Tuesday, February 16, 2016

100 Lies by Donald Trump (1-30)

"Clowns to the left of me -- jokers to the right!' 
We are often told, usually by Donald Trump himself, that Trump is a "straight-shooter," a uniquely honest man wading through a cesspool of political hacks, interest groups, and liars.  In fact, in the recent Republican debate, Trump called several people liars, including both junior Bushes and Ted Cruz.

I think, though, of all the present candidates for president, no one has such difficulty telling the truth as Donald Trump -- with the exception of Hillary Clinton.  If you want a straight-shooter, Donald Trump is one of the last people you should choose.  

Here I plan to give 30 examples.  Since Trump himself made his standards for what constitutes a lie clear in that debate -- item #1 -- I will not need to justify my own occasionally strict criteria.  

#1 "They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction, there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction."

The "they" in this sentence, in context, was the Bush administration, especially George W. Bush.  Trump was being asked specifically about George Bush, and claimed that "(Bush) lied, he got us into the war with lies."
A lie means saying what you think is untrue to deceive people.  Which implies that George Bush knew Saddam Hussein had no "weapons of mass destruction."  Now aside from the fact that thousands of chemical weapons have in fact been found, even if they were not, Trump's accusation would be clearly wrong.  CIA director George Tenet told Bush that it was a "slam dunk" that there were WMDs in Iraq.  So unless Trump can prove Bush had warrant to know the CIA director was "lying," then the accusation against Bush is absurdly false.  Bush might  have been mistaken (at least on the number of such weapons) but he clearly wasn't "lying," as Trump charged.  

To accuse a president of your own party of "lying" America into war before the American people, must set a new precedent in political vitriol.  Should we call it a "lie?"  There's certainly much stronger warrant for accusing Trump of purposeful dishonesty here than Bush.  We know Bush had good reason to believe there were WMDs in Iraq.  (Not just the CIA, also numerous foreign intelligence agencies affirmed this "fact.")  We also know Trump has good reason to know how implausible it is that Bush deliberately lied -- especially before opening his trap before the entire nation, and accusing the last Republican president of a terrible war crime.  He certainly has not cited any evidence that Bush purposefully lied, which in such a case should be the minimal standard for making such a horrendous accusation.  

Such a false accusation alone should cause Donald Trump to be kicked out of the Republican Party, post haste, in my opinion.  This is not a small matter.  

#2-3 “I am the on this dais — the only person that fought very, very hard against us — and I wasn’t a sitting politician going into Iraq,” Trump said. “Because I said going into Iraq — that was in 2003.”

“You can check it out, check out — I’ll give you 25 different stories . . . In fact, a delegation was sent to my office to see me because I was so vocal about it. I’m a very militaristic person, but you have to know when to use the military.  I’m the only person up here that fought against going into Iraq.”
“I think it is very important . . . I think it is important because it is about judgment. I didn’t want to go into Iraq, it is about judgment. Because what I said, you’re going to destabilize the Middle East and that’s what happened.”
"An extensive BuzzFeed News review was unable to find any Trump statements on the Iraq War before the invasion in March 2003, but did find two statements he made the week the war started, one calling it “a mess” and one saying it would have a positive impact on the stock market."
Trump also apparently said he wished the first George Bush had finished that war, presumably by finishing Saddam Hussein off.
So that "very, very hard fighting" by Trump against going into Iraq appears to be fictional. 
There are probably three or four occlusions of truth in those comments, but let's just count them as two.  

# 4 "George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East."

Aside from Trump's own prior calls to invade Iraq, which one might concede he has now forgotten, how can anyone "destabilize" a place (or a person, for that matter) that has never been stable?  The region has been permanently at war -- most emphatically including psychopath led Iraq -- for decades.  And Iraq had started some of those wars. Trump is "blaming Bush" for trying to solve a pre-existing condition -- to put it mildly. 
# 5 Is Trump self-funding?  “I don’t have to give you a website because I’m self-funding my campaign. I’m putting up my own money."  "And by the way, I'm a self-funder."

In fact, by November

"While Trump has spent about $2 million of his own money since the start of his bid for the White House, he has also accepted nearly $4 million in “unsolicited donations,” according to the campaign’s latest financial filing. That means that more than 67 percent of Trump's campaign cash has come from outside donors so far — vastly outpacing his own contributions."
# 6  "As a businessman I get along with everybody."

Now there's a whopper.  Aside from fellow politicians, how about all the students who filed a lawsuit complaining that they were scammed by Trump University

#7  "You have 100 million people that would like to be working. And they're not."

America has a population of 320 million.  74 million of those are children; about 30 million retired or elderly.  Others are disabled, or criminals or lazy people who prefer to hang around and play video games.  Millions more are students.  But I repeat myself.    

For Trump's claim to be true, more than half of eligible Americans would have to be unemployed.  Needless to say, this is another whopper. 

# 8-9 Is Trump going to fix Social Security by cutting out "waste, abuse and fraud?"  Is that even possible?  What about all those 106 year old beneficiaries? 

"You have tremendous waste, fraud and abuse. That we're taking care of. That we're taking care of. It's tremendous. We have in Social Security right now thousand and thousands of people that are over 106 years old."

