Nel's New Day

June 29, 2017

DDT: Bully-in-Chief

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) keeps hitting all-time lows in his self-proclaimed drive to regain the “American Dream.” The worst this week—thus far—may be his tweet attack on the hosts of MSNBC Morning Joe show, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough:

“I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came..

“…to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”

People in the White House feel that they don’t need to live up to any standards because DDT doesn’t. Fifteen minutes before DDT’s tweets, White House social media director Dan Scavino tweeted:

 “#DumbAsARockMika and lover #JealousJoe are lost, confused & saddened since @POTUS @realDonaldTrump stopped returning their calls! Unhinged.”

Scavino apologized; DDT did not.

DDT’s attitude toward Scarborough has reversed since the host helped with his campaign. After DDT’s inauguration, he suggested that he marry Brzezinski and Scarborough at Mar-a-Lago or the White House. Before the election, Scarborough went to Trump Tower and gave DDT advice on how to win the election.

In the same way that DDT has unified the European Union because of their opposition toward him, he created a bipartisan outcry although Republican legislators’ comments were a bit more muted. GOP comments included “[not] an appropriate comment” (House Speaker Paul Ryan), “beneath the office” and “highly inappropriate” (Sen. Lindsay Graham), “isn’t normal” (Sen. Ben Sasse),

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has a solution:  “Since our President clearly has a problem with women, let’s send more to Congress.”

In a press conference, Sarah Huckabee Sanders justified DDT by saying that he always pushes back when he’s attacked. She claimed that he has never been violent—this statement about the man who told his audience that he would pay lawyer’s fees for people who punch out protesters. Asked about the president being a role model, she said that only God has this role. Her justification for his behavior was that people knew what they were getting when they voted for him.

A statement from DDT’s wife, Melania, said that her husband hits back “ten times harder” when he is attacked. Asked about her cyberbullying program that she had proposed, her office stated that she Grisham was asked about Melania Trump’s stance against cyber bullying, the response was that she is “continuing to be thoughtful about her platform.”

DDT has said that “my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament.” He also claimed, “I can be the most presidential person.” Only 20 percent of people in the U.S. think that DDT’s tweets are “effective and informative,” and almost 70 percent find the tweets “reckless and distracting.” DDT is getting stranger—if that’s possible. Today, he interrupted a call to newly elected Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar to compliment a female reporter, calling her “beautiful” with a “nice smile.” Turning back to the prime minister, he said, “I bet she treats you well.”

No one is sure what specific problem initiated DDT’s virulent attack on the Morning Joe hosts, but it came soon after Brzezinski called him a narcissist and “needy” because of his “fake” Time cover hanging in at least four of his golf clubs. One of DDT’s common lies is that he appeared on the cover of Time more than anyone else. that he had been on the cover of Time magazine more than anyone else. When he made this claim, he had appeared on that periodical cover 11 times; Richard Nixon was on 55 times, and Barack Obama was on 12 times in just 2008.

The photoshopped image of DDT’s “fake” cover is dated March 1, 2009 and touts his show The Apprentice. The headline reads, “Trump Is Hitting On All Fronts…Even TV!” An analysis of the cover shows that two secondary headlines were on the March 2, 2009 cover that used an image of Kate Winslet. Several parts of the cover are wrong, including the exclamation point which Time never uses, the narrower red strip around the cover, and the bar code for software that lets you be a karaoke DJ. A Photoshop tutorial blog post provided the bar code free in 2010. Time has confirmed that the one with DDT is not their cover and asked for its removal from DDT’s properties. At a press conference, Sanders refused to answer question about whether DDT knows that the image is fake.   (Time has now published a tutorial on how to spot a fake Time cover that uses DDT’s image as an example.)

None of the actual DDT covers of the New Yorker seem to appear in his properties, but they are available here. This one from April is an example of them. Parodies of DDT’s Time cover are also well worth perusing.

DDT continued his tweet diatribe with his frequent war on the media.

“So they caught Fake News CNN cold, but what about NBC, CBS & ABC? What about the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost? They are all Fake News!”

