I come to this park for peace. I have come to realize this. It's all about the water, the pond. I find it soothing. It's a little bit chilly but I am happily here and feel the results almost immediately.
I, like many others, watched our president's speech last night to Congress. I was immediately startled by his poise, his presidential manner. I found myself smiling, nodding a few times. Well, now! This was not as bad as I thought it would be. There were no glaring speech errors. No boasting. He didn't do that self satisfied pig face that sets my teeth on edge. I was impressed. I found myself lulled by his words. I watched for forty five minutes and then had to go to bed. I was sleepy and realized that my attention was waning. But, for the first time in months, I felt a little better. Not great, but I felt like maybe...just maybe, President Trump might not be the end of America.
I woke up this morning and set to work, as I do every time a President speaks to Congress. I fact check. I did it with Bush and Obama. I'll do it with Trump. I had taken down a lot of notes and I went back to them.
And started fact checking. My heart began to sink.
Corporate job expansion. This began under Obama. As did military cost savings. I didn't know this. I remembered Trump boasting about getting jet costs reduced. This was actually started with negotiations in December. With Obama. The head of the Air Force program announced significant price reductions in the contract for the Lockheed F-35 fighter jet on December 19th. This was weeks before Trump met the company's ceo. Richard Aboufalia, an aerospace consulting firm analyst, said that there were no additional cost savings as a result of Trump calling for a meeting. It had already happened.
Trump: According to the National Academy of Sciences, our current immigration system costs America's taxpayers many billions of dollars a year.
I looked up the National Academy of Sciences' actual report. It says, "Immigrants contribute to government finances by paying taxes and add expenditures by consuming public services." The report actually found that immigrant's children are among the strongest economic and fiscal contributors to the population.
Trump: Since my election, Ford, Fiat, Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Softbanks, Lockheed, Intel, and Walmart have announced they'll create tens of thousands of new American jobs.
I looked up EVERY ONE of these companies. All made announcements about this that predate Trump's election. In the case of Intel, this was started two years ago during Obama's presidency.
Trump: We will provide massive tax relief for the middle class.
I could find NO specifics on the how or why of this statement. In fact, independent analysis of Trump's campaign proposals found that most of the benefits would flow to the wealthiest.
This actually made me laugh:
Trump: 94 million Americans are out of the labor force.
(Note the special wording of this...)
The truth? He is including everyone aged 16 and older who doesn't have a job and isn't looking for one. Seriously? He tried to pull THAT off? Retirees and 16-19 year olds make up over 60% of that figure.
Trump: According to the Justice department, the vast majority of people convicted for terrorism came here from outside of our country.
I could find NOTHING from the Justice Department stating that. But, according to the Homeland Security Department, of the 82 people to attempt an attack in the U.S? Over half were native born citizens.
Trump: Obamacare is collapsing.
There are a lot of flaws in Obamacare. These are mainly caused because too few young, healthy people signed up to guarantee the stability of the insurance markets.
This really troubled me, especially because Trump often eluded to his "big awesome plan" to replace Obamacare in his campaign. Where is it? He lied. He never had one. That is a glaring fact now. If he had one, why is he hiding it? He is not one to hide his light under a bushel basket.
So, I'm no longer lulled. And after I saw him point out the navy seal's wife, I was right next door to furious.
The mission that killed him was under Trump's direct order, even after several strategists warned him that the information was "unreliable" and may even be a trap. No. He wanted that feather for his cap. A good man died. Why was this information unreliable? Because of Trump's travel ban, we've lost thousands of translators and snitches because we can no longer offer them asylum in America if they are caught. So no one wants to help us anymore and we're relying on unreliable sources. A man is dead. A woman is weeping on TV and the man who has blood all over his hands smugly offers condolences. Shameful.
I don't understand all these Republicans who are okay with our first lady and their young son living in Trump Tower. This costs us 130,000$ PER DAY. Yet, no one utters a word except that Barron really wants to stay in his school. I'm so sorry, but thems the breaks. When Daddy gets a new job in a different city, his company doesn't have to pay for his family to remain in his old town. If Michelle Obama had pulled this stunt, you'd all be foaming at the mouth.
So now, looking at the water to soothe myself. Knowing that the head bobbing Trumpers feel all gooey inside because their Donny managed not to look like an idiot on television. I wonder how long we have to set the bar this low? I wonder how long before he tweets something stupid again? Until then, let's watch and hope. Just stare at this water and hope.