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Trump needs to stop trying to repeal and replace the meanings of words

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
President Donald Trump, as you may have noticed, has neither retracted his statement nor apologized to Mr. Obama regarding the wire-tapping allegation.

A week ago, I offered President Trump my services as a ghostwriter, in case he was having trouble coming up with the words necessary to retract and apologize for his false accusation that former President Obama had tapped his phones at Trump Tower.

Of course, he didn’t take me up on my kind ghostly offer, nor is there any reason that he is aware of my existence. That’s fine. He’s very busy and I’m not very important and I had no illusion that he would so avail himself, even if he had happened to read it.

But it is important, and not just to me, that we have a president with very weak or perhaps nonexistent relationships with, or perhaps a total disdain for, the concepts of both honesty and honor.

At a very basic level, honesty means you don’t lie. And if you do inadvertently or perhaps just carelessly say something false and defamatory about someone else, honor requires that you acknowledge the falsehood, retract the statement, apologize for it, and seek forgiveness from the person you harmed with your falsehood.

Mr. Trump, as you may have noticed, has neither retracted his statement nor apologized to Mr. Obama. He has also produced zero evidence to back up his statement that Mr. Obama tapped Trump Tower’s phones while seeking to subvert what Mr. Trump called our “sacred election process,” which, I would say, didn’t seem all that sacred to him judging by the way he campaigned.

A great many officials — including many who have access to top intelligence, many who are Republicans and many who are trying very hard to work with Mr. Trump without sacrificing the last crumbs of their self-respect — have all said that they know of no evidence to back up Mr. Trump’s twitstorm on the Obama-tapped-my-phones falsehood.

Trump has produced no evidence and expressed no regret and he doesn’t even seem to be promising to ever do so. On the other hand, he won’t withdraw the claim. He’s tried a little not-very-artful dodging, like when he said that he’s recently learned about all kinds of wiretapping that is possible, some of which doesn’t involve wires or tapping.

As you know, Kellyanne Conway added something hilarious about how microwave ovens can be turned into cameras. Even if that’s true, it’s not what “wiretap” means, and Conway didn’t even suggest that may have happened at Trump Tower under Obama’s direction, so it’s not directly necessary to pursue the question of which home appliances are spying on us.

Conway’s a better tap dancer than Poor Sean Spicer, who keeps getting asked about the wiretapping claim. One day he noted that in some of the four Trump wiretap tweets Trump put the words “wires tapped” in quotes, as if he meant something other than wiretapping, but he didn’t discuss the other references that lacked the quotes. Poor Spicer tries to find a space where he can reaffirm that President Trump “stands by” his allegations and then remind the media that they all reported that “there’s a ton of media reports out there that indicate that something was going on during the 2016 election.”

Personally, I find it hard to dispute that “something was going during the 2016 election,” and every other election.

Trump has tried to create some wiggle room by repealing and replacing the meaning of words.

On Fox News, our president told Tucker Carlson that “Wiretap covers a lot of different things… I think you’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.”

Personally, I’m about done grading our president on the curve. I’m not that tough a grader. If someone says something one day, and the next day acknowledges that it was wrong or inappropriate, that’s one thing. But that’s not our current incumbent. I don’t claim to understand his psychological issues. I don’t know whether he actually believes it’s fine to lie, or a terrible sign of weakness to retract and apologize, or whether he actually lives in a parallel universe in which the definition of “truth” and “fact” and “because I said so” are all the same thing.

But just in case we’re heading into a new territory where “wiretap” doesn’t have anything to do with “wires” or “taps” or telephones; or where “Obama did it” means “Obama didn’t necessarily have anything to do with it” or where “Trump Tower” doesn’t refer to a particular building, I just want to ask you to take note of five words, all of which Trump used in the little Twitter snit fit he threw that night: “Obama” “Tapped” “Phones” and “Trump Tower.” They neither difficult nor amorphous concepts.

Here’s three more pretty straightforward words: “Retract,” admit you were “wrong” and “apologize.” 

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Comments (34)

  1. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/17/2017 - 10:30 am.

    I guess it is better when we keep the clown show within our borders, because when we force our allies to make it clear that they are being wrongly accused by the US of wrong-doing, it can have serious consequences ( ….utterly ridiculous and should be ignored….British denial of their intelligence agencies acting at Obama’s direction to supposedly tap Trump)

    Did any of that MAGA ?

    When Trump says and does stupid and obviously wrong things without any evidence, does that enforce US credibility ? Does it really MAGA ? Does it make any other country willing to go out on a limb with us ? Who would enter into a military alliance with us on the basis of the presidential statement–especially now that Trump has made it clear that the intelligence services are hopelessly political and are not to be believed (unless they are ?). Who are they to believe ? The leader, or the minions ?

    Like the question asked in a recent news briefing–when should we take Trump seriously ? Any other answer than “ALWAYS” is dangerously wrong and leaves too many loose strings that can trip up everyone.

  2. Submitted by Roy Everson on 03/17/2017 - 11:13 am.

    Don’t tapp dance around the buried lead

    Lying, not apologizing, relying on fringe-fake-news — they are all lamentable everyday sins of the WH occupant. But so are a lot of his bad hair days, all entertaining distractions from what’s happening. Let’s not overlook the point that the current occupant has without evidence accused the former occupant of committing a felony crime using the power of the state (or the British state!) against a political foe.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/17/2017 - 11:38 am.

      Another Fact not to Overlook

      The whole story will be dismissed, except by those who already disapprove of him. While his base will never condone lying except to say that both sides do it, (“And what about what that one Democrat said that one time?”), they will not believe that what he says is a lie. It’s fake news, you see.

  3. Submitted by Patrick Tice on 03/17/2017 - 11:41 am.

    The worrying thing…

    …is that Trump made this accusation on social media following its promotion on right wing media. There was no hesitation, no forbearance, nothing at all going on in his head to parse the situation and consider the consequences of such an announcement from the President. It gives one the sinking feeling that we are dealing with someone who has serious mental and emotional issues, and that we are only one fateful decision away from a catastrophic mistake. While some have made the argument that Trump used this outrageous lie to divert attention from his other issues, I don’t see it that way. It is more likely that he simply can’t help himself, and that is really scary.

  4. Submitted by Hal Davis on 03/17/2017 - 12:48 pm.

    Trump’s mentor

    Eric Black writes:

    “I don’t know whether he actually believes it’s fine to lie, or a terrible sign of weakness to retract and apologize, or whether he actually lives in a parallel universe in which the definition of ‘truth’ and ‘fact’ and ‘because I said so’ are all the same thing.’

    Trump’s mentor was slimy disbarred lawyer Roy Cohn, for whom lying and smearing opponents was a way of life.

    See. for example:

    “Cohn’s primary tactic since his youthful days as chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations was always to attack, attack, attack and deny, deny, deny; to make no admissions, never give an inch, fight to win no matter who is in the right, win because winning is the only thing, especially if you are in the wrong.”

  5. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/17/2017 - 12:59 pm.

    When a congenital liar

    is also a functional illiterate with signs of ADHD, you’ve got Trump.
    I still think that the 25th Amendment applies.

  6. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 03/17/2017 - 01:04 pm.

    Lying suits him

    While we focus entirely too much attention on the sociopathic tendencies of our recently-elected President, his neo-Nazi White House policy aides, in cooperation with several leaders of the Republican Party, are busily dismantling the federal government as we know it.

    If Trump apologizes, it’ll be a first. He’s spent his business life as a real estate/hotel developer. I’ve encountered dozens of developers in person over my years as a planning commissioner in Colorado, and read about dozens more since arriving here. Only one of those people seemed to have a genuine, active conscience. The rest were all habitual liars. In one Colorado case, the guy even admitted to the City Council that he’d only said ‘x’ in order to get his project approved by the Planning Commission. In response, one Council member allowed as how he was “disturbed” by the developer’s admission to lying, but when it came time for the Council to vote, they ALL voted to approve the project, though the developer admitted to lying, and the project violated the City’s zoning ordinance and master plan. Neither are enforceable as law in Colorado — or here, either, if I read the development-related articles in the ‘Strib and MinnPost correctly.

    Tump not just accustomed to lying, or making up different meanings for words, it’s his stock in trade. As far as I can tell from this distance, Mr. Trump has never truly been held accountable for anything, whether it was a bald-faced lie, a sexual assault, failure to pay firms with which he’d signed a contract, or anything else. Arrogance and wealth allow him (I purposely don’t use the past tense because he obviously still operates in this fashion) to say things he knows aren’t true, but that might advance his “brand,” making him better known, even if that public presence is negative. Why would he apologize for that?

    If we’re lucky, and I’m not going to place any bets, the SCOTUS might slap him down on the immigrant ban on constitutional grounds, but Trump doesn’t care about the constitution, and will regard a negative SCOTUS ruling in much the same way he’s regarded rulings from other cases that have gone against him. He’ll have something negative to say about the judge(s) and their collective decision. Trump voters have elected a petulant 5th-grader, and while they’re busy defending him against attacks from people of the sort that regularly read MinnPost, the Trump “team” is busy removing the social and environmental safety net, already stretched thin, that is pretty much all that stands between many a Trump voter and abject poverty, or an early death. When that comes to pass, survivors should be surprised if Trump apologizes. As long as he personally suffers little beyond the loss of a few million dollars, he won’t care.

    Mr. Trump operates from what child psychologists used to call “The Illusion of Central Position”—a firmly-held belief that the world, indeed, the universe, revolves around him. Electing him to the presidency has simply reinforced that mind set, and we’re only 2 months into a Trump presidency. It’s going to be a very, very long four years.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/17/2017 - 03:14 pm.

      The good news

      Trump and the Bannons are working hard at isolating themselves.
      Trump has said a lot, but so far actually done little.
      Remember, the budget is ultimately determined by the Congress, and it is already clear that the budget that is finally approved will be quite different from the one that Trump submitted, which is just a suggestion.
      His staff cuts to Federal agencies will slow things down, but since the agency heads that he has appointed so far know little about how the government works, the agencies are being effectively lead by the civil service professionals. This means to major new initiatives, but most of what was in progress will continue.
      This will be abetted by a Republican Congress which has no idea about how to do anything but say no. The financial desires (earmarks) of their constituents will prevent any major cuts, since someone back up will always lose, and stop donating.
      Ineptitude may have a silver lining.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 03/17/2017 - 04:17 pm.

      And To Think

      The alternative to four years of Trump is… Mike Pence!

  7. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 03/17/2017 - 03:10 pm.

    I’ve watched and listened to Trump and heard him state numerous times that he is “a very smart person.” I have concluded, though, that he is not a smart person.

    What he has is the con man’s sharp ability to read people and say to them what they want to hear. He’s good at “reading an audience,” and that’s why he “thrills” people at rallies where he throws one-liners at them and they scream in pleasure. He feeds them what they want. That is a salesman’s instinctual skill, not intellectual ability and it does not carry with it the capacity to think critically about what one reads or hears.

    Hence, Trump’s quickness to respond to the rantings of a right-wing nut about totally unsubstantiated accusations that President Obama committed criminal felonies against Trump while Obama was in office. A person capable of critical thinking would pause a minute–like a good chess player–and consider the consequences of a stupid Tweet. Then he wouldn’t send the stupid Tweet. (But he wrote those stupid Tweets.)

    I’ve read comments by people who know Trump and have worked with him that he tends to repeat the views of the last person he has spoken to. That is what “labile” personalities do: they have an almost visceral reaction to vibes their interlocutor sends out, and they jump right in to share those vibes. That’s how they read crowds so well. Of course, Trump’s views will then change, as he goes on to speak to this or the other person who has other views.

    That’s why you can’t trust what he says.

  8. Submitted by Ted Hathaway on 03/17/2017 - 09:04 pm.

    Keep at it, I guess…

    To point out, once again, that Donald Trump is a liar, is such old news. This was abundantly evident long before he became even a candidate; then made clear again and again more times than I can count since then. Does it matter anymore? Who does it persuade? I’m continually reminded of an old New Yorker cartoon (from years before Trump) which shows two people watching TV. One observes,”He may be psychotic, but perhaps he’s just appealing to his base.” So it is with Trump.

    Trump is all about power, strength, virility, winning. He understands nothing else. If lying serves his purpose, he will do so without hesitation because he know his “base” will agree with him regardless. Remember, this is the man who observed (probably rightly, I’m afraid) that he could shoot someone on 5th avenue and his supporters would still back him). But if that’s not enough, he simply alters the facts anyways, carried either by his own arrogance (“Every single person sitting in the room is now a yes”) or through the weight of his office. His invention of the Obama wiretaps is ludicrous enough, but what happens when he “invents” a threatened attack by Iran on Israel as an excuse to engage in a pre-emptive bombing of Teheran? Or if he reads something written by some wacko on Breitbart early one morning and uses it as an excuse to nuke North Korea? Then what? Even his own staff gives no clear direction of what to believe and not believe. This is an extremely dangerous person.

    To call Trump a loose cannon is understatement. But he’s not mad – unfortunately. Unless his self-aggrandisement becomes far more egregious, I doubt that either impeachment or the 25th amendment will be a realistic option. No, he’s – at best – a very dangerous fool, total unworthy of the post of presidency. If it’s any consolation, a majority of Americans agree, but that he was elected at all brings to mind Mencken’s observation that no one every lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American people. In any event, America would not be the first democracy to elect someone so completely inept, so highly dangerous to itself as Trump.

    For the time being, the only thing left is to keep at it. Keep up the opposition and stop him – and his Republican whores – at every opportunity. The questions that follow, unfortunately, are more difficult: Can the Democrats offer a vision that voters will buy, and even if they do, can American democracy recover from the damage Trump has caused (and embodied), or is it too late?

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 03/19/2017 - 02:49 pm.

      In His Dreams

      Only in his dreams is Trump “…all about power, strength, virility, winning.”

      He is about fear. Fear of being inadequate. Fear of being the subject of ridicule. Fear of people finding out he isn’t as wealthy as he wants you to think. Fear of being proved a phony and a charlatan.

      • Submitted by Ted Hathaway on 03/19/2017 - 08:29 pm.


        Trump is a little man; a damaged human being. The fears you ascribe to him are spot on. But his projection of power, strength, virility, winning are what appeals to his followers. Trump has successfully conveyed this image of success, even if only as businessman this has been at best tainted. Trump is a flim-flam man.

  9. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/17/2017 - 09:17 pm.

    Mr. Holbrook is absolutely correct: this, as many things before, will be dismissed by Trump’s supporters as fake news, left media attacks, etc. And those who disapprove of Trump (should we rather say “those who hate his guts?”) will keep talking about that… The real question is: why did the latter similarly dismissed Obama’s and Clinton’s lies? I mean, how are they different?

    • Submitted by Roy Everson on 03/18/2017 - 08:37 am.

      Let’s review

      ” I mean, how are they different?”


      “I did not have sex with that woman.” “The news media is the enemy of the American people.” The previous president committed crimes against me and is a sick bad man. Thousand of Muslims in New Jersey cheering 9-11 attack.

      How are they in the same league?

      “…will be dismissed by Trump’s supporters as fake news…” I guess that will show us.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/18/2017 - 02:32 pm.

      … how are they different?

      Short answer—less than 100 days under this administration.

      • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/19/2017 - 10:31 am.

