EppsNet Archive: Donald Trump

Thomas Jefferson: Bush 41 Calls Trump a “Blowhard”

4 Nov 2017 /
Thomas Jefferson

Stinging rebuke from a one-term president who won the White House on the coattails of Ronald Reagan!

Read my lips: Hurry up and die.

I dislike Republicans and Democrats equally. It’s a choice between which gang of thieves you want to be robbed by.

Elect a Democratic president and get four years of trench warfare against Republicans. Elect a Republican president and get four years of trench warfare against Democrats.

One of the things I like about President Trump: Democrats don’t like him, Republicans don’t like him, nobody likes him except the people who voted for him, and that’s enough.

Thomas Jefferson


Spot the Fake News: Obamacare Subsidies

16 Oct 2017 /

I read four news stories on the same topic — the end of Obamacare subsidies to insurance companies.

The Wall Street Journal plays it straight down the middle:

President Donald Trump’s executive order on health care issued Thursday marks the first major salvo in what the White House promises will be an extensive, targeted campaign to unravel the Affordable Care Act administratively.

As does Bloomberg:

President Donald Trump said he is moving “step by step” on his own to remake the U.S. health care system because Congress won’t act on his demand to repeal Obamacare.

The Trump administration took its most drastic measure yet to roll back the Affordable Care Act Thursday evening, announcing it would cut off a subsidy to insurers hours after issuing an executive order designed to draw people away from the health law’s markets.

See if you can spot the fake news in the Politico version:

President Donald Trump plans to cut off subsidy payments to insurers selling Obamacare coverage in his most aggressive move yet to undermine his predecessor’s health care law.

Politico imputes an ulterior motive, i.e., Trump is not trying to make life better for anyone, he just wants to undermine Obama. That is fake. You can’t know why someone did something. I don’t even know why I do half the things I do.

Surprisingly to me, CNBC, which I expected would have an impartial, businesslike report, went completely off the rails:

Obamacare bombshell: Trump kills key payments to health insurers

The Trump administration will immediately stop making critically important payments to insurers who sell Obamacare health plans, a bombshell move that is expected to spike premium prices and potentially lead many insurers to exit the marketplace.

Where to start on this . . .?

1. The word “bombshell” doesn’t belong in a news story. Even to call something a “surprise” or an “unforeseen event” raises the question of who exactly was surprised by it.

In this case, nobody was surprised. Everyone knew that there was no appropriation for the subsidies, meaning that they are not accounted for in the federal budget.

When Obama was president, he didn’t care that the payments were off budget, but when Trump was elected, everyone had an inkling that the payments would stop.

2. What’s the difference between a payment, an important payment and a critically important payment? “Critically important payment” is not a fact, it’s an opinion. It’s fake news.

If you want to make a case for critical importance, lay out the facts and let the reader decide.

3. “Increase” is a better word than “spike” in a news story. Using words like “spike,” “bombshell” and “kills,” especially in a story about healthcare, creates a manufactured sense of danger, fear and imminent fatality.

Also: premium prices have already gone up. Insurance companies raised the premiums in anticipation of the subsidies being stopped, despite CNBC’s characterization of the stoppage as a “bombshell” (see #1 above).

4. There’s no information in saying that something will “potentially” transpire. How many insurers did you talk to? None? One? More than one? How many said they would exit the marketplace?

Every major insurer has already partially or completely left the Obamacare marketplace.

 

There’s a taxonomy of fake news. It’s not (necessarily) fabricated. It’s more often misleading content or false context, as seen above.


Camille Paglia on Hefner, Trump, Masculinity, Feminism, Etc.

3 Oct 2017 /

The Hollywood Reporter has an interview with the always articulate and interesting Camille Paglia:

Before the election, I kept pointing out that the mainstream media based in Manhattan, particularly The New York Times, was hopelessly off in the way it was simplistically viewing Trump as a classic troglodyte misogynist. I certainly saw in Trump the entire Playboy aesthetic, including the glitzy world of casinos and beauty pageants. It’s a long passé world of confident male privilege that preceded the birth of second-wave feminism. There is no doubt that Trump strongly identified with it as he was growing up. It seems to be truly his worldview.

