No Opinion Required

Today is the first work day after the Memorial Day holiday. While he was busy embracing autocrats, insulting allies and generally embarrassing America in the Middle East and Europe Russiagate got a lot more serious for Donald Trump. He began to lawyer up and is supposedly instituting a “War Room” in the White House to handle what he calls the “Russia thing”. I don’t exactly know just what is burning yet but with this much smoke I know there has to be a hell of a fire. How will Trump defend against that? His entire strategy will be summed up in two words: fake news. Let’s explore.

If something is complimentary to Trump he repeats it as much as possible praising the source in the process. If that same messenger says something negative about him he says it is “Fake” and berates the messenger he just got done praising. Considering almost everything that is breaking lately reflects negatively on Trump and his team, expect almost everything you read, watch or hear that comes from legitimate media professionals to be labeled fake.

Opinion pieces can be somewhat different. If they are based on fantasy (say Trump’s budget projections) they are useless on the GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) Theory. Fact (not alternate facts which by their very nature are lies) can be viewed differently by different people.   I can say a certain car is stylish and you can say it is ugly. That is a matter of opinion. The indisputable fact remains that the object we are talking about is a car. Whether or not you feel Trump is doing a good job or is being treated unfairly by the press is a function of your political philosophy to a great degree. Many facts are indisputable (by any reasonable and honest person, sorry Kellyanne I didn’t include you in that statement) and I’d like to cite several of them that apply to the Trump administration.

Over four months in and the Trump administration hasn’t gotten a single major piece of legislation enacted into law. There is nothing on the wall and the money for it included in his budget proposal is part of the reason that the Trump budget is dead on arrival in the Senate.

Trumpcare finally got through the House (by a very narrow margin) in its third attempt but is also dead on arrival in the Senate. In fact if the reconciliation process is to be used it would have to pass both chambers before the end of the fiscal year. With Congress on recess in August for its annual summer break that leaves little time for something to come out of the Senate, go to conference committee, get reworked and then pass both chambers. If it drags on past summer break it would require 60 votes in the Senate. If Mitch McConnell can’t get 50 where is 60 coming from?

Trump’s immigration executive orders have repeatedly been declared unconstitutional in the courts. In fact many of his executive orders have been basically to empower a commission of some sort to study a topic; a lot of sizzle for his base but no steak.

Trump fired the Acting Attorney General and the FBI Director. You may or may not like those moves but the facts are indisputable.

Trump lost the popular vote; plain and simple. The margin of his Electoral College victory ranked tenth of the 14 Presidential elections held since Alaska and Hawaii became states. His inauguration crowd was demonstrably smaller than Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

The Economist (a conservative publication out of the UK) recently interviewed Trump. He told their reporter that he had just invented the term “Pump priming”. It gained its popularity when it was used by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930’s. I paid attention in Economics and American History; I guess Trump didn’t.

A part of his defense will be deferment. He has used it before when he was pressed for an answer. It’s kind of like the old Popeye routine of Whimpy’s who would gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today; only Tuesday never seems to come. We are still waiting for Trump’s tax returns and Melania’s immigration records. Here is something scary that has been overshadowed in the press: Trump promised an answer on his evolving position on the Paris Climate Agreement in a week.

Trump and his supporters are quick to discredit any report that cites unnamed sources. They automatically claim the sources don’t exist and the story is made up hence fake news. Many are likening Russiagate to Watergate and I look no further for my rebuttal. Deep Throat was an unnamed source. Not only was he credible and knowledgeable; he was real.

You may disregard opinions; I simply ask you to objectively look at the facts.

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