Trump’s Torrent of BS Is Distracting Us From Real, Actually Important, Issues

There are a lot of bad things about Trump as president. One of the most damaging is that his shenanigans distract us from the very real problems like poverty and homelessness that we ought to have solved ages ago. As we marvel at his tweets and sex scandals, we’re letting the country go down the toilet. Which is something citizens of authoritarian states everywhere are well familiar with.

31 thoughts on “Trump’s Torrent of BS Is Distracting Us From Real, Actually Important, Issues

  1. With any other GOP president, and GOP control of congress, nothing of importance would be different … except, presumably, the number of presidential tweets.

    Further, important issues are not simply being ignored, by congress, but the precise opposite of what should be done about those issues is being actively pursued. (The aforementioned does not include the persecution/prosecution of science and scientists, and, when that approach is not quick enough, there are bans on disseminating the knowledge gained along with the destruction of archived knowledge.)

    The implication from the comic is that something would be different if only the public were more focused. That, unfortunately, is a serious stretch. For example, some 65% of the US public favored a “public option” in Obumma’s (i.e. “Democratic” party) signature legislation. That only got said 65% the White House’s contemptuous public condemnation.

    When an all-too-infrequent, widespread outburst (“Occupy”) of participatory democracy reared its ugly head, Obumma quashed it with a highly effective, if illegal, alliance of the Homeland Security Dept and local law enforcement, garnished with military hardware financed in part by the taxes paid by those being violently denied their constitutional rights.

    As to the still wistfully yearned-for “alternative,” one needs only recall perhaps the most cringe-worthy comment/pledge of HRC’s uniformly flaccid campaign: “I can work with Republicans.” Apparently the reversal of GOP control of congress was not among her urgent political priorities. (Back to top.)

    • «The implication from the comic is that something would be different if only the public were more focused.» Depends upon what one means by focussed, falco ; I, at least, envisage a majority of the persons portrayed in Ted’s cartoon replying positively to a poll-takers query as to whether government should do more to help the homeless, just as a majority desired a public option in Mr Obama’s health care reform. The point, as I read it – Ted will have to correct me if I am wrong – is that media-fuelled discourse of the chattering classes has successfully been deflected from major issues to Mr Trump’s peccadilloes. Edward Louis Bernays would be purring with joy at the triumph of «public relations» in the US (and, alas, elsewhere as well)….


      • Hello Henri,

        I’m saying that even when the public is so overwhelmed with legitimate grievances that it is able to ignore “media-fuelled discourse of the chattering classes” there remain MANY more levels of anti-democratic infrastructure, strategies and resources to stifle the public will. The imperial tweets of His Hairness are simply one example from one component of said infrastructure.

        As I understand, Hitler himself, in his “Mein Kampf,” praised, and was inspired by, the work of Bernays.

        Other aspects of the exceptionally delusional US “culture,” beyond the exceedingly execrable Bernays, were reworked for Nazi purposes.

      • Couldn’t get your abbreviated URLs to work, falco – perhaps you could post the originals ?…


      • To Henri,

        Cut and past those “links” into the address bar of your browser.

        Note, these are hardy academic sources.

      • «Cut and past those “links” into the address bar of your browser.» Thanks, falco – as a matter of fact, that’s what I did the first time ’round, but it didn’t work then. Now it did….

        «Note, these are hardy academic sources.» I did note that, thanks again…. 😉


    • “The aforementioned does not include the persecution/prosecution of science and scientists, and, when that approach is not quick enough, there are bans on disseminating the knowledge gained along with the destruction of archived knowledge.”
      Maybe if the Replication crisis didn’t erxist we could trust science again.
      “According to a 2016 poll of 1,500 scientists reported in the journal Nature, 70% of them had failed to reproduce at least one other scientist’s experiment (50% had failed to reproduce one of their own experiments). These numbers differ among disciplines:[7] [non sequitur]

      chemistry: 90% (60%),
      biology: 80% (60%),
      physics and engineering: 70% (50%),
      medicine: 70% (60%),
      Earth and environment science: 60% (40%).
      In 2009, 2% of scientists admitted to falsifying studies at least once and 14% admitted to personally knowing someone who did. Misconducts were reported more frequently by medical researchers than others”
      Or if researchers stopped scamming the system, search through Retraction watch, like creating fake identities for peer review, falsifying data.
      “Springer is retracting 107 papers from one journal after discovering they had been accepted with fake peer reviews. Yes, 107.

