The Trump Watch: September 2018 (part 2 of 2)

This is getting almost too easy – even omitting what we’ve learned from excerpts from Bob Woodward’s new book, which will be released next week, and Wednesday’s explosive anonymous op-ed piece in the far-from-failing New York Times.

 Some Lies

Many of Trump’s lies are front-page news; others fly under the radar.  This time around we look at a few of the latter.

Trump tweeted that the Obama administration “granted citizenship, during the terrible Iran Deal negotiation, to 2,500 Iranians — including to government officials.”

No, actually, the Obama administration did no such thing.

Somehow, one suspects that U.S. trade policy is not among their greater concerns

He said of Harley-Davidson customers that “Harley customers are not happy with their move – sales are down 7 percent in 2017. The U.S. is where the Action is!”

Actually, Harley sales were down before he imposed tariffs that imposed an enormous financial burden on the company but there’s no proof sales are down since Harley announced it would relocate some of its manufacturing overseas.

He said he won a lawsuit filed by the Democratic National Committee over collusion.  He didn’t.  The lawsuit was filed by a couple of Democrats, not by the Democratic National Committee, and the suit was dismissed on technical grounds. The court didn’t even look at the merits of the case, let alone rule on them.

He said we’re now exporting energy for the first time ever.  That’s not true:  we’ve been exporting energy for decades.  Did he mean we’re now a net exporter of energy?  If he did, that’s untrue as well:  while we do export energy, more continues to flow in than out.

From the folks at Time (as hard as it is to believe that Time is still in business):

When President Donald Trump gave his first address to a joint session of Congress in February of 2017, he claimed that “the vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country,” citing “data provided by the Department of Justice.”

Not only was that claim not true, but there was no data from the Department of Justice to back it up.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request from a private lawyer, the Justice Department admitted recently that “no responsive records were located” after an exhaustive search for evidence to substantiate Trump’s claim.

At a rally in North Carolina, the president boasted that his Charlotte golf course sits alongside the “largest man-made lake in the world by far.”

No, actually, it doesn’t.  Lake Norman, the man-made lake in question, isn’t even among the largest 10 man-made lakes in the U.S., let alone the world.

You have to wonder: why would he lie about something so inconsequential?  He’s president of the United States, for heaven’s sake:  when does he stop lying simply for the sake of attempting to call attention to what he’s accomplished?

Always Trying to Hamstring His Enemies

When Twitter did some housecleaning and deleted accounts it could tell were fake, Trump decided he had two additional candidates for deletion, tweeting

Twitter is getting rid of fake accounts at a record pace. Will that include the Failing New York Times and propaganda machine for Amazon, the Washington Post, who constantly quote anonymous sources that, in my opinion, don’t exist – They will both be out of business in 7 years!

Thus perpetuating his view that anyone who doesn’t agree with him about everything is “fake.”

A Reader He is Not

Didn’t write it and tried to read it but his lips got tired

We already know that Trump doesn’t like to read.  It’s such a problem that he now receives his briefings on gussied-up flash cards.

Over the years reporters have periodically asked presidents what they’ve been reading lately.  Usually they mention books about history, government, and religion.  The last three presidents before Trump released lists of books they’d read recently.  One book The Curmudgeon read about George W. Bush – he regrets that he can’t recall the title – reported that Bush had a contest with members of his staff to see who could read the most books.

But Trump?  Here’s a partial list of books he’s recommended via tweet this year:

  • “The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump,” by Gregg Jarrett
  • “The Briefing: Politics, the Press and the President,” by Sean Spicer
  • “Liars, Leakers and Liberals, the Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy,” by Jeanine Pirro
  • “The Capitalist Comeback: The Trump Boom and the Left’s Plot to Stop It,” by Andy Puzder
  • “The Faith of Donald Trump” by David Brody and Scott Lamb
  • “What Really Happened: How Donald J. Trump Saved America From Hillary Clinton,” by Howie Carr

So now we know the secret to getting Trump interested in a book:  write a book that says great things about HIM.

Of course, that doesn’t mean he’d actually READ it…

Instant Replay

If there’s anything Trump may like more than the idea of books that sing his praises it’s revisiting the highlights of his own campaign rallies, Axios reports:

Like an NFL coach reviewing game film, Trump likes to watch replays of his debate and rally performances. But instead of looking for weaknesses in technique or for places to improve, Trump luxuriates in the moments he believes are evidence of his brilliance.

Behind the scenes: Trump commentates as he watches, according to sources who’ve sat with him and viewed replays on his TiVo, which is pre-loaded with his favorites on the large TV in the private dining room adjoining the Oval Office. When watching replays, Trump will interject commentary, reveling in his most controversial lines. “Wait for it. … See what I did there?” he’ll say.

There once was a man named Narcissus…

Instant Replay, Part 2

There’s one replay Trump probably doesn’t watch very often:  the Billy Bush “grab them by the p—y” Access Hollywood tape.

But he’s thinking about that a lot – even now, two years after it became a thing.

In a conversation with Tucker Carlson’s conservative-leaning Daily Caller site – really, he finds time for the Daily Caller? – the president criticized NBC news for its handling of the Harvey Weinstein story (perhaps because sexual predators of a feather flock together?) and then turned his attention to the infamous Billy Bush tape.

The president also declared that there are multiple unanswered questions about the “Access Hollywood” tape released during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“That tape was, there are even questions about this tape,” Trump said, adding that there are also “real questions about that whole process.”

