Fact-Checking Trump & the Republicans at the Republican National Convention

Donald J. Trump accepts the Republican nomination for President “humbly and gratefully.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Donald J. Trump accepts the Republican nomination for President “humbly and gratefully.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“Here, at our convention, there will be no lies.  We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else.” – Donald Trump. 7-21-16
“The GOP convention has ended and it’s clear that while the Republican party is divided over their nominee, they are united in their obsession with lying about Hillary Clinton.  From deceiving viewers with misleading claims, to making up their own facts, to spreading straight up conspiracy theories, the GOP had no reservations when it came to smearing the former secretary of state,” the Hillary for America campaign responds.
The campaign compiled a list of 172 false and misleading claims told over the course of the convention that were debunked by independent fact checkers.

  1. PolitiFact: “Trump called the United States ‘one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.’ […] [A] reasonable listener could take away from Trump’s remark that he meant taxes overall, particularly given that he set up the line with a joint reference to middle-income Americans and businesses. We rate the claim Mostly False.”
  1. PolitiFact: “Trump said, ‘My opponent wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment.’ […] We rate Trump’s claim False.”
  1. PolitiFact: “Trump said, ‘In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map.’ The terrorist group known as ISIS was, in fact, on the map five years before Clinton became secretary of state. […] We rate this claim Mostly False.”
  1. PolitiFact: “Trump said “Hillary Clinton invented ISIS with her stupid policies. She is responsible for ISIS.” […] This claim is inaccurate. We rate it False.”
  1. CNN: “Trump also said that ‘58% of African-American youth are not employed.’ […] [T]he verdict is false.”
  1. CNN: “Although the actual implementation of the deal with Iran occurred four days after the incident with the U.S. sailors, Trump referenced the signing of the deal which occurred the previous July. We rate his comments as false.”
  1. CNN: “Trump says there’s ‘no way to screen these refugees.’ […] The effectiveness of these procedures may be a matter of debate, but to say that there is ‘no way to screen’ refugees is false.”
  1. CNN: “According to Trump, ‘the Democrats, on the other hand, received 20% fewer votes than they got four years ago.’ […] We rate his claim about the Democratic vote tallies as false.”
  1. CNN: “Trump returned to a common theme of the convention, slamming Clinton for her use of personal email during her tenure as secretary of state. […] Although Clinton did delete more than 30,000 emails, after a forensic examination, the FBI investigation ‘found no evidence’ that the deletions were made to conceal her activity, therefore we rate this claim ”
  1. CNN: “Trump rattled off a litany of events he claimed would make up ‘the legacy of Hillary Clinton.’ […] [W]e rate his claim that the state of the Middle East and Libya are Clinton’s personal legacy as false.”
  1. New York Times: Donald Trump claim: “In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60 percent in nearby Baltimore.” “Fact Check: Those statistics are based on an analysis performed by The Washington Post, which found no clear pattern in which cities saw increases in homicides.”
  1. New York Times: Donald Trump claim: “The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50 percent compared to this point last year.” “Fact Check: In fact, the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks officer deaths, reports that 68 police officers have been killed so far this year, almost exactly the same as the 69 who were killed in the same period last year.
  1. New York Times: Donald Trump claim: “Nearly four in 10 African-American children are living in poverty, while 58 percent of African-American youth are not employed.” “Fact Check: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate of African Americans ages 16-19 in June was 31.2 percent.”
  1. New York Times: “Fact Check: The deal does not directly give Iran money, but by easing or terminating sanctions, it would allow Iran to have access to many billions of dollars of its own money that has been frozen in overseas accounts.”
  1. AP: “TRUMP: ‘Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement.’ […] President Barack Obama has actually achieved some big increases in spending for state and local law enforcement.”
  1. AP: “TRUMP: ‘When a secretary of state illegally stores her emails on a private server…’ […] THE FACTS: Clinton’s use of a private server to store her emails was not illegal under federal law.”
  2. AP: “TRUMP: ‘The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50 percent compared to this point last year.’ THE FACTS: Not according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.”
  1. AP: “Trump persists in making the bogus claim that the U.S. doesn’t screen refugees.”
  2. AP: “TRUMP: ‘Two million more Latinos are in poverty today than when President Obama took his oath of office less than eight years ago. Another 14 million people have left the workforce entirely. … President Obama has almost doubled our national debt to more than $19 trillion, and growing.’ THE FACTS: Trump is playing with numbers to make the economy look worse than it actually is.”
  3. AP: “TRUMP: ‘America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.’ THE FACTS: Trump continues to repeat this inaccuracy.”
  4. AP: “TRUMP: ‘My opponent wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment.’ THE FACTS: Hillary Clinton has not proposed any revocation of the constitutionally protected right to bear arms.”
  5. AP: “It’s an exaggeration to suggest Clinton, or any secretary of state, is to blame for the widespread instability and violence across the Middle East.”
  6. Vox: “Trump says: ‘Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement.’ […] But there’s simply no evidence that a federal ‘rollback of criminal enforcement’ has led to a reversal of those trends. […] Ruling: Baseless.”
  7. Vox: “Trump says: ‘Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s 50 largest cities. […] But what Trump leaves out is that one of the researchers behind this work, Richard Rosenfeld, has repeatedly said that it’s way too early to say whether this trend is applicable to the rest of the country or whether it truly indicates a reversal to the long-term violent crime drop of the past 25 years.”
  8. Vox: “Trump says: ‘The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50 percent compared to this point last year.’ In fact: This statistic apparently comes from an outdated, poorly worded USA Today headline. But according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, on-duty deaths of police officers are actually down 1 percent in 2016 compared to the same point in 2015. […] Ruling: False.”
  9. Vox: “Trump says: ‘Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.’ In fact: There are indeed about 180,000 immigrants with criminal records still in the United States who have been ordered deported. But the assumption that all of them are ‘threaten[ing] peaceful citizens’ is deeply questionable.”
  10. Vox: “The reason that Trump is telling this story, of course, is to imply that all unauthorized immigrants are lawless. In fact, immigrants are less likely than citizens to commit crimes. But to Trump and his followers, the very fact that someone doesn’t yet have legal status in the US is proof that he’s on some level a criminal.”
  11. Vox: “Trump says: ‘58 percent of African-American youth are not employed.’ In fact: CNN’s Tami Luhby looked into this claim and found that the 58 percent figure was extrapolated from the fact that roughly 42 percent of black Americans ages 16 to 24 were employed as of earlier this year. That’s an erroneous way to calculate; many of those people aren’t unemployed but are simply in school or otherwise not looking for work.”
  12. Vox: “Trump says: ‘2 million more Latinos are in poverty today than when President Obama took his oath of office less than eight years ago.’ […] But this isn’t a case where using raw numbers is informative. If you use rates, the Hispanic poverty rate was either roughly unchanged or, using the more accurate metric, reduced in Obama’s time in office.”
  13. Vox: “Trump says: ‘Another 14 million people have left the workforce entirely.’ […] Ruling: False.”
  14. Vox: “Trump says: ‘Our trade deficit in goods reached — think of this — our trade deficit is $800 billion last year alone.’ In fact: This is just false. The manufacturing trade deficit is large, but it was $681 billion in 2015, not ‘nearly $800 billion.’ It’s also worth noting that many economists do not consider high trade deficits to be inherently bad.”
  15. Vox: “Trump says: ‘Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in Third World condition, and 43 million Americans are on food stamps.’ […] However, claiming that American airports are in Third World conditions is, at best, an exaggeration. According to Priceonomics, which analyzed reviews of 17,000 airports worldwide, America’s still rank among the best.”
  16. Vox: “Trump says: ‘The Iran deal … gave back to Iran $150 billion and gave us nothing – it will go down in history as one of the worst deals ever made.’ […] [T]he United States does in fact get something out of the deal: In exchange for unfreezing these assets, Iran is complying with the requirements of the nuclear agreement that makes it much harder for the country to build a nuclear weapon. Ruling: False.”
  17. Vox: “Trump says: ‘America is far less safe — and the world is far less stable — than when Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy. … I am certain it is a decision that President Obama truly regrets.’ […] [T]he fact that Obama is now actively campaigning on behalf of Hillary Clinton strongly suggests he does not particularly regret the way she performed when she was his secretary of state.”
  18. Vox: “Trump says: ‘In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map.’ In fact: The group named ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) did not formally exist under that name until 2013; however, it was formed out of the remnants of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which dates back to 2004.”
  19. Vox: “Trump says: ‘In 2009, pre-Hillary … Egypt was peaceful.’ […] Ruling: Misleading.”
  20. Vox: “Trump says: ‘In 2009, pre-Hillary … Iraq was seeing really a reduction in violence.’ […] Iraq’s slide back into full-blown chaos began in 2010, when US troops, under an agreement reached by the Bush administration with former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, began withdrawing from the country in significant numbers.”
  21. Vox: “Trump says: ‘In 2009, pre-Hillary … Syria was under control.’ […] The uprising of 2011 plunged the country into chaos, mainly because of the actions of Assad himself, who, rather than leave power, chose to launch a full-scale war against his own people.”
  22. Vox: “Trump says: ‘Iran is on a path to nuclear weapons.’ […] There is no evidence that Iran is currently pursuing a nuclear weapon in contravention of the deal’s terms. Ruling: False.”
  23. Vox: “Trump says: ‘And when a secretary of state illegally stores her emails on a private server, deletes 33,000 of them so the authorities can’t see her crime…’ In fact: The claim that Clinton ‘illegally’ stored her emails has no merit, according to FBI Director James Comey. After an investigation that lasted nearly a year, Comey said he found no evidence that Clinton intentionally broke the law.”
  24. Vox: “Second, when Trump claims Clinton deleted 33,000 emails to cover up a crime, he’s leaving out one key fact: According to Clinton, these were personal emails stored on her private server. And she had no obligation to turn personal emails over to the government.”
  25. Vox: “Trump says: ‘When the FBI director says that the secretary of state was ‘extremely careless’ and ‘negligent’ in handling our classified secrets, I also know that these terms are minor compared to what she actually did.’ In fact: FBI Director Comey did indeed use those terms, but Trump’s assertion that what Clinton ‘actually did’ was far worse is utterly baseless — an unsupported smear.”
  26. Vox: “Trump says: ‘…that same secretary of state rakes in millions and millions of dollars trading access and favors to special interests and foreign powers.’ […] But no evidence of criminal wrongdoing on the part of either Hillary Clinton or the foundation itself has been found to date, and even Peter Schweizer, the author of a book aimed at exposing the Clinton Foundation’s faults, admits as much.”
  27. Vox: “Trump says: ‘There’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.’ […] Ruling: False.”
  28. Vox: “Trump says: ‘Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers.’ […] Ruling: False.”
  29. Vox: “Trump says: ‘Of all my travels in this country, nothing has affected me more … than the time I have spent with the mothers and fathers who have lost their children to violence spilling across our border. These families have no special interests to represent them. There are no demonstrators to protest on their behalf.’ […] Ruling: False.”
  30. Vox: “Trump says: ‘By ending catch and release on the border, we will stop the cycle of human smuggling and violence. Illegal border crossings will go down. We will stop it. It won’t be happening very much anymore. Peace will be restored.’ In fact: Illegal border crossings are already extremely low. […] Ruling: Baseless.”
  31. Vox: “Trump says: ‘America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world. Reducing taxes will cause new companies and new jobs to come roaring back into our country.’ In fact: Among rich countries, America is one of the least-taxed nations in the world. […] Ruling: False.”
  32. Vox: “Trump says: ‘Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year.’ […] [T]his study doesn’t include any benefits of these regulations (such as, for instance, lower pollution and cleaner air). Failing to include benefits gives a misleading picture
  33. Vox: “Trump says: ‘We are going to lift the restrictions on the production of American energy. This will produce more than $20 trillion in job-creating economic activity over the next four decades.’ […] David Victor, an energy expert at the University of California San Diego, has called Trump’s $20 trillion number ‘a fantasy’ and ‘off by an order of magnitude.’”
  34. Vox: “Trump says: ‘My opponent, on the other hand, wants to put the great miners and steelworkers of our country out of work — that will never happen when I am president.’ […] But miners would also very likely continue to go out of work even under a President Trump, because the coal industry is being crushed right now by cheap natural gas, collapsing demand from China, and other forces that Trump would have no control over.”
  35. Vox: “Trump says: ‘We will repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare. You will be able to choose your own doctor again.’ […] One of the assumptions implicit in Trump’s statement is that right now, it’s particularly hard to see a doctor of one’s choice. But the data doesn’t back that up.”
  36. Vox: “Trump says: ‘My opponent wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment.’ […] Ruling: False.”
  37. org: “Trump said, ‘Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons.’ But Iran was already on a path to nuclear weapons before Clinton became secretary of state in January 2009.”
  38. org: Trump “also blamed Clinton for the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. But Clinton […] urged President Obama not to be quick to abandon support for Mubarak.”
  39. org: “Trump claimed Clinton ‘plans a massive … tax increase,’ but tax experts say 95 percent of taxpayers would see ‘little or no change’ in their taxes under Clinton’s plan.”
  40. org: “Trump boasted that under his tax plan, ‘middle-income Americans will experience profound relief.’ Experts say Americans at all income levels would see their taxes reduced under Trump’s plan, but the biggest cuts — both in raw dollars and as a percentage of income — would go to the wealthiest Americans.”
  41. org: “Trump said, ‘America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.’ The U.S. has one of the highest business tax rates, but for personal taxes, the U.S. ranked in the bottom half among industrialized nations.”
  42. org: “Trump was correct to say that ‘homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s 50 largest cities,’ but criminology and statistics experts disagree with his conclusion that a one-year increase in some cities means that ‘decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed.’”
  43. org: “Trump twisted the facts when he said that Clinton ‘illegally’ stored emails on her private server while secretary of state, and deleted 33,000 of them ‘so the authorities can’t see her crime.’ The FBI on July 5 cleared Clinton of wrongdoing, and found no evidence of a cover-up.”
  44. org: “Trump said that ‘there’s no way to screen’ those refugees to determine ‘who they are or where they come from.’ That’s false. All refugees admitted to the U.S. go through an extensive vetting process that involves multiple federal agencies and can take up to 24 months to complete.”
  45. org: “Trump also used a bit of cherry-picking when he said, ‘Our trade deficit in goods reached nearly — think of this, think of this — our trade deficit is $800 billion … last year alone.’ The important word here is ‘goods.’ The total trade deficit, counting both goods and services, is smaller.”
  46. org: “Overall, the U.S. trade deficit in goods and services was just over $500 billion last year. And another fact Trump didn’t mention — that figure peaked a decade ago.”
  47. org: “Trump said: ‘Remember, it was Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA, one of the worst economic deals ever made by our country.’ Actually, [NAFTA] was negotiated and signed by President George H.W. Bush.”
  48. org: “Trump criticized Clinton for her ‘failed policy of nation-building and regime change’ and he counted Libya among them. Left unsaid was that Trump also supported the military ouster of Moammar Gadhafi at that time.”
  49. org: “Trump used an often-cited but outdated figure when he said, ‘Household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000 — that’s 16 years ago.’ Actually, incomes have been rising lately.”
  50. org: “[T]he notion of a 16-year decline is misleading. What Trump failed to mention is that in 2014, real median household income had already risen by $1,052 since hitting a recession-driven low in 2012.”
  51. org: “Trump used a popular false talking point about the Affordable Care Act when he said that he’d repeal it and ‘you will be able to choose your own doctor again.’ The law didn’t take away the ability to choose a doctor.”
  52. org: “Trump repeated an overstatement on the costs of regulation[.] […] Trump said that ‘excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year,’ but that figure comes from a conservative group’s admitted ‘back-of-the-envelope’ calculation and is an estimate of regulatory costs that does not include potential savings.”
  53. org: “Trump was more careful with his wording in his convention speech, saying only that the Iran deal ‘gave back to Iran $150 billion.’ The deal did result in Iran gaining access to tens of billions in frozen assets. However, experts told us the $150 billion figure is inflated.”
  54. ABC News: “Claim: Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment. Rating: False.”
  55. ABC News: “Claim: America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world. Status: Mostly False. The U.S. is near the bottom of the list of industrialized countries in terms of taxes as a share of GDP.”
  56. ABC News: “Claim: There is no way to screen Syrian refugees. Rating: False.”
  57. ABC News: “Claim: Hillary Clinton deleted emails to hide other crimes. Rating: Highly Questionable. This is a speculative accusation not supported by evidence.”
  58. ABC News: “Claim: The U.S. gave Iran $150 billion for ‘nothing.’ Rating: False.
  59. ABC News: “Claim: Obama signed the Iran deal just after U.S. sailors were captured by Iran and forced to kneel. Rating: False. The deal was finalized six months earlier.”
  60. ABC News: “Claim: Crime has increased under Obama’s presidency. Rating: False.”
  61. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon, and I mean very soon, come to an end.” “Policing, public safety and the vast majority of the criminal justice apparatus are controlled by state and local authorities, not the federal government.”
  62. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “But here, at our convention, there will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else.” “Fact checkers might beg to differ. PolitiFact, for instance, has found a number of false statementsuttered at this week’s RNC.”
  63. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s fifty largest cities.” “[T]here’s a broader context for crime figures: While violent crime may be climbing this year, rates are far below their peak in the early 1990s.”
  64. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50% compared to this point last year.” “The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund says as of July 21, 2016, total fatalities this year compared with the same time last year reflect an increase of five deaths, or 8 percent.”
  65. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015.” “[T]otal apprehensions at the border todayare far, far lower than they were in the early 2000s.”
  66. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “One more child to sacrifice on the order and on the altar of open borders.” “America does not have ‘open borders.’
  67. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “Nearly 4 in 10 African-American children are living in poverty, while 58% of African-American youth are now not employed.” “[T]he unemployment rate for black Americans ages 16 to 19 was 38.1 percent as of June.”
  68. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “Another 14 million people have left the workforce entirely.” “The labor force has still been growing — Trump’s 14 million figure might imply that it’s not.”
  69. NPR: Donald Trump claim: The Iran Deal “gave back to Iran $150 billion and gave us absolutely nothing – it will go down in history as one of the worst deals ever negotiated.” “PolitiFacthas debunked this — that $150 billion is an estimate (and a high one) of the value of Iranian assets tied up by economic sanctions, according to the site.”
  70. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “In Libya, our consulate – the symbol of American prestige around the globe – was brought down in flames.” “The diplomatic outpost in Benghazi was not a consulate.”
  71. NPR: “I am certain that [putting Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy] was a decision that President Obama truly regrets.” “President Obama has enthusiastically endorsed Clinton, so it would seem unlikely that he regrets choosing her to be his secretary of state.”
  72. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “Hillary Clinton’s message is that things will never change. Never ever.” “Clinton has reams of plans and proposals to change everything from the nation’s immigration system and criminal justice policies to the way people pay for college.”
  73. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “And when a Secretary of State illegally stores her emails on a private server, deletes 33,000 of them so the authorities can’t see her crime, puts our country at risk, lies about it in every different form and faces no consequence – I know that corruption has reached a level like never ever before in our country.” “There was no official determination that the private server was illegal.”
  74. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “When the FBI Director says that the Secretary of State was ‘extremely careless’ and ‘negligent,’ in handling our classified secrets, I also know that these terms are minor compared to what she actually did.” FBI Director Comey “said ‘no reasonable prosecutor’ would charge Clinton with a crime for the emails.”
  75. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “[W]e will fix [Bernie Sanders’] biggest single issue: trade deals that strip our country of its jobs and strip us of our wealth as a country.” “Sanders had a lot of issues that he was deeply passionate about, including trade, but it wouldn’t be at the top of his list.”
  76. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “Millions of Democrats will join our movement, because we are going to fix the system so it works fairly and justly for all Americans.” “A recent Pew poll found that just 9 percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning Sanders supporters said they planned to vote for Trump in the general election.”
  77. NPR: “Trump is saying that he and Pence will improve U.S. trade deals, but trade is just one of several areas on which they differ. Pence has been a strong proponent of free trade in the past, having approved of NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as the New York Times
  78. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “I will restore law and order to our country. Believe me. Believe me. I will work with, and appoint, the best and brightest prosecutors and law enforcement officials to get the job properly done.” “[T]hose top federal prosecutors handle a small fraction of violent crime cases in the nation.”
  79. NPR: Donald Trump claim: President Obama “has made America a more dangerous environment that frankly that I have ever seen of anybody in this room has ever watched or seen.” “The Brennan Center for Justice says overall crime rates from 2014 to 2015 were ‘nearly identical.’”
  80. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “My opponent has called for a […] 550 percent increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country already under the leadership of President Obama.” “In 2015, the U.S. admitted (per the State Department) 1,682 Syrian refugees. That is well under President Obama’s goal. It would be hard to argue that is ‘massive.’”
  81. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “[T]here’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.” “PolitiFact ranked the claim about the lack of a vetting system false.”
  82. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year, and we will end it very, very quickly.” “[A]s the Washington Post’s Fact Checkerhas pointed out, in the past this figure has been characterized as a ‘back of the envelope’ count, and that moreover, it doesn’t make sense to talk about costs without trying to count the benefits of regulation.”
  83. NPR: Donald Trump claim: “My opponent asks her supporters to recite a three-word loyalty pledge. It reads: ‘I’m With Her’.” “‘I’m With Her’ started out as a hashtag and sometimes supporters do chant it at events, but the Clinton campaign doesn’t ask supporters to pledge loyalty by reciting it.”
  84. NBC News: “TRUMP CLAIM: We all remember the images of our sailors being forced to their knees by their Iranian captors at gunpoint. This was just prior to the signing of the Iran deal. THE FACTS: It actually came AFTER the signing of the Iran deal.”