      To submit a fake review, someone (often the author of a paper) either makes up an outside expert to review the paper, or suggests a real researcher — and in both cases, provides a fake email address that comes back to someone who will invariably give the paper a glowing review. In this case, Springer, the publisher of Tumor Biology through 2016, told us that an investigation produced “clear evidence” the reviews were submitted under the names of real researchers with faked emails. Some of the authors may have used a third-party editing service, which may have supplied the reviews. The journal is now published by SAGE.”

      Google up SUDDENLY SICK a 2005 series in the Seattle Times written by Susan Kelleher and Duff Wilson.
      The series suggests that because of ties to BIG PHARMA the standards change the numbers to make one sick and create a big profit. Recently BP standards have been lowered to 120/80. Ridiculous.
      A1c test makes you a Diabetic, requiring medication, despite the flaws with simple length of blood cell life and issues regarding things like Sickle cell anemia.
      Read the following 2014 stuidy

      Get back to me when Science is trustworthy again.

      • @Wiz – science is always trustworthy. Humans – not so much.

        Today’s academic culture is ‘publish or perish’ – the commercial culture is even worse: “Publish something we like, or lose your job.”

        These cultures tend to bury real scientists in favor of those who are willing to sell out. But somehow, Newton’s laws are still intact and our technological level keeps increasing.

        (Note that I’m not arguing with you – your observations about today’s reality are generally correct. Rather I’m using your post as a springboard for my own soapbox.)

      • To EW Glick,

        Sure, we’ll get back to you.

        But since you’ve sworn off science there could be a problem. If you are serious and sincere about the untrustworthiness of science, you’ll obviously be divesting yourself of your computer and internet connection.

        So post your snail mail address and then we’ll you a notification letter when the post office goes back to horse and buggy delivery.

  2. 1: Do you think the Billionaires and Bankers that pull the strings in the capitol and state houses want to solve this problem, for them it is a plus. Every homeless person is an advert for big business’s not to raise the bottom rung of the wage ladder….if they did that then everybody else will pusht a real wage increase that beats the inflation rate. Politians that want to dump the elite a fight for the people will find both political parties ready to dump them, in both parties highest order of business is fund raising

    2: The wealthy have the police and private security to force the homeless away from their businesses and estates. So the homless head downtown and to poor nigherhoods….some beg, others cause problems for people that jare ust above water….
    I am disabled vet just getting by in rent controlled apt, the homeless stole my 95 Honda twice (they left by an encampment once and the homeless shelter the second time, hacksawed out my radio and took my tools. I had to spend funds on extra locks and $300 to get it out the impound yard, another resident had his side widow smashed three times….more money for business. The local stores need more security

    3: Homelessness is now a global problem there are even homeless in Sweden now but they live better than being on the street in the U.S.

    The homeless problem only gets seriously reduced three ways….if it gets so bad it hurts big business….then the likly reaction would be would be forced relocations or more jail time to clear the street for commerce (funded by taxes or fees on the dying middle class).
    The second scenario: A depression forces a mass uprising that scares the elite into backing off for a few years on the austerity plan for the masses and actually green lighting public jobs, turning empty buildings into public housing and funding soup kitchens before slowly pulling everything away again once the emergency is over.
    Some of the radical left would like to see a massive uprising….that would be meet with military grade weapons and the police will use phone and data surveillance to go after anyone in leadership role.

    • Oldvet, the notion peddled by the RT article from 2010 to which you refer that the homeless here in Sweden lead «cushy lives» is not merely false but absurd. Alas, while we Swedish taxpayers can somehow pony up some 25 thousand million SEK to purchase Patriot missiles – ostensibly for defence against those dastardly Russian – a weapons system which, judging from recent results in Saudi Arabia continue its «unbroken trail of disasters», we cannot afford to provide homes for our homeless, who during the 14th week of 2017, were calculated to be more than 33250 persons (I choose not to source this statement here, as doing so would subject this comment to moderation, but will do so in a later post in the event anyone is interested). It’s all a matter of priorities – and keeping in the good graces of the US government and its arms suppliers trumps (pun intended) providing homes for the homeless for our current government of Social Democrats and Green Party members, just as it did for the right-wing «alliance» government which proceeded it – plus ça change, plus c’est la meme chose…..


