A dozen Trump lies at the Fox New town hall

Last Thursday, Fox News held a town hall event in Scranton, Pennsylvania with Trump. Here are a dozen lies he made at the event.

Lie 1: Trump claimed that, before Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of directors of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings, Hunter Biden “didn’t have a job.”

The facts: At the time Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of Burisma in 2014, he was a lawyer at the firm Boies Schiller Flexner, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s foreign service program, chairman of the board of World Food Program USA, and chief executive officer and chairman of Rosemont Seneca Advisors, an investment advisory firm. He also served on other boards.

Lie 2: Trump claimed that “this area of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania itself, has the best numbers it’s ever had. It’s got the best economy it’s ever had. It has the best unemployment numbers it’s ever had. And Scranton has the lowest and best unemployment numbers they’ve — and employment numbers too — that they’ve ever had, by far.”

The facts: Neither the unemployment rate for Pennsylvania nor the unemployment rate for the Scranton area is at its lowest level ever. And both rates have crept higher over the past several months. The December 2019 unemployment rate for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton area was 5.6% — worse than various rates under Clinton and Bush and also worse than the rate in Obama’s last full month in office, 5.4% in December 2016.

Lie 3: Trump claimed, “We got hit with the virus really three weeks ago, if you think about it, I guess. That’s when we first started really to see some possible effects.”

The facts: The US had its first confirmed case of the coronavirus on January 21, more than six weeks before Trump spoke, so it’s not true that the US had not really seen even “some possible effects” until three weeks ago.

Lie 4: Trump repeated his claim that he had reversed an Obama-era decision that had somehow impeded testing for the coronavirus.

The Facts: There is no regulation or decision from President Barack Obama that impeded coronavirus testing.

Lie 5: Trump claimed Obama called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “many times” but “Kim Jong Un did not want to talk to him. And me, he wanted to talk to.”

The Facts: There is no evidence that Obama called Kim even once. “This is a total fabrication,” Susan Rice, who served as Obama’s national security adviser, said on Twitter in response to a previous version of this Trump claim. There’s also no evidence for Trump’s previous claim that Obama begged Kim for a meeting.

Lie 6: Trump claimed “I opened up LNG plants in Louisiana” where companies had been unable to get permits for “for 10, 12, 14 years and longer.” He said, “I got them built, a $10 billion plant in Louisiana.”

The Facts: The $10 billion LNG facility Trump visited in Louisiana in 2019 was granted its key permits under Obama, and its construction also began under Obama.

Lie 7: Trump called the whistleblower who complained about his dealings with Ukraine a “phony whistleblower” and claimed this person had described “a call that didn’t exist.”

The Facts: The whistleblower’s account of Trump’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been proven accurate. In fact, the rough transcript Trump released showed that the whistleblower’s three primary allegations about the call were correct.

Lie 8: Trump claimed President Barack Obama left him “142 openings” on the courts, in part because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who thwarted many of Obama’s judicial nominees — did a “great job.”

The Facts: There were 104 court vacancies on January 1, 2017, 19 days before Trump took office, according to Russell Wheeler, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution who tracks judicial appointments.

Lie 9: Trump claimed that “normally,” presidents are left no court vacancies at all; “if you have one,” he said, it’s “lucky.”

The Facts: It is standard for presidents to inherit dozens of vacancies. According to Wheeler, there were 53 vacancies on January 1, 2009, just before Obama took office; 80 vacancies on January 1, 2001, just before George W. Bush took office; 107 vacancies on January 1, 1993, just before Bill Clinton took office.

Lie 10: Trump claimed that “we have right now 27,000 Mexican soldiers on our border.”

The Facts: Mexico has deployed around 27,000 troops, but Mexico’s defense minister said in October that it was about 15,000 on the US border, about 12,000 on Mexico’s own southern border.

Lie 11: Trump claimed, “China is paying us billions and billions of dollars because of what I did to them with tariffs.”

The Facts: Study after study has shown that Americans are bearing the vast majority of the cost of the tariffs. And it is Americans who make the actual tariff payments.

Lie 12: Trump said he wants the US to have the world’s cleanest air and water, then claimed, “Our conditions now are much better than they were three years ago.”

The Facts: US air was cleaner under Obama than it has been under Trump. Three of the six types of pollutants identified by the Clean Air Act as toxic to human health were more prevalent in the air as of 2018 than they were before Trump took office, according to Environmental Protection Agency data.

Quotes by Rush Limbaugh, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Donald Trump

On whether the massacre of Native Americans is comparable to the World War II Holocaust:

“Holocaust? Ninety million Indians? Only four million left? They all have casinos – what’s to complain about?”

On feminism:

“Feminism was established so that unattractive ugly broads could have easy access to the mainstream.”

On Hu Jintao, the former president of China, speaking without a translator:

“Hu Jintao was just going Ching cha. Ching chang  cho chow. Cha chow. Ching cho. Chi ba la la.”

On Sandra Fluke, who as a Georgetown University law student in 2012 testified in support of the Obama administration’s birth control policies:

“What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? Makes her a prostitute.”

On the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People:

“The N.A.A.C.P. Should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”

On sexual consent:

“If the left ever senses and smells that there’s no consent in part of the equation then here come the rape police.”

On the idea of white guilt:

“If any race of people should not have guilt about slavery, it’s Caucasians.”

Facebook, Twitter, and the danger of uncontrolled lies in social media

Facebook and Twitter have refused to take down a video showing Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripping up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech that was edited to appear as if she was doing so as Trump saluted a Tuskegee airman in the audience. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/07/facebook-and-twitter-decline-pelosi-request-to-delete-trump-video.html

If that’s the case, somebody should perhaps do up a video of Trump mocking that disabled reporter along with the salute to the Tuskegee airman and post that to FaceBook and Twitter.

The larger discussion is what to do about social media in these times? People have the right to free speech. And at the same time, technology is ahead of our ability to keep track of truth and facts.

It’s not just Trump and his endless lies. There are the anti-vaccine crazies who are killing their children (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/4-year-old-dies-from-flu-after-members-of-anti-vax-facebook-group-advise-his-mom-use-thyme-elderberries-instead/). There are the climate change deniers. There is the inherent danger to our entire democratic system.

A question for discussion: Have FaceBook and Twitter simply “won the social media” market? Is there no reasonable alternative for all of us to get out of there, and still not lose contact with all our friends?

The Windmills of His Mind – Donald Trump actual quote, 12/21/2019

“We’ll have an economy based on wind. I never understood wind. You know, I know windmills very much. I’ve studied it better than anybody. I know it’s very expensive. They’re made in China and Germany mostly — very few made here, almost none. But they’re manufactured tremendous — if you’re into this — tremendous fumes. Gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint — fumes are spewing into the air. Right? Spewing. Whether it’s in China, Germany, it’s going into the air. It’s our air, their air, everything — right? So they make these things and then they put them up.”

Christianity Today – Trump Should Be Removed from Office

Influential evangelical magazine, Christianity Today, released an editorial Thursday calling for Trump to be removed from office. Could this finally be the beginning of the end for Trump?

“That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments,” the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Mark Galli, penned.

The evangelical publication was founded by late legendary preacher Billy Graham.

After the editorial was posted, the magazine’s site briefly crashed from drawing so many readers.

The magazine used some of their critique from President Bill Clinton’s impeachment 20 years ago, including that “Unsavory dealings and immoral acts by the President and those close to him have rendered this administration morally unable to lead.”

The article didn’t just criticize Trump, but also his staunch Christian followers. They wrote, “To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior.”

“He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused,” they stated.

Trump threatens veto of bipartisan legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters and claims he saved them from obliteration

In one of the more bizarre turns of events Friday, even for Trump, on Fox News Trump refused to commit to signing legislation overwhelmingly passed by Congress to support pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.

He also claimed that China’s government would have “obliterated” Hong Kong and killed “thousands” of people there were it not for him.”

“If it weren’t for me, Hong Kong would have been obliterated in 14 minutes,” Trump said.

Trump’s apparent willingness to tie human rights issues to progress on the trade front drew rebukes from both Republicans and Democrats, who said such positioning risked compromising the United States’ role as a global defender of democracy.