        The difference

        When I asked about the difference, I meant people who accuse others of lying, not the actual lies. But let’s look at lies. “I did not have sex with that woman,” ”I landed under fire,” and “You can keep your doctor,” – all of them were about personal knowledge and experience so there was no way to believe that those people did not know the truth. “The media is the enemy of American people” is actually just an opinion. “There were more people on my inauguration,” “people illegally voted for Clinton,” and “Muslims in New Jersey cheered 9-11” are statements which are not true but which the person saying them could not have had personal knowledge about and, in theory, may honestly believe in. Yes, the latter ones are more grandiose but they are not personal which makes them, from the point of lying, a less serious offense. Which one will bring more troubles to a second grader: “I did not break that vase” or “We had aliens visiting our school today”/”Our teacher is the only one in the world who asks to do homework?”

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/19/2017 - 09:59 pm.

          The President of the United States

          is not supposed to be a second grader, or to act like one.
          By ‘personal knowledge’ I assume that you are referring to direct personal observation. This distinction may be theoretically interesting, but is not of practical relevance.

        • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/20/2017 - 08:29 am.

          The opinion of the President can shape national action and have historic impact. And most of those issues are issues that any possible President will not have personal knowledge about.

          That is where the ability to divide fact from fantasy comes in–finding the apparent truth is a sea of contradictory and perhaps deliberately deceptive information. (WMD in Iraq ??)

          That’s why the “alien landing” President is very dangerous.

          • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/21/2017 - 07:42 am.

            I agree that Presidents should be able to distinguish facts from fiction and their opinions may significantly affect the world. But that is exactly my point: That is difficult and that is why it usually distinguishes good presidents from bad ones. On the other hand, lying when it comes to “direct personal observation” (thank you, Mr. Brandon, for the term), just plain disqualifies a person from being a president. And it is not reasonable to pick on “alien” lies while letting “broken vase” ones go with no consequences.

            • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/21/2017 - 09:19 am.

              60 days in office for Trump vs 2920 days in office for Clinton or Obama.

              Only 2% of a two-term time period.

              Think about it.

              And Trump has told multiples of both of your lie categories.

              Enough said.

              • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/22/2017 - 07:29 am.

                Maybe he did but it’s not that Trump just started being pounded by lie accusations recently; he was hit by accusations of anything and everything from the very beginning… by the people who did not say a word about Clinton and Obama…

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/22/2017 - 02:17 pm.

      The Latter?

      I’m sorry–who “dismissed” Clinton’s or Obama’s lies? Were they habitual? Did they have the same potential for harming our social/political fabric?

      President Reagan lied more than President Clinton, yet his fanboys are among those who called most vocally for President Clinton’s impeachment. Why was that?

      • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/23/2017 - 07:23 am.

        It is hard for me to say anything about Reagan and Bill Clinton – I wasn’t here physically for the former and wasn’t in a position to understand much for the latter (and when I did, I didn’t care much about Clinton’s lies related to his personal life – as I said before it was between him and his wife). But Hillary Clinton did lie a lot (on personal level and on political level) and I do not remember Democrats piling up on her for that. As for Obama, it is possible that “you can keep your doctor” was the straw that allowed the Obamacare to pass… On the other hand, which Trump’s lies may harm “our social/political fabric?”

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/23/2017 - 01:28 pm.

          Lies that Harm the Social/Political Fabric

          Let’s start with the whole “fake news” meme. All criticism is being painted automatically as a lie. If the President were smarter, I would say it is a deliberate effort to undercut the public’s belief in the credibility of a free and independent media (necessary to the functioning of a democracy). Here are a few other classics:

          American Muslims celebrated on 9/11. Sowing distrust (at best) against a religious group, opening the door to repression of them, Korematsu style.

          Millions of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 presidential election. Justifying specious methods of suppressing the suffrage.

          President Obama ordered wiretapping against him. First, incidental surveillance is not the same as wiretapping, a lie that he got out before the Chair of the Intelligence Committee breached protocol and gave him a heads-up. Second, throwing around fabricated allegations against prior Presidents is another way of undermining trust in our institutions.

