Friday, August 19, 2016

A Trumpulsive liar

Anyone who thinks that Hillary has already won this election is a fool. Her lead is shrinking. Trump's recent speech, in which he finally did a pretty convincing pivot, proves that he is not giving up.

It was to be expected. Steve Bannon has always felt that the great  problem with the anti-Clinton smears of the 1990s is that the right became content with talking to itself. The important thing (argues Bannon) is to get the message through to the other side.

That's what Trump is attempting to do now.

In his speech, Trump called Hillary Clinton "one of the greatest liars of all time." Audaciously, he then insists: "In this journey, I will never lie to you."

Of course, the very speech in which that statement appears contains a number of whoppers.

The problem with Trump's mendacity is that he has told so many whoppers over the years that the mainstream media has, to a large extent, stopped trying to expose them all. I shall attempt in this post to list some of his more important lies, starting with the featured in the above-linked speech.

He claims that he is funding his own campaign -- "nobody else is." As we've seen, he's using these rallies as a way to make money. He raised $80 million a couple of months ago, and many of those who contribute find themselves locked into monthly contributions that they can't opt out of.

Trump then said: "Tell me, has Hillary Clinton ever apologized for lying about her illegal email server and deleting 33,000 emails?"

She apologized for instituting the server in the first place, which -- we now know -- she did on the advice of Colin Powell, who spoke to her during a private dinner with other former Secretaries of State. (The story will be told in full in a new book by Joe Conason.) She never lied about the existence of that server, and there is no evidence that she deleted any emails.

Trump said: "Has Hillary Clinton apologized for turning the State Department into a pay-for-play operation where favors are sold to the highest bidder?"

A complete fabrication. This never happened.

Here's a truly remarkable deception:
Speaking of lies, we now know from the State Department announcement that President Obama lied about the $400 million dollars in cash that was flown to Iran. He denied it was for the hostages, but it was. He said we don’t pay ransom, but he did. He lied about the hostages – openly and blatantly – just like he lied about Obamacare.
Trump is giving a completely false version of history. That $400 million was Iranian money to begin with; before the 1980 hostage crisis, they paid for American arms and spare parts which were never delivered. Any claimed "lies" about Obamacare will seem credible only the eyes of right-wing zealots.

"Please remember this: I will never put personal profit before national security." This statement is hilarious, coming as it does from Putin's boy-toy. These words come from the man who said "I have nothing to do with Russia," when everyone knows that he has.

(In my opinion, this particular falsehood about Russia was the most brazen lie Trump has ever told.)

"Just imagine if the media spent this much time investigating the poverty and joblessness in our inner cities." Although this statement is not a lie, it is an example of the man's formidable capacity for hypocrisy. Trump's campaign is now largely managed by a man who used to run his own media empire, which devotes its energies to shit like this instead of truthful investigations into urban problems.

"Nearly Four in ten African-American children are living in poverty. I will not rest until children of every color in this country are fully included in the American Dream." I think we can fairly call this a lie. If Trump were serious about helping people of color, why did he hire Steve Bannon, who has done more than any other human being to "mainstream" the white supremacist Alt Right movement?

Moreover, why did Trump give a "shout out" to the White Power movement when he compared Hillary to Angela Merkel? (Although many Americans will not comprehend the reference, Merkel is a key figure in the mythos promulgated on white supremacist websites.)

To African Americans, Trump posed this question: "What do you have to lose by trying something new? – I will fix it." Once again: Trump hired Steve Bannon, the man who wants to put a friendly face on white supremacism. That fact alone tells us that blacks have a lot to lose with Trump.

Meanwhile, the Democrats nominated and elected the first black president.

Moreover, African American lives were greatly improved during the presidency of Bill Clinton: Incomes went up, unemployment went way down, child poverty in black households was reduced, redlining was ended, the Community Reinvestment Act was strengthened, black-owned businesses had a much easier time getting capital, the low-income housing tax credit went up 40 percent, and enterprise zones (which Republicans hated) created many new urban jobs.

Bill Clinton also fought hard for fair housing, while Donald Trump -- a landlord -- routinely discriminated against black applicants. Also see here and here.
I’ve waded through 1,021 pages of documents from that legal battle, and they are devastating. Donald Trump was then president of the family real estate firm, and the government amassed overwhelming evidence that the company had a policy of discriminating against blacks, including those serving in the military.

