Blindered Trump Flunky Larry Kudlow Doesn’t See a Recession Now, Or in 2007 Either

The past week has generated considerable concern about the state of the economy. And among the most anxious observers is Donald Trump, who knows that his reelection is dependent on being able to tout a positive outlook. However, due to his own ignorance and incompetence, the real world isn’t cooperating. The stock market is down for the third consecutive week. The dreaded yield curve inversion,” a fairly reliable signal of an imminent recession, took place. And there’s a global slowdown in manufacturing and consumption.

Donald Trump Rally Trash

So how is the Trump White House responding to these warnings that will impact every American? They are sending out their most accomplished liars to peddle utterly false impressions of the health of the economy. Topping that list is Trump’s Director of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow. He’s a notorious failure whose record for accurate predictions is almost comical. The President hired him after watching his Trump-fluffing performances on Fox News.

On Sunday morning Kudlow made the news talkies circuit to blatantly mislead the nation about their economic future. His performance was notably ineffective, at least partly because he appeared to be stinking drunk, which the Internet couldn’t help but notice. More importantly, his summary of the rosy scenario that the White House is pitching could not have been more deliberately deceitful. In an exchange with NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, Kudlow engaged in this fantasy (video below):

Todd: The private sector seems to be concerned about the trade war with China, that there are some rough waters ahead. Maybe a recession, that those odds have risen. What do you see?
Kudlow: Well, I tell you what. I sure don’t see a recession. […] Most economists on Wall Street towards the end of the week have been marking up their forecasts for the third and fourth quarter. That echoes our view. What we’ve got here, consumers are working at higher wages. They are spending at a rapid pace. They’re actually also saving while they’re spending as an ideal situation. So actually I think the second half of the economy is going to be very good in 2019. No, I sure don’t see a recession.

First of all, it is patently untrue that “most economists on Wall Street … have been marking up their forecasts.” To the contrary, many have been sending up flares to warn of what they see as an inevitable decline. To be sure there are those with more optimistic views, but those types of Pollyannas have always been around just prior to the sky actually falling. Case in point…Larry Kudlow in 2007, who insisted that “The pessimistas were wrong…There’s no recession coming.” That was just a few months before the worst recession in nearly a century:

Kudlow went on to justify his horribly missed call by lying that “Every other forecaster” was saying the same thing. While he was not alone, there were some more accurate predictors, including current presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren. And Warren is cautioning people to be aware of another similar downturn. Some of the indicators are economists’ estimates of third-quarter GDP growth at about two per cent, way short of the four percent that Trump promised. Also, the manufacturing sector is slumping with output that has fallen 0.4 percent in July. Plus, the University of Michigan’s survey-based index of consumer confidence fell sharply in August, reaching its lowest level since 2016.

Meanwhile, Trump is telling his glassy-eyed disciples attending his cult rallies that “You have no choice but to vote for me, because your 401(k), everything is going to be down the tubes. Whether you love me or hate me, you have got to vote for me.” So did Trump just admit that voting for him would result in an economic catastrophe? That would be uncharacteristically honest of him.

Of course, he didn’t actually mean that. He was engaging in his classic brand of fear mongering to make sure his cult followers stay frightened and in line. But the truth is that Trump couldn’t care less about the financial prospects of the American people. He is solely focused on his own interests – either personal finances or reelection – and that is what’s driving everything he does and says. His Deplorables won’t learn that until it’s too late. But hopefully they will be spared that suffering, which can be avoided if citizens come together to vote Trump out or back Congressional efforts to impeach him.

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

Trump’s Lies About China Paying Tariffs Gets Fact-Checked Live – On Fox News!

America is currently suffering through a historically unique period wherein it is being misled on a daily basis by both it’s president and the State TV network (aka Fox News) that is propping him up. Donald Trump has been documented to have told more than 10,000 lies since his inauguration. And the pace of those falsehoods is increasing as he gets ever more desperate due to the unfolding web of criminality that he is frantically trying to cover up.

