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Wall Street Journal Opinion “I Was Never Trump. Not Anymore.”

Wall Street Journal Opinion “I Was Never Trump. Not Anymore.”

I Was Never Trump. Not Anymore.

He has weaknesses, but his presidency has been successful.

By Michael I. Krauss

This opinion piece appeared in the September 3, 2020, print edition as ‘I Was Never Trump. Not Anymore.’

This opinion piece can also be found here:  https://www.wsj.com/articles/i-was-never-trump-not-anymore-11599087108

The Wall Street Journal offers good news reporting but their opinion section appears to be flawed.  

“… nearly 300 of The Journal’s news staff members sent a letter to the paper’s publisher, Almar Latour, condemning the opinion desk’s “lack of fact-checking and transparency.”

Following is just one example showing the problem that the WSJ has with their opinion section:

Claim:  the president has performed his duties and genuinely tried to keep his promises.

Answer: 

Over all? I think it is fair to say that he has in many respects tried to follow through on what he campaigned on, keeping in mind that his platform was unusually confused and contradictory. But I don’t think there’s any reason to believe that he’s anything special when it comes to keeping or at least trying to keep promises, and given his rambling campaign rhetoric, my guess is that he probably gave worse hints about his policy direction in the White House than most.

He is, however, unusually good at pointing out explicitly when he is acting in accord with his campaign rhetoric. That’s a real skill, and he deserves at least a bit of credit for it.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/22/opinion/trump-promises-campaign-2016.html

Claim:  He not only insisted that immigration conform to the rule of law, but advocated for and (where legally permitted) built a border wall.

Answer:

Why the Trump administration’s anti-immigration policies are the United States’ loss and the rest of the world’s gain

1. These actions will motivate companies to move jobs out of the U.S.

2. Entrepreneurial immigrants will start businesses outside of the U.S.

3. Investors will seek investment opportunities elsewhere.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/07/20/why-the-trump-administrations-anti-immigration-policies-are-the-united-states-loss-and-the-rest-of-the-worlds-gain/

 

Claim: The president has appointed more than 200 federal judges, most of whom are superb and committed to finding the law, not making it up.

Answer: 

Trump’s high appointment numbers reflect not only an accommodating, filibuster-free Senate but also the over 100 vacancies that McConnell gave him by his unprecedented refusal to confirm more than only a handful of nominees in Obama’s final two years.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2020/06/26/trumps-200th-judicial-appointment-less-than-meets-the-eye/

——-

“They are largely white and male,” said Vanita Gupta, who runs the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “It is an astonishing lack of representation.”

“These are far more extreme judges than even President George W. Bush put on the bench, and we’re moving in the wrong direction,”

https://www.npr.org/2020/07/02/886285772/trump-and-mcconnell-via-swath-of-judges-will-affect-u-s-law-for-decades

Claim: He has followed through on his promise to reduce taxes and to begin deregulating the economy, creating a remarkable boom that reduced unemployment for minorities to the lowest rates ever recorded.

Answer:

where Trump goes too far is in touting this economy as the “best ever” and trying to portray the end of the Obama era as dire and himself as the hero flying in on the Trump jet to save the day. He has taken steps such as tax cuts to keep the economy growing and increase competitiveness, but he’s also inflicted pain. His tariffs have hurt U.S. manufacturing and agriculture. And his tax cuts and increased government spending have added substantially to the national debt.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/02/04/trump-touts-his-economy-best-ever-data-is-more-mixed/

Claim: the president promoted a historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Answer:

But the agreement generated an immediate backlash in the region from opposite sides of the ideological spectrum. At least some Israeli settlers and their political allies were disappointed that Mr. Netanyahu would give up his plan to claim sovereignty over West Bank territory, while Palestinians felt abandoned by an Arab nation leaving them to remain locked in an untenable status quo even without the threat of annexation.

“This is a black day in the history of Palestine,” Ahmad Majdalani, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, said in an interview shortly before the Palestinian ambassador to the Emirates was recalled in protest. “This agreement is a total departure from the Arab consensus. The Palestinian people have not authorized anyone to make concessions to Israel in exchange for anything.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/13/us/politics/trump-israel-united-arab-emirates-uae.html?auth=login-google

Claim:  He formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. Embassy there (as former presidents promised to do but never did).

Answer:

But none of the previous presidents followed through — one reason being that the move would appear to put the US squarely on the side of Israel.

As the country that has led the Israeli-Palestinian peace process negotiations for the past 25 years, the US is “supposed to be acting like the fireman,” he said. “Instead, we’re acting like the arsonist — we’re making things worse.”