      PS : The one Nordic country which seems to do a good job of providing homes for the homeless is Finland ; alas I must again refrain from sourcing this statement….

      • We could reduce military spending to deal with many social ills but the parties will toss members that can deliver serious change, to placate their donors. A few token liberals and odd isolationist libertarians are acceptable because their presence shows we have “functional” republic.

      • «We could reduce military spending to deal with many social ills but the parties will toss members that can deliver serious change, to placate their donors.» Indeed. That’s how an empire falls ; let us hope that the fall of this one will not take all humanity with it….


  3. Just how many people post here? I count five maybe six regulars. I see far less commenting on Rall’s toons at Sputnick.
    I’ve listed Rall, Counterpunch and Dissident voice as TRUE liberal sites, but most people have no clue they exist or ignore the message.
    I’ve been a fan since his appearance on Bill Maher, same with Aaron Mcgruder. Boondocks is just as relevant if not prescient today.
    Stopped watching Maher when he went all Muslim racist.
    I’m starting to feel like a survivor of the asshole apocalypse.

  4. One of the most damaging is that his shenanigans distract us from the very real problems like poverty and homelessness that we ought to have solved ages ago.

    And you haven’t even mentioned those wars of aggression abroad….


  5. > One of the most damaging is that his shenanigans distract us from the very real problems like poverty and homelessness that we ought to have solved ages ago.

    While that *is* true about The Trumpinator, it’s also true about many of our past prezzes. Think Bushes and Iraq. Clinton’s biggest non-scandal was invented out of whole cloth by the GOP – but it still served as a great distraction.

    • Clinton DID inf act PERJURE himself and OBSTRUCT JUSTICE.
      “These charges stemmed from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Clinton by Paula Jones.”
      Paula Jones settled.
      We learned that Bill not only inserted the cigar but later smoked it in front of Hillary. I also think he said “MMM, tastes good.”
      Best of all Michael Moore pointed out in Bowling for Columbine how Clinton screwed poor and Black folk by changing Welfare rules.
      The Bonus Army is forgotten. The promise of forty acres and a mule. The land and benefits promised to the veterans of the war of independence is forgotten.
      The Seneca Nation radio station plays Johnny Cash’s As long as the grass shall grow.
      As long as the moon shall rise as long as the rivers flow
      As long as the sun will shine as long as the grass shall grow
      The Senecas are an Indian tribe of the Iroquios nation
      Down on the New York Pennsylvania Line you’ll find their reservation
      After the US revolution corn planter was a chief
      He told the tribe these men they could trust that was his true belief
      He went down to Independence Hall and there was a treaty signed
      That promised peace with the USA and Indian rights combined
      George Washington gave his signature the Government gave its hand
      They said that now and forever more that this was Indian land
      As long as the moon shall rise…
      On the Seneca reservation there is much sadness now
      Washington’s treaty has been broken and there is no hope no how
      Across the Allegheny River they’re throwing up a dam
      It will flood the Indian country a proud day for Uncle Sam
      It has broke the ancient treaty with a politician’s grin
      It will drown the Indians graveyards corn planter can you swim
      The earth is mother to the the Senecas they’re trampling sacred ground
      Change the mint green earth to black mud flats as honor hobbles down
      As long as the moon shall rise…
      The Iroquios Indians used to rule from Canada way south
      But no one fears the Indians now and smiles the liar’s mouth
      The Senecas hired an expert to figure another site
      But the great good army engineers said that he had no right
      Although he showed them another plan and showed them another way
      They laughed in his face and said no deal Kinuza dam is here to stay
      Congress turned the Indians down brushed off the Indians plea
      So the Senecas have renamed the dam they call it Lake Perfidy
      As long as the moon shall rise…
      Washington Adams and Kennedy now hear their pledges ring
      The treaties are safe we’ll keep our word but what is that gurgling
      It’s the back water from Perfidy Lake it’s rising all the time
      Over the homes and over the fields and over the promises fine
      No boats will sail on Lake Perfidy in winter it will fill
      In summer it will be a swamp and all the fish will kill
      But the Government of the USA has corrected George’s vow
      The father of our country must be wrong what’s an Indian anyhow
      As long as the moon shall rise (look up) as long as the rivers flow (are you thirsty)
      As long as the sun will shine (my brother are you warm) as long as the grass shall grow”