But it is categorically not a world of unwilling women. Nor is it driven by masculine abuse. It’s a world of show girls, of flamboyant femaleness, a certain kind of strutting style that has its own intoxicating sexual allure — which most young people attending elite colleges today have had no contact with whatever.

 

The unhappy truth is that the more the sexes have blended, the less each sex is interested in the other. So we’re now in a period of sexual boredom and inertia, complaint and dissatisfaction, which is one of the main reasons young men have gone over to pornography. Porn has become a necessary escape by the sexual imagination from the banality of our everyday lives, where the sexes are now routinely mixed in the workplace.

With the sexes so bored with each other, all that’s left are these feminist witch-hunts. That’s where the energy is! And meanwhile, men are shrinking. I see men turning away from women and simply being content with the world of fantasy because women have become too thin-skinned, resentful and high maintenance.

 

I don’t regard Gloria Steinem as an expert on any of the human appetites, sexuality being only one of them. Interviews with Steinem were documenting from the start how her refrigerator contained nothing but two bottles of carbonated water. Steinem’s philosophy of life is extremely limited by her own childhood experiences. She came out of an admittedly unstable family background. I’m so tired of that animus of hers against men, which she’s been cranking out now for decade after decade. I come from a completely different Italian-American background — very food-centric and appetite-centric. Steinem, with that fulsomely genteel WASP persona of hers, represents an attitude of malice and vindictiveness toward men that has not proved to be in the best interest of young women today. . . .

Gloria Steinem, Susan Faludi, all of those relentlessly ideological feminists are people who have wandered away from traditional religion and made a certain rabid type of feminist rhetoric their religion. And their fanaticism has poisoned the public image of feminism and driven ordinary, mainstream citizens away from feminism. It’s outrageous. . . .

Steinem is basically a socialite who always hid her early dependence on men in the social scene in New York. And as a Democrat, I also blame her for having turned feminism into a covert adjunct of the Democratic party. I have always felt that feminism should transcend party politics and be a big tent welcoming women of faith and of all views into it.

 

What we have today, after Playboy declined and finally disappeared off the cultural map, is the coarse, juvenile anarchy of college binge drinking, fraternity keg parties where undeveloped adolescent boys clumsily lunge toward naive girls who are barely dressed in tiny mini skirts and don’t know what the hell they want from life. What possible romance or intrigue or sexual mystique could survive such a vulgar and debased environment as today’s residential campus social life?

Truly sophisticated seducers knew that women have to be courted and that women love an ambiance, setting a stage. Today, alas, too many young women feel they have to provide quick sex or they’ll lose social status. If a guy can’t get sex from them, he’ll get it from someone else. There’s a general bleak atmosphere of grudging compliance. . . .

The sizzle of sex seems gone. What Hefner’s death forces us to recognize is that there is very little glamour and certainly no mystery or intrigue left to sex for most young people. Which means young women do not know how to become women. And sex has become just another physical urge that can be satisfied like putting coins into a Coke machine.

This may be one reason for the ferocious pressure by so many current feminists to reinforce the Stalinist mechanisms, the pernicious PC rules that have invaded colleges everywhere. Feminists want supervision and surveillance of dating life on campus to punish men if something goes wrong and the girl doesn’t like what happened. I am very concerned that what young women are saying through this strident feminist rhetoric is that they feel incapable of conducting independent sex lives. They require adult intrusion and supervision and penalizing of men who go astray. But if feminism means anything, it should be encouraging young women to take control of every aspect of their sex lives, including their own impulses, conflicts and disappointments. That’s what’s tragic about all this. Young women don’t seem to realize that in demanding adult inquiry into and adjudication of their sex lives, they are forfeiting their own freedom and agency.


Tom Petty, 1950-2017

2 Oct 2017 /

In December 2016, Tom Petty talked with Rolling Stone about his then-upcoming 2017 tour, which just ended last week at the Hollywood Bowl here in Los Angeles:

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was thinking this might be the last big one. I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road.

Sad, as President Trump would say. Big life events can kill you . . .

RIP Tom Petty


The Jemele Hills of the World

20 Sep 2017 /

That’s a great opinion. It’s intelligent, well thought out . . . haha no it’s insane.