 

  1. NBC News: “TRUMP CLAIM: Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s fifty largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years. THE FACTS: […] [O]verall, violent crime is down significantly since the 1980s and 1990s, according to FBI statistics.”
  2. NBC News:  “TRUMP CLAIM: The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015. THE FACTS: That statistic is true, but it’s also a bit of cherry-picking.”
  1. NBC News: “Trump isn’t correct that 58 percent of African American youth are unemployed.”
  2. NBC News: “Trump is misleading on his claim about Latinos living in poverty.”
  3. NBC News: “TRUMP CLAIM: Where was sanctuary for all the other … Americans who have been so brutally murdered [by undocumented immigrants], and who have suffered so, so horribly? THE FACTS: Researchers have found that first-generation immigrants (legal or not) commit less crime than native-born Americans or second-generation immigrants.”
  4. NBC News: “TRUMP CLAIM: [Hillary Clinton] supported NAFTA, and she supported China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization — another one of her husband’s colossal mistakes and disasters … She supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership. THE FACTS:  Trump’s vice-presidential running mate Mike Pence also has praised NAFTA and TPP.”
  5. Washington Post Fact Checker: “Trump cherry-picks data to paint an alarming picture of homicide trends, when in reality, they have been declining for decades.”
  6. Washington Post Fact Checker: Donald Trump claim: “The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50 percent compared to this point last year.” “This is wrong.”
  7. Washington Post Fact Checker: “It’s not clear what Trump is referring to” in saying that “decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this Administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement.”
  8. Washington Post Fact Checker: Donald Trump claim: “The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015.” “This is another cherry-picked number.”
  9. Washington Post Fact Checker: Donald Trump claim: “Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers.” “This claim is quite convoluted.”
  10. Washington Post Fact Checker: “The official unemployment rate for black youth is about half of what Trump says it is.”
  11. Washington Post Fact Checker: “Trump is being misleading” in saying that “2 million more Latinos are in poverty today than when the President took his oath of office.”
  12. Washington Post Fact Checker: Donald Trump claim: “Another 14 million people have left the workforce entirely.” “Yet another misleading figure.”
  13. Washington Post Fact Checker: Donald Trump claim: “Household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000.” “So it is essentially flat, not down $4,000.”
  14. Washington Post Fact Checker: “[Trump] fails to mention that this is actually the lowest number of people receiving food stamps since it reached its peak in 2013.”
  15. Washington Post Fact Checker:  Donald Trump claim: “America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.” “[T]he United States isn’t anywhere near the top among industrialized nations.”
  16. Washington Post Fact Checker: Donald Trump claim: “Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year.” “Trump presents an unbalanced figure
  17. Washington Post Fact Checker: “Trump frequently misstates the facts about the Iran deal, making it sound like the United States simply shipped $150 billion of taxpayer’s funds to Iran.”
  18. Washington Post Fact Checker: “Trump falsely calls the Benghazi facility a ‘consulate’ and a ‘symbol of American prestige’ but it was merely an unofficial and temporary facility that had not even been declared to the host government.”
  19. Washington Post Fact Checker:  Donald Trump claim: “In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map. Libya was cooperating. Egypt was peaceful. Iraq was seeing a reduction in violence. Iran was being choked by sanctions. Syria was somewhat under control.” “Aspects are not factually correct.”
  20. Washington Post Fact Checker: “Trump […] falsely claims there’s ‘no way to screen’ refugees.”
  21. Washington Post Fact Checker: “Trump likes to say ‘others’ have gotten punished for far worse than Hillary Clinton’s private email server, but there are few known cases that are comparable to hers.”
  22. Washington Post Fact Checker: “Trump has criticized Clinton’s record as secretary of state and donations given to the Clinton Foundation. But critics […] have not been able to prove quid pro quo.”
  23. Washington Post Fact Checker: Donald Trump claim: “America has lost nearly-one third of its manufacturing jobs since 1997, following the enactment of disastrous trade deals supported by Bill and Hillary Clinton.” “It is simplistic to pin all of the blame on trade agreements.”
  24. Washington Post Fact Checker: Donald Trump claim: “Remember, it was Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA, one of the worst economic deals ever made by our country.” “[NAFTA] was negotiated and signed by President George H.W. Bush.
  25. New Republic: “Trump is right that many American cities have murder rates that are unacceptable. But there are a lot of problems with this section of the speech, the biggest being that it’s just not really true. Blaming the national government for crime in cities is questionable at best.”
  26. PolitiFact: “Pence said, “It was Hillary Clinton who left Americans in harm’s way in Benghazi and after four Americans fell said, ‘What difference at this point does it make?’” […] We rate Pence’s claim Mostly False.”
  27. PolitiFact: “Ruffin said that Donald Trump ‘always pays his bills promptly.’ […] We rate the statement False.”
  28. PolitiFact: “Scott said, “Our economy is not growing.” […] We rate this claim False.”
  29. PolitiFact: “Glenn said, “Neighborhoods have become more violent under your watch,” referring to President Obama. […] We rate this claim Mostly False.”
  30. CNN: “Priebus’ claim that the deal ‘lined the pockets’ of the Iranian government with American money is also false.”
  31. CNN: “Because Priebus mischaracterized a number of details about the nuclear deal, we rate his claims false.”
  32. CNN: “‘Our nuclear bases still use floppy disks. Our newest fighter jets can’t even fly in the rain,’ Thiel said. […] While the F-35 program continues to be mired with difficulties, we rate this particular claim as false.”
  33. CNN: “Pence criticized the Obama administration’s use of executive orders. “We’ve seen relentless mandates from the executive branch. It seems no aspect of our lives is too small for the present administration to supervise, no provision of the Constitution too large for them to ignore,” Pence said. […] Because the actual count of executive orders issued by Obama is not out of line with those issued by modern day presidents, we rate Pence’s claim to be false.”
  34. CNN: “Cruz also railed against the nuclear deal with Iran, claiming that the country expresses its hostility toward the West with two “holidays”: “Death to America Day” and “Death to Israel Day.” […] Verdict: False.”
  35. CNN: “Donald Trump’s son, Eric, said in his speech that his father invested $2 million of his own money into the refurbishing of an ice skating rink in Central Park because he was ‘disgusted by government incompetence’ when the project ‘dragged on for over six years and ballooned to over $13 million — $5 million over an already inflated budget.’ […] So, while Trump took over the project, Eric’s claim that his father ‘invested $2 million of his own money’ is false.”
  36. CNN: “Trump’s middle son rehashed one of his father’s favorite lines throughout his campaign: that the Obama administration agreed to give $150 billion to Iran as part of the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The line remains false.”
  37. CNN: “Hamm, who helped pioneer the shale industry, slammed Obama’s energy policies Wednesday night, saying that restrictions on domestic oil and gas drilling was helping to fund terrorism. […] Therefore we rate the claim that restrictions on domestic oil and gas help “to fund terrorism” false.”
  38. CNN: “We rate Hamm’s claim that Obama “chose not to get’ energy independence as false.”
  1. CNN: “It’s also false to say Clinton wants to ‘eliminate fossil fuel development in America.’”
  1. CNN: “[Michelle Van Etten] said the country needs a president “who will repeal Obamacare and allow small businesses to be able to provide health care for their employees again.” […] Small businesses are not now required to offer health insurance and they didn’t universally do so prior to Obamacare. Because of this, we rate Van Etten’s statement as false.”
  1. AP: Pence and “other Republicans are wrongly accusing Hillary Clinton of speaking with indifference about the death of Americans in Benghazi, Libya — twisting her comments out of context to make their indictment.”
  1. AP: Pence: “‘In my home state of Indiana we prove every day that you can build a growing economy on balanced budgets, low taxes.’ THE FACTS: While true, Pence’s balanced-budget claim isn’t much to brag about. … his biggest contribution to ‘low taxes’ was a reduction of Indiana’s income-tax rate from 3.4 percent to 3.3 percent last year — a savings of about $50 a year for someone with $50,000 in taxable income.”
  1. AP: “NEWT GINGRICH, former House speaker: ‘Iran — the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism — is close to having nuclear weapons.’ […] Before the deal, Iran was just a few months away from having enough weapons-grade uranium to build 10 to 12 nuclear weapons, according to the U.S. government. Now, if Iran were to race toward an atomic weapon, the Obama administration and most independent experts say it would need at least a year, which they say would be enough time to discover the effort and intervene.”
  1. AP: “GINGRICH: ‘So when you hear about Hillary’s dishonesty, or the emails, or taking millions from the Saudis and other Middle Eastern dictatorships — remember, this is not about politics.’ THE FACTS: Clinton was not personally paid for making any speeches in Saudi Arabia or other Mideast nations. […]  Most of those donations were made before she took a leadership role in the charity after stepping down as secretary of state in 2013.”
  1. AP: “CRUZ: ‘There is a better vision for our future: A return to freedom. … On health care, your freedom to choose your own doctor, without Obamacare.’ THE FACTS: Without ‘Obamacare’ or some replacement, millions of people would lose health insurance, which could make it tough for them to choose a doctor.”
  1. AP: “FLORIDA GOV. RICK SCOTT: ‘We’ve allowed our military to decay, and we project weakness on the international stage.’ THE FACTS: The U.S. continues to have the most powerful military in the world. […] China, the second-biggest spender, has a defense budget less than a third of the Pentagon’s.”
  2. AP: “GINGRICH: The terrorism danger to the United States ‘is even worse than September 11th, when 19 hijackers murdered almost 3,000 Americans.’ THE FACTS: Such an assertion fits the GOP convention’s theme of raising fears about the nation’s current political leadership, but it’s a stretch to say the danger has escalated since the 9/11 attacks. […] in the last 15 years the nation has spent massively on new security systems. The FBI has reinvented itself into a terrorism-fighting agency, securing surveillance powers that have diminished the likelihood of a coordinated attack in multiple cities.”
  1. Vox: “Ted Cruz is being wildly misleading about Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi reaction […] If you’ve been listening to Republican convention speeches this week, you’ll have heard many, many, many variations on this riff — Republicans aren’t quite sure exactly why it’s Hillary Clinton’s fault that Americans died at Benghazi (spoiler: because it’s not).”
  1. org: “Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, erroneously claimed that the Iran nuclear deal ‘lined the pockets of the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism with your money.’ Your money? No.”
  1. org: “Priebus also said that ‘a Clinton presidency only means more debt.’ Yes, but Clinton’s plan would result in a ‘relatively small’ increase in the debt, according to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. On the other hand, the group found that Trump’s tax and spending plan would cause a ‘massive increase’ in the debt.”
  1. org: “Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said that Hillary Clinton’s ‘only answer’ to the debt ‘is to keep borrowing and spending.’ But the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found that Trump’s tax and spending plan would cause a ‘massive increase’ in the debt, while Clinton’s plan would result in a ‘relatively small’ increase.”
  1. org: “Pence said ‘we cannot have four more years of apologizing to our enemies,’ an old claim from 2012 that Obama apologized to other countries. […] Our fact-checking colleagues at PolitiFact and the Washington Post Fact Checker reached the same conclusion: Obama never apologized.”
  1. org: “Both Cruz and Pence took a Hillary Clinton quote on the Benghazi terrorist attacks out of context, leaving the false impression that she didn’t care about the deaths of four Americans.”
  1. org: “Eric Trump wrongly claimed that the U.S. is ‘one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.’ Though the U.S. has one of the highest business tax rates, U.S. personal taxes don’t even break the top ten among industrialized nations.”
  1. org: “Florida Gov. Rick Scott claimed the U.S. has ‘world-record high debt,’ when, in fact, it doesn’t, at least by the measure economists prefer. And he said the U.S. economy is ‘not growing,’ when it is.”
  1. org: “Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm said that ‘America now has more oil than Saudi Arabia or Russia.’ Not so.”
  1. org: “Pastor Darrell Scott was incorrect when he said that minority unemployment had increased under President Obama. In fact, unemployment for African Americans, Hispanics and Asians, the nation’s three largest minority groups, has declined significantly since Obama took office in January 2009.”
  1. ABC News: “Priebus said: ‘It was on her watch ISIS began to spread its wings of evil over the Middle East.’ That is false.”
  1. ABC News: “Claim: Hillary Clinton Took Money from Saudi Government Rating: Misleading. […] There is no evidence that Hillary Clinton personally ‘took’ money from the Saudi government, as Gingrich’s statement implies.”
  1. ABC News: “Claim: Donald Trump set aside his company and global brand to run for president. Status: False.”
  1. ABC News: “Claim: Hillary Clinton turned her back on American officials in Benghazi and lied about the attack […] No investigation has shown Clinton ignored the attack.”
  1. ABC News: Ted Cruz claim: “The U.S. government admits ISIS terrorists as refugees.” “Rating: False. While intelligence gaps abroad means there’s a degree of risk in resettling refugees from Syria and elsewhere, the U.S. employs a thorough, multi-stage vetting process. Recent historical data further undermines this claim.”
  1. Washington Post Fact Checker: “This is a carefully phrased statement — note the use of the word ‘helped’ — that tries to pin the blame on Clinton for a complex dynamic that both pre-dates and post-dates her tenure as secretary of state.”
  1. Washington Post Fact Checker: “Pence really pushes the envelope with this line. Numerous investigations into the September 2012 Benghazi attacks have found that security was inadequate at the Benghazi diplomatic facility, but no evidence has emerged that security requests ever reached Clinton’s level.”
  2. Washington Post Fact Checker: “Pence’s attack on Hillary Clinton’s claim about coal jobs is another example of taking a statement out of context.”
  1. Washington Post Fact Checker: “[Pence] misfires when he criticizes Clinton’s proposals. Clinton proposes $1.45 trillion in new spending, but it would be mostly offset by new revenues.”
  1. Washington Post Fact Checker: Claim by Pence that Trump has “brought ‘millions of new voters’ into the GOP… has been disputed by analyses by The Washington Post and Politico.”
  1. Washington Post Fact Checker: Eric Trump: “What had taken [New York City] over half a decade to botch, my father completed in less than six months.” “Actually, New York City ended up paying for this project, which ended up being a nice publicity boost for Trump.”
  1. Washington Post Fact Checker: “’If conservative reforms can work in a blue state like mine, they can work anywhere in the country.’ — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. This was one of Walker’s favorite lines when he was running for president. But … it stretches the truth.”

