Trump pathetically brags on Twitter about his many failures while swinging wildly at the press

Although it may seem like an eternity, it’s only been nine months since Donald Trump was inaugurated. In that time he has managed to take the country from a respected leader of the world community to an embarrassing has been. He has emboldened and praised our enemies and insulted and alienated our allies. His infantile tantrums have brought us to the brink or war. And his domestic agenda is focused narrowly on making life better for the wealthy at the expense of everybody else.

Donald Trump

At the same time, Trump has exalted himself with delusional claims that he has done more in his short tenure than any other president in history. But with a couple of tweets on Sunday morning he actually proved the opposite. The tweets were directed at Peter Baker of the New York Times. His latest column addressed Trump’s sorry record of “achievement” with the headline: “Promise the moon? Easy for trump. but now comes the reckoning.” Baker compared the President’s campaign rhetoric with his results so far. It’s not a pretty picture.

Baker’s article makes the unarguable point that Trump has fallen short on his most prominent campaign promises. While he is trying hard to sabotage ObamaCare, he has neither repealed nor replaced it. There is no border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. NAFTA is still the law of the land. ISIS has not been defeated. His Muslim ban is repeatedly blocked by the courts. The nuclear deal with Iran is still effective, although subject to a decision by Congress. Also punted to Congress was DACA, the program that deferred deportation of child immigrants. Recall that Trump had insisted that all eleven million undocumented immigrants “have to go.”

Responding to Baker’s analysis, Trump once again took his phone to his throne and fired off a couple of missives that were intended to set the record straight. However, anyone with a reasonable grasp of current events, or an Internet connection, would quickly see his departure from reality.

There are reasons that the “failing” New York Times (which is enjoying record digital subscriptions) didn’t mention the items on Trump’s list. It’s because they can hardly be described as successes for his floundering administration. Let’s take them each in order:

  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Trump didn’t terminate it because it was never ratified.
  • The Paris Accords on Climate Change: This wasn’t terminated either. While he did withdraw from the agreement on a federal level, the agreement stands with 195 other nations committed to its objectives. And fourteen U.S. states, along with other cities and companies, have vowed to adhere to the accords.
  • The Keystone XL pipeline: Despite Trump’s approval of the project, it is still mired in lawsuits that have blocked its progress. What’s more, the company building it is reconsidering whether it’s even commercially viable.
  • EPA Cancelations: This is something Trump has actually done. But making the nation’s air and water more poisonous, and damaging environmental sustainability, is hardly a success.
  • Supreme Court: Unfortunately, Justice Gorsuch is now sitting on the Supreme Court. But that was the doing of Sen. Mitch McConnell, who stole the seat from President Obama. And he couldn’t even get Gorsuch confirmed without throwing out the senate rules.

So in the space of two tweets (which were mysteriously twenty minutes apart), Trump proved that he’s a dismal failure. And these are his own examples of alleged accomplishments. But he only validated the experts Baker quoted in his article who said that Trump used “bluff and bombast substituting for actual deeds,” or that he’s “a choke artist at critical moments.” He’s relied on a record number of executive orders (forty-nine to date) to give the illusion of productivity. Remember when he castigated Obama’s executive orders as a “major power grabs of authority”?

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

For a more comprehensive accounting of Trump’s ineffectiveness, see PolitiFact’s tracking of his campaign promises. It completes the picture of a wholly unqualified fraud who was never fit to serve as president. And it further illustrates just how mentally unstable he is for trying to boast about nonexistent accomplishments. The combination of his incompetence and malignant narcissism is a recipe for an expedited apocalypse.

Fox News Gets Schooled By Nebraska Farmer on Dangers of the Keystone XL Pipeline

Today is Earth Day and there are tens of thousands of people around the world attending the March for Science. Meanwhile, on Fox News, host Sandra Smith is interrogating a mild-mannered farmer from Nebraska about why he and ninety others are opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. (Video below)

Fox News Keystone XL

Art Tanderup represents a group of family farmers whose land and businesses would be put at risk by the pipeline. His appearance on Fox News was rather risky as well considering the network’s blatant support for the fossil fuel industry. Smith began the segment with a question that focused on an overtly partisan premise:

“President Trump has argued that the pipeline construction would bring new jobs. But the whole thing is now in the hands of a state regulatory board […] What is you goal here?”

Trump’s support for Keystone rests on a foundation of disinformation. Independent analysts agree that the the project would create about thirty-five permanent jobs. But even if it created more, that wouldn’t justify destroying communities and the livelihoods of private citizens.

Nevertheless, Tanderup responded to the question without addressing the political overtones. He said that the goal is to “leave the tar sands in the ground and move more rapidly to renewable fuels.” Elaborating on that he continued:

“After we learned how destructive the chemicals and the tar sands are, we have come to realize that this type of fossil fuel should not be happening. It doesn’t matter where it’s at. We need to look for other sources of renewable energy.”

