We Must Hammer Away at Trump’s Alternate Reality

Trump and his minions shoot blobs of B. S. (distortions of truth in various ways) up in the air like a string of clay ducks in never ending rapid fashion.  The main stream press does a good job of shooting many down, but does not handle well the problem of how they keep popping up like zombies.

Trump’s plan is based on continually lying until voters get totally bamboozled and don’t bother to listen to anyone, except for those fanatics who think of Trump as the lone purveyor of the truth.

How ironic, one of history’s great snake oil salesmen as the one guy to be trusted.

The press can’t keep shooting the same ducks down as more and more keep popping up and there is only so much time for them to report.   In short we are facing a unique problem:   A strategy  based on an overwhelming effusion of B. S. repeated until reified as an alternative reality can overpower the truth when a society ceases to believe there is such a thing in the realm of politics.

This is scary.

What I think is needed is a concentration on which of Trump’s multitude of falsehoods need to be smashed again and again, because they form the key pillars of Trump’s false reality. To allow them to stand is to allow him to keep building upon them.   A good example is the notion that despite his obsequiousness before Putin in that press conference at Helsinki, Trump’s policies have actually been tough on Putin’s Russia.

Few Republicans defend that mealy mouthed performance in Helsinki, but they often are quick to point out that his policies have been tough even if his words have not.

Most often cited are the sanctions on Russia…… as if they prove Trump’s toughness in terms of policies.   This is a great example of how something can seem on the surface to be true, but is not.  Many of these sanctions have been applied, not because of Trump but despite him.   He deserves no credit for them.

Here is a thumbnail sketch that links sources that can give you a more complete picture if you want one.

Back in June of 2017  the Chicago Tribune reported the Senate ” voted overwhelmingly on sanctions  including restricting Trump administrations from altering them”, in other words weaken them.  Obviously, almost the entire Senate did not trust Trump to be tough on Russia.  Then that August the entire Congress passed a bill mandating sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.

The Trump administration dragged their heels at enacting these sanctions until January of this year.  They finally enacted some of the sanctions, but not others as reported in Politico.

Finally in May the Washington Post reported:   “The top Senate Democrats on the Foreign Relations, Intelligence and Banking committees asked the inspectors general of three federal agencies Friday to launch formal probes into why President Trump has not fully implemented congressionally mandated sanctions against Russia.”  Yes, still the ones passed last August in Congress and some since then.

And Trump supporters want to give him credit for these sanctions?   Yes, these sanctions were enacted while he was president, but he deserves no credit for them.  Just the reverse.  They are more evidence of Trump’s tendency to go soft on Russia.  One Trump supporter, obviously grasping at straws in a TV interview, gave Trump credit because he did not veto the sanctions.

The interviewer should have pointed out to that nebbish that vetoing the measure would make Trump look silly as Congress was almost totally united on the issue.  It took Trump to unite them for once…. against him.

My hope here is to make the case that the political media must refuse to allow fabrications like Trump’s toughness with Russia to remain standing while they move on to other topics in their interviews.   And we can help by pointing out such things to the media we attend to.

Some key untruths must not be allowed to stand as we approach the fall elections and this is one of them.

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The Essence of the Helsinki Summit: Trump Looked Small and Putin Won Big

Mr. Trump’s performance before the press after meeting Vladimir Putin privately for over two hours (only the two presidents and their interpreters) is being called “disgraceful,” “disastrous” and “shameful”, not only by Democrats but by many Republicans.  This seems likely to linger longer than most of Trump’s gaffs, so let’s take a look at it.

Much of the criticism of Trump stems from his answers to two questions by AP reporter Jonathan Lamire.   Below are the questions and Trump’s response.  On the world stage he looked the part of a buffoon.  Still defending his election win, unable to think beyond what impacts him, rambling, dodging, distracting, fabricating and in the end failing to answer the first question and ignoring the second, leaving the sense that he trusts Putin at least as much as our own intelligence services.   Let me add one more adjective:  Deranged.  You decide…

“Question ….. Just now, President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did.   … who do you believe?……My second question is, would you now, with the whole world watching…….warn him to never do it again?

TRUMP: So let me just say that we have two thoughts. You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why haven’t they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee? I’ve been wondering that. I’ve been asking that for months and months, and I’ve been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I want to know, where is the server? And what is the server saying?

With that being said, all I can do is ask the question. My people came to me — Dan Coats came to me and some others — they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia.

I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server. But I have — I have confidence in both parties. I really believe that this will probably go on for a while, but I don’t think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC? Where are those servers? They’re missing. Where are they? What happened to Hillary Clinton’s emails? Thirty-three thousand emails gone — just gone. I think, in Russia, they wouldn’t be gone so easily. I think it’s a disgrace that we can’t get Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 emails.

So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. And what he did is an incredible offer; he offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. I think that’s an incredible offer. Okay? Thank you.”


P. S.  –  Putin’s “incredible offer” was that that his intelligence services would work with ours to, it seems, get to the bottom of all these accusations.  As if the recent indictment of several Russians giving details of their culpability was just a puff piece in a local gossip column.

If you want to look at the entire transcript of that press conference you can find it here.

The Great Pretender and the Fall Elections

From my posts of the last couple of months or so you might have sensed that I am getting done in by the murkiness exuded hour by hour in Trumptopia.   I have a mind boggling chain of thoughts that get twisted up and fogged over so quickly they are beyond my capacity to deal with them.

I think of those boys trapped in a cave in Thailand.   Metaphorically like them I feel stuck amidst forces I can’t control. Unlike them I am not facing possible death as a result, but I do have the feeling of being swept away.   Like their fates, the mid-terms seem up for grabs.   As with their fates, I don’t have a handle on whether or not the American voters will endorse or reject the nature of Trumpism.

Trump has polluted the collective mind sphere so thoroughly with his alternative facts, distortions and just plain lies I can’t tell who will be persuaded by what.  Especially the “who” who are the tipping pointers, that significant bunch of late deciders that prompted Trump’s election victory.   If the economy remains good that might be all it takes to push the meter towards Trump.  The axiom holds true from the first Clinton presidential run.  “It’s the economy stupid.”

Here is where ultra liberals are myopically clueless.   They think that because they are ultra sensitive to issues like race or the separation of mothers from babies of those entering the U. S. illegally, that most of the country is.   Worse, they think everyone should be.   As a conservative political commentator (who doesn’t like Trump) put it recently, Trump is not conservative:  He is anti-liberal.  And a lot of Americans obviously respond to that.

I’m thinking about Trump’s daily splurge of lies, distortions and showman distractions – like which super conservative he will pick for the Supreme Court Monday night.  Should he pick tweedle dee or tweedle dum? Or maybe tweedle tweedle?  A political commentator whom I respect referred today to Monday night’s announcement as “must see TV.”

No it’s not.  He has fallen into the Trump vortex, the same swirl that drew commentators to talk about the Trump/Kim “historic meeting” in Singapore.  Have you noticed in recent days that the North Koreans now charge us with trying to deal with them mafia style, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refers to the same meetings in NOKO as making substantial progress?  (The last thing his boss wants is for his promises of our no longer having to fear NOKO to become a laughing stock.)

ENOUGH!

Basically we are all waiting to see what happens in the fall mid-terms, so until October I will try to spare you my jumbled thoughts.   If something really grabs me, something that might actually seem important regarding the fall elections or can illuminate this ongoing public psychic mess, I’ll write about it, but otherwise no.

That’s all I can do at this point.