Haven’t got enough?  Here’s critical reports from independent fact checkers from just the first 48 hours of the convention.

  • Politifact:“Trump said he liked having the convention in Cleveland and that he had recommended Ohio. […] The selection of Cleveland was conducted by the party in 2014, when it wasn’t known who would ultimately win the nomination. We rate Trump’s statement False.”
  • Politifact:“Donald Trump Jr. said Clinton is proposing ‘destroying Medicare for seniors.’ […] We rate the claimFalse.”
  • Politifact:“McConnell said that Clinton changed her views on allowing Iran to enrich uranium. […] We rate this claimMostly False.”
  • Politifact:“Day said that as a senator Clinton ‘paid women less than the men in your office.’ […] We rate this claimMostly False.”
  • Politifact:“Manafort said, ‘The Clinton camp was the first to get it out there and try to say there was something untoward about the speech that Melania Trump gave.’ […] We rate Manafort’s claim False.”
  • Politifact:“Duffy said: ‘Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have left us with $19 trillion in debt.’ […] Our rating isMostly False.
  • Politifact:“Sabato said Obama is “absolutely” a Muslim. That’s wrong. We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
  • Politifact:“Sessions said, ‘There are about 350,000 people who succeed in crossing our borders illegally each year.’ […] The number of immigrants illegally in the country is staying the same or getting smaller. We rate Sessions’ statement False.”
  • Politifact:“Geist said, “We defied the stand-down orders” during the Benghazi attack. […] Testimony in the House Select Committee on Benghazi report shows there was no stand-down order to defy because there was never an order to not intervene in the unfolding disaster. […] We rate it Mostly False.
  • Politifact:“Giuliani said, “Hillary Clinton is for open borders.” […] We rate this claim ”
  • Politifact:“Sessions said Clinton “has been a champion of globalist trade agreements. … Worst of all, they are now pushing the disastrous 5,554-page Obamatrade — the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.” […] We rate Sessions’ claim Mostly False.”
  • CNN:“While Clinton was head of the State Department at the time, Christie says she “fought” to keep [Boko Haram] off the list and there is no evidence that she herself was personally responsible for the delay in the designation. Our verdict: false.”
  • CNN:“Christie went on to add: […] “what was the solution from the Obama/Clinton team? A hashtag campaign.” […] Therefore we rate the claim that the “solution from the Obama/Clinton team” was a “hashtag campaign” as false.”
  • CNN:“Christie assumed the role of prosecutor on the RNC stage, arguing that Clinton’s policy in Libya made her “guilty” of “ruining Libya” and “creating a nest for terrorist activity by ISIS. […] because Clinton was neither the first to call for military intervention, nor the only one to plan the administration’s handling of the aftermath, we rate Christie’s claim false.”
  • CNN:“Donald Trump Jr. said his father would be “a President not beholden to special interests, foreign and domestic and one who funded his entire primary run out of his own pocket just to prove it.” […] His son’s claim is false.”
  • CNN:“We rate Donald Trump Jr.’s claim that Clinton has proposed destroying Medicare false, however you read the phrase — Clinton has not proposed to destroy Medicare, but to expand it.”
  • CNN:“So, is Cox correct in his claim that Clinton would abolish the Second Amendment? […] Verdict: False.”
  • CNN:“Our verdict on McConnell’s charge that Clinton changed positions on Keystone XL: false.”​
  • CNN:“‘Hillary Clinton is promising more of the same. Open borders, executive amnesty and the surge of Syrian refugees,’ said Mike McCaul, R-Texas, the chairman of the Homeland Security Commission. […] Clinton’s proposed policies and past rhetoric do not reflect open borders. That’s false.”
  • CNN:“Therefore, Sessions’ statement that immigrants have taken all the jobs is false.”
  • CNN:“Glenn also said American neighborhoods have become more violent since Obama has been in office.  […]  Glenn’s assertion here is false.”
  • CNN:“Because Clinton’s role in the attack in Benghazi has been thoroughly investigated and she has been cleared of wrongdoing, we find Smith’s claim of culpability false.”
  • CNN:“Ernst said the terrorist group’s threat is not limited to the Middle East, but is spreading. “Terrorists from ISIS are in every one of our 50 states,” Ernst said. […] Therefore, we judge her statement false.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker:“But the security decisions were made well below Clinton’s level and no evidencehas emerged that Clinton was aware of the requests or decided not to provide the requisite level of security.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker:“But, unlike the implication of Ernst’s statement, Comey did not say that the ISIS terror group was present in each state or that these troubled souls had already become terrorists.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker:“Trump has made the same claim about Clinton recently, but Giuliani repeating itdoesn’t make it any more correct. Giuliani exaggerates Clinton’s stance on border security and immigration enforcement.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker:“Recent data show the unauthorized immigrant population has leveled off, whichdoes not support Sessions’s claim.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker:“But even so, Christie appears to not have been listening to Obama speak about the issue. He’s simply wrong that Obama has been silent on violence in Chicago.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker:“For example, homicides are a small percentage of the crimes committed by noncitizens, whether they are in the United States illegally or not.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker:“Our friends at FactCheck.org took an extensive look into the internal data from 2002 to 2008 and found that the median salary for men and women were the same. And the Clintons’ staff had roughly twice as many women as men.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker:“Christie grossly simplifies a complex debate at the State Department — which actually did not involve Clinton personally.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “This is a mysterious claim by Trump’s son that appears to have no factual basis. There is no specific proposal by Clinton that could be said to ‘destroy’ Medicare, the health-care program for the elderly.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker:“We’ve looked at this number before, and it’s pretty bogus. […] The $15,000 figure has serious methodological problems — even the report admits it is “not scientific” and “back of the envelope” — and it is especially misleading when the benefit side of the equation is ignored.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker:“Trump’s campaign manager tried to pin the blame on the Clinton campaign for the flap over allegations of plagiarism in Melania Trump’s prime-time address Monday night at the Republican National Convention. But no evidence has emerged that is the case; indeed, Manafort has offered no evidence.
  • New York Times:“Fact Check: He suggested Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server was a crime, something the F.B.I. director had concluded it was not.”
  • New York Times:“Fact Check: While Mrs. Clinton has said she supports President Obama’s executive actions to allow some illegal immigrants to live and work in the United States, she has not called for “open borders” and her support for accepting Syrian refugees has been limited to 65,000 people, far fewer than the number who were accepted by some European countries.”
  • New York Times:“Fact check: The Obama administration and Mrs. Clinton opposed the “Buy America” provision because, they said, it was a protectionist measure that could cause a trade war with China in the midst of an economic crisis.”
  • New York Times:“Fact check: Mrs. Clinton’s comments about Mr. Assad came in an interview in 2011, before much of the bloodshed, when she said that some members of Congress in both parties “believe he’s a reformer.” Some in the George W. Bush administration had also expressed hope that he would be a better leader than his father, Hafez al-Assad. And Mrs. Clinton did not “defend” the atrocities committed by Mr. Assad during the later period of the civil war.”New York Times: “Fact check: Mrs. Clinton was already gone from the administration when Mr. Obama pursued secret negotiations with Cuba, though she did express support for his efforts.”
  • org:“Donald Trump Jr. distorted Clinton’s gun control proposal, claiming, as his father did, that she wants to ‘take away Americans’ guns.’ Clinton’s gun control proposal doesn’t call for taking away guns.”
  • org:“Two speakers claimed that Clinton paid women less than men in her Senate office […] The Clinton campaign provided FactCheck.org a list of the names, titles and annual salaries of every full-time person employed in Clinton’s Senate office between 2002 and 2008. Those data show the median salary for men and women to be the same at $40,000. The data also show Clinton hired roughly twice as many women as men.”

​​

  • org:“Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and former U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey both mentioned Clinton’s ‘what difference does it make’ quote on Benghazi, but left out the context of that remark. […] Republicans, like Mukasey, have portrayed the remarks as being uncaring toward the lives lost that night. Johnson himself went on to describe in his speech several victims of terrorists attacks, saying ‘it made a difference’ to them. But Clinton’s full remarks indicate she was concerned about the lives lost.”
  • org:“Sens. Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia took Clinton’s words on coal-mining jobs out of context. […]  Sullivan and Capito ignore her promise to create new jobs for communities hurt by the shift away from coal.”
  • org:Sen. Shelly Moore Capito “used a one-sided report … to claim that ‘the burden of government regulations in this country amounts to $15,000 a household.’ And she exaggerated the number of coal mining jobs that have been lost since 2011, putting the figure at 60,000, when it’s 36,700.”
  • org:“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrongly said that Clinton was for the Keystone XL pipeline before she was against it. She did not take a position until she opposed the pipeline in 2015.”
  • org:Sen. Shelly Moore Capito said “the Obama ‘economic agenda’ has led to ‘the lowest workforce participation in decades,’ […] But Obama’s ‘economic agenda’ hasn’t caused the decline in the labor force participation rate, which actually started going down in the late 1990s, a full decade before he took office.”
  • org:“Sen. Jeff Sessions claimed that ‘respect for America has fallen,’ but the U.S. is viewed more favorably in many countries now than it was before President Obama took office. […] As we’ve written before, the U.S. is viewed more favorably now than it was before Obama took office in 2009.”
  • org:“Donald Trump Jr. also wrongly said that his father ‘funded his entire primary run out of his own pocket.’ Trump provided about 73 percent of the funding, but not all of it.”
  • org:“Two security contractors at the CIA annex in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, repeated their claim that they were told to ‘stand down’ and not help Americans under attack. But multiple official reports say such an order was never issued.”
  • org:“The sister of a slain Border Patrol agent said President Obama has left ‘border patrol agents thinly equipped,’ and undermanned. In fact, both funding and staffing have increased under Obama.”
  • org:Darryl Glenn, Colorado Republican nominee for Senate, “wrongly suggested that violent crime in the United States had gone up during President Obama’s time in office. The violent crime rate has gone down 20 percent from 2008, the year before Obama was sworn in, and 2014, the most recent statistics available from the FBI.”
  • org:“Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Michael McCaul both wrongly claimed that Hillary Clinton supports ‘open borders.’ She supported a bill that would have created a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally, but it also would have increased border security.”
  • org:Rudy Giuliani said that Hillary Clinton “‘advocated for the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya’ and should be ‘accountable’ for the country’s chaos. But he failed to mention that Trump, at the time, also supported the ouster of Gadhafi.”
  • org:“Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions claimed that wages ‘have fallen,’ when they’re up under Obama. He blamed immigration for a low labor force participation rate, when it’s mainly the result of demographics, including the aging of baby boomers.”
  • ABC News:“Claim: Hillary Clinton is an “apologist” for Boko Haram. She and Obama responded to its mass kidnapping with a “hashtag campaign.” Rating: ”
  • ABC News:“Claim: Clinton said that “what difference, at this point, does it make?” in discussing the deaths of Americans in Benghazi. Rating: ”
  • ABC News:“Claim: Hillary Clinton’s immigration policy promises “open borders.” Rating: False.”
  • ABC News:“Claim: U.S. military responders were ordered to “stand down” during the 2012 Benghazi attack. Rating: Highly Questionable. Every investigation ever done on Benghazi concluded there was no “stand down order.”
  • ABC News: “Claim: ‘No one was ever held accountable’ for Fast & Furious. Rating: False.”
  • ABC News: Claim: ‘All security had been pulled from the embassy’ in Benghazi. Rating: False
  • NPR:“There’s been no evidence uncovered of a direct order to “stand down” from mounting a defense of the facilities.”
  • NBC News:“CLAIM (Rudy Giuliani): ‘Hillary Clinton’s answer to Congress about the death of these four brave Americans [in Benghazi] because of her failures as Secretary of State was ‘what difference at this point does it make?’ […] THE FACTS: According to the video of Clinton’s congressional testimony, Clinton’s ‘what difference at this point does it make’ was over whether the violence in Benghazi was inspired by anti-Islam video or not.”
  • NBC News:“CLAIM (Melania Trump): ‘Donald intends to represent all the people, not just some of the people. That includes Christians and Jews and Muslims, it includes Hispanics and African Americans and Asians, and the poor and the middle class.’ THE FACTS: In addition to the temporary Muslim travel ban that Trump first proposed in Dec. 2015, Trump has once talked about a ‘Muslim problem’ in a 2011 interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody.”
  • NBC News:“CLAIM (Rudy Giuliani): ‘…Obama’s Nuclear Agreement with Iran that will eventually let them become a nuclear power and put billions of dollars back into a country that the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism.’ […] THE FACTS: The Iran Deal requires that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency continuously monitor Iran’s nuclear sites to verify that Tehran is keeping its enrichment activities within limits set out in the deal and that none of the fissile material is being moved to covertly build a bomb.”
  • NBC News:“CLAIM (Jeff Sessions): ‘…From 2000 to 2014, while our existing population increased by millions, the number of jobs held by Americans actually declined. Amazingly, all the net job growth during that period went to immigrants.’ THE FACTS: Sessions is citing the research of the Center for Immigration Studies […] PolitiFact has checked out claims made from this study before and found that this reading of the data is misleading. The organization found that the study looks at jobs for workers 16-65, ignoring the gains for workers over age 65 that existed and ignoring the recession.”
  • NBC News: “CLAIM (Darryl Glenn, Colorado Senate candidate): ‘Neighborhoods have become more dangerous under [Obama’s] watch’ THE FACTS: While there is some evidence of an increase in violent crime in some large American cities in the last few years, the national trend shows overall crime going down.”
  • NBC News:Donald Trump: “I wanted it to be in Ohio, I recommended Ohio, and people fought very hard that it be in Ohio.” The Facts: “The Republican National Committee’s Site Selection Committee announced in July 2014 its recommendation of Cleveland, Ohio, as the site of the convention. Donald Trump announced his intention to run for president nearly a year later, in June 2015.”
  • Star Ledger:“The facts: In actuality, she simply related others’ opinions. ‘There is a different leader in Syria now,” Clinton said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” in 2011, according to Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking site. “Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.’”

 

Trump Paints Picture of Apocalypse and Then Presents Himself as Sole Savior

Donald J. Trump accepts the Republican nomination for President “humbly and gratefully.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Donald J. Trump accepts the Republican nomination for President “humbly and gratefully.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Donald J. Trump took to the stage on the last night of the 2016 Republican National Convention saying he “humbly and gratefully” accept the Republican nomination for president. Then he said that he would not lie to the American people.

Both statements were patent lies.

He proceeded to create a false narrative, a coming apocalypse that only he could save America from.

He lied about the economy, jobslessness, crime, about undocumented immigrants. He contradicted his stated positions.

And if you take him at his word, “I am the law and order candidate” and that from Day One of taking the oath of office, violence will therefore cease, ISIS will be defeated, the only way to understand that is in the context that he intends to make a police state.

That is indicated by his love for expanding intelligence.

First you create a false narrative – that America is sinking into an abyss of violence, bankrupt, that America is weak and humiliated – and then you offer empty promises that everything will be fixed by sheer force of personality.

And holding President Obama and Secretary Clinton to blame for every bad thing that occurs anywhere in the country and in the world, is preposterous – even the coup in Turkey. And yet, the Republicans don’t take any responsibility for four planes that over the course of hours on a single day on Sept. 11, 2001, were able to fly unimpeded, killing more than 3000, for the theft of trillions of dollars in wealth by banksters allowed to flourish in Bush’s laissez-faire deregulated environment, causing millions of Americans to lose their jobs, their homes, their savings and retirement.

Donald Trump accepts Republican nomination: “I am the law and order candidate”. © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Donald Trump accepts Republican nomination: “I am the law and order candidate”. © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“The American People will come first once again. My plan will begin with safety at home – which means safe neighborhoods, secure borders, and protection from terrorism. There can be no prosperity without law and order. On the economy, I will outline reforms to add millions of new jobs and trillions in new wealth that can be used to rebuild America,” Trump declared.

“A number of these reforms that I will outline tonight will be opposed by some of our nation’s most powerful special interests. That is because these interests have rigged our political and economic system for their exclusive benefit.”