      EVERY nation distracts the populaces from the REAL problems, bread and circuses.
      Trump is merely figure head of the day.
      Going back to the Clintons, there was a documentary in the 90’s about the 92 election. It seems the Clinton camp filmed the crowds pre-speech. They would target dissenters and have them removed.
      You may also Google up Clinton at Stone Mountain Georgia. He has a nice pic with him and Black prisoners. The same place hosts annual Klan rallies. What message was that designed to send? Or the death of Rudy Ray Rector?

      • TL;DR .. but …

        Clinton did *not* perjure himself. For “lying under oath” to qualify as perjury it must be material to the case.

        Whether he had consensual sex with one woman neither serves to prove nor disprove whether he harassed a different woman. It is immaterial to the case, and therefore not perjury.

        For that matter, it’s debatable whether he ‘lied’ or ‘split hairs.’

      • CrazyH
        Link to 1998 Washington Post article regarding the charges

        Only two of the charges were used for impeachment.
        This was the Clinton defense as to wether he had sex with Monica “Clinton asserted his answers were technically accurate. He considered an affair to mean intercourse and interpreted “sexual relations” not to include oral sex performed on him. “Sexual relations” was defined as follows: “A person engages in ‘sexual relations’ when the person knowingly engages in or causes contact with the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh or buttocks of any person with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.”

        Seems pretty weaselly to me. The defense is is straight from the Karne Institute for sex addiction.

      • For that matter, it’s debatable whether he ‘lied’ or ‘split hairs.’

        That depends on what your definition of “s”, “p”, “l”, “i”, and “t” is… (only slight variation of actual quote).

        I have known people who are sensitive and well-mannered to the point where one feels boorish and crude by comparison. The same people then got red in the face when I was telling them about how I talked to a politician and were openly amazed about how I could stand being in the same room with one even for a second 😉

      • @A5 – wrong quote.

        The hair in question is “Sexual relations” – many references specifically state that it means “intercourse.”

        I’m not necessarily a fan of Slick Willie – but I am a stickler for accuracy. Even Ted has gone so far as to accuse him of perjury. That’s simply not accurate, regardless of lies v. hairs.

  6. alex_the_tired

    In case my response to you gets deleted, as many others have (so much for free speech), I quoted George Carlin on voting. You can Google it if it no longer exists here.
    Unless of course this gets deleted as well.

    • @Wiz – would these invisible posts happen to have multiple links? If so, they are automatically moderated to be reinstated only when a human decides they aren’t spam.

      If you use a max of one link per post, you’ll probably see more of your posts.

      • Thank You. Did not know that.
        I had posted links to past and present Anarchist/Communist communities/societies.
        I was surprised how many certifiable Egalitarian communes exist in the US. Essentially there are Communists in Tennessee and Anarchists in Dearborn.

  7. What a ridiculous toon. All peoples have always been socially complacent. History is filled with poor working class getting shat upon and treated like the Irish.
    Trump distracts the ignorant from nothing. Most people are just plan stupid and uninvolved unles something directly impacts their petty selfish lives.

    All human evil comes from a single cause, man’s inability to sit still in a room.
    Blaise Pascal

    • Ah, but good old Pascal lived before the age of TV, video games, addictive social media (let alone shiny immersive VR) – plus in an age where most people were sardined into small rooms.

      Nowadays the evil seems to come from too many people sitting in comparatively elaborate boxes all by their lonesome selves and have but the illusion of sociality.

      People on the left who like to look at things abstractly often would maintain that the function of Obama was to present the veneer of a professional politics without citizen engagement.

      Trump is something else entirely, as Matt Taibbi pointed out he ends up bringing everyone down to his level. The cartoon itself proves its point as Ted keeps focusing on the ultimate con artist while admonishing himself to stop doing so for the love of God.

