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The current time is Wed Aug 21 01:03:45 2019

Utopia Talk / Politics / SoTU: OMG BEST EVER
Tue Feb 05 21:35:22
I'm so fucking inspired right now. U S A ! U S A !

Behold the great words of our mighty warrior-poet-in-chief:

"When American soldiers set out beneath the dark skies over the English Channel in the early hours of D-Day, 1944, they were just young men of 18 and 19, hurtling on fragile landing craft toward the most momentous battle in the history of war. They did not know if they would survive the hour. They did not know if they would grow old. But they knew that America had to prevail. Their cause was this nation, and generations yet unborn.

Why did they do it? They did it for America — they did it for us. Everything that has come since — our triumph over communism, our giant leaps of science and discovery, our unrivaled progress toward equality and justice — all of it is possible thanks to the blood and tears and courage and vision of the Americans who came before.

Think of this Capitol — think of this very chamber, where lawmakers before you voted to end slavery, to build the railroads and the highways, to defeat fascism, to secure civil rights, to face down evil empires.

Here tonight, we have legislators from across this magnificent republic. You have come from the rocky shores of Maine and the volcanic peaks of Hawaii, from the snowy woods of Wisconsin and the red deserts of Arizona, from the green farms of Kentucky and the golden beaches of California. Together, we represent the most extraordinary nation in all of history.

What will we do with this moment? How will we be remembered? I ask the men and women of this Congress, look at the opportunities before us. Our most thrilling achievements are still ahead. Our most exciting journeys still await. Our biggest victories are still to come. We have not yet begun to dream.

We must choose whether we are defined by our differences — or whether we dare to transcend them. We must choose whether we will squander our inheritance — or whether we will proudly declare that we are Americans. We do the incredible. We defy the impossible. We conquered the unknown.

This is the time to reignite the American imagination. This is the time to search for the tallest summit, and set our sights on the brightest star. This is the time to rekindle the bonds of love and loyalty and memory that link us together as citizens, as neighbors, as patriots.

This is our future — our fate — and our choice to make. I am asking you to choose greatness. No matter the trials we face, no matter the challenges to come, we must go forward together.

We must keep America first in our hearts. We must keep freedom alive in our souls. And we must always keep faith in America's destiny — that one nation, under God, must be the hope and the promise and the light and the glory among all the nations of the world!

Thank you. God bless you, God bless America. Thank you very much."

the wanderer
Tue Feb 05 22:08:56
it really captures his normal way of speaking

McConnell looked yellow, hopefully he's dying
Tue Feb 05 22:23:50
At least McConnell showed up. How much longer does RBG have to be missing before we can declare her legally dead?
the wanderer
Tue Feb 05 22:46:11
Fox & Friends declared her dead in mid January

Tue Feb 05 22:58:53
We are all going to die!
Tue Feb 05 23:18:04
Her toughness is extraordinary. 329 days left in 2019.
Cherub Cow
Tue Feb 05 23:29:14
"Fox & Friends declared her dead in mid January"

lol@pic. Yeah, still plenty of time left in 2019 for that to be correct :D
Wed Feb 06 03:00:19
FACT CHECK: Trump’s claims in his State of Union address

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump laced his State of the Union speech with puffed-up numbers and partial truths Tuesday as he hailed an “economic miracle,” warned of human traffickers flooding across the border and appeared to place Afghanistan in the Middle East instead of where it is, Asia.

Trump used information selectively in claiming a drop in drug prices not seen in half a century and promised the nation it would see bountiful benefits from a trade deal that hasn’t been approved, might not be and in any event makes only modest changes from the status quo.

or her part, Democrat Stacey Abrams reflected a recent and misleading talking point by her party when she slammed the Trump administration for choosing to “cage children” at the border, ignoring a practice also employed by the Obama administration to hold migrant children in facilities with chain-link fencing.

Here’s a look at some of the statements from State of the Union night:


TRUMP: “Our brave troops have now been fighting in the Middle East for almost 19 years.”

THE FACTS: Trump exaggerated the length of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan began in October 2001, in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. The invasion of Iraq was in March 2003. The U.S. has been at war for a bit more than 17 years.

Also, he refers to fighting in the Middle East. Iraq is in the Middle East, but Afghanistan is in south and central Asia.


TRUMP, describing progress over the last two years: “Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps.”

THE FACTS: The number of people receiving food stamps actually hasn’t declined that much.

Government data show there were 44.2 million people participating in the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program in 2016, before Trump took office. In 2018, there were 40.3 million people participating in SNAP. That’s a decline of 3.9 million, not the 5 million that Trump talked about.