A great bulk of his speech was devoted to violence. Indeed, it sounded like he was advocating for gun control – but then he used lies to threaten that if he is not elected, Hillary Clinton will repeal the 2nd Amendment.

Instead, the only remedy to violence here and abroad that he offered sounded a whole lot like a police state – a fact borne out by his declared admiration for Turkey Prime Minister’s Erdogan’s crackdown and purge after a failed military coup (50,000 judges, soldiers, teachers arrested and charged without due process).

“I will work with, and appoint, the best prosecutors and law enforcement officials in the country to get the job done. In this race for the White House, I am the Law And Order candidate. The irresponsible rhetoric of our President, who has used the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and color, has made America a more dangerous environment for everyone.

This Administration has failed America’s inner cities. It’s failed them on education. It’s failed them on jobs. It’s failed them on crime. It’s failed them at every level.

When I am President, I will work to ensure that all of our kids are treated equally, and protected equally.

“Every action I take, I will ask myself: does this make life better for young Americans in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Ferguson who have as much of a right to live out their dreams as any other child America?”

He promises, as if by mere force of his personality, to rid the world of the scourge of radical jihadist terrorism:

“To make life safe in America, we must also address the growing threats we face from outside America: we are going to defeat the barbarians of ISIS….

“To protect us from terrorism, we need to focus on three things.

RNC-Trump_072116_226e2(c) Karen Rubin“We must have the best intelligence gathering operation in the world. We must abandon the failed policy of nation building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria. Instead, we must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terror.

“This includes working with our greatest ally in the region, the State of Israel. Lastly, we must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place.”

And yes, build that wall. “We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities. I”

“By ending catch-and-release on the border, we will stop the cycle of human smuggling and violence. Illegal border crossings will go down. Peace will be restored. By enforcing the rules for the millions who overstay their visas, our laws will finally receive the respect they deserve.

“Tonight, I want every American whose demands for immigration security have been denied – and every politician who has denied them – to listen very closely to the words I am about to say.

“On January 21st of 2017, the day after I take the oath of office, Americans will finally wake up in a country where the laws of the United States are enforced. We are going to be considerate and compassionate to everyone.

“But my greatest compassion will be for our own struggling citizens. My plan is the exact opposite of the radical and dangerous immigration policy of Hillary Clinton. Americans want relief from uncontrolled immigration. Communities want relief.”

But Trump, a failed businessman with multiple bankruptcies, who has defrauded and cheated investors, contractors and customers, is promising to lower taxes, eliminate regulations (like on environment and food safety and financial protection), and energy rules, which means promoting extracting of fossil fuels over clean energy.

“I have made billions of dollars in business making deals – now I’m going to make our country rich again. I am going to turn our bad trade agreements into great ones. America has lost nearly-one third of its manufacturing jobs since 1997, following the enactment of disastrous trade deals supported by Bill and Hillary Clinton.

“Remember, it was Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA, one of the worst economic deals ever made by our country.

“Never again.

“I am going to bring our jobs back to Ohio and to America – and I am not going to let companies move to other countries, firing their employees along the way, without consequences.”

Trump promises to overturn public education with school choice – with a dig at teachers unions – and repeal and replace Obamacare (“You will be able to choose your own doctor again,” he declartes, except that you never were able to choose your own doctor because of insurance companies, and you have the same ability now to pay for whatever doctor you want), to fix the TSA and rebuild a “depleted military.”

“We will take care of our great Veterans like they have never been taken care of before. My opponent dismissed the VA scandal as being not widespread – one more sign of how out of touch she really is. We are going to ask every Department Head in government to provide a list of wasteful spending projects that we can eliminate in my first 100 days. The politicians have talked about it, I’m going to do it. We are also going to appoint justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution.”

In a payoff to evangelicals, who apparently don’t wield enough political power already, he promises to overturn the law that prevents religious centers from preaching politics or else lose their tax-exempt status – another sign so obviously on view throughout the RNC of Christians seeing the opportunity to turn the US into a theocracy.

Trump promises to bring back jobs, prosperity, eliminate violence and pretends to care about working families, about LGBTQ people.

“When innocent people suffer, because our political system lacks the will, or the courage, or the basic decency to enforce our laws – or worse still, has sold out to some corporate lobbyist for cash – I am not able to look the other way.”

RNC-Trump_072116_251e2(c) Karen RubinAnd in a giant wink, suggests he will purge the political system of the power wielded by special interests: “I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves. Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it. I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders – he never had a chance.”

Closing out his 77 minute speech (longest of any acceptance speech; longer than Obama and Romney’s combined), he said:

“I am your voice.

“So to every parent who dreams for their child, and every child who dreams for their future, I say these words to you tonight: I’m With You, and I will fight for you, and I will win for you.

“To all Americans tonight, in all our cities and towns, I make this promise: We Will Make America Strong Again.

“We Will Make America Proud Again.

“We Will Make America Safe Again.

“And We Will Make America Great Again.”

Problem is, it was all complete and utter crap.

“Donald Trump’s big speech last night was full of false humility, false promises, false sympathy (for minorities, women, and workers), and outright falsehoods. He affirmed various right-wing tropes for his base, but the speech was — at its core — a naked attempt to con the voters Trump and the Republicans need to sway to their side by November,” writes Michael Keegan, President of People for the American Way (PFAW.org).

“Trump also distorted statistics to gin up the anxiety and inflame many of the false perceptions driven by right-wing media lies, oversaturation of sensationalistic news stories, and the violent videos and memes that constantly go viral on social media.

The entire theme of Trump’s speech was that the country is beset by crises of a historic magnitude and that Trump and ONLY Trump can save us. His speech, which has widely been called “apocalyptic,” made the case that Americans are completely unsafe, and are under siege from enemies both within and outside our borders … that the state of the economy is terrible.

“He said he would fix all of our problems quickly upon taking office — make the streets safe, bring back all of our lost manufacturing jobs, expand opportunity for young people and minorities, and more — but declined to say how.

“He also reminded the crowd that his economic ‘plan’ includes the biggest tax cut of all of this year’s candidates in either major party — weighted heavily for the ultra-rich, of course — but at the same time promised wildly expensive programs, including his infamous border wall — the price tag of which analysts estimate would be at least $25 billion (no, Mexico is not going to pay for it). It’s a recipe for a behemoth deficit … but of course, facts don’t matter … and never have for Trump.

“Now, as if all of that wasn’t scary enough, here’s the really scary part: There are many — too many — Americans that will find all of Trump’s blustery rhetoric and empty promises appealing. If there is anything history has taught, it’s that when people are afraid, they will put power in the hands of strongman leaders who promise safety and national glory. We’re even seeing it right now in other places in the world,” Keegan writes.

The lies demand to be addressed. (See Independent Fact Checkers Review Trump’s Convention).

–Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features

_________________

News & Photo Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. For editorial feature and photo information, email editor@news-photos-features.com. ‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures, Tweet @KarenBRubin

RNC: A Compendium of Lies

Donald Trump, a shadowy figure, can’t win on “truth” of his policies or background, so he has to hide behind lies and deceptions to drive up Hillary Clinton;s negatives © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Donald Trump, a shadowy figure, can’t win on “truth” of his policies or background, so he has to hide behind lies and deceptions to drive up Hillary Clinton;s negatives © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland was all bluster, bombast, hyperbole and outright lies – designed to raise Hillary Clinton’s negatives and distract from Trump’s utter lack of policy, proposals, agenda, experience or temperament to be president – that demand to be corrected. (These references are supplied by the Hillary for America Campaign):

FBI’s Comey: Emails Reported as “Marked Classified” Were Improperly Marked and Could Be Reasonably Judged as Not Classified 

In a key development at today’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, FBI Director James Comey clarified an apparent inconsistency between his remarks earlier this week and Secretary Hillary Clinton’s long-running public statements.

Clinton has long stated that none of the emails she sent or received were marked classified at the time. Comey, however, said Monday that there was a “very small number” of emails that bore markings.

Moments ago, Comey reconciled this apparent contradiction. He acknowledged for the first time that there were only three such emails, and that in each case the emails contained only “partial” markings — meaning, he acknowledged, that they were improperly marked and that as a result, the materials could have been reasonably judged as not classified.

Comey’s statements add to the findings announced by the State Department yesterday. At a press briefing, a State Department spokesman said the markings on these emails were the result of “human error” and did not belong in these emails, as the underlying contents were not classified.

Below is the full exchange just now between Director Comey and Rep. Matt Cartwright:

KEY EXCHANGE WITH DIRECTOR COMEY AND REP. CARTWRIGHT

MATT CARTWRIGHT: You were asked about markings on a few documents, I have the manual here, marking national classified security information. And I don’t think you were given a full chance to talk about those three documents with the little c’s on them. Were they properly documented? Were they properly marked according to the manual?

JAMES COMEY: No.

MATT CARTWRIGHT: According to the manual, and I ask unanimous consent to enter this into the record Mr. Chairman

CHAIRMAN: Without objection so ordered.

MATT CARTWRIGHT: According to the manual, if you’re going to classify something, there has to be a header on the document? Right?

JAMES COMEY: Correct.

MATT CARTWRIGHT: Was there a header on the three documents that we’ve discussed today that had the little c in the text someplace?

JAMES COMEY: No. There were three e-mails, the c was in the body, in the text, but there was no header on the email or in the text.

MATT CARTWRIGHT: So if Secretary Clinton really were an expert about what’s classified and what’s not classified and we’re following the manual, the absence of a header would tell her immediately that those three documents were not classified. Am I correct in that?

JAMES COMEY: That would be a reasonable inference.
There Has Never Been Any Evidence Clinton’s Server Was Hacked

Contrary to the baseless speculation and conspiracy theories, there has never been any evidence found to support the allegation that Hillary Clinton’s server was hacked:

NY Times:  “Security Logs of Hillary Clinton’s Email Server Are Said to Show No Evidence of Hacking.”

Reuters: “The two sources said the U.S. investigation of Lazar turned up no evidence to support the hacker’s claims that he had broken into Clinton’s private server.”

FBI Director James Comey: “We did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked.”

FBI Director James Comey: The hacker Guccifer “did not [gain access to Clinton’s server], he admitted that was a lie.”

Vox:  “Importantly, the [State Department IG] report doesn’t turn up any evidence that Clinton’s emails were successfully hacked or compromised.”

Factcheck.org: “Trump falsely claimed that the private server that Clinton used as secretary of state “was easily hacked by foreign governments.” Attempts were made to hack into Clinton’s server, but the identity of the hackers has not been determined and there has been no evidence to date that any of them were successful.”

However, the same can not be said for the State Department and other government email systems:

Reuters: State Department’s Unclassified Email Systems Hacked

CNN: Sources: State Dept. hack the ‘worst ever’

Washington Post: “The breach is the latest of a series of electronic intrusions first detected last month on government computer systems at a variety of agencies, from the White House to the U.S. Postal Service to the National Weather Service. The suspected hackers of the White House’s computer network were believed to be working for the Russian government.”

 

About Those “Classified” Emails: FBI Director’s Testimony to House Committee Backed Up Clinton’s Public Statements 

Comey: “Marked Classified” Emails Were Improperly Marked and Could Be Reasonably Judged as Not Classified; No Evidence Clinton Ever Knew She Had or Retained Classified Information

  • In key developments during FBI Director James Comey’s testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, he clarified an apparent inconsistency between his initial remarks and Secretary Hillary Clinton’s long-running public statements.
  • During the hearing, Comey acknowledged for the first time that there were only three emails that were supposedly marked classified, and that in each case the emails contained only “partial” markings — meaning, he acknowledged, that they were improperly marked and that as a result, the materials could have been reasonably judged as not classified. A day earlier, a State Department spokesman said the markings on these emails were the result of “human error”and did not belong in these emails, as the underlying contents were not classified.

3 key pieces of Comey’s testimony:

1) Emails reported as “marked classified” were improperly marked.

MATT CARTWRIGHT:  I don’t think you were given a full chance to talk about those three documents with the little ‘C’s’ on them. Were they properly documented? Were they properly marked according to the manual? COMEY: No.

2) And those emails could be reasonably judged as not classified.
MATT CARTWRIGHT: If Secretary Clinton really were an expert at what’s classified and what’s not classified and we’re following the manual, the absence of a header would tell her immediately that those three documents were not classified. Am I correct in that?  |  COMEY: That would be a reasonable inference.

3) There’s no evidence Clinton ever knew she had received classified information or intended to retain it on her server.
COMEY: There’s not evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that she knew she was receiving classified information or that she intended to retain it on her server.

 

 

Day One of Donald Trump’s Convention: Lies About Hillary Clinton

Following in the footsteps of every speech Donald Trump has ever delivered, the first day of the Republican Convention was filled with omissions, exaggerations and lies.  Here are a sample of the falsehoods told from the podium:

1. FALSE CLAIM: Former Gov. Linda Lingle: “Clinton and Obama have treated our allies as strangers, insulted their leaders, and ignored their advice and interests.”

TRUTH: America’s standing in the world drastically improved while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. 82 percent of countries surveyed by BBC had a more positive view of U.S. influence at the end of Secretary Clinton’s tenure than they did around its beginning (BBC 2009BBC 2013).

2. FALSE CLAIM: Sen. Pat Roberts: “Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have changed our government. They have taxed us. They have regulated us. They have destroyed our health care system. They have stunned our economy and killed new jobs. They have made our world and our country less safe.

TRUTH: 20 million more people have health care thanks to the Affordable Care Act.  We’ve seen 72 months of job growth and 14.8 million private sector jobs.

3. FALSE CLAIM: Benghazi Video: “At a 7:30 meeting, Hillary Clinton’s State Department requested that the Marines go in civilian clothes, no military uniforms and no weapons – in a war zone, where Americans were under fire. Because they didn’t want to look like an invasion, because we didn’t want to offend anybody, really?”

TRUTH: PolitiFact: Mostly False: “The delay occurred after the surviving Americans and those who had been killed already had been evacuated to Tripoli.”

4. FALSE CLAIM: John Tiegen: “On three separate occasions, we got told to wait by the chief of base, and we told us to stand down.”

TRUTH: TPM: [M]ultiple fact-checking outlets have found no evidence that such an order was given by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In November 2014, the GOP-led House Intelligence Committee found the CIA properly responded to the Benghazi attacks, debunking residual claims that the CIA delayed its response or missed the opening for a possible rescue mission.

5. FALSE CLAIM: Sen. Pat Roberts: “Are we really ready to accept a different standard for the elites than for the rest of us? But that decision will no longer be made by a confused FBI or the administration’s Department of Justice.”

TRUTH: The FBI’s decision was not confused – it was unanimous. Republican FBI Director James Comey said unequivocally that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case.” And he made perfectly clear that Clinton did not receive preferable treatment – to the contrary, he said that pursuing charges against her would have been applying a double standard: “That would be celebrity hunting. That would be treating this person differently than John Doe.”

6. FALSE CLAIM: Rep. Mike McCaul: “And now Hillary Clinton is promising more of the same: open borders…”

TRUTH: Politifact: “This is a huge distortion of Clinton’s proposals.  Clinton has praised work already done to secure the border, and she said she supported a 2013 bill that would have invested billions more in border security while creating a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. Her plan calls for protecting the border and targeting deportation to criminals and security threats. Her plan would make it easier for many undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation, but that’s not the same as ending all enforcement.  We rate this claim False.” (And they rated it false tonight too)

7. FALSE CLAIM: Rep. Mike McCaul: “When four Americans were murdered and Benghazi burned, it burned, she blamed it on a video.”

TRUTH: Washington Post Fact-Checker: There is “little support for [the] claim that Clinton told the American people that the attacks were because of a video. She certainly spoke about the video, but always in the context of the protests that were occurring across the Middle East.”

8. FALSE CLAIM:
 Rep. Sean Duffy and Rachel Campos-Duffy on rules of their household: “And no lying. Especially to the FBI.”

TRUTH: Reuters: “FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers on Thursday that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton did not lie to the FBI about her handling of emails as secretary of state and did not break the law.”

Politico: “Comey: Clinton did not lie to the FBI”

COMEY: “I don’t think the [FBI] agents assessed she was evasive [in their 3.5 hour interview with Hillary Clinton.]”

  1. FALSE CLAIM:Sen. Jeff Sessions: “Worst of all, they are now pushing the disastrous 5,000-page ‘Obamatrade’ – the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.”

    TRUTH:PolitiFact: “[Sessions is] painting Clinton’s position on free trade with an overly broad brush and is just plain wrong on her supporting for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.”

    10. FALSE CLAIM: Fmr. Mayor Rudy Giuliani: “[Hillary Clinton’s] dereliction of duty and failure to keep her people safe played a major role, as you heard tonight, in the horrific Islamic terrorist murders on September 11 and 12, 2012 in Benghazi, which claimed the lives of four brave Americans.”

    TRUTH: Huffington Post: House Republicans Spent Millions Of Dollars On Benghazi Committee To Exonerate Clinton: “After spending more than two years and $7 million, the House Select Committee on Benghazi released a report Tuesday that found — like eight investigations before it — no evidence of wrongdoing by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or other members of the Obama administration.”

