Truth or Cons ver 2

Truth or No Consequences

One of Donald  Trump’s regular talking points is what a lying press we have. Trump may be wrong on many things but this is not one of them. Just in the last seven days I encountered three bald-faced lies that really pissed me off.

Slate’s Trumpcast

I subscribe to a podcast by Slate called the Trumpcast. The entire mission of its host, Jacob Weisberg, is to discredit, mock and basically hate on Donald Trump. With that premise it might be foolish to fact check the show but one guest really irked me because I KNOW MY TV!!

The guest was Virginia Heffernan, a media critic with a good resume and a desire to lie about The Donald. She was on the Trumpcast to educate Weisberg and his listeners about Trump’s hit NBC show The Apprentice. Not only did she fail to accurately describe the show’s modus operandi, she called Trump’s “firing” decisions, more often than not, capricious and arbitrary. Ehhh … LIE, OUTRIGHT LIE! Before he became a birther, I watched Trump’s show religiously. In almost every case Trump eliminated one of the weakest contestants. The exceptions were usually stronger players who self sabotaged in the “board room”.

Of course, Weisberg lapped up the misrepresentation with glee. Ms. Heffernan also neglected to mention the season devoted to those who had been laid off in the bad economy or the fact that every season of Celebrity Apprentice raised gobs of money for charity. That wouldn’t comport with our image of Trump as heartless greedy asshole. (By the way, Weisberg actually hosted an episode dedicated to an “intellectual analysis” of whether Trump is an official asshole.)

The Rachel Maddow Show

In this case MSNBC darling Maddow either didn’t do her homework or simply lied. I suspect the latter.

She showed a video of Trump calling Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Pochahontas. She then claimed Trump was mocking Native Americans. Noooo, he was mocking fake Native Americans. Now, I don’t claim to know the truth of Warren’s heritage but I do know for years, the right has doubted her claim of being part Cherokee. Maddow knows this too but would rather leave the viewer with the impression Trump is just a bigot.

The Nicole Sandler Show

In this case, the host is not the perpetrator of the lie but the exposer. This lie is simple but pervasive. Almost every time the MSM tells us the delegate counts of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, they include the number of superdelegates (folks wiser than mere mortals to keep us from picking the “wrong” candidate). Nicole points out one simple problem with this. The superdelegates haven’t voted yet!

They don’t vote until the convention. So every superdelegate count we see is an estimate. Of course the estimate is designed to propogate the myth of Hillary’s inevitability. This lie is so vile, even the corrupt DNC has asked the networks to stop doing it, to no avail.

Despite all his foolishness, Trump is owed a debt of gratitude for turning up our scrutiny of the “lyin’ press”.

What do you think? The bar is open.


Campaign Malpractice: Devine and Weaver

As a chronically underemployed individual, I’m always fuming at folks who make healthy salaries doing what, quite frankly, I could do better. The latest pair of gents to get my dander up are Jeff Weaver and Tad Devine, campaign manager and senior advisor respectively of the Bernie Sanders campaign. In trying to mount a “positive” campaign they have conceded the race to Hillary Clinton. There are three clear examples of malpractice. 

The Damn Emails

Bernie famously declared in an early debate that America  was tired of hearing about Hillary’s rogue email server. This was in the name of positive, issues-oriented campaigning. I disagreed with pundits that this was a mistake but I was wrong. Sanders could have said “the Secretary  herself has said this was a mistake in judgment. I’m not the FBI. I’ll let the FBI do their job and I’ll do mine.” This would have left Clinton exposed while taking a perfect passive-aggressive approach. In subsequent interviews, Sanders went in this direction but it was too late. 

When Was a Clinton Vote Ever Influenced by Monied Interests?

Sanders blew this question in debate after debate when the answer should have been well known to him. Then when it was way too late in the game, Jeff Weaver and surrogate, Senator Jeff Merkley finally said “bankruptcy bill” but could not articulate the answer convincingly under the partisan cross examination of Chris Matthews. Why did the Sanders campaign not use this video as an ad and example?

The Transcripts Matter

Jeff Weaver has tried to be the tough guy, referring to Hillary’s deals with the devil. Again, when cross examined by the likes of Chris Matthews, Weaver withers. This is not difficult. Transcripts of Hillary’s paid speeches to Goldmam Sachs et al will show her being sympathetic to the folks who brought the country to its knees in 2007. This is the central theme of the Sanders campaign. Why is it so hard for Sanders’ campaign staff to get this right?

The 2015/2016 Democratic primary will go down in history as the nomination where the populist candidate with the best chance of beating an establishment typical pol was undone by his own advisors. 

In the meantime, I sit here blogging for free. Damn! 

What do you think? The bar is open. 


Trump’s Improv Act Reveals American Hypocrisy

Many families have those topics you just don’t discuss. Uncle Albert’s death was not an accident; it was a suicide. Cousin Timmy went to jail on kiddie porn possession. Little Suzy is illegitimate and doesn’t know her father isn’t her biological father – but lots of folks in the family do know. Donald Trump is the guy at the family gathering who blurts all this stuff out. It’s all fact but you just don’t say these things. 

Donald Trump is a real estate developer and branding genius who has not given a bit of thought to nukes or abortion. His campaign is an improv act. He says whatever is top of mind regardless of how controversial the topic. But he’s not a lunatic. He says things that are there in the minds of people, in some cases almost tautological. He gets destroyed for it. 

So first abortion. Let us drop the pretense and admit that a sizeable number of pro-life advocates view pregnancy as the responsibility of the pregnant woman and they condemn her choice of abortion. After Trump’s comment that women who abort illegally should be “punished”, some pro-life advocates cried crocodile tears, expressing sympathy and compassion. The meme was “women considering abortion need our sympathy”. This dodges the question of what to do about women who abort. The truth is I’ve seen a good deal of judgmental condemnation of such women. Many of the pro-life folks up in arms about Trump are simply hypocrites. 

How many times have we heard politicians, including our President, say they will take “nothing off the table” militarily? Well, news flash folks, nukes are part of our arsenal. But we never talk about that. Such talk is dangerous. Of course just having the nukes in the first place is dangerous but somehow the danger lies in talking about using them. Trump’s comment that he would take nothing off the table, including nukes borders on tautology when nukes are clearly already on the table. In fact, we have them as a cautionary message to anyone who might think to nuke us first. And cautionary messages are clearly in Trump’s wheelhouse. 

Trump’s campaign is littered with comments many people want to say but think too rude to utter. Trump is not the first to think “McCain was a lousy pilot who shouldn’t have gotten shot down in the first place”, “Mexicans are bringing in drugs, stealing our jobs and getting free bennies”, “Islam is a diseased religion”, “women who abort are murderers who should be punished” and “I say just nuke them!”

None of those observations contributes to a positive agenda for running the country but they all reflect a sentiment held by more than a few, hence Trump’s consistent primary wins. If Trump serves no other purpose in this election cycle, it will be to uncover American hypocrisy and force the American  family to discuss its family secrets out in the open. 

What do you think? The bar is open.