White House press secretaries have constantly announced that they don’t want press conferences because they want DDT’s words to speak for themselves. Yet DDT’s words continue to be lies. Almost 60 percent of people agree that DDT is not honest, up from 53 percent at his inauguration. Two major newspapers have started tracking DDT’s lies.

New York Times reporters David Leonhardt and Stuart A. Thompson have kept track of DDT’s lies since his inauguration and found at least one every day for each of the first 40 days and  then on at least 74 of 113 days. Days without lies were while he vacationed or golfed. Some of these lies were reversals of others as he piled lies on top of other lies. The majority of them come from taking credit for others accomplishments. The next categories were false historic detail and recent news that didn’t happen. After that came false exaggerations, descriptions of federal government functions, fabricated economic statistics, job impacts of his policies, and positive effects of his work. And other categories exist.

Daniel Dale at The Toronto Star found 337 DDT lies since he was inaugurated, an average of 2.1 per day. DDT managed 18 during just his Iowa rally, the first one west of the Mississippi. Dale listed the lies by date, but they can be searched by topic.

DDT’s “misrepresentations” may be the most dangerous. In praising the Senate’s disastrous version of Trumpcare, he stood in front of Alaska’s GOP senator Lisa Murkowski and talked about a 203-percent increase in premiums but omitted the reductions from tax credits. The Affordable Care Act brought the 25 percent increase last year to 1 percent for 93 percent of people in Alaska. Most of them pay less for health insurance than in 2013, before the ACA, and many others couldn’t buy insurance before the ACA because they had pre-existing conditions. In 2017, the 86 percent of Alaskans receiving tax credits pay $93 a month—far less than the $344 they paid in 2013. Only ten percent of people in the United States have to pay full premiums because they aren’t on Medicaid or Medicare, aren’t poor enough to receive subsidies, or don’t receive insurance from their employers. That’s a lot of people, but it’s only three percent of the people in the United States.

Brzezinski was right when she called DDT “needy,” and she may be right to call him a narcissist. Characteristics of narcissism is lying and telling people different things to feel good. Narcissists fail to follow social conventions, and others “normalize” their behavior and cover for them. Narcissists enjoy firings, recriminations, and punishment for any perceived enemies. Their “gaslighting” is intended to convince others that they perception of reality is wrong, a part of narcissistic lying.

DDT has spent his entire life lying to get what he wants. He’s always been a brutal bully, always on the attack, especially against women. But DDT is no longer a CEO, much as people think that is the job of the President of the United States. That position is a role model for the world, an influence for acceptable behavior by both adults and children. DDT’s presence in this position has coarsened people and caused other great nations to reject the United States.

President Obama held himself to the higher standard of his position. He ignored the racist jokes, the posters that showed him being lynched or appearing to be Adolf Hitler, even the slurs against his wife when Republicans called her “a male” or a “gorilla.” The former president did have altercations with the Fox network, perhaps because Fox leadership ordered their hosts to slant the “news” to make the president look bad.

In less than 23 weeks, DDT’s behavior and speech have made the United States the laughingstock of the world. No one, not even his lawyers, seems able to curb his crude manner or educate him about governing. People said, “Give him a chance.” He’s taken that chance to constantly embarrass the people of the United States.

Today DDT is the face of the GOP. Republicans might want to consider whether he is the image that they want to portray.

April 16, 2017

Different Kinds of Facts?

 

If the major goal of a newspaper is to create controversy, the Register-Guard (Eugene, OR) seems to have succeeded with Anna Katharine Mansfield’s “Puzzling over Trump’s Truth,” reprinted from the Washington Post. It is the umpteenth attempt to explain to those who don’t support Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) why he’s actually telling the truth—emotional truth, according to Mansfield–and received several “questioning” letters to the editor in response.

Mansfield’s premise disagrees with the accusation that DDT is considered a liar by “much of our logic-based, Enlightment-indoctrinated society” because these people use evidence to determine truth. The professor of winemaking who got her certificate in Christian theology education from Sewanee-University of the South, a place that evidently has sent certificates online, talks about “truths” other than factual ones, which she calls “nonfactual truths.” She explains it as “an ability to understand that stories are true, even when the primary elements of the story are not historical fact.” Evidently that’s where taking DDT “seriously, not literally” emerges.