But Fox’s Smith was undeterred. She continued using the President as wedge for her questioning. Or perhaps to remind her viewers that this farmer is contradicting their commander-in-chief.

“Those that support the Keystone XL pipeline, like the President, say that this is the best economic and the best solution for the native plants and animals of these areas. Considering that it’s a lot less dangerous than transporting this fuel by rail. What do you say to that?”

Tanderup was prepared for that angle and unbothered by the presidential name dropping. He noted that often underground pipeline leaks are not discovered for years. Consequently, they produce more damage over time than more visible rail accidents. So Smith changed directions and asked a leading question about energy independence. That led to this exchange:

Smith: We all want to achieve energy independence in this country. This was an effort and a step in that direction. How do you achieve that?”
Tanderup: Well first of all, this is not American oil, and it is going across America…
Smith: “But it’s coming from Canada, rather than the Middle East, would be the argument.”
Tanderup: “That’s true, but it’s going across America to be refined and exported, which is not for America’s use.”

Notice that Smith was fact-checked live about her contention that energy independence had anything to do with this. It doesn’t. But even then she attempted to imply that Canadian oil was the same as American. It’s not. And Tanderup’s obvious knowledge of the subject left her floundering.

This brief segment is a profound summary of the whole Keystone XL debate. The pipeline does not create the jobs that supporters claim. The oil is not American, so it doesn’t contribute to energy independence. And the refined oil is intended for export to Europe and Asia. So it isn’t helping to reduce American fuel imports. And if this Nebraskan farmer can get it right, so can Fox News. Which is the best evidence that Fox is deliberately getting it wrong to advance their right-wing political agenda.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Congress Set To Vote On Koch Brothers Wealth Enhancement Act Of 2014 (Keystone XL)

There have been so many lies told about the Keystone XL Pipeline by self-interested corporations and whoring pundits that many of the facts get obscured in the bitterly polluted atmosphere. That trend is escalating as Congress prepares another pointless vote to advance the project despite President Obama’s vow to veto it should it arrive at his desk.

Koch Brothers Keystone

On this weekend’s Sunday news programs representatives of the oil industry, and their lackeys in Congress, made a concerted effort to muddy the debate again by deceiving viewers with demonstrably false assertions.

Among the deceivers was Russ Girling, CEO of the pipeline builder TransCanada, who told ABC’s Martha Raddatz that “the 42,000 jobs created by the Keystone XL pipeline are ‘ongoing, enduring jobs.'” This statement was reiterated after Raddatz explicitly challenged Girling on the figures. However, PolitiFact investigated the matter and found Girling’s statement to be false:

“Importantly, as Raddatz said, these jobs would only be supported during the construction phase, which is expected to take one to two years. After construction, the pipeline would employ about 50 people, primarily for maintenance.”

So Girling was only off by about 99.9 percent. This is typical of the disinformation campaign orchestrated by the fossil fuel folks who brazenly put their profits above the health of people and the planet.

This propaganda on behalf of greedy polluters is facilitated by the Republican PR division, otherwise known as Fox News. In recent weeks Fox has disseminated the same dishonest analyses on several programs. Among them were Happening Now where last week host Heather Nauert made the false claim of 40,000 jobs created, and Fox & Friends where co-host Anna Kooiman did the same the week before.

The truth that there will only be about fifty permanent jobs created shows just how distant reality is from the unscrupulous mouthpieces of the Dead Earth trade. But that isn’t the only falsehood they are spewing. The entire project is a scam devised to enrich oil exporters. The product that would flow through the pipeline is Canadian oil destined for markets in Europe and Asia. The President noted this on Friday advising people to…

“Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.”

Will the truth prevail in the debate that is being rushed through the Senate this week? Will the fact be addressed that the project cannot even proceed until the states through which the pipeline passes grant permission? And will the American people finally realize that the Koch brothers have more sway with the Republican congress than they do, and do something about it?

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Sarah Palin’s Anti-Reality Energy Rant Invites Mockery

The increasingly irrelevant VP-losing, half-term serving, un-reality TV has-been, Sarah Palin, has climbed atop her Facebook soapbox once again to show the world that she has not yet exhausted her supply of incoherent policy positions and dopey cliches.

In a posting titled, “Obama’s Anti-American Energy Policies Invite the Next Crisis,” Palin gets just about everything wrong and calls President Obama a traitor in the process. The woman who coined the term “death panel” obviously has no better understanding of international energy markets than she does of health insurance reform. And the purpose of her posting is to advance the same tired myth about oil production and prices that she and the GOP have been peddling for years.

Srah Palin - Mythbusters

The posting begins on a note of delirium with Palin asserting that Obama “likes to take credit for actions initiated by the last administration.” Credit? Credit for what? Destroying the economy? Starting two wars? $4.00 per gallon gasoline? I think the word Palin is looking for is blame. And since Obama certainly doesn’t want any of that, her point is pure lunacy. Particularly the part where she says…

“[Obama]’s not interested in lowering the price of gas because exorbitantly high gas prices are one of his campaign promises.”