To prove the discrimination, blacks were repeatedly dispatched as testers to Trump apartment buildings to inquire about vacancies, and white testers were sent soon after. Repeatedly, the black person was told that nothing was available, while the white tester was shown apartments for immediate rental.

A former building superintendent working for the Trumps explained that he was told to code any application by a black person with the letter C, for colored, apparently so the office would know to reject it. A Trump rental agent said the Trumps wanted to rent only to “Jews and executives,” and discouraged renting to blacks.
I'd say that African Americans have a lot to lose if they vote for a landlord who won't rent to black people.

Here's another Trump howler: "On political corruption, we are going to restore honor to our government." How can we expect "honor" from someone who is well-known for his ties to the mob?

Trump says "I am fighting for you" against the "insiders fighting for the insiders." Really? Then why did Trump, back in 2006, proclaim that he was rooting for a housing bubble because he hoped to profit from it? He said that he hoped for a collapse in housing prices so he could "go in and buy."

If Trump is for the little guy and against the insiders, why does he want to eradicate the (insufficient) bank regulations enacted after the crash?

We could examine every phrase and phoneme in that speech and find many further lies -- but now, I would like to zoom out and expand our view to include those who trumpet on Trump's behalf.

If Trump's spokespeople tell lies, then he bears responsibility for what they say. Today, his emptyheaded spokesperson Katrina Pierson said that Hillary Clinton has a rare brain disease -- a complete falsehood. Are we going to get an apology from Team Trump? Of course not.

I would also say that Trump bears personal responsibility for the outrageous things said by his long-time friend Roger Stone, the ultimate dirty trickster (and partner of Paul Manafort). Remember when Stone spun that outrageous yarn about the Khan family being secret agents of the Muslim Brotherhood? Although the entire country said "No sale" to that one, Trump never distanced himself from his old pal's disgraceful mud-slinging. 

Now let's turn to Donald Trump's long history of lying.

Good God, where to begin? Some of what follows comes from memory; some comes from here, some from here, some from other sources.

I suppose we should start with Trump's embrace of birtherism. That was a big, BIG lie.

The there's his obviously false claim that he can't release his tax returns because they are under audit. Of course, the audit has nothing to do with it: Nixon released his taxes while still under audit.

Trump's "To Whom My Concern" medical history (about which I should soon have more to say) was obviously written by Trump himself.

Trump claimed that "really they've shut Christianity down" in the United States. Really? If the religion is defunct, why are there so many lovely churches in my city?

Trump claims to be worth $10 billion dollars. Forbes disagrees. Nobody now believes he is worth anywhere near that amount. If he is, why does he routinely stiff contractors for fairly small amounts of money?

Trump accused Ted Cruz's father of being photographed with Lee Harvey Oswald, and then falsely claimed that Cruz never denied the allegation.

Barack Obama did not found ISIS, as Trump has repeatedly and emphatically stated. Trump's later claim that he was engaging in "sarcarsm" was another transparent lie.

Trump claimed that he predicted the rise of Osama Bin Laden in his book The America We Deserve. That book makes but one reference to a then-current news story about Bin Laden; Trump actually diminishes the importance of the man, insinuating that he wasn't really the great enemy of the United States that Bill Clinton made him out to be.

Trump stated that Obama "wants to take in 250,000 from Syria." The actual number is 10,000.

Trump claims that there is "no system" for vetting refugees. Absolutely false: The vetting is quite stringent.

Trump has repeatedly insisted that crime is rising, even though statistics say otherwise.

Trump claimed that Hillary wants "release the violent criminals from jail. She wants them all released." This isn't just bullshit: It's bullshit concentrate.

Trump has stated that Hillary would raise taxes on the middle class and raise small business taxes by 50 percent. Not even slightly true.

During the primaries, Trump said that Hillary "doesn't do very well with women." Good lord! What can one say in response to these hallucinations?

Trump said that he wanted to be "quiet" about raising funds for veterans. In fact, he publicized the effort with all the subtlety of a nuclear bomb.

