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TBR News April 29, 2019

Apr 29 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. April 29, 2019: “Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.

When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.

I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.

He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.

He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.

His latest business is to re-institute a universal draft in America.

He wants to do this to remove tens of thousands of unemployed young Americans from the streets so they won’t come together and fight him.

Commentary for April 29:” The anti vaccination people have gotten ahold of Trump and have convinced him that all vaccinations of children will eventually kill them. He is said by those closer to him that he actually believes this nonsense but since these people want to support him, his reaction is to be supportive. What’s next? The flat earth believers will no doubt have a go at him as well. The Jesus Freaks have already dug in and promised to support him next year so he is being pious but no one believes he is really interested. The oil people persuaded him, along with obnoxious Bolton, into going after the newly-elected president of Venezuela but when Putin sent in a few troops, the idea of invading the country to save it’s huge oil deposits, he  suddenly went and hid in the bushes. Now that the Canadians have shut off their oil, he might consider military action against them too. Working around Trump is like being a ward attendant at a nut house, believe me.”

The Table of Contents

  • Factbox: What you need to know about the U.S. measles outbreak
  • Amazon investigates after anti-vaxxer leaflet found hidden in children’s book
  • In fighting all oversight, Trump has made his most dictatorial move
  • The Risks of Maximizing Pressure on Iran
  • Lies, damned lies and Donald Trump: the pick of the president’s untruths
  • In 828 days, President Trump has made 10,111 false or misleading claims
  • New technologies drive military spending: SIPRI
  • Opium poppy production in Afghanistan
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
    • Sam Rohrer
    • Scott Alan Roberts
    • Coleman Rogers
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

Factbox: What you need to know about the U.S. measles outbreak

April 29, 2019

Reuters

(Reuters) – The United States so far this year has recorded 695 cases of measles in 22 states, its largest outbreak since public health officials in 2000 declared the disease eradicated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC on Monday is due to release updated figures on the number of cases recorded so far this year.

Here are key facts about the outbreak:

– Public health officials blame the measles resurgence on the spread of misinformation about vaccines. A vocal fringe of parents opposes vaccines, believing, contrary to scientific studies, that ingredients in them can cause autism.

– The largest outbreaks are concentrated in Orthodox Jewish communities in New York City’s Williamsburg neighborhood, where some 390 cases have been confirmed, and Rockland County north of New York City, which has recorded 201 cases. Those figures include infections from last year and are not directly comparable to the CDC numbers.

– Other outbreaks have been reported in Washington state, New Jersey, California’s Butte County and Michigan.

– The disease is highly contagious and can be fatal, killing one or two of every 1,000 children who contract it, according to the CDC. It can also cause permanent hearing loss or intellectual disabilities. It poses the greatest risk to unvaccinated young children.

– The United States’ 2000 declaration that measles was eradicated meant that the disease was no longer present in the country year round. Measles remains common in some countries in Europe, Asia and Africa, and unvaccinated travelers to those countries can bring it back to the United States. The current outbreaks are believed to trace back to visits to Israel and Ukraine.

– New York City officials said some 21,000 people have received the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine in affected areas since the outbreak began in October. The city has begun fining unvaccinated adults.

– Lawmakers in Oregon, California and Washington state are considering bills to eliminate nonmedical exemptions that allowed unvaccinated children to attend public schools.

– In order to achieve herd immunity that protects those unable to get the measles vaccine, such as infants and people with compromised immune systems, 90% to 95% of the population needs to be vaccinated.

Sources: U.S. CDC, World Health Organization, public health offices in New York State and City, Washington state, California and Michigan

Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Bill Berkrot

 

Amazon investigates after anti-vaxxer leaflet found hidden in children’s book

Mother alarmed after anti-vaccination propaganda found inside book bought for son, who is about to receive the HPV jab

April 29, 2019

by Alison Flood

Reuters

Concerns have been raised that the anti-vaccination movement is targeting children via Amazon warehouses, after a Hampshire mother found a leaflet condemning the HPV vaccine tucked inside a children’s book she had purchased from the online retailer.

Lucy Boyle bought Ali Sparkes’ Night Speakers along with several other novels as a birthday present for her 12-year-old son at the start of April. He began reading the novel last week, “got a few pages in, turned over the page and there was the leaflet,” she told the Guardian.

The leaflet warns readers that boys and girls are being offered the HPV vaccine in schools, stating that it is “causing injury, infertility, paralysis … ovarian failure and death, amongst other conditions”. The vaccine protects against human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes most strains of cervical cancer. Since routine HPV vaccination of 12- and 13-year-old girls was introduced in the UK in 2008, there has been a dramatic fall in the cervical disease that can lead to cancer.

Boyle said her son “came downstairs saying: ‘What is this, isn’t this the jab I’m going to have at school?’ He was worried as he had read the leaflet and knew he was going to have the jab.”

“I was just about to bin it when I thought: ‘Hold on a minute, that was quite targeted, it will have been put knowingly into a book read by 11- to 14-year-olds,’” she said. “That’s not targeting the parents, that’s targeting the children. It really left a bad taste in my mouth.”

She contacted both Amazon and the book’s publisher, Oxford University Press, eventually managing to speak to one of Amazon’s executive customer relations managers on the phone. He apologised, said the retailer would launch an investigation, and offered Boyle a gift card. In an email seen by the Guardian, an Amazon representative wrote to Boyle: “I am very sorry to hear about the negative experience you have had with the order for your son. Especially considering this was a children’s book and he is due to receive the vaccine soon.”

Boyle said the Amazon employee told her that though he had never heard of an anti-vaccine leaflet being slipped into a book before, workers had previously inserted notes on Amazon workers’ rights into titles. Two years ago, Metro reported that an Amazon worker was fired for sending a Jewish customer a note in her package reading “Greetings from Uncle Adolf”. In 2018, the Daily Mail spoke to a customer who reported finding a note in her delivery reading: “Please Help, Amazon is painful!”

On Monday, Amazon said it had checked all its facilities where the book was available, including where it was delivered from, and found no evidence that the leaflet was inserted at an Amazon site.

OUP also promised Boyle it would look into the situation, and stressed its belief that the leaflet was inserted at Amazon’s end, telling Boyle in an email that “this leaflet has not originated from OUP”, and that it considered the situation to be very serious.

A spokesperson for OUP said the leaflet was “not OUP promotional material, nor was its insertion authorised by us. Furthermore, our warehouse staff adhere to the highest levels of security such that they meet the standards set by the aviation industry. We are not aware of any other instances of external leaflets being inserted into our books.”

Boyle said she was concerned that both sides will end up blaming the other without identifying the source. “It may just be one leaflet in one book, or someone may have leafleted that whole batch of books … I don’t see what Amazon can do if a worker goes in with a bunch of leaflets. What’s the upshot, that every worker is monitored? That all gets a bit Big Brother,” she said.

Last month, a Guardian investigation revealed that Amazon appears to be helping anti-vaccine not-for-profit organisations in the US through the AmazonSmile Foundation, its charity arm. And in March, Adam Schiff, chair of the House intelligence committee, wrote to Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, to express his concern that “Amazon is surfacing and recommending products and content that discourage parents from vaccinating their children”, citing a CNN Business report which found anti-vaccine books dominated Amazon search results for “vaccine”.

 

In fighting all oversight, Trump has made his most dictatorial move

The president is treating Congress with contempt. This cannot stand – and Congress must fight back

April 28, 2019

by Robert Reich

The Guardian

“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” says the person who is supposed to be chief executive of the United States government

In other words, there is to be no congressional oversight of this administration: no questioning officials who played a role in putting a citizenship question on the 2020 census. No questioning a former White House counsel about the Mueller report.

No questioning a Trump adviser about immigration policy. No questioning a former White House security director about issuances of security clearances.

No presidential tax returns to the ways and means committee, even though a 1920s law specifically authorizes the committee to get them.

Such a blanket edict fits a dictator of a banana republic, not the president of a constitutional republic founded on separation of powers.

If Congress cannot question the people who are making policy, or obtain critical documents, Congress cannot function as a coequal branch of government.

If Congress cannot get information about the executive branch, there is no longer any separation of powers, as sanctified in the US constitution.

There is only one power – the power of the president to rule as he wishes.

Which is what Donald Trump has sought all along.

The only relevant question is how to stop this dictatorial move. And let’s be clear: this is a dictatorial move.

The man whose aides cooperated, shall we say, with Russia – the man who still refuses to do anything at all about Russia’s continued interference in the American political system – refuses to cooperate with a branch of the United States government that the Constitution requires him to cooperate with in order that the government function.

Presidents before Trump occasionally have argued that complying with a particular subpoena for a particular person or document would infringe upon confidential deliberations within the executive branch. But no president before Trump has used “executive privilege” as a blanket refusal to cooperate.

How should Congress respond to this dictatorial move?

Trump is treating Congress with contempt – just as he has treated other democratic institutions that have sought to block him.

Congress should invoke its inherent power under the constitution to hold any official who refuses a congressional subpoena in contempt. This would include departmental officials who refuse to appear, as well as Trump aides. (Let’s hold off on the question of whether Congress can literally hold Trump in contempt, which could become a true constitutional crisis.)

“Contempt” of Congress is an old idea based on the inherent power of Congress to get the information it needs to carry out its constitutional duties. Congress cannot function without this power.

How to enforce it? Under its inherent power, the House can order its own sergeant-at-arms to arrest the offender, subject him to a trial before the full House, and, if judged to be in contempt, jail that person until he appears before the House and brings whatever documentation the House has subpoenaed.

When President Richard Nixon tried to stop key aides from testifying in the Senate Watergate hearings, in 1973, Senator Sam Ervin, chairman of the Watergate select committee, threatened to jail anyone who refused to appear.

Congress hasn’t actually carried through on the threat since 1935 – but it could.

Would America really be subject to the spectacle of the sergeant-at-arms of the House arresting a Trump official, and possibly placing him in jail?

Probably not. Before that ever occurred, the Trump administration would take the matter to the supreme court on an expedited basis.

Sadly, there seems no other way to get Trump to move. Putting the onus on the Trump administration to get the issue to the court as soon as possible is the only way to force Trump into action, and not simply seek to run out the clock before the next election.

What would the court decide? With two Trump appointees now filling nine of the seats, it’s hardly a certainty.

But in a case that grew out of the Teapot Dome scandal in 1927, the court held that the investigative power of Congress is at its peak when lawmakers look into fraud or maladministration in another government department.

Decades later, when Richard Nixon tried to block the release of incriminating recordings of his discussions with aides, the supreme court decided that a claim of executive privilege did not protect information pertinent to the investigation of potential crimes.

Trump’s contempt for the inherent power of Congress cannot stand. It is the most dictatorial move he has initiated since becoming president.

Congress has a constitutional duty to respond forcefully, using its own inherent power of contempt.

Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. He is also a columnist for Guardian US

 

The Risks of Maximizing Pressure on Iran

April 24, 2019

by Ali Vaez

Lobe Log

The U.S. decision on 22 April to end sanctions exemptions for Iran’s remaining oil customers, following on an earlier designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), significantly escalates the Trump administration’s coercive campaign against Tehran. The intent is clear: bankrupt Iran into acceding to unilateral U.S. demands or, even better, imploding its regime. But while there is little doubt that the policy of “maximum pressure” has inflicted considerable economic duress – and stands to push Iran’s economy into further decline by starving it of a key source of external revenue – it is far less certain that it will achieve its strategic objectives.

First of all, the strategy’s success now depends more on China, India and Turkey – Tehran’s remaining key oil customers – than either the U.S. or Iran.

Historically, China dislikes unilateral sanctions, which could one day target its own economy. Beijing also has little interest in facilitating regime change in the only country in the energy-rich Gulf region where Washington lacks a foothold. India is in the middle of a general election. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has little interest to take steps that would increase fuel prices or depict him as subservient to U.S. whims. For its part, Turkey appears loath to alienate a neighbor with whom it has had four centuries of peaceful relations in favour of an unreliable ally, which supports Syrian Kurds affiliated with the PKK (Ankara’s arch enemy) and threatens to cut off the sale of F-35 fighter jets if Turkey purchases and deploys the S-400 Russian missile defence system.

Of course, Washington can try both persuasion and – if necessary – pressure to compel the trio to fall in line. The former requires credibility and apt diplomacy, which have been rare commodities with the current occupants of the White House. The latter could backfire. Under U.S. law, the Trump administration can sanction any company or bank engaged in energy-related purchases with Iran’s Central Bank. This could derail U.S. trade negotiations or sour relations with these three major countries; or push them to channel their transactions with Iran through banks that would not mind being sanctioned, as China did in 2012 with Kunlun bank. They could also join the European special purpose vehicle, or establish a new one, to bypass U.S. restrictions through a barter system using credits from Iranian exports to pay for exports of goods to Iran without requiring monetary transfers.