    11. FALSE CLAIM: Lt. General Michael Flynn: President Obama and Hillary Clinton pursued a strategy of “coddling and displays of empathy toward terrorists”

    TRUTH: New York Times: Bin Laden Is Dead, Obama Says

 

Allegations of “Stand Down” Order Have Been Widely Debunked

In their continued quest to politically damage Hillary Clinton, Republicans have falsely claimed that Clinton told former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and U.S military personnel to ‘stand down’ in the wake of the Benghazi attacks. This unfounded allegation has been widely debunked:

  • Multiple bipartisan investigations have concluded that no ‘stand down’ order was ever issued to U.S. military personnel in Tripoli.
  • Even Republicans from the House Armed Services Committee have refuted this claim.
  • The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence found no evidence of obstruction in mobilizing CIA security teams to respond to the attacks.
  • Secretary Panetta and General Dempsey have both confirmed Clinton did not in fact communicate with them on the night of the attacks. General Dempsey also stated that no limitations were placed on the military’s reaction to the attack.
  • AFRICOM Commander General Carter Ham has said no one under his command received a “stand down” order from Clinton.
  • The Commander of Special Operations in Tripoli at the time, Rear Admiral Brian Losey, publically stated “there was never an order to stand down.”

In fact, contrary to the GOP’s erroneous allegations, military assets were allocated and mobilized to address the crisis.  The military’s ability to respond was limited—not because of Clinton or any official’s doing— but due to the status of U.S. forces that night and the speed of the attacks that unfolded:

  • The AFRICOM Command Center was given access to “every capability that was available and as quickly it could move.”
  • General Dempsey stated he was instructed “to use all available assets to respond to the attacks.”
  • Buck McKeon, Republican Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said the “military did what it reasonably could during a chaotic night.”
  • Admiral Mike Mullen, who was the only military member of the Accountability Review Board (ARB) concluded that the “U.S. did everything it could on the night of the attack.”
  • Even former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, claimed in an interview, “had I been in the job at the time of the Benghazi attacks…. I think my decisions would have been just as theirs were.”

The fact is, all of the numerous official sources analyzing the military response –from the countless interviews with military officials, to congressional reports, to the Independent Accountability Review Board—have concluded that the military did everything it could, given the circumstances, in their response to the attacks. Even Republicans have openly acknowledged DOD’s inability to “respond immediately to every conceivable global contingency.”

 

The House Benghazi Committee’s Investigation Was A Purely Partisan Exercise That Still Found No Wrongdoing By Hillary Clinton

The Select Committee on Benghazi was a taxpayer-funded attack vehicle targeting Hillary Clinton.  Despite spending two years and more than $7 million of taxpayer money, Republicans still were unable to find any evidence to back up their wild conspiracy theories and accusations against Hillary Clinton.

  • LA Times: Republicans release Benghazi report with no new evidence against Hillary Clinton
  • LA Times: Editorial: After two years and $7 million in tax dollars, the latest Benghazi report tells the same old story
  • Bloomberg: Benghazi Report Has No Major Revelations About Clinton’s Role
  • Miami Herald: Editorial: In effort to trap Hillary Clinton, Benghazi committee produces a dud
  • Huffington Post: House Republicans Spent Millions Of Dollars On Benghazi Committee To Exonerate Clinton

Even Republicans confirmed the partisan nature of the Committee.

  • House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable right? We put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.”
  • Republican Congressman Richard Hanna: “This may not be politically correct, but I think that there was a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual, Hillary Clinton.”​
  • NYT: Senior Republican officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing confidential conversations, said that Mr. Boehner had long been suspicious of the administration’s handling of the attacks and that Mrs. Clinton’s emails gave him a way to keep the issue alive and to cause political problems for her campaign.”  Even leading conservative voice Bill O’Reilly weighed in: “If you don’t think the Benghazi thing is political, of course it’s political.”

 

Chris Stevens’ Family: Don’t Blame Hillary Clinton For Benghazi

Rudy Giuliani just ran through a series of debunked conspiracy theories in order to put partisan blame on Hillary Clinton for the tragic attacks in Benghazi.  Here’s what Anne Stevens, the sister of Ambassador Chris Stevens has said about it:

Whom do you fault for the lack of security that resulted in the death of your brother, in Benghazi?

“I do not blame Hillary Clinton or Leon Panetta. They were balancing security efforts at embassies and missions around the world. And their staffs were doing their best to provide what they could with the resources they had. The Benghazi Mission was understaffed. We know that now. But, again, Chris knew that. It wasn’t a secret to him. He decided to take the risk to go there. It is not something they did to him. It is something he took on himself.” – Dr. Anne Stevens, the sister of Ambassador Chris Stevens.

What did you think of Secretary Clinton’s conduct on Benghazi?

“She has taken full responsibility, being head of the State Department, for what occurred. She took measures to respond to the review board’s recommendations. She established better programs for a better security system. But it is never going to be perfect. Part of being a diplomat is being out in the community. We all recognize that there’s risk in serving in a dangerous environment. Chris thought that was very important, and he probably would have done it again. I don’t see any usefulness in continuing to criticize here. It is very unjust.” – Dr. Anne Stevens, the sister of Ambassador Chris Stevens.

 

The False Claim That Hillary Clinton Supports “Open Borders”

In an attempt to distract voters from his own divisive immigration policies, Donald Trump and his allies have falsely said Hillary Clinton wants to “create totally open borders.”

Politifact: “This is a huge distortion of Clinton’s proposals.  Clinton has praised work already done to secure the border, and she said she supported a 2013 bill that would have invested billions more in border security while creating a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. Her plan calls for protecting the border and targeting deportation to criminals and security threats. Her plan would make it easier for many undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation, but that’s not the same as ending all enforcement.  We rate this claim False.”

 

Trump’s False Claim that Clinton Will Repeal the 2nd Amendment 

Chris Cox just parroted Donald Trump’s false claim that Hillary Clinton wants to repeal the 2nd Amendment. This debunked claim couldn’t be farther from the truth. In reality, Clinton believes that we can have common sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment and has repeatedly stated we can protect it while also protecting our families and communities

As President, Hillary Clinton will:

  1. Fight for comprehensive background checks:
  • She will advocate for comprehensive federal background check legislation.
  • She will close the “Charleston loophole,” which allows any gun sale to proceed if a background check is not completed within three business days.
  1. Hold dealers and manufacturers fully accountable if they endanger Americans:
  • She will repeal the gun industry’s unique immunity protection due to lobbying by the NRA.
  • She will revoke the licenses of bad dealers, such as those that supply guns to straw purchasers and traffickers.
  1. Keep guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists, domestic abusers, other violent criminals and the severely mentally ill.
  • Clinton said “If you are too dangerous to fly, you are too dangerous to buy a gun, period.” She will insist on comprehensive background checks prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns.
  • She will support legislation to prohibit all domestic abusers and individuals suffering from severe mental illnesses from buying and possessing guns.
  • She will make straw purchasing a federal crime.

FLASHBACK: Support For Libyan Intervention Was Widespread, Including Trump and Pence

Donald Trump and his allies love to attack Hillary Clinton over the Libyan intervention. Curiously, they never seem to mention that Trump himself supported it. Repeatedly. And on his own video blog. And his running mate, Mike Pence backed the intervention as well, publicly thanking then-Secretary Clinton for her efforts on Libya.

  • BuzzFeed: Trump Claims He Didn’t Support Libya Intervention — But He Did, On Video
  • Trump, 2011: “I can’t believe what our country is doing. Qaddafi in Libya is killing thousands of people…. But we have go in to save these lives; these people are being slaughtered like animals. It’s horrible what’s going on; it has to be stopped. We should do on a humanitarian basis, immediately go into Libya, knock this guy out very quickly, very surgically, very effectively, and save the lives.”​
  • Trump, 2011: “at this point, if you don’t get rid of Gadhafi, it’s a major, major black eye for this country.”
  • BuzzFeed: Mike Pence Publicly Thanked Hillary Clinton In 2011 For Her Efforts On Libya. Pence: “I also want to thank you, specifically, for the efforts by the administration and your offices to further isolate Libya during a time of extraordinary tragedy in the streets, tragedy of which I think we’re probably only partially aware.”

Donald Trump’s lies and hypocrisy aside, the reality is that in 2011, support for the Libyan intervention was widespread, at home and abroad. There was strong bipartisan support from U.S. leaders at home for the administration’s effort to impede Qadhafi’s brutality, and our closest NATO allies, partners in the region, and Libyan people were all making urgent calls for U.S. action.

Top Republicans were making calls for bold American leadership in this international crisis:

Feb. 22, 2011 – John McCain and Joe Lieberman: “The horrific situation in Libya demands more than just public condemnation; it requires strong international action. … Some Libyan diplomats have bravely called for a no-fly zone to stop the Qaddafi regime’s use of airpower to attack Libyan civilians.  We support this course of action.”

Feb. 24, 2011 – Marco Rubio: “We should immediately engage willing partners to limit the regime’s ability to wage war against its own citizens.  These measures could include (but are not limited to) pressing bordering nations to stop the flow of mercenaries into Libya, finding ways to restore severed communications, imposing a no-fly zone to protect civilians against aircraft attacks, and mobilizing a humanitarian relief effort.”

Feb. 28, 2011 – Lindsey Graham: “What I would suggest is that we really keep implementing U.N. sanctions on the economic side, on the travel side, go after assets. And a no fly zone would make a lot of sense to me.”

Feb. 28, 2011 – Susan Collins: “I do believe our allies may be able to join together with us to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya to help protect the people from Gadhafi,” she said. “Any actions that we take I believe should be in concert with our allies.”

March 1, 2011 – By unanimous consent, the Senate adopts a resolution urging the UN Security Council to take “further action to protect civilians in Libya from attack, including the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over Libyan territory.”

March 7, 2011 – Newt Gingrich: “Exercise a no-fly zone this evening, communicate to the Libyan military that Gadhafi was gone … All we have to say is that we think that slaughtering your own citizens is unacceptable and that we’re intervening. And we don’t have to send troops. All we have to do is suppress his air force…”

March 13, 2011 – John McCain: “First, the president [Barack Obama] should recognize Libya’s transitional national council, which is based in Benghazi but representative of communities across the country, as the sole legitimate governing authority of Libya, just as France has done.  Second, the president should take immediate steps to implement a no-fly zone in Libya with international support.”

March 30, 2011 – Marco Rubio, to Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid: “I am writing to seek your support for bringing a bi-partisan resolution to the Senate floor authorizing the President’s decision to participate in allied military action in Libya. Furthermore, this resolution should also state that removing Muammar Qaddafi from power is in our national interest and therefore should authorize the President to accomplish this goal. To that end, the resolution should urge the President to immediately recognize the Interim Transitional National Council as the legitimate government in Libya

 

Day Two of Donald Trump’s Convention: Lies About Hillary Clinton

Day two of the Republican Convention built on the litany of lies heard on day one and every day since the beginning of Donald Trump’s candidacy.  Once again, there were too many to count, but here are a sample of the falsehoods told from the podium:

  1. FALSE CLAIM: Donald Trump Jr.: “Mark [Geist] was one of the men who received frantic phone calls from his buddies at the compound [in Benghazi]. Calls that pleaded for help. Calls that he and his team tried to answer. But calls that didn’t save all his friends, because Secretary Clinton’s State Department had ignored their requests for help, both on the night in question and even in the weeks and months leading up to the attack.”

TRUTH: Washington Post: “[S]ecurity decisions were made well below Clinton’s level and no evidence has emerged that Clinton was aware of the requests or decided not to provide the requisite level of security.”

  1. FALSE CLAIM: Donald Trump Jr.: “Hillary Clinton is a risk Americans can’t afford to take. She said she’ll issue executive orders to take away Americans’ guns. She wants to appoint judges who will abolish the Second Amendment.”

TRUTH: PolitiFact: False. “We found no evidence of Clinton ever saying verbatim or suggesting explicitly that she wants to abolish the Second Amendment, and the bulk of Clinton’s comments suggest the opposite. She has repeatedly said she wants to protect the right to bear arms while enacting measures to prevent gun violence.”

  1. FALSE CLAIM: Donald Trump Jr.: “Rather than being energy independent, our country will be forced to remain beholden to her buddies in the Middle East.”

TRUTH: Hillary Clinton has released a comprehensive plan to invest in modernizing our energy infrastructure to make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century and continue to reduce our reliance on foreign oil.

  1. FALSE CLAIM: Donald Trump Jr.: “A president who will repeal and replace Obamacare without leaving our most vulnerable citizens without health care and who will do it without destroying Medicare for seniors, as Hillary Clinton has proposed.”

TRUTH: Hillary Clinton fought throughout her career to protect Medicare and has released plans to preserve and strengthen Medicare as president. The idea that she has put forth proposals that would destroy Medicare is ludicrous.

  1. FALSE CLAIM: Gov. Chris Christie: “In Syria, imagine this, imagine this, she called President Assad a ‘reformer.’”

TRUTH: Washington Post’s Josh Rogin: “Christie is wrong. Hillary did not call Assad a reformer. She referred to that Kerry did. Facts are stubborn things.”

  1. FALSE CLAIM: Gov. Chris Christie: “In Nigeria, Hillary Clinton amazingly fought for two years to keep an Al-Qaeda affiliate off of the terrorist watch list…. These Al-Qaeda terrorists abducted hundreds of innocent young woman two years ago. These schoolgirls are still missing today. And what was the solution from the Obama/Clinton team? A hashtag campaign! Now let’s figure it out, let’s decide. Hillary Clinton, as an apologist for an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Nigeria resulting in the capture of innocent young women, is she guilty or not guilty?”

TRUTH: This attack is very wrong on many levels:

  1. FALSE CLAIM:  Gov. Chris Christie: “She said there was no marked classified information on her server. The FBI Director said that’s untrue.”

TRUTH: FactCheck.org: “[FBI Director Comey] said three emails had ‘portion markings’ on them indicating that they were classified, but they were not properly marked”

  1. FALSE CLAIM: GOP Co-Chairman Sharon Day: “She repeatedly plays the gender card. In fact, she boasts, ‘deal me in.’ Well, Mrs. Clinton, consider yourself dealt in. Because as a Senator, you paid women less than the men in your office.”

TRUTH: PolitiFact: Florida’s Sharon Day misleads on Hillary Clinton and gender pay gap: “The data show a median salary of $40,000 for both men and women receiving official Senate pay over those seven years (excluding Clinton’s pay, since all senators have the same salary set by law.) The median salary remains equal if you factor in non-Senate work, too.”

  1. FALSE CLAIM: Gov. Asa Hutchinson: “Hillary Clinton’s radical attempts at so-called ‘reform’ of the nation’s healthcare system would have been more destructive than even Obamacare has been.”

TRUTH: 20 million more Americans have health care as a result of the Affordable Care Act. As First Lady, Clinton worked with Democrats and Republicans to help expand health care to 8 million children.  And as president, she’s vowed to strengthen and improve ACA, work with governors to expand Medicaid, and give states the opportunity to pursue a public option and a Medicare opt-in for adults over 55.

  1. FALSE CLAIM: Gov. Asa Hutchinson: “Hillary Clinton’s bad judgment, as you heard last night, left us four dead Americans in Benghazi.”

TRUTH: Huffington Post: “After spending more than two years and $7 million, the House Select Committee on Benghazi released a report Tuesday that found — like eight investigations before it — no evidence of wrongdoing by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or other members of the Obama administration.”

  1. FALSE CLAIM: Sen. Ron Johnson: “[Hillary Clinton] hatched her cover-up story and repeatedly lied to the American people” about what inspired the tragic attacks in Benghazi.

TRUTH: Washington Post Fact-Checker: There is “little support for [the] claim that Clinton told the American people that the attacks were because of a video. She certainly spoke about the video, but always in the context of the protests that were occurring across the Middle East.”

  1. FALSE CLAIM:  NRA’s Chris Cox: “In case you’re wondering where Hillary Clinton stands. She said, quote, ‘the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.’ Think about that. All the Supreme Court said was that you have the right to protect your life in your own home.”

TRUTH: FactCheck.org: “Clinton’s gun violence prevention proposal would impose restrictions, including a ban on semi-automatic ‘assault weapons,’ but it does not call for banning all guns…. Asked about Clinton’s remarks about the Second Amendment, Clinton campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin confirmed that Clinton was referring to the Heller case. He said Clinton ‘believes Heller was wrongly decided in that cities and states should have the power to craft common sense laws to keep their residents safe.’”

  1. FALSE CLAIM: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “Once a backer of the Keystone pipeline, last year [Hillary Clinton] opposed it.”

TRUTH: PolitiFact, after Clinton announced her opposition to the Keystone Pipeline: “Clinton said, ‘I never took a position on Keystone until I took a position on Keystone.’… We rate Clinton’s position a No Flip.”

 

Day Three of Donald Trump’s Convention: Lies About Hillary Clinton

Third time was not the charm for the speakers at the Republican National Convention trying to stick to the facts when talking about Hillary Clinton.  Once again, there were too many lies, distortions and exaggerations to count, but here are a sample of the falsehoods told from the podium.

But, to start, just for good measure, one lie from the stage about Donald Trump:

FALSE CLAIM:
 Businessman, Phil Ruffin: “He always pays his bills promptly. You won’t hear that. Promptly.”

TRUTH: PolitiFact: “ USA Today investigation found a large number of lawsuits — at least 60, plus hundreds of liens, judgments and other filings — because people have accused Trump of failing to pay for services rendered or products delivered. The complaints even come from law firms that had formerly represented Trump in these types of lawsuits. […] We rate the statement False.”