The embassy move could also make the chances of a peace deal, already remote given that the two sides haven’t held serious peace talks in years, nearly impossible.

https://www.vox.com/2018/5/14/17340798/jerusalem-embassy-israel-palestinians-us-trump

Claim: Mr. Trump withdrew from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, the signing of which was possibly the single worst act of the Obama presidency.

Answer:

British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the U.S. to “do everything possible to preserve the gains for nuclear non-proliferation brought about” by the agreement “by allowing for a continued enforcement of its main elements.”

https://www.npr.org/2018/05/08/609383603/trump-u-s-will-withdraw-from-iran-nuclear-deal

Claim:The president eliminated Iranian terrorist mastermind Qasem Soleimani, essentially crushed ISIS, and neutralized its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Answer:

NO Contradictions found

Claim: He signed the Taylor Force Act into law, cutting off aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as it pays support to the families of terrorists.

Answer: 

NO Contradictions found

Claim:  Mr. Trump recognized that a cold war exists with China, and he has taken concrete steps to counter that country’s efforts to weaken our republic.

Answer:

Nearly four years later, none of these goals have been realized, and it is hard to think of a single aspect of Sino-American relations that has evolved favorably for the United States.

https://warontherocks.com/2020/07/what-should-come-after-trumps-failed-china-policy/

Claim: signed an executive order combating anti-Semitism on college campuses.

Answer:

But not all Jewish organizations or activists celebrated the announcement.

Jewish Democratic Council of America executive director Halie Soifer instead attacked the president and said “he is partially responsible” for the rise in antisemitism in American and therefore “just three days after President Trump characterized Jews as money-hungry ‘killers,’ President Trump has zero credibility to take meaningful action to combat the scourge of antisemitism.”

Soifer said that, “If President Trump truly wanted to combat antisemitism, he would accept responsibility for his role in perpetuating antisemitic conspiracy theories and emboldening white nationalism.

https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/antisemitism/trump-expected-to-issue-executive-order-against-antisemitism-on-campus-610540

Claim: promoting school choice to advance poor communities, despite unrelenting opposition from teachers’ unions.

Answer: 

Trump’s budget also includes massive cuts to federal education programs — some $9.2 billion from the current level of $68 billion in federal K-12 education spending. “To boost funding for charter schools while reducing it for other vital programs that help our students.

https://edsource.org/2017/trumps-proposed-cuts-to-education-funding-creates-friction-in-charter-school-community/583796

Claim: the president has named many excellent cabinet members.

Answer:

Ethics Be Damned: More than half of Trump’s 20-person Cabinet has engaged in questionable or unethical conduct

 

 

 

Posted 9/7/2020

Alleged Softening of Negative Reporting by the Wall Street Journal of the Trump Administration.

Alleged Softening of Negative Reporting by the Wall Street Journal of the Trump Administration.

The Los Angeles Times ran a story on their front page Wednesday August 19, 2000 titled “GOP-LED PANEL DETAILS RUSSIA’S 2016 ROLE”  and leads off their story with this first paragraph:

“WASHINGTON – President Trump’s 20016 campaign eagerly capitalized on Russia’s efforts to meddle in the U.S. election four years ago, according to a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee that raises new concerns about connections between his top aids and Moscow.”

The Wall Street Journal put this story in their paper the same day as the LA Times.   They put it back three pages and allegedly wrote the story in such a way that really softened the negative impact toward the Trump administration by somewhat obfuscating the facts to soften the message against Trump.

“Washington – Members of the 2016 Trump campaign represented a major counterintelligence risk to the U.S. due to their frequent contacts with individuals with close ties to the Russian government.”

A new book is coming out Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth  By Brian Stelter.

Enablers are a big problem.

 

Posted August 23 2020

Wall Street Journal “Overcharges” The Unsuspected.

Wall Street Journal “Overcharges” The Unsuspected.

March 19, 2016 I get a letter from The Wall Street Journal telling me they will raise my newspaper subscription rate to $131.25, quarterly.  I go on line and find the price to be way less.  I call customer service and they lower my rate to $98.97 quarterly.

One reason I like to read the Wall Street Journal is almost daily reports of this and that company getting caught doing unethical, criminal, and immoral activity.  I call it white collar crime.  Just below that high bar of despicable activity is corporate greed.  “See what the market will bear” is corporate America creed; I mean greed.  It is sort of ironic that the very news paper that brings me stories of corporate greed is itself an alleged participant.