Washington’s present approach makes possible two scenarios, neither of which is promising: either Iran digs in, prompting a frustrated White House to double down yet again on measures that alienate key allies and risk regional escalation; or Iran calculates that it has little left to lose – especially if its remaining oil customers toeing Washington’s line – and decides to restart its nuclear program to increase its leverage or challenges the U.S. and its regional partners across one of the many tense flashpoints scattered across the region. In other words, between present realities and the idealized outcome of Iranian capitulation wished for by the Trump administration lies a fraught and dangerous path.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’ explicit support for cutting off Iran’s oil exports by flooding the market entails risks too. By encouraging and abetting Trump’s maximum pressure policy they are aiming not only to weaken their regional rival but to turn a neat financial profit, as the oil price rises along with their exports. But as Iranian leaders, both pragmatists and hardliners, have repeatedly warned, Iran is not going to sit on its hands and starve. Options for disturbing an already tense oil market abound. As Sadollah Zarei, a prominent Iranian strategist and advisor to Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds force, recently wrote, Iran could push militants to disrupt Saudi and Emirati oil shipments to Europe through the Bab al-Mandab and the Red Sea, without closing the Strait of Hormuz, through which Iran ships its own oil to Asia. This could not only rattle the markets, but also result in a military clash between the U.S. or its allies and Iran (which, of course, could be the outcome some Iran-hawks in Washington and some of their regional allies seek). Cyber-attacks on Saudi and Emirati oil facilities is another possibility. Neither of these scenarios is far-fetched and both have precedent

U.S. strategy might make sense if a quick and easy win were assured. But if past is prelude, Iran will not negotiate with Washington unless it has a strong hand, for which it likely would have to restart its nuclear program to accumulate leverage. This means that only a nuclear crisis could lead to a return to the table. But Iran’s abandonment of the nuclear deal is more likely to trigger war than diplomacy given the mood in the U.S. and Israel. In the same vein, there is a long track record of Iran pursuing regional policies it deems critical to its national security, regardless of its economic well-being. And finally, even in the unlikely event that the Islamic Republic collapses, there is no guarantee that a pax Americana emerges from the ruins of the Iranian economy and its shattered middle class. If this is the expectation, then the lessons of Iraq may have been lost on the architects of the 2003 invasion, some of whom are once again in the saddle in Washington.

Unfortunately, history shows that Washington’s response to a policy that fails to deliver is often to double down on it

 

Lies, damned lies and Donald Trump: the pick of the president’s untruths

The White House incumbent has told a staggering 10,000 lies since taking office, some big, some trifling. Here’s a selection

April 29, 2019

by Luke O’Neil

The Guardian

Donald Trump likes to boast about his achievements, imagined and otherwise, that is no secret. The president regularly trumpets the success of the greatest economy ever, and the strongest military, and the most decisive electoral victory and all manner of other superlatives he’s supposed to have delivered. But one that is undeniable is that he has just become one of the most prolific liars in the history of American governance, passing the 10,000th lie of his administration this week – meaning an average of almost 17 lies a day over 604 days.

Not all of his lies were created equally. Some have been harmless, almost goofy claims about his physical stamina or business acumen, or obviously exaggerated anecdotes about the types of things supporters say to him. Others are downright horrifying and dangerous, about serious issues such as immigration and abortion.

Here are just a few of the most memorable and weirdest lies among the many.

‘The doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby’

This past weekend, Trump repeated what has become one of the more frighteningly dishonest claims from the right lately regarding abortion.

“The baby is born. The mother meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby beautifully. And then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby.”

The fearmongering comments echo previous lies about state laws on abortion that Trump has made, such as a State of the Union address claim that a New York law would allow for “a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth”.

Late-term abortions, the subject of both of these incorrect claims, are very rare and only occur when the pregnancy poses a threat to a mother’s health or there are dire fetal medical conditions.

‘First raises for our military in 10 years’

In May of last year, Trump bragged to a gathering of military families that he had given them a raise.

“We just approved $700bn for our military,” he said. “So we’re going to be having the best equipment ever known. And next year, $716bn. So I wanted to let you know. And, by the way – I know you don’t care about this – but that also includes raises for our military. First time in 10 years.”

Service members have received a pay raise every year since 1961.

Family separations began under Obama

“President Obama separated children from families,” Trump began saying in 2018, and has continued to repeat as recently as a few weeks ago, using a regular tactic of his in falsely placing blame for his policies on the previous administration. This is blatantly untrue. Unlike under the Trump administration, there was no official Obama policy of separating families and it did not happen outside of a few rare instances.

‘I won the popular vote’

One particularly pernicious lie that Trump has stuck to is that millions of votes were cast illegally in the 2016 election in favor of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. The number just so happens to make up for the nearly 3 million votes by which he lost the popular vote, and is so outrageous that even some of his ardent supporters had trouble explaining it without falling into logical traps.

“We will probably never know the answer to that question,” the Kansas secretary of state, Kris Kobach, said in July 2017, when asked about the claim. “Because even if you could prove that a certain number of votes were cast by ineligible voters, for example, you wouldn’t know how they voted.”

Trump’s was the biggest inauguration crowd ever

In one of the earliest and most absurd claims of his young administration Trump said he had up to 1.5 million people in attendance for his inauguration, making it “the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period”, which was the lie Sean Spicer infamously relayed on his behalf. Trump’s number was a vast overestimate.

A government photographer even edited official pictures of the inauguration to make the crowd appear bigger, following a personal intervention from Trump, according to documents.

It was a “massive field of people … packed”, Trump said at CIA headquarters the following day, adding that God had stopped it from raining that day. (It in fact rained.)

Thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered on 9/11

During the campaign in 2015, Trump made the fantastical claim that he had watched “thousands and thousands” of Muslims cheering in New Jersey during the 9/11 attacks.

“It was on television. I saw it … There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down,” he said on ABC.

No one has been able to find any evidence that this ever happened, but Trump has stood by his story all the same.

Fred Trump was born in Germany

It’s not just the big things Trump is compelled to lie about, it’s also the minor details that seem to serve no conceivable benefit, such as in April of this year, when he asserted for the fourth time that his father had been born in Germany.

“My father is German, right? Was German, and born in a very wonderful place in Germany.”

The president’s father, Fred Trump, was born in New York City.

 

In 828 days, President Trump has made 10,111  false or misleading claims

The Washington Post

The Fact Checker’s ongoing database of the false or misleading claims made by President Trump since assuming office.

Updated April 27, 2019

Apr 27 2019

“For so many decades, we’ve been losing tens of billions of dollars to China and Japan, and India and name any country. Now we lost.”

Repeated 32 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 2Jan 24Nov 22, 2018Oct 18Oct 12Sep 26Aug 31Jun 28Jun 26Jun 9Jun 8Jun 2May 10May 5Apr 12Mar 10Mar 10Mar 8Mar 6Mar 2Feb 23Jan 10Dec 8, 2017Dec 5Nov 12Nov 11Oct 22Oct 17Jul 28Apr 28Feb 23

Topic: Trade

Source: Campaign rally

It’s not that hard to find countries with which the U.S. runs a trade surplus in goods. At the top of the list are Hong Kong, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, Belgium and Australia.

 

Apr 27 2019

“$68 billion dollars in trade losses over the last four or five years — a year.”

Repeated 6 times

Apr 27, 2019Nov 7, 2018Apr 18Mar 14Mar 14Mar 10

Topic: Trade

Source: Campaign rally

President Trump exaggerates the U.S. trade deficit with Japan. In 2018, it was $68 billion when only looking at trade in goods; the overall deficit would be lower if trade in services is included. As we’ve explained before, countries do not “lose” money on trade deficits. A trade deficit simply means that people in one country are buying more goods from another country than people in the second country are buying from the first country. In this case, the U.S. has a trade deficit on goods and a trade surplus of services, so the overall trade deficit was $58 billion, according to the Census Bureau.

 

Apr 27 2019

“The poverty rate for Wisconsin families has reached the lowest rate in 22 years.”

Topic: Economy

Source: Campaign rally

Trump’s refers to a poverty rate for “families,” but the most recent (2017) Census Bureau data shows the poverty rate in the state for families was 8.1 percent, which is higher than the 8.0 percent recorded in 2011 and the 7.7 percent recorded in 2010. There are different ways to measure the poverty rate,} but most studies say the overall poverty rate in Wisconsin increased in 2016 and then remained flat in 2017.

 

Apr 27 2019

“We’re now the number one economy anywhere in the world and it’s not even close.”

Repeated 28 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 26Apr 26Apr 25Apr 10Apr 6Apr 2Mar 29Mar 28Mar 20Mar 18Feb 25Feb 11Feb 5Jan 12Jan 6Nov 5, 2018Nov 5Nov 5Nov 3Oct 31Oct 18Oct 16Oct 13Oct 13Oct 6Jul 26Jul 5

Topic: Economy

Source: Campaign rally

The American economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018. Many other countries has faster growth rates, including China, India, Latvia, Poland and Greece. U.S. economy started to slow in the 4th quarter. GDP growth was 2.2 percent, compared to 4.2 percent in the second quarter. But then in the first quarter of 2019, GDP growth rose to 3.2 percent. But that is still not the fastest growth in the world.

 

Apr 27 2019

“I think Pocahontas, she’s finished, she’s out. She’s gone. No, when it was found that I had more Indian blood in me than she did. And then it was determined that I had none.”

Repeated 15 times

Apr 27, 2019Jan 3Dec 31, 2018Nov 5Nov 4Oct 27Oct 27Oct 22Oct 19Oct 18Oct 16Oct 16Oct 16Oct 15Oct 11

Topic: Miscellaneous

Source: Campaign rally

Elizabeth Warren released the results of her DNA test, which showed that she likely had a sixth generation ancestor with Native American heritage in the mid-1800s. Early news reports had incorrectly suggested a range of 1/64th to 1/1024th, which some misreported as less than the average European-American. Trump has seized on the misleading news reports to incorrectly say she has no Native American heritage. She has some but her DNA is more than 95 percent European-American.

 

Apr 27 2019

“We were doing five and six like this. And there were thousands of people outside just like there are right now. We had 69,000 people sign up to come in. What does this place hold? Like 10,000 or 12,000 or whatever. Whatever it holds. We set the record.”

Repeated 51 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 25Mar 28Mar 2Mar 2Mar 2Mar 2Feb 12Feb 11Feb 11Feb 11Feb 11Jan 14Jan 10Nov 14, 2018Nov 14Nov 7Nov 7Nov 5Nov 5Nov 5Nov 5Nov 5Nov 4Nov 3Nov 2Nov 2Oct 26Oct 26Oct 22Oct 22Oct 22Oct 22Oct 20Oct 15Oct 13Oct 13Oct 12Oct 12Oct 11Oct 10Oct 10Oct 10Oct 4Oct 4Oct 1Oct 1Oct 1Oct 1Sep 24Sep 24

Topic: Miscellaneous

Source: Campaign rally

The record attendance at Green Bay’s Resch Center was 10,414 when Elton John was there in 2003, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette. The Resch Center has an official capacity of 9,877 but it can grow according to layout. The Secret Service said only the first 10,000 people would be allowed inside for Trump’s rally, however, so it’s unlikely he broke Elton John’s record.

 

Apr 27 2019

“NAFTA is one of the worst trade deals ever signed in the history of our country.”

Repeated 92 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 6Apr 4Mar 28Mar 22Feb 25Feb 12Feb 11Jan 14Jan 10Jan 10Jan 4Dec 1, 2018Nov 26Nov 26Nov 7Nov 3Nov 1Oct 31Oct 27Oct 27Oct 24Oct 23Oct 22Oct 20Oct 20Oct 19Oct 17Oct 12Oct 12Oct 11Oct 9Oct 4Oct 2Oct 2Oct 1Oct 1Oct 1Oct 1Sep 29Sep 26Sep 21Sep 20Sep 20Sep 20Sep 17Sep 11Sep 7Sep 7Sep 7Sep 7Sep 7Sep 7Sep 5Sep 5Sep 5Sep 1Aug 31Aug 24Aug 23Jun 23Jun 6Jun 1Apr 16Apr 12Apr 12Apr 9Apr 3Apr 3Apr 1Mar 14Mar 5Mar 5Mar 1Jan 11Dec 18, 2017Dec 8Nov 5Nov 2Oct 25Oct 10Jul 25Jun 21Apr 29Apr 21Apr 20Apr 18Mar 17Mar 15Mar 15Feb 24Jan 26

Topic: Trade

Source: Campaign rally

 

Trump’s attack on NAFTA is over the top. It is often difficult to separate out the impact of trade agreements on jobs, compared to other, broader economic trends such as automation and the explosive growth of low-wage labor abroad. But the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service in 2015 concluded the “net overall effect of NAFTA on the U.S. economy appears to have been relatively modest, primarily because trade with Canada and Mexico accounts for a small percentage of U.S. GDP,” though it noted “there were worker and firm adjustment costs as the three countries adjusted to more open trade and investment among their economies.”