Donald Trump

The risk this poses for the country is significant. Trump doesn’t care how dishonest his impotent rants are, so long as they provide a distraction from his impending legal jeopardy. And he doesn’t even care if they introduce threats of war or other serious harm to the nation – and the world. Representative of that reckless disregard for the welfare millions is an entirely manufactured economic crisis that Trump has latched onto with fanatical fury. His shameless ignorance of economic and fiscal affairs is the real crisis that America faces.

Last week Trump threatened China with increased tariffs if they didn’t capitulate to demands that Trump seems obsessed with but refuses to specify. He tweeted repeatedly that China would suffer if they didn’t comply, throwing the stock market into a tizzy that produced a 600 point drop. Trump believes (or pretends to) that the tariffs he seeks to impose would be paid by China. Probably around the same time that Mexico pays for his idiotic border/vanity wall. He even said that the tariffs would be more financially advantageous than actual trade with China.

Every economist with a pulse knows that tariffs are not paid by countries. They are paid by the importing businesses (i.e. U.S. companies), and those costs are generally passed on to U.S. consumers. It’s a de facto tax that would burden every American family. Nevertheless, Trump tweeted or retweeted his ignorant assertions twenty-six times just in the past week. He is apparently impervious to the facts and logic associated with this (or any) issue.

On Sunday morning Trump’s stubbornness was brought into the spotlight by his favorite “news” network Fox News. His Director of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, was interviewed by Chris Wallace, when the subject of tariffs came up. Kudlow tried to obediently tow the Trump line, but his embarrassing failure to do so resulted in this exchange (video below):

Wallace: It’s not China that pays tariffs. It’s the American importers, the American companies that pay what is, in effect, a tax increase, and oftentimes passes it on to U.S. consumers.
Kudlow: Fair enough. In fact, both sides will pay. Both sides will pay in these things.
Wallace: But the tariffs on goods coming into the country, the Chinese aren’t paying.
Kudlow: No but the Chinese will suffer GDP losses and so forth, with respect to a diminishing export market and goods that they may need…
Wallace: I understand that. But the President says that China pays the tariffs. They may suffer consequences, but it’s U.S. businesses and U.S. consumers who pay, correct?
Kudlow: Yes, to some extent. I don’t disagree with that. Again, both sides will suffer on this.

First of all, as Wallace pointed out, whether or not China suffers GDP losses is a completely different question than who pays the tariffs. And Trump said explicitly that China’s “massive payments go directly to the Treasury of the U.S.” That’s a lie that even Kudlow couldn’t support. Trump also said that “Tariffs will make our Country MUCH STRONGER, not weaker.” Which Kudlow unequivocally contradicted by saying that “both sides will suffer on this.”

That last comment should ring in the ears of all Americans. Trump’s chief economic advisor admitted on national television that Trump is causing the U.S. to suffer. Many Americans already know that. Particularly the farmers who have already been hurt so badly by Trump’s tariffs that he had to promise them a bailout paid for by every other American.

And you can add to the list of sufferers all of those impacted by Trump’s sabotage of ObamaCare; those dealing with the effects of natural disasters, especially in Puerto Rico; those whose wages have been stagnant for years as Trump’s Republican Nationalist Party opposed increasing the minimum wage; and those residing on a planet that is rapidly deteriorating due to deliberate abuse in pursuit of profit. When it comes to making other people suffer, Donald Trump can finally take credit for really being the best at something.

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

Larry Kudlow is the Latest Contestant on Trump’s Reality TV Game Show Presidency

The mayhem at the White House is continuing as Donald Trump’s behavior gets ever more frantic and irrational. in the past few hours he has fired his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, the State Department’s top diplomacy aide, Steve Goldstein, and his personal assistant, John McEntee. There are rumblings from insiders that Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, and Veterans Administration director David Shulkin are also on the chopping block.

Fox News Trump Apprentice

As these vacancies open up, Trump will have the opportunity to name new appointees that will be better supplicants to his will. That has already played out with his nomination of current CIA director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson. And the news on Wednesday is that Trump has picked CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow to succeed the fired Gary Cohn as his chief economic advisor.

