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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Kentucky opinion: Op-Ed from Senator McConnell land

Senator Mitch McConnell is the Republican President of the US Senate, representing people who live in Kentucky. An interesting read, in this well written opinion "letter to the editor", in the Danville, Kentucky, "The Advocate-Messenger", from Rene Payne of Standord, KY.  

This is a strong critical opinion about the Republicans, published in a local Kentucky newspaper that doesn't seem to feature too much national news.
The Advocate-Messenger in Danville KY

Republicans putting party ahead of country on Russia investigation
https://www.amnews.com/2017/03/25/republicans-putting-party-ahead-of-country-on-russia-investigation/


Image result for Senator Mitch McConnell pictures
Senator Mitch McConnell (R) President of the US Senate
Dear Editor,

The complete lack of conviction that the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have displayed in regards to investigating Trump and his staff’s possible involvement with Russia and Trump’s accusation of wiretapping is stunning.

During the open hearing on March 20, the Republicans concentrated on leaks instead of Trump and his staff. Two days later, Rep. Nunes (R-California), majority chairman of the committee, held two press conferences to report he had received and read intercepts (the source of which did not appear to come through the usual channels) that Trump’s transition team had been victims of incidental surveillance collection. Between the two press conferences, Nunes met with Trump to relay this information.

The minority chairman, Rep. Schiff (D-California), was made aware of the intercepts at the same time the press was informed. The significance of this revelation is that the Intelligence Committee is supposed to be investigating Trump and his staff, rather than acting as a surrogate for them.

In addition, Nunes most certainly should have shared the intercepts with the Intelligence Committee instead of Trump and the press. Nunes’ actions shreds the credibility of the committee he is supposed to lead. Oh, and by the way, Nunes was on Trump’s transition team.

During “Watergate” Nixon did “stonewall” the investigation against his administration, but the Congress worked in a bipartisan manner to investigate him. It is disheartening that so many of our elected officials appear to choose loyalty to their political party instead of to their country. This investigation appears to be anything but “Bipartisan.”

Rene Payne, Stanford KY

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Climb Every Mountain - rise up to Medicare for All

It's impossible to understand how Republicans continue to ignore the achievements of civilized nations that provide universal health care for all their citizens - including Russia!, while ignoring their responsibility to provide insurance coverage for our fellow Americans. (Canada provides universal care!)

Nevertheless, in the dismal failure the Republicans experienced in the humiliating defeat of their "replace" bill, called the American Health Care Act (AHCA), their stupidity may have finally driven home the concept of "universal health care". Indeed, even conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer "gets" this.

RealClear Politics by Tim Haines:
Krauthammer: Obamacare Succeeded In Creating Expectation Of Universal Health Care

On Friday's edition of  FoxNews 'Special Report', the syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer made the case that President Obama's strategy for his signature "Obamacare" was not to create a perfect health care system, but to build the expectation that health care is "a human right", and something the government is responsible for supporting. 

Krauthammer said Obama was successful at "creating the expectation of universal health care". As a result "the zeitgeist (Oh, for heavens sake Krauthammer, use real English!- "dominant set of ideals and beliefs that motivate the actions of the members of a society") in the country has really changed." Put another way, the failed Republican's health care "repeal and replace" changed the dominant point of view about health care.  It's not a back door way to inject tax cuts for the rich, like the failed Republican plan tried and failed to do. Rather, it's a human right for all people.
Image result for Charles Krauthammer
Charles Krauthammer is a pundit

"The Democrats are going in one direction," Krauthammer explained. "When Obamacare explodes or collapses, or dies with a whimper and not a bang... the Democrats are going to head in one direction only: single payer. The British or Canadian system."

"That is the logic of Obamacare. It was a system which would temporarily create (an entitlement?) HELLO? It's not an entitlement when people pay premiums for the coverage!

Krauthammper is wrong to tell Fox News that Obamacare will not work because, in fact, it is financially possible. Beneficiaries who pay for the Affordable Care Act coverage expect to have essential benefits included in their insurance and, moreover, they're willing to pay for this benefit. Obamacare works because it is financially possible... But, said Krauthammer,  the Republcians have succeeded at creating the expectation of universal care, (yes!) and once you have that... What we're going to get is Democrats going to a single payer," he added.
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Krauthammer, says we're experiencing "zeitgeist'? In other words, America has finally reached a "teachable moment" about how to conceptualize health care.  It's a human right.

"The zeitgeist in the country has really changed," he said.

Haha! Yup, I even looked up the word, for the benefit of readers (like me!) who might not entirely "get" what Krauthammer said to right wing FoxNews. In fact, the truth is, the debate over the failed Republican plan called the American Health Care Act has created a teachable moment in our daunting public policy debate about health care.

"Zeitgeist", to you  too, Krauthammer.  Let's expand Medicare to cover all people who qualify!

By the way, for a man who's board certified in psychiatry, you sure can confuse people with you weird words.  

Although Democrats, led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, can justifiably rejoice in well organized opposition to the Republican's "repeal and replace" disaster, the fact is, we must climb even more political mountains to achieve the ultimate goal of passing universal coverage. Let's do it!

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Republicans considered eliminating essential health benefits

"Instead of continuing to make a bad bill worse," Lawrence says Congress should start over again to come up with a bill that improves health and reduces cost. -(Maine Writer- well what about improving what's already in the law?)

Health insurance is really a misnomer. In fact, people buy "sickness insurance", because they only use it for sickness care. 
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Health insurance is used when a beneficiary needs acute care like surgery, mental health, substance abuse, maternity, emergency or pediatric health services. Can this really be true? It makes no sense, in fact, it's positive lunacy! Nevertheless, Republicans considered a replacement for the popular Affodable Care Act or "Obamacare" by taking the essential benefits away from mandrory coverage. Removing the essential benefits as a requirement for insurance benefits will cereate a proverbial Niagra Falls of revenue for insurance comapnies. Beneficiaries would pay huge out of pocket expenses for benefits that wouldn't be covered in their plans. Whaaaaa? How can this be so?  

Indeed, it almost was so, because the Republicans became dangeorusly close to voting on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), their "replacement" for the ACA, whereby the essential health benefits most people use in their insurance plans would be cut. Make no mistake about it,, the Republicans really-really wanted to to pass the AHCA.  It was their time to repeal Obamacare after working for 7 years to dismantle the bill.  Republicans really-really wanted to pass the AHCA but they failed to even bring the bill to a vote today, March 24th, on the House floor.  It was the result of a complete failure of Republican leadership.  But, the final nail in the proverbial bill's heart was when a list of "essential benefits" was cut from the services required to be covered in a helath insurance plan.