“Make no mistake: President Trump’s words today do not reflect what the American people or the Congress think about President Xi’s oppressive policies toward the people of Hong Kong,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader. “For a guy who promised to be tough on China, President Trump’s reliable deference to President Xi is all the more bewildering.”

Senator Rick Scott, Republican of Florida, said that a veto from Mr. Trump “would be a mistake. Congress spoke loud and clear that we #StandWithHongKong.” He added, “It’s more important than a trade deal.”

Warren releases detailed Medicare for All plan

Elizabeth Warren, as promised, has released her Medicare for All plan. If you would like to read the details in her own words, rather than a summary filtered through the various media, check it out here:


It’s quite a detailed, very inspirational vision. It also has a great number of pieces that need to fit together in order to make it work.

The plan would not raise taxes on the middle class at all, unlike the Sanders plan.

It will be interesting to see the direction in which the Democratic primary takes going forward.

Maybe it really is time for Medicare for All

This opinion piece is short, to-the-point, and very convincing.

Stop fearmongering about ‘Medicare for All.’ Most families would pay less for better care.

“The case for Medicare for All is simple. It would cover everyone, period. Done right, it would lower costs. And it would ease paperwork and confusion. With costs rising painfully, insurance companies denying care and nearly 30 million people still uninsured, America desperately needs an honest health policy discussion.”

The article clearly makes the case that is is beyond just taxes vs premiums. It points out the entire exploding health costs under the current system.

And the way it explains it is not overly wordy and tedious. It’s something that can be taken to the campaign trail without eye-glazing lectures.

Maybe it really is time to go for the gold.

Trump’s Ukraine Aid Quid Quo Pro Denial Blows Up

Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, threw the Trump’s administration defense against impeachment into disarray on Thursday when he admitted that the White House did, in fact, withhold nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine to further Trump’s political interests.

Mulvaney told a room full of journalists in a White House briefing that was televised live that the aid was, in fact, withheld in part until Ukraine investigated an unsubstantiated theory that Ukraine, not Russia, was responsible for hacking Democratic Party emails in 2016 — a theory that would show that Trump was elected without Russian help.

The declaration by Mulvaney, which he tried to take back later in the day, undercut Trump’s repeated denials of a quid pro quo that linked American military aid for Ukraine to an investigation that could help Trump politically.

The comments sent Washington into turmoil as Democrats and some Republicans said they were deeply damaging to Trump.

Despite his later attempt at denying what he said, Mulvaney pointed to “three issues” that explained why officials withheld the aid: corruption in Ukraine, frustration that European governments were not providing more money to Ukraine and the president’s demand that Kiev officials investigate the issue of the Democratic National Committee server.

“Did he also mention to me in passing the corruption related to the D.N.C. server?” Mulvaney said, referring to Trump. “Absolutely. No question about that.” He added, “That’s why we held up the money.”

Democrats ridiculed Mulvaney’s attempt to reverse what he admitted earlier in the day on camera.

“Mick Mulvaney was either lying then, or he’s lying now,” said Representative Ted Lieu, a California Democrat involved in the inquiry. “I think he’s lying now.”

Next international G-7 to be held at Trump golf resort

The White House said Thursday it has chosen Donald Trump’s golf resort near Miami as the site for next year’s Group of Seven summit.

The announcement to hold the event at Trump National Doral comes at the same time Trump has accused Joe Biden’s family of profiting from public office because of Hunter Biden’s business activities in Ukraine when his father was vice president.

The G-7 summit will be held June 10 to 12. The idea of holding the event at Trump’s resort has been criticized by government ethics watchdogs.

Trump has touted his resort, saying it’s close to the airport, has plenty of hotel rooms and offers separate buildings for every delegation.

Trump “no longer sees fit even to pretend that he is constrained by the law or the Constitution,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen.

“The president is now officially using the power of his office to help prop up his struggling golf business,” said Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

When the United States has hosted the summit before, it has been held in Puerto Rico; Williamsburg, Virginia; Houston; Denver; Sea Island, Georgia; and Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.