I hope ESPN gets this woman some professional help because she’s detached from reality.

If we’re talking about actual white supremacists, like KKK members, there are only about 10,000 white supremacists in the whole country (population: ~320 million). With those numbers, white supremacists are not even a fringe group. They are on the fringes of the fringes.

Most of the media, from ignorance or ill will, play along with the idea that white supremacists are a powerful force, political and otherwise, that has to be reckoned with but they aren’t.

Trump is not a white supremacist. Other than maybe the 10,000 people noted above, the people who voted for Trump are not white supremacists.

I’m sure a lot of people are burned out on this sort of foolishness from the Jemele Hills of the world, i.e., I am all about inclusion and tolerance, I love people of all races, genders, religions, hair color, eye color, but if you don’t think exactly the way I do, you are a racist, sexist, homophobic, white supremacist Nazi fool.

There’s not even an effort to marshal facts or logic into a coherent argument. Just “Oh you don’t see the world the same way I do? How is being a Nazi working out for you?”


An Insignificant Number of Confused, Poorly Organized Losers

26 Aug 2017 /

News networks have been running a two-week-long (with no end in sight) infomercial on white supremacists and white nationalists and neo-Nazis as though they represent a powerful force that has to be reckoned with, a vast army of domestic terrorists, which they don’t.

The most important thing to know about white supremacists and neo-Nazis is that there are actually not very many of them.

The leading white supremacist organization is the Ku Klux Klan. How many members do you think the KKK currently has? Take a guess. Keep in mind we live in a country of more than 320 million people.

Estimates of current KKK membership run between 5,000 and 8,000 members. Is that less than you thought?

As for neo-Nazis, the New York Times ran an article a few years ago on the National Socialist Movement (NSM), which they identified as the largest neo-Nazi group in the country. Take a guess how many members the National Socialist Movement has.

According to the Times, the National Socialist Movement has about 400 members.

“White supremacy: Are US right-wing groups on the rise?,” published this week by BBC News, suggests that roughly 10,000 Americans might qualify as active white supremacists.

They mention “groups like the NSM” as being active in 32 states, without mentioning that the groups are very small. Describing a small, poorly organized number of people as being “active in 32 states” sounds a lot scarier than saying “about 400 members.”

A collection of 10,000 people represents less than .01 percent of the US population. If you want to flip it around, you could say that 99.99 percent of us are not white supremacists.

White supremacists are an insignificant number of confused, poorly organized losers. That’s how they should be referenced in media reports: “an insignificant number of confused, poorly organized losers.”

How did such a small, loosely connected group of people manage to capture such a large national mindset?

President Trump was portrayed by opponents during the 2016 campaign as the second coming of Hitler. His supporters were portrayed as white supremacists and Nazis.

After he was elected and the concentration camps failed to materialize as predicted, Trump opponents were still on the lookout for opportunities to resurrect the Nazi theme.

The only way a “Trump is courting the white supremacist vote” theory makes sense is if you don’t know what the actual numbers are.

If you do know what the numbers are — about 10,000 people — it becomes mathematically ridiculous. No one wants or needs the support or endorsement of white supremacists at the cost of pissing off the other 99.99% of America. No one is saying “I’ve got to capture the Nazi vote — all 400 of them.”

My guess is that most media people, who according to Harvard University are very biased against Donald Trump, don’t know or care what the white supremacist numbers are. They just push their narrative and follow the crowd.

But there must be at least a few who do know what the numbers are and are just yanking our chains.


Poll: Most Black Americans Don’t Want Confederate Statues Removed

22 Aug 2017 /

NPR and PBS News Hour conducted a poll asking whether statues “honoring leaders of the Confederacy” should “remain as a historical symbol” or “be removed because they are offensive to some people.”

Results by race:

White: 65 percent of respondents said the statues should stay, 25 percent said they should be taken down and 8 percent were unsure. (I know these numbers don’t sum to 100 percent but I’m taking them directly from the link above.)

Black: 44 percent stay, 40 percent remove, 11 percent unsure. (Same comment as previous.)

Latino: 65 percent stay, 24 percent remove, 11 percent unsure.