By selecting Kudlow, Trump is continuing a pattern of bringing television personalities into his administration. Mostly they have been from Fox News and include K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, Richard Grennell, and Jonathan Wachtel. Former Fox and Friends co-host, Heather Nauert, was also tapped by Trump to be the State Department spokesperson last year. And now she has already been promoted to replace Goldstein. Her entire career has been with Fox News and she has no diplomatic experience whatsoever.

The departure of Trump’s communications director, Hope Hicks, last month has set off a flurry of speculation as to who would fill her shoes. Among those being considered is Fox News co-host of The Five, Kimberly Guilfoyle. She has been on deck for a Trump slot for quite a while. And another Fox and Friends host, Pete Hegseth, is reportedly being wooed to lead the Veterans Administration should Shulkin get tossed. Prior to joining Fox, Hegseth headed up a Koch brothers front group that pretended to advocate for veterans. But he has zero experience running a massive bureaucracy like the VA, nor has he ever worked in the health services field that comprises much of what the VA does.

Trump’s National Security Advisor, McMaster, is also teetering on the brink. His successor is rumored to be another Fox News contributor, John Bolton. He served in George Bush’s state department and as Ambassador to the United Nations. Consequently Bolton played a major role in the fabricated weapons of mass destruction excuses to invade Iraq, as well as in the disastrous administration of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obviously Trump is most comfortable working with TV personalities. It seems like his entire pool of possible job applicants come from the ranks of people he’s seen on Fox or other programs. His experience is so bereft of substance that he can’t possibly know anyone that has actual credentials in the jobs he needs to fill. And he wouldn’t want them anyway because they might not be photogenic. As a result, America will be burdened with shallow, unqualified amateurs running government agencies whose work affects us all. But at least they’ll look good when they sit down for softball interviews with Sean Hannity.

This is what Fox’s Laura Ingraham considers Trump “hitting his stride,” and “getting a really strong team in place.” And coincidentally, that’s exactly how Trump sees it. On Tuesday he explained to reporters that these White House shake-ups were just the normal fine tuning of personnel. “I’m really at a point,” he said, “where we’re getting very close to having the Cabinet, and other things, that I want.” That’s after a year in office where all of his original appointments were also his choices, but apparently not what he wanted. Ironically, not having the leadership one wants is something most Americans can relate to right now.

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

Crazy Ann Coulter: We, Of Course, Found Weapons Of Mass Destruction In Iraq

Last night on CNBC’s “Kudlow Report,” (video below) Ann Coulter delivered another of her patented wingnut flameouts. In a discussion about the trumped up Benghazi scandal, Coulter called the media a “threat to democracy” before wandering off into a realm of such utter delusion that even Fox Nation picked up the story despite it being the work of their arch-rival NBC.

Ann Coulter

“The things that they went crazy over when Bush was president — I mean, remember that video at the White House Correspondents dinner? We, of course, found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but were not the stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. He had a little video — I don’t know, like the dog looking for the weapons of mass destruction under the White House furniture. It was a silly little video. You would think someone died. Well, here in this case under Obama, four people did die.”

Let’s start with the easy part – Coulter’s absurd claim that weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. That has proven false more times than anyone can count. No credible source, even on the right, is making that assertion. The most they can say is that the intelligence was wrong, but the evidence points to them fabricating and/or distorting the intelligence and giving credence to disreputable figures like the covert informant “Curveball.”

Moving on to the “silly little video,” it was not a dog that was looking for weapons. It was Bush himself, making an astonishingly insensitive joke about not finding the weapons that he used as an excuse for an invasion that cost the lives of more than 4,000 Americans and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

Then for Coulter to snidely dismiss the righteous anger of those who criticized Bush’s silly little video by saying “You would think someone died,” she dishonored the thousands of Americans who did in fact die due to Bush’s deceit. And she compares those 4,000+ casualties to the four people who died in Benghazi at the hands of terrorists, not the incompetence of a corrupt administration.

Neither host Larry Kudlow, nor any of the other guests, bothered to correct Coulter’s gross misrepresentations of the facts. They all sat smugly as she lied and disgraced the memory of their fellow Americans. And this wasn’t even on Fox News. It was the Kudlow Report on CNBC, but it would fit in nicely as a lead in to Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity.