It’s election crunch time, and Donald is desperate. A House controlled by Democrats will end his reign and worse. He has fabricated more misinformation and mongered more fear than ever before. He appears to have reached new ethical and moral lows. But we know it can always get worse. With Donald Trump, there is no bottom.
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— RECENT HEADLINES –
“Louisville Man Shoots 2 Black Shoppers to Death After Failing to Get Into Black Church” (10/24/2018)
“Up to 10 Mail Bombs Sent to Top Dems. (2 Ex-Presidents) and Supporters; No Explosions” (10/24/2018)
“Trump Is Blaming ‘Fake News’ Media for Incivility and Anger That Influenced Bomber” (10/25/2018)
“Trump Authorizes Health Care Plans Allowing for Pre-Existing Condition Penalties” (10/25/2018)
“Suspected Mail Bomber Arrested in Florida Is Trump ‘Superfan’ w/ Van to Prove It” (10/26/2018)
“3 More Unexploded Mail Bombs Delivered to Top Dems.; Same M.O.; Brings Total to 14” (10/26/2018)
“11 Shot Dead in Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre by Raving White Nationalist Anti-Semite” (10/27/2018)
“Trump Says Pittsburgh Killings Could Have Been Prevented by Armed Guard in Temple” (10/27/2018)
“Trump Does Rally Hrs. After Massacre; Justifies by Lying: ‘NYSE Opened Day After 9/11’” (10/27/2018)
“Trump Continues Incendiary Lies That Media, Dems. Are Prompting Anger, Violence” (10/27/2018)
“Trump Sends 5,200 Active Troops to S. Border to Stop Non-Existent ‘Caravan Threat’” (10/29/2018)
“Trump Plans Pittsburgh Trip, Though Not Wanted; Families, Friends Say ‘No Thanks’” (10/29/2018)
“Trump Visits Pittsburgh Though Being Told to Stay Away, At Least Until He Denounces White Nationalism; Won’t Even Honor Mayor’s Request to Wait a Few Days Until After Funerals” (10/30/2018)
“All Top Congressional Leaders, Local Leaders, Pittsburgh Mayor, Victims’ Families Decline to Accompany or Meet With Trump and His Entourage in Pittsburgh” (10/30/2018)
“Trump Continues Echoing Same Theme as Temple Mass Shooter: ‘U.S. Being Invaded’” (10/30/2018)
“Mueller Refers to FBI, Scheme to Pay Women for False Sex Accusations Against Him” (10/30/2018)
“Sec. of Interior Ryan Zinke Referred for FBI Investigation Into Corruption, Self-Dealing” (10/30/2018)
“Trump Floats Executive Order to End Birthright Citizenship Knowing It’s Unconstitutional” (10/30/2018)
“House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) Tweets: No Way Trump Can Change 14th Amend. by EO” (10/30/2018)
“Trump Tweets That Paul Ryan ‘should be focusing on holding the Majority rather than giving his opinions on Birthright Citizenship, something he knows nothing about!’” (10/31/2018)
“Watergate Grand Jury Impeachment ‘Roadmap’ Unsealed; Applicable to Trump” (10/31/2018)
“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment [to eliminate 14th Amendment birthright citizenship]. Guess what? You don’t. … You can definitely do it with an act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”
(Trump, Donald, R-N.Y., U.S. president; interview conducted by Swan, Jonathan & Kight, Stef W.; “Exclusive: Trump Targeting Birthright Citizenship With Executive Order”; Axios; 10/30/2018.)
[LESLEY STAHL]: “Who says that? ‘They say’?”
[DONALD TRUMP]: “People say. People say …”
(CBS’ 60 Minutes; 10/14/2018.)
Grade school teachers across America have always instructed their pupils that “they say” is not a legitimate source for factual information. But Donald Trump does not let this elementary component of critical thinking get in his way.
That Donald lies to an obscene degree is news to no one, including his supporters. He has turned this to his advantage across the board. Applying an overused technical reference of the times, his lying is “a feature not a bug.” Followers admire him for it. This is how they live their lives — or at least, wish they had the nerve to. Independents and apathetics are overcome with the ocean of mendacity: they can’t keep up and have become completely desensitized to the onslaught. Trump detractors and fact-checkers end up producing their own ocean, of refutation, which also gets lost. People in the middle get sick of hearing about it and blame both sides, which is a false-equivalency win for Trump.
The president receives a lot of credit, from supporters and opponents, for his so-called messaging brilliance. But note these two points: 1) Donald has inherited and cheated his way to wealth, which provides a massive sounding board; and 2) Donald made the decision long ago to abandon any semblance of honesty, ethics, and morality in pursuit of greed and self-glory. Anyone else who is also wealthy, utterly immoral, and pathologically narcissistic would find it just as easy as Trump does to defraud a significant portion of the electorate if he or she chose to. There is no brilliance involved.
We’re in the final week of the 2018 midterm election campaign. Mr. Trump says it’s about him: “I’m not on the ticket, but I am on the ticket. I want you to vote. Pretend I’m on the ballot.”
