Trump is worrisome

I had no idea that Gallup measured daily worry.  Well, they do, and Trump has got people worrying:

U.S. Worry Before and After the 2016-2017 Election and Inauguration

The 33.3% of Americans feeling worried since Trump’s inauguration is the highest monthly average since the 33.7% recorded in September 2011, following the U.S. debt ceiling crisis and Standard & Poor’s downgrading of the U.S. credit rating. It is also similar to levels seen during the Great Recession in 2009.

Similar Rise in Worry Not Seen After Obama’s First Election

The 4.1-point increase in worry since Trump won the 2016 election is significantly higher than the 0.9-point increase recorded during the comparable period after Barack Obama won the 2008 election.

As for me.

Image result for what me worry

Photo of the day

Thanks to JPP for sending me a link to this cool gallery of breaking wave photos.

Warren Keelan

Immigrants and crime in chart form

While political pundits were busy falling all over themselves that Trump successfully read off a teleprompter and was not particularly mean-spirited in tone on Tuesday night, they pretty much overlooked him stealing a page from the Nazi’s and other authoritarian regimes with his proposal for a new office dedicated to crimes caused by immigrants.  So, so wrong.  Especially, when you consider the reality, nicely captured in this chart:

Yep.  This is not actually the easiest area to study, but we can say with confidence that there is simply not any decent evidence that immigrants, legal or illegal, are more prone to crime than native-born.  But, pesky things like facts never stopped Donald Trump.

Trump’s moral cowardice

Some really good takes on Trump’s blatant exploitation on the Navy Seal widow.  Paul Waldman’s is probably the best.  Really, read the whole thing.  That said:

The problem isn’t that Trump honored Carryn Owens at a moment of terrible grief, or that he spoke movingly of her husband’s death. All that was altogether appropriate. Rather, the problem is that he did this after trying to evade any responsibility for what happened, and after the White House cast any criticism of his handling of it as an insult to Ryan’s legacy. In this sense, the entire story raises serious doubts about Trump’s decision-making on matters of national security, and it may be a grim preview of what’s to come…

That brings us to the day of Trump’s speech to Congress. With Carryn Owens invited to the speech and the tribute to her husband being written, the President went on “Fox and Friends” that morning and passed the buck for the raid, blaming it on the Obama administration and the military. “This was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something they wanted to do,” he said. “They came to see me, they explained what they wanted to do ― the generals ― who are very respected, my generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan.”

Once again, imagine if Hillary Clinton were president, had ordered an operation that went terribly wrong, and then tried to blame it on the military. Republicans would have absolutely lost their minds with rage, and they would have been right. [emphases mine] When you’re president, you don’t get to send American servicemembers into harm’s way in an operation you obviously didn’t understand, and then when it all goes wrong and one of those servicemembers is killed, claim that it was somebody else’s fault…

As the applause went on and Carryn Owens stood weeping, Trump offered what in the tiny, narcissistic world he exists in is the highest form of praise: “And Ryan is looking down, right now, you know that. And he’s very happy, because I think he just broke a record,” referring to the length of the ovation.

What exactly is that supposed to mean? Owens set the “Longest Applause for Dead Servicemember In Joint Speech to Congress” record? What kind of person could possibly think that would matter to anyone? Oh, right — Donald Trump would…

Nearly every recent president, Democrat and Republican, has faced that moment of going before the public and saying, “I ordered this operation, and it failed. It’s on me.” But Trump, as we well know, is incapable of taking responsibility. He had his first chance, and his answer was to blame it on the military, then use the sacrifice of a dead SEAL and his widow for his own benefit.

And Josh Marshall on Trump’s blatant lies in service to this:

Donald Trump, 2/28/17: “We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of a U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens. Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero — battling against terrorism and securing our Nation. I just spoke to General Mattis, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, ‘Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.’ Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity.”

NBCNews, 3/1/17: “The Pentagon says Navy SEALs scooped up laptops, hard drives and cell phones in last month’s Yemen raid, but multiple U.S. officials told NBC News that none of the intelligence gleaned from the operation so far has proven actionable or vital — contrary to what President Trump said in his speech to Congress Tuesday.”

Neither Owens’ heroism nor the sacrifice of his death are diminished by the success of the raid in which he died. But as I wrote earlier today, this spectacle from President Trump last night was transparently constructed in order to repurpose Owens’ widow’s palpable grief into a heat shield to ward any effort to question the wisdom of the raid or Investigate what happened and why…

This is a moment when we’ll see how just how earnest the press is about holding the President to account. This ‘presidential’ moment was the most shameless kind of exploitation and it would seem a straight up lie.

And a great piece from former Army officer, Philip Carter:

As a former Army officer, the extended ovation rankled me for other reasons too. Trump’s salute was not presidential; it was the preening of a peacock, a martinet whose very language clashes with the unselfish country-first ethos of the service. As James Fallows points out, Trump’s public tribute also smacked of so many hollow “thank you for your servicespectacles

It’s also impossible to excuse Trump for this spectacle given his own shameful history with respect to military service. Trump aggressively evaded service during the Vietnam War and then insultingly compared his dating experiences in New York City to combat. As a philanthropist, Trump largely ignored veterans causes and even avoided paying them during his campaign—until Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold hounded him into keeping his pledges. During his presidential campaign, Trump insulted prisoners of war, Gold Star families, Purple Heart recipients, and America’s generals. If ever there was a person who should act humbly around the military, it is Donald Trump…

Now that he is commander in chief, Trump’s decisions mean life or death for the men and women under his command. Our troops and their families are not political props, nor are they extras on a reality TV show. They deserve better.

 

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