USA Today ReportsJayne O'Donnell , USA TODAY
Eliminating or reducing required health insurance benefits, now part of the Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also threatens to kill the ACA's annual and lifetime limits on patients' costs, which was enacted to prevent bankruptcies due to medical costs. (This wrong minded provision would be a foot in the door to dismantling Medicare where there are no lifetime limits to coverage.)

Late Thursday night, House Speaker Paul Ryan released an amendment that would leave it up to states starting in 2018 which, if any, of these benefits have to be included in plans sold to people receiving tax credits to buy their insurance. About 85% of people who buy their insurance on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges get tax credits. This, the Speaker's office said, "will help lower costs and expand choices."
The limits on out of pocket costs only apply to the ACA-required 10 essential health benefits, which include prescription drugs and hospital care. So eliminating the benefit requirement makes the limits "essentially meaningless," says health care legal expert Tim Jost.

Currently, these benefits must be covered in employer-provided insurance and plans sold on the exchanges in states that use Healthcare.gov, while states that operate their own exchanges can have slightly different requirements. Plans for people who gained coverage under the ACA expansion of Medicaid also have to include these benefits.

In addition to prescriptions and hospital care, marketplace plan benefits also include:

• Pregnancy, maternity and newborn care

• Mental health and substance abuse disorder services

• Rehab services and devices for people with disabilities

• Preventive and lab services

• Dental care for kid

The latest amendment to the American Health Care Act (AHCA)would dedicate an additional $15 billion to the Patient and State Stability Fund (PSSF) for services covered in essential health benefits including maternity, mental health, and substance abuse care.

The money would help, says National Council for Behavioral Health CEO Linda Rosenberg, but it doesn't come close to offsetting the $880 billion cuts planned for the Medicaid program. (This provision was a shell game because there's no way the Stability Fund would be protected from being used for purposes it was not intended to pay for.)
"This is a grant and that’s an entitlement," says Rosenberg. "We don't do that with breast cancer - tell people you have to go to a place for treatment that got a grant for five years."

Hal Lawrence, a physician who is CEO of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, is also far from satisfied with the late night change.

“We support maternity coverage for all women in all insurance plans, regardless of who a woman works for or where she lives," says Lawrence. "This fund is not a solution and does not, in any way, mitigate the assault on women's health by returning maternity coverage to the vagaries of state politics."

"Instead of continuing to make a bad bill worse," Lawrence says Congress should start over again to come up with a bill that improves health and reduces cost.

The House's Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative Republicans, were pushing for language that would eliminate these required services, but House leaders originally said it couldn't be done under the special procedures through which the legislation is being moved through Congress. These require only 51 votes and don't allow for a Democratic filibuster. Wednesday night, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said the Senate parliamentarian had told him the insurance provisions would not necessarily violate those budget procedures.


Many consumers concerned about their high ACA premiums often complained that their plans included coverage they said they neither needed nor wanted. Women past childbearing years found their maternity and birth control coverage particularly galling or at least laughable, but some experts say such coverage costs need to be spread across all people to keep premiums reasonable.

"This notion that people can buy the plan they want" is flawed, says Linda Rosenberg, CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, which represents mental health and addiction treatment centers. Young people would only buy catastrophic coverage and the pool of people with regular insurance would be much sicker and costs would be prohibitively high, she says.

Health care economist John Goodman, however, says "it would be some help if insurers could have more flexibility in what they offer." Goodman, who helped draft one of the Republican ACA alternatives in Congress, says the required health benefits "force everyone to pay more money" for plans that cover services they may not need, such as for a very premature baby.
The opioid epidemic in congressmens' backyards

Along with keeping Medicaid intact, Rosenberg says the requirement that plans cover mental health and addiction treatment needs to stay in any bill that passes Congress. She says reducing the number of people covered by Medicaid and/or the coverage in Medicaid and ACA plans — as the Republicans' American Health Care Act would — threatens the ability of people suffering from mental health or addiction disorder to work and stay out of prison.

That describes the risk Samuel Hedgepeth says he would face if he lost his mental health and addiction coverage. He says he self-medicated for his bipolar disorder beginning at age 13 with alcohol and drugs including cocaine, heroin and other opioids. It wasn't until he got Medicaid in Maryland last year that he got treatment for his mental illness, despite 10 years in prison. He says he suffered from anger, paranoia and suicidal thoughts.

"My alcohol and my drug addiction — that was my way of coping"
says Hedgepeth, who lives in Hyattsville, Md. "Your body starts craving it, and you're willing to do anything to satisfy that obsession."

Eliminating the required health benefits could also jeopardize more moderate Republicans' votes even if it attracts conservatives. Rep. Peter King, a moderate New York Republican, went from a "no" vote to undecided after talking to President Trump, but then said he was closer to "no" after the essential health benefit plan surfaced.

Many moderate members also "ran by saying their top priority was addressing the opioid epidemic, the worst drug crisis in U.S. history," says Meaghan Smith, a spokeswoman for a coalition of ACA supporters known as the Protect Our Care Campaign. Eliminating essential health benefits "will be devastating for people throughout the country trying to fight the opioid epidemic and it will be political disaster for these members of Congress."

As for screening tests, Goodman says "preventive medicine doesn’t pay for itself," adding that many tests are "very controversial."

If cancers aren't caught early because people are either uninsured or their plans don't have to cover preventive health screenings, doctors and other health experts say cancer rates and deaths will increase. The Kaiser Family Foundation has reported 36% fewer uninsured women had a mammogram in the last two years, and uninsured women were 30 to 50% more likely to die from the disease. Women who lacked insurance were also three times less likely to have had a Pap smear in the last three years and had a 60% great risk of late-stage cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer, says Lawrence, "is basically it’s a preventable cancer." The later cancer is diagnosed, however, the greater the risk of death.

"It’s a horrible idea that takes away women’s access to preventive and maternity care," Lawrence says of the AHCA. "What (members of Congress) will do is increase illness, pregnancy complications, cancer and death. Sadly, the AHCA takes us back to well before the ACA."

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Speaker Ryan had 7 years to write a health care bill


House GOP Leaders Pull Trumpcare Vote- Speaker Ryan is proving he's certainly not a Tip O'Neil- who was a giant among political negotiators when he was the Speaker of the House.
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Speaker Paul Ryan wants to blame Republicans for not supporting the American Health Care Act (AHCA) rather than admit the bill is flawed becaue it doesn't meet consumer (aka "voters") expectatons

Makes no sense for Speaker Ryan's to shift the blame about the lack of support for the Republicaan "American Health Care Act" (AHCA), and the ensuing public policy debacle, to blame those who,in the past, voted to repeal Obamacarre or The Affordable Care Act (ACA),. He believes the Republicans have an oblgation to pass any kind of health care coverage law, just because they happen to oppose Obamacare. But, what Speaker Ryan doesn't "get" is thaat quality health care is "compensated health care". To repeal Obamacare without a suitable replacement, inclusive of popular benefits like maternity care, coverage for pre-existing conditijons and keeping children up to ag3 28 on a parents plans, causes a lack of access to compensated care. In other words, in the Re[ublican plan, insurance companies will create healthcare plans whereby beneficiares will pay for no access at all. At the end of this story, the result is hospitals and health  facilities will be forecedto close for lack of patients who can pay for their care.