One of her examples of an “emotional truth” is the belief that DDT, not Hillary Clinton, won the popular vote last November. She continues with another “truth” that the mainstream media isn’t trustworthy because it doesn’t represent the conservative point of view. Going back to President Obama, she tries to explain that the belief that is a Muslim or communist explains how it’s believable that he could interfere with DDT even if there is no proof. Mansfield wrote:

“Tom Forman, chief executive of reality TV shows like ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,’ said in a recent NPR interview that Trump is a master at ‘being directionally correct.’ Trump knows, Forman said, how to amplify what viewers already know to be true, what they ‘know in their bones.’ That’s emotional truth, and factual truth can’t touch it.”

Mansfield claims that sometimes DDT should tell the truth when “logic is called for” but not in “minor issues” because our society needs “emotion-based truth.” It is highly unfortunate that the leader of the (hopefully) most powerful nation in the world can operate without evidence in any part of his commanding.

Personally, I’m terrified that the country is being led by a philosophy that evidence isn’t important because the “emotional truth” of these people carries the same weight as proof-based information and personal feelings based on nothing are equal to education.

A letter from John Blondigen perhaps better states my concern:

So, in the interests of balance, here are emotional truths that I hold dear:

  • I don’t believe the economic health of the fossil fuel industry is more important than the health of the world’s climate.

  • I don’t believe that in a country this wealthy, people should lack medical care because of an inability to pay. The purity of some congressman’s free market ideology is less important than anyone’s health.

  • I refuse to go back to a time when only heterosexual white men were first-class citizens. I remember those times, and they weren’t great.

  • I won’t lead the cheers for the use of deadly force to prove anyone’s toughness.

  • And I absolutely refuse to renounce fact for the sake of indulging anyone’s emotional truth.

Other comments to the article from the Washington Post:

This is an excuse for wishful thinking and rampant confirmation bias. There are dangers to such sloppy sentimental thinking.

“Emotional truth” as opposed to “factual truth” has, since the Enlightenment, been simply called ignorance.

Donald Trump’s lies don’t qualify as myth. They are, quite simply, lies. If an individual finds “emotional truth” in the statement that “white is black and black is white,” then I am probably more interested in getting him/her a scrip for Thorazine than granting him/her the succor that comes with validating a delusion.

If more citizens of our country sought both spiritual guidance and scientific knowledge, we would not be living with such a narrowly educated and cold-hearted leader in the White House.

[The article] boils down to, if it “feels right” I should believe it, regardless of any and all evidence to the contrary, and my opinion should be as valid as any other. If that is true, then Dr. Mansfield, I assume, believes we should give deference to flat Earthers, anti-vaxxers, moon landing conspiracy proponents, and any other believers of things she may be less sanguine about.

The error here is in the false equivalency. Emotional truth is individual. Logical truth is universal. To give equal credence to both would destroy society. My emotional truth is not the same as yours , thus there would be no structure. So, although I will defend to the death, the right of a Jesus person to his own personal truth, for the sake of our country, our society, and our planet, logical proof must prevail.

If tRump supporters hold everyone else in the world to certain moral standards of behavior, yet throw those standards away for their president, then we have no basis for communication. They are willing to accept ANY un-Christian act from him, and still consider him God’s chosen candidate. They ignore all of the lessons of the bible (which is SUPPOSED to be the basis of their faith).

Followers of DDT’s “emotional truth” are losing faith in their leader, shown in Tumblr’s “Trumpgrets” and Facebook’s “IregretvotingforTrump.” The Twitter feed “Trump Regrets” also retweeted those sorry DDT voters. Disappointments: not locking up Hillary Clinton, putting Jared Kushner in the White House, dismissing information about Russia, in general not following his (hot air) promises. They’re also amazed that the GOP health plan raises their premiums and DDT is deporting their family members instead of those “bad hombres.” Their “emotional truth” has now clashed with DDT’s beliefs—military dominance, intimidation, and accruing wealth. The question for their “emotional truth” is whether the economy implodes, resulting in another shift of “emotional truth.”