The number of people participating in the SNAP program peaked in 2013 and has been going down since that time.

Trump’s last budget proposed cutting SNAP by $213 billion over 10 years. The administration also has been pushing to give states more flexibility in implementing the program, including tightening work requirements for recipients.


ABRAMS: “The Republican tax bill rigged the system against working people. Rather than bringing back jobs, plants are closing, layoffs are looming and wages struggle to keep pace with the actual cost of living.

THE FACTS: The economy is doing better in the wake of the Trump administration’s tax cuts than Abrams suggests. The number of people seeking unemployment benefits, a proxy for layoffs, briefly fell to a five-decade low last month. And average hourly pay is running ahead of inflation.


TRUMP: “These (border) agents will tell you where walls go up, illegal crossings go way, way down ... San Diego used to have the most illegal border crossings in our country. In response, a strong security wall was put in place. This powerful barrier almost completely ended illegal crossings ... Simply put, walls work and walls save lives.”

THE FACTS: It’s a lot more complicated than that.

Yes, Border Patrol arrests in the San Diego sector plummeted 96 percent from nearly 630,000 in 1986 to barely 26,000 in 2017, a period during which walls were built. But the crackdown pushed illegal crossings to less-patrolled and more remote Arizona deserts, where thousands died in the heat. Arrests in Tucson in 2000 nearly matched San Diego’s peak.

Critics say the “water-balloon effect” — build a wall in one spot and migrants will find an opening elsewhere — undermines Trump’s argument, though proponents say it only demonstrates that walls should be extended.

The Government Accountability Office reported in 2017 that the U.S. has not developed metrics that demonstrate how barriers have contributed to border security.


TRUMP: “We recently imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods — and now our treasury is receiving billions of dollars.”

THE FACTS: This is misleading. Yes, money from tariffs is going into the federal treasury, but it’s largely coming from U.S. businesses and consumers. It’s not foreign countries that are paying these import taxes by cutting a check to the government.

His reference to money coming into the treasury “now” belies the fact that tariffs go back to the founding of the country. This revenue did not start with his increased tariffs on some goods from China.

Tariffs did produce $41.3 billion in tax revenues in the last budget year, according to the Treasury Department. But that is a small fraction of a federal budget that exceeds $4.1 trillion.

The tariffs paid by U.S. companies also tend to result in higher prices for consumers, which is what happened for washing machines after the Trump administration imposed import taxes.


TRUMP: “Our new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — or USMCA — will replace NAFTA and deliver for American workers: bringing back our manufacturing jobs, expanding American agriculture, protecting intellectual property, and ensuring that more cars are proudly stamped with the four beautiful words: MADE IN THE USA.”

THE FACTS: It’s unlikely to do all those things, since the new agreement largely preserves the structure and substance of NAFTA. In addition, the deal has not been ratified and its chances in Congress are uncertain.

In one new feature, the deal requires that 40 percent of cars’ contents eventually be made in countries that pay autoworkers at least $16 an hour — that is, in the United States, or Canada, but not in Mexico. It also requires Mexico to pursue an overhaul of labor law to encourage independent unions that will bargain for higher wages and better working conditions for Mexicans.

Still, just before the agreement was signed, General Motors announced that it would lay off 14,000 workers and close five plants in the United States and Canada.

Philip Levy, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a trade official in Republican President George W. Bush’s White House, says: “President Trump has seriously overhyped this agreement.”


TRUMP: “Already, as a result of my administration’s efforts, in 2018 drug prices experienced their single largest decline in 46 years.”

THE FACTS: Trump is selectively citing statistics to exaggerate what seems to be a slowdown in prices. A broader look at the data shows that drug prices are still rising, but more moderately. Some independent experts say criticism from Trump and congressional Democrats may be causing pharmaceutical companies to show restraint.

The Consumer Price Index for prescription drugs shows a O.6 percent reduction in prices in December 2018 when compared with December 2017, the biggest drop in nearly 50 years. The government index tracks a set of medications including brand drugs and generics.

However, that same index showed a 1.6 percent increase when comparing the full 12 months of 2018 with the entire previous year.

“The annualized number gives you a better picture,” said economist Paul Hughes-Cromwick of Altarum, a nonprofit research organization. “It could be that something quirky happened in December.”

Separately, an analysis of brand-name drug prices by The Associated Press shows there were 2,712 price increases in the first half of this January, as compared with 3,327 increases during the same period last year.

The size of this year’s increases was not as pronounced. Both this year and last, the number of price cuts was minuscule. The information for the analysis was provided by the health data firm Elsevier.


TRUMP: “Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades, and growing for blue collar workers, who I promised to fight for, they’re growing faster than anyone else thought possible.”