All of this drama is a back door way of giving those who earn over $250,000 a year a tax break. How stupid is that?

Paul Ryan Sells Health Care Bill As A 'Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity'- in other words, Speaker Ryan wants to say he has power enough to harm poor people. He is staking his entire political reputation on taking an insurance benefit from ACA beneficiaries who pay premiums for their coverage.

Well, at least on the first try, Speaker Ryan received a reality check. His obsession with passing this AHCA thru Congress without public hearings is causing more harm to the "repeal and replace". But, the real issue is, why bother to repeal Obamacare when it's working well? Rather than repeal, just work a bi-partisan deal to improve the current law.

But, instead, Ryan says, "This is the chance. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he said, roving the stage with a wireless mic, gesturing at both the audience in front of him and the PowerPoint presentation behind him.

(TED Talk? Late-night infomercial? Nope — it was House Speaker Paul Ryan, making a hard pitch for his health care plan after a week of loud conservative criticism.)

After listening to conservative groups like the Club For Growth blast the bill as a "warmed-over substitute for government-run health care," Ryan went on offense, saying this is just the first step of an ongoing overhaul of the health system. (OMG- what's wrong with Republicans?  They should be taking pride in supporting and improving government's rose in health care rather than cutting the progress made over the past 100 years to improve quality and affordable access.)


But, regardless of the darma.....
Washington DC- The House Republican leadership’s effort this week to (needlessly! and... sloppily) drive home its Obamacare repeal legislation seemingly collapsed on Thursday afternoon, when President Donald Trump was ultimately unable to win the elusive support of the hard-right Freedom Caucus. 

According to GOP sources, the healthcare vote will be postponed. Meetings among Republican members are expected to continue through out the evening. On Wednesday night, the caucus directly circumvented House leadership and Speaker Paul Ryan’s office to negotiate directly with Trump and the White House.

In fact, the caucus has been the single biggest obstacle to passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in the House, and was reportedly nearing cutting a deal with the president. 

Members of the Freedom Caucus indicated that the president and House leadership were open to nixing the so-called "essential health benefits" from the House bill—a proposal that would prove anathema to more moderate Republicans in both the House and Senate.

Despite the frantic, high-level negotiations and courtship that lasted well into Wednesday evening, no new deal was struck, and the AHCA was left with an even more uncertain future than it had when the day started.Freedom Caucus aides who spoke to The Daily Beast on Thursday morning said that, despite the “cautious optimism” on bringing Trump more into their corner, nothing had changed. The caucus’s concerns with the bill—which members view as another big-government conservative sell-out—were still far too great to support it, and President Trump and Speaker Ryan still weren’t surrendering to all their demands.

A friendly meeting at the White House with the president and his key advisers on Thursday morning didn’t do much to appease members of the Freedom Caucus or its staunchly anti-AHCA chairman Rep. Mark Meadows. 

A friendly meeting at the White House that happened the day before didn’t make a dent, either. Even Trump’s high-profile visit to Capitol Hill to single out and warn conservative holdouts that “many of you will lose your seats in 2018 if you don’t get this done” didn’t move the needle in his direction.

For weeks, the House Freedom Caucus was publicly and loudly vowing to not blink in its game of chicken against the Trump White House and House GOP leadership. They made it a mission to kill the bill—and the caucus delivered. “We’re taking [Trumpcare] down,” a Freedom Caucus aide assured The Daily Beast on Tuesday morning. —Asawin Suebsaeng

Republicans in Congress have long vowed that they can make health care more affordable and accessible. Americans will now see if they can keep that promise. (But, the Republican Speaker had 7 years, since Obamacare was passed, to come up with a cogent plan.....)

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Feudal mentality - Republicans use the poor to protect the rich

"If a society is judged by how it treats the most vulnerable and weak, America is a country in decline, a country whose citizens should be ashamed of their leaders — and, in some cases, ashamed of themselves."-Chauncey DeVega is a politics staff writer for Salon.

In a feudal system, the idea was for peasants and surfs to work for the king of the castle in exchange for certain privileges associated with security and (perhaps) food.  On the other hand, the king could tax the minions for the privilege of providing essential services.  This feudal system may have been genetic because many Republicans, including Speaker Paul Ryan, seem to have inherited the practice of robbing from the poor to give to the rich.
Feudalism  in the Middle Ages worksheet graphic organizer
Feudal system graphic- taking from the poor

Why are Republicans so cruel to the poor? - in Salon.com

Paul Ryan’s profound hypocrisy stands for a deeper problem
Paul Ryan has dreamed of slashing Medicaid since his keg-party days — and that blithe hostility is widespread

Republican Paul Ryan, like most other members of the United States Congress, is a millionaire.

On the other hand, Christa Patton is 68 years old. She is frail and no longer able to leave her home. She lives on a fixed income. Patton told Van Jones on a recent episode of his CNN show “The Messy Truth” that she would not be able to eat without the Meals on Wheels program.

Paul Ryan is the speaker of the United States House of Representatives. By his own account, in college he used to hang out with his friends and drink beer while sharing his dreams of cutting Medicaid. When Ryan was 15 years old, his father died from a heart attack caused by alcoholism. Ryan and his family then received his father’s Social Security survivor’s benefits. Ryan used that money to attend college. This was not the only money that Paul Ryan received from federal government. 

His family built its wealth from receiving government contracts.

Like his idol Ayn Rand (who argued against the very idea of government and the commons yet received social security and Medicare). Paul Ryan has combined meanness, cruelty and callousness towards the weak and the vulnerable with gross and unapologetic hypocrisy.
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Ayn Rand (1905-1982) is the inspiration for Speaker Ryan's ideology about cutting what he believes are "entitlements", but Ms. Rand her self was a beneficiary of Social Security and Medicare. 
Bu the way, Ms. Rand was a Russian immigrant - (ahhh, the #Russia_connection again!)

Republicans like Ryan — along with the millionaires and billionaires who comprise Donald Trump’s Cabinet and inner circle — literally want to take food, shelter and health care away from poor people like Christa Patton.

Today’s Republicans view these Americans as useless eaters to be disposed of by means both passive and active.

It is normal to feel aghast at and disgusted by the Republican Party’s war on the poor. The more challenging and perhaps even more disturbing task is to ask why today’s conservatives feel such antipathy, disregard and hostility towards poor and other vulnerable Americans. Certainly greed and a slavish devotion to a revanchist right-wing ideology are part of the answer. But they may not be sufficient

Conservatives are more likely to exhibit social dominance and bullying behavior. This is a function of their authoritarian tendencies. The election of Donald Trump exemplifies this phenomenon.