 

Apr 27 2019

“What we had, the one thing I wanted more than anything else, I want to make it almost impossible for a company to leave Wisconsin and leave other states and go to Mexico and go to other places, but go to Mexico, fire its workers, open a new plant in Mexico, hire other workers and sell the equipment into the United States. I don’t want that. And we’re not going to do it.”

Topic: Trade

Source: Campaign rally

Trump greatly overstates the possible impact of the revised trade agreement. Experts believe more jobs will stay in the United States but not that car companies will never again move jobs to Mexico.

 

Apr 27 2019

“So it’s going to be great. I hope we can get Congress to get it approved quickly, because it’s going to be fantastic for everybody in this room.”

Repeated 49 times

Apr 27, 2019Mar 28Mar 22Mar 20Mar 20Mar 2Feb 15Feb 12Feb 5Jan 31Jan 14Jan 10Jan 10Jan 4Dec 31, 2018Dec 13Dec 1Nov 30Nov 30Nov 30Nov 30Nov 30Nov 26Nov 26Nov 20Nov 16Nov 14Nov 5Nov 5Nov 5Nov 4Nov 4Nov 3Nov 2Nov 2Oct 27Oct 27Oct 27Oct 26Oct 24Oct 22Oct 18Oct 13Oct 12Oct 12Oct 9Oct 9Oct 9Oct 6

Topic: Trade

Source: Campaign rally

 

Trump keeps claiming that he significantly overhauled the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It’s not a total trade revolution, as Trump promised, but USMCA does make changes to modernize trade rules in effect from 1994 to 2020, and it gives some wins to U.S. farmers and blue-collar workers in the auto sector. Economists and auto experts think USMCA is going to cause car prices in the United States to rise and the selection to go down. Some elements of the deal were borrowed from the Trans Pacific Partnership, the trade deal Trump scrapped at the start of his term.

 

Apr 27 2019

“Canada has been taking big advantage of your agricultural products. You know that. You know, Canada we love the song, ‘Oh Canada.’ Let’s sing ‘Oh Canada,’ right. We love the show. But I came up here a year ago. And I was with farmers and they were we’re selling specialty milk. Now you’re getting killed for years. 297 percent tariff, that means you can’t sell it. That’s essentially putting up a barrier.”

Repeated 42 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 2Feb 25Oct 27, 2018Oct 27Oct 24Oct 12Sep 29Sep 26Sep 26Sep 26Sep 21Sep 21Sep 20Sep 20Sep 7Sep 7Sep 5Sep 5Aug 31Aug 30Aug 27Aug 24Aug 21Aug 16Jul 26Jul 18Jul 1Jun 28Jun 27Jun 25Jun 23Jun 23Jun 21Jun 20Jun 19Jun 15Jun 12Jun 9Jun 9Jun 8Jun 7

Topic: Trade

Source: Campaign rally

 

Canada does have high dairy tariffs once a quota is reached, just as the United States props up sugar prices. But Canada’s overall tariffs are lower than the United States — and Canada made large dairy concessions in the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement negotiated by Barack Obama, which Trump pulled out of in the early days of his presidency. The United States has “a favorable quota,” according to the Brookings Institution, meaning it runs a trade surplus on dairy products and “no dairy products are sold to Canada outside the quota, so no U.S. exports really pay a high tariff.” According to the World Bank, here are the average tariff rates charged by G-7 nations: US: 1.6%; EU: 1.6%; UK: 1.6%; Italy: 1.6%; Germany: 1.6%; France: 1.6%; Japan: 1.4%; Canada: 0.8%

 

Apr 27 2019

“But I said, if that’s not going to happen, we’re putting tariffs on the cars, and frankly, we will make more money.”

Repeated 29 times

Apr 27, 2019Mar 22Mar 20Mar 13Mar 2Mar 2Feb 25Feb 19Feb 18Feb 16Feb 15Feb 12Feb 11Feb 5Jan 30Jan 23Jan 19Jan 6Jan 4Jan 3Dec 4, 2018Nov 30Nov 29Nov 29Nov 27Nov 16Nov 5Nov 3Nov 2

Topic: Trade

Source: Campaign rally

 

We calculated that through December, the Trump tariffs have garnered about $12 billion, including about $8 billion on products from China. But the tariffs — essentially a tax — are generally paid by importers, such as U.S. companies, who in turn pass on most or all of the costs to consumers or producers who may use Chinese materials in their products. So, ultimately, Americans are footing the bill for Trump’s tariffs, not the Chinese. The president is fooling himself if he thinks otherwise. Moreover, the China tariff revenue has been completely swamped by payments the government has made to farmers who lost business because China stopped buying U.S. soybeans, hogs, cotton and other products in response. As of December, the government said it will cut nearly $9.6 billion in checks, including $7.3 billion to soybean farmers, $580 million to pork farmers and $554 million to cotton farmers.

 

Apr 27 2019

“This has to be a deal because we have been losing to China for many years. $500 billion a year. We have rebuilt China. We’ve given them so much — I mean, think of it and that’s cash you know, they can say it’s ‘surplus.’ They can say it’s ‘deficit.’ Call it whatever. We were losing cash. We’re giving them $500 billion. How the hell can you do it?”

Repeated 106 times

 

Apr 27, 2019Apr 15Apr 10Apr 4Mar 20Mar 20Mar 2Feb 28Feb 15Feb 1Jan 31Jan 31Jan 14Dec 13, 2018Nov 22Nov 16Nov 5Nov 1Oct 29Oct 27Oct 27Oct 27Oct 26Oct 24Oct 17Oct 17Oct 14Oct 13Oct 13Oct 12Oct 12Oct 11Oct 9Oct 9Oct 9Oct 6Oct 4Oct 2Oct 2Oct 2Oct 1Oct 1Sep 29Sep 26Sep 26Sep 21Sep 20Sep 17Sep 7Sep 7Sep 7Sep 4Aug 30Aug 29Aug 23Aug 16Aug 7Aug 4Jul 31Jul 26Jul 24Jul 19Jul 13Jun 28Jun 27Jun 26Jun 23Jun 20Jun 19Jun 15Jun 12May 24May 22May 18May 15Apr 28Apr 18Apr 16Apr 12Apr 7Apr 6Apr 5Apr 4Apr 3Mar 23Mar 22Mar 22Mar 14Mar 10Mar 9Mar 9Mar 8Mar 6Mar 5Mar 1Feb 26Feb 23Feb 13Feb 13Dec 28, 2017Nov 11Nov 9Nov 6Jul 25Apr 4Feb 23

Topic: Trade

Source: Campaign rally

 

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services in 2018 with China was $378 billion. Trump often just cites the goods deficit, which was $375 billion in 2017 and $419 billion in 2018, according to the Census Bureau. In any case, countries do not make or lose money on trade deficits.

 

Apr 27 2019

“Japan as an example sells us their cars. The cars come in. No tax. They don’t take our cars. Other than that. It’s a very fair deal.”

Topic: Trade

Source: Campaign rally

Japan was the fourth largest goods export market for the United States in 2017, according to the U.S. Trade Representative. International trade works in such a way that some countries dominate some markets and don’t compete as much in others. In this case, Japan has a competitive auto industry, but U.S. companies dominate other industries and export heavily to Japan. Trump leaves out that Japanese automakers have plants in the U.S., so these cars are not really being shipped overseas, as he implied. Moreover, there are no import tariffs on cars to Japan. A big problem is that American car dealers have been hesitant to invest in the kind of dealer network that consumers in Japan expect.

 

Apr 27 2019

“Now, if this weren’t the greatest thing — I really believe. Now, it’s been said, but Make America Great Again. Ronald Reagan used seldom ‘Let’s Make America Great.’ Close, but not the same. Let’s — apostrophe S. You don’t want the apostrophe.”

Topic: Election

Source: Campaign rally

Actually, Reagan’s slogan was: “Let’s make America great again.” In other words, it was virtually identical to Trump’s slogan.

 

Apr 27 2019

“We should have had healthcare, but one man decided to vote against us at the last moment. Even though he campaigned for eight years, repeal and replace.”

Repeated 42 times

 

Apr 27, 2019Apr 26Apr 25Apr 2Mar 28Mar 22Mar 20Mar 19Jan 31Jan 2Nov 7, 2018Nov 5Nov 4Nov 2Oct 17Oct 13Oct 10Oct 4Sep 7Aug 21Aug 16Aug 13Aug 4Aug 4Aug 1Jul 31Jul 26Jul 23Jul 5Jun 28Jun 23Jun 20Jun 19Jun 4May 4Apr 28Feb 23Nov 29, 2017Oct 16Sep 6Aug 22Aug 15

Topic: Health care

Source: Campaign rally

 

Trump suggests that Sen. John McCain’s vote was the only impediment to passing a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. But none of the substantive replacement bills got nearly enough votes, and McCain’s vote was against a “skinny” repeal that was only to lead to talks with the House on a common position, with no guarantee of an agreement that would pass both Houses. McCain had earlier voted for a version of repealing the ACA, but he objected to the skinny repeal because the process went against legislative tradition.

 

Apr 27 2019

“But if I would have said that we would be in two and a half years creating six million jobs, people would have laughed”

Repeated 85 times

 

Apr 27, 2019Apr 26Apr 24Apr 15Apr 10Apr 6Apr 2Apr 1Mar 28Mar 20Mar 9Mar 2Feb 25Feb 21Feb 11Feb 5Nov 26, 2018Nov 26Nov 5Nov 5Nov 5Nov 3Nov 3Nov 2Nov 2Oct 27Oct 27Oct 24Oct 22Oct 19Oct 13Oct 12Oct 10Oct 9Oct 6Oct 4Oct 1Sep 21Sep 7Sep 6Aug 30Aug 24Aug 21Aug 7Aug 3Aug 2Jul 31Jul 26Jul 26Jul 24Jul 19Jul 18Jul 18Jun 28Jun 25Jun 20Jun 20May 10May 4Apr 28Apr 16Apr 12Apr 9Mar 20Mar 14Mar 10Mar 8Mar 7Feb 26Feb 23Feb 5Feb 1Jan 30Jan 26Jan 24Jan 18Jan 8Dec 30, 2017Dec 20Dec 18Dec 13Dec 8Dec 6Nov 29Nov 5

Topic: Jobs

Source: Campaign rally

Trump often inflates the number of jobs created under his presidency by counting from Election Day, rather than when he took the oath of office. There have been about 4.9 million jobs created since January 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job growth under Trump in the first two years was little different than Obama’s last two years.

 

Apr 27 2019

“600,000 manufacturing jobs.”

Repeated 43 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 6Apr 2Mar 28Mar 20Mar 6Mar 2Feb 25Feb 11Feb 5Nov 26, 2018Nov 26Nov 5Nov 5Nov 5Nov 4Nov 3Nov 3Nov 2Nov 2Nov 1Oct 31Oct 27Oct 24Oct 22Oct 19Oct 13Oct 12Oct 10Oct 9Oct 9Oct 6Oct 4Oct 2Oct 2Oct 1Sep 29Sep 21Sep 20Sep 10Sep 7Sep 6Sep 5

Topic: Jobs

Source: Campaign rally

As usual, Trump inflates the number of jobs created by counting from Election Day. There have actually been about 450,000 manufacturing jobs created since he took the oath of office. There has been steady growth in jobs since the Great Recession, though manufacturing job growth had stalled in the year before Trump’s election.

 

Apr 27 2019

“Remember, President Obama said manufacturing jobs are gone. You need a wand, a magic wand. We found the magic wand because they’re coming and they’re coming fast.”

Repeated 26 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 2Mar 28Mar 6Feb 11Jan 31Jan 21Jan 6Nov 26, 2018Nov 26Nov 5Nov 5Nov 4Nov 3Nov 2Nov 2Nov 1Oct 31Oct 27Oct 24Oct 22Oct 13Oct 12Oct 10Oct 4Oct 1

Topic: Jobs

Source: Campaign rally

Trump is misquoting Obama. The former president said in a June 2016 townhall, that “you’re actually seeing some manufacturers coming back to the United States” but that alone won’t help workers whose jobs had been previously outsourced and so “what we have to do is to make sure that folks are trained for the jobs that are coming in now.” The “magic wand” referred to recreating jobs of the past through negotiating “a better deal.”

 

Apr 27 2019

“In the State of Wisconsin alone, we have created 23,000 brand new manufacturing and construction jobs — a record.”

Topic:

Source: Campaign rally

Trump once again is counting job creation from his election, not from when he became president. The actual number of new construction and manufacturing jobs in the state is about 21,000. It’s unclear why he claims a record, as both sectors are off their peak levels. There are 476,000 manufacturing jobs, down from 597,000 in 1999, and 126,000 construction jobs, down from a high of 130,000 in 2006, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

Apr 27 2019

“Wages are rising for the first time in 21 years.”