Some evangelical Christians may not accept DDT’s “emotional truth.” Ten percent left their church by mid-November, and 15 percent of all church-going people left their church because they think that DDT politics has become too divisive. The two groups were DDT supporters with pastors who didn’t and those who disagreed with DDT-supporting pastors. A review of data indicates that progressive and moderate evangelicals left their church after its takeover by the right-wing.

Now I’m just waiting for all those articles that explain to DDT supporters the “emotional truth” of the DDT opposition.

October 31, 2016

U.S. Republicans Suppress Votes

The election is rigged, claims Donald Trump, and Iowa made the first arrest in 2016 for voter fraud. Terri Rote, 55, tried to vote for Trump at two separate polling stations in Des Moines and faces up to five years if convicted. She claimed that she was afraid that her first vote would be changed to Clinton. The system worked because she was caught. Investigation into the accusation that dead people were voting showed that some of these voters were mistakenly listed on death rolls, some had the same or similar names to dead people in their districts, and with others poll workers mistakenly scanned the wrong barcode on the voter rolls.

voter-protection-fake-badgeVoter fraud is the GOP excuse for suppressing the vote across the nation because Republicans think they can’t win in a fair contest. Trump  is sending people—including militia members and off-duty law enforcement officials–to take video and still cameras to search for voter fraud in nine cities with high minority populations. Roger Stone’s “Vote Protectors” are to have fake but official-looking ID badges to intimidate voters and livestream their images on the internet. Huffington Post printed off this “badge” from Stone’s website. The “badge” information is gone, but Stone still asks his “protectors” to execute “exit polls” to contest any Trump losses. In Ohio, Steve Webb plans to closely follow any voting minorities “to make them a little bit nervous.”

These actions could cause trouble for the RNC. In 1981, Stone helped the GOP New Jersey gubernatorial candidate win with a “ballot security” force wearing black armbands to intimidate minority voters. A lawsuit led to a Consent Decree on the RNC due to be lifted next year. It could be extended for at least eight years if the DNC wins its lawsuit showing current intimidation, including Stone’s message on social media that “poll watchers” should wear red shirts on Election Day as they supervise minority populations.

GOP-controlled states are also suppressing the vote:

Nevada: Despite orders from federal district Judge Miranda Du to provide early voting and Election Day polling sites on Indian reservations for the Nevada’s largest tribes, the state’s GOP Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske decided that she didn’t need to do this for any tribes not so ordered. Members of the Duckwater Shoshone Reservation must drive 275 miles roundtrip to register and vote, but Cegavske said that their request came 24 hours late. She stated several concerns including not knowing who could “investigate and prosecute potential election law violations occurring on sovereign tribal lands.” Her office has earlier set up extra polling places in fewer than 48 hours if the voters didn’t seem to be largely Democratic. Cegavske belongs to the Koch-owned ALEC.

North Carolina: Several of the nation’s most restrictive voter suppression laws were struck down earlier this year; judges wrote that North Carolina enacted these laws to “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.” The GOP has other ways to continue suppressing the vote, for example long wait times in 18 counties, including the largest four, that have lost most of the early-voting locations and have as little as three percent of the votes in 2012. In the other 82 counties, voting has averaged one-fourth more than 2012. Guilford County, with a population of almost one-half million people, lost 15 of the 16 early-voting locations from 2012. Voters at North Carolina A&T State University, a black college with over 10,000 students, must travel at least a mile away because its campus early-voting location was removed from campus.

north-carolina-voting

Another suppression system in the state is removing voters from the rolls. Grace Harrison, 100, was one of 100 Beaufort County residents—mostly black—who had consistently voted for decades but were forced to attend an in-person hearing to defend their right to vote because one piece of mail was bounced back from their addresses. The NAACP is suing the state because the National Voter Registration Act bans the removal of voters during the last 90 days before the election, and they must have more chances to respond to the mail. Part of the lawsuit also concerns the failure of the state to add tens of thousands of voters to the rolls who registered at a DMV over the past few years.

