We know that nearly 3,000 Americans died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. We know that, because the Milken Institute of Public Health at George Washington University did a scientific study based on actual mortality data and death certificates.
These facts are not the story that Donald Trump would like to tell. Trump would prefer that the Puerto Rico disaster response be a success story, with himself as the paper-towel-tossing hero. So he is now literally claiming that the Democrats made up the number out of whole cloth, to make Trump look bad.
This is a technique called the big lie. And it works, particularly among people who have been told to disbelieve what they read in the press. And, as usual, Republican leaders are complicit in the Dear Leader’s lies.
His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.
This could be written about Donald Trump today, couldn’t it? But it wasn’t. It was written during World War II, by the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, as part of their psychological profile of Hitler.
Because the Harrison County Board of Supervisors neglects you. Any time you want to see what Republican small government looks like, just drive a secondary road in the spring and feel the freedom! Freedom from proper maintenance, that is.
This reminder of who wants to shut down the federal government is brought to you by the President of the United States. Trump was already threatening a government shutdown back in August.
Now, the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it, but believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.
And if the government shuts down at midnight tonight, it will be because there aren’t enough Republican votes to prevent it.
Republicans are all about austerity. Their answer to economic recession is to cut spending—at least, as long as a Democrat is President. For Republicans, the recession of the last decade was an opportunity to do what they wanted to do anyway, which is to destroy the social safety net. Conservatives in Europe are the same. But facts are stubborn things.
Portugal’s economy has rebounded dramatically since its $83 billion European Union bailout in 2011. What’s surprising is that this has happened without austerity measures — the spending cuts and tax hikes that Portugal’s creditors, the EU and International Monetary Fund, said were the only way to survive Europe’s debt crisis.
Such measures were initially imposed by Portugal’s then center-right government, on orders from the EU and IMF. But when a left-wing, Socialist-led coalition took power in November 2015 and began canceling austerity — raising wages and lowering taxes — many economists warned Portugal would need a second bailout.
But that has not happened. Instead, the economy has posted 13 consecutive quarters of growth — beginning under the previous government, and surging during the current one. Its budget deficit has hit a 40-year record low of 2.1 percent of GDP, the first time Portugal’s deficit has dropped below EU limits.
Republicans spent a lot of time pretending that Obama was a socialist. This is what real socialists do. And it seems to work.