Trump said that we know nothing about Hillary Clinton's views on religion. Perhaps he should look into a little thing called Google?

Trump said that Hillary wants to "abolish the Second Amendment." Ridiculous.

Trump said that "Democrats want to confiscate all guns." Utterly ridiculous.

Trump first supported a ban on assault weapons, then took the opposite view. One of those statements must be a lie.

Trump claimed that the unemployment rate for black young people is 59 percent. The actual number is 27.1 percent.

Trump accused Hillary of laundering millions of dollars through something called Laureate Education. This accusation is absolutely untrue.

Trump has embraced the theory that vaccines cause autism.

Trump claimed that Hillary wanted to rig the debates by placing them against two NFL games. This one is silly. The two political parties mutually agreed upon the debate schedule well before the candidates were chosen.

Trump gave a vivid description of a video which supposedly showed money being transferred to Iran. No such video exists, according to the government and the mainstream media. Later, even Trump himself stated that he saw no such presentation. (Personally, I suspect that he did -- and stupidly blabbed about classified information.)

Trump said that Michelle Fields (the reporter groped by his former campaign manager) changed her story when she found out about a security tape. Not true.

Trump said that the omnibus spending bill "funds illegal immigrants." Actually, it funded the border patrol.

Trump also said of the omnibus spending bill: "It funds ISIS." Where? What part of the bill does that? What utterly preposterous nonsense!

Trump has said that he supports a federal minimum wage of at least $10 an hour, but earlier went on record opposing any raise.

Trump has claimed that he opposed the Iraq war from the beginning. In fact, he supported it.

Trump has claimed that he opposed the overthrow of Khaddafy. In fact, he strongly advocated it.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that Hillary Clinton created ISIS, which began in 2004.

Trump, apparently having entered a state of total delusion, engineered a television segment in which he pretended that his defunct steak company was still in business. (The steaks shown on camera were from another supplier.)

He also claimed that Trump magazine was still being published. It ceased operations in 2009.

On March 7, he said that he had spent $30 million on his campaign. His total contribution at that time was about a quarter of a million dollars.

He claimed that Trump University got an A from the Better Business Bureau. It was actually a D-minus. (The rating rose only after the company had more-or-less ceased operations and the complaints stopped coming in.)

He claimed that he "handpicked" the instructors for Trump University. Not true.

Trump said "If we competitively bid drugs in the United States, we can save as much as $300 billion a year.” The drug program costs $78 billion total.

Trump claimed that Chinese goods sold in America are completely untaxed. In reality, the tarrif is 2.9 percent.

Trump stated that "The Obama-Clinton war on coal has caused Michigan over 50,000 jobs." If Clinton has had anything to so with any "war on coal," I've yet to see the evidence. Republican governor Rick Snyder is the one who announced "now is the time to look at a long-term transition away from coal." Michigan is not a big coal producer; fewer than 7000 people have worked in mining during the last ten years.

Trump said that one could rebuild all of America's inner cities with the amount of money she plans to spend on refugees. This one is outrageously false.

Trump said that he opposed casino gambling in Florida, even though he had attempted to build a casino with the Seminoles.

Trump claimed to own "100 percent" the largest winery on the east coast. A winery does bear his name, but he doesn't own it. And it isn't the biggest.

Trump accused John McCain of doing nothing to help veterans. This one is hideously untrue. That single lie should have been a campaign-ender.

Trump called The Art of the Deal the bestselling business book of all time. Nope.

I could probably fill another half-dozen posts with lists of Big Trump Lies, but perhaps it would be best to stop here -- for now. Let's close with a Trump fib from the primary campaign which may have contained a suppressed truth. On March 7, in North Carolina, Trump said: "Countries have lobbyists also. They have lobbyists. They have their donors."

A lobbyist for a country is supposed to register. Paul Manafort, who still has a leading position on Trump's campaign, did not see any need to do so; that's why he's in hot water right now.

As for "donors": It is against the law for foreign nationals to contribute to an American political campaign. Nevertheless, many foreigners (including heads of state) have received solicitation letters from the Trump campaign. How would we know if foreign donations have flowed in? To a larger degree than most realize, the campaigns are self-policing.

Of course, there are ways to hide a contribution.