American political elites often use language that robs poor and other marginalized people of their individuality, humanity and dignity. This language also creates a type of social distance between “middle class” or “normal” Americans and the economically disadvantaged.

Conservatism is a type of motivated social cognition that by its very nature is hostile to those groups located on the lower rungs of the social hierarchy.

Conservatives are more likely than liberals or progressives to believe in what is known as the “just world fallacy,” where people who suffer misfortune are viewed as somehow deserving their fates. Conservatives are also more likely than liberals or progressives not to use systems-level thinking as a means of understanding that individuals do not exist separate and apart from society. Conservatives are also more likely to defend social inequality as “fair and legitimate.”

Social psychologists have shown that, in effect, poor people are invisible to the rich and upper classes.

The psychological dynamic known as the “diffusion of responsibility,” in which individuals tend to ignore people who are in crisis — especially if they are perceived to be a member of a different social group, race, ethnicity or class — also encourages a lack of empathy and concern. It undercuts policies meant to offer direct assistance to vulnerable and marginalized individuals and communities. A perverse corollary to the “diffusion of responsibility” can also be used to legitimate punitive policies that target specific individuals and groups.

The myth of meritocracy and its cousin the myth of individualism exert a powerful hold over many Americans. This is especially true among conservatives. Social scientists and others have repeatedly demonstrated that American society is not a true meritocracy. Other research has shown that intergenerational income and class mobility are also relatively uncommon in the United States.

Likewise, the concept of the self-made person whose success is a function of “rugged individualism” is also a fantasy better suited to its dime-store origins than as a serious way of understanding American society. 

Nevertheless, these cultural mythologies do the practical political and social work of legitimizing the Republican war on the poor.

Race and class are intimately linked together in American (and Western) society. As such, poor people are incorrectly stereotyped as being overwhelmingly black and brown. 

In the United States, the intersections of race and class also impact the media narratives and cultural scripts that dictate who and what groups have historically been considered “deserving” (widows of war veterans, the disabled, single white mothers, children, the elderly) and “undeserving” (adult men and people of color).

Conservative media — and sometimes mainstream media as well — routinely uses false and misleading information to discuss the social safety net. For example, President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society as well as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal initiatives were extremely successful in terms of alleviating poverty and improving the general welfare of the American people. Yet right-wing media consistently tells its public that such programs were failures, a narrative that intentionally ignores the Republican Party’s efforts to undermine the effectiveness of those programs.

Among evangelical Christians, what is called the “prosperity gospel” has become increasingly influential. This grotesque interpretation of Christian doctrine assures its adherents that poor people deserve their circumstances because God has chosen not to bless them with money. Conversely, rich people have more money because God has deemed them worthy. 

Christian evangelicals — especially those who believe in the prosperity gospel — were a key constituency in Donald Trump’s winning coalition.

The brain structures of conservatives and liberals are quite different. Conservatives are capable of being empathetic. However, conservatives focus those feelings on their in-group such as immediate family and community. Liberals have a different biological inclination: They are able to feel empathy for those people and groups who are not part of their close social circle and community.




What can be done?

The bad news is that there is no evidence to suggest that the brains of conservatives can be modified to make them more empathetic and sympathetic towards their fellow human beings. Nor is the harmful messaging and narratives from the right-wing media about poor folks — and the Other more generally — likely to change in the foreseeable future.

On the level of practical politics, there have been no substantial negative electoral consequences to Republicans’ decades-long war on the social safety net and the common good. Thus, there is no reason in terms of electoral calculus for the Republican Party to stop pursuing such policies. Moreover, it is unlikely that conservative red-state voters will “wake up” and stop supporting a political party that actually leaves them less economically prosperous and financially secure. Here, poor and working-class Republican voters are like Pavlov’s dogs, seeking out abuse from their masters in the hope that the latter will hurt other Americans even more so.

But maybe there is hope. Americans must reinvigorate their social and political institutions across divides of race and class. This is the social glue that can be used to transcend the culture of cruelty that the Republican Party and the regime of neoliberal economics has imposed in the United States. Political messaging is critical: America should be a true “we the people” democracy that meets the needs of all people and not just those of the rich and the powerful. The Democratic Party must improve the way it communicates that vision to the American people.

Unfortunately, the Republican war on the poor is but one sign of the deep moral rot at the heart of American society. This crisis extends well beyond the election of Donald Trump and the cruelty both promised and so far enacted by his cadre and the Republican Party. If a society is judged by how it treats the most vulnerable and weak, America is a country in decline, a country whose citizens should be ashamed of their leaders — and, in some cases, ashamed of themselves.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Russia has won their intelligence invasion of US

Reality check to Rep. Devon Nunes- the intelligence invasion of the US- 2016 election - was a victory for Vladimir Putin. In fact, apologetics by Republicans who want to mitigate the Donald 'Trump campaign involvement in this sabatoge is, in itself, dangerous. An imdependent investigation is necessary.


In my opinion, for Rep Devon Nunes to continue leading the investigation about how Russia invaded the US election in 2016 is like letting the proverbial clicehe "fox guarding the hen house' to contineu, in other words, Russia will return again for more victorious feasting

Rep. Devon Nunes is the epitomy of the cliche "fox guarding the hen house". In fact, Nunes was a part of the transition team that he is now in charge of investigating. He must recuse himself from this dangerous inventigation because, as FBI Director James Comey  said as reinterated by National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers said, "Russis is going to do this interference again."
Thank goodness for Rep. Adam Schiff of California for his steadfast leadership for raising the growing concerns about how the Russian inelligence invasion has threatened national security. His leadership is essential, while the House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Devon Nunes is making nice with Donald Trump.


Schiff: There is now 'more than circumstantial evidence' of Trump-Russia collusion by Madeline Conway
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that there is “more than circumstantial evidence now” to suggest that President Donald Trump’s campaign may have colluded with Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election, but he would not offer details.

“I can tell you that the case is more than that,” Schiff told Chuck Todd on MSNBC. “And I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now.”
When Todd followed up, asking if he had “seen direct evidence of collusion,” Schiff would not say so directly, but insisted that he has seen some “evidence that is not circumstantial” and is worth investigating.

“I don’t want to go into specifics, but I will say that there is evidence that is not circumstantial and is very much worthy of investigation, so that is what we ought to do,” Schiff said.

The FBI is currently investigating any links between the Trump campaign and Russia and whether the two parties coordinated with Russia’s suspected cyberattacks on Democratic Party officials before the election.

