Donald Trump lives inside his own alternate reality which I have dubbed the Donald Dome. He believes everything he says is true and if it isn’t it should be simply because he said it. Therefore if someone says something that either contradicts him or he simply doesn’t like in his mind they are lying. Two examples of that came to light last week. Let’s explore.
Donald Trump hates the Washington Post because it tells the truth on him. By extension he hates its owner Jeff Bezos. (I am among those who believe Trump also secretly hates Bezos because he, unlike the President, has allowed nature to take its course on his bald head and that he really is as rich as he says he is.) Under Bezos the Post has added the phrase “Democracy Dies in Darkness” to its banner. In contrast Trump was documented as telling over 2,000 lies during his first year in office.
Bezos also owns the online retail giant Amazon. Many of Amazon’s deliveries utilize the United States Postal Service (USPS) for the final stage of their delivery. As a volume shipper (like any other volume shipper) Amazon gets a better rate than any of us would on a one time deal. Volume discounts are a common business practice in a capitalist society. It is actually part of the free market at work. This is not a rate for Amazon alone.
Somehow Trump learned that the USPS has a cash flow problem. He immediately saw an opportunity to retaliate against the truth telling, Bezos owned Washington Post by raising the postal rate for Amazon. On several occasions Trump summoned Postmaster General, Megan Brennan, to the Oval Office for meetings that interestingly never appeared on his public schedule. In those meeting he asked Brennan to raise Amazon’s rate. He has repeatedly (even after being debunked) gone to the public stating that Amazon was putting the USPS broke. This is classic Trump. Punish the truth teller, punish your enemy, use your position to further your personal agenda, damn the Constitution when it proves inconvenient and ignore inconvenient facts all the time hiding your actions in the hope of maintaining plausible deniability.
The real reasons the USPS has a financial problem has nothing to do with the rate it charges Amazon and other high volume parcel patrons. The primary culprit is legislation the 2006 Republican lame duck Congress passed requiring the USPS to fund 10 years of pension liability annually. That was passed in retaliation for the political activities of unionized postal workers in the 2006 election where Republicans got killed.
Trump’s primary political strategy entails keeping his base intact. His base primarily consists of low information voters who will believe things like his Amazon tale and those who will hold their nose and continue to support him because he delivers on their extremist agenda.
Friday Trump announced a placation policy. The Executive Branch will pursue a new rule that will prohibit any organization receiving federal funds from either discussing abortion or referring a client to an agency that will. This is aimed primarily at Planned Parenthood a favorite target of the radical right for years. Planned Parenthood provides women’s health services mainly to young and/or poor women. Abortions constitute less than 3% of their activities and federal funds are not used to pay for them. This new rule would not only require the segregation of funds (as it has been for years) it would prohibit even the mention of the word under the same roof where federal funds were used.
Under this rule the radical right wing organizations that tell women they will never be able to conceive in the future if they abort this fetus and that they will almost assure that they will have breast cancer as a result of the abortion (both lies) would be fine. The organization that scientifically discusses abortion or refers a client to a place where that would occur loses all their federal funding.
Reward the liars and punish the truth tellers. Is that how you want your tax dollars spent?
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In full disclosure I am a digital subscriber to the Washington Post.