For example: You've probably read that Deutsche Bank is the last financial institution in the world still willing to do business with Donald "Mr. Bankruptcy" Trump. But even Deutsche Bank had to sue Trump at one point, which is why Trump now must deal with a very exclusive hush-hush subsidiary of that bank. If they are still loaning money to Mr. Bankruptcy, they must have a guarantor for the loan.

I'm not the only one who suspects that the name of that guarantor is Vladimir.
"A former building superintendent working for the Trumps explained that he was told to code any application by a black person with the letter C, for colored, apparently so the office would know to reject it."

The code "No.9" was also used, possibly with the same meaning of "this person is black; don't let them rent here".

That code may represent the word "no" in both English and German: no, nein.
Her lead is not shrinking and she has the EC all locked up. The latest polls show her at 8 points figuring in Johnson and Stein, 10 points without.

It is impossible for Trump to win. I don't know why you keep insisting he has a prayer in hell of winning.

The GOP wrote this election off months ago.
I wish that were true, susan, but you are not looking at the LATEST polls. Pew was one, I can't recall the other offhand -- I think it was NBC. I'm not talking about pro-Republican polls like Rasmussen. Clinton's lead has been cut in half in an astonishingly short time. The state polls are older; they will soon catch up with the narrowing national polls. Very soon those blue-ish states will start to go pink again.

Mercer, a REAL billionaire, is now behind Trump. The Republicans in congress are doing everything they can to blacken Hillary's name. And you have the entire Russian intelligence establishment working against her.

I stand by my prediction of a Trump win.
Keep up on the latest polls here. From the graph, Clinton's lead does seem to have shrunk a bit in the last week and a half.

Now that Trump has made himself the biggest name in this election by far, expect some serious marketing work by Mercer-backed Cambridge Analytica.
When Nate starts agreeing with Joe, I may start worrying then.

However, Joe keeps forgetting that ace up Clinton's sleeve: Except for a handful of renegades like Flynn, the national security establishment wants Clinton, not Trump--and I expect they can do more to manipulate the election, if necessary, than Pooty-Poot's gremlins.
WTF??? Renaissance Technologies, the hedge fund that Bob Mercer is co-CEO of, has made large donations to Clinton's campaign.
Maybe Mercer likes to hedge his bets.
Nate Cohens work is very conventional and is not very accurate in unusual elections.

I think Trump is substantially behind but he should be dead in the water. I would guess his constituents are unlikely to change their mind. So Mr. Cannon is right to be concerned. My guess is that Trump looses but I think he will partially recover from this low.

This Russian stuff stuff seems overstated to me. I can see that Putin might well hold a grudge against Hillary for some of her comments post Russian elections and also because he might consider Vicky Nuland to be close to HRC. Losing Ukraine must be the worst failure of Putin s career. But he would have to be very annoyed to have his intelligence people "sign" their work.

Plus I think favoring Trump would be unprofessional. The Russian state might have a preference for Trump but they need to prepare for Clinton. So I am unconvinced. If they did it then it's very counterproductive to their interests. Which would be weird.


@Harry - I think you mean Nate Silver. He's an OK number-cruncher, but he hasn't decided how fast a decay rate to use, so he offers his readers three options. I'm finding RCP to be the best site for keeping up with all the serious national and state polls.

Losing cooperation with west Ukraine wasn't a huge disaster for Putin. Had the Kiev putschists taken Crimea, joined NATO, and allowed US naval visits to Sevastapol, that would have been a disaster. The US, the West and NATO didn't dare take Putin on. All they could do was whinge about "hybrid warfare", a few years after they'd successfully fucked much of the Arab world up using similar means to the ones they were attributing to the Russians. Now the Russian airforce intervenes in Syria but US warplanes have yet to get involved in the Ukraine.

James Simons ("the mathematician who cracked Wall Street") and Bob Mercer are both billionaires, both involved in this election, and both at Renaissance Technologies. The Financial Times called Simons the smartest billionaire in the world.

Trump will continue to gain ground in the polls. Has he now sold himself, I wonder?

Cambridge Analytica's parent firm SCL "appears to be dominated by financiers and old Etonians".

I couldn't make this shit up.

SCL acts in many countries and deserves close scrutiny. (Follow the above link for a start.)
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