This is the oldest schtick in the book, and any adult who believes it is simple indeed.  The idea is to make voters who receive Social Security feel safe -- "He doesn't want to cut into my benefits, just stop crooks" -- while making voters who worry about finances feel that there is a real problem and it is going to be fixed -- without hurting anyone but crooks. 

But the problem with Social Security is we aren't having enough children to pay for it.  Or here.  And the problem with crooks is, some will always find a way. 

10-12.  The Wall.  "I'm going to build a huge wall!  And Mexico's going to pay for it." (paraphrase)

No, you're not, Donald.  No wall 35-40 foot high wall is ever going to be built, as you promised: such a wall makes little sense, and would probably cost some multiple of the $8 billion you promise if you did.  

There's the fact that even if you threatened to nuke Mexico, they wouldn't pay for a wall sealing themselves off.  No sovereign nation would accept such a humiliation:

"Mexican people, we are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall, and they need to know that.  And it's going to be completely useless." (Felipe Calderon)

There's the fact that much of the land is private property and not for sale.  

There's the fact that even now, illegal immigrants are more likely to cheat their way through checkpoints, than cross remote stretches of back-country territory.  

And cost overruns happen, eh Donald?  

But tell you what.  Make the following campaign promise, back it up contractually, and I'll grant you integrity on this claim, Donald.  You say you're worth more than $10 billion.  You say the fence will only cost $8 billion, and Mexico is going to pay that.  

So put your money where your mouth is.  Sign a contract with the US government that if you cannot persuade Mexico to pay for the wall, you will -- every single last penny.

No problem, eh, amigo?  If you're telling the truth.    

13.  Was John McCain a hero?  “He’s not a war hero.  He’s a war hero because he was captured.  I like people who weren’t captured.”

John McCain volunteered for combat duty, tried to save a comrade when the USS Forrestral suffered a fire killing 134 men, then volunteered for further combat duty.  He was awarded the Naval Commendation Medal and Bronze Star for his service.  His A4-E Skyhawk was later shot down over Hanoi, and he fractured both arms and a leg, AND almost drowned, crashing into a lake in that city.  

How would Donald Trump, or any superhero action figure of his liking (Trump got out of service on account of a mere "bone spur," allegedly, though he can't remember which bone), have escaped capture under those conditions?  

Oh, simple!  Donald would have jumped out of the airplane a second before it struck.  Then he would have held off the Vietnamese militia with a hang grenade between his teeth.  Then he would have hopped on his one good leg out of the lake, through the city of Hanoi, and to the Pacific Ocean.   He would have then swum to San Diego with that one good arm, head-butting tiger sharks along the way, with Ho Chi Minh under his arm and Miss Vietnam hanging onto his leg.  

That's how Donald Trump would have escaped, if it hadn't been for that darn bone spur -- I forget in which leg.  

After his imprisonment, McCain lost 50 pounds, was beaten and given no medical care.   When the Vietnamese offered him early release because his father was an admiral, he turned down the offer.  He was then tortured severely, signing one "confession" but refusing to cooperate with others.  

Yes, Donnie boy, John McCain was a genuine war hero.  And you a moral midget and a piece of lying excrement.  

14-19.  Megyn Kelly's vices: 

Kelly is neither a "bimbo" (and you are calling her that, without evidence, for which there doesn't seem to be -- that's an extra lie) -- dopey, light-weight, not good, average, or overrated.  In fact, she asked the other candidates -- the ones who had the guts to show up --  some of the most incisive and challenging questions I've seen a journalist pose.  And that's why you ran and hide in the closet -- she exposed your flagrant Trumpery.  The other candidates took it like men.  

I have no idea how good Kelly's math skills are.  Did she promise to build a wall across the border with Canada 50 feet high, or something?  

20-21.  Is National Review about to disappear?  

“I can only say this — the National Review is a failing publication. It’s not going to be around long.  And they’ll get some publicity.  A lot of the writers think it’s going to help me more because people are tired of the negativity from these people.  All they do is talk, but they don’t have solutions to anything, and so I mean, I’m fine with it.

Anyone who reads NR, or National Review Online, knows that in fact the publications many brilliant thinkers offer all kinds of solutions to all kinds of problems -- far more realistic, all in all, that Trump's silly promises. 

And Trump appears to have no basis for claiming the magazine is about to disappear.  This is just another trumper-tantrum, in which The Donald strikes childishly at whoever criticizes him, not caring less whether what he says is true or not.

And here is their criticism.  

22-23. Is Charles Krauthammer "dopey?"

Biased, yes -- in favor of reality.  Charles Krauthammer is a commentator, not a straight journalist, so he is paid to be biased.    

Krauthammer is also smarter than just about anyone else on the air.  If you want dopey clowns, look in the mirror.  Krauthammer is wrong sometimes, but he is dignified, brilliant, and unlike you, clear cares deeply about truth. 

And no, he should not be fired - but I won't count that as a lie, since from your subjective point of view, that might make Fox grate your over-inflated ego less harshly.  

