Panning Allies and Our Own Leaders While Praising Dictators: The Art of the Trump!

It’s time to Break It Down!

The times they are a changing. When Barack Obama was initially a candidate for president, he responded to a question by saying he would talk to world leaders, including our enemies, not just our friends. That former listing included the dictator-leader of North Korea. At the time the collective energy of the GOP was assembled into a giant swift and consolidated rebuke of Mr. Obama.

From Fox News to Republican Congressmen to the man and woman in the street, conservatives wallowed apoplectically, in what could have been called, “The Audacity of Nope.” No way, no how was that an acceptable posture. Fast-forward to last week, and you have what a mea culpa without an actual apology looks like. The GOP, complete with a gaggle of Fox News personalities cheerleading, staged an extended virtual standing ovation for Trump’s Tuesday, June 12th Singapore agreement with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. An agreement I might add, that has little detail, and even less certainty of pending follow through and execution.

But there is more. While this so-called deal, upon which the potential denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula hinges was unfolding, it did so in the backdrop of Trump beating up on French President Emmanuel Macron, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, leaders of two of the United States’ historic and traditional allies.

In an interview with Sean Hannity on the same day as the so-called Summit, Trump characterized Kim complimentarily, calling him a “strong guy,” and saying he is a “great negotiator.” He also said of him, “he’s got a very good personality, he’s very funny, very smart, and he’s a very strategic kind of a guy.”

Meanwhile, in his recent contentious bouts with Macron and Trudeau, he tweeted:

“Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow.”

He also added, “Prime Minister Trudeau is being so indignant, bringing up the relationship that the U.S. and Canada had over the many years and all sorts of other things…but he doesn’t bring up the fact that they charge us up to 300% on dairy — hurting our Farmers, killing our Agriculture.”

(Never mind that Canada is the top market for U.S. agricultural exports.)

This topsy-turvy, upside-down world on its axis narrative is consistent with Trump’s persona and one of his long-standing patterns. He has favorably compared Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad to the President of his own country (Barack Obama). He referred to Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein as “effective.” And of course, perhaps most famously, he personally spearheaded the “Birther” Movement, falsely alleging that President Barack Obama, the 44thPresident of the United States, was not born in the United States.

In a statement last Friday, Trump may have removed all that remained of “the Emperor’s Clothes.” Speaking, in a Fox News interview, about the North Korean “strongman,’ Kim Jong Un, he said:

“Hey, he’s the head of a country. And I mean he is the strong head. Don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

I could say more, but why bother. In his own words, Trump has not only underscored his adulation of dictators and foreign adversaries, he has, for all practical purposes, removed all doubt by sharing his motivation for doing so. Panning Allies and Our Own Leaders While Praising Dictators: The Art of the Trump!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the link: http://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribe, click on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/06/12/trump-praises-kim-jong-un-as-strong-funny-smart-and-great-negotiator-in-hannity-interview.amp.html

https://www.npr.org/2017/05/02/526520042/6-strongmen-trumps-praised-and-the-conflicts-it-presents

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/10/g7-in-disarray-after-trump-rejects-communique-and-attacks-weak-trudeau

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-north-korean-leader-kim-jong-gotta-give/story?id=36198345

https://www.factcheck.org/2016/09/trump-on-birtherism-wrong-and-wrong/

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-kim-values-20180615-story.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/06/14/trump-has-turned-his-back-on-every-fundamental-american-value/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d229a8fff189

https://www.arcamax.com/currentnews/newsheadlines/s-2091921-p2

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-young-trump-cabinet_us_5ab51bbbe4b0decad0497fca

https://vote.us.org/memo/thread/69896/donald-trump-really-wishes-he-were-a-dictator/

Black Voters: Not A Trump Market

Black Voters: Not A Trump Market

Occasionally, someone says something regarding a topic on which I have an opinion, and they say everything I would like to have said…and they said it better, and more completely. Thank you Issac Bailey; you did that in your commentary on black voters and Donald Trump. In fact, I so endorse your writing on this subject that I submit your CNN Op Ed from yesterday as my post today.