          “You can keep your doctor,” arguably, was a faulty prediction of a policy outcome. There was no deliberate effort to force people to change doctors.

          • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/24/2017 - 07:37 am.

            Free and independent media is a great thing… except it is hard to view the media lately as such considering that it supports one side only and tries to destroy the other one. So Trump is defending himself from unfair criticism because there was plenty of unwarranted criticism. I don’t know if it is the right thing for him to do (Bush didn’t but didn’t get any credit for that), but that is what it is.
            “Millions of illegal voters” was created when Trump was pounded by the media for losing the popular vote even though it is totally irrelevant and is not a sign of anything. So it has nothing with suffrage whatsoever except it is another unsubstantiated accusation against Trump.

            Wiretapping is not the same as surveillance but they do have something in common, don’t they? And we have to remember that Obama, unlike most previous presidents, wants to stay in current political life… And no, keeping a doctor was not a faulty prediction… unless we assume that Obama didn’t know how his own law would work… And as I said, it might have allowed the law to pass which may have been the goal.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/24/2017 - 02:46 pm.

              Free and Independent

              “Free and independent media is a great thing… except it is hard to view the media lately as such considering that it supports one side only and tries to destroy the other one.” Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but doesn’t “independent” mean “free to choose sides, if they want?”

              “So Trump is defending himself from unfair criticism because there was plenty of unwarranted criticism. ” Please tell us what was “unwarranted.” Was it inaccurate, or just unfavorable?

              “’Millions of illegal voters’ was created when Trump was pounded by the media for losing the popular vote even though it is totally irrelevant and is not a sign of anything.” The way to fight an irrelevant theme is to ignore it, not come up with a lie. Promising an investigation to refute the irrelevance is a sign of an inability to prioritize. “So it has nothing with suffrage whatsoever except it is another unsubstantiated accusation against Trump.” He did lose the popular vote, and he did claim that was because of illegal voting. It has everything to do with the suffrage if lies like that are used to justify voter suppression tactics.

              “Wiretapping is not the same as surveillance but they do have something in common, don’t they?” Wiretapping requires a warrant, issued by the court on a showing of probable cause. That’s way different from incidentally hearing what one’s henchmen say on a call to leaders of a foreign, rather antagonistic, power.

              • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 03/24/2017 - 08:58 pm.


                Sure, “free and independent” includes freedom to choose sides, meaning that government will not close the newspapers and TV channels… but if they always choose the same side in a conflict, their objectivity becomes highly questionable. And, in my mind, free media which is not fair and objective is worse than not free media: at least in the latter case people know not to trust them.

                Of course it was inaccurate: that he is racist, sexist, hates immigrants… There was no proof of any of those claims. But I agree that Trump should have let popular votes Clinton’s victory go; however, his claims of illegal votes have not been “used to justify voter suppression tactics” so there is no connection as I have said.

                “Wiretapping requires a warrant, issued by the court on a showing of probable cause.” True… except there were plenty of cases when it was done without a warrant. And surveillance is different from “incidentally hearing” something which may be the case in a crowd or on a plane which I doubt was the case here.

  10. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/18/2017 - 09:32 am.

    What has been revealed is that Trump’s “sources” are pretty much confined to right-wing media. This is in preference to more fact-based journalism, in preference to our intelligence services, in preference to people who have had decades of experience in any one particular area.

    So be prepared to see more of the various ideas of the Fox world brought forward as policy and as fact. He absolutely believes what is told to him by the people on his magic box and defends it as he would defend his religion. He is not alone–his segment of always-Trump followers show that.

    In the Obama years, the centrist positions of Obama were countered by further rightward movement where various crank issues took hold as established positions by the various media pundits. What we will see over the next few years is the struggle to bring those ideas to reality.

    Our President is a captive of the right-wing media and he really has no other context in his world.

    Be prepared for some grand mistakes.

    For reference of future policy decisions, like North Korea, see what the most “military-looking” windbag “expert” on Fox said to do in the past year or so. After all, he relied on the “lawyerly-looking” bloviator Napolitano for his wiretap expertise.