24.  Marco Rubio "never earned two cents."

Presumably Trump means in private business.  In fact, Rubio has worked in private business, including in a law firm on zoning and planning -- your own gig, Donald.  

25.  Was Jeb Bush significantly responsible for Florida's economic downturn? 

"Jeb's policies in Florida helped lead to its almost total collapse."

(26) Is Donald Trump a "Christian," as he claims? 

If by "Christian" you mean a "serially-immoral casino builder who brags about sleeping with other mens' wives, crushes little old ladies who get in the way of his projects, mocks the disabled, libels his enemies ruthlessly, says he doesn't trouble God with confessing his sins (if he thinks he has any), and indeed seems to confuse himself with God," then -- like Trump, you need to crack open a Bible.  

(27) Has the Donald never gone bankrupt? 

Yes, he has, at least four times.  

(28)  Did Saddam Hussein "make a living off killing terrorists?"

No, he made a living off killing innocent people AS a terrorist.  Sometimes using chemical weapons, sometimes starting wars.  Most often he killed people who were defending countries that he unjustly attacked.  Slight difference.  Probably killed a few terrorists in the process, along with milkmen, ballet stars, biologists, and people of other professions.  

(29-30)  Is Trump going to deport 11+ million illegal aliens, then bring back the good ones?  

Yeah, right after he walks on water.  Both claims are utter fantasies, and Trump is intelligent to know that, and probably does know.  

(31-32) Trump got booed by special interests?  "The whole room was made of special interests and donors, which is a disgrace from the RNC . . . The RNC better get its act together because, you know, I signed a pledge. The pledge isn’t being honored by the RNC."

"Trump signed an RNC pledge in September, agreeing not to run a third-party candidacy and to support the eventual Republican nominee."

"I signed a pledge, but it’s a double-edged pledge. As far as I’m concerned, they’re in default on their pledge."

This is two lies.  The Trump campaign knows full well that 600 seats, the largest part, were given out to the campaigns -- 100 to each campaign.  Many of the rest were given to the state GOP.  Only a tiny minority appear in fact to have been given to any class that could be called "donors."  They were booing Trump, because he said boo-worthy things (see above): in my opinion, they SHOULD have tarred and feathered him and run him off the stage.  So I suspect Trump bribed them to allow him to stay.  

Secondly, there is not a single word in Trump's signed pledge about any required activity on the part of the RNC.  They certainly make no promise to shield Baby Trump from the consequences of his own public folly.  Trump is, yet again, just lying.  

But on one point I do agree with the Donald.  It is past time for a parting the ways between the Republican Party and Donald Trump.  Kick him out now, while his betrayal of his pledge, and of the country frankly, is fresh on his lips. 

* * * * * * * * 

Well, my back hurts, and I have a long flight tomorrow.  That's enough for today.  But no, Trump isn't going to deport 11 million aliens, then bring back the good ones, either.  

You may, of course, decide that you don't mind having someone whose normal way of attracting attention and getting votes, and of reacting to legitimate criticism, is to say whatever he likes, whether it is true or patently false.  "After all," you may tell yourself, "Don't all politicians lie?"  (No, not like this, they don't -- unless their name is "Clinton."  Nixon wasn't in this class.  And I'm not sure even Hilary is, really -- one could plausibly call Monica Lowinski a "bimbo," but not Megyn Kelly.)  You may like the fact that Trump "sticks it to his enemies" without concern for justice, truth, or the rules of civilized behavior.  You may think he will similarly stick it to America's enemies, not just his own, and he'll be fair to you.  And maybe he was also lying about sleeping with the wives of so many other men, or maybe you want an Alpha Male in the White House.  You might even believe that he will obey the laws and constraints put on leaders to keep them from becoming tyrants in America -- that while "power corrupts," Trump will not be corrupted, because, paradoxically, he is corrupt already.  

You may, in short, choose to ignore the lessons of history, and what happens when you give a megalomaniac and a shameless liar ultimate power.  

Go ahead.  What can we lose?  Better to deliver the White House to Donald Trump, or through him to Hilary Clinton, than having an Hispanic who sweats, or a moderate and successful Ohio governor, or another Bush, in the White House, right?  (I might concede that nominating Ted Cruz would prove equally disastrous.)  

(Note to regular readers: sorry for another political article.  No, I won't talk about politics forever.  But this is my country, and we do care about truth, at this site.  Scary experience: I began to word-search "truth" the other day, and after typing the first three letters, "Trump" appeared as the most likely next choice.  When demagogues are so popular that one seeks truth and find Trump instead, one must speak up and point to the truth.)  


bbrown said...

I agree 100% about Trump, but wow, you are so deceived about Ted Cruz.
He is a great man and a true Christian and exactly what our country needs. I've met him and his father a number of times. The media caricature has nothing to do with reality.

David B Marshall said...

William: I didn't say Cruz wasn't a Christian. His problem is he's divisive, self-righteous, not very likable, and would lose the election. If I haven't gotten a better impression of him -- I don't pay any attention to the liberal media -- then that only makes him less likely to win in November.

You have to pick someone who is likely to win.

David B Marshall said...

Because I really, really do not want Hilary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in the White House.