PANTS ON FIRE – Rich Paschall

State of the Union Address, aka SOTU

Let’s get right to the point, something political speeches usually do not do.  The pronouncements made by the occupant of the White House fall into basically two categories: Lies, and True, but misleading.  It is not unusual for political leaders to take a tidbit of truth and spin it into something it is not.  They like to take any positive news and make the most of it. It is another thing, however, to just lie to the American people and expect to get away with it.

Believe me, folks.

Certainly, 45 and his minions must have known that the fact checkers would be scrutinizing everything he said, especially given his history of daily lies.  That did not seem to stop him from telling some whoppers designed to fire up his fan base.  Followers do not care how much he lies, much to the amazement of many Americans and people around the world.

A vast array of news outlets and independent agencies found a long list of falsehoods and misleading statements by the orange one.  Almost all posted a list of lies except one, the state-friendly FOX News.  They thought the others were just “nitpicking” in their comments on Trump’s supposed “facts.”

While I was reluctant to call the following statements “lies,” rather than “false,” “misstatement,” “error,” or “miscalculation,” I decided that “lie” will work just fine.  After all, the SOTU is an address that is planned well in advance.  The WH has an army of staffers.

Certainly, many of them are checking the facts and cautioning 45 not to say anything too inflammatory or incorrect. That did not stop him.  Maybe it is just more of his “willful ignorance,” but whatever it is, he certainly knows better, or should have.

“The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.”

Lie.

The economy slowed in the fourth quarter last year and is expected to show that it slowed even more in January.  Further, a list of countries has shown greater improvement of economies: Poland, China, India, Latvia. Even Greece, struggling economically for many years, showed greater growth.

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

Misleading.

This is not a good thing as 45 seems to imply.  The US importer pays these extra duties and tariffs.  Usually they are passed along, so in reality, it is the American consumer who is being punished by tariffs.  Even more than this, previously profitable companies are hurting due to extra costs. GM and Ford both claim to lose about a billion dollars each to tariffs.

“My administration has cut more regulations in a short period of time than any other administration during its entire tenure.”

Lie.

Both the Carter and Reagan administrations cut regulations at a faster pace in a number of industries.

“We have created 5.3 million new jobs and importantly added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs — something which almost everyone said was impossible to do, but the fact is, we are just getting started.”

Lie.

Certainly, the White House has better access to the Bureau of Labor Statistics than we do.  His numbers are inflated and the pace of job growth is on par with a two-year period of the Obama administration.  Don’t tell him that, he will go crazy (crazier?).

“More people are working now than at any time in our history.”

Misleading.

The reason is by sheer numbers.  There are more people living here “now than at any time in our history.”

“The border city of El Paso, Tex., used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the entire country, and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities.”

Lie.

El Paso did not have a high crime rate.  Prior to the 2008 border barrier, they were second lowest among cities of similar size.  It is about the same today.

“As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States.”

Misleading.

Many plan to stay in Mexico due to new policies there regarding visas.  Some said they will try to enter the US. They did not say they would try “illegally.”

“Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth.”

Lie.

“Cheered with delight?” Cruel to even suggest this happened. NY state passed a state law to protect the right to choose in case the Supreme Court, now with two Trump extreme right wingers on board, should strike down Roe v. Wade. Abortion after 24 weeks would remain very restricted.

“We had the case of the governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth.”

Lie.

Worse than the lie above.

This is just a handful of the false or misleading statements handed out by 45 in the 82-minute marathon.  There are plenty of sources for checking the facts if you think there is any point to it.  If you are to the left of the aisle, you probably figure most of the SOTU was not true. If you are a supporter of 45, you likely ate up every word of it.  It makes you wish the president would go back to the practice of submitting the address in writing.

Sources:

State of the Union Fact Check: What Trump Got Right and Wrong,” http://www.nytimes.com, Feb. 5, 2019.
Dem response to the State of the Union,” http://www.politico.com, Feb. 6, 2019.
Bizarre State of the Union ‘fact checks’ fall flat, as media accused of nitpicking,” http://www.foxnews.com, Feb. 6, 2019.
Trump’s tariffs have already cost Ford $1B; now it’s planning layoffs,” http://www.nbcnews.com, October 8, 2018.
Trump State of the Union 2019: Which president delivered the longest State of the Union? Shortest?http://www.al.com, Feb. 5, 2019.
Intelligence briefers warn of ‘willful ignorance’ on Trump’s part: report,” http://www.thehill.com, Feb. 3, 2019.

Author: Rich Paschall

When the Windows Live Spaces were closed and our sites were sent to Word Press, I thought I might actually write a regular column. A couple years ago I finally decided to try out a weekly entry for a year and published something every Sunday as well as a few other dates. I reached that goal and continued on. I hope you find them interesting. They are my Sunday Night Blog. Thanks to the support of Marilyn Armstrong you may find me from time to time on her blog space, SERENDIPITY. Rich Paschall Education: DePaul University, Northeastern Illinois University Employment: Air freight professional

19 thoughts on “PANTS ON FIRE – Rich Paschall”

  1. In the past, if a president had told even one lie, it would have been huge news and possibly grounds for impeachment. Now it is daily if not hourly fare. Our political system is sick sick sick, our country sold out to the highest bidder.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s astounding to watch this going on right in front of your face. Not even a care what is what is true or false.
    We have the same dangerous garbage going on up here in Canada, but by a Socialist Trudeau.
    It doesn’t seem to matter if you’re Right of Left – you can still be a total idiot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, and that’s why we didn’t watch it. We watched “The West Wing.” Again. Just to remind us that a long time ago, we had a real president and even a FAKE TV PRESIDENT who was better than our current “real” president. I figured I’d get more than enough material about The Speech on the internet and I was not wrong.

      Watching the West Wing (the whole 7 seasons are on Netflix) is very soothing. There are crises, there are errors, there are disagreements and they don’t always get to do what they want to do with the country or really anything … but they try really hard. Last night’s episode featured — as well as the usual cast — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford and a bunch of actual people who worked in one or another of the real White House when it was still “THE WHITE HOUSE” rather than the southbound end of a northbound horse.

      When we finish all seven seasons (three to go), we might just start over again.

      I can’t take anymore live politics. I watch Colbert and The Daily Show and we watch maybe half an hour of news which has recently become much more like news used to be because they don’t bother to report much about Trump anymore. Which probably hurts worse than anything else they could do to the asshole. He just hates being ignored!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We don’t have TV as such, haven’t for years, all our ‘viewing’ is done via the internet, so I don’t get bombarded with all that crud. I have to actively expose myself to it … which funnily enough, I don’t do all that often! 😀 … once a day I catch the national headlines on CBC, (which annoyingly usually features at least one story about the orange cheeto) Canada’s almost-public broadcaster, and every couple of days I’ll peruse one of the BC TV station’s websites. That’s about it for me.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Rich, I hope you don’t mind that I bumped you forward. I thought this was timely and needed to go up sooner rather than later. Who knows what the jerk will tweet and everyone will promptly forget that we even HAD a State of the Union address.

    At least he doesn’t talk as long as Clinton. Clinton once went on for more than two hours and we both conked out. I liked Clinton personally and professionally (though I really wish he’d kept his dick in his pants!), but MAN he could just go on and on and on and on …

    In a 30-second spot world, no one can cope with a 2+ hour SOTU! That’s just cruel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I am glad you pulled it forward. I just landed it on the first open date. I agree the SOTU will fade from people’s minds fast enough as they move on to something real.

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