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Re: AUDACITY OF HYPE
From a died in the wool RW writer: Peggy Noonan, a conservative writer for the Wall Street Journal may have summarized the situation we are in with our 45th president the best: “A friend called a new word to my attention. It speaks of the moment we’re in. It is kakistocracy, from the Greek. It means government by the worse people, by the least qualified or most unprincipled. We’re on our way there, aren’t we? We’re going to have to make our way through it together.”
Re: AUDACITY OF HYPE
AUDACITY OF HYPE
AP FACT CHECK: The audacity of hype
JIM DRINKARD and CALVIN WOODWARD
Associated PressFebruary 18, 2017
WASHINGTON (AP) — In the Washington week that wasn't, President Donald Trump's new administration whirred like a "fine-tuned machine," piling on big-league accomplishments at a pace never before seen.
Immigration agents newly empowered by Trump's call to secure borders sent hordes of bad foreigners back home, validating a president who won the most lopsided Electoral College victory since Ronald Reagan.
That's what the audacity of hype looks like.
In the Washington week that actually was, Trump fired his national security adviser for misleading the vice president, was rebuffed by his next choice, saw a Cabinet nominee's prospects flame out, and stirred anxiety among some fellow Republicans over the tumult holding up Trump's agenda. Immigration officials announced a sizable but routine roundup of people living in the country illegally, which resulted in fewer arrests than raids mounted under President Barack Obama almost two years earlier.
Trump was called out on his latest of many boasts about the Electoral College, which handed him one of the narrowest victories since Reagan — sixth out of eight — and not one of the biggest.
A look at some of his statements in the past week:
TRUMP: "I see stories of chaos. Chaos. Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine, despite the fact that I can't get my Cabinet approved."
"This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country. Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time."
THE FACTS: Trump's first month has been consumed by a series of missteps and firestorms and produced less legislation of significance than Obama enacted during his first month.
Republican-led congressional committees will investigate the Trump team's relations with Russians before he took office and the flood of leaks that altogether forced out his national security adviser in record time. His pick for labor secretary withdrew because he didn't have enough Republican support.
By many measures, the administration is in near paralysis in its earliest days, leaving allies unsettled and many in Congress anxious about what Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., called the "constant disruption." To many Republicans — never mind Democrats — the machine seems in danger of its wheels coming off.
In his first month, Obama signed a $787 billion stimulus package into law, as well as a law expanding health care for children and the Lilly Ledbetter bill on equal pay for women. Trump has vigorously produced executive orders, which don't require congressional approval and typically have narrow effect. The one with far-reaching consequences — banning entry by refugees and by visitors from seven countries — has been blocked by courts.
Trump's biggest initiatives, such as tax cuts and a replacement for Obama's health care law, have not emerged. On Thursday he signed into law a rollback of Obama-era regulations on mining near streams. Congress has sent him little else.
TRUMP: "To be honest I inherited a mess. It's a mess. At home and abroad, a mess."
THE FACTS: A mess is in the eye of the beholder. But by almost every economic measure, Obama inherited a far worse situation when he became president in 2009 than he left for Trump. He had to deal with the worst downturn since the Depression.
Unemployment was spiking, the stock market crashing, the auto industry failing and millions of Americans risked losing their homes to foreclosure when Obama took the oath of office. None of those statistics is as dire for Trump.
Unemployment is 4.8 percent, compared with a peak of 10 percent during Obama's first year as president. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was cratering until March 2009, only to rebound roughly 200 percent over the rest of Obama's term, and those gains have continued under Trump on the promise of tax and regulatory cuts.
When Trump assumed office last month, a greater percentage of the country had health insurance, incomes were rising and the country was adding jobs.
The Trump administration has noted that a smaller proportion of the population is working or looking for jobs. But even this measure began to turn around toward the end of the Obama era.
Yet it's true that jobs at factories and coal mines have been disappearing for more than three decades, while many people with only a high school diploma have seen their incomes fall after adjusting for inflation. The home ownership rate has slipped even as the economy has improved, leaving many pockets of the country feeling left out of a recovery that technically began more than seven years ago.
TRUMP: "ISIS has spread like cancer, another mess I inherited."
THE FACTS: The Islamic State group began to lose ground before Trump took office, not just in Iraq and Syria but also in Libya. The gradual military progress achieved in Iraq during Obama's final two years has pushed IS to the point of collapse in Mosul, its main Iraqi stronghold.
It remains a potent danger beyond its shrunken territory, encouraging adherents to stage acts of terrorism. The analogy with cancer is an echo of Obama's last defense secretary, Ash Carter, who repeatedly cast Obama's counter-IS campaign as an effort to reverse the extremists' "metastasis" beyond the "parent tumor" in Iraq and Syria.
TRUMP, bragging again about his Electoral College vote total: "We got 306 because people came out and voted like they've never seen before, so that's the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan."
THE FACTS: Not even close. In the seven previous elections, the winner of five of those contests won a larger Electoral College majority than Trump. They were George H.W. Bush in 1988, Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996; and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
When a reporter pointed out that Trump was overstating his winning margin, the president said: "Well, I don't know, I was given that information." He then called it "a very substantial victory."
Trump actually ended up with 304 electoral votes because of the defection of two electors in December, but he had won enough states in November to get to 306.
TRUMP: "We want products made in America, made by American hands. You probably saw the Keystone pipeline I approved recently."
THE FACTS: He hasn't approved the Keystone XL pipeline, though he seems to want to.
Trump has signed an order asking the TransCanada pipeline company to "resubmit its application" for a permit to build the project, which it has done.
There's still a regulatory process to go through and negotiations to be done. Trump has said he'd renegotiate some of the terms and is insisting that the pipeline be built with U.S. steel. TransCanada has said it would need time to review how any buy-American plan from Washington will impact the company.
Late in his presidency, Barack Obama rejected Keystone XL on environmental grounds.
Trump's order directs the State Department and other agencies to make a decision within 60 days of the application.
- Trump's swamp
- GOP failed logic
- GOP can't govern
- DONALD TRUMP
- GOP LIES
- GOP incompetence
- Robert Mueller
- PRESIDENT TRUMP
- GOP victimhood
- White Supremacy
- GOP hypocrisy
- GOP Hatred
- Climate Change
- Illegal immigration
- James Comey