He’s right. It is about him. If Donald loses the GOP majority in the House of Representatives, it is the beginning of the end of his unchecked free ride of corruption. Democrats in the House will have the power of subpoena to investigate the president’s myriad conflicts of interest and illegal self-enrichment, as well as ensuring that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation continues and produces a public report.
Trump is a rat trapped in a shrinking corner. He’s a junkie who will do anything to avoid withdrawal.
“[Gun control laws had] little to do with [the shooting]. … This is a case where if they had an armed guard inside they may have been able to stop him immediately, maybe there would have been nobody killed, except for him maybe.”
(Trump, Donald, R-N.Y., U.S. president; Q&A with reporters; Joint Base Andrews; Prince George’s County, Md.; 10/27/2018.)
Can you imagine the suspension of empathy it must take, as a public official, to make this statement hours after 11 people were murdered by a white supremacist with an assault rifle? Just to pander to the anti-gun control wing of his base before an important election?
“‘Frankly, this [rally], maybe I could have [canceled],’ he told supporters. ‘And then I said to myself, I remember Dick Grasso, a friend of mine,’ Trump continued. ‘He headed up the New York Stock Exchange on September 11th, and the New York Stock Exchange was open the following day.’
“After the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the NYSE did not reopen the following day. Trading remained closed for about a week before it was resumed.”
(Stockler, Asher; “Trump Holds a Rally Hours After Pittsburgh Shooting, Says ‘Evil People’ Shouldn’t Derail Life”; Vox; 10/27/2018.)
So Trump tells his supporters — and the world — an easily refutable lie supporting his decision to go through with a campaign rally hours after 11 people are slaughtered in a Jewish hate-crime massacre and the world is in shock. Donald loves his self-aggrandizing rallies at which he basks in MAGA adoration. He doesn’t cancel those.
To Cancel, or Not to Cancel
He also refused to cancel his October 26 Charlotte, North Carolina, rally in the midst of a national mail bomb campaign against a dozen top Democrats and supporters — including former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. He used the rally to blame Democrats and the media for fomenting violence, while he feigned rhetorical restraint. For good measure, rally organizers prompted the obligatory anti-Hillary “Lock her up” chants, in spite of her having been the intended recipient of one of the bombs.
Hours before the rally, it was reported that the alleged mail bomber was a President Trump superfan, with a van covered in pro-Trump and Democrats-in-crosshairs images to prove it.
“For days, Trump has been warning of ‘an invasion’ of Central American migrants, even though they are traveling by foot in caravans, their population is dwindling, and they are not expected to reach the border for several weeks. The administration announced Monday it was sending 5,200 troops, military helicopters, and giant spools of razor wire to the southern border. … Trump kept up the drumbeat on Twitter Wednesday: ‘We will NOT let these Caravans which are made up of some very bad thugs and gang members, into the U.S. Our Border is sacred, must come legally. TURN AROUND.’”
(Parker, Ashley & Rucker, Philip; “‘Pushing Every Button’: Trump Mobilizes the Government in Campaign’s Final Days”; The Washington Post; 10/31/2018.)
“Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!”
(Trump, Donald, R-N.Y., U.S. president; Twitter post; 10/29/2018.)
Trump has been hyping the “invasion” theme for years, but especially since the caravan of Central American refugees walking through Mexico has been in the news. Note that the white supremacist who murdered 11 synagogue worshippers also ranted about a Jewish conspiracy to create and fund the caravan “invasion” in his rabid social media posts. Coincidence?
Even Fox News (granted, it was one of their few reasonable personalities) had to respond:
“There is no invasion. No one’s coming to get you. There’s nothing at all to worry about. But tomorrow is one week before the midterm election — which is what all of this is about. … [The migrants are] more than two months away — if any of them actually come here. When [the administration] did this to us, got us all riled up in April — remember? — the result was 14 arrests. We’re America. We can handle it. … [The migrants] are not coming to get anyone. They’re seeking relief from their hell at home. And that’s the truth.”
(Smith, Shepard; Fox News; as cited in Papenfuss, Mary; “Fox News’ Shep Smith Ridicules Trump’s Migrant Caravan ‘Invasion’ Claim”; HuffPost; 10/29/2018.)
Here’s what the GOP is doing:
“‘After careful consideration, and with the approval of the President of the United States, I have determined that, in Texas v. United States, No. 4: l 8-cv-00167-O (N.D. Tex.), the Department will not defend the constitutionality of 26 U.S.C. 5000A(a), and will argue that certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are inseverable from that provision.’
— Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in a letter, June 7, 2018
“In plain English, the attorney general’s letter means that the Trump administration no longer supports a provision of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, that makes it possible for people to buy insurance if they have pre-existing health conditions.”
(Kessler, Glenn & Kelly, Meg; “President Trump’s Flip-Flop on Coverage for Pre-Existing Health Conditions”; The Washington Post; 6/14/2018.)
“The Republican Party is driving legislative and judicial efforts to gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions that are now the law of the land.”
(Klein, Ezra; “Republicans Used to Have a Health Care Plan. Now all They Have Are Lies.”; Vox; 10/31/2018.)