THE FACTS: This is an unsupported statement because the data on hourly wages for private workers only go back to 2006, not decades.

But data on wages for production workers date back to 1939 — and Trump’s claim appears to be unfounded.

Average hourly earnings for production and non-supervisory workers are up 3.4 percent over the past year, according to the Labor Department. Those wage gains were higher as recently as early 2009. And they were averaging roughly 4 percent before the start of the Great Recession in late 2007.

There are other ways to track wage gains — and those don’t work in Trump’s favor, either.

Adjusted for inflation, median weekly wages rose just 0.6 percent in 2018. The gains in weekly wages were 2.1 percent in 2015.


ABRAMS, in the Democratic response: “We know bipartisanship could craft a 21st century immigration plan but this administration chooses to cage children and tear families apart.”

THE FACTS: The cages that Abrams mentions are actually chain-link fences and the Obama administration used them, too.

Children are held behind them, inside holding Border Patrol facilities, under the Trump administration. As well, Obama’s administration detained large numbers of unaccompanied children inside chain link fences in 2014. Images that circulated online of children in cages during the height of Trump’s family separations controversy were actually from 2014 when Obama was in office.

Children are placed in such areas by age and sex for safety reasons and are held for up to 72 hours by the Border Patrol.

The Department of Homeland Security inspector general visited five detention facilities for unaccompanied children on the Texas border with Mexico in late June, during the height of the furor over family separations, and found they appeared to comply with detention standards. The government watchdog reported that cleanliness was inconsistent but that the children had access to toilets, food, drinks, clean bedding and hygiene items.

At the height of the family separations, about 2,400 children were separated. Since then, 118 children were separated. Immigration officials are allowed to take a child from a parent in certain cases — serious criminal charges against a parent, concerns over the health and welfare of a child or medical concerns.

That policy has long been in place and is separate from the now-suspended zero-tolerance Trump administration policy that saw children separated from parents only because they had crossed illegally.


TRUMP: “African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded.”

THE FACTS: What he’s not saying is that the unemployment rates for all three groups have gone up since reaching record low levels.

Black unemployment reached a record low, 5.9 percent, in May, but rose to 6.8 percent in January.

Latino unemployment fell to 4.4 percent, its lowest ever, last October, and Asian unemployment fell to a record low of 2.2 percent in May. But Latino and Asian unemployment also have increased, in part because of the government shutdown, which elevated unemployment last month.

The African-American rate is still nearly double the jobless rate for whites, at 3.5 percent.

The most dramatic drop in black unemployment came under President Barack Obama, when it fell from a recession high of 16.8 percent in March 2010 to 7.8 percent in January 2017.


TRUMP: “Human traffickers and sex traffickers take advantage of the wide open areas between our ports of entry to smuggle thousands of young girls and women into the United States and to sell them into prostitution and modern-day slavery.”

THE FACTS: His administration has not supplied evidence that women and girls are smuggled by the “thousands” across remote areas of the border for these purposes. What has been established is nearly 80 percent of international trafficking victims cross through legal ports of entry, a flow that would not be stopped by a border wall.

Trump distorts how often trafficking victims come from the southern border, according the Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative , a global hub for trafficking statistics with data contributed by organizations from around the world.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline, a venture supported by federal money and operated by the anti-trafficking group Polaris , began tracking individual victim records in 2015. From January through June 31, 2018, it tracked 35,000 potential victims. Of those, there was a near equal distribution between foreigners on one hand and U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents on the other.

Most of the labor trafficking victims were foreign, and most of the sex trafficking victims were U.S. citizens. Of foreign nationals, Mexico had the most frequently trafficked.


TRUMP: “In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom — a boom that has rarely been seen before. There’s been nothing like it. ... An economic miracle is taking place in the United States.”

THE FACTS: The president is vastly exaggerating what has been a mild improvement in growth and hiring. The economy is healthy but not nearly one of the best in U.S. history.

The economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.8 percent last spring and summer, a solid pace. But it was just the fastest in four years. In the late 1990s, growth topped 4 percent for four straight years, a level it has not yet reached under Trump. And growth even reached 7.2 percent in 1984.

Almost all independent economists expect slower growth this year as the effect of the Trump administration’s tax cuts fade, trade tensions and slower global growth hold back exports, and higher interest rates make it more expensive to borrow to buy cars and homes.


TRUMP: “All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before.”

THE FACTS: Of course, there are more women working than ever before. But that’s due to population growth — and not something that Trump can credit to any his policies.

The big question is whether a greater percentage of women is working or searching for a job than at any point in history. And on this count, women have enjoyed better times.

Women’s labor force participation rate right now is 57.5 percent, according to the Labor Department. The rate has ticked up recently, but it was higher in 2012 and peaked in 2000 at roughly 60 percent.


TRUMP: “We have unleashed a revolution in American energy - the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world.”

THE FACTS: True, if “we” means Trump and his recent predecessors. It’s not all to Trump’s credit. The government says the U.S. became the world’s top natural gas producer in 2013, under Barack Obama’s administration.

The U.S. now leads the world in oil production, too, under Trump. That’s largely because of a boom in production from shale oil, which also began under Obama.


Sorry for the long post but Trump's many lies, half-truths and misapplied credit makes this post long.
the wanderer
Wed Feb 06 11:23:49
more quotes delivered by the ignorant criminal dictator:

"An economic miracle is taking place in the United States, and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations."

"If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn't work that way!"
Wed Feb 06 11:48:39
"An economic miracle is taking place in the United States, and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations."

Clinton economic boom, >current "miracle" went on swimmingly during eight years of republican investigations and his eventual impeachment, so I wouldn't worry about american economy being negatively affected
Turtle Crawler
Wed Feb 06 14:35:48
Well that one was driven by Congress, it was a great speech.
Wed Feb 06 16:16:53

I, for one, am thankful for the sudden interest by the media in drilling down every unfactual soundbyte by politicians.
Wed Feb 06 16:21:11
Like wow


Drumpf is finished for sure now
Wed Feb 06 16:22:23
Wrong one. :(

Wed Feb 06 16:41:52
^its going to make me so happy when NYT journalists join their comrades in needing to learn how to code.
Cherub Cow
Thu Feb 07 00:11:50
Splicing the difference between 18 and 19 years seems petty even for the NYT... they must be short on outrage at the moment.
Thu Feb 07 00:23:09
Did you guys see it comming 2 years ago? That the democrat women would be doing standing ovations for Trump as Trump is talking about women in the work force and congress? That Alexandra ”the Red” Coretez would be standing in front of Trump, chanting U S A ?

The snarled faces of these women looking unapprovingly at Trump, cracking into smiles and laughter and standing ovations. God lord, what did I just watch??
Thu Feb 07 00:32:32
My take away is that women in politics are vapid idiots who will smile and clap like conditions dogs as soon as you commend them for having pussies, doesn’t even matter who is saying it, they can’t help it. Literally in the language the american liberals have been using, this was Jews clapping for Hitler LOL :)

They will not save ”men” from anything and they will not replace anyone. They suck equally, but differently.
Thu Feb 07 01:25:52
They were doing standing ovations for themselves because they got jobs. A couple of first term members were pointing their thumbs at themselves and the rest were cheering for them. They can cheer for themselves but they frown on the idea of ending sex trafficing.
the wanderer
Thu Feb 07 01:50:13
you accept Trump's claim that a wall will end sex trafficking? (that he based on nothing as usual)
Thu Feb 07 02:43:42
I accept the idea that it will make it tougher to smuggle people across the border.

I also heard and then read the entire speech. President Trump didn't say a wall will end sex trafficking.

That is something you concocted all on your own because your hate for him has made you delusional.

I'll give you this though, you spelled trafficking correct.
the wanderer
Thu Feb 07 14:29:09
that's his whole claim, the wall & all the amazing results it will provide is the only thing he talks about regarding border security

it's not in the SOTU as adults kept most of his nonsense out of it

he claims people in suped-up vehicles (way better than anything border patrol has) have duct-taped women in the backseat...they turn right at the existing fencing, drive awhile, then turn left easily entering America... they don't come at border crossings as too much risk (he also has pretended the same about drugs, which is also entirely false)

some of his quotes:
They're driving in and they're not coming through checkpoints, because you can't have three or four people in the back with tape over your mouths and your hands tied and drive past someone who is checking out your van... The fact is if we don't have barriers, walls, call them what you will, very strong barriers where people can not any longer drive right across. They have unbelievable vehicles. They make a lot of money. They have the best vehicles you can buy. They have stronger, bigger and faster vehicles than our police have and that ICE have and that Border Patrol have. They're pretty good at that. They have areas they go to. It's like a highway.

odd if this place exists they can't show photos or video...

a completely made-up narrative, there were even emails sent around gov't trying to get someone to provide some idea where Trump getting this total BULLSHIT from

human trafficking experts have said this is not how it happens at all
Cherub Cow
Thu Feb 07 16:48:15
He might be getting the suped-up vehicle thing from the very real method of Mexican drug smugglers ditching SUVs in the Rio Grande to evade capture:
They float the drugs over the river at unprotected spots, pick the drugs up by SUV, and if those SUVs get spotted, they crash back into the river for drug retrieval.

That's different from crossing people by vehicle, though. People get trafficked by tunnel, by foot (which includes crossing non-fenced areas and cutting/jacking through weak fences), by motorcycle, and by boat (e.g., across the Rio Grande or around the California coast). Large vehicles can be easier to spot while attempting to make a full surface crossing — large vehicles need to drive close to the border, drop people off, and pick up with another vehicle on the U.S. side. So it sounds like he's combining stories. It's that Peter Thiel paraphrase: the media takes Trump literally, not seriously, and Trump voters (or less sensationalist people) take him seriously but not literally. So the media would say, "Aha! 18 years in the Middle East! Not 19!," whereas less sensationalist people would realize that U.S. troops have been overseas for a long time. Similarly here, people may not be crossing primarily by driving the fence and crossing in the same vehicle at open border spots, but the border still allows crossing by the above methods, which can mean a weak border.
the wanderer
Thu Feb 07 16:54:46
i'm incredibly confident he gets his stories from no source whatsoever... happens too often w/o anyone even on his team ever being able to explain where he got his info
the wanderer
Thu Feb 07 17:25:03
recall why Trump changed to wanting a see-through wall (fence):

“As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them–they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of the stuff? It's over. As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall."

i'm guessing that was not border patrol's argument
Thu Feb 07 18:26:16
How do you define being incredibly confident?

1) Can it be a form of ignorance?

2) Reasonable assumption gleaned from prejudice?

Both seem to be synonymous from my perspective.

3) Factual?

Verification is difficult within the current media and social environment of bit by bit.

Being skeptical seems reasonable.
the wanderer
Thu Feb 07 19:03:58
it means i am 100% certain, you can trust my
expertise on Trump ignorance & idiocy or be deceived

there is no question he makes shit up on a regular basis

as my go-to example see how he described the 'visa lottery' (fully wrong start to finish, & said more than once)... there is NO way that was based on anything but his imagination (& sadly was barely a news story)

it's not hard to realize Trump relies on ZERO facts for his claims if you pay attention (and that's to what he actually says, not what his defenders then claim he meant to say)

example, actual Trump:
"In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally"

his defenders: 'he's just saying we should be vigilant about voter fraud'

the wanderer
Thu Feb 07 19:42:55
remember how he declared there were unknown middle easterners in the middle of the caravan.... again based on NOTHING, as proven by no one on his team being able to back it up

he even eventually admitted he had no evidence when pressed (thus meaning it was total made-up bullshit)... yet he declared it as fact initially... something he has no problem doing... on a regular basis

totally ridiculous he's still in that office
Thu Feb 07 20:08:03
The democrats politicians, republicans politicians, polls, the media, and Clinton were incredibly confident that Trump would never become President. He defeated blind trust expertise. He is one ignorant tool, eh?

And it had nothing to do with Russia! Russia! Russia!, trust my expertise. chuckle
the wanderer
Thu Feb 07 21:40:13
I'm not sure your point... predicting elections isn't exactly the same as provable constant made-up bullshit (also, I complained about Trump throughout the primaries and election season, I was in no way certain he couldn't win)

when has he ever backed up ANY claim? it could not be more clear that he is not tethered to truth in any way, plus absolutely no indication of intellectual curiosity in actually learning any truth... he lies/bullshits on everything big or small, no idea why people accept it

name a topic for which he seems well-informed (reading a teleprompter doesn't count)

the wanderer
Thu Feb 07 21:46:40
he cited nothing when pressed on his middle easterners in the caravan claim... that is PROOF that he made it up

if some intelligence report or ANYTHING had given him that information he would have said it

that would be true of an enormous list of his claims if I cared to compile it, yet it would change no minds so why bother
Thu Feb 07 22:08:51
"72 were citizens of countries from the region covered by US Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs."

the wanderer
Thu Feb 07 23:48:40
that's what i mean by changing Trump words into other things... he didn't say an occasional middle easterner is caught in Mexico

"Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy. Must change laws!"


"You know what you should do Jon, go into the middle of the caravan, take your camera and search," the president said. "No no, Jon take your camera, go into the middle, and search. You're going to find MS-13, you're going to find Middle Eastern, you're going to find everything. And guess what, we're not allowing them in our country."

those hypothetical middle easterners (& MS-13) were declared as fact to create fear of terrorists for his midterm stunt of deploying troops

speaking of midterm bullshit, recall the 10% tax cut just for the middle class that he said was just about to be rolled out... which NO ONE in congress knew anything about... and vaporized after the midterm, despite being same congress for 2 more months
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