Repeated 59 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 17Apr 6Mar 28Mar 20Mar 8Feb 5Jan 4Jan 4Dec 31, 2018Dec 29Nov 4Nov 3Nov 3Nov 2Oct 6Oct 6Oct 4Oct 2Oct 1Sep 22Sep 20Sep 17Sep 7Sep 7Sep 7Sep 7Sep 7Aug 30Jul 26Jul 23Jul 5Jun 28Jun 27Jun 23Jun 20Jun 20Jun 19May 29Apr 28Apr 16Mar 20Mar 13Mar 10Mar 8Feb 23Feb 5Feb 3Feb 1Jan 30Jan 24Dec 13, 2017Dec 8Nov 2Oct 11Sep 8Sep 6Aug 22Aug 15

Topic: Economy

Source: Campaign rally

Actually, wages began a steady increase in 2014 but for many workers were stagnant in 2017, Trump’s first year in office. Wages grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in December, but wage growth was consistently higher before 2009.

 

Apr 27 2019

“The unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Asian-Americans have all reached their lowest levels in the history of our country.”

Repeated 55 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 26Apr 26Apr 24Apr 17Apr 15Apr 2Mar 28Mar 22Mar 20Mar 2Feb 28Feb 28Feb 25Feb 21Feb 11Jan 10Jan 2Dec 31, 2018Nov 7Nov 4Nov 1Oct 26Oct 23Oct 23Oct 23Oct 20Oct 17Oct 11Oct 8Oct 2Oct 2Sep 29Sep 20Sep 7Sep 7Sep 5Sep 5Sep 4Sep 2Aug 31Aug 31Aug 30Aug 27Aug 27Aug 16Aug 13Aug 13Aug 4Aug 1Aug 1Jun 27Jun 19Feb 26Feb 23

Topic: Jobs

Source: Campaign rally

The current African American unemployment statistic has been in existence for less than 50 years. It reached a low of 5.9 percent in May 2018, but rose to 6.7 percent in March. An older set of government data suggests black unemployment went much lower in the 1950s. The Asian-American statistic has been around for less than 20 years. And while it reached a low of 2.0 percent rate in May 2018, it rose to 3.0 percent in March, the most recent month available. Hispanic unemployment has also rebounded. Lately, Trump has been using the word “reached,” perhaps to indicate the lows are in the past.

 

Apr 27 2019

“We have cut 30,000 pages of job killing regulations from the Federal Register. That’s an all-time record. It’s never happened before.”

Repeated 2 times

Apr 27, 2019Mar 2

Topic: Economy

Source: Campaign rally

This is a nonsense statistic, as counting pages tells you next to nothing about the impact of a regulation. In fact, removing a regulation requires pages in the federal register. Trump has certainly slowed the growth of regulations but his claims of doing more than any other president cannot be verified. There is no reliable metric on which to judge his claim — or to compare him to previous presidents.

 

Apr 27 2019

“We passed the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in our nation’s history.”

Repeated 143 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 26Apr 26Apr 25Apr 18Apr 15Apr 15Apr 6Apr 2Mar 28Mar 22Mar 14Mar 2Feb 21Feb 11Jan 30Jan 14Jan 12Dec 21, 2018Nov 18Nov 5Oct 31Oct 31Oct 27Oct 22Oct 20Oct 19Oct 13Oct 12Oct 10Oct 9Oct 9Oct 4Oct 2Oct 1Sep 29Sep 26Sep 25Sep 21Sep 20Sep 17Sep 7Sep 6Aug 31Aug 31Aug 30Aug 30Aug 24Aug 23Aug 21Aug 21Aug 13Aug 7Aug 4Aug 2Jul 31Jul 27Jul 24Jul 23Jul 5Jun 29Jun 28Jun 27Jun 23Jun 23Jun 20Jun 19Jun 6May 29May 24May 5Apr 16Apr 6Apr 5Mar 20Mar 14Mar 10Mar 8Mar 7Feb 24Feb 23Feb 5Feb 1Jan 30Jan 28Jan 26Jan 26Jan 18Jan 10Jan 8Jan 8Dec 22, 2017Dec 22Dec 22Dec 20Dec 18Dec 18Dec 13Dec 12Dec 8Dec 1Nov 29Nov 28Nov 27Nov 2Nov 2Nov 2Nov 1Nov 1Oct 31Oct 31Oct 29Oct 25Oct 25Oct 18Oct 17Oct 17Oct 16Oct 16Oct 16Oct 11Oct 10Oct 7Oct 6Oct 6Oct 6Sep 29Sep 27Sep 24Sep 22Sep 6Jul 25Jun 26Jun 21Jun 8Jun 7May 18May 17May 5May 4May 4May 1May 1

Topic: Taxes

Source: Campaign rally

Trump’s tax cut amounts to nearly 0.9 percent of the gross domestic product, meaning it is far smaller than President Ronald Reagan’s tax cut in 1981, which was 2.89 percent of GDP. Trump’s tax cut is the eighth largest tax cut — and even smaller than two tax cuts passed under Barack Obama.

 

Apr 27 2019

“And you know something that is very important to me, and very important to you, because of you — to keep family farms, ranches, and small businesses together in the family, when you pass on and go to heaven. So you can look down at these great children. …On the assumption that you love your kids, and you love your family, and you want to leave the farm, you remember what used to happen. The estate tax was 45 percent, 50 percent, 55 percent — they had to go out and borrow money. And then sometimes the land is worth more than the income and they couldn’t do it and the banks end up and the banks fight them and that’s not what they do for a living — the kids — and they lose the farm, they lose the ranch, they lose the small business, right? Well, we have eliminated the unfair estate tax or death tax on all of those things. Zero. Zero.”

Repeated 32 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 15Apr 15Apr 2Mar 28Feb 5Jan 14Nov 26, 2018Nov 5Nov 3Oct 27Oct 23Oct 22Oct 19Oct 9Oct 2Sep 6Aug 30Aug 4Aug 2Jul 5Jul 5Jun 27Jun 23Jun 23Jun 19Jan 8Dec 22, 2017Dec 20Nov 29Sep 27Sep 27

Topic: Taxes

Source: Campaign rally

This is an enormous stretch. Trump often claims he saved family farms and small businesses by gradually reducing the federal estate tax. (It was not fully eliminated.) Reducing the estate tax primarily benefits the wealthy. The estate tax rarely falls on farms or small businesses, since only those leaving behind more than $5 million pay it. According to the Tax Policy Center, nearly 5,500 estates in 2017 — out of nearly 3 million — were subject to the tax. Of those, only 80 taxable estates would be farms and small businesses.

 

Apr 27 2019

“You’re losing all your car companies. They’re all leaving. They’re going to Mexico and Canada. They are leaving. They go into China? Do you know what the hell is — and this was before I was thinking about running for office. But I’ve been saying it for 20 years. And now we’ve stopped it. Those companies are all coming back. It’s great.”

Topic:

Source: Campaign rally

Data from the Reshoring Initiative shows that companies started to return jobs to the United States — or other countries invested in the United States — during the Obama administration, but the trend really started to pick up in 2017. But there are other metrics that are not as positive. A.T. Kearney’s fourth annual U.S. Reshoring Index, released in July 2018, presents a different picture: record imports from traditional offshoring countries in 2017 — a sharp reversal of the glimmers of hope seen in 2016. The Reshoring Index, unlike the Reshoring Initiative, does not count foreign direct investment or partial job shifts. So it focuses much more on actual moves by entire companies.

 

Apr 27 2019

“One of the greatest threats to the future of American manufacturing was the previous administration’s Trans Pacific Partnership, you think NAFTA would have been bad. This would have made NAFTA look like a good deal. The TPP would have decimated U.S. manufacturer and gutted America’s auto industry. It would have gutted the industry and they were dying to do this crazy deal….TPP — what a mess. That was another one of these deals that was set up for the strict purpose of taking wealth out of the United States for the benefit of those other countries that were in the deal. It was a one-sided horror show.”

Repeated 2 times

 

Apr 27, 2019 Mar 28

Source: Campaign rally

Under the TPP, the United States would have had up to 30 years to phase out tariffs on cars and light trucks imported from Japan. But overall the impact on the auto industry was believed to be limited. The pact essentially preserved the status quo on trucks in the United States, the most profitable part of the market. Tariffs on trucks brought into the U.S. has forced foreign carmakers to build truck and SUV plants in the United States. Meanwhile, the TPP would have bolstered auto exports as other countries would have been forced to eliminate tariffs, such as Malaysia’s 30 percent foreign tax on autos, and Vietnam’s foreign tax of 70 percent on autos.

 

Apr 27 2019

“I also ended up another one, you know, the great Paris Accord….Saved a lot of money, saved a lot of jobs, saved a lot of businesses.”

Repeated 19 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 10Dec 13, 2018Dec 4Oct 27Oct 22Sep 29Sep 20Aug 31Aug 21Jul 31Jul 5Jan 28Dec 18, 2017Dec 8Aug 22Jul 12Jul 7Jun 29

Topic: Environment

Source: Campaign rally

Each country set its own commitments under the Paris Accord, so Trump’s comment is puzzling. He could unilaterally change the commitments offered by former President Barack Obama, which is technically allowed under the Accord. Plus, as we’ve noted before, Trump ignores any possible benefits that could come from tackling climate change, including potential green jobs.

 

Apr 27 2019

“Look at Harley-Davidson. Look at Harley-Davidson. I met with him three years ago, one of my first meetings with Harley-Davidson, I said to the people, they are very nice, they would tell me tough to do business in certain kinds — how are you doing in India? They said, “Oh, we don’t do any business there.” So they weren’t even complaining because for so many years. So India charged 100 percent tariff on a Harley-Davidson. But when they send their motorcycles, and they may come to us, we charge them nothing. So I called up Prime Minister Modi. I said unfair. He cut it 50 percent, but I said that’s not good enough because, look, it’s 50 percent to nothing.”

Repeated 17 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 2Mar 2Jan 24Oct 1, 2018Oct 1Jul 1Jun 28Mar 2Feb 26Feb 13Jul 25, 2017Jul 25May 1Mar 20Feb 28Feb 28

Topic: Trade

Source: Campaign rally

The president is referring to a favorite example of his — Harley-Davidson motorcycles. India recently announced it would reduce the duties from 100 percent to 50 percent, but Harley already got around that higher duty by assembling in India most of the 4,500 motorcycles sold in the country. Harley, for its part, says it is indifferent to the matter and has no objection to India’s import duties. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) also says the Wisconsin-based company opposes higher tariffs for steel and aluminum because of the potential negative impact on its sales.

 

Apr 27 2019

“That goes for military protection also, that goes for military protection where we are getting ripped. We’re defending the world, we’re defending wealthy countries that can well afford to pay us. But they’ve been getting this free military, or at least massive partial subsidies for so many years, it’s almost like habit.”

Topic: Foreign policy

Source: Campaign rally

The Pentagon spends an estimated $10 billion a year on overseas bases. More than 70 percent of the total is spent in Japan, Germany and South Korea, where most U.S. troops abroad are permanently stationed. The U.S. receives various forms of compensation from the host countries, from rent-free real estate where the bases are located to actual cash payments meant to offset U.S. costs. Japan, for instance, pays about $2 billion a year. While not all of the money is fully reimbursed, U.S. security is enhanced by the forward deployment of U.S. forces.

 

Apr 27 2019

“There’s one country, we lose $5 billion. Yes, I won’t say it. I don’t want to embarrass anybody. The last thing I want to do is embarrass somebody. But they lose — we spend $5 billion a year defending them, right? So I said to the generals, how much do we spend next day? Sir, we spent $5 billion. Very wealthy country. I said, ‘How much do they pay?’ ‘Sir, they pay $500 million.’ I said, you mean we lose $4.5 billion to defender them? And they’re rich? So I called the country. Right? I called the country. So we lose $4.5 billion for the privilege of defending a country that’s very tough on us on trade and various other things. Right. So I called I said, ‘Listen, no good.’ Now, they were in a state of shock, because they never got a call like this in 25 years. I said it’s no good. We’re losing $4.5 billion. It’s no good. We can’t do this anymore. This is crazy. And he got very upset, angry. This is not fair. I said, ‘Of course, it’s fair.’ He said, ‘Well, we’ll give you $500 million more.’ Because the budget, you see had already been set. There’s only a month left. So you know, I said you know what? I want more. We argue, so they paid us more than $500 million for one phone call. It took me one call.”

Repeated 7 times

Apr 27, 2019Feb 12Feb 11Feb 3Oct 24, 2018Oct 9Sep 29

Topic: Foreign policy

Source: Campaign rally

 

In previous remarks, Trump has identified this unnamed country as South Korea. But it’s totally false. The U.S. neither spends $5 billion a year on defending South Korea nor did the Koreans agree to pay $500 million more. They agreed to a $70 million increase, going to $925 million. Under a long-standing agreement, South Korea paid nearly $830 million a year to host U.S. forces — representing half the cost. The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump administration officials asked South Korea for a 50 percent increase. Trump may think he got it, but he didn’t. As a percentage of its GDP, South Korea spends more on defense than the United States. And the U.S. keeps nearly 28,500 troops in South Korea not just to defend that country but to further its own interests in the region.

