Category Archives: Election 2016

MSNBC Recognizing the Nonsense

MSNBC is right with us here at American Money Lies on the Weaponised Nonsense. If your following the dialog of the past couple days at all, this morning’s broadcast is worth watching. Scary to me, but nice to see we’re not the only team taking note.

A few more thoughts. I posted this when I saw it this morning. It’s not only obvious the man hasn’t much idea of how government works or what’s really going on around him, it’s a milestone in that real people and credible reporters are now saying it in public. There is a catch however. It creates an out.

Calling him ill and making this into a sickness opens the exit door. One with the sympathy we all feel when our acquaintances and/or family suffer from similar fate. Sympathy…instead of facing what the long history of facts and actions demonstrate… fraud, lying, cheating contractors out of payment, groping, multiple bankruptcies designed to save personal capital at the expense of others, and now what is shaping up to be likely collusion.  Oh I am sympathetic, just not much toward frauds, crooks and cheats.

 

Weaponised Nonsense

For all my author and reading friends, this is a great read…nothing to add from here. Start with this quote from the article…well worth a very short time commitment. Thanks for caring about the meaning of language.

Without language, there is no accountability, no standard of truth. If Trump never says anything concrete, he never has to do anything concrete. If Trump never makes a statement of commitment, Trump supporters never have to confront what they really voted for. If his promises are vague to the point of opacity, Trump cannot be criticised for breaking them. If every sloppy lie (ie: “Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower … This is McCarthyism!”) can be explained away as a “generality” or “just a joke” because of “quotes”, then he can literally say anything with impunity. Trump can rend immigrant families in the name of “heart”, destroy healthcare in the name of “life”, purge minority voters in the name of “justice”, and roll back women’s autonomy in the name of “freedom”. The constitution? Probably sarcastic. There are “quotes” all over that thing!

Mike Flynn-Fake News Pro

Fake news right from the White House. But we knew that before he was confirmed. Now that he’s in the seat as National Security Adviser we continue to learn more about contact with Russia. Short story, he was in contact with Russia, he lied about it, the White House protected him, now we’ll see where it all ends. Good read here today from Foreign Policy.

“The allegation that Gen. Flynn, while President Obama was still in office, secretly discussed with Russia’s ambassador ways to undermine the sanctions levied against Russia for its interference in the presidential election on Donald Trump’s behalf, raises serious questions of legality and fitness for office,” Schiff said in a statement.

“If he did so, and then he and other administration officials misled the American people, his conduct would be all the more pernicious, and he should no longer serve in this administration or any other.”

Today the White House is quiet on this subject. Will Flynn be the sacrifice, or will we learn of deeper involvement as the investigation continues? Perhaps both.

13 Feb Update:

Two points this morning as we watch the fallout unfold. Look back to the post here here and see how we all saw this train coming. There was no doubt Mr Flynn was unreliable and untrustworthy, something already clear to the prior Administration. This will likely become noteworthy in Mr Flynn being fired by two consecutive Presidents.

May also want to have a look at this take from the Palmer Report regarding how deep the problem may run in this Administration. While we see no direct evidence supporting the Presidents knowledge of Mr Flynn’s calls, it is hard to perceive a senior official, long-time friend and supporter, interacting with a foreign power in complete isolation. So who else? And to what level? There is certainly much more to come…

14 Feb: Yes there was and still is more to come. Flynn has resigned, the President says he’s more concerned about the “leak” that caused this.

The White House is framing this as Flynn mislead Pence verses the security risk and legal violation, we learn the the Attorney General (Yates) had advised the Administration of the risk weeks ago, and we (the Administration too) already know Flynn had mislead the public with fake stories before the election even happened.

The Administration hired a guy to lie for them and didn’t like it when he lied to them.  Way too simple an explanation even from this group of amateurs. Never mind the security of the nation and the illegality, the issue is being carefully boxed in as a Flynn-Pence issue. More to come. My hunch is there are more conversations, more involvement, more investigations and more fall guys before we see the full breadth and depth of this…

Fake News Twist–Manufacturing Events so Sympathetic Sites Report

The eve of inauguration brings a bit of discussion about protests. While masses plan to highlight their concerns and objections to the Trump Presidency through peaceful protest, the right works to undermine  their statement.

Manufacturing events. It’s been around for a long time but today internet speed spreads it far and fast. Protests planned for tomorrow and Saturday are not fake and seem consistent with the current low approval ratings of the incoming President. So how to make them appear fake to sway and embolden followers? Manufacture a story indicating they are paid to protest of course. Here’s a screen shot of site promising just that:

Capture_Demand Protest

They promise to supply protesters, paid protesters, at a cost of course, for any cause. But that’s not the real point as they have no customers, no protests, and no revenue. They just have an ad on the internet. So the point became one picked up by right wing news outlets. Gateway Pundit, Breittbart, Drudge Report, essentially all outlets leaning to the far right with the claim protesters are being paid to object to the Trump Presidency. Of course then it’s on to the social media system where no one has, or takes, responsibility for fact checking anything.

The site is a hoax, admittedly pro Trump, making the entire story a hoax. Yup, all fake. All from right wing actors, and right wing media outlets. The very same people clamoring about media bias and fake news. But as rumors go, it’s a good one as it feeds into what some on the far right want to believe, and as a result still spreading.  Like the TV ads many grew up with, wait there is more:

Bring on James O’Keefe. Right wing operative/hero, benefactor of Trump Foundation donations, film-maker, selective editor,  many claim liar, but you be the judge of his plot:

“Right wing operatives would present themselves as representatives of a well-heeled donor (probably the great bogeyman of the right, George Soros, although no names are mentioned), offering large sums of money to progressive activists to create mayhem in Washington during the inauguration. The aim was supposedly to distract from Trump’s big day by getting news coverage to focus on the anti-Trump unrest.”