Here’s what the GOP is saying:
“Republicans will totally protect people with Pre-Existing Conditions. Democrats will not!”
(Trump, Donald, R-N.Y., U.S. president; Twitter post; 10/31/2018.)
“[Republicans] are running ads about their commitment to protecting people with pre-existing conditions that feature the very elected officials suing to negate those protections. … That’s not exaggeration. It’s not spin. It’s not misleading. It’s a lie. It’s pure up-is-downism. It’s a flagrant foul committed against reality.”
(Klein; Ibid.; 10/31/2018.)
During President Obama’s administration, Republicans in Congress voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, over 50 times, knowing the president would never sign their bills. In 2017, during Donald’s first year as president, he hosted a GOP-star-studded beer party celebration at the White House, for the news cameras, to commemorate the House’s passing of yet another Obamacare repeal bill (though the first of Trump’s tenure). In July of that year, the Senate came famously close to finalizing that bill, only to be foiled by the last Republican Senator with any ethical backbone, the late John McCain of Arizona.
Candidate and President Trump pledged to “let Obamacare implode.” Since then, his administration has done everything in its power to gut the ACA, including eliminating the individual mandate, cutting funding for administrative components and subsidies, and sabotaging the Health Insurance Marketplace. Just last week, Trump authorized insurance companies to begin selling plans with pre-existing condition exclusions and penalties. Twenty GOP-controlled states are currently suing the federal government to kill pre-existing condition protections and the rest of the Affordable Care Act.
Nothing has changed since the attorney general’s June 14 announcement or all of Trump’s anti-Obamacare bluster — nothing except the tide of the ACA’s popularity, including its pre-existing condition protections. After almost 10 years of an intensive GOP misinformation and propaganda campaign, a funny thing happened: people have been using and benefitting from Obamacare. They have realized it is a good thing that helps people. And health care has become a top priority for the majority of voters.
What’s a desperate president — totally lacking in veracity, morality, and humanity — to do?
“Republicans will totally protect people with Pre-Existing Conditions. Democrats will not!”
(Trump, Donald, R-N.Y., U.S. president; Twitter post; 10/31/2018.)
And if you believe that, I have a 10 percent middle-class tax cut I want to tell you about.
10 Percent Middle-Class Tax Cut
Here’s one more whopper by Trump, told for the sole reason of saving his skin:
“We’re going to be putting in a 10 percent tax cut for middle-income families. It’s going to be put in next week, 10 percent tax cut. Kevin Brady is working on it. We’ve been working on it for a few months, a 10 percent brand-new …”
(Trump, Donald, R-N.Y., U.S. president; campaign rally; Houston, Texas; 10/22/2018.)
“Most members of Congress are not in Washington right now — they’re home in their states or districts, and largely campaigning for the midterms. The House is not scheduled to meet again until after the midterms. So there’s effectively zero chance that Congress could meet to ‘put in’ a tax cut next week, as Mr. Trump promised in Texas. Reporters asked Mr. Trump about this scheduling problem.”
[REPORTER]: “You said ‘lower tax cuts.’ You said that you wanted tax cuts by Nov. 1. Congress isn’t even in session. How is that possible?”
[DONALD TRUMP]: “No, we’re going to be passing — no, no. We’re putting in a resolution sometime in the next week, or week and a half, two weeks.”
[REPORTER]: “A resolution where?”
[DONALD TRUMP]: “We’re going to put in — we’re giving a middle-income tax reduction of about 10 percent. We’re doing it now for middle-income people. This is not for business; this is for middle. That’s on top of the tax decrease that we’ve already given them.”
[REPORTER]: “Are you signing an executive order for that?”
[DONALD TRUMP]: “No. No. No. I’m going through Congress.”
[REPORTER]: “But Congress isn’t in session, though.”
[DONALD TRUMP]: “We won’t have time to do the vote. We’ll do the vote later.”
(Tankersley, Jim; “Trump Is Not Going to Cut Middle-Class Taxes This Year, Despite What He Says”; The New York Times; 10/23/2018.)
Meanwhile, White House staffers and Republican congressional leaders are saying, “What!?”
This was a panderous whim, something Donald could say that sounds great to his base of supporters but will never happen.
President Trump has also doubled down on the media as “the enemy of the people,” ignoring the fact that CNN was a recent intended recipient of multiple mail bombing attempts. He is ignoring the fact that his mendacious, incendiary rhetoric is the exact behavior that could prompt copycat attacks.
Donald has fabricated more misinformation and mongered more fear than ever before. He appears to have reached new ethical and moral lows. But we know it can always get worse. With Donald Trump, there is no bottom.
P.S.: “Trump Says Ahead of Midterms That He May Send 15,000 Troops to U.S.-Mexico Border, More Than in Afghanistan”; The Washington Post; 10/31/2018.
This political stunt would amount to about three to 10 troops for every exhausted, frightened migrant — mostly women and children — depending upon how many are expected to complete the journey.
It will never stop until Donald is out of office. ■
Trump Corruption Chronicles — We Must Never Forget
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