Gov. Pat McCrory, leader of the state’s “potty police” laws against transgender people and Trump supporter, cheered about the success of his alternate suppression techniques because Democratic voters were “not coming out” to the polls.

Ohio: A federal court order kept Ohio from purging 200,000 voter registrations just last week because they had not cast ballots since 2012. These voters may be disenfranchised, however, because their provisional ballots are frequently thrown out in Republican-controlled states. The state refuses to send these voters absentee ballots. The purge hit twice the number of people living in Democratic-leaning areas and targeted black residents in low socioeconomic neighborhoods and the homeless.

Texas: A court removed some restrictions on voting as a “poll tax” because the state-mandated IDs were more expensive than the sometimes free IDs not permitted for voting. Two years later, the federal appeals court ruled that the law discriminated against minority voters. Yet Texas officials found an easy way to continue voter suppression: they simply lie to the people about the necessary documents for voting. A federal judge ruled that voters can bring documents showing their names and addresses to the polls as identification and sign a statement saying that they had a “reasonable impediment” to getting a photo ID. Voting has started, and polls are still using outdated posters that list only the old rules. Poll workers tell voters in lines to have their photo IDs ready without telling people how to vote without these IDs. In a poll of 1,000 registered voters, only one-fourth of the respondents knew that a photo ID is not necessary to vote with ethnic minorities far more confused than white voters about regulations.

Indiana: Almost 45,000 newly-registered voters, almost all black, may not be able to vote because police raided the Indiana Voter Registration Project and seized documents on October 4—just one week before the end of the state’s early registration period. No one knows why, but the GOP vice-presidential candidate is still governor of Indiana and a close friend of Doug Carter, the superintendent of the Indiana State Police. Prior to the closure of the voter registration, police detectives went to the homes of people registering voters “to interrogate them.”

Wisconsin: Voters at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay asked for an early-voting location on the grounds because of long voting lines during the primary, but Green Bay City Clerk Kris Teske refused, saying it lacked the necessary resources. Privately, however, Teske wrote that student voting would benefit the Democratic Party in an email to David Buerger, counsel at the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. Teske was appointed by GOP Gov. Scott Walker.

Georgia: As many as 100,000 voter-registration applications weren’t processed by the state that also refused to extent voter-registration deadlines despite the devastating Hurricane Matthew. GOP Secretary of State Brian Kemp, election overseer, said that “we can’t sit back and watch the radical left create chaos in our state” after the ACLU asked a court to reopen voter registration for the counties hardest hit by the hurricane. In an effort to intimidate voters, Georgia also moved a polling precinct for mostly black voters from a gymnasium to the sheriff’s office. Gwinnett County in suburban Atlanta has only one early-voting precinct for a population of almost 900,000 people.

Florida: When Gov. Rick Scott refused to extend the time for voter registration because of the hurricane, a judge overturned not only his decision but also the mandate that a signature on absentee ballots exactly match the original one which could be 50 years old.

James Comey, FBI director, may be responsible for the largest vote-rigging in the nation. His letter to legislators—not his responsibility—stated that the discovery of more “Clinton emails” might not be significant but should be investigated. The “existence” of these emails was released almost a month after they were found, and there’s no indication that any of the emails are either from or to Hillary Clinton. Yet Comey has allowed Republican House Oversight Chair Jason Chaffetz  to state that the FBI has “reopened” the case against Clinton, another falsehood.

The man who cheerfully released what he hoped was damaging information about Clinton said he didn’t tell people that Russia is meddling in the country’s election because he might influence voting. When Comey sat on that information, the DHS made it public. In the Clinton case, Comey found transparency important; in the Trump case, he wanted to hide what he knew.

James O’Keefe, who tried to make highly edited videos to lie about the Clinton campaign “rigging” Trump’s campaign, may be responsible for illegal wiretapping. Earlier O’Keefe videos destroyed ACORN and came close to destroying Planned Parenthood. Now he wants to destroy Clinton.

As people consider their beliefs, they need to know that the more they hear a statement—true or false—the more likely they are to believe it. Voter fraud, lack of trust in Clinton—the lies are embedded into minds in an “illusion of truth.” It’s much easier to believe in generalities than to search for facts.

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