Trump and his aides have repeatedly denied any such wrongdoing. While Democrats have been raising questions about the president’s relationship with Russia for months, no public evidence has emerged to tie him or his associates directly to the cyberattacks.


(Circumstantial evidence, notwithstanding....)

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

List of lies- How does he get away with them? Toronto Star

In fact: George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all earned bigger margins in the electoral college than Trump did.


Toronto Star: (It just seems to me the international news media is much more aggressive about keeping tabs on Donald Trump than American news)https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/02/24/daniel-dales-donald-trump-fact-check-updates.html

The complete list of all 129 false things Donald Trump has said as president
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Pinocchio score is very high with Donald Trump but the problem is (and it's very serious) he isn't being held accountable for his felonious (a Rep. Trey Gowdy R-SC over-used word) behavior.
(Rep. Trey Gowdy- R-SC over uses the word "felonious". Too bad he doesn't apply it to Donald Trump)


The Star’s running tally of the lies, exaggerations and deceptions the president of the United States of America has said, so far - of course, the top of this list is the false accusation about President Obama ordering a wire tap of Trump Towers. Anybody with half a brain knows it was the Russians who may have engaged in a wire tap of Trump Towers. As a matter of fact, there was a Russian money laundering scheme already hooked up in to Trump Towers in suite 63 A, according to ABC News.  There are entirely too many Trump >Russia connections to avoid the preponderance of evidence about how Vladimir Putin has somehow coopted Donald Trump and his administration.

Donald Trump makes frequent false claims about matters big and small. The Star is planning to track them all.
Last updated: Mar. 17, 2017

129.Mar. 15, 2017 — Interview with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson

The repeated claim about the F-35: “On the airplanes, I saved $725 million, probably took me a half an hour if you added up all of the times.”  In fact: Trump was not responsible for these savings: Lockheed Martin had been moving to cut the price well before Trump was elected, multiple aviation and defense experts say. Just a week after Trump’s election, the head of the F-35 program announced a reduction of 6 to 7 per cent — in the $600 million to $700 million range.

“Trump’s claimed $600 million cut is right in the ballpark of what the price reduction was going to be all along,” wrote Popular Mechanics. “Bottom line: Trump appears to be taking credit for years of work by the Pentagon and Lockheed,” Aviation Week reported, per the Washington Post.

128. Mar. 15, 2017 — Interview with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson The claim about his source for his allegation that President Barack Obama had wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower:
“Well, I’ve been reading about things. I read in, I think it was January 20, a New York Times article where they were talking about wiretapping. There was an article, I think they used that exact term.” Added: “Well, because The New York Times wrote about it.”

In fact: This claim contains a kernel of truth, but it is so misleading that it is largely false. The Times article did use the word “wiretapped,” but it did not mention Obama, and it did not mention Trump Tower. Rather, it said only that U.S. authorities were examining intercepted communications related to Trump associates’ possible ties with Russian officials; it suggested that there had been wiretaps of foreign officials, not Americans.

127. Mar. 15, 2017 — Interview with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson

The claim: “And don’t forget, when I say wiretapping, those words were in quotes. That really covers, because wiretapping is pretty old-fashioned stuff. But that really covers surveillance and many other things. And nobody ever talks about the fact that it was in quotes, but that’s a very important thing.”

In fact: Trump did use quotation marks in two of his four tweets accusing Barack Obama of improperly surveilling him. However, in the other two, he made the same accusation without quotation marks. “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process,” he wrote in one; “I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!” he wrote in the other.


(This "felonious" claim - a word Representative Trey Gowdy enjoys over-using) was debunked by FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers. 

113. Feb. 28, 2017 — Speech to joint session of Congress

The claim: “We’ve defended the borders of other nations while leaving our own borders wide open for anyone to cross.”

In fact: The U.S., of course, does not have an undefended or open border, though people manage to sneak past the defenses. The Border Patrol, which has a budget of $14 billion, apprehended 415,816 people in 2016.

112. Feb. 28, 2017 —Speech to joint session of Congress

The claim: “I am sending the Congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the defense sequester, and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.”

In fact: His proposed increase, of about 10 per cent, is not one of the largest in history, experts say. “Trump’s historical increase is actually quite average,” Laicie Heeley, a defense budget analyst at the Stimson Center think tank, told Politifact.

111. Feb. 28, 2017 — Remarks while signing executive order on Waters of the United States

The claim: “But a few years ago, the EPA decided that navigable waters can mean nearly every puddle or every ditch on a farmer’s land or anyplace else that they decide. Right? It was a massive power grab.”

In fact: This claim about puddles has been a common Republican talking point, but it is not accurate. The Environmental Protection Agency has specifically excluded puddles from this regulation; a fact sheet on its website says, “THE CLEAN WATER RULE DOES NOT REGULATE PUDDLES.” While critics of the regulation argue that the law can still be read to cover puddles, it is just not true that the EPA decided that nearly every puddle is included.

110. Feb. 28, 2017 — Remarks while signing executive order on Waters of the United States

The claim about the waters rule: “The EPA’s regulators were putting people out of jobs by the hundreds of thousands.”

(This is absurd! Donald Trump should never be allowed to get away with such outrageous lies. Americans have become obsessed by a cult mentality and this is a sociological phenomenon that is extremely difficult to break down.  As an American who is acutely aware of this hypnotic affect, it's very scary.)

In fact: There is no evidence for this claim.😱

109. Feb. 28, 2017 — Remarks while signing executive order on Waters of the United States

The claim: “In one case in Wyoming, a rancher was fined $37,000 a day by the EPA for digging a small watering hole for his cattle. His land.”

In fact: The rancher did more than dig a small hole, FactCheck.org found: without a permit, he “constructed a dam on Six Mile Creek, a waterway deemed by the EPA to be a tributary of the Blacks Fork River, which in turn is a tributary of the Green River.”

108. Feb. 28, 2017 — Interview with Fox News’s Fox and Friends

The repeated claim: “We saved $700-million-plus on a F-35 after I got involved.”

In fact: These savings did not come after Trump got involved: Lockheed Martin had been moving to cut the price well before Trump was elected, multiple aviation and defence experts say. Just a week after Trump’s election, the head of the F-35 program announced a reduction of 6 to 7 per cent — in the $600 million to $700 million range.

“Trump’s claimed $600 million cut is right in the ballpark of what the price reduction was going to be all along,” wrote Popular Mechanics. “Bottom line: Trump appears to be taking credit for years of work by the Pentagon and Lockheed,” Aviation Week reported, per the Washington Post.

107. Feb. 28, 2017 — Interview with Fox News’s Fox and Friends

The claim: “You look at the kind of numbers we’re doing. We were probably GDP of a little more than 1 per cent.”

In fact: This is an exaggeration. U.S. gross domestic product grew by 1.6 per cent in 2016; no economic analyst would round this to 1 per cent or call it “a little more than 1 per cent.” GDP grew by 2.6 per cent the year prior.