And now back to the lies about Hillary Clinton…

  1. FALSE CLAIM:Mike Pence: And it was Hillary Clinton who left Americans in harm’s way in Benghazi and after four Americans fell, said “What difference at this point does it make?”

    TRUTH:ABC News: “Claim: Clinton said that ‘what difference, at this point, does it make?’ in discussing the deaths of Americans in Benghazi. Rating: False.”

    2, FALSE CLAIM: VP Nominee Mike Pence: “You know, it was Hillary Clinton who helped to undo all the gains of the troop surge, a staggering failure of judgment”

    TRUTH:
     AP Fact Check: “And she had nothing to do with the ‘disastrous strategy’ of giving a departure date from Iraq. It was the George W. Bush administration that announced the planned withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in 2008.”

    3. FALSE CLAIM: Laura Ingraham: “Hillary Clinton, she does not believe in borders.”

    TRUTH: PolitiFact, two days ago, on the claim, “Hillary Clinton is for open borders.” – False.

    4. FALSE CLAIM: Kentucky State Sen. Ralph Alvarado: “I have a message for one more person – Hillary Clinton, you failed the Hispanic community and you don’t deserve our vote.”

    TRUTH: Hillary Clinton has laid out a comprehensive plan to break down barriers for Latinos and she has fought for the Latino community her entire career. Donald Trump has a plan, too: create a deportation force to remove 11 million people.

    5. FALSE CLAIM: Oil mogul Harold Hamm: “Hillary Clinton would eliminate fossil fuel development in America, she would kill jobs, drive up gasoline prices and increase oil imports from her enemies”

    TRUTHHillary Clinton’s energy plan specifically calls for ensuring that fossil fuel production taking place today is safe and responsible, and for investing in clean energy technology to make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.

    6. FALSE CLAIM: Sen. Marco Rubio: “[Hillary Clinton] planted the seeds for the disaster we now know as Obamacare.”

    TRUTH: 20 million more Americans have health care as a result of the Affordable Care Act and Hillary Clinton will build on its success.

    7. FALSE CLAIM: Sen. Marco Rubio: “She was a key figure in implementing Barack Obama’s shameful foreign policy record of appeasing our enemies and betraying our allies and diminishing our role in world.”

    TRUTH: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates: “In a world that is ever more complex, turbulent and dangerous, Secretary Clinton….has made a singular contribution to strengthening this country’s relationships with allies”

    8. FALSE CLAIM: Former Speaker Newt Gingrich: “ We know that Hillary Clinton lied to us knowingly about the terror attack on  our Benghazi consulate.

    TRUTH:
     Washington Post Fact-Checker: There is “little support for [the] claim that Clinton told the American people that the attacks were because of a video. She certainly spoke about the video, but always in the context of the protests that were occurring across the Middle East.”

    9. FALSE CLAIM:
     Former Speaker Newt Gingrich: “We know that Hillary Clinton and President Obama lie to the American people when they say they can safely screen the Syrian refugees. They cannot.”

    TRUTH: CNN: “to say that there is no way to screen refugees or that Clinton believes that they should not be vetted is false.”

 

Independent Fact Checkers Weigh in on GOP Convention: “False,” “Simply Wrong,” “No Evidence,” “No Factual Basis,” Distorted” 

The Republican National Convention has reached its midway point and the number of lies, distortions and exaggerations has been staggering.  With positive words for Donald Trump few and far between, Republican speakers have resorted to their only real strategy – lie about Hillary Clinton.

Below are a sampling of the critical reports from independent fact checkers from just the last 48 hours:

“The Republican recipe: Take an ambiguous set of facts. Add in some innuendo. Arrange the facts in the most suspicious-seeming way. Then level an allegation that cannot be disproven.” – Michael Tomasky, Daily Beast

  • Politifact: “Trump said he liked having the convention in Cleveland and that he had recommended Ohio. […] The selection of Cleveland was conducted by the party in 2014, when it wasn’t known who would ultimately win the nomination. We rate Trump’s statement False.”
  • Politifact: “Donald Trump Jr. said Clinton is proposing ‘destroying Medicare for seniors.’ […] We rate the claim False.”
  • Politifact: “McConnell said that Clinton changed her views on allowing Iran to enrich uranium. […] We rate this claim Mostly False.”
  • Politifact: “Day said that as a senator Clinton ‘paid women less than the men in your office.’ […] We rate this claim Mostly False.”
  • Politifact: “Manafort said, ‘The Clinton camp was the first to get it out there and try to say there was something untoward about the speech that Melania Trump gave.’ […] We rate Manafort’s claim False.”
  • Politifact: “Duffy said: ‘Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have left us with $19 trillion in debt.’ […] Our rating is Mostly False.
  • Politifact: “Sabato said Obama is “absolutely” a Muslim. That’s wrong. We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
  • Politifact: “Sessions said, ‘There are about 350,000 people who succeed in crossing our borders illegally each year.’ […] The number of immigrants illegally in the country is staying the same or getting smaller. We rate Sessions’ statement False.”
  • Politifact: “Geist said, “We defied the stand-down orders” during the Benghazi attack. […] Testimony in the House Select Committee on Benghazi report shows there was no stand-down order to defy because there was never an order to not intervene in the unfolding disaster. […] We rate it Mostly False.
  • Politifact: “Giuliani said, “Hillary Clinton is for open borders.” […] We rate this claim False.
  • Politifact: “Sessions said Clinton “has been a champion of globalist trade agreements. … Worst of all, they are now pushing the disastrous 5,554-page Obamatrade — the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.” […] We rate Sessions’ claim Mostly False.”
  • CNN: “While Clinton was head of the State Department at the time, Christie says she “fought” to keep [Boko Haram] off the list and there is no evidence that she herself was personally responsible for the delay in the designation. Our verdict: false.”
  • CNN: “Christie went on to add: […] “what was the solution from the Obama/Clinton team? A hashtag campaign.” […] Therefore we rate the claim that the “solution from the Obama/Clinton team” was a “hashtag campaign” as false.”
  • CNN: “Christie assumed the role of prosecutor on the RNC stage, arguing that Clinton’s policy in Libya made her “guilty” of “ruining Libya” and “creating a nest for terrorist activity by ISIS. […] because Clinton was neither the first to call for military intervention, nor the only one to plan the administration’s handling of the aftermath, we rate Christie’s claim false.”
  • CNN: “Donald Trump Jr. said his father would be “a President not beholden to special interests, foreign and domestic and one who funded his entire primary run out of his own pocket just to prove it.” […] His son’s claim is false.”
  • CNN: “We rate Donald Trump Jr.’s claim that Clinton has proposed destroying Medicare false, however you read the phrase — Clinton has not proposed to destroy Medicare, but to expand it.”
  • CNN: “So, is Cox correct in his claim that Clinton would abolish the Second Amendment? […] Verdict: False.”
  • CNN: “Our verdict on McConnell’s charge that Clinton changed positions on Keystone XL: false.”​
  • CNN: “‘Hillary Clinton is promising more of the same. Open borders, executive amnesty and the surge of Syrian refugees,’ said Mike McCaul, R-Texas, the chairman of the Homeland Security Commission. […] Clinton’s proposed policies and past rhetoric do not reflect open borders. That’s false.”
  • CNN: “Therefore, Sessions’ statement that immigrants have taken all the jobs is false.”
  • CNN: “Glenn also said American neighborhoods have become more violent since Obama has been in office.  […]  Glenn’s assertion here is false.”
  • CNN: “Because Clinton’s role in the attack in Benghazi has been thoroughly investigated and she has been cleared of wrongdoing, we find Smith’s claim of culpability false.”
  • CNN: “Ernst said the terrorist group’s threat is not limited to the Middle East, but is spreading. “Terrorists from ISIS are in every one of our 50 states,” Ernst said. […] Therefore, we judge her statement false.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “But the security decisions were made well below Clinton’s level and no evidence has emerged that Clinton was aware of the requests or decided not to provide the requisite level of security.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “But, unlike the implication of Ernst’s statement, Comey did not say that the ISIS terror group was present in each state or that these troubled souls had already become terrorists.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “Trump has made the same claim about Clinton recently, but Giuliani repeating it doesn’t make it any more correct. Giuliani exaggerates Clinton’s stance on border security and immigration enforcement.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “Recent data show the unauthorized immigrant population has leveled off, which does not support Sessions’s claim.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “But even so, Christie appears to not have been listening to Obama speak about the issue. He’s simply wrong that Obama has been silent on violence in Chicago.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “For example, homicides are a small percentage of the crimes committed by noncitizens, whether they are in the United States illegally or not.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “Our friends at FactCheck.org took an extensive look into the internal data from 2002 to 2008 and found that the median salary for men and women were the same. And the Clintons’ staff had roughly twice as many women as men.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “Christie grossly simplifies a complex debate at the State Department — which actually did not involve Clinton personally.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “This is a mysterious claim by Trump’s son that appears to have no factual basis. There is no specific proposal by Clinton that could be said to ‘destroy’ Medicare, the health-care program for the elderly.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “We’ve looked at this number before, and it’s pretty bogus. […] The $15,000 figure has serious methodological problems — even the report admits it is “not scientific” and “back of the envelope” — and it is especially misleading when the benefit side of the equation is ignored.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “Trump’s campaign manager tried to pin the blame on the Clinton campaign for the flap over allegations of plagiarism in Melania Trump’s prime-time address Monday night at the Republican National Convention. But no evidence has emerged that is the case; indeed, Manafort has offered no evidence.
  • New York Times: “Fact Check: He suggested Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server was a crime, something the F.B.I. director had concluded it was not.”
  • New York Times: “Fact Check: While Mrs. Clinton has said she supports President Obama’s executive actions to allow some illegal immigrants to live and work in the United States, she has not called for “open borders” and her support for accepting Syrian refugees has been limited to 65,000 people, far fewer than the number who were accepted by some European countries.”
  • New York Times: “Fact check: The Obama administration and Mrs. Clinton opposed the “Buy America” provision because, they said, it was a protectionist measure that could cause a trade war with China in the midst of an economic crisis.”
  • New York Times: “Fact check: Mrs. Clinton’s comments about Mr. Assad came in an interview in 2011, before much of the bloodshed, when she said that some members of Congress in both parties “believe he’s a reformer.” Some in the George W. Bush administration had also expressed hope that he would be a better leader than his father, Hafez al-Assad. And Mrs. Clinton did not “defend” the atrocities committed by Mr. Assad during the later period of the civil war.”New York Times: “Fact check: Mrs. Clinton was already gone from the administration when Mr. Obama pursued secret negotiations with Cuba, though she did express support for his efforts.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Donald Trump Jr. distorted Clinton’s gun control proposal, claiming, as his father did, that she wants to ‘take away Americans’ guns.’ Clinton’s gun control proposal doesn’t call for taking away guns.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Two speakers claimed that Clinton paid women less than men in her Senate office […] The Clinton campaign provided FactCheck.org a list of the names, titles and annual salaries of every full-time person employed in Clinton’s Senate office between 2002 and 2008. Those data show the median salary for men and women to be the same at $40,000. The data also show Clinton hired roughly twice as many women as men.”​​
  • Factcheck.org: “Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and former U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey both mentioned Clinton’s ‘what difference does it make’ quote on Benghazi, but left out the context of that remark. […] Republicans, like Mukasey, have portrayed the remarks as being uncaring toward the lives lost that night. Johnson himself went on to describe in his speech several victims of terrorists attacks, saying ‘it made a difference’ to them. But Clinton’s full remarks indicate she was concerned about the lives lost.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Sens. Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia took Clinton’s words on coal-mining jobs out of context. […]  Sullivan and Capito ignore her promise to create new jobs for communities hurt by the shift away from coal.”
  • Factcheck.org: Sen. Shelly Moore Capito “used a one-sided report … to claim that ‘the burden of government regulations in this country amounts to $15,000 a household.’ And she exaggerated the number of coal mining jobs that have been lost since 2011, putting the figure at 60,000, when it’s 36,700.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrongly said that Clinton was for the Keystone XL pipeline before she was against it. She did not take a position until she opposed the pipeline in 2015.”
  • Factcheck.org: Sen. Shelly Moore Capito said “the Obama ‘economic agenda’ has led to ‘the lowest workforce participation in decades,’ […] But Obama’s ‘economic agenda’ hasn’t caused the decline in the labor force participation rate, which actually started going down in the late 1990s, a full decade before he took office.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Sen. Jeff Sessions claimed that ‘respect for America has fallen,’ but the U.S. is viewed more favorably in many countries now than it was before President Obama took office. […] As we’ve written before, the U.S. is viewed more favorably now than it was before Obama took office in 2009.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Donald Trump Jr. also wrongly said that his father ‘funded his entire primary run out of his own pocket.’ Trump provided about 73 percent of the funding, but not all of it.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Two security contractors at the CIA annex in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, repeated their claim that they were told to ‘stand down’ and not help Americans under attack. But multiple official reports say such an order was never issued.”
  • Factcheck.org: “The sister of a slain Border Patrol agent said President Obama has left ‘border patrol agents thinly equipped,’ and undermanned. In fact, both funding and staffing have increased under Obama.”
  • Factcheck.org:  Darryl Glenn, Colorado Republican nominee for Senate, “wrongly suggested that violent crime in the United States had gone up during President Obama’s time in office. The violent crime rate has gone down 20 percent from 2008, the year before Obama was sworn in, and 2014, the most recent statistics available from the FBI.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Michael McCaul both wrongly claimed that Hillary Clinton supports ‘open borders.’ She supported a bill that would have created a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally, but it also would have increased border security.”
  • Factcheck.org: Rudy Giuliani said that Hillary Clinton “‘advocated for the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya’ and should be ‘accountable’ for the country’s chaos. But he failed to mention that Trump, at the time, also supported the ouster of Gadhafi.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions claimed that wages ‘have fallen,’ when they’re up under Obama. He blamed immigration for a low labor force participation rate, when it’s mainly the result of demographics, including the aging of baby boomers.”
  • ABC News: “Claim: Hillary Clinton is an “apologist” for Boko Haram. She and Obama responded to its mass kidnapping with a “hashtag campaign.” Rating: False.
  • ABC News: “Claim: Clinton said that “what difference, at this point, does it make?” in discussing the deaths of Americans in Benghazi. Rating: False.
  • ABC News: “Claim: Hillary Clinton’s immigration policy promises “open borders.” Rating: False.”
  • ABC News: “Claim: U.S. military responders were ordered to “stand down” during the 2012 Benghazi attack. Rating: Highly Questionable. Every investigation ever done on Benghazi concluded there was no “stand down order.”
  • ABC News: “Claim: ‘No one was ever held accountable’ for Fast & Furious. Rating: False.”
  • ABC News: Claim: ‘All security had been pulled from the embassy’ in Benghazi. Rating: False
  • NPR: “There’s been no evidence uncovered of a direct order to “stand down” from mounting a defense of the facilities.”
  • NBC News: “CLAIM (Rudy Giuliani): ‘Hillary Clinton’s answer to Congress about the death of these four brave Americans [in Benghazi] because of her failures as Secretary of State was ‘what difference at this point does it make?’ […] THE FACTS: According to the video of Clinton’s congressional testimony, Clinton’s ‘what difference at this point does it make’ was over whether the violence in Benghazi was inspired by anti-Islam video or not.”
  • NBC News: “CLAIM (Melania Trump): ‘Donald intends to represent all the people, not just some of the people. That includes Christians and Jews and Muslims, it includes Hispanics and African Americans and Asians, and the poor and the middle class.’ THE FACTS: In addition to the temporary Muslim travel ban that Trump first proposed in Dec. 2015, Trump has once talked about a ‘Muslim problem’ in a 2011 interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody.”
  • NBC News: “CLAIM (Rudy Giuliani): ‘…Obama’s Nuclear Agreement with Iran that will eventually let them become a nuclear power and put billions of dollars back into a country that the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism.’ […] THE FACTS: The Iran Deal requires that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency continuously monitor Iran’s nuclear sites to verify that Tehran is keeping its enrichment activities within limits set out in the deal and that none of the fissile material is being moved to covertly build a bomb.”
  • NBC News: “CLAIM (Jeff Sessions): ‘…From 2000 to 2014, while our existing population increased by millions, the number of jobs held by Americans actually declined. Amazingly, all the net job growth during that period went to immigrants.’ THE FACTS: Sessions is citing the research of the Center for Immigration Studies […] PolitiFact has checked out claims made from this study before and found that this reading of the data is misleading. The organization found that the study looks at jobs for workers 16-65, ignoring the gains for workers over age 65 that existed and ignoring the recession.”
  • NBC News: “CLAIM (Darryl Glenn, Colorado Senate candidate): ‘Neighborhoods have become more dangerous under [Obama’s] watch’ THE FACTS: While there is some evidence of an increase in violent crime in some large American cities in the last few years, the national trend shows overall crime going down.”
  • NBC News: Donald Trump: “I wanted it to be in Ohio, I recommended Ohio, and people fought very hard that it be in Ohio.” The Facts: “The Republican National Committee’s Site Selection Committee announced in July 2014 its recommendation of Cleveland, Ohio, as the site of the convention. Donald Trump announced his intention to run for president nearly a year later, in June 2015.”
  • Star Ledger: “The facts: In actuality, she simply related others’ opinions. ‘There is a different leader in Syria now,” Clinton said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” in 2011, according to Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking site. “Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.’”