 

Apr 27 2019

“Look, Saudi Arabia, very rich country. We defend them. We subsidize Saudi Arabia, they have nothing but cash. Right? We subsidize and they buy a lot from us. $450 billion they bought, you know, you had people wanting to cut off Saudi Arabia, they bought $450 billion.”

Repeated 36 times

Apr 27, 2019Nov 27, 2018Nov 22Nov 22Nov 20Nov 20Nov 20Nov 17Oct 23Oct 23Oct 23Oct 23Oct 22Oct 22Oct 20Oct 19Oct 19Oct 19Oct 19Oct 17Oct 17Oct 16Oct 16Oct 16Oct 13Oct 13Oct 13Oct 11Mar 20Jul 12, 2017Jul 12Jun 21Jun 12Jun 7Jun 1May 21

Topic: Foreign policy

Source: Campaign rally

Trump has repeatedly inflated the gains from his 2017 trip to Saudi Arabia, upping the amount from $350 billion to $450 billion when he came under fire for defending crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. According to the CIA, Mohammed ordered the killing of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The administration, with double-counting, could only document $270 billion in tentative agreements. Separately, Trump inflated the jobs said to be created from the purported investments. Many are in Saudi Arabia, indicating few jobs would be created for Americans. Nearly two years after Trump’s 2017 announcement, only one new major arms deal has gone through — a $2.4 billion contract to Lockheed Martin for missile defense technology.

 

Apr 27 2019

“We’re getting ripped off on military, NATO. I’m all for NATO. But you know, we’re paying for almost 100 percent of defending Europe.”

Repeated 102 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 6Mar 11Feb 28Feb 25Feb 5Jan 27Jan 17Jan 2Jan 2Nov 27, 2018Nov 25Nov 13Nov 12Nov 9Oct 26Oct 23Oct 23Oct 22Oct 22Oct 17Oct 16Oct 14Oct 12Oct 12Oct 9Oct 9Sep 7Sep 7Sep 6Sep 4Sep 4Aug 30Aug 23Aug 21Aug 21Aug 21Aug 14Aug 14Aug 2Jul 30Jul 26Jul 18Jul 17Jul 17Jul 17Jul 16Jul 16Jul 16Jul 16Jul 15Jul 14Jul 14Jul 14Jul 13Jul 13Jul 13Jul 12Jul 12Jul 12Jul 11Jul 11Jul 10Jul 10Jul 10Jul 10Jul 5Jul 5Jul 5Jul 5Jun 29Jun 25Jun 23Jun 14Jun 12Apr 27Apr 18Apr 3Apr 3Apr 3Mar 8Dec 18, 2017Dec 8Nov 15Jul 6Jul 6Jun 9Jun 2May 30May 27May 25May 25May 25May 25May 8Apr 29Apr 29Apr 21Mar 22Mar 18Mar 17Feb 28

Topic: Foreign policy

Source: Campaign rally

During the presidential election, Trump consistently inflated the U.S. contribution to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Once he became president, his inaccuracy has persisted, but with a twist. He often claims that “billions and billions” of dollars have come into NATO because of his complaints. All that is happening is that members have increased defense spending as a share of their economies — a process that was started before Trump even announced his candidacy. In terms of direct funding of NATO, the United States pays the largest share — about 22 percent. Germany is second, with about 15 percent.

 

Apr 27 2019

“They European Union, the E.U. is killing us. We lost $181 billion, and we are defending them for peanuts.”

Repeated 60 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 15Apr 2Mar 22Feb 25Feb 20Jan 14Nov 30, 2018Nov 26Nov 13Oct 31Oct 27Oct 23Oct 17Oct 12Oct 11Oct 6Oct 2Oct 1Sep 20Sep 17Aug 21Jul 25Jul 24Jul 19Jul 17Jul 17Jul 16Jul 13Jul 13Jul 10Jul 10Jul 10Jul 5Jul 1Jun 29Jun 28Jun 27Jun 27Jun 26Jun 25Jun 23Jun 15Jun 14Jun 12Jun 7Jun 1May 17Apr 28Apr 27Apr 16Apr 12Apr 12Apr 12Mar 14Mar 10Mar 6Mar 5Mar 3Jan 28

Topic: Trade

Source: Campaign rally

The actual trade deficit with the EU is about $100 billion because the U.S. has a services surplus of about $50 billion. Trump’s focus on the trade deficit is misplaced, as the United States and the EU have total trade in goods of more than $700 billion, with U.S. exports to the EU in 2015 supporting more than 2.6 million U.S. jobs, according to the Census Bureau.

 

Apr 27 2019

“The International Trade Commission recently announced that under the USMCA, American dairy exports to Canada are expected to surge by more than 50 percent.”

Topic: Trade

Source: Campaign rally

 

Trump overstates the conclusions of the report and ignores the imports that Canada would gain. After implementation of the agreement, “U.S. dairy exports would be $314.5 million (7.1 percent) above the baseline, with an increase of $227.0 million (43.8 percent) in U.S. exports to Canada,” the report said. “Total U.S. imports would be $227.9 million (9.0 percent) higher, with an additional $161.7 million (139.5 percent) of imports from Canada.”

 

Apr 27 2019

“In my first 100 days in office, I traveled to this very state to sign an executive order declaring that we will live by two simple rules: buy American and hire American right here in Wisconsin.”

Repeated 29 times

Apr 27, 2019Mar 28Feb 25Jul 31, 2018Mar 14Mar 8Nov 2, 2017Oct 11Sep 29Sep 22Sep 6Aug 22Aug 3Jul 26Jul 25Jul 21Jul 20Jul 17Jul 7Apr 29Apr 19Apr 18Apr 18Mar 28Mar 20Mar 18Mar 15Mar 15Mar 6

Topic: Economy

Source: Campaign rally

Trump says his administration believes in “buy American, hire American.” But Trump has a long history of outsourcing a variety of his own products. The Fact Checker counted a total of 12 countries where Trump products were manufactured (China, the Netherlands, Mexico, India, Turkey, Slovenia, Honduras, Germany, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Korea). He also has a long history of relying on undocumented workers at his properties.

 

Apr 27 2019

“We’re building the wall, by the way, we’re going to have over 400 miles of wall built by the end of next year.”

Repeated 160 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 26Apr 25Apr 24Apr 23Apr 22Apr 17Apr 17Apr 12Apr 11Apr 10Apr 10Apr 9Apr 6Apr 5Apr 5Apr 5Apr 5Apr 5Apr 5Apr 4Mar 29Mar 29Mar 28Mar 27Mar 22Mar 15Mar 14Mar 14Mar 13Mar 9Mar 9Mar 8Mar 2Feb 28Feb 25Feb 21Feb 20Feb 19Feb 16Feb 15Feb 15Feb 13Feb 13Feb 12Feb 12Feb 12Feb 11Feb 11Feb 1Jan 31Jan 31Jan 31Jan 30Jan 23Jan 20Jan 19Jan 14Jan 11Jan 10Jan 10Jan 10Jan 6Jan 4Jan 3Jan 2Dec 26, 2018Dec 25Dec 20Dec 11Dec 11Nov 26Nov 26Nov 14Nov 9Nov 7Nov 5Nov 5Nov 4Nov 4Nov 3Nov 2Nov 2Nov 1Nov 1Oct 31Oct 27Oct 26Oct 23Oct 22Oct 22Oct 20Oct 19Oct 19Oct 19Oct 18Oct 16Oct 13Oct 12Oct 11Oct 9Oct 4Oct 2Oct 1Oct 1Sep 29Sep 21Sep 20Sep 20Sep 20Sep 18Sep 7Sep 7Sep 6Sep 6Sep 5Sep 4Aug 31Aug 30Aug 30Aug 23Aug 23Aug 21Aug 20Aug 13Aug 4Aug 2Aug 1Jul 31Jul 30Jul 17Jul 5Jun 27Jun 26Jun 25Jun 23Jun 21Jun 20Jun 9Jun 6Jun 6May 29May 29May 24May 21May 16May 10Apr 28Apr 17Apr 13Apr 5Apr 5Apr 3Apr 3Apr 3Mar 29Mar 29Mar 28Mar 23Mar 22

Topic: Immigration

Source: Campaign rally

No, Trump’s wall is not yet being built. Congress inserted specific language in its appropriations bill that none of the $1.57 billion appropriated for border protection may be used for prototypes of a concrete wall that Trump observed while in California. The money can be used only for bollard fencing and levee fencing, or for replacement of existing fencing. The same restrictions were included in the spending bill Trump signed on Feb. 15, 2019. Trump appears to acknowledge the renovations, except he persists in claiming it is a wall. All told, Congress has funded about 175 miles of barriers. Trump has also tapped a Treasury Department asset forfeiture fund to build 30 miles and unused Pentagon funding to fund 53 miles. That adds up to a little under 260 miles, which Trump-speak often gets translated to 400 miles.

 

Apr 27 2019

“Their entire party has been taken over by far left radicals who want to nullify and erase American borders. They want open borders. They want open borders. They want people to pour in, and they think that’s going to be votes ultimately for them….Democrats want to allow totally unlimited, uncontrolled and unchecked migration, all paid for by you, the American taxpayer.”

Repeated 123 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 12Apr 9Apr 6Apr 5Mar 13Mar 13Mar 11Mar 2Feb 12Feb 9Feb 3Feb 3Jan 23Jan 23Jan 23Jan 20Jan 16Jan 15Jan 10Jan 10Jan 10Jan 10Jan 10Jan 1Dec 26, 2018Dec 21Dec 21Dec 20Dec 11Nov 26Nov 26Nov 26Nov 26Nov 26Nov 25Nov 5Nov 5Nov 5Nov 5Nov 4Nov 4Nov 4Nov 4Nov 4Nov 3Nov 3Nov 3Nov 3Nov 3Nov 2Nov 2Nov 2Nov 2Nov 1Nov 1Oct 31Oct 31Oct 31Oct 31Oct 27Oct 27Oct 26Oct 25Oct 22Oct 22Oct 20Oct 19Oct 18Oct 13Oct 10Oct 9Oct 6Oct 6Oct 6Oct 4Oct 1Oct 1Sep 15Sep 7Sep 6Aug 30Aug 24Aug 21Aug 21Aug 21Aug 20Aug 13Jul 31Jul 24Jul 17Jul 10Jul 5Jul 5Jul 1Jun 30Jun 27Jun 26Jun 25Jun 23Jun 22Jun 21Jun 21Jun 21Jun 20Jun 20Jun 19Jun 19Jun 16Jun 2May 28May 26May 24May 24May 21Apr 4Apr 2Mar 7Jan 27Jan 21Dec 6, 2017Nov 29Nov 5

Topic: Immigration

Source: Campaign rally

Trump is fear mongering here. Democrats generally do not advocate for illegal immigration, and have repeatedly put forth immigration bills that both include a DACA solution and new border security measures. Sometimes Trump even claims Democrats “don’t mind crime.” Plus, as we’ve previously reported, most independent research contradicts the idea that illegal immigrants bring more crime.

 

Apr 27 2019

“Last month alone 100,000 illegal immigrants arrived in our borders, placing a massive strain on communities and schools and hospitals and public resources like nobody’s ever seen before.”

Topic: Immigration

Source: Campaign rally

Trump comes up with this 100,000 figure by counting not only illegal immigrants but people seeking asylum. Of the Southwest border apprehensions recorded in March, about 9,000 were unaccompanied children, 37,000 were family units, 31,000 were single adults, and 11,000 were “inadmissibles” — “individuals encountered at ports of entry who are seeking lawful admission into the United States but are determined to be inadmissible, individuals presenting themselves to seek humanitarian protection under our laws, and individuals who withdraw an application for admission and return to their countries of origin within a short timeframe.”

 

Apr 27 2019

“Now we’re sending many of them to sanctuary cities. Thank you very much. They’re not too happy about it. I’m proud to tell you that was actually my sick idea.”

Topic: Immigration

Source: Campaign rally

Trump takes credit for a policy that the White House originally said was only briefly considered by lower-level aides. The Department of Homeland Security has yet to announce the sanctuary cities plan, and funding and legal issues surrounding such a policy have yet to be resolved.

 

Apr 27 2019

“Because we can change our immigration laws. I used to say, in 45 minutes, it’s really 15 minutes. It’s so simple. But we need Democrats to vote on it. Otherwise, we can’t change them.”

Repeated 5 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 26Apr 26Apr 24Apr 2

Topic: Immigration

Source: Campaign rally

 

Trump claims it would be easy to quickly make a deal — 45 minutes, or even as little as 15 minutes. But there is relatively little support in Congress for many of his anti-immigration proposals. When the Senate voted in 2018 on different options, Trump’s plan received the fewest number of votes, including many Republican “nay” votes

 

Apr 27 2019

“Obviously open borders bring tremendous crime.”