Issac Bailey (a self-described conservative) is an interim member of The Charlotte Observer editorial board and the 2016 James K. Batten Professor of Public Policy at Davidson College. He was a 2014 Harvard University Nieman fellow and is the author of the book “My Brother Moochie: Regaining Dignity in the Midst of Crime, Poverty, and Racism in the American South” (Other Press). Follow him on Twitter: @ijbailey. The views expressed below are his.

Black voters are not going to follow Kim Kardashian and Kanye West into the arms of President Donald Trump.

Trump appears to be making a push these days to woo black voters. But they are not going to be fooled. Not by Trump’s nakedly political attempt to pardon or commute the sentences of a few, select black people — especially as he implements policies that continue hurting people of color, including a rollback of civil rights protections and accountability for law enforcement.

And they won’t be misled by Trump’s false claims that he’s the reason the black unemployment rate has dipped to its lowest level on record, 5.9%, given that it improved significantly more under President Barack Obama.

But, more importantly, black voters won’t embrace Trump because he (and his supporters) have yet to acknowledge the affront of his well-documented, bigoted remarks, his unfair criticism of Obama and his refusal to acknowledge Obama’s accomplishments while in office.

Besides that, white supremacists — and those who may be sympathetic toward them — keep reminding us that they are giddy about Trump and feel more comfortable in the Republican Party because Trump shares “some of the same ideals.”

Even those with less extreme, though still deeply problematic views, have found a home with the GOP. “In my view, the best way to bring diversity to the Republican Party is for Republicans to openly say that the whole idea of diversity is a bunch of crap and un-American,” said Seth Grossman, the GOP nominee for Congress in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District. Grossman has been endorsed by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

His comments were far from the dog whistle the black community has grown accustomed to. Instead they were a blunt and bizarre declaration that those who believe diversity is important, particularly because black people, women and others have too frequently been denied opportunity, are the real racists.

His disgusting remarks were uncovered by a progressive super PAC that monitors GOP candidates. But there’s nothing surprising about Grossman’s comments. They fit well within today’s Republican Party, which supported a candidate for President who rose to national prominence despite (or because of) his embrace of bigoted beliefs.

And he has not let go of these beliefs since assuming office. He has allegedly called African countries “shitholes,” (though he denies it), has said he wants more immigrants from overwhelmingly white Norway and has labeled peacefully protesting NFL players as “sons of bitches” who don’t belong in the country.

But it’s not just what Trump has done while he has been in office — it’s also what he hasn’t done: give Obama credit where credit is due. When Obama became president at the height of the recession, black unemployment was at nearly 17%. By the time he left, it had dropped to 7.8%. Similarly, black poverty had reached its lowest level at 19%. And the stock market had risen 234%.

Of course, Trump called those statistics phony; he said black people had nothing to lose by voting for him because they lived in a veritable “hellscape.” Notably, only 8% of black voters bought his logic then, helping to usher him into office.

Trump, though he has been in office for a much shorter time than Obama, has yet to achieve his predecessor’s economic accomplishments. Take GDP growth: In 2014, under Obama, the United States grew 4.6% and 5.2% in the second and third quarters, respectively. The highest quarterly increase under Trump so far has been a 3.2% rise during the third quarter of last year.

The American public also received massive tax cuts under Obama, tax cuts that were more tailored for the middle class than those Trump signed into law last year. While the bottom three-fifths of earners benefited most from Obama tax cuts, the biggest beneficiaries of the Trump tax cuts are projected to be families making between $308,000 and $703,000.

Meanwhile, economic and racial inequality remain entrenched and are expected to worsen under Trump. “The policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned, rather than a right of citizenship,” Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur, has said.

Trump and his most ardent supporters, who spent years telling black voters the black guy in the White House had accomplished nothing of significance, now want to take credit for Trump’s underwhelming accomplishments. But black voters haven’t forgotten the Obama years. And they won’t.

