RedState's WaterCooler! Saturday, 1/21/2017 - Open Thread - Reality Check Please

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The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth – persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” – JFK

Repetition does not transform a lie into the truth.” – FDR

On par, presidential inaugural addresses aren’t fact-checked. But peri-president Donald Trump’s affinity for hyperbole and his exponentially growing Twitter cache of Fake Breaking News begs for his first verbal intercourse to the nation be scrutinized and verified. He who lies has only himself to blame for what he reaps.

I realize as I google for fact checkers, of which most every media outlet has published one, regardless of which newspaper, news site or blog, Conservative or Republican, the Trump faithful will scoff at the lot. Such is the current of our societal stream right now; because, why? Trump has rooted his followers to accept no fact until it is uttered by the boss himself. Right? Yes. Therefore, if he speaks it, it is true. That logic is impossible to effect.

Anyhow, conspiracy theorists be damned; below are five reasonable, unreasonable Trump claims. RedState’s sister-site Townhall.com published an AP reported collection of the president’s most obvious deceptions.

TRUMP: “The jobs left, and the factories closed … the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon.”

THE FACTS: The American economy is a lot healthier than the wreck Trump describes. Jobs have increased for a record 75 straight months. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in December, close to a nine-year low and to what economists consider full employment … the economy expanded at a 3.5 percent annual pace — fastest in two years.

… Still, Trump’s talk of “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation” rings true in communities that lost factories to low-wage competition from China and Mexico. And the jobless rate is low partly because so many Americans have stopped looking for work and are no longer counted as unemployed.

TRUMP: “We’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own.”

THE FACTS: Hardly. Since 2001, the U.S. has more than doubled the ranks of the Border Patrol, which now has nearly 20,000 agents. The vast majority of those are stationed along the Mexican border, where about 408,000 people were apprehended during the budget year that ended in September.

TRUMP: The U.S. has “subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.”

THE FACTS: The U.S. military may have shortcomings, but it remains the world’s most advanced, expensive and far-flung fighting force. American military spending is nearly three times that of second-place China, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The Pentagon [now headed by General Mattis] says it does have additional needs, including more ships, a replenished air fleet and bigger training budgets to prepare for large-scale combat.

TRUMP: “We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones, and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.”

THE FACTS: Quelling radical Islamic terrorism worldwide is a heavy lift in which the U.S. has been engaged for years, …

A U.S.-led coalition began battling Islamic extremism even before 9/11. In Afghanistan alone, the coalition has fought for more than 15 years to prevent al-Qaida and other radical groups from regaining a safe harbor there. …

The threat is only growing. The Islamic State has a global reach, and attacks linked to radical extremism have occurred in the United States, France, Belgium, Turkey and countries throughout northern Africa.

There. See? That wasn’t so bad.


Welcome, RedStater’s to the Company WaterCooler! It’s RedState’s only Daily open thread. Any closing thoughts on the inaugural festivities?