Fawning over the wrapping, but did the content change?

Various people were fawning over the latest version of the Bad Dude. It is amazing, how fast folks seem to forget, that a chat to Congress is totally stage-managed and well-rehearsed. Of course the Dumb Deal is on best behaviour: he alienated Democrats, Republicans, world leaders these past 40 days! He needs all these folks to accomplish his wish-list!

The tinsel wrapping may have changed, but what about the intentions, aims, content, warped ideas and ideals, all the rest? Anybody falling for yesterday’s performance and fawning about the speech to Congress, forgot what happened during the earlier Fox News interview. Forgot about what happened these past forty and more days.

Fall for the fabricated image and you have been duped. You have let yourself be wrapped up nicely in gift-paper with a cute bow on top. You have fallen for the alternative facts, fake news, fake image. You have been cleverly manipulated.

⦁ The Bad Dude claimed he has ordered federal agencies to fight crimes and dismantle criminal cartels?
They have been doing those jobs for ages. Bad Deal only signed two crime-related executive orders which are unsubstantial flimsies with hardly any impact. But he and his administration won’t tell you this.

⦁ Enforcing immigration laws will raise your monthly pay-check?
Yet to be proven and probably only applicable if you happen to work in one of those low-paid jobs, only migrants are willing to take. The only pay-check increased so far, seems to be the Bad Dude’s own, through doubling the membership fee of his exclusive Palm Beach club – and other lucrative deals, yet to be discovered.

⦁ Ended threats to the US mining industry?
Dumb Deal signed a law which will enable the mining industry to pollute streams, rivers, water supplies – again.
Reports, underpinning conclusions that the “… decline is due to increased mechanization in the mining industry and a market shift by electric utilities away from coal and toward natural gas, which is cheaper. … No credible studies have shown that rolling back major regulations on coal pollution will contribute to a major increase in coal mining jobs.” require a certain mastery of English and willingness to read them.

⦁ Removing criminals?
This has been going on for over 8 years and more – so nothing new. Furthermore: Multiple studies have concluded that immigrants commit fewer crimes per capita than people born in the United States. But such studies contain underpinned, real facts – so are not favoured by governments interested in using alternative facts to manipulate reality.

⦁ Defended other nations’ borders while not defending the US ones?
Anybody able to watch National Geographic, Discovery and similar channels knows, there are complete TV-series on what happened and happens at US borders and airports – well before the Bad Dude came to power. News regularly shows illegal migrants being caught or having died while crossing US borders.
Most recent news coverage showed the length migrants are willing to go to, trying to get out of the US now.

⦁ The number of unemployed Americans
The figure cited by the Dumb Deal includes students, OAPS and retirees, stay-at-home parents and others – though apparently not babies and toddlers. His administration excels in using alternative and hyperbolic “facts” to prove a point.

⦁ Access pipelines will create tens of thousands of jobs
What jobs the construction of access pipelines will create, will be temporary. Most of these temp jobs will be in construction. The construction industries is one of the main business interests of the Bad Dude.
However, it is estimated – mind, estimated – the Keystone pipeline will create 35 permanent jobs. Wow! But wait … he was talking thousands and thousands of jobs?
Unfortunately, the pipelines will cut straight through Native Americans’ land – but the Bad Dude probably considers these people like the native Scottish farmer who dared stand up to the Bad Dude creating a golf course in a Scottish nature reserve. He probably thinks opposition against pipelines consists of third-rate citizens who are Obama supporters and these need to be bullied into submission.

⦁ Too many people are living in poverty
This is a fact the world over, but the US figures cited date from 2015 and were falling. Contrary to some claims uttered by the Bad Dude, he was not ruling the USA before 2017.
Just a thought: a he claims to be a billionaire, how about sharing a couple of million dollars of the family fortune with the US poor?

⦁ NAFTA and similar treaties are bad for US manufacturing jobs
Over the past twenty years, jobs were lost worldwide thanks to technological progress and due to various economic crises. As recent studies point out: thanks to technological progress, these days fewer people are needed to do certain jobs compared to decades ago.
Regarding job-losses: over the past few years, things have improved – but that was under the Obama administration. So that’s something this government does not like to brag about.
Moreover: training the unemployed to help them qualify for new jobs demands investments in training and education, while returns of such investments are long-term ones. Ms DeVos and the Bad Dude’s administration are not interested in investing in education and training, when they need billions for finance their new army.

⦁ Immigrants cost the US too much
Studies show net costs per immigrant vary. The 2016 study cited, concludes that immigrants cost the US an average $57.4 billion between 2011 and 2013. It also concluded that second generation immigrants added a net benefit of $30.5 billion during the same period. Third generation immigrants added a $223.8 billion benefit during the same period.
But a National Academy of Sciences report is a tough read for most folks. So it can be too much of a challenge to someone who, according to a Dumb Deal’s staffer, has not mastered English grammar yet.

⦁ Obamacare is collapsing
As plenty protesters throughout the US like to point out: it is not!
As in any market-economy: big insurance companies have curtailed participation because they are losing money and others have pulled out of states. The current administration and its political party are continuing to destabilize the market even further. This government could take steps ensuring insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry and others keep health care affordable. But that might affect donations, lucrative deals, kickbacks.

⦁ Obamacare is unaffordable
For whom? People who do not qualify for financial help and benefits and subsidies, including billionaires, have to pay the full price.
Research carried out by the Commonwealth Fund showed “The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance coverage expansions are working to get people covered and help them afford healthcare.” The fund is a New York based foundation which studies healthcare systems around the world. Evidence is increasing many people have seen dramatic gains in both health coverage and in access to medical care and prescription drugs since the 2010 law’s coverage expansion began in 2014. (Los Angeles Times)

⦁ Media ignore people killed by (undocumented) immigrants
One can’t blame the media for not covering and totally ignoring massacres and murders which did not take place. On the other hand: local, regional, national media are covering murders including crimes committed by legal and illegal immigrants. But not all murders become international headline news.

⦁ The murder rate increased dramatically – in 2015
According to reports, it increased by 10% compared to 2014. It remains to be seen, if crime figures will decrease over the next four years. Of special interest will be any increase in the hate-crime figures.

In short: the usual hyper-boles, fake news, alternative facts and worse – only this time presented in a different wrapping. Unfortunately, as polls showed this morning: present the hyper-boles, fake news, lies, and alternative facts in tinsel paper and deliver them in a well-rehearsed show – and hey presto! Plenty people will fawn all over you.

NYT: Fact checks
Los Angeles Times: Millions more Americans can afford a doctor’s visit


About Kate

Multilingual arts & culture journalist, blogger, columnist, writer and translator. Contributor to international (news) media. 2014 winning columnist Gentse Schrijversdagen, Gand, Belgium.
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