Repeated 29 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 17Apr 9Apr 2Mar 28Mar 15Mar 15Mar 13Mar 2Feb 25Feb 13Feb 11Feb 11Jan 27Jan 24Jan 24Jan 19Jan 13Jan 10Jan 10Jan 8Jan 6Dec 26, 2018Dec 25Dec 20Dec 11Dec 7Dec 6, 2017Nov 28

Topic: Immigration

Source: Campaign rally

 

Most independent research contradicts the idea that illegal immigrants bring more crime. A 2018 study published in the peer-reviewed journal Criminology, led by Michael Light, a criminologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, examined whether places with higher percentages of undocumented immigrants have higher rates of violent crime such as murder or rape. The answer: States with larger shares of undocumented immigrants tended to have lower crime rates than states with smaller shares in the years 1990 through 2014. Similar results were found in another peer-reviewed study by the same researchers that looked at nonviolent crime, such as drug arrests and driving under the influence (DUI) arrests. Similarly, the libertarian Cato Institute in 2018 looked at 2015 criminal conviction data among undocumented immigrants in Texas — one of the few states to record whether a person who has been arrested is in the country illegally or not. Researcher Alex Nowrasteh found that criminal conviction and arrest rates in Texas for undocumented immigrants were lower than those of native-born Americans for homicide, sexual assault and larceny.

 

Apr 27 2019

“They look at those caravans, we just had a caravan for 20,000 people.”

Topic: Immigration

Source: Campaign rally

Trump doubled the size of most estimates of the caravan. It’s about 10,000 people, according to news reports.

 

Apr 27 2019

“The border crisis is also driving, and very strongly the drug crisis, the biggest crisis we have — drugs. It’s people and its drugs and its traffickers.”

Repeated 91 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 24Apr 6Apr 5Apr 4Mar 29Mar 13Feb 25Feb 25Feb 23Feb 15Feb 15Feb 12Feb 11Feb 1Jan 31Jan 25Jan 25Jan 25Jan 24Jan 17Jan 11Jan 11Jan 10Jan 10Jan 10Jan 9Jan 9Jan 8Jan 6Jan 5Jan 4Jan 3Dec 31, 2018Dec 27Dec 25Dec 25Dec 23Dec 23Dec 21Dec 21Dec 11Dec 7Dec 3Nov 4Nov 4Nov 3Nov 3Nov 2Nov 2Nov 1Oct 18Aug 21Jun 26Jun 20Jun 19May 21Apr 19Apr 9Apr 2Mar 26Mar 25Mar 19Mar 13Feb 24Jan 26Jan 18Jan 16Jan 15Jan 14Jan 11Jan 10Jan 10Jan 9Jan 6Jan 6Jan 4Dec 28, 2017Dec 8Nov 2Oct 26Oct 25Oct 25Oct 16Oct 16Oct 11Sep 22Aug 28Aug 22Aug 3Jul 28

Topic: Immigration

Source: Campaign rall

Most drugs come into the United States across the southern border with Mexico. But a wall would not limit this illegal trade, as much of it travels through legal borders or under tunnels unaffected by any possible physical barrier. Even if the wall could curb illicit drug trafficking, it would have a minimal impact on the death toll from drug abuse. Prescription drug overdoses claim more lives than cocaine and heroin overdoses combined.

 

Apr 27 2019

“The flood of illegal migration is the direct consequence of Democrat-backed policies that prevent border violators from being promptly returned home. They’re allowed to stay in our country, catch and release. They’re allowed — you catch them and then you have to release. It is crazy.”

Repeated 57 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 17Apr 6Apr 2Apr 2Mar 28Mar 2Mar 2Feb 15Feb 1Jan 25Jan 23Jan 19Jan 10Jan 10Jan 4Jan 4Jan 4Jan 2Jan 2Jan 2Jan 2Jan 2Nov 4, 2018Nov 1Nov 1Nov 1Nov 1Oct 31Oct 31Oct 31Oct 23Oct 22Oct 20Oct 19Oct 19Oct 13Oct 2Aug 20Aug 2Aug 1Jul 30Jun 22Jun 21Jun 19Jun 19Jun 15Jun 15Jun 8May 29May 24May 21May 16May 5Apr 3Apr 3Apr 1

Topic: Immigration

Source: Campaign rally

Trump is routinely astonished by the workings of U.S. and international laws on asylum. This is how it works in any country that abides by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees: A refugee enters and makes a petition, and the government makes a ruling after analyzing the facts. It’s also worth keeping in mind that 85 percent of all deportations in the United States are ordered quickly, without a hearing before a judge.

 

Apr 27 2019

“They are pushing a $100 trillion government takeover of the U.S. economy, known as the Green New Deal.”

Repeated 11 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 25Apr 6Apr 2Mar 28Mar 27Mar 2Mar 2Feb 28Feb 11Feb 9

Topic: Environment

Source: Campaign rally

In reality, the Green New Deal resolution has no teeth and wouldn’t become law if it passed. So these claims are based on a retracted FAQ about a nonbinding resolution. In these documents, proponents of the Green New Deal mused about ending air travel. Problematic as those lines were, none made it into the resolution. High-speed rail would become an airplane alternative for some travelers under the terms of the Green New Deal, but it wouldn’t end commercial air travel. Travelers who prefer flights over high-speed rail would still have a choice. Trump sometimes cites a $100 trillion estimate, which comes from a Republican-aligned think tank. It’s actually $93 trillion, and it factors in things that are not in the resolution, such as building high-speed rail at a scale where air travel becomes unnecessary.

 

Apr 27 2019

“We’re going rip down every single building in Manhattan and build a new building in its place.”

Topic: Environment

Source: Campaign rally

The Green New Deal calls for more energy-efficient buildings but it would not require every building in Manhattan to be replaced.

 

Apr 27 2019

“They’ve introduced a total Federal takeover of U.S. healthcare that would abolish the private health insurance of 180 million Americans.”

Topic: Health care

Source: Campaign rally

The Medicare for all plan promoted by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would eliminate private insurance but not all Democratic candidates or lawmakers support such an idea. Plus, while the plan would eliminate private plans, it would create a national health insurance. (The Census Bureau says that in 2017, 217 million Americans had private insurance, with 181 million covered through an employer and 52 million directly purchasing it. Meanwhile, 123 million Americans are covered already through a government plan, such as Medicare, Medicaid or the military health system.)

 

Apr 27 2019

“They are aggressively pushing extreme late-term abortion, allowing children to be ripped from their mother’s womb. But your democrat Governor here in Wisconsin, shockingly stated that he will veto legislation that protects Wisconsin babies born alive — born alive. The baby is born. The mother meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby beautifully. And then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby. I don’t think so. Incredible. No, it’s incredible. Until this crazy man in Virginia said it, nobody even thought of that, right, did anyone even think of that? Late term. But this is where the baby is actually born. It came out. It’s there. It’s wrapped. And that’s it. Who believes that?”

Repeated 5 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 2Mar 28Mar 2Feb 11

Topic: Health care

Source: Campaign rally

Trump mischaracterizes remarks by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D). He told a radio show that late-term abortion procedures are “done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s not viable. So in this particular example, if a mother’s in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.” Critics suggested the governor was endorsing infanticide. His office later said the governor was referring to medical treatment, not ending the life of a baby.

 

Apr 27 2019

“Last year, prescription drug prices went down for the first time in 51 years, okay.”

Repeated 9 times

Apr 27, 2019Apr 26Apr 24Mar 28Mar 21Feb 25Feb 11Jan 23Jan 23

Topic: Health care

Source: Campaign rally

Trump overstates what happened to the consumer price index for prescription drugs. It fell by 0.6 percent for the 12 months ending Dec. 2018, the first time in 46 years, not over 50 years. Moreover, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says there are other 12-month periods with index declines including one as recently as 2013. Trump also often falsely suggests this would not have ever happened under Democrats — when in fact it did.

 

Apr 27 2019

“And we will always protect patients with preexisting conditions, the Republicans are always going to protect pre existing conditions.”

Repeated 40 times

Apr 27, 2019Mar 28Nov 26, 2018Nov 26Nov 5Nov 5Nov 5Nov 4Nov 4Nov 3Nov 3Nov 2Nov 2Nov 1Oct 31Oct 31Oct 31Oct 26Oct 25Oct 24Oct 24Oct 22Oct 22Oct 20Oct 19Oct 18Oct 17Oct 13Oct 10Oct 10Oct 10Oct 9Oct 6Oct 4Oct 2Oct 2Oct 1Sep 29Sep 21Sep 20

Topic: Health care

Source: Campaign rally

The House and Senate GOP plans backed by Trump likely would have resulted in higher costs for people with pre-existing conditions in some states, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Trump administration efused to defend the Affordable Care Act against a lawsuit that would end protection for pre-existing conditions.

 

New technologies drive military spending: SIPRI

Military spending has surged across the globe, according to a new report published by SIPRI. With new advances in defense technologies, countries are spending more to gain an edge.

April 28, 2019

by Lewis Sanders IV, Helle Jeppesen

DW

Global military spending reached $1.822 trillion (€1.632 trillion) in 2018, according to an annual report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday, marking a 2.6% increase.

The US is at the top of the list of biggest defense spenders, recording an increase of 4.6% compared to 2017. SIPRI researcher Nan Tian told DW that it represented the first increase of its kind “in the last seven years,” and it’s expected to grow substantially in the coming decades.

“They have started to implement a new modernization program of the military that will start in 2019 or 2020,” said Nan Tian, who heads SIPRI’s military expenditure project. “This is in the region of $1.8 trillion over the next 20 years. It is a massive amount of money being spent by the US — and it ranges from conventional weapons to nuclear capabilities.”

Germany under pressure

Germany ranked eighth overall, spending 1.2% of GDP last year. Berlin, among other allies, has come under significant pressure from Washington to boost defense spending in line with a NATO target of 2% of GDP.

The German government has signaled its intention to meet the NATO target by 2024, the year that alliance members agreed they would reach that goal. But many in Germany are against such a significant rise in military spending.

Earlier this month, 53% of German respondents said they did not support raising defense spending to 2% of GDP, according to a DeutschlandTrend survey published by German public broadcaster ARD. Only 43% were in favor of it.

France and the UK, both NATO allies, were also among the top defense spenders. However, only the UK met the alliance target.

Russia falls behind

Russia, consistently one of the world’s largest spenders on military equipment, fell from fourth to sixth place in 2018. But part of the reason for the decrease wasn’t a shortfall in spending but currency depreciation.

“The Russian expenditure fell in 2018 by 3.5% purely based on inflation,” SIPRI’s Nan Tian said. “The actual spending in local currency, nominal term, has been constant between 2017 and 2018.”

Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, including the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, have also triggered greater military spending in eastern European countries. Ukraine alone spent $4.8 billion on military equipment last year, representing a 21% increase.

Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Bulgaria have also significantly boosted military spending, with many of them citing regional security concerns stemming from Russian actions .

Weapons: New, improved, better capable

China, which ranks second in global military expenditures, has spent more than $250 billion on modernizing its military over the past decade, with defense spending rising by 83% during that period. While part of the spending is aimed at deterring US encroachment in the region, it is also in response to new weapons technologies.

“China does not want the US being so close to its neighbors or in the region — there are significant tensions between these major players,” said Nan Tian. “I will not go as far as to say it is an arms race, rather that these countries are increasingly arming themselves with new, improved and better capable weapons, and these weapons are often very expensive.”

Last month, SIPRI partnered with the German Foreign Ministry to highlight concerning advances in defense technologies, such as lethal autonomous systems, cyberwarfare instruments and biological weapons.

“Today, we are facing a new frontier. In the digital age, technological progress is moving at lightning speed — with unprecedented and far-reaching impacts on the present, but also on future conflicts and warfare,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said at the time. “We need to think ahead and we must start thinking now.”

 

Opium poppy production in Afghanistan

From 9/11 to the Long War

argcis

“Afghanistan is the source of more than 90% of world’s opium supply and more than 95% of the European opium supply since 2001.” (Rubenstein 2019, Pg. 235). Why?

The planned events of September 11, 2001 set in motion a series of United States military occupation of Muslim countries that had nothing to do with exacting justice.

Invading other nations is a planned event. By December 2001, 2,500 United States Armed Forces had invaded Afghanistan, climbing to +100,000 soldiers by 2011. By March 2003, 43 NATO countries (51 countries by 2006) had joined in the occupation of Afghanistan. In March 2003, United States Armed Forces invading Iraq totaled 177,194.

Two separate countries, two different military missions. In Iraq, the United States goal was to immediately collapse the Iraqi government and replace it with one more easily managed. In Afghanistan, the long-term United States goal was to seize the countries areas of opium production and prevent Taliban forces from destroying opium crops.

