The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, January 10, 2019


Cynicism is the currency of modern politics. The GOP and Democrats provide numerous examples and the media, well ... they're less cynical than they need to be when it comes to their reporting on one of those two parties. Take the recent "reporting" of Little Jimmy Acosta of CNN—remember him? He's the "journalist" who threw a tantrum because the White House gave him a time out for not sharing his question time with other trained hamsters (and a few actual journalists) in the White House briefing room. But Jimmy won't be deterred. After Donald Trump's short but on-point oval office speech on border protection/security and illegal immigrants, little Jimmy tried to look clever by spouting what was almost certainly a pre-written and rehearsed line (sadly, little Jimmy just isn't smart enough to come up with stuff like this on the fly). Molly Hemingway provides more:
As soon as the speech ended, White House press corps mascot Jim Acosta recited his rather groan-inducing rehearsed line that Trump’s address “should have come with a Surgeon General’s warning that it was hazardous to the truth.”
For the past week, the prevailing media narrative has been that everything Donald Trump says is a lie—even stuff that's provably accurate is a lie. Opinions he espouses are lies. His spokespeople and cabinet members are liars. It lies, lies, lies, lies all the way down. Of course, according to a less than cynical media, the Dems NEVER lie about anything—even when, for example, they continually tell us that they're in favor of robust border security, as they call demonstrably effective physical barriers "ineffective."

On Monday night, it seemed that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi were more concerned about government workers not getting their paychecks on time than they were about tens of thousands of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States every month. And in that case, they weren't lying. To them, an inability to keep big government open and running is a crisis, but a porous border that is becoming more porous with every passing year—nothing to see there, move along! Yeah, a cynical evaluation of the president's speech leads to the conclusion that it's just "scare tactics," sort of like suggesting that tens of thousands of furloughed government workers will be "homeless" next month because Donald Trump won't capitulate to Democrat demands to end the shutdown before they negotiate the border.

But back to Trump's lies, lies, lies and more lies and the fact checking conducted by the trained hamsters in real time as the speech was given. There were some comical results. WaPo fact-checked Trump and then tweeted:
"266,000 illegal aliens arrest in the past two years": the number is right, but misleading. It's important to note that the number includes all kinds of crimes including illegal entry and re-entry.
Oh. So "all kinds of crimes" (e.g., shoplifting, car theft, petty theft, assault, rape, armed robbery, drug arrests, etc., etc. etc. are all sort of okay. Nothing to be concerned about ... except that the people perpetrating them shouldn't be in this country in the first place. The WaPo has done us all a service in keeping Trump honest—except he was being honest. Oh well.

An then there was CBS fact-checking Trump who asserted the 1 in 3 women coming across the border illegally have been sexually abused by traffickers, other illegal immigrants or gang members. Outraged, the CBS crew told us that according to other reliable sources, 80 percent of all women crossing the border have been sexually abused in some way. For the innumerate, that's 8 in 10 women, and for the really innumerate 8 in 10 is a lot worse that 1 in 3. They made Trump's point for him! It is a humanitarian crisis.

Hemingway provides other examples of this media fact-checking idiocy, but a few points need to be made: When children die as a consequence of the harsh journey, when fathers or mothers or others put children in harm's way to gain entry, when women are abused regularly during their journey, when disease, hunger and danger pervades the journey, there is a crisis and no specious claims to the contrary change that reality. It isn't difficult to feel sympathy for the people who make the trek; it's easy to understand that they want a better life; it's even possible that parties that exhibited less cynicism might be able to help at least a small number of those people. But only through compromise. A significant percentage of left-wing Dems would, I think, prefer open-borders, but since the number of people in South America and elsewhere who want to come to the United States is greater than the entire population of the United States, and since the majority of illegal immigrants require one or more forms of public assistance, open boards are a non-starter, but they are a great wedge issue. Cynicism.

Hemingway provides a little background on Trump's position:
In the minds of many group-thinking reporters, Trump only cares about a wall. But if they would actually read the proposal he sent to Congress on January 6, they could read that he seeks the following things in addition to 234 miles of physical barrier:
  • 75 additional immigration judges and support staff to reduce the immigration backlog,
    750 additional Border Patrol agents,
  • 2,000 additional law enforcement personnel and support staff to address gang violence, smuggling, trafficking, and the spread of drugs,
  • 52,000 detention beds,
  • $800 million to address urgent humanitarian needs,
  • $675 million for “Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) technology at inbound lanes at U.S. Southwest Border Land
  • Ports of Entry” to “allow CBP to deter and detect more contraband, including narcotics, weapons, and other materials that pose nuclear and radiological threats”

  • statutory changes to permit in-country processing capacities for asylum processing

“Fact” “checking” the president by saying that “actually” the drugs are coming through legal ports of entry when that is precisely what Trump’s counter-narcotics plan says is “raising credibility questions,” but not of the president.
The only solution to this mess is compromise.* Trump has demonstrated that he's willing to compromise, but not willing to capitulate. But it appears that the Dems would rather use furloughed government workers along with illegal immigrants as pawns in their attempt to resist Trump at all cost. The irony is that Dems were for the wall before they were against it. The only difference—now its Trump's idea so it has become "immoral," the harsh realities of our southern border be damned. Cynicism. FOOTNOTE: ------------------ *John Cass of the Chicago Trubune offers one reasonable suggestion:
We can’t have any sort of comprehensive [immigration] reform without addressing the hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought to this country illegally by their parents, who themselves crossed the American border illegally. They’re the Dreamers. They want to legally call America home. Why not let them stay? If they’re not in criminal gangs or possessed of violent criminal records, the Dreamers should be given legal residency. That’s what Trump and the Republicans should offer the Democrats. And in exchange, Democrats should give Trump and the Republicans the $5.6 billion for the wall. This is called compromise. Remember the word?
Heh. That's wasn't hard, was it?