 

 

Trump’s Hate Fest

Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

by Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features

Hatred pumped up by lies. That is what characterized the Republican National Convention. Not policy pronouncements that would solve the problems facing this country or the world. Platitudes. Slogans. Lies, beginning with Melania’s plagiarism (denied for days).

There was notable disinterest in the first two days of the Trump Republican Convention. The first night, Make America Safe offered no actual solutions around that theme, just one tirade after another against Hillary Clinton. Oh yes, we learned how Donald Trump holds high values and is trustworthy from  his third wife Melania, who plagiarized those lines directly from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech to the Democratic National Convention. Barack Obama, Donald Trump. It’s all the same, apparently.

Oh yes, we learned what an adoring father Donald Trump was – writing notes on report cards – from Tiffany Trump, his daughter by second wife Marla, who grew up with her mother in California, so it is curious what father-daughter experiences she was referring to.

But the delegates did come together, like a frightening lynch mob, during the mock trial conducted by the guy auditioning for Trump’s Attorney General: Chris Christie, the guy who abused the power of his office, who obstructed justice and destroyed evidence and really did put lives at risk with Bridgegate. Five of his administration – including David Samson, Christie’s BPF (best political friend) and henchman, who Christie gave the plum appointment of heading the multi-billion dollar Port Authority of NY & NJ – have already been convicted. But Christie worked the mob to a frenzy. This must have been what the Salem Witch Trials were like.

By the end, the mob were screaming “Lock her Up” and one Trump aide, New Hampshire State Senator Al Baldasaro was actually being investigated by Secret Service, after he called for Hillary Clinton’s execution for “treason.”

You know who actually committed treason? David Petreaus, the former CIA Chief, who that same crowd would have cheered to have as a candidate for President.

The other irony was George W. Bush’s Attorney General Michael Mukasey accusing Clinton of violating the Constitution. This was the guy who was complicit as Bush shredded the Constitution over habeus corpus (remember that?), torture, lying to Congress and the American people to launch a preemptive invasion into a country that never attacked the US.

Indeed, it is a campaign built on hatred, on demonizing, vilifying, fear-mongering – and even just watching on TV was chilling: like watching a frenzied Nazi rally.

The further irony is how they keep using the frustration and anger that voters feel because of the dysfunction, inaction by the Republicans who have done everything to obstruct the very policies Obama has proposed to raise wages, create jobs (American Jobs Act), invest in infrastructure, to say that Trump is the guy because he will bring people together! How does that happen when his entire campaign is fueled by hatred, division, bigotry, racism, scapegoating.

It comes down to Trump’s new slogan, “I am the Law and Order candidate.” Except these people don’t respect the federal government (that is when a Democrat, a Black-American is in the Oval Office). Trump’s call to lift restrictions on guns (and his lie that Clinton wants to repeal the 2nd Amendment), is all about these people wanting to be arm themselves against the government – manifested in the slaying of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. That is the realization of what they have advocated, only it becomes heinous when it is a black revolutionary, rather than a white man like Bundy, threatening to kill federal agents who come to arrest him for failing to pay $1 million in fees to the American people.

Not to mention that Trump doesn’t propose anything to actually make homes, communities, or the country safer. The RNC speakers threw out hollow phrases – about increasing wages, helping “everyone” succeed, improving education. How? How? How?

And yet, even as Trump’s VP pick Mike Pence was saying, “Vote for Trump because he will support our allies,” Trump was telling the New York Times he would not defend Balkan states, members of NATO, if Russia chose to “Crimea” them, and would tear up (uh, “renegotiate”) treaties.

The upside/downside Alice-in-Wonderland world (as so well visualized by Rudolph Giuliani, continues in every subject that was thrown out, like complete BS: Gingrich saying that Trump would invest in infrastructure, even as Republican platform promises to defund mass transit in favor of highways, cancel clean energy in favor of coal.

The lies and attacks It is all the tactic that the Republicans like that evil Machiavellian Karl Rove used so successfully of attacking opponents for the sins/crimes they have committed.

That’s Trump’s entire campaign strategy, why he is so ready to attack Bill Clinton for his adultery when Trump is a serial adulterer (didn’t bother the Preacher at the opening convocation who pronounced Trump ordained by Jesus, a true messenger of Jesus). Why Trump, who has built his business around fraud , bullying, cheating and taking advantage of others,needs to build on this fabrication of Hillary as “crooked”, a “liar”.

Their tactic is to set up a false narrative, one that strikes deeply, emotionally, and then strike it down. For example, this from a fund-raising letter from Eric Trump. “The Obama-Clinton liberals want us to sit back and accept the idea that America is no longer the leader of the free world. They want us to fall in line behind the United Nations. They want us to stop thinking of America as the “land of the free, home of the brave.” They want us to apologize for America.”

Complete and utter balderdash.

Trump has already proved himself to be as ignorant, idiotic, incurious and “from the gut” as George W (‘I’m the Decider”) Bush and as autocratic, paranoid and ruthless as Richard “Dirty Tricks” Nixon (“If the President does it, then it’s not illegal.)

Which means that Trump will be rallying the state elections officials to do whatever they can to suppress, impede, depress voting in Democratic neighborhoods – whether that means sending thugs to challenge voters’ credentials, too few machines or voting hours to accommodate people, or other deceptive tactics.

See next: A Compendium of RNC Lies

_________________

News & Photo Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. For editorial feature and photo information, email editor@news-photos-features.com. ‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures, Tweet @KarenBRubin

 

Obama Administration Announces Clean Energy Savings for All Americans Initiative

 

 

Solar panels are ubiquitous to generate hot water… in Albania, where 70% of electricity comes from hydroelectric power © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Solar panels are ubiquitous to generate hot water… in Albania, where 70% of electricity comes from hydroelectric power © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Even as the Clean Energy Revolution March gets underway on Sunday, July 24 just ahead of the Democratic National Convention, the White House released a fact sheet describing the Clean Energy Savings for All Americans Initiative. The March is to win support – from Democrats (since Republicans unabashedly  deny Climate Change and hold in their platform the elevation of coal and fossil fuels while impeding clean, renewable energy – to ban fracking and to achieve 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030, without the fiction of natural gas or even worse, nuclear, as a “bridge” or transition fuel. The demands of the march are simple and bold:

  • Ban fracking now
  • Keep fossil fuels in the ground
  • Stop dirty energy
  • Environmental justice for all
  • A quick and justly transition to 100 percent renewable energy

Details about the march are available on the official march website:  www.cleanenergymarch.org.

Meanwhile, here is the Fact Sheet presented by the White House on “clean Energy Savings for All Americans” Initiative.

(Click HERE to view a video on Access to Solar Panels featuring President Obama)

President Obama is committed to ensuring that every American family can choose to go solar and to cut their energy bills – and that every American community has the tools they need to tackle local air pollution and global climate change.

Since President Obama took office, solar electricity generation has increased 30 fold and solar jobs are growing 12 times faster than the rest of the economy. Last year, we announced a set of actions to increase access to solar and create a more inclusive workforce, but there is still more work to do. That is why, today, the Obama Administration is announcing a new cross government partnership – the Clean Energy Savings For All Initiative – between the Departments of Energy (DOE), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Agriculture (USDA), Health and Human Services (HHS), Veteran’s Affairs (VA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase access to solar energy and promote energy efficiency across the United States and, in particular in low- and moderate- income communities.

Through the Clean Energy Savings for All Initiative, the Administration will work to ensure that every household has options to choose to go solar and put in place additional measures to promote energy efficiency. To continue along this track, the Administration, in collaboration with state agencies, is announcing a new catalytic goal to bring 1 gigawatt (GW) of solar to low- and moderate- income families by 2020. This goal is a 10 fold increase and an expansion of the initial target President Obama set in his Climate Action Plan to install 100 MW of renewable energy on federally-assisted affordable housing by 2020.  The Clean Energy Savings for All Initiative will help achieve the goal by promoting innovative financing mechanisms, bolstering technical assistance for states and communities, driving innovation, scaling up workforce training to make sure low- and moderate-income Americans can take advantage of the jobs that come with a transition to clean energy, convening stakeholders, and working with the private and philanthropic sectors. The key components of the initiative that the Administration is announcing today are:

  • HUD and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are releasing new guidance to unlock residential Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing by outlining how properties with PACE assessments can be purchased and refinanced with Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance and by welcoming the use of PACE financing for Veterans Affairs (VA)-insured mortgages. In addition, DOE is releasing a draft of their updated Best Practices Guidelines for Residential PACE Financing for public comment. PACE is a tool that allows American homeowners, including low- and moderate- income households and veterans, to finance solar and energy efficiency improvements at no upfront cost and to pay back the cost over time through their property tax bill;
  • DOE is developing a Community Solar Challenge that will award teams in dozens of communities up to $100,000, in cash prizes and technical assistance, to develop innovative models to increase solar deployment and cut communities’ energy bills, in particular in low income communities;
  • HHS and DOE are making it easier to use hundreds of millions of dollars for energy efficiency improvements by providing technical assistance to Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) grantees on their ability to access 15 – 25 percent of their annual LIHEAP funding for low cost energy efficiency improvements, including renewable energy;
  • DOE is making sure low- and moderate-income Americans can take advantage of the jobs that come with a transition to clean energy by launching the Solar Training Network, which will help create a more inclusive workforce by connecting solar workforce trainers, solar employers, and individuals interested in working in the solar industry;
  • EPA, DOE, and HUD are bringing people together to share best practices on how to finance and overcome barriers to creating healthier communities; and
  • More than 120 housing authorities, rural electric co-ops, power companies, and organizations in more than 36 states across the country are committing to investing $287 million and putting in place more than 280 megawatts (MW) of solar energy projects, including projects to help low- and moderate- income communities save on their energy bills and further the deployment of community solar.

The announcements today will result in lower energy bills, more empowered consumers, and cleaner communities.

EXECUTIVE ACTIONS TO SCALE UP SOLAR AND REDUCE ENERGY BILLS

To continue supporting all American communities in deploying renewable energy while creating jobs and reducing carbon pollution, the Administration is announcing the following actions:

Supporting the Scale Up of Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing:  Since 2009, the Obama Administration has been working to provide homeowners the opportunity to finance solar and energy efficiency improvements at no upfront cost through a mechanism called PACE, including through the Middle Class Taskforce and by releasing aPolicy Framework for PACE Financing Programs. Today, the Obama Administration is taking a number of new actions to allow American homeowners, including low- and moderate- income households and veterans to use PACE financing.  This innovative financing mechanism allows homeowners to benefit from energy improvements immediately and pay back the cost over time through their property taxes. If the property is sold, including through foreclosure, the remaining PACE assessment will stay with the more energy efficient property and the next owner will become responsible for the remaining PACE assessment. The PACE initiatives announced today will unlock alternative sources of capital for low- and moderate- income Americans and veterans to scale up solar, promote energy and water efficiency retrofits, and create more resilient homes, leading to reduced energy bills, more empowered consumers, and cleaner communities.

Ø  Issuing Guidance on how to Use FHA Mortgage Insurance with PACE Financing: For more than 80 years, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has provided low- and moderate- income households and underserved communities access to safe and affordable housing through FHA mortgage insurance. Each day, more than 3,000 people close on a home for which the mortgage is insured by FHA. Today, FHA is releasing guidance outlining how properties with PACE assessments can be purchased and refinanced with an FHA-insured mortgage. This action is intended to support renewable energy and energy efficiency investments in single family housing, support retrofits that boost resilience to climate risks, and remove existing barriers to using PACE financing. The key requirements outlined in FHA’s guidance are: the PACE assessment does not take first lien position ahead of the mortgage and the assessment transfers from one property owner to the next, including through a foreclosure sale. The guidance also requires appraisers to analyze and report on the impact of PACE-related improvements to the value of the property.

Ø  Unlocking PACE Financing for Veterans: Today, in support of the Administration’s longstanding commitment to create a clean-energy economy and help Americans take advantage of clean energy technologies, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing policy guidance on PACE-financed homes.   Today’s guidance will clarify the circumstances under which Veterans are able to take advantage of PACE programs in conjunction with their VA Home Loan Guaranty benefit, providing a new opportunity for veterans to participate in the clean energy economy and save on their energy bills.

Ø  Providing Best Practices for New and Existing Residential PACE Programs throughout the Country: DOE is releasing a draft of their updated Best Practices Guidelines for Residential PACE Financing for public comment from stakeholders, including consumer advocates, public policy leaders, and industry. This public comment period is critical to ensuring the highest levels of consumer and lender protections. Across the nation, fifteen states have already adopted residential PACE-enabling legislation. Overall, nearly 100,000 households have utilized PACE programs to finance over $2 billion in energy saving improvements to their homes. The updated guidelines reflect the evolving structure of the PACE market and incorporate lessons learned from various PACE programs that have been successfully implemented since the original guidelines were issued. They provide best practices for residential PACE programs, including protections to both consumers who voluntarily opt into PACE programs, and to lenders who hold mortgages on properties with PACE assessments. The guidelines can also be used by PACE program administrators, contractors and consumers to plan, develop and implement programs and improvements that effectively deliver home energy and related upgrades. DOE’s updated Best Practice Guidelines for Residential PACE Financing rely upon important progress that the Department has made in a critical partnership with industry, including a formal partnership with the Appraisal Foundation to develop guidance on valuation of energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings that was launched in 2011. DOE is also partnering with the Appraisal Institute to integrate energy efficiency into appraisals and real estate transactions and deliver education and training to appraisers through the Better Buildings Home Energy Information Accelerator, where they have enlisted the support of the Real Estate Standards Organization, the Council of MLS, Homes.com, and National Association of Realtors. 

Ø  Providing Technical Assistance to Make it Easier for States and Communities to Stand Up Smart PACE Programs: DOE will provide technical assistance to support the design and implementation of effective PACE programs, including conducting a series of webinars and online workshops to facilitate peer exchange and provide access to PACE experts; conducting research on the lessons learned from state and local residential PACE programs , including analysis of the impact of PACE on community adoption rates of energy efficiency improvements and per household energy consumption, and various program design strategies, and effectiveness of PACE relative to other financing mechanisms. DOE is also working with State Energy Offices, local government representatives, residential PACE industry representatives, and subject matter experts to focus on residential PACE program design (including consumer protection options) and the development and dissemination of detailed program best practices.

Developing a Community Solar Challenge: To help meet the Administration’s 1 GW goal, DOE is announcing the development of aCommunity Solar Challenge that will award teams in dozens of communities up to $100,000 to develop innovative models to increase solar deployment and cut communities’ energy bills, in particular in low-income communities. Today, the DOE SunShot Initiative is releasing a request for information to gather feedback and information on the structure of challenge. Shared solar systems of 2 megawatts (MW) or less with 40 percent low- and moderate- income subscribers, solar systems that benefit low-income families, and solar for community assets, e.g., hospitals, schools, food banks, and health clinics will be eligible. This challenge will reduce market barriers to solar deployment by spurring the deployment of dozens of projects across the nation, with an emphasis on new and emerging solar markets.

Making it Easier for Low Income Households to Access Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Funding for Renewable Energy Investments:The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides, on average more than $3 billion a year to communities across the country and includes a provision that allows LIHEAP grantees to access 15 – 25 percent of their annual funding for low cost weatherization and energy efficiency improvements. Today, we are announcing technical assistance to LIHEAP grantees to increase their ability to use this funding to support the deployment of renewable energy.

Tracking the Deployment of Solar on Low- and Moderate Income Households: DOE, in collaboration with HUD and GTM Research, will work with the national labs to track progress on the deployment of solar energy for low- and moderate- income households, in particular to reach the Administration’s 1 GW goal.

Providing Technical Assistance to Make it Easier for More Americans to Participate in the Clean Energy Economy: Today, the Administration is announcing three actions to ensure all communities have the information they need to participate in the clean energy economy.

Ø  Creating a Resource Hub to Promote Energy Access: DOE is creating a cross-agency digital hub on the Solar Powering America website so that communities, businesses, organizations and state and local governments can learn about federal resources to help low- and moderate-income Americans go solar.

Ø  Providing Resources to Bring Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to Low-Income Communities: In the coming months, the EPA will provide additional informational resources to help state and local energy, environmental, housing, and social services agencies, non-profits, and utilities understand successful models they can use to bring energy efficiency and renewable energy to low-income communities. Current resources available on the EPA’s website include five case studies and profiles, recordings from three webinars, and a guide to EPA programs.

Ø  Providing Technical Assistance to Remote Communities: DOE’s Office of Indian Energy (IE) is announcing $7 million in funding to establish an inter-tribal technical assistance energy providers’ network. This program will provide Alaska Native communities assistance to develop energy experts that provide technical energy assistance and informational resources to their member Alaska Native villages.

Bringing People Together to Share Best Practices on how to Finance and Overcome Barriers to Creating Healthier Communities: Today, the Obama Administration is announcing we will host a series of convenings across the country to expand access to financing for community solar and develop new partnerships to create healthier communities:

Ø  Convening Banks and Regulators to Expand Access to Financing for Community Solar Projects for Low- and Moderate- Income Households: DOE is announcing its plans to convene local and regional banks and their regulators for a summit to identify strategies to improve and expand community solar project financing, with an emphasis on serving low- and moderate-income households. The summit will provide the most recent information on the potential market opportunities for community solar, underwriting best practices, and updates on regulatory guidance.