NATO Occupation and Opium Production

In 2007, the Pentagon changed the designation  “War on Terror” for occupation of Middle East countries identified as hostile, to the “Long War” designation, signaling a restart for a global Cold War.Since United States military occupation of Afghanistan in 2001, followed by NATO occupation in 2003, opium production has increased exponentially. Areas under Taliban control had zero production in 2001 (Global Research, October 17, 2018).

Afghanistan is divided into six regions comprised of administrative provinces: North-eastern (Kundaz, Takhar, Badakhshan), Eastern (Nuristan, Kunar, Kapisa, Laghman, Nangarhar), Central (Panjshin, Parwan, Wardak, Ghazni, Paktika, Khost, Paktya, Logar, Kabul), Northern (Balkh, Jawzjan, Faryab, Samangan, Sari Pul, Bamyan, Baghlan), Western (Ghor, Hirat, Farah, Nimroz, Badghis), and Southern (Hilmand, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Day Kundi). The capital-city, Kabul, is located in the province of Kabul in the Eastern region.

The highest percentage of opium poppy cultivation harvested are located in the Western provinces of Ghor, Hirat, Farah, Nimroz, and Badghis. Also, high opium poppy cultivation occurred in the Southern provinces of Hilmand, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, and Day Kundi. The increase in production is mainly a result of an increase in area under opium poppy cultivation. These areas under opium poppy cultivation are controlled by United States and NATO military forces.

Afghani provinces with zero production between 2016-2017: North-eastern provinces of Kundaz, Takhar. The Central provinces of Panjshin, Parwan, Wardak, Logar, Paktika, Paktya, and Khost. And the Northern province of Bamyan.

Geographically, Afghanistan is divided between climates, with the best climate for opium poppy production found in the Western and Southern provinces. The Western provinces (Ghor, Hirat, Farah, Nimroz, and Badghis) has Warm Mediterranean climate (Csa), Warm semi-arid climate (BSh), and Warm desert climate (BWh), and the Southern provinces climate (Hilmand, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, and Day Kundi) is separated between Warm desert climate (BWh), Warm Mediterranean climate (Csa), and Cold desert climate (BWk).

The increase in production is mainly a result of an increase in area under opium poppy cultivation. “In 2002, farmers took advantage of the power vacuum following the U.S. invasion and returned to planting poppy as a cash crop. According to the U.N.’s opium production report from 2002, poppy cultivation was down to approximately 8,000 hectares in 2001, then surged to roughly 74,000 hectares after the fall of the Taliban” (Rawlings, 2013).

The difference between increased production of opium poppy and zero production of opium poppy between provinces has to do with the presence of NATO forces verses the presence of Taliban forces. Islam prohibits drug use and the Taliban are strict prohibitionists of poppy production, destroying crops where Taliban are located, resulting in zero opium production. NATO forces work to keep the Taliban from destroying opium crops, resulting in high opium crop production:

“The United States invaded Afghanistan largely to restore the heroin industry and it is now making about $1.5 trillion every year from this business” (Press TV,  2017).

“The heroin business is not “filling the coffers of the Taliban” as claimed by US government and the international community: quite the opposite! The proceeds of this illegal trade are the source of wealth formation, largely reaped by powerful business/criminal interests within the Western countries. …Decision-making in the US State Department, the CIA and the Pentagon is instrumental in supporting this highly profitable multibillion dollar trade, third in commodity value after oil and the arms trade” (Chossudovsky, 2005).

NATO forces located in areas of zero opium production do not engage with Taliban forces (Global Research, 2018). Italy, for example, is known to pay Taliban forces to not attack Italian NATO patrols (Ingram, 2009). Also, several NATO countries rotate between provinces, so one year a province may have some opium production under the flag of one NATO country, then the next year opium production falls to zero under the flag of the next NATO nation that rotates in (Press TV, 2017). The process is called “Push down pop up”; as one NATO nation along with provincial government forces attempt to suppress opium poppy production in one area, weak border security in other provinces create opportunity for opium poppy production to increase in areas with less NATO oversight (Redmond, November 2011).

Decrease and zero production of opium poppy also appear in areas where Afghanistan government has confidence of the local population, where government provides incentives to farmers to eradicate their opium crop or not produce one at all (Asia Foundation, 2017).

To rebuild Afghanistan, sixty percent of aid for “projects” is funded through private Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). These organizations consist of private contractors working towards the donors agenda.  (Source: The USAID/Afghanistan Plan for Transition, 2015-2018).  The economy of Afghanistan is based on several key industries: NGOs, Drugs, and Agriculture (FAO, 2012-2015). Also, “Since 2001, the US has spent about $8.6 billion on counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan” (The Guardian, 2018).

Areas of increased opium poppy production appear to be in the Northern, Western, and Southern provinces of Afghanistan where the climate is Warm Mediterranean (Csa), Warm semi-arid (BSh), and Warm desert (BWh). The Eastern region has seen a slight increase in opium production do to the Taliban having turned away from opium poppy eradication toward mineral smuggling of Talc, Chromite, and Marble across the border into Pakistan to fund their operations. Border security surrounding Afghanistan is porous, providing opportunity to smuggle stuff in and out of the country (Ghosh, 2018).

Who Profits from Opium Drug Trade

Answer: Everyone who invests in Afghanistan Opium trade.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s World Drug Report (2017) lists street value in USofA for heroin at $200 per gram: 189,000 grams X $200 = $37,800,000 per 50 gallon drum.

Value of Opium production in 2017 was worth between US$ 4.1 to 6.6 billion, or 20 and 32 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and provided up to 354,000 full time jobs to rural areas for opium poppy weeding and harvesting. Other countries benefit from the drug trade as well (UNODC, 2017).

Areas of decreased opium poppy production appear in the Central (Central Highlands) and North-eastern (Hindu-Kush) regions of Afghanistan where elevation exceeds 10,000 feet above sea-level. The North-eastern and Northern regions appear to have the worst agricultural land due to high mountain regions while the rest of the country appears to be suitable for agriculture:

“Winter can get very harsh, particularly in the mountain regions. Some areas are isolated from autumn’s first snow fall until the spring thaw has melted the snow again. In the most severe cases, this can mean up to and beyond six months a year” (Norwegian Afghanistan Committee, 2018).

The UNODC reports several reasons why Islamic farmers in Afghanistan produce opium poppies. One reason is lack of “Governor-led eradication” (UNODC, 2017, pg. 27). Other reasons are Islamic politics and economic opportunity:

“Opium is permissible because it is consumed by kafirs (infidels) in the West and not by Afghans.” Exhibiting the Taliban leaders’ understanding of the politics of the drug economy, Rashid added, “We cannot push the people to grow wheat as there would be an uprising against the Taliban if we forced them to stop poppy cultivation. So we grow opium and get our wheat from Pakistan” (Redmond, 2011).

Where does the Opium go?

Border security surrounding Afghanistan is porous, providing opportunity to smuggle opium out of the country.

The Taliban allow the sale of Afghanistan opium poppy to Pakistan, collecting a 20 percent tax where:

“The value of Opium production in 2017 was worth between US$ 4.1 to 6.6 billion, or 20 and 32 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and provided up to 354,000 full time jobs to rural areas for opium poppy weeding and harvesting” (UNODC, 2017). Add to that the $8.6 billion the United States spends on counter-narcotic efforts in Afghanistan (The Guardian, 2018).

Opium and heroin are ingested and transported inside paid refugees (men, women, and children) called Packers. The Balkan route is the main trafficking route for world opiate trafficking.

Another route is the Oppistan route.

While another is Diplomatic flights. These flights, into and out of war zones, have Diplomatic immunity and can not be searched for contraband: drugs, weapons, or people.

The United States invaded Afghanistan largely to restore the heroin industry and it is now making about $1.5 trillion every year from this business. The CIA is known to fly large amounts of raw opium to Columbia where it is refined into heroin. This is then shipped through Mexico to the American/Mexican border and sold in the United States.

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Sam Rohrer

Sam Rohrer is the president of the Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network, a branch of Let Freedom Ring, Inc., and former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (128th District, 1993–2010). Rohrer is an alumnus of Bob Jones University, South Carolina’s attempt to out-madrassa the Taliban, and it shows. Indeed, Rohrer was awarded the 2013 “Alumnus of the Year” at the annual Bob Jones University Bible Conference, which he probably richly deserved.

Rohrer is the kind of person who tries to argue that a literal reading of the Bible reveals that gun rights come directly from God, and that Jesus’ teachings on non-violence should not be taken literally; it’s apparently the only part of the Bible that shouldn’t. Meanwhile, gun control is part of an Agenda 21 depopulation plot that the government – at least Obama’s government – tried to set in motion. Indeed, Rohrer is heavily into Agenda 21 conspiracies, and thinks that the nonbinding framework for sustainable development “is a control of our property, it’s a control of our legal system to the local level” (the hows matter less than the grand, paranoid narrative, apparently).

It is also a sin for the government to be compassionate, says Sam Rohrer

Politically, Rohrer is a full-blown theocrat who claims that “God’s law must always reign supreme” over man’s law. “No court has the authority to overturn what God says and what God defines to be a matter of marriage in this case, so that’s the clearest example where man’s law counters what God has said is what something ought to be.” Purely for political reasons, he also claims to love the Constitution, of course. To back up his claims, Rohrer asserts that if you don’t do as Rohrer thinks God says (i.e. that Rohrer says) that you should do, then the nation will fall under God’s judgment, in which case  “you go nowhere but down.” Accordingly “politicians and everyone who serves in any capacity in any level of civil government is automatically also a minister of God,” and should recognize this obligation. Apparently it’s all about liberty. People like the sound of “freedom”, “liberty” and “the Constitution”, but Rohrer’s fans don’t seem to have the faintest idea what those words could possibly mean (which is why Rohrer ends up, in all earnestness, saying things like “if you put somebody in office who is an enemy of freedom, who is a practicing Muslim, as an example, or a Communist, as an example, an atheist, they will act on what they think is right, but it’s not going to be what agrees with biblical correction.”) Rohrer is apparently a fan of David Barton, whom Rohrer explicitly thinks is a pillar of honesty, which to him then means that the extensively documented dishonesty in Barton’s works can easily be dismissed as a malicious conspiracy.

Threats to his vision I: Immigrants

There are ample threats to Rohrer’s vision for America, though. Islam, for instance. Rohrer was quite shocked by the 2018 elections, when two “devout Muslim women who hold to a view of God and law and morality that is completely opposite to our Constitution” were elected. The lack of self-awareness is pretty intense, even by fundie theocrat standards. At least his stance on immigration follows the same lines of lack of reasoning; as Rohrer sees it, America has “changed the historic biblical rules” (?) regarding immigration, and “this is a reason why God must discipline our country.” As a consequence, we have now “millions of people” who “have no respect for our God, they serve primarily the god of Allah and they embrace Sharia law,” which permits them to engage in terrorism. Until the US endorses the letter and spirit of the First Amendment and realizes that it cannot tolerate “two competing Gods … we’re going to find ourselves in increasing trouble.” As a solution to the ills, Rohrer suggested that we should require immigrants to “accept the God of the Bible,” just like the Constitution prescribes. It is probably worth mentioning, in this context, that “progressive Christians” aren’t really Christians either.

Indeed, Muslim jihadists had by 2016 infiltrated the Obama administration at the highest levels, and (then-)CIA Director John Brennan is, as Rohrer sees it, a Muslim convert who is on the side of the terrorists.

When push comes to show, however, the main problem is immigrants in general, not really their religious convictions. The recent refugee caravan, for instance, is a “fight against God himself”. Rohrer’s reasoning is … weak, but it ends with concluding that those who favor immigration are on the side of the Antichrist. Of course it does.

Threats to his vision 2: The gays (of course)

Another threat is, of course, the gays. It was obvious to Rohrer gay marriage could not be legalized since judges should rule according to “moral law” established by God, and having, in fact, been legalized, it is threatening to “destroy the very fabric of our nation” and, like everything else that is not working according to Rohrer’s convictions, will “invite God’s judgment on the nation” (mass shootings, for instance, are part of said judgment). Gay marriage will apparently lead to “tyranny” as well, for good measure, and the judges responsible for legalizing it are “activist judges” and “ideological idealists” that “may have been motivated by an intentional defiance of God.” The legalization of gay marriage also means that “the moral position leadership of our country has been forfeited,” says Rohrer; apparently the new moral leader of the world – here Rohrer agrees with many religious right leaders – is Russia.

He also lamented that gay rights activists don’t realize that they, too, have lost a “great, great freedom” with the legalization of same-sex marriage. His reasoning behind the conclusion isn’t really reasoning.

Threats to his vision 3: Women

And then there are women. Apparently having women in power is a sign of God’s judgment. When making the claim, Rohrer hastened to add that “the real condemnation is not the women in office, the condemnation is the disregard and the absolute inability for male leadership to perform as God intended it,” so that he wouldn’t come across as sexist.

