Trump Fiction: Soybeans v. Edamame

Mr. “I alone can fix it” continues to lie for the sake of justifying the unsupportable. Recently he got it wrong about farmers and soybeans, claiming the fall in prices resulted from “bad (terrible) Trade Deals” (it didn’t). Since much of his base is rural and agrarian, let’s see if they ignore the fiction. Maybe City Boy Donald got confused between a major crop export and the Asian menu item . Here’s the truth.
Continue reading “Trump Fiction: Soybeans v. Edamame”

Trump Fiction: Germany Captive to Russia?

The executive blunderbuss is at it again, shooting off his mouth without checking for the truth. This time, July 11, at the NATO Conference in Brussels, he berated Germany for being “captive” to Russia due to getting “60-70% of their energy from Russia.” We’ll admit Mr. Tiny Hands knows a thing or two about being captive to Russia. He is routinely captivated himself by Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin, but that is the limit of the trump experience with Russia captives. Here’s the truth.
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Trump Fiction: 1929 and counting …

O Canada” and oh, those Canadians! Hell may have no fury like a polite Canadian slapped with an unfair tariff. Whether due to the tariffs imposed by Mr. Tiny Hands or not, the Toronto Star has compiled a list of all known current lies our president has told since his inauguration. It’s up to 1929 as this is posted,  in what may be a continuously updating total for the article. Adding insulting truth to injury, the author doesn’t mince words, attaching the labels “constant liar” and “serial liar” to our chief executive. Bravo! Continue reading “Trump Fiction: 1929 and counting …”

Trump Fiction: Workers “coming back off the sidelines”?

Don’t give us that skanky look, girl. You know this is a sleight of word pitch. Not so bald-faced as your daddy but he still would be proud of your effort.

Are workers really “coming back off the sidelines and into the workforce as Ms. Assistant-to-the-President would suggest? Or is this just more hot air from the royal family, hyping a charade that the economy is improving entirely due to current administration actions? Continue reading “Trump Fiction: Workers “coming back off the sidelines”?”

Trump Fiction: 5000 Immigration Judges?

Did the Liar-in-Chief just tell another whopper to the only audience who will believe him? You already know the answer to that!

This week he spoke multiple times, most visibly to a rally crowd in South Carolina (population less than combined two large California cities but having the same number of Senators as our entire state). He told a tale of some unknown supplicants requested he “hire 5,000 more judges” to handle the cases of immigrant detainees.  Asked to clarify who were the “they” that requested the judges, administration spokespeople – including Sarah Sanders, recently denied service at a Virginia restaurant – could not answer.

Fact Checkers are blossoming everywhere. This one is researched and reported by ABC News, which can’t resist adding some snark to the lead-in. Continue reading “Trump Fiction: 5000 Immigration Judges?”

Trump Fiction: Immigrant Family Separations

This is an “Outside Fact Check” on the president’s continuing 2018 claims that separation of minors from immigrant adults is the result of Democratic actions, or founded in law, or has a Biblical basis, or requires Congressional action to remedy.

 

With the expectation that this sorry tragedy will continue to play out (as it already has with the actors being the president, attorney general, a Cabinet secretary, and other administration spokespeople), we offer a comprehensive analysis of the background. Continue reading “Trump Fiction: Immigrant Family Separations”

The State of our Union is Perilous!

Dear Indivisible Friends,

The State of the Union is Perilous.

As we learned yesterday FBI Director Christopher Wray pressured FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to step down sooner than McCabe originally planned to do so. With McCabe out of the way, it appears that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is in the crosshairs of the Trump/Russia investigation. Firing Rosenstein is a way to stop Special Prosecutor, Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump administration’s possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 Presidential election.

Continue reading “The State of our Union is Perilous!”

Net Neutrality Is Internet Equality for All – The Web as We Know It Is Under Attack, but It Is Not Too Late to Stop It

by KEITH CARLSON AND MITCHELL KRIEGMAN

The web as we know it is under attack, but it is not too late to stop it. Trump’s Federal Communications Commission is trying to destroy the fair and open access we all have to the internet by ending “net neutrality.”