  11. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/19/2017 - 01:11 pm.

    Let’s look at this weeks adventure in foreign policy:

    Trump seems to think that Germany owes the USA money for it’s share of NATO”s cost:

    ““Nevertheless, Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!”

    Germany’s share of NATO on-going expenses is paid in full. Nothing owed to NATO (or the US) there.

    And the issue less than enough being spent is related to the 2014 mandate that NATO countries should spend 2% of their GDP on defense. This is not money owed to the US or to NATO–it is an internal spending target for each NATO country.

    Also, 2% of GDP for Germany ($ 70 to $ 80 billion) would result in Germany having the 3rd largest military in the world, behind only the US and China. Is that really a reasonable goal for a country of 80 million people ?

    Russia, the NATO bete noir, on the other hand has a military budget of $ 46 billion. This is countered by the $581 billion in US spending and another $ 190 billion in the top 6 other NATO partners.

    Fake words, indeed.

  12. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 03/19/2017 - 02:49 pm.

    What’s worrisome these days is that Trump is trying to limit the public’s access to journalism that is fact-based and actually quotes him, repeatedly, to himself, to his angered chagrin.

    A recent article in The New Yorker described recent Trump administration moves to limit access to White House daily press briefings to the alternate-right press and the wing-nuts therein. This is not just Sean Spicer refusing to physically admit mainstream journalists to a closed room (he refused entry to the NYTimes, CNN, several other networks, the Post, etc.) where he met with “the [remaining, rump] press,” but seating arrangements in the rather small Briefing Room that pushed mainstream and dependable, established journalists to the back or into the hall in favor of front-row seats and prioritized question opportunities to Suddenly-Appearing So-Called Journalists, like some extremist bloggers.

    Add to that kind of thing Trump’s attacks on everyone who tells the truth or opposes him, and the Secretary of State only taking ONE journalist (from the alt right) with him to Japan and China, and you have A War on Journalists.

    Part of the construction of a dictatorship of the right. Complete with a militarization of America, in the Trump budget (the country will soon be nothing much more than the military and other para-military forces like the border patrol, Immigration Control and Homeland Security, complemented by federally-deputized local police forces with battleground equipment the feds supply).

  13. Submitted by beryl john-knudson on 03/20/2017 - 09:30 am.

    Donald’s watch dogs of loyalty…

    “Watchdogs of Loyalty” ia a book by Carl Chrislock,wise,Minnesota historian who carefully documented past incidents of totalitarian ways?.

    It’s time to pull Carl’s book out again and to recall another time when totalitarian was the word… since reading Wash Post news flash; its morning news clip on watchdogs in all Trump’s essential departments established by the “chief” himself as the Wash Post story goes… watch-dogging for leaks in Trumps totalitarian run command post called the White House?

    Could say this is the day the White House went dark…could say too, let’s make “totalitarian’ the word for the day?

  14. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 03/20/2017 - 11:44 am.

    The end

    Will come about the first time our Pathological Liar in Chief has to give a deposition or testify under oath. His inability to answer more than ten consecutive questions without lying will be his undoing. It was Clinton’s impeachment basis and the appeal to the GOP to rid themselves of this circus will be unavoidable

    He won’t see the mid terms..

  15. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 03/20/2017 - 08:30 pm.


    As Neal, Ray, Constance etc. have noted earlier, you got a T issue, then however there is ~ 39-40% of Americans that are flat earth folks. They have bought into the Trump schtik, It doesn’t make any difference what the facts are, what the evidence is, the world is flat, and will twist and turn to make it that way, These are the folks that “T” keeps playing to, his fans, his followers, just like Jimmy Jones. They drank the BS kool-aid and there isn’t any turning back. T is not going to change, because that means he has to lose, and then he loses who he is, one of the greatest BS’rs of our time. He wears it proudly. Sorry Eric you are peeing into gale force winds with those folks.

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