Miscellaneous Trumpisms

Shocked by the “lack of respect” shown by some people toward President Trump, Rohrer promptly and predictably declared that opposition to Trump “creates the circumstances … out of which will come the Antichrist,” explaining (or whatever you prefer to call it) that the “enemies of Christ” (globalists, Islam and the cultural “establishment”) are “all working together” because “they hate God, they hate the Constitution, they despise Jesus Christ, they want to destroy Israel and the United States.” And those who don’t support Trump’s immigration policies are definitely on the side of the Antichrist.

After all, as Rohrer sees it, it was God who put Trump in office, no less. Rohrer didn’t explain how God did that (without committing voter fraud).

There is a decent Sam Rohrer resource here. Rohrer is not to fond of rightwingwatch, and has said that if civil war breaks out, it will be because of groups like Rightwingwatch and others who don’t think what he thinks they should think.

Diagnosis: As deranged, confused and fanatical as they come, and unfit for any audience. He’s got one, though, and must be considered moderately dangerous

Scott Alan Roberts

Ancient aliens did not visit Earth to guide human evolution and lay the foundation for modern civilizations, but Scotty Roberts is one of those who think they did. It is all explained in his book The Rise and Fall of the Nephilim: The Untold Story of Fallen Angels, Giants on the Earth, and Their Extraterrestrial Origins, which is precisely as scholarly and intellectually compelling and rigorous as the title promises. Roberts’s guiding premise is a couple of passages in the Bible and the books of Enoch about Nephilim, giants and angels, which he interprets through an impressively delusional mass of associations and pseudoscience – including numerology – to arrive at the conclusion he had already decided was true, namely (it seems) that angels, which Roberts concludes must be aliens from outser space, begat the Nephilim. The Nephilim then mated with humans to produce a special bloodline of magic beings, and the Great Flood happened to destroy these “demonic hybrids” and remove all traces of alien DNA from the human gene pool. But then, Roberts actually seems to admit that what he is doing is not science or fact but theory and philosophy (he is not actually doing theory or philosophy either), therefore he can apparently also dismiss objections based on fact or science without engaging with them. His educational background apparently consists of a ride on the Bible college circuit

Numerology? Oh yes: “In the occult science of Numerology, the number 33 represents the ultimate attainment of consciousness. Keeping that in mind, it is very interesting to note that the geographic location of Mount Hermon, the very place where the Watchers are said to have descended to the earthly plane, lies on the 33rd parallel, which is a latitude of 33° north of the equator. If you trace the 33rd parallel to the exact geographic global opposite from Mount Hermon, you will find yourself directly on top of the most controversially mythic place in current ufological history: Roswell, New Mexico. Mount Hermon, where the Watchers descended to the earth, and Roswell, New Mexico, are exact polar opposites on the same 33rd degree north latitude. The global coordinates of Mount Hermon and the Roswell crash site are no accident, and speak to some deeper, perhaps secret significance.” Of course, Roswell and Mount Herman are not even remotely global (or “polar”) opposites, but that observation would presumably be precisely the kind of fact in which Roberts is not interested.

Apparently Roberts is not just any kind of whale.to-style whacko with a website, however – he actually seems to enjoy a bit of status on the ancient aliens conspiracy theory scene and has for instance arranged conferences (such as The Paradigm Symposium: Re-visioning our place in the universe; yeah “paradigm”– few things scream “crackpot” like (mis)use of the word “paradigm”) with luminaries like Erich von Däniken, George Noory, and Giorgio A. Tsoukalos. Roberts is also the founder and publisher of Intrepid Magazineand editor-in-chief of SyFy’s Ghost Hunters official publication, TAPS ParaMagazine. His other books include The Secret History of the Reptilians and The Exodus Reality.

Diagnosis: Completely unfettered by the constraints that control the intellectual capacities of the narrow-minded, such as reason, accountability or fact. Probably relatively harmless, but it isa bit disconcerting to note how popular this kind of nonsense actually is.

Coleman Rogers

QAnon. We are not even going to begin to try to explain the details of this grand unified conspiracy theory, meme and wingnut delusion, but it did at least emerge from a series of incoherent posts on 4chan in 2017 by someone calling themselves QAnon or Q. Through conspiratorial bullshit, paranoia and deep state fearmongering, Q’s cryptic messages have led to the creation of a remarkable, complex structure of nonsense that still enjoys a (relatively small) group of thoroughly insane followers – or more precisely: the conspiracy works by Q leaving a couple of vague, nonsensical “crumbs” (“[m]any sound like they were written by Deepak Chopra channeling Alex Jones”) that commenters freely use to build whatever insane web of delusions they wish to build. Now, who exactly is behind the conspiracy theory (schema) is unclear, but a couple of promoters (in additional to an unknown number of Russian bots) have been identified, such as Coleman Rogers, known as Pamphlet Anon on his youtube videos and InfoWars appearance.

Rogers’s career took off after Reddit shut down the QAnon Reddit board in April 2018 due to “encouraging or inciting violence and posting personal and confidential information”. Rogers and his wife Christina Urso subsequently launched a plan to replace mainstream media (often a target of Q’s posts) with a continuously streaming YouTube network made up of self-described “researchers” putting together Q’s clues, called the Patriots’ Soapbox. The channel is more or less a continuous broadcast of a Discord chatroom with audio commentary from various volunteers and moderators, including calls for donations. It is, of course, utterly ludicrous; you can search it out yourself; we’re not providing any links.

Rogers has a background as zealous participant in an internet “meme war” where he would claim e.g. that liberals murder children and worship Satan, notions that are currently central to the QAnon mythology. Now, Rogers denies knowledge of who Q is, or that he himself might be Q. Suspicions that he has more insider information than he let on to abound, however. Meanwhile, other wingnut conspiracy theorists have accused him of being part of a deep state conspiracy. So it goes.

Diagnosis: It remains very much unclear whether Rogers believes any of the QAnon stuff or not (or whether he cares). He is nevertheless a serious loon, and one who has actually managed to gain some influence over mostly angry, older and less internet-savvy tinfoil hatters

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

April 29, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks. ”

Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publication.

 

Conversation No. 79

Date: Tuesday, April 8, 1997

Commenced:  9:08 AM CST

Concluded: 9;55 AM CST

GD: Good morning, Robert, All week there?

RTC: Very tired today, Gregory.

GD: If I’m calling at a wrong time, maybe I can call back later on…on tomorrow.

RTC: No, just very tires. I slept well but I feel like I haven’t been to bed for several days.

GD: Seen a doctor recently?

RTC: My God, yes. A number of them. General check ups and Emily is under the impression that because I smoke, she says too much, I might have some kind of lung problems. I am not going to give up smoking now, Gregory. I’ve gotten used to it. Terribly addictive, tobacco.

GD: Yes. I read a recent study on tobacco. Very, very addictive. Causes all kinds of respiratory diseases and cancer as well.

RTC: Ah well, Gregory, if one thing doesn’t get you, something else will.

GD: How about being hanged for rape at 95?

RTC: (Laughter) what do they say about a consummation?

GD: A consummation devoutly to be wished. Shakespeare. We could make it less final and mention being sued for child support at the same age.

RTC: They say that if you father children after a certain age, they have mental problems.

GD: Could be. You see a lot of weird yard monsters being carried around these days, Robert. Flat faces, drooling. Mongoloids. Of course, we don’t call them that any more. I think they say differently abled. But a Mongoloid idiot is still a Mongoloid idiot, no matter how you slice it. So correct now. Bloody twits. Don’t say this, can’t say that. Oh my, that is so demeaning. That’s what someone told me the other day when I called a fat woman a bloato. I apologized and called her a piggy instead. That didn’t go over very well, either. So many Mongoloids and so many jiggling fatties waddling around. If they kept their mouths shut, Robert, it would serve two valuable purposes. On the one hand, we wouldn’t have to listen to their babblings and on the other, they wouldn’t be feeding their enormous guts every waking hour. Well, the potato chip industry would suffer but then, on another negative side, they might live longer, .Robert, as you were on board at the CIA during the formative years, could you address some points I am trying to research?

RTC: I’ll try, if I can, Gregory.

GD: OK. The CIA was originally started up by Truman in about ’48…

RTC: Yes. Harry was not happy with the slanted intelligence the Army was providing so he set us up to counter the bs.

GD: Yes. Gehlen told me about the fake Russian invasion plot of ’48. That’s when his organization of former Gestapo people was run by the Army. Faked up the story of a pending Russian invasion to terrify Congress and the public so as to keep business going along on a wartime footing and the Army from being disbanded.

RTC: Basically true, Gregory. We had nothing to do with that.

GD: The CIA took Gehlen over just after that fraud, correct?

RTC: Yes, after that. We had nothing to do with that.

GD: Mueller said that fake report was the real starting gun for the cold war. Would you agree?

RTC: I would go along with that.

GD: Russia had been bled dry during the war and much of her relatively primitive infrastructure had been ruined. Heavy loss in troops and so on. In other words, in 1948, Stalin not only was in no shape to confront the western powers on a military level nor really compete in the marketplace. Right?

RTC: Right.

GD: Now I agree that Stalin was engaged in extensive spying here and elsewhere during and after the war. But everyone spies on everyone else. Spying is not a military threat but wasn’t this domestic spying used to terrify the public into supporting a very expensive cold war? You were on the inside then, Robert. Between us and the phone taps, was Russia going to nuke us or start a land war in ’49 or even ’50?

RTC: No, they were not.

GD: So if that were the case, the CIA grew to such a powerful entity solely on the mistaken, deliberately mistaken, premise that Russia, and later China, were going to attack us. Right?

RTC: This is a rather sensitive area, Gregory, but I’m retired and old and overall, you are probably right. But they were spying on us. Bunch of traitorous Jews under Roosevelt were running rampant here. You must know that White and even Wallace were helping Uncle Joe with all of our secrets.

GD: Yes, but annoying as this was, it was not a military threat. And with the great increase in domestic income as a result of the war, Communism had long ago lost its attraction for the poor and the various left wing politicians here. Right?

RTC: Yes, but we are talking about a huge army of spies here then.

GD: Ideological people. Poor. Give a man some money and a new television, and dreams of communism vanish as the waistline spreads.

RTC: Yes but then don’t forget the very real threats to the west by Stalin and his successors.

GD: But these were struggles for markets and natural resources, weren’t they? I mean not a real military threat. It had always been the dream in Moscow to capture the very technical and industrious Germany. Was that was when Lenin took off the fright wig. Always get Germany. I know about this because when Mueller took over the tiny Gestapo in ’35, he said there were about 20,000 active Communist Russian spies loose all over Germany. When he got through with them, there were about five left. Anyway, wasn’t the struggle then just an economic struggle like the one that started the First World War? Odd. Russia and the United States were engaged in a purely capitalist struggle for economic power. Not military power. Do you concur?

RTC: Yes, it boiled down to that. I mean, we had our friends. People we knew as schoolmates, friends or neighbors. Business friends. Old Bill ran some aluminum company and he wanted us to secure bauxite sites in some country that Russia was also interested in. Of course we couldn’t use this as an excuse to topple some government and set up a US-friendly one so we tarted it up to say the existing government there was being run by Moscow and a Communist seizure was just a matter of time.

GD: Like Nicaragua?

RTC: Exactly so.

GD: Levi and Zentner has friends in Langley.

RTC: Well, more like the Grace people but I follow. But why should Russia get its hands on valuable resources when we wanted them? Let’s face it, Gregory, the struggle for natural resources is the struggle for life.

GD: But why not seek less damaging goals? Isn’t there enough to go around?

RTC: Well, that’s the question. Planet is getting very small these days. Too many people need more products and whoever has the natural resources, at least as long as they hold out, has the upper hand. Now, thanks to us, we have the upper hand. We damned near got all the Russia oil and gas under Yeltsin but you can’t win them all.

GD: But Reagan was the last gasp of all that, wasn’t he?

RTC: When business sees itself as losing something they want, it will never be over.

GD: But when the cold war was on, we struggled with Russia over the natural resources of Africa. Each of us took over this or that country and set up this or that tin horn dictator answerable to us, or them. And now that the cold war is over, thanks to Reagan, why Africa is no longer of any interest to either side. I predict that in twenty years, Africa, at least sub-Saharan Africa, will be a wasteland. There’s a lot of AIDS there now and once all the natives are dead, we can just walk in and take over the resources. No need for a war, Robert, just let nature take its course.

RTC: Very ruthless, Gregory.

GD: I study history, Robert. Use facts, not emotions.

RTC: I hate to say this but Marx was right when he talked about the role of economics in history.

GD: I’ve read Marx. Fine theories but stupid practices. From each according to his ability to each according to his need. Right? Sounds almost Christian, doesn’t it? Of course both systems, Jesus and Marx, sound so noble and self-sacrificing on paper but they are Utopian and never work. And the raging idealists are the first to be shot when the pragmatists come into power. Night following day. And Robert, in the end, who cares?

(Concluded at 9:55 CST)

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas

 

 

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