“I had a lawsuit prepared, a lawsuit that was prepared to be filed against NBC because they leaked that tape,” the president revealed.

 Trump speculated that NBC leaked the tape to The Washington Post saying “they gave it to the Washington Pos tbecause they couldn’t put it out there themselves cause they would’ve had tremendous liability so they gave it to the Washington Post to put out.”

 He continued: “I had a lawyer hired to bring a suit right after the election ended, but one problem arose. I won the election.”

You have to wonder:  what would he have sued for – definition of character?

Paranoia

At a dinner meeting with 15 corporate CEOs, Vanity Fair tells us,

…the president referenced an unnamed country that one attendee told Politico was clearly China, and claimed “almost every student that comes over” to the U.S. from that nation “is a spy.” 

Almost every student.  Amazing.

It’s All About the Timing

Most of us probably heard something like this from our parents when we were growing up:  if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything.  Trump’s father, we’re told, was not a very good guy, so perhaps he didn’t impart that lesson to his kids and maybe that explains why his orange son comported himself so miserably in the days following John McCain’s death.  A lot of people who work for the president and did learn this childhood lesson counseled him to behave himself but he couldn’t resist the urge to make the senator’s passing about himself.

McCain wasn’t a saint, and a few weeks from now, when a little time has passed, The Curmudgeon will have a few choice words to say about him – but not now.  It’s a time when, if you have nothing nice to say, you say nothing.

Trump also couldn’t resist the temptation to use Labor Day to criticize a labor leader, the AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka, tweeting that

Richard Trumka, the head of the AFL-CIO, represented his union poorly on television this weekend. Some of the things he said were so against the working men and women of our country, and the success of the U.S. itself, that it is easy to see why unions are doing so poorly. A Dem!

Any other time?  Trumka’s fair game.  But on Labor Day?  It’s Trumka’s day and you leave him alone.

Rewriting History

The web site Bustle reports that in his spare time, Trump has rejiggered the electoral math from the 2016 presidential election and come up with a new conclusion:

While speaking about the economy at a steel production facility on Thursday, President Trump falsely claimed he’d won the “women’s vote” in the 2016 election against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Data from the presidential election, however, easily proves the president wrong. 

“I did win that women’s vote, didn’t I?” Trump said while delivering a speech in Granite City, Illinois. “Remember they said, ‘Why would women vote for Trump?’ Well, I don’t know but I got more than she did. That’s pretty good.”

That’s also pretty false, as Bustle explains:

…according to data supplied by the Pew Research Center, more women voted for Clinton in the 2016 election than for Trump. While 42 percent of women voters cast ballots for Trump, 54 percent voted for Clinton. CNN has reported similar numbers, noting that 41 percent of women voted for Trump while 54 percent voted for Clinton.

What he may have been referring to, though, is that more WHITE WOMEN voted for him than voted for Hillary Clinton.  And since white voters are all he really cares about…

The For-Profit Presidency

Now available for $25 at shopdonaldjtrump.com.

Because just because you’re president doesn’t mean you can’t make a buck doing it.

“I’m Telling You, Things Could Get Nasty if My Guys Lose”

That’s the general thrust of the argument Agent Orange made to evangelical leaders at a White House dinner recently, warning people who should already be apoplectic over his presidency but who apparently have sold their souls to the devil that if Democrats take control of Congress,

They will overturn everything that we’ve done, and they’ll do it quickly and violently, and violently”

 He added that

 There’s violence. When you look at antifa, and you look at some of these groups — these are violent people.

Trump, of course, is continually trying to egg on his followers to engage in acts of violence against those who dare oppose him while there is little recent history of violence from the left.  True, there are a few stray knuckleheads among the so-called antifa, but they’re clearly in the minority.  If Democrats manage to take control of Congress – not likely because while the House is within their reach, the Senate almost certainly is not – those Democrats are going to be too busy dancing in the streets to start hitting people.

Fringe Benefits

Soon to be mandatory?

Government employees are paid well.  Contrary to popular wisdom, they generally do not accept inferior salaries in exchange for the job security that comes with government employment.  They get good health care benefits and generally have excellent pensions.

But now there’s something new in federal compensation practices for people who work at the White House:  discounts on Trump swag.  Politico explains:

There’s an under-the-radar perk being offered to staffers in President Donald Trump’s administration — discounts on Trump-branded merchandise sold at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club.

 White House staffers who have a Secret Service hard pin identifying them as administration officials can flash it at the pro shop — where Trump-branded driver headcovers retail for $40 and a Trump golf polo tee sells for $90, according to the online Trump store — and receive the same discount available to club members, who pay a reported $350,000 to join the club.

 Those discounts range from 15 percent off of any merchandise sold in the store, to 70 percent off clearance items, according to two staffers and a receipt reviewed by POLITICO.

  The man and his family know no shame.

The National Enquirer

Oh, for a peek inside!

Thanks to Michael Cohen we now know that the National Enquirer apparently has a safe full of negative material about Trump.  We also know that the chairman of the company that owns the Enquirer, the unfortunately named David Pecker (always “Mr. Pecker” in the New York Times), faces criminal charges for campaign finance violations and is taking a plea deal in exchange for information and testimony.

Hey, prosecutors, why don’t you offer to make a trade with Mr. Pecker?

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