The media, which according to a Harvard University study are very biased against Donald Trump, have been flogging him with this issue for the past week and a half, the thinking being that anyone who doesn’t support the removal of Confederate statues is a white supremacist, in which case 75 percent of white Americans are white supremacists, as are 60 percent of our black citizens and 76 percent of Latinos.

Confederate General Thomas

Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson


No Political Violence on the Left?

20 Aug 2017 /

I’m still shaking my head on this one:

https://twitter.com/charlesmurray/status/899240201532448768?t=1&cn=ZmxleGlibGVfcmVjcw%3D%3D&refsrc=email&iid=77f9160ca4fa4b6aa987bb96570d37b3&uid=15906468&nid=244+285282305

Even left-wing stalwarts like The Atlantic know that the Post’s “no violence on the left” premise is bogus:

https://twitter.com/charlesmurray/status/899240201532448768?t=1&cn=ZmxleGlibGVfcmVjcw%3D%3D&refsrc=email&iid=77f9160ca4fa4b6aa987bb96570d37b3&uid=15906468&nid=244+285282305

Look how peaceful and non-violent everyone is in the Post photo.

Contrast that with, for example, these protesters at Berkeley earlier this year:

Milo 'protesters' at Berkeley

Milo 'protesters' at Berkeley

I’m drawn to Berkeley examples because our son went to Berkeley and still lives in the area, because I know some current Berkeley students, and because Berkeley, ironically, used to be synonymous with the Free Speech Movement.

The photos above show the protesters who showed up to violently shut down a scheduled talk by Milo Yiannopoulos, but the same thing seems to happen whenever any university schedules a conservative speaker.

Here are a couple more left-wing protests, in Chicago and Charlottesville:

More Dead Cops

We could go on and on with this . . . we’ve all seen this before so I don’t know who the target audience is for the Post’s “no violence on the left” argument.

And of course Steve Scalise couldn’t be reached for comment because he’s still in inpatient rehabilitation after being shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter a couple of months ago.

It looks to me like there’s plenty of bigotry, intolerance and hatred at both ends of the political spectrum.

The Post’s argument seems to be that while left-wing violence is the work of outsiders and lone nuts, militia culture and violent resistance on the right exists “on unprecedented scales.” The best examples the Post was able to come up with are Ruby Ridge, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Dylann Roof murders in Charleston, two of which happened 20+ years ago and all of which involved one guy, or one guy and an accomplice, or one guy and his family.

Ruby Ridge was a “we thought they were up to something so we had to kill them” government siege and Randy Weaver was not convicted of anything except missing his original court date and a bail violation.

Do those examples indicate organized right-wing violence “on unprecedented scales”? I’d say no, but make up your own mind.

The Post concedes that “occasionally violent groups” such as Antifa are “worrisome,” which sounds like a word my grandmother would have used. But these groups are “loosely banded, disorganized and low scale . . . incomparable to the scope and breadth of organized violence demonstrated by the extreme right.”

Such as?

“Organized militias that are well armed, well trained and well networked” and “armed to the teeth.”

I don’t know what sort of data the Post combed through to come up with that rigorous characterization (“armed to the teeth”?), but I’ve never seen an estimate of more than 10,000 active white supremacists in a country of 320 million people. We’re talking about an insignificant number of confused, poorly organized losers.

As an example of what a well-trained, armed to the teeth, organized militia can accomplish, the Post cites last year’s armed standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

The result of that was one militant killed, one militant wounded and 27 militants arrested and indicted. I hate to think what a disorganized, poorly trained militia could have done.


The Victimized Media

16 Jul 2017 /

In the age of Trump, it’s acceptable for reporters to claim they “never wanted to be part of the story,” while waiting in a green room to go on TV and talk about themselves.

Joe and Mika


Great Moments in Socialized Medicine: Charlie Gard

4 Jul 2017 /

If I’m understanding this correctly, socialized medicine really does mean that the government decides if you will live or die, and if your children will be allowed to live or die.

I’m glad to see that the current president of the United States is not on board with the idea of a government being able to decide on the life or death of a baby, and to deny the parents of the baby the ability to counter that decree.