      • The Pascal quote I learned from Deathrace 2050, go figure.
        From where I’m sitting being not partisan and disgusted by every political animal, Trump is winning.
        Trump fatigue has burnt out everyone but the diehards.
        So far Trump has angered both supporters and nonsupporters yet still seems to accomplish what he wants.
        I’m not in the Scott Adams camp on Trump being a master persuader. But he may be a master illusionist. There is a continual misdirection while still conjuring the Ace of spades.
        I would say Taibbi is wrong and Trump is simply illuminating how low the previous level is. Shining a light on the corrupt, vain and pompous. On the organizations and people who enable those same corrupted vain pomposities to exist.
        Trump has already secured a second term. He has the opposition in turmoil, so much so they have filed that ridiculous law suit.
        And this is only his second year in office.
        Do you realize what an unbeholden second term Trump can accomplish?
        I think the second term brings single payer. America may never become great again but we can move socially to the left. If I recall before Trump ran as an R he was a socially responsible D.

  8. From this morning’s New York Times (front page), but not too high up:
    Debbie Lesko Wins Arizona Special Election for Congress
    The victory by Ms. Lesko, a strong supporter of President Trump, shows the resilience of the Republican base.

    Everyone got that? It is QUITE possible for Trump-friends to get elected and to get re-elected. The market is high, unemployment (you can put the quote marks around it yourself) is low, and, you know what, a lot more people than any of us want to admit, LIKE the idea of deporting illegal aliens regardless of how newsogenic they are. Trump isn’t the disease, he’s a symptom. And for a whole lot of Americans who have been collectively assraped by the American system in the past 30-40 years, Trump (and his type) are going to get votes.

    And did anyone see that huge writeup in the New York Times the other day where the reporter who handled HRC coverage quotes her as saying that “they” were never going to let her be president? People never blame themselves; they always blame others. And if the Most Highly Evolved HRC can refuse to pin it on herself, so can Sally Housecoat and Joe Lunchbucket. Now, let’s watch the Dems tut-tut about how 2018 will be a massive victory.

    (Fun sidebar: That article also has the reporter talking about how covering HRC was an all-consuming task. In a brilliantly tone-deaf example of classist ignorance, the reporter lists some of the things that she had to ask herself because of the coverage. One of her questions was whether she should freeze her eggs. Got that? Millions of people are wondering whether they will actually be able to stay employed for long enough to pay off their mortgages and the reporter has to “worry” about having a high-end medical elective medical procedure because she, just like HRC, has superlative health care. Hands up everyone whose insurance never pays for essentials. But anyway, back to media coverage from the tone-deaf. I may actually buy some newspapers in the week after the 2018 elections, so I can read all the reasons that no one saw coming for why Trump and crew did so well in the polls.)

    • I don’t vote. Two reasons. First of all it’s meaningless; this country was bought and sold a long time ago. The shit they shovel around every 4 years *pfff* doesn’t mean a fucking thing. Secondly, I believe if you vote, you have no right to complain. People like to twist that around – they say, ‘If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain’, but where’s the logic in that? If you vote and you elect dishonest, incompetent people into office who screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You caused the problem; you voted them in; you have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote, who in fact did not even leave the house on election day, am in no way responsible for what these people have done and have every right to complain about the mess you created that I had nothing to do with.”

      “The next time they give you all that civic bullshit about voting, keep in mind that Hitler was elected in a full, free democratic election””Now, there’s one thing you might have noticed I don’t complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain’t going to do any good; you’re just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it’s not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here… like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There’s a nice campaign slogan for somebody: ‘The Public Sucks. Fuck Hope.'”

      “I have solved this political dilemma in a very direct way: I don’t vote. On Election Day, I stay home. I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. Now, some people like to twist that around. They say, ‘If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain,’ but where’s the logic in that? If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and they get into office and screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote — who did not even leave the house on Election Day — am in no way responsible for that these politicians have done and have every right to complain about the mess that you created.”

      George Carlin

      • > I believe if you vote, you have no right to complain.

        I believe the opposite. Even as broken as our system is, it works better if you use it.

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