Net neutrality is simply another way to say “internet equality.” It means simply that everyone — vendors like Amazon and Netflix, social media companies like Facebook and Twitter, as well as every consumer browsing the internet from work, home, or mobile phones — all have equal access to the internet. This is not about how fast the connections are for these vendors or individual consumers; we all know that you pay more for faster connections. The issue here is about the information as it flows from its source to the information consumer, and whether those giant routers and switches in the core of the internet treat each bit of information equally.

This means that on the internet, Comcast, Time Warner, Cox and other telecommunications companies cannot favor one supplier — like Netflix, or Hulu — over your local community services, your doctor, or your personal web pages. It means that the big cable companies and conglomerates that provide the news can’t favor their news services over others.

When you consider how important news services are today in learning the truth, with many citizens getting all or most of their news and information over the web, this issue is significantly more serious than just whether you get to see Game of Thronesstreaming better than Stranger Things.

On Thursday, December 14, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on whether to maintain current rules regulating internet service providers (ISPs) as “telecommunications services” (like public utilities) or return them to weaker regulations as “information services.” Individual consumers should be opposed to relaxing the rules on ISPs because these changes will inevitably lead to higher prices for consumers and greater influence for the large ISPs. In addition, new internet startups will face new hurdles, limiting innovation in the internet economy.

ISPs, the giant companies that provide the pipes for the internet to get to homes and businesses, are especially scrutinized now, since the net neutrality laws of 2015. The laws originally designed to regulate them in the early 1990s did not anticipate the huge, varied, and important web we know today. Since the internet is now a critical resource for news and information, these changes could have a wide-ranging impact on the social and political landscapes of the future.

Consumers have been protected from unfair internet practices in two ways: regulations on content and regulation on ISPs. Content is regulated according to standards for legality and decency. Those standards are not the issue here. The other protection is regulation of ISPs.

In 2014, we saw Comcast charge Netflix more for faster access to consumers. Such charges invariably end up being paid by consumers. All the big ISPs say now, “We’d never do that to you,” but the history remains and the protections would be gone. Consumers are right to be skeptical of powerful companies (or presidents) that say, “Trust us,” but then oppose regulations to bolster that trust.

In 2015, the FCC strengthened its oversight of ISPs to be more like utilities and phone companies with greater consumer protections, including privacy protections, rules prohibiting blocking or throttling of legal content, and rules prohibiting prioritization of content, like the Comcast deal with Netflix. These greater protections could be reversed on Thursday at the FCC meeting. ISPs (e.g., Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Cox) favor the reversal, while internet content providers (e.g., Netflix, Amazon, Google) oppose it. Consumer groups (like the Consumers Union and the ACLU) are also vehemently opposed.

On a neutral playing field, all media and information are treated equally as they flow over the Internet. Payments for preferential access — allowable pre-2015 and maybe again after Thursday’s meeting — would go to ISPs, so it is understandable ISPs support a the rollback of these protections and content providers, who would be paying these fees, oppose it. The bottom line is that these new regulations will raise prices for consumers and hurt competition and innovation in the digital economy,

The Trump administration would like us to think this a done deal. It is not. Your voice can still be heard. We all have to put pressure on the ISPs, cable companies, and our government to stop this.

The internet belongs to all of us. There should be equal access for all to this critical resource, just like other utilities. If you want to stop this business takeover of the internet, contact these organizations and tell them to keep consumer protections in place.

Below are key people we all should all be contacting to support net neutrality.

Chairman Ajit Pai: 202-518-7399 / email: Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov/ Twitter: @AjitPaiFCC

Commissioner Michael O’Rielly: 301-657-9092 / email: mike.o’rielly@fcc.gov Twitter @mikeofcc

Commissioner Brendan Carr: 202-719-7305 / email: Brendan.Carr@fcc.gov/ Twitter: @BrendanCarrFCC

Keith Carlson and Mitchell Kriegman are members of Indivisible Santa Barbara.