This is a good reminder — since there are people who think that “single payer,” i.e., socialized medicine, i.e., the government runs the healthcare system, would be a good thing to have in the United States — that the government, if you’re very old and/or very sick, is not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years or months or days of your life to keep you going.

It’s too expensive, so they are going to let you die.


They’re the Oppressors Now

10 Jun 2017 /

The Washington Post has an update on Brian Talbert, a gay man denied entry to the Charlotte Pride Parade because he voted for Donald Trump:

Talbert — a 47-year-old North Carolina native — said he was one of about 50 people who attended the first pride parade in Charlotte in 1994. He recalled that Christian demonstrators threw rocks and bottles at the marchers and that someone spit in his face. More than two decades later, he said, the discrimination continues — but this time it’s being directed at him by the gay community.

Talbert said he feels betrayed because it shouldn’t matter who you vote for.

“I want them to realize that they’re doing the exact same thing they say bigoted people are doing to them — they’re the oppressors now,” he said. “It’s disgusting, and every gay person in America should feel ashamed.”


One Thing I Can’t Tolerate is Intolerance: Gays for Trump Edition

8 Jun 2017 /
http://www.fox5ny.com/news/259656209-story

Well, so much for acceptance and tolerance . . .

The banned group is called Gays for Trump. Brian Talbert, a member of the group, said, “It was going to be fun. We wanted to be energetic. We wanted to show that we weren’t the racist, bigot, misogynistic . . . We wanted to show that we are Americans, love our country and our president. We wanted to be there to celebrate gay pride. Everything fell into place except being able to celebrate who I am.”

Where that strategy fails is that showing Trump supporters are not anti-gay, racist, bigots, misogynists, etc., is not part of the mainstream gay agenda. Quite the opposite. The agenda is to keep that stereotype alive and keep those labels in play.

“For a group of people to claim to want tolerance, acceptance, and give it to every single person you can imagine to give it to, for them to sit back and judge me for exercising my right as an American to choose my leader without judgment is hypocritical,” Talbert said, stating the extremely obvious.

A spokesperson for the Charlotte Pride organization said in written statement:

“Charlotte Pride envisions a world in which LGBTQ people are affirmed, respected and included in the full social and civic life of their local communities, free from fear of any discrimination, rejection, and prejudice.”

Unless they happen to be Trump voters, in which case take a hike . . .


Big Losers

27 May 2017 /

I saw this headline on an AP story today — Poor and disabled big losers in Trump budget.

The story includes a photo of the budget (see below), so I think it’s safe to say that the AP writer didn’t read the entire thing before announcing who the “big losers” are. He’s just flogging his own agenda. (See also Harvard Study Says Media Are Very Biased Against Donald Trump)

2018 budget

“Trump’s plan for the budget year beginning Oct. 1 makes deep cuts in safety net programs . . .” the story says.

What’s the difference between a “cut” and a “deep cut”? The latter sounds mean and scary. Why not just say something factual like “10 percent cut” or “50 percent cut” and let readers put their own characterization on it?

“Safety net programs” is also a loaded expression.

“Trump’s budget would cut the food stamp program by $191 billion over the next decade.” OK, there’s a factual assertion. But the government doesn’t use zero-based budgeting, in which each year’s budget starts at zero and all expenses must be justified for each new period. Government budgeting calls for incremental increases over previous budgets.

For example, if the cost of Program X is budgeted to increase 10 percent per year, and we “cut” it by 5 percent, the cost still goes up 5 percent. We can have budget cuts and more spending at the same time.

So “Trump’s budget would cut the food stamp program by $191 billion over the next decade” actually means something like — I don’t know the actual numbers, but something like “The cost of the food stamp program would have gone up by $800 billion over the next decade but because of the $191 billion ‘cut,’ it will only go up by $609 billion.”

Also — numbers in a federal budget look really big because the US is a big country with a lot of people — 320 million. If you wanted to give every person in the country 5 dollars, you’d need to have more than $1.5 billion on hand to do it.

A small number — 5 bucks — becomes a big number — $1.5 billion — when you project it to a national scale.

Food stamp costs of $191 billion over a decade comes to $19 billion per year. How many people receive food stamps? About 45 million. So $191 billion is only about $400 per person per year.

