claim that ‘unemployment is at a record low’.

Now repeat after me:  He's so pretty!

UPDATE II:  On Sunday, the Republican National Committee tweeted:


7:07 PM - Aug 6, 2017

To be clear: 'unprecedented' means it has never happened before. This tweet strongly suggests that '1 million new jobs in six months' never happened before Trump took office. And that suggestion would be wrong — very wrong.

In fact, President Barack Obama actually saw slightly more jobs created in his final six months — 1.08 million — than Trump has in his first six — 1.07 million. And Obama also saw more jobs created than Trump:

    In the first six months of 2016 (1.08 million)
    In the last six months of 2015 (1.34 million)
    In the first six months of 2015 (1.37 million)
    In the last six months of 2014 (1.5 million)
    In the first six months of 2014 (1.5 million)
    In the last six months of 2013 (1.09 million)

Indeed, no matter how you slice it and what months you choose, there isn't even one six-month period after mid-2013 during which Obama didn't see at least 1 million jobs created. One million jobs in six months is not unprecedented -- it has become the norm since the recovery from the Great Recession really kicked in.

Which got me thinking: Maybe the RNC tweet meant the first six months of a presidency? Even then, though, Bill Clinton saw more jobs created -- 1.25 million — in his first six months in 1993. None other than Jimmy Carter saw twice as many created as Trump — 2.14 million — in 1977. And if you adjusted for today's population size, George H.W. Bush (about 900,000 jobs created in 1989) would also beat Trump's vaunted 1 million standard.

So three of Trump's six immediate predecessors had at least his jobs numbers in their first six months (again, population-adjusted in one of those cases). Two others — Obama and George W. Bush — began their presidencies in recessions."

Read the Washington Post, The RNC says Trump’s jobs numbers are ‘unprecedented,’ because words don’t matter anymore.

UPDATE:  "Trump hasn't actually done anything other than cut a few regulations, but he's made it sound like he's passed a new New Deal. ('No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days,' he rather ludicrously claimed.) He brags about a 'surging economy and jobs,' despite the fact that the economy and jobs are growing at exactly the same rate as before he took office. And, after disparaging the official unemployment rate as being 'fake' and 'phony' and 'totally fiction' while Obama was president, he has apparently decided that it's 'very real now.' In other words, Trump has done nothing and has congratulated himself for the economy Obama left behind.

Well, it's not just him doing the praising. Trump's new propaganda channel is, too. "

Read the Washington Post, For the last time, Trump hasn’t made the economy any better., which included this graph:

"Every president talks up the economy. It's part of a president's job to be America's cheerleader-in-chief. But half a year into Trump's presidency, the reality is the economy is solid. It's not booming. And there's no 'Trump bump' -- yet.

'On balance, it’s hard to see a Trump bump,' says Doug Holtz-Eakin, head of the right-leaning American Action Forum and an economic adviser to many Republicans. 'The economy is solid. It’s not spectacular.'

To see how the Trump economy is really doing, look at growth, jobs, wages and business spending. All of those factors are showing no change since the days of President Obama.

Yes, more Americans are getting jobs. Hiring in July was stronger than experts expected, with a net gain of 209,000 jobs. That's good news, but the pace of hiring is a tad worse than under President Obama. The economy has added 1,074,000 jobs since Trump took office. During the same stretch last year, the economy gained 1,246,000 jobs under Obama. The fastest growing job category last month was low-paying retail jobs. Trump used to slam Obama for only creating crummy jobs. Now that's part of the Trump story, too.

'On the jobs metric, there's no Trump bump,' says Chirs Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG bank in New York. 'It's pretty consistent with the final year of Obama’s administration.'

As for stocks: The market is going up. It gained more than 20 percent since Trump won the election. But Wall Street is not Main Street, and about half of America has $0 in the market. Numerous studies have shown that better stock returns don't mean a turbocharged economy is on the way with more growth and higher wages for the middle class.

The stock market may be going up, but wages are not. On the campaign trail, Trump frequently decried how middle class incomes were lower now than in 2000. He promised to change that, yet the jobs report that Trump called 'excellent' showed that wages only increased 2.5 percent in the past year. That's below America's historic average and the same pace that Obama achieved."

Read the Washington Post, America’s economy is solid, but there’s no ‘Trump bump’.