But they were busted by Undercurrent’s Lauren Windsor, and on video:

Capture_Project Veritas

Capture_Busted

 

 

This first video details the plot:

 

 

 

And this covers the interviews and response when confronted:

 

 

We shouldn’t  be surprised by these dirty tactics but we can still be disappointed Mostly it points to the extraordinary efforts being taken to undermine some of our fundamental rights. Our right to peacefully protest and the freedom of the press to inform.  Pay attention to the narrative tomorrow and the morning after. Check the source. Do not forget if someone undertakes a violent act, there is a good probability they are a paid right wing operator. Discrediting the protesters, and discrediting the media is underway, bigly.

Confirmation Hearings, Attorney General

As confirmation hearings are underway, this piece from conservative columnist George Will hits a couple key points. First the quality of the candidate in Alabama Senator Sam Sessions, and next the issue of seizing and selling property of people who have not been accused, let alone convicted of a crime. Policing for profit of which Mr Sessions supports.

will-on-sessions

will-on-sessions-2

 

Another Ethics Challenge, the Great Wall

As a campaign promise Mr Trump said he will build a wall, a great wall, the greatest wall…and Mexico will pay for it.  Mexico said even then before the election, they will not. As of yesterday the transition team is pressuring congress to foot the bill. Just in case there is someone out there who doesn’t really understand how this works, that means you and I will pay for the wall with our taxes and additional government debt/interest. So maybe our kids will end up paying for it too.

Sean Spicer, a spokesman for Trump, said on Friday the incoming administration would need government funding to build the wall and that Trump said in October Mexico’s payment would be a reimbursement.

“The idea that we’re going through the appropriations process and figuring out how to pay for it shouldn’t be news,”

Well yes it is news. Not until now has anyone on the Trump team, nor Mr Trump himself even suggested we would be paying for this unnecessary wall. But we don’t understand says Mr Trump, and the media isn’t telling the whole story; Mexico will pay us back. Unfortunately the small problem with his statement is that he stands alone in his position, no one else agrees with him. Congress hasn’t said Mexico will reimburse us for the wall. And Mexico? They have clearly and specifically said they will NOT pay for the wall.

So here’s where we are. One man, just one, claims Mexico will pay for the wall. Everyone else involved, the House, the Senate, and Mexico all say they will not. We haven;t been told the truth here in ways beside the funding.  Take a moment to read The Truth about America’s Illegal Immigrants. Already down, just one half are from Mexico, most enter legally, they pay $10.6 billion in state and local taxes, pay $13 billion in Social Security, and few come across the over 1,900 miles of border a wall is to protect. Make sure your representatives know we the majority, see trough the Trump lie and object.

Situational Ethics?

Good example here: During the Obama Presidency Mr Paul Ryan questioned the Presidents decision to read some intelligence briefings himself rather than get them verbally from the intelligence agency.

“I have a hard time comprehending that, because the primary job of the commander in chief is to keep the country safe,” Ryan said in an October 2014 interview on Fox News Channel. “And you need to get from your intelligence community, your defense community — especially when we have troops in harm’s way — what’s going on.”

Now with Mr Trump choosing not to receive some/many briefings at all, as well as publicly questioning the authenticity of he intelligence professionals, he’s come up with a new story.

“Well, they don’t always get everything right. We’ve seen that clearly,” Ryan said. “But I do have faith that our men and women in our intelligence community are doing an incredible job, sacrificing for our country. But there’s always room for improvement.”

Way back when Mr Ryan was running for Vice President (actually here) I did a piece about Mr Ryan and his integrity…or lack there of. Nothing has changed.

Manufacturing Coming Back?

In the midst of the Carrier deal as well as the long election lead up op on manufacturing, here are a couple thoughts.

Look at the Carrier deal. Good, keeps some jobs, which pays some employees, who pay taxes, and spend. Remember your spending is my income and my spending is your income. One stops, we all lose. But a few points as part of the bargain. We know the State committed to tax breaks of $7 million. We know the jobs saved to be 730. We don’t know what was promised at the federal level at all. So we know taxpayers are paying a minimum of $9,589 per job. Not going to do all the math on the tax and economic value of that, suffice it to say there is some, even quite a bit, just not a key point here. In fact the State essentially paying to have manufacturing jobs could even be argued to be say, a bit Socialistic. Hmm. The point is we traded tax revenue.

We also have to look at the long-term trend. Not just for the U.S. but the world. There is an overall down trend over time, for both.

value-added_us

U.S. Value Added

value-added_world

World Value Added

What’s it mean is the question. Perhaps it means the profit margins are lower…labor costs, global competition, soft markets? Perhaps it means consumption is down …austerity, personal trends, death of the American Dream (I call it scheme) mentality? Perhaps it means competition from areas not measured accurately by World Bank and associated monetary systems. Or that the manufacturing heyday has long passed as theorized by some economists and is my own belief. If it’s trending downward globally as data suggests, it’s certainly not coming back to the US without some major proprietary technological or quality breakthrough regardless of what we heard during the campaign.

But it certainly makes the point that one cannot asses the value or compare the impacts of domestic jobs and/or trade policies without taking into account the global and national trends. So when we hear folks, both politicians and friends, claiming success or failure of some action (like the Carrier deal) or policy. Ask about the long-term trends. And what they think it might mean. Too easy to just parrot the party response.

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: