Halloween may be just days away. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of scary and sad stuff in the news today. So breathe deeply and take a tour of some of the highlights of Wednesday’s Lil’ Shop of Horrors with me…
Did you know NAFTA is responsible for just about everything wrong with this country except your co-worker’s bad breath? The President’s economic advisor said so in a memo last month. Abortions, divorce, infertility and opioid abuse are all on the rise because of a trade agreement. And they’ve got a chart to “prove” it.
Sad stuff… Today would be a good day for even the most die-hard Trump supporter to acknowledge the man’s complete lack of empathy, thanks to some –now apparently misunderstood– remarks made to the widow of Army Special Forces Sergeant La David Johnson.
Speaking of hallucinations, there must be something really dreadful coming out of the water fountains at the San Diego branch of the Associated General Contractors. They should probably get those pipes looked before penning their next screed promoting conspiracies about Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez.
Yesterday Washington Post reported on a document circulated within the White House in September claiming the demise of the American manufacturing industry led to an uptick in abortions, divorce, infertility and opioid abuse.
The document, prepared as part of the administration’s approach to trade negotiations with Mexico and Canada, blames NAFTA and other pacts for a weakened manufacturing sector in the United States.
One-time San Diego mayoral candidate Peter Navarro, now the director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy prepared the report.
Not only has a declining manufacturing sector has led to job loss and factory closures, according to Navarro, claims about socioeconomic impacts were made. The Post reported there were “presented without any data or information to back up the assertions.”
From the Washington Post coverage:
Navarro, an economist, is part of a wing of small but influential White House advisers who believe decades of free trade policies have decimated the U.S. manufacturing base and allowed other countries, such as China, Mexico, and Canada to take advantage of the U.S. They blame U.S. reliance on exports for hurting U.S. manufacturing, something Trump has promised to reverse.
Two administration officials gave differing accounts of Navarro’s memo, which was prepared and shared last month. One described the documents as staff level, but another said the paperwork was shared with cabinet secretaries during internal deliberations.
Three of the key claims Navarro made in the document, regardless of what’s causing them are easily disproven. The abortion rate in the U.S. is at its lowest point in over 40 years. The divorce rate is also at a 40 year low. And the rate of incarceration has been declining for over a decade, although I’m sure the Trump administration has no intention of changing the fact of the U.S. still having the highest rate of incarceration in the world.
Gee whiz, that Google thingie sure is handy. Maybe somebody should tell the White House there’s more than Twitter on the internet.
Peter Navarro is no newbie when it comes to groundless claims about the economy. He got the job in the Trump administration thanks to hinky claims like deporting 11 million immigrants would not hurt the economy, high tariffs boost economic growth, and–everybody’s favorite– cutting taxes won’t increase the deficit.
After 12 days of silence from the President about the death of four U.S. soldiers in Niger, Trump started by blurting out a provably false claim about former Presidents not calling the families of deceased service members.
Then Trump blamed the Pentagon, saying the paperwork was botched.
And then he really stepped in it.
Trump to widow of Sgt La David Johnson- ‘He knew what he signed up for’
If you have a heart, you should be outragedhttps://t.co/b99vOUiEbL pic.twitter.com/a8CcMKsAkz
— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) October 18, 2017
This morning the President said his remarks as reported were fabricated and offered to prove his point if Congresswoman Frederica Wilson dared repeat the claim.
I stand my account of the call with @realDonaldTrump and was not the only one who heard and was dismayed by his insensitive remarks.
— Rep Frederica Wilson (@RepWilson) October 18, 2017
Then the White House press office made a claim to the effect of ‘the President’s remarks were misunderstood.’
Trump was on speaker phone in a limo on its way to watch the body of Sgt La David Johnson arrive back in the U.S. The Congresswoman, who’d known Johnson since childhood, served as a mentor while he was in school.
The fallen serviceman’s casket will remain closed for the funeral due to the disfigurement of his body.
REPORTER: Mr. President, what did you say to Sgt. Johnson’s widow on the phone yesterday?
TRUMP: I didn’t say what that congresswoman said. I didn’t say it at all. She knows it. And she now is not saying it. I did not say what she said. And I’d like her to make the statement again because I did not say what she said. I had a very nice conversation with the woman, with the wife, who sounded like a lovely woman. Did not say what the congresswoman said. And most people aren’t too surprised to hear that.
REPORTER: What is the proof, Mr. President?
TRUMP: Let her make her statement again and then you’ll find out.
REPORTER: She’s saying that you said this.
TRUMP: OK, let her make her statement again and then you’ll find out.
I still stand by my account of the call b/t @realDonaldTrump and Myeshia Johnson. That is her name, Mr. Trump. Not “the woman” or “the wife”
— Rep Frederica Wilson (@RepWilson) October 18, 2017
Here’s Oliver Willis at ShareBlue with the closer on this item:
Trump refused to specify what he did say during the call, and he would not back up his Twitter boast that he could disprove the content of the call, which joins a long list of nonsense claims that Trump has teased without offering evidence.
These include so-called proof that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States (a lie), that Obama tapped his phone (also a lie), and secret recordings of his conversations with James Comey (this, also, was a lie).
History shows that when his lips are moving, Donald Trump is usually lying.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher cast some serious Facebook shade on the San Diego Associated General Contractors, a group whose politics almost make Donald Trump look sane:
Yesterday, our crazy-ass local AGC guys wrote a great conspiracy piece saying I authored AB 805 because it’s well known that I am running for Mayor. They detailed how it will backfire on me in my pursuits that they’re sure I’m aiming for. So, for the chattering class, let me be clear… I have zero interest in being Mayor of San Diego and there is zero % chance I would run. Zero. So stop.
If the SD AGC hasn’t noticed, and they really should have, I can do far more in Sacramento than is being accomplished by the Mayor. And they can thank me for all that road work we just funded thru SB1 later – I’m sure their contractors hated that.
And on a side note… they wrote that only 18,000 voters in my district agree with my firebrand politics. So, I’ll just leave this right here…
80th Assembly District
San Diego 108,665 30,917 .
District Total 108,665 30,917 .
Percent 77.8% 22.2% .
Like I said earlier I think there’s something in the water. This is what happens when you have cut-rate companies do your plumbing work.
Looking for some action? Check out the Weekly Progressive Calendar, published every Friday in this space, featuring Demonstrations, Rallies, Teach-ins, Meet Ups and other opportunities to get your activism on.
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Michael K Rohde says
Not to agree with trump, but NAFTA has turned out to be a boon for manufacturers and a job killer for labor. It is true that efficiency is a good thing. But this isn’t about efficiency. It is about greed.
When we enact labor laws it is usually after some tragedy has killed or maimed workers. It is reactive and usually intended to protect humans being physically harmed while doing their jobs. The economic reality is it prevents employers from passing on a business expense, i.e. job injuries, to the workers and their families. It isn’t a job creating exercise, it is simply protecting men and women from being exploited. And it raises costs for businesses because they are not allowed to kill or maim workers anymore.
When employers leave the U.S. to lower labor costs, it is not just to reduce hourly wages although that is the most obvious result. It is also to avoid OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Our country realizes it isn’t fair to kill or maim workers and protects them and raises costs to do that. Business responds by going somewhere they do not have to protect workers and also get to pay them less, a win/win for them. Who benefits and who loses is obvious.
Business attacks labor as the reason for leaving the U.S. when in fact it is also because they don’t have to practice safe labor standards and can in fact pass on labor costs to workers by killing and maiming them without compensating them or their widows and orphans. That is where is is unfair to labor and the rest of us tax payers.
These businesses leave the country, are not required to provide a safe work environment as U.S. law requires, which is all supported by tax payers and citizens. They get their profits and enjoy the full force and protection of our 600 billion dollar military and treaties, without the expense of paying taxes, a decent wage or safe working conditions. The protection of the workers has vanished as have the associated expenses of safe working conditions. This is a fake advantage because labor is paying, not the employers. Labor is paying with lower wages and unsafe working conditions but the employers get to sell back into the U.S. economy with all of its’ expensive protections and higher prices.
If the treaty negotiated by our country requires labor protection by these U.S. employers so they don’t gain this unfair advantage of passing on labor costs to employees in a foreign country, then they cannot turn around and sell those products here if they don’t meet those labor standards. That is where NAFTA was promised to protect U.S. labor and it just didn’t. That is why it is unfair to American Labor. It makes it profitable to avoid labor laws and abuse foreign workers.
I’m sure a labor expert or corporate type can put a finer point on this but it is essentially accurate in describing the advantages of leaving U.S. jurisdiction. It is not to escape unfair U.S. regulation, it is to avoid our legal system of protecting workers. And it has made corporations rich and kept wages down in this country.
bob dorn says
Ahhh… it’s so good to hear you and Lorena Gonzale-Fletcher loosen up and fire away at the greed-heads who run our so-called economy. Economy. It starts with Eco, as does ecology, but after that shit happens: we have a “no” and then “my” — two enduring syllables in the minds of the greedy. But seriously, folks, the origin is Greek via Latin’s later fooling around. According to my dictionary: the Greek oikonomia means ‘household management’, based on oikos ‘house’ + nemein ‘manage’.
If Trump had to manage his household expenses no one would deliver milk to his house because of his history of not paying for nothin’.