Editorial — 49 Reasons

Forty Nine Reasons all in a line, All of them good ones, All of them Lies ... (49 Bye-Byes, CSN).

The Hawaiian word for truth is ʻoiaʻiʻo.  

If you’re keeping score, Donald Trump has lied an average of 13 times a day since becoming president.  Within the last two months the average number of lies and misleading statements per day has grown to 22.

The latest fact check analysis (mid-October) on Trump’s public assertions and statements, Trump had made 13,435 false or misleading claims since taking over the oval office, according to the Fact Checker’s database which analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement he has uttered.

Why does any of this matter?  The plain truth is that truth matters, facts and empirical evidence matter, and preserving the morality of Truth Telling by our leaders and among ourselves matters.

False or misleading claims from Trump range the gambit of issues from trade, the state of the economy, the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, to claims and actions targeting his so-called “political enemies”.  The list grows daily with each new tweet; most recently the President focusing on re-writing the facts of the Ukraine investigation and playing a one-sided Executive Branch game of ignoring legal processes and their responsibilities requiring cooperation with House of Representatives investigation of the President and his agents operating in the name of (and behalf of) Trump, not the United States.

One possible explanation for the increase in the number of Trump’s lies is that as the president has continued to lie with relative political impunity, the President holds the majority of elected Republican officials’ within “his party” hostage. In our two party system, mTrump Big Mouthany Republicans have also grown increasingly desensitized to Trump’s actions, and have adopted an instinctive reluctance about saying that which they know to be severely exaggerated or flat-out untrue.

Facts appear to have little room in firmly rooted beliefs that have lead to a division in the Country’s thought processes. What should be more about facts, truth telling and well-throughout actions by our Commander and Chief, instead are replaced with questionable actions or even criminal acts that have become a partisan issue, rather than self-evaluation by the American people of their President, their Country, and their fellow Americans…

Overall, fewer than 3 out of 10 Americans believe Trump’s most common inaccuracies, indicating that he has developed a reputation for an absence of trustworthiness due to the transparency of some of his falsehoods.

Research of modern day truth telling and lies reveals more about us than just our take, our interpretation, our acceptance or rejection of Trump tales. Research also suggests that social media and other media have become the new arbiter of what is true and what is false, and what is a mostly partisan view of the world.

Many in our nation have mostly forsaken the traditional measurements of facts and reality checks that validate public policy for the convenience of instant messaging, dumb down reasoning, and foreign intervention in our democracy to define what is true and what is false.   Media technology is only a tool, not a replacement for thinking, researching, and doing the work to determine the truth, its certainly harder than just forsaking our citizen responsibilities for a quick tweet — all of which influences how we respond (vote) to the policies and the actions our leaders that matters.

If the over 240 years of the Republic, once considered an experiment in democracy, is worth anything then it is certainly worth taking personal responsibility for the ideal we commonly refer to as “living in the land of the free”.

We should never forget that with freedom comes responsibility and the fulfillment of our nation’s ideal:   We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…

What’s next for this President

As of Thursday morning, Hawaii time (10-31-19) the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution  that formalizes the next steps in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump. The final vote was 232-196, with former Republican and current independent Rep. Justin Amash voting yes and two Democrats voting no.

“Sadly, this is not any cause for any glee or comfort. This is something that is very solemn, that is something prayerful and that we had to gather so much information to take us to this next step,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the House floor prior to the vote, adding, “Every member should support allowing the American people to hear the facts themselves, that’s really what this vote is about.”

At her weekly news conference, Pelosi was asked whether she believes Thursday’s vote will do anything to diminish the belief of the White House that the Democratic-led process is illegitimate and unfair.   “No. The facts are what they are,” Pelosi said. “They can try to misrepresent them, but the fact is, this is a process that has expanded opportunity for them (Republicans) to show any evidence that they believe proves the innocence of the president.”

The impeachment process rules the Democratic majority is now following is same the process and rules previously established by Republicans during the President Clinton impeachment and represent a process that even Pelosi acknowledges “…are fairer than anything that has gone before.”

The go-forward impeachment vote today is all about the Trump–Ukraine scandal and represents our government at its best and at its worst.  It’s an ongoing political tug-of-war, with a fact-finding and witness-led investigation now underway by the House of Representatives counter-balanced by efforts to derail the investigation by the White House and its allies.

The investigation is focused on determining the facts surrounding efforts by U.S. President Donald Trump to coerce Ukraine and other foreign countries into providing damaging narratives about 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden, and to discredit the well-established findings of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.

Trump’s actions included blocking Congressionally-approved and mandated payment of $400 million military aid package essential to Ukraine’s defense against a Russian invasion and that aid would only be released by Trump in exchange for quid pro quo cooperation from Ukraine’s President Zelensky.  A number of contacts were established between the White House and the government of Ukraine outside State Department channels, and culminating in a July 25, 2019 phone call between Trump and Ukraine’s newly elected President Zelensky.

Credible witnesses have testified that Trump apparently enlisted surrogates within and outside his official administration, including his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General Bill Barr, to pressure Ukraine and other foreign governments into supporting an alt-reality conspiracy theory that supports Trump’s 2020 campaign re-election narrative.


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