I saw Elizabeth Warren on YouTube emoting about the budget: Blah blah blah Donald Trump blah blah blah Betsy DeVos blah blah blah …

I could be wrong but I don’t think Elizabeth Warren or fans of Elizabeth Warren really care about people on food stamps, at least not enough to help out of their own pockets. I think they care about having the power to deem things worthy and then make other people pay for them.

Elizabeth Warren didn’t say “I am personally contributing $400 per year and I want all of you who are as outraged about this as I am to contribute $400 per year to make up the difference in the food stamp budget.” What would happen if she did?


Harvard Study Says Media Are Very Biased Against Donald Trump

23 May 2017 /

According to a Harvard University study, the mainstream media are very biased against Donald Trump.

Here’s a chart from the study, showing that the tone of some news outlets is negative in as many as 98% of reports:

Tone of Trump news coverage

I’ve noticed that even our local news station is about 90-10 negative on Trump coverage.

We have to look at the way the media handled Trump before he was elected. How many newspapers in the entire country endorsed Trump for president? I don’t think the number is zero but it has to be very close to zero.

Some newspapers — The Washington Post and New York Times come to mind — were virulently anti-Trump on the editorial page, which bled over into the news coverage.

Every news network except Fox was anti-Trump, the only positive news being that he was most definitely not going to be elected. Well, actually it was that he was definitely not going to be the Republican nominee, and then that he was definitely not going to be president.

The Huffington Post refused to cover Trump at all as part of its political reporting. All Trump news was published in the entertainment section.

And then he was elected president!

So everyone in the media had to either a) recalibrate their self-image from “We are super smart people who knew in advance that Trump would never be president” to “We are the dumbest people in the universe,” or b) commit to spending the next four years (at least) finding ways to say “we told you so,” e.g. “We told you he was a monster,” “We told you he was a moron,” We told you he was crazy,” etc.

Here’s a chart showing the tone of Trump coverage compared to other recent presidents:

Tone of Trump coverage

The media are setting a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president. No president in recent history is even close. Note that the media were mostly cheerleaders for President Obama.


Anything Bothering You?

23 May 2017 /
Brushing teeth

“Anything new?” the dental hygienist asks. “Anything bothering you?”

“Oh my god yes,” I reply. “The media coverage of Trump, for one thing.”

“I meant with your teeth,” she says.

“Oh my teeth are fine.”


Which Shirt Would You Be Afraid to Wear?

23 Jan 2017 /
src="//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1427/9954/products/INAUG-No45-LS-NV_1024x1024.jpg?v=1483657349"

Putting your own politics aside, let’s say you have two T-shirts: one with a pro-Trump slogan like “Make America Great Again” and one with an anti-Trump slogan like “Not My President.”

Which one would you be more afraid to wear in public?

Or to put it another way: which shirt do you think would be more likely to draw the ire of violent sociopaths?


One Thing We Can All Agree Upon

23 Jan 2017 /

I don’t know if the Trump inauguration was the most watched in history but I know it was watched by more people than the Hillary Clinton inauguration . . .


The Washington Post Owes Trump Opponents an Apology

15 Jan 2017 /

Citing backlash, singer Jennifer Holliday pulls out of Trump inauguration concertThe Washington Post

The Washington Post better check its facts because unlike Trump himself, his opponents are broad-minded, tolerant people . . .


That Was Then, This Is Now

12 Dec 2016 /

That was then:

Top Republicans must reject the ridiculous notion that a national election can be ‘rigged.’

New York Times editorial, Oct. 18, 2016

This is now:

[President-elect] Trump should be leading the call for a thorough investigation, since it would be the only way to remove this darkening cloud from his presidency. Failing to resolve the questions about Russia would feed suspicion among millions of Americans that a dominant theme of his candidacy turned out to be true: The election was indeed rigged.

New York Times editorial, Dec. 11, 2016

When is Refusing to Accept Election Results Not a National Outrage?

28 Nov 2016 /

It seemed like phony outrage at the time, when it was generally assumed that Trump would lose the election . . . wildly out of proportion to what he actually said.

Now contesting the results is considered a principled strategy. What happened to the seamless transition of power? It all depends on which candidate in refusing to accept the results.

Hypocrites!


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