First some selected Krugman’ quotes on trump facts and tarrifs, A Ranting Old Guy With Nukes:
1. Regarding being “factually challenged:”
…you can’t help noticing that his opinions seem a bit, well, factually challenged. No, we aren’t experiencing a huge wave of violent crime carried out by immigrants. No, we don’t give away vast sums in foreign aid. And so on down the list. Basically, what he imagines to be facts are things he thinks he heard somewhere, maybe on Fox News, and can’t be bothered to check.
2. Regarding tariffs on steel and aluminum, Trumps justification is “national security.”
After all, we can’t be dependent for our aluminum on unstable, hostile foreign powers like … Canada, our principal foreign supplier. (Canada is also our biggest foreign supplier of steel.)
Meanwhile, in the days since Trump’s announcement, he’s tweeted out one falsehood after another. And I don’t mean that he’s been saying things I disagree with; I mean that he’s been saying things that are simply, flatly wrong, even according to the U.S. government itself.
He has, for example, declared that we have large trade deficitswith Canada; actually, according to U.S. numbers, we run a small surplus.
The best argument I have heard against the steel & aluminum tariffs is the following:
- Steel and aluminum are not consumer products. They are used in the production of goods — for example beer kegs and automobiles.
- Imposing the tariffs raise the production cost of steel and aluminum goods.
- The tarrifs may have a minor positive effect on US employment in steel and aluminum production but they will make US steel and aluminum products less competitive.
- The result — reduced balance of trade and increased cost of US goods.
- If the tariffs result in a trade war things just get worse.
Does this sound like winning? So much for the the wonders of tariffs to increase US production. Hell of an idea Mr. Trump!
Selected Quotes About Donald Trump – From Goodreads
“Like Hitler, the President used the word lies to mean statements of fact not to his liking and presented journalism as a campaign against himself.”
― Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
“Donald Trump is worse than any horror story I’ve written.”
― Stephen King
“Facts are threatening to those invested in fraud.”
― DaShanne Stokes
“Discrimination does not ‘make America great.’ It makes America weak.”
― DaShanne Stokes
“Trump’s America is not America: not today’s or tomorrow’s, but yesterday’s.
Trump’s America is brutal, perverse, regressive, insular and afraid. There is no hope in it; there is no light in it. It is a vast expanse of darkness and desolation.
And that is a vision of America that most of the people in this country cannot and will not abide.”
― Charles M. Blow
“They want us to be afraid.
They want us to be afraid of leaving our homes.
They want us to barricade our doors and hide our children.
Their aim is to make us fear life itself!
They want us to hate.
They want us to hate ‘the other’.
They want us to practice aggression and perfect antagonism.
Their aim is to divide us all!
They want us to be inhuman.
They want us to throw out our kindness.
They want us to bury our love and burn our hope.
Their aim is to take all our light!
They think their bricked walls will separate us.
They think their damned bombs will defeat us.
They are so ignorant they don’t understand that my soul and your soul are old friends.
They are so ignorant they don’t understand that when they cut you I bleed.
They are so ignorant they don’t understand that we will never be afraid, we will never hate and we will never be silent
for life is ours!”
― Kamand Kojouri
“Honestly, people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore — I mean, that’s how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it. It’s real scary. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
― Paul Horner
What are the Senators and Representatives thinking? 300 mass shootings in 3 years. Forget “thoughts and prayers.” There is a solution — Recognize that children have a right to education and to feel safe. Regulate gun ownership and insure that it is an earned privilege not a right. The second amendment does not prohibit gun regulation.
How about no assault rifles; no automatic or semi-automatic weapons; serious background checks (minimum age, mental health, criminal record, etc.; require non-perpetual licensing and training; no political donations from gun manufactures and from the NRA.
I have lost total respect for both congressional parties. It is time to listen to kids, teachers and the police. They are afraid and rightfully so. Republican politicians only fear loosing NRA money and the votes of gun nuts!
It is way past time to standup to the gun lobby, congress and the gun nuts. We have to do something meaningful, something to protect our children — Enough is enough!