Shocking Observation, October 2015

Shocking Observation, October 2015

At a local gym where I work out during the week I bring old copies of my Wall Street Journal front section and give them to a Republican friend.  He loves to read the opinion section to affirm his right wing beliefs.  I also bring in the center sections, Personal Journal and Mansion for a women trainer to read.  She is not interested in local or world news.  One of the club members brings the Wall Street Journal to the club and reads it while riding a stationary bicycle.  He does this every day.  After he is done with his workout and before he leaves, he leaves his WSJ paper on top of the cubicles, where people put their gym bags and possessions while working out.    Other club members pick up parts of the paper and read them while on treadmills and bicycles.  Just a few days ago I passed this fellow and asked him if he was still leaving his Wall Street Journal for members to read.  He said that he canceled his subscription.  I asked why and he said he was getting tired of all the negative news.  That’s interesting because just a few days prior I really got the same feeling after looking over that day’s paper.  Just a few days later, October 8, 2015, I talked to my next door neighbor and he too has dropped out from following the news.  He used to listen to Rush Limbaugh, a right wing nut talk show person while driving.  I call Rush the Vomit Comet because he allegedly spews out shill messages for the oligarchy.  My neighbor now listens to National Public Radio.  He then went on to say that his friends have also turned off the news saying that they all feel that its all negative.  He is still a Republican but is utterly discussed with his party.  He wants to see cooperation and not confrontation.

This country really needs an informed citizenry to continue to function as a Democracy.  Idealistically, each of us own this country.  In reality the rich and powerful are always trying to take the handles of power away from the citizens.  This might be one reason the oligarchy wish to diminish public education.  We need to stay engaged with what is going on in our country and around the world so we do not slide into becoming vassals.  Please do not become uneducated about current affairs.

U.S. Medical System – An Inside Look (2014)

U.S. Medical System – An Inside Look (2014)

A doctor responds to our sending a copy of the Wall Street Journal article (Sat/Sun, Aug. 30, 2014, Page C1) to them with the title “Our Ailing Medical System” by Sandeep Jauhar.

“… many of the things that the article lists as ways to improve physician satisfaction are already being done, but the burn out is rampant. I think most of it has to do with expectations on how many patients to see in an hour, how fast you can turn an OR (operating room) around, how many patient e-mails you can answer each day, how many prescriptions you can push out each hour, how many x-rays can you take a day, etc. The pressure has increased dramatically since Obamacare went into effect because we have a lot more patients now, they are often much sicker because they have not seen a doctor in so long, and reimbursement is much lower, so the only way to stay afloat is to push the ‘worker bees’ (i.e., all health care workers, not just MDs) faster and harder (yes, EDs [Emergency Departments] always treated indigent patients and, for that matter, anyone who walks in the ED, but the numbers coming now are much larger). Of course, these patents deserve to be treated,  but they deserve to be treated properly and competently, not in a rush rush assembly line fashion. Obamacare has increased the demands without spelling out ANY way in which the demands can be met. All I see is pressure to meet the law’s requirements (which are a moving target because Obama feels compelled to change parts of the law on his own whim). The people on the ground do not know what is coming, do not know what will change in the law tomorrow, do not know where the patients are coming from or going to, do not know if there will even be any money to pay for the care, but we are mandated to provide it nonetheless.”

Private Equity CEO’s Fail With Social Issues.

Private Equity CEO’s Fail With Social Issues.

I have a membership with a health club where quite a few GOP business people attend.    Many of these people are quite rich.  The men’s locker room is often times loud with anti Obama opinions.  In particular, I watched one individual who was against Obama right after he won the presidency.  I did not think his view as because of prejudice.  The man is very good at investing money but I am soon to realize that he may be stupid about people and social issues.  I am always trying to figure out things to a logical conclusion and I just could not figure out why so many GOP men held such strong opinions against the president.  Just prior to President Obama running for president a second time and about a week or two before the election was held, the Wall Street Journal ran some articles describing how just about all the financial institutions donated vast sums of money to the Romney campaign and virtually nothing to Obama.

August 27, 2012: Wall Street’s Singer Makes His Influence Felt

October 9, 2012: Political Wisdom: Goldman Drops Obama for Romney.

The articles stated (in my words) that Obama failed to genuflect to the financial institution wishes.  The financial institutions wanted even more profits and someone who they could more easily control.  When Obama won the presidency with an impressive margin a second time, I began to realize that the business leaders of all those financial institutions totally failed to understand how this nation was changing, failed to predict the election, failed to understand the social forces that were changing since the past four years.  They wasted vast sums of money and failed to buy access.  One might go so far as claiming that they were below the intelligence level of the very people who voted for Obama.  If this is actually true, then why do we give business leaders so much credit for course corrections on issues outside of their personal knowledge?  Might we require that business people who have political influence in government policy  not go beyond what they directly understand?