Of course. Because every political analyst knows that higher gas prices are the one sure way to guarantee reelection. It’s almost as good as high unemployment, which Republicans have also accused Obama of causing deliberately (to enslave people, or something).

The crux of Palin’s argument is a regurgitation of the standard Republican mantra to “drill, baby, drill.” She and her GOP comrades have invented a theory that gas prices are increasing because of low supply and that if we have more of it prices would decline. The problem with that theory is that all of the evidence refutes it.

McClatchy: “U.S. demand for oil and refined products — including gasoline — is down sharply from last year, so much that United States has actually become a net exporter of gasoline, unable to consume all that it makes.”

So what benefit would there be to producing more domestic oil if we are just going to ship it to other countries? If more supply would lower prices all we would have to do is stop exporting the gas we are producing now, but the domestic market would not support that. So what is the cause of higher prices? According to experts it is the inordinate impact of speculators and the instability in the Middle East, a point on which both Palin and Obama agree. However, Palin’s solution is “to drill here and drill now,” which we already know is no solution at all.

In a speech on energy yesterday, Obama responded to criticisms from his opponents by noting that “Only in politics do people root for bad news.” Palin took that missive as advice and declared that “I guarantee the rising prices will only get worse.” Nowhere does Palin cite the basis for her guarantee, nor how the guarantee will compensate anyone foolish enough to put their faith in it. I’d want to get it in writing. Obama also mocked the right’s energy strategy as a political stunt:

“You can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their 3-point plan for $2 gas. And I’ll save you the suspense. Step one is to drill and step two is to drill. And then step three is to keep drilling.”

Once again, Palin took Obama’s mockery as a model for her platform. She literally proposed a 3-point plan, the day after Obama predicted it, that consisted of drilling (in Alaska), drilling (in Canada), and more drilling (for natural gas). And all the while she continues to ignore the reality that there is no deficiency in supply. In fact, the right’s (and Palin’s) favorite energy boondoggle, the KeystoneXL pipeline, is specifically designed to transport oil from Canada to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico so that it can be exported. If it were intended for domestic use they could build a much shorter pipeline to refineries in the Midwest.

There is a reason that Sarah Palin has become so irrelevant, and it has to do mostly with what she does and says herself. This Facebook energy treatise is merely the latest example of her monumental inability to shape a coherent thought. To say that she invites mockery is an understatement. She literally begs for it.

GOP Mocks Rachel Maddow In Support Of The Keystone XL Pipeline

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) just released a video that they are directing to constituents in 48 congressional districts represented by Democrats. The video is a satire of an MSNBC promo for the Rachel Maddow Show. Here is Maddow’s video:

And here is the NRCC version:

Not surprisingly, the NRCC has chosen to mislead their audience on several points.

First, there is nothing analogous between the construction of the Hoover Dam and the Keystone XL Pipeline. Hoover was a public works project that was built, and is currently run, by the government for the benefit of the American people. Keystone is a project of private, for-profit enterprise, that benefits wealthy individuals and corporations.

Secondly, the point Maddow was making about Hoover is that it was an historic achievement of ingenuity and resolve that exemplified the heights of human accomplishment that can be realized when a nation unites to pursue a noble goal. Keystone, on the other hand, is a garden-variety oil pipeline that exemplifies the greed of corporations that place profit over the safety and well being of people and their environment.

This is another example of the GOP siding with Big Business over average Americans. The NRCC falsely claims that the Keystone project will create 130,000 jobs and produce energy security. The truth is that it will only create a few thousand temporary jobs and much of the refined oil will be exported to other countries.

The press release for the NRCC’s video accuses the targeted representative of siding with “wealthy anti-energy activist donors.” It does not identify who the donors are or how they became wealthy via anti-energy activism, which is not generally considered a particularly profitable vocation. It also does not mention that House Speaker John Boehner has received a million dollars from fossil fuel enterprises and has investments in at least seven companies that stand to profit from Keystone.

However, what’s really funny about this satire is that it fails utterly in its goal. Why would the GOP produce a video satirizing a promo for a program on MSNBC? Their constituents are notoriously glued to Fox News and talk radio. Consequently, hardly any of them will have ever seen the Maddow video that the NRCC is mocking. That diminishes the comedic value pretty much entirely.

While Fox News will likely give it some free air time (it’s already posted on Fox Nation), they will just be preaching to the choir, which won’t help them to persuade the public at large that the pipeline is a good idea. But in the process they have tacitly conceded the point that Maddow was making with regard to the value of ambitious public works projects. They are telling their audience that commitments to large infrastructure ventures are beneficial and deserving of support.

So the result is that the Republicans have produced a satirical video that isn’t funny and affirms the investment philosophy of the Democrats. Thank you, NRCC.