106. Feb. 28, 2017 — Interview with Fox News’s Fox and Friends

The repeated claim: “You see what I’ve done. Ford has announced, General Motors, Fiat has announced. They’re all building big plants, they’re all coming back into the United States. They were fleeing. They were fleeing our country.”

In fact: Trump is taking credit for investments he was not responsible for. GM did not offer any indication that it made its new investment of $1 billion because of Trump, and independent automotive analysts said it was unlikely Trump was a major factor; GM invested $2.9 billion last year, before Trump was elected. The parent company of Chrysler said Trump had no influence on its newly announced $1 billion investment in Michigan and Ohio, telling ThinkProgress, “This plan was in the works back in 2015.” Further, all of these companies were maintaining a major presence in the U.S. before Trump was elected.

105. Feb. 28, 2017 — Interview with Fox News’s Fox and Friends

The claim: “Look just at the money I’ve saved. I’ve saved billions and billions of dollars.”

In fact: There is no evidence of this.

104. Feb. 27, 2017 — Meeting with the National Governors Association

The claim: “Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated.”

In fact: We let a lot of Trump’s hyperbole slide, but this one is egregious. Numerous experts warned that the repeal of Obamacare was far more complicated than Trump was suggesting when he said he would do it immediately upon becoming president. And a Politico health journalist, Dan Diamond, tweeted multiple examples of Barack Obama calling healthcare complicated. Finally, Trump himself said repeal and replacement was “very complicated stuff” a week and a half before he took office.

103. Feb. 27, 2017 — Meeting with the National Governors Association

The repeated claim: “I got involved in an airplane contract, I got involved in some other contracts, and we cut the hell out of the prices. I mean, we saved a lot of money, tremendous amount of money, beyond anything that the generals that were involved…On one plane, on a small order of one plane, I saved $725 million. And I would say I devoted about, if I added it up, all those calls, probably about an hour.”

In fact: Trump was taking personal credit for savings he did not personally secure. These savings did not come after Trump “got involved”: Lockheed Martin had been moving to cut the price of the F-35 well before Trump was elected, multiple aviation and defence experts say. Just a week after Trump’s election, the head of the F-35 program announced a reduction of 6 to 7 per cent — in the $600 million to $700 million range.

“Trump’s claimed $600 million cut is right in the ballpark of what the price reduction was going to be all along,” wrote Popular Mechanics. “Bottom line: Trump appears to be taking credit for years of work by the Pentagon and Lockheed,” Aviation Week reported, per the Washington Post.

102. Feb. 27, 2017 — Interview with Breitbart News

The repeated claim about the New York Times: “In fact, they had to write a letter of essentially apology to their subscribers because they got the election so wrong.”

In fact: The Times never apologized for its Trump coverage; Trump was referring to a post-election letter, a kind of sales pitch, in which Times leaders thanked readers and said they planned to “rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism.”

101. Feb. 27, 2017 — Interview with Breitbart News (aka "Barfcart_News")

The claim about New York Times journalist Michael Barbaro: “For instance, when people read the story on the women – first of all, the reporter who wrote the story has a website full of hatred of Donald Trump. So, he shouldn’t be allowed to be a reporter because he’s not objective.”

In fact: Barbaro does not have a website.😏

100. Feb. 27, 2017 — Interview with Breitbart News (aka "Barfcart_News")

The claim: “They did a front-page article on women talking about me, and the women went absolutely wild because they said that was not what they said. It was a big front-page article, and the Times wouldn’t even apologize and yet they were wrong. You probably saw the women. They went on television shows and everything.”

In fact: One woman, not multiple women, went on television to complain about the Times article in which she was quoted. (Rowanne Brewer Lane alleged that the Times put a “negative” spin on her quotes.) The Times interviewed “dozens” of women; the others did not offer criticism of the piece.

99. Feb. 24, 2017 — Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

The claim: “Maybe they are just bad at polling or maybe they’re not legit, but it’s one or the other, look at how inaccurate — look at CBS, look at ABC, also, look at NBC, take a look at some of these polls.”

In fact: These organizations’ election polls were quite accurate. Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by three points. CBS’s final poll had her winning by four. ABC’s had her winning by three. NBC’s was the worst, with Clinton up by five, but the result was still within the poll’s margin of error.

98. Feb. 24, 2017 — Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

The repeated claim: “Ford and Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Intel, and so many others are now, because of the election result, making major investments in the United States, expanding production and hiring more workers.”

In fact: GM did not offer any indication that it made its new investment of $1 billion because of Trump, and independent automotive analysts said it was unlikely Trump was a major factor; GM invested $2.9 billion last year, before Trump was elected. The parent company of Chrysler said Trump had no influence on its newly announced $1 billion investment in Michigan and Ohio, telling ThinkProgress, “This plan was in the works back in 2015.”

97. Feb. 24, 2017 — Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

The claim: “By the way, you folks are in here — this place is packed, there are lines that go back six blocks and I tell you that because you won’t read about it, OK. But there are lines that go back six blocks.”

In fact: There was no line at all.😝

96. Feb. 24, 2017 — Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

The claim: “Obamacare covers very few people — and remember, deduct from the number all of the people that had great health care that they loved that was taken away from them.”

In fact: By no objective measure does Obamacare cover “very few” people. Twenty million people have gained coverage under the law. One study estimated that 2.6 million people initially received notices that their coverage was being cancelled; the number that actually did was likely far lower. Even if it wasn’t, the coverage gains would far exceed the coverage losses.

95. Feb. 24, 2017 — Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

The repeated claim: “We have authorized the construction, one day, of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines.”

In fact: Trump has not actually approved construction of Keystone XL. His executive order merely invited TransCanada to reapply for approval.

94. Feb. 24, 2017 — Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

The claim: “Our Border Patrol, I’ll tell you what they do, they came and endorsed me, ICE came and endorsed me. They never endorsed a presidential candidate before, they might not even be allowed to.

In fact: Indeed, these two government bodies are not allowed to endorse candidates — and they didn’t. Trump was endorsed by unions of Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees, not the government bodies themselves.

93. Feb. 24, 2017 — Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

The claim: “In fact, in covering my comments, the dishonest media did not explain that I called the fake news the enemy of the people. The fake news. They dropped off the word ‘fake.’ And all of a sudden the story became the media is the enemy. They take the word ‘fake’ out.”

In front of a roaring crowd, Trump again calls the media the ‘enemy of the people’

In fact: This is a strange one. The media accurately reported that Trump tweeted: “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Reports did not take the word “fake” out. Trump uses “fake news” to refer to media coverage broadly, and broadly mentioned five specific outlets, so there was nothing dishonest about reporting that he had attacked the media here.