Also see Guns, Mental Illness & Public Policy and NYT Opinion Today Feb. 15, 2018
Nicholas Kristof’s Fact-Check of Trump:
The role of the press isn’t to applaud politicians but to provide accountability, so here’s my on-the-fly commentary and fact-checking of President Trump’s State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress tonight. This isn’t a formal column but my play-by-play assessment in the form of selected tweets. Hang on!
Tweets worth a read.
Levin Report: Trump Warns Stock Market Is Making a “Big Mistake”
It’s only one tweet. But there’s so much to appreciate:
1. When Trump says the stock market went down because of “good news,” what he’s referring to is the fact that many have attributed Monday’s drop (as well as last Friday’s) to the strong U.S. employment numbers which, among other things, are leading traders to fear higher wage demands and rising inflation, at a time when the economy is getting a giant, yuuuge stimulus in the form of the tax cuts. Trump was actually warned by a lot of people, who he didn’t listen to, that given where unemployment was—at a multi-year low—and the relative strength of the economy, now was the exact wrong time for a stimulus. (“Passing the tax reform bill is like throwing a small cup of gasoline on a fire that’s already burning,” one expert said.) But he did it anyway, because he’s stupid, and now the markets are worried about a recession (which Trump was also warned about).
2. You know he has literally no idea how modern financial markets operate and that his basis for the stock market is a bunch of guys holding up little pieces of paper and shouting on the floor of the stock exchange.
3. Isn’t it great that Trump believes he can bully and intimidate the “Stock Market” like he does his political enemies? What’s he going to do to the “Stock Market”? Fire it? Send it back to its country of origin? Demand it produce its long-form birth certificate?
4. We’re calling it now: the president is one indignity away from giving the stock market a derogatory epithet. Watch your back, Liddle Stock Market! Fake Tears Stock Market! Low Energy Stock Market! Sad!
From Krugman, my favorite Keynesian – the introduction and the punch line:
It’s a sure thing that Donald Trump will spend much of his State of the Union boasting about the economy. So this seems like a good time for a refresher on some basic macroeconomics – and the reasons why the expansion of 2017, which continued the long expansion that began in 2010, is in no sense a justification for wildly optimistic growth projections looking forward.
[data] suggests a potential growth rate – growth consistent with constant unemployment – of maybe 1.5 percent. And 2017 isn’t an outlier.
Why is potential growth so low? Unfavorable demographics are one big culprit: the baby-boomers are getting old (you kids get off my lawn), so the working-age population is barely growing. Oh, and cracking down on immigration is, you know, not likely to help on that front.
Productivity growth is also lackluster, despite all the hype about robots and all that.
So if you think about it, 2017 offers no evidence to support big talk about future growth. On the contrary, the fact that unemployment declined despite not-so-fast growth is a sign that growth will be a lot slower going forward, now that we don’t have a lot of unemployed Americans to put back to work.
Robert Reich puts Trump’s Davos’ speech in context:
Trump to global CEOs and financiers in Davos, Switzerland: “America is open for business.” We’re now a great place for you to make money. We’ve slashed taxes and regulations so you can make a bundle here.
Trump to ambitious young immigrants around the world, including those brought here as children: America is closed. We don’t want you. Forget that poem affixed to the Statue of Liberty about bringing us your poor yearning to breathe free. Don’t even try.
In Trump’s America, global capital is welcome, people aren’t.
Reported by the Daily Kos Jan 26, 2018: Fox News Shep Smith blows hole in Republican FBI memo sham.
Fox News Shep Smith has been giving the Republicans hell lately exposing their lies and misinformation. In this recent report, he nails Rep. Devin Nunes & the Right Wing for attempting to release a misleading memo to help the president by maligning the FBI.
Smith goes on to conclude:
A memo can be a weapon of party mass distraction especially at a pivotal moment in American history when it behooves the man in charge for supporters to believe the institutions can’t be trusted, investigators are corrupt, and the news media are liars. Context matters.”