“Black Voters: Not A Trump Market!” I’m done; Aloha!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the link: http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com. Find a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the link below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/12/opinions/black-voters-not-fooled-by-trump-bailey/index.html

Trump By The Numbers: The Lies, False Statements and Misrepresentations Though

It’s time to Break It Down!

Monday was Donald Trump’s 500th day in office. The statement below, in his own words, tells the story of how he viewed that milestone:

“This is my 500th Day in Office and we have accomplished a lot – many believe more than any President in his first 500 days. Massive Tax & Regulation Cuts, Military & Vets, Lower Crime & Illegal Immigration, Stronger Borders, Judgeships, Best Economy & Jobs EVER, and much more…”

6:35 AM – 4 Jun 2018

  • 27,484Retweets
  • 125,419Likes
  • 58K people are talking about this

Let’s review a few key metrics.

  • Presidential tweets – 3,496
  • Meetings with world leaders – 94
  • Calls with world leaders/heads of state – 250
  • Direct interactions with Vladimir Putin – 11
  • Unemployment rate – 3.8%
  • Bills signed into law – 180
  • Flights on Air Force One – 192
  • Trips to Florida (Most frequent destination) – 19
  • Trips to golf clubs – 102 excursion
  • Days at Trump-branded properties – 159
  • Senior officials who no longer serve in the administration – 44
  • Foreign countries visited – 14
  • Nights at the White House – 364
  • Presidential pardons – 5

All of those are interesting numbers, to be sure. For the most part they are reflective of issues Trump would delight in owning, and discussing. Though there are some that casual observers might not view as positive, but that Trump and his partisans likely do; senior officials who no longer serve in the administration, and trips to golf clubs/his properties. Outside analysts might view the staff change as a marker for instability.

Team Trump, however, most likely sees the incidences of turnover as necessary churn for Trump to get the people he really wants in those positions. Naturally, that argument disregards the fact that he picked the people whom he subsequently fired, people whom ran off or people whom just couldn’t take it anymore. The golf outings and visits to his properties denote an inconsistency with claims he made while campaigning for the job. His supporters and defenders argue he’s “taking a few much needed and well-earned breaks. Don’t laugh; that’s really what they say.

Contrast those metrics with this one:

  • False or misleading claims – 3,251

According to the Washington Post (The Fact Checker’s database, which tacks, analyzes, and categorizes every suspect statement uttered by the president), in his first 497 days in office, Mr. Trump made 3,251 false or misleading claims. That’s an average of more than 6.5 claims per day. When the WP started tracking this data, for the president’s first 100 days, he averaged 4.9 such claims per day. As Trump’s tenure has increased, the frequency of claims, some might call it his LQ, or Lying Quotient continues to mount. I suppose he deserves credit for gaining proficiency in his craft, as his has grown in experience.

This is a story about which I’ve written before. I won’t deign to get into the weeds (at least not today) about the individual details of these claims. The points, which I find totally off-putting, are that he so consistently flouts the facts, by most objective standards, and that his supporters, facts notwithstanding, remain in total denial, period, full stop. That’s it in a nutshellTrump By The Numbers: The Lies, False Statements, and Misrepresentations Though!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the link: http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com. Find a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at http://thesphinxofcharlotte.com;  enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/500-days-trump-presidency-numbers/story?id=55635385

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/06/01/president-trump-has-made-3251-false-or-misleading-claims-in-497-days/?utm_term=.ae1ace9e3f75

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/trump-claims/?noredirect=on&tid=a_inl&utm_term=.365aa8a6d311

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/04/trump-500-days-president-american-greatness

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/04/us/politics/fact-check-trump-500-days-.html

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/uselection/2016/11/04/donald-trump-the-unauthorized-database-of-false-things.html

https://video.foxnews.com/v/5792899072001/?#sp=show-clips

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trumps-500-days-american-greatness/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyDS2v1w2Gs

https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/world/20-of-donald-trump’s-worst-lies/ss-AArYXsU