92. Feb. 24, 2017 — Speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference

The claim: “Because they have no sources, they just make ’em up when there are none. I saw one story recently where they said, ‘Nine people have confirmed.’ There’re no nine people.”

In fact: The Washington Post did not make up its sources: its story, about national security adviser Michael Flynn allegedly discussing U.S. sanctions with Russia’s ambassador before the election, resulted in Trump firing Flynn. (and don't forget to report how LtGenFlynn lied to the Vice President Pence.)

91. Feb. 23, 2017 — White House meeting with manufacturing CEOs

The claim: “Gary, as you know — you all know Gary from Goldman, Gary Cohn. And we’re really happy — just paid $200 million in tax in order to take this job, by the way. Which is very much unlike Gary. But he’s great.”

In fact: Cohn, Trump’s National Economic Council director, did not pay $200 million in tax to take the job. In fact, he did perhaps the exact opposite — sell stock worth more than $200 million. According to Bloomberg, Cohn, formerly president of Goldman Sachs, was preparing to divest “roughly $220 million of Goldman equity he already held or was awaiting, as well as stakes in company-run investment funds”; he also got an additional $65 million payout. Also relevant: he might not have to pay any tax on the sales for a long while. White House appointees who are forced to sell stock to avoid conflicts of interests are allowed to defer capital gains taxes if they plow their proceeds into several kinds of approved investments.

90. Feb. 23, 2017 — White House meeting with manufacturing CEOs

The claim: “We don’t have any good deals. In fact, I’m trying to find a country where we actually have a surplus of trade as opposed to — everything is a deficit.”

In fact: The U.S. has surpluses with more than half of all countries in merchandise trade, figures from the U.S. International Trade Commission show — and merchandise trade is a measure that doesn’t count the services trade at which the U.S. excels. Major countries with which the U.S. has a surplus in merchandise trade include Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, Argentina, and the United Kingdom.

89. Feb. 23, 2017 — White House meeting with manufacturing CEOs

The claim: “With Mexico, we have $70 billion in deficits, trade deficits, and it’s unsustainable. We’re not going to let it happen. Can’t let it happen. We’re going to have a good relationship with Mexico, I hope. And if we don’t, we don’t. But we can’t let that happen — $70 billion in trade deficits.”

In fact: The US trade deficit with Mexico was $63 billion in 2016, U.S. government figures show, counting only trade in goods. It is always billions smaller when trade in services is included.

88. Feb. 23, 2017 — White House meeting with manufacturing CEOs

The claim: “With China, we have close to a $500 billion trade deficit.”

In fact: The U.S. trade deficit with China was $347 billion in 2016, U.S. government figures show, counting only trade in goods. It is always billions smaller when trade in services is included.

87. Feb. 18, 2017 — Campaign rally in Melbourne, Fla.

The claim: “By the way, do you think that one media group back there, one network will show this crowd. Not one. Not one. They won’t show the crowd.”

In fact: CNN, Fox News and NBC all televised wide shots showing the size of the crowd at the rally.

86. Feb. 18, 2017 — Campaign rally in Melbourne, Fla.

The claim: “By the way, we did very well with women. You know, my wife said when some of these phoney polls were put out, the CNN poll was so far off, the phoney polls. When some of these, she said, what’s wrong with you and women.”

In fact: The final CNN poll of the campaign came close to nailing Trump’s showing with women. The poll had Clinton up 52 per cent to 39 per cent, a 13-point lead; exit polls from the actual voting that Clinton had won with women 54 per cent to 41 per cent — 13 points.

85. Feb. 18, 2017 — Campaign rally in Melbourne, Fla.

The claim: “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden.”

In fact: No security incident of note happened the previous night in Sweden.👄

84. Feb. 18, 2017 — Campaign rally in Melbourne, Fla.

The repeated claim: “We’ve allowed thousands and thousands of people into our country and there was no way to vet those people. There was no documentation. There was no nothing.” Added: “Tens of thousands of people into our country, and we don’t know anything about those people.”

In fact: Refugees to the U.S. are rigorously vetted. The process includes multiple kinds of background and security checks and at least two interviews with U.S. representatives. Regardless of their paperwork situation — some have detailed documents, some do not — the U.S. knows far more than nothing about the refugees it approves.

83.Feb. 18, 2017 — Campaign rally in Melbourne, Fla.

The claim: “Ford, General Motors, Fiat-Chrysler are bringing in and bringing back thousands of jobs, investing billions of dollars because of the new business climate that we are creating in our country. In Arizona, Intel, great company, just announced it will open a new plant that will create at least 10,000 brand new beautiful American jobs.”

In fact: GM did not offer any indication that it made its new investment of $1 billion because of Trump, and independent automotive analysts said it was unlikely Trump was a major factor; GM invested $2.9 billion last year, before Trump was elected. The parent company of Chrysler said Trump had no influence on its newly announced $1 billion investment in Michigan and Ohio, telling ThinkProgress, “This plan was in the works back in 2015.” Intel says its new plant, on which it began and then halted work under Barack Obama, will employ up to 3,000 people; the 10,000 figure is an estimate of how many will be created “indirectly.”

82.Feb. 18, 2017 — Campaign rally in Melbourne, Fla.

The claim: “Jobs are already starting to pour back in. They’re coming back in like you haven’t seen in a long time.”

In fact: There is no evidence of jobs returning to the U.S. at levels unseen in a “long time.” Even if we give Trump credit for the good January jobs report — calculated while Barack Obama was still in office — there is no sign of a boom that is without recent precedent. The U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in January. It did better than that during 11 months out of the last two years. For example, it added 233,000 in February 2016, 275,000 in July 2016 and 271,000 in December 2015.

81.Feb. 18, 2017 — Campaign rally in Melbourne, Fla.

The repeated claim about the F-35 fighter plane: “I also got Boeing in. I said do me a favour, give me a competing offer. And now they’re competing and fighting and we’ve gotten hundreds of millions of dollars off the price of a plane that was going to be ordered … So they’re going to make plenty of money, but it’s going to be a lot less than they would have made without Trump.”

In fact: Trump did not personally secure these savings: Lockheed Martin had been moving to cut the price well before Trump was elected, multiple aviation and defence experts say. Just a week after Trump’s election, the head of the F-35 program announced a reduction of 6 to 7 per cent — in the $600 million to $700 million range.

“Trump’s claimed $600 million cut is right in the ballpark of what the price reduction was going to be all along,” wrote Popular Mechanics. “Bottom line: Trump appears to be taking credit for years of work by the Pentagon and Lockheed,” Aviation Week reported, per the Washington Post.

80. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.”

In fact: George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all earned bigger margins in the electoral college than Trump did.

79. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim about former campaign manager Paul Manafort: “He said that he has absolutely nothing to do and never has with Russia. He said that very forcefully. I saw his statement. He said it forcefully. Most of the papers do not print it because it’s not good for their stories.”

The 5 other front page stories the Star could run after Trump’s wild presser

In fact: The New York Times story Trump was criticizing included Manafort’s denial, in which he said he never “knowingly” had contact with Russian intelligence officers. Other major outlets that followed up on the story also printed a denial from Manafort.

78. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “I will say that I never get phone calls from the media. How do they write a story like that in the Wall Street Journal without asking me or how do they write a story in the New York Times put it on the front page.”

In fact: Media outlets almost always call his administration for comment on major stories. The Journal, in its story about U.S. intelligence declining to share some information with Trump, prominently quoted a denial from an anonymous administration official. The Times also sought comment for its story, but the administration declined to provide one.

77. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “Remember, I used to give you a news conference every time I made a speech, which was like every day. OK?”

In fact: This is not even close to true. Trump indeed gave near-daily speeches during the campaign, but he did not do a single news conference over the last three months of the campaign.

76. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban.”😡

In fact: We don’t usually fact-check claims like “smooth” — it’s vague, and it’s a matter of opinion — but the rollout of the travel ban was so obviously not smooth that we’re making an exception here. The implementation of the ban resulted in mass confusion among U.S. allies like Canada, caused travel problems for thousands of visa-holders and permanent residents, necessitated a series of clarifications and reversals by U.S. officials, and appeared so hasty that a federal appeals court has found that the administration may have violated residents’ constitutional right to due process.

75. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “That’s the other thing that was wrong with the travel ban. You had Delta with a massive problem with their computer system at the airports.”

In fact: The Delta outage had nothing to do with the chaos created by the travel ban. The travel ban caused mass confusion on a Saturday; the Delta outage occurred more than a day and a half later, on a Sunday night.

74. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim about labour secretary nominee Alex Acosta: “He’s a member and has been a member of the National Labor Relations Board.”

In fact: Acosta is not currently a member of the board. He served on it from 2002 to 2003.

73. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim about the news media: “I mean, you have a lower approval rate than Congress. I think that’s right.”

In fact: The media is unpopular with Americans, but Congress has consistently been even less popular. Last year, Gallup found that just 9 per cent had confidence in Congress; 20 per cent had confidence in newspapers, 21 per cent in television news. While the new Congress is now up to a 28 per cent approval rating, Gallup found in September that 32 per cent said they had trust in the media.

72. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “Now, when WikiLeaks, which I had nothing to do with, comes out and happens to give, they’re not giving classified information.”

In fact: Trump may have been attempting to refer specifically to WikiLeaks release of emails related to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, which were not classified. But he ended up wrongly suggesting that WikiLeaks does not provide classified information at all. The organization made its name releasing hundreds of thousands of pages of classified U.S. material.

71. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “The failing New York Times wrote a big, long front-page story yesterday. And it was very much discredited, as you know.”

In fact: The article, headlined “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence,” has not been discredited.

70. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “And the people mentioned in the story, I notice they were on television today saying they never even spoke to Russia.”

In fact: One of the people mentioned in the New York Times story, Trump associate Roger Stone, went on television to deny having any contact with any Russians. But the other people mentioned in the story did not issue such categorical denials in any medium. Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, told the New York Times that he never “knowingly” had contact with Russian intelligence officers, adding that such people do not “wear badges.” Former Trump adviser Carter Page he had only “said hello to a few Russian officials over the course of the last year or so”; he also gave a speech in Moscow.

69. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim about the 9th Circuit appeals court: “In fact, we had to go quicker than we thought because of the bad decision we received from a circuit that has been overturned at a record number. I have heard 80 per cent — I find that hard to believe; that’s just a number I heard — that they’re overturned 80 per cent of the time.”

In fact: This statement is false in one way, possibly misleading in another. It is false that the 9th Circuit is overturned by the Supreme Court at a “record number.” Even in the study conservatives usually cite in criticizing the 9th Circuit, the court had the second-highest reversal rate between 1999 and 2008. Between 2010 and 2015, it was third-highest. In the most recent court term for which complete data is readily available, the 9th Circuit was again in second place.

It may be misleading to discuss reversal rates this way at all. The Supreme Court overturns a majority of cases it agrees to hear — but those cases represent a tiny fraction of total cases decided by a circuit court. So even if 80 per cent of 9th Circuit cases that reach the Supreme Court are overturned, that still means more than 99 per cent of the circuit’s total decisions are not overturned.

68. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim about the 9th Circuit appeals court: “I think that circuit is — that circuit is in chaos and that circuit is frankly in turmoil.”

In fact: The court is functioning as normal. There is no sign of chaos or turmoil.

67. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “We had Hillary Clinton give Russia 20 per cent of the uranium in our country.” Added: “Hillary Clinton gave them 20 per cent of our uranium.”

In fact: Clinton didn’t personally give Russia uranium. The State Department, which Clinton led as secretary of state, was one of nine government entities that reviewed the Russian purchase of the Toronto-based firm Uranium One, which controlled the rights to about 20 per cent of U.S. uranium capacity. There is no evidence Clinton was personally involved in the process in any way. Further, only the president could have made the decision to block the deal; Clinton did not have final authority either way.

66. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “This administration is running like a fine- tuned machine, despite the fact that I can’t get my cabinet approved. And they’re outstanding people like Senator Dan Coats who’s there, one of the most respected men of the Senate. He can’t get approved. How do you not approve him?”

In fact: We’ll ignore the dubious “fine-tuned machine” claim — there is no sign that Coats, Trump’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence, “can’t get approved” or is even facing obstruction. The Republican who chairs the Senate intelligence committee, Sen. Richard Burr, told The Hill they are waiting for the FBI and others to finish background checks, and that they will hold a hearing when the Senate returns from its one-week break.

65. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “Walmart announced it will create 10,000 jobs in the United States just this year because of our various plans and initiatives.”

In fact: The Walmart expansion plan that is creating the jobs was announced in October, before Trump was elected. The company did not reveal the precise 10,000 figure until after Trump took office, but it is directly connected to the previous announcement.

64. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “General Motors likewise committed to invest billions of dollars in its American manufacturing operation, keeping many jobs here that were going to leave. And if I didn’t get elected, believe me, they would have left. And these jobs and these things that I’m announcing would never have come here.”

In fact: GM made a new $1 billion commitment to U.S. factories, not “billions”; it committed $2.9 billion last year, before Trump was elected. GM did not offer any indication that it made the decision because of Trump, and independent automotive analysts said it was unlikely the company had done so. “Mostly theatre to play in the news cycle created by President-elect Trump’s tweets,” Autotrader analyst Michelle Krebs said. “These investments and hiring plans have long been in the works and are a continuation of what the company has been doing in recent years.”

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