Month: December 2018

Conservative press whines about WaPo’s accurate coverage of Trump’s Iraq trip

The president visited Iraq…
…and the Washington Post reported that the president visited Iraq…
…and now the Wall Street Journal is outraged that the WaPo reported that the president visited Iraq.

Is there anything the “liberal media” can do that won’t cause the conservative media to cry “liberal bias”??? Perhaps if they lied, the right-wing grievance-mongers would like them more, since they don’t seem to like it when the press reports facts. In fact, 80 percent of the Republican Party does seem to prefer falsehoods over truth, evidenced by their continued support for a certain president.

Here is the WSJ editorial board’s frantic attempt to find something to be outraged about.

President Trump touched down Wednesday in Iraq in his first visit to a conflict zone as commander in chief, a week after announcing a victory over the Islamic State that his own Pentagon and State Department days earlier said remained incomplete.

The president’s visit to Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad, which was shrouded in secrecy, follows months of public pressure for him to spend time with troops deployed to conflicts in the Middle East and punctuates the biggest week of turmoil the Pentagon has faced during his presidency.

  • WaPo

[C]an anyone reading those opening two sentences wonder why millions of Americans believe Donald Trump when he tells them that he can’t get a fair shake from the press?

  • WSJ

Can the Wall Street Journal actually find anything untrue or unfair in those passages? Did Trump not visit Iraq? Did Trump not ignore professional advice and announce a withdrawal from Syria without planning? Did his announcement not leave the Pentagon blindsided and scrambling to come up with a half-workable process?

If Trump’s management of foreign and domestic policy is incompetent and chaotic, it’s not the fault of the press.

Conservative blogger Ann Althouse adds:

I can barely read the news these days (and I absolutely cannot watch it on TV). The negativity toward Trump is so relentless, cluttering up everything.

“Negativity.” If only the press just pretended everything were all right instead of reporting objectively.

Loser Trump feels self-pity about being president

Donald Trump whined this morning about having to be president and having to be in the White House.

“I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security,” he wrote on the social media site Twitter.

He provided no rationale for why “Border Security” is the most important issue, despite the fact that the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. hasn’t increased since 2006. This, at a time when the stock market is crashing and his foreign policy is in chaos; there are many issues more pressing than border security.

He also pressed for “wall” funding. If border security and “the wall” was so important, why didn’t he do it during the two years Republicans had control of both houses of Congress?

He’s trying to blame the Democrats for the Trump shutdown, but Trump himself said on December 11 in a meeting with top Democrats that he wouldn’t blame them. And the Senate–including all Democrats–already unanimously passed a funding bill. Trump simply refused to sign it.

In fact, on December 19, Trump said he didn’t need border funding to sign a bill and that he would find money elsewhere. Trump is the one who is moving the goalposts and breaking his word.

In another Trumpian tweet, he said, “I am in the Oval Office & just gave out a 115 mile long contract for another large section of the Wall in Texas. We are already building and renovating many miles of Wall, some complete.”

If the “wall” is going forward so well, then why does he need funding? Why not just keep doing it however he is pretending to do it?

Incoherent Trump compared Federal Reserve to golfer

Donald Trump has become predictable. He has no policies, just attacks. As usual, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average crashing by over 600 points today, Trump took to the offensive on Twitter, whining about the Federal Reserve.

“They don’t have a feel for the Market, they don’t understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders. The Fed is like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch – he can’t putt!” he said.

The Fed has nothing to do with tariff policy or immigration. And a strong dollar makes it more expensive for other countries to purchase American goods, so Trump calling “Strong Dollars” “necessary” is completely at odds with the purported goal of his trade war.

Trump’s trade war has hit the U.S. economy badly this year.

As I noted in my column in late November:

Agriculture has been particularly hard hit by retaliatory tariffs. Soybean exports to China since July have been close to nothing. The U.S. hasn’t come close to making it up in exports to the rest of the world. In October 2018, U.S. soybean exports globally were half of what they were in October 2017.

American manufacturers that use metal sourced from overseas to produce final goods are also paying a heavy price. While foreign-produced steel is more expensive due to tariffs, the price of domestic steel has also skyrocketed due to artificially increased demand for the stuff. In the first week after steel tariffs were announced in March, prices for steel made in the U.S. rose by 35 percent. The American Enterprise Institute published an analysis in October that said American steel prices are the most expensive in the world.

Caterpillar, a construction equipment company, and Ford have both seen their stock prices drop by over 20 percent over the past six months. Precor, a company that makes exercise equipment, says its material costs are rising.

The Dow has dropped by more than 2,000 in the last month and is about 2,300 points down since the start of the year.

It has to be hurting Trump’s pride. This is someone who bragged about “record” stock market highs multiple time a week his first year in office.

He can’t do anything to respond, because he’s a man of no policies. All he has is whining. The Federal Reserve is supposed to be free of political interference–for good reason; we wouldn’t want a self-interested president like Trump to abuse the process to try to prop up an economic bubble for political purposes.

But Trump has also consistently failed to execute his proclaimed policies on issues within a president’s legitimate scope of influence. Consider how he never got wall funding even with Republicans controlling Congress for two years or how Obamacare repeal failed in part because of Trump’s utter ignorance on the issue and inability to make a case.

Trump is whining today, and he’ll be whining tomorrow and the next day.

Marines concerned about abandoning allies

In a stunning move to many civilians, Secretary of Defense James Mattis tendered his resignation from the Trump White House, effectively giving a two months notice while citing mutually irreconcilable differences when it comes to philosophy. Many Marines see this as a fulfillment of his commitment.

This resignation is by far the most significant departure from the Trump White House. Mattis was a uniting force that caused some “Never Trump” Marines to get begrudgingly on board. It also comes on the heels of the current administration announcing her full withdrawal from Syria.

Mattis made clear his feelings on abandoning allies in his resignation letter. In it, he cast some major shade at Trump but stayed classy about it as Mattis is wont to do. When contacted about this, many Marines both active and prior service were reluctant to divulge their true feelings, but the overall sentiment is that abandonment is bad and we should not abandon our allies in Syria and that Mattis may be abandoning us.

There is fear that Turkey will invade Syria when we pull out as per Mike Fonda, a decorated US Marine who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan under the stars and stripes only to return to the Middle East to fight for YPG, a local Marxist militia.

Other Marines were worried about an unleashed Trump with no Mattis to reign him in. “I don’t know,” said Elizabeth West, “Are people going to remember this as a slap at Trump or as the time he abandoned us to a madman?”

This is an overarching concern of Marines. West comes from a military family and is currently out of the service so has full rights to talk shit about the administration. 




In his resignation letter, Mattis has committed to staying till February to get a replacement up to speed and to do so before the change over of the joint chiefs scheduled in September.

The myth of trigger warning culture?

As a consumer of mass media, it is easy to get the idea that universities are epicenters of political correctness full of ultra-sensitive students who can’t handle discussions of history or race relations. As a student, you run into “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” much less frequently than you do in the media.

A discussion between British social psychologist Jonathan Haidt over his book The Coddling of the American Mind caused American professors across the country to weigh in, with many stating that they had rarely–if ever–encountered demands for trigger warnings.

To which Don Moynihan, a professor at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy and previously at the University of Wisconsin, said:

Some professors did, however, mention some of their students being “triggered.”

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