Ø  Convening a Series of Clean Energy Savings for All Summits Across the Country: Working with national and regional partners, the White House, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will convene a series of Clean Energy Savings for All Summits in communities across the United States, beginning with a Summit on August 9, 2016 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. These events will provide local and state officials, advocates, community organizations, and interested members of the public an opportunity to develop new partnerships and learn about ways we can further reduce air pollution, deploy clean energy and energy efficiency, and build an inclusive clean energy economy for all Americans.

Ø  Hosting a National Funding Resources and Training Summit for Vulnerable Communities: On October 25-26, 2016, the EPA will host The National Funding Resources and Training Summit for Vulnerable Communities in Washington, DC to enhance collaboration around environmental, health and economic concerns and ensure vulnerable populations have access to information, services, and data for increased resilience, engagement, and sustainability. The summit themes will include: just transition workforce development, financial resources and entrepreneurship development, and health and environmental training and outreach.

Building an Inclusive Solar Energy Workforce: Since the President took office, we have trained more than 50,000 workers to enter the solar industry, bringing us closer reaching our goal of training 75,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020. To continue enhancing employment opportunities for all Americans, including low-income and minority communities, and make sure workers can take advantage of the jobs that come with a transition to clean energy:

Ø  DOE is Launching the Solar Training Network: The Solar Training Network will support the development of a well-trained and inclusive workforce by connecting trainers, solar employers, and individuals interested in working in the solar industry. The Solar Foundation will administer the program and will create a centralized clearinghouse for solar workforce tools and resources, including the establishment of a Solar Jobs Strategy Commission to foster an exchange of resources and knowledge between training providers and the solar industry. The Solar Foundation will also conduct research and analysis to enhance the understanding of the solar industry’s workforce and training supply, demand, costs, and needs.

Ø  DOE is Announcing a Community and Workforce Investment Program in Baltimore, Maryland: Today, DOE’s Job Strategy Council launched a community and workforce investment program to both create new employment opportunities and train low income residents in West Baltimore for jobs in the solar industry. DOE’s Initiative will  explore options to expand access to solar for renters and local individuals in the Baltimore area, investigate the possibility of installing solar panels on public housing units, and in collaboration with the Morgan Community Mile Solar Installation Project, a partnership with Morgan State University, Baltimore’s Sustainability Office, GRID Alternatives, Civic Works and the local communities, weatherize and install solar panels on 33 low income homes in the Morgan Community Mile neighborhood of Baltimore. Today, DOE, the City of Baltimore and the Maryland Clean Energy Center signed a Memorandum of Understanding intended to accelerate the growth of and access to solar and renewable energy jobs and to prepare a roadmap for rapid demonstration and deployment.

STATE AND PRIVATE SECTOR COMMITMENTS TO INCREASE SOLAR ENERGY AND CUT ENERGY BILLS IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS AMERICA

To help us achieve our new goal to bring 1 GW of solar energy to low- and moderate- income families by 2020, today, the Administration is announcing more than 120 new commitments from the private, state, local, and philanthropic sectors in 36 states to support the deployment of solar energy in low-and moderate income communities and promote community solar and energy efficiency. Today’s new commitments represent $287 million in investment, and nearly 280 MW of community solar and low-and moderate income solar deployment. They bring the total amount of commitments secured to more than $800 million in investment and more than 491 MW of solar power.  These announcements include:

Growing The Reach And Impact Of The National Community Solar Partnership by 6 Fold: Last July, the Administration launched the National Community Solar Partnership—a collaborative effort between the DOE, HUD, USDA, EPA, representatives from solar companies, NGOs, and state and community leaders —which works to unlock access to solar for the nearly 50 percent of households and businesses that are renters or do not have adequate roof space to install solar systems, in particular, for low- and moderate- income communities. Since we launched the partnership last year, more than 110 companies, organizations, and universities that represent 25 states have joined the effort to increase access to community solar, growing the number of members by six fold to 135, including the following 67 new partners joining today:

  • All Energy Solar – Minnesota
  • Altus Power America – Oklahoma
  • Banner Solar – Idaho
  • Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition – New York
  • Bonneville Environmental Foundation – Oregon
  • Boston Community Capital – Massachusetts
  • Building Science Innovators, LLC – Louisiana
  • Cadmus – Colorado
  • Center for Resource Solutions – California
  • Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board – New York
  • Clean Energy Economy Minnesota – Minnesota
  • Coalition for Community Solar Access – District of Columbia
  • CohnReznick, LLP – Maryland
  • Community Energy, Inc. – Pennsylvania
  • Community Green Energy – Wisconsin
  • Community Housing Works – California
  • Community Power Network – District of Columbia
  • Community Purchasing Alliance – District of Columbia
  • Co-op Power – Massachusetts
  • Cooperative Community Energy – California
  • Cooperative Energy Futures – Minnesota
  • County of Erie, NY – New York
  • Encore Renewable Energy – Vermont
  • Energy Outreach Colorado – Colorado
  • Enterprise Community Partners – District of Columbia
  • Environmental Law and Policy Center – Illinois
  • Ethical Electric – District of Columbia
  • Eutectics, LLC – Minnesota
  • Extensible Energy, LLC – California
  • Great Plains Institute – Minnesota
  • Green Long Island, Inc. – New  York
  • GreenMark Solar – Minnesota
  • Hannah Solar – Georgia
  • kWh Analytics – California
  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority – California
  • Lotus Engineering and Sustainability – Colorado
  • Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments – District of Columbia
  • Michigan Energy Options – Michigan
  • Microgrid Institute – Minnesota
  • Minnesota Renewable Energy Society – Minnesota
  • Navigant Consulting – District of Columbia
  • Nexamp – Massachusetts
  • Northern Virginia Regional Commission – Virginia
  • Nuance Energy Group Inc. – California
  • ProjectEconomics – New York
  • Renewable Energy Districts – New York
  • Renewable Energy Partners – Delaware
  • Renewable Energy Services – Hawaii
  • Savannah River National Laboratory – South Carolina
  • Seminole Financial Services – Florida
  • Solar Holler – West Virginia
  • Solar Land Solutions LLC – North Carolina
  • Solarize NoVA – Virginia
  • Sun Valley Institute for Resilience – Idaho
  • SunPower Corporation – California
  • Sunswarm Community Solar – California
  • Syncarpha Capital – New York
  • United States Solar Corporation – Connecticut
  • Upepo Group – Maryland
  • Utah Clean Energy – Utah
  • Vermont Community Solar, LLC – Vermont
  • Vivint Solar – Utah
  • West Monroe Partners – Illinois
  • Winn Companies – Massachusetts
  • Yeloha – Massachusetts
  • YSG Solar – New York
  • Zolargo Energy – California 

25 Members of the Administration’s National Community Solar Partnership are announcing new commitments to deploy nearly 145 MW of community solar, including projects to scale up solar for low- and moderate- income households These commitments represent over $187 million in investment.

  • Arcadia Power commits to deploying 5 megawatts of community solar by the end of 2016. This commitment builds on the 30 kilowatts in community solar projects the company has built.
  • BARC Electric Cooperative announces that a 550 kilowatt community solar project – the first in the Commonwealth of Virginia –will be completed in early summer 2016.
  • Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition and its partners announce at least six new community and shared solar projects over the next two years that will serve more than 100 low- and moderate-income customers in southern New York.
  • Black Rock Solar commits to developing 1 MW of solar for low-income communities in Nevada in 2016. This commitment builds on the 6.5 megawatts of solar the company has already built for non-profits, schools, rural areas, Native American tribes, and low-income housing in Nevada.
  • Capitol Assets Solar Development commits to deploying 250 kilowatts of low-income solar in Houston, TX by 2020.
  • Clean Energy Collective commits to develop 50 megawatts of projects in the next two years in New York, representing a $100 million investment in the state, and reaching up to 15,000 residential customers. This builds on CEC’s 160 megawatts of installed community solar in 12 states with 26 utility partners.
  • Community Green Energy commits to developing 10 megawatts of community solar in the state of New York over the course of the next 18 months, with several projects to serve the New York City region.
  • Community Housing Works has committed to install 2.8 megawatts of solar energy that offsets both common area and tenant loads of electricity in low-income communities.  This endeavor impacts a total of 14 properties and approximately 1500 units.  This project provides the tenants with a real economic benefit of about $150,000 per year.
  • Community Owned Shared Renewables Working Group announces a goal to facilitate community-owned development of at least four new solar projects in New York State.
  • Co-op Power commits to developing 3 MWs of community solar over the next two years in Massachusetts and New York. In Massachusetts, the organization will expand its offerings in urban and rural off-site solar. In New York City, Co-op Power is announcing a new partnership with Solar One to bring on-site community solar to 400 units of cooperative and low-income housing in 2016. This builds on current successes in developing a 600 kilowatts low-income accessible, community-owned solar system in western Massachusetts.
  • Extensible Energy and Smart Electric Power Alliance commit to working with at least eight utilities in the western United States to help them with the design of over 4 MW of community solar in the next year.
  • Green Long Island in partnership with Empower Solar announces their commitment to deploy 5 megawatts of community solar in Long Island, New York over the next three years.
  • GRID Alternatives with support from The JPB Foundation, commits to provide no-cost technical assistance to help multifamily affordable housing managers, owners and developers add solar to their buildings, which will support HUD’s Renew 300 initiative under the President’s Climate Action plan, which targets the deployment of 300 MW of renewables for low-and-moderate income housing by 2020. Since 2006, GRID Alternatives has had the support of AmeriCorps VISTA. Due to capacity building support of the AmeriCorps VISTA members, GRID Alternatives went from 37 successful installations for low-income families per year in California in 2006 to over 1250 statewide in 2012.
  • Groundswell commits to develop five community solar projects in the next 12 months to demonstrate a scalable and replicable model for delivering affordable clean power to low- and moderate- income households. Groundswell will partner with faith based organizations, schools, and other local anchor institutions to complete five megawatts of community solar projects that will serve 1000 low- and moderate- income families in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Developed in collaboration with Sustainable Capital Advisors, this expansion of our commitment builds on Groundswell’s successful pre-development efforts towards our first equitable community solar project, which will be constructed in Baltimore.
  • The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) commits to develop an innovative community solar program for all of its capital projects.  This aggressive new program will bring solar energy to communities throughout the LA region, and will represent a significant investment in communities and renewable energy over the near and long term. Metro is the first public transportation agency to pursue a community solar program, which builds on its success of deploying approximately 7 megawatts of renewable energy by the end of fiscal year 2017, with a goal of 66 percent renewable energy use by 2020.
  • Michigan Energy Options announces a new commitment to deploy 600 kilowatts of community solar in Michigan over the next year.
  • Nexamp announces 17 new community solar projects, to be completed by the end of 2016. Combined, these 35 megawatts of projects will serve nearly 2,000 Massachusetts households and non-profits, and represent an investment of $87 million in private capital. Nexamp also commits to an additional 15 megawatts of community solar projects for 2017.
  • RE-volv announces the newest cohort of Solar Ambassadors. Over the next year, RE-volv will train 40 college students at 7 universities to spearhead solar crowdfunding campaigns in their communities. This cohort of Solar Ambassadors include students at Coastal Carolina University, Swarthmore College, University of Connecticut, University of Dayton, University of New England, University of Wisconsin, Madison, and University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
  • Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL) announces a commitment to deploy 500 kilowatts of low-income solar in the Upper Midwest region of the United States over the next 18 months and 100MW for solar for communities of all incomes by 2020.
  • Solar Land Solutions LLC announces its commitment to acquire 15 sites for potential community solar projects in the state of New York.  This builds on success in helping clients acquire the rights to develop over 40 MW of community solar projects through the US.
  • Solarize NoVA announces its commitment to launch four new solarize campaigns in northern Virginia over the next year—in Alexandria, Vienna, Falls Church, and Loudon County. The group has already enabled 569 kilowatts of solar for 77 households, representing $2 million in investment.
  • The University of Maine announces plans to launch a new, interactive public database of the more than 5,000 community solar projects operating across the country. With support from the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, this web-based database will allow anyone to search and learn from existing community solar projects around the country.
  • Urban Ingenuity announces the completion of two unique community-focused solar projects financed with PACE. A critical member of the U.S. Department of Energy-funded CivicPACE program, Urban Ingenuity has closed on nearly 200 kW of solar across a church’s sanctuary, and food bank in Northeast Washington, DC as well as 30 kW of solar on a nearby public charter school. With the November 2015 solar closing on a mixed-finance affordable housing redevelopment, these new projects bring Urban Ingenuity to three unique solar plus PACE financings on non-profit properties.
  • YSG Solar announces its commitment to deploy 15 megawatts of community solar in the New York City region over the next 10 months.

19 New Affordable Housing Providers and Low Income Solar Developers are Committing to Deploy Solar, Putting Us On Track to Exceed the Administration’s Renew300 Goal To Install 300 Megawatts Of Renewable Energy in Federally Subsidized Housing:  In the past two years, in response to the Administration’s call to action, 70 affordable housing providers and nonprofits have committed to install solar, including 19 new commitments being announced today to install 124 MW of solar energy. Today’s commitments, when combined with previous commitments, put us on track to install 344 MW of solar by 2020, exceeding our updated 2020 goal, and far surpassing the President’s target in the Climate Action Plan to install 100 megawatts (MW) of solar and other types of renewable energy in Federally subsidized housing by 2020.

  • Affirmed Housing Group, California
  • Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, Massachusetts
  • Essex Plaza Management Company, New Jersey
  • Harmony Neighborhood Development, Louisiana
  • Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles, California
  • National Community Renaissance of California, California
  • New Bedford Housing Authority, Massachusetts
  • The New York City Housing Authority-25 Megawatt Commitment, New York
  • Saint Paul Housing Authority, Minnesota
  • Corporation for Better Housing, California
  • Coachella Valley Housing Corporation, California
  • Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara, California
  • Levy Affiliated, California
  • Many Mansions, California
  • MidPen Housing, California
  • Palm Communities, California
  • People’s Self Help Housing, California
  • San Diego Youth Services, California
  • The Chicago Housing Authority, Illinois 

New Partners Join DOE’s Clean Energy for Low Income Communities Accelerator.  The Clean Energy for Low Income Communities Accelerator aims to lower energy bills in low income communities through expanded installation of energy efficiency and distributed renewables. Low income households spend an average of 15 to 20 percent of their income on energy bills, whereas energy burdens above 6 percent are typically considered unaffordable. This Acceleratorencourages the development of partnerships and replicable models and will work to identify funding options that a state-level agency, local government, or utility program could use to provide energy efficiency and renewable energy access to communities that need them most. Today, 13 new partners are announcing their participation, building on the 24 founding partners:

  • BlocPower
  • District of Columbia
  • Holland, MI
  • Orlando, FL;
  • Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (HACAP), Iowa
  • Couleecap Community Action Agency, Wisconsin
  • Community Action Program of Evansville and Vanderburgh County
  • EEtility
  • New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
  • State of Missouri
  • Opportunity Council
  • State of Washington
  • Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

More than 90 member-owned, not-for-profit rural electric cooperativesin 16 states across the country are committing to install community solar projects by the end of 2017.  This builds on the nearly 60 co-ops in 25 states that have already brought online community solar projects in the last year. In fact, today, Pedernales Electric Cooperative is announcing a commitment to deploy up to 15 megawatts of community solar throughout its service territory, with construction beginning in late 2016.

Banc of California is announcing a $100 million investment in a new tax equity fund financing residential solar systems primarily to low- and moderate- income consumers and communities in California with a goal of expanding the investment to over $1 billion within 5 years. Historically, low- and moderate- income residents have not been able to obtain financing for solar systems thus this new fund will expand solar to these underserved communities lowering household electricity costs and making housing more affordable.

Google is expanding its solar mapping technology, Project Sunroof, to Washington, D.C. today, making it easier for anyone to understand and access solar power on their rooftop. Sunlight striking the earth’s surface in just one hour delivers enough energy to power the world economy for an entire year, yet only 1 percent of the U.S. energy comes from solar. Project Sunroof, an online solar assessment tool, leverages the 3D rooftop geometry data behind Google Earth to calculate the solar potential and financial benefits of solar power for 43 million American buildings across 42 states. This technology is intended to increase access to solar for all Americans. Sunroof is expanding to Washington, D.C. because Google sees great potential for residential rooftop solar: tens of thousands of D.C. rooftops have the potential to see a positive payback with solar and if only 20 percent of D.C. rooftops were to collectively switch to solar, this could unlock a total of $56 million in electricity savings over 20 years. In addition, Google’s Project Sunroof is starting to work with organizations such as HUD to explore applications of Sunroof technology for low-income and multi-family housing occupants, who could benefit from the cost-saving and efficiency of solar energy for residential use.

 

RNC Rocky Horror Show in Cleveland

Donald J. Trump makes brief appearance on the first night of the Republican National Convention to introduce his wife, Melania Trump © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Donald J. Trump makes brief appearance on the first night of the Republican National Convention to introduce his wife, Melania Trump © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

I write this column as the Republican National Convention that will coronate Donald Trump as its nominee for President, gets underway in Cleveland, Ohio. Tonight’s theme is “Keep America Safe.” To present this theme, he has on the program his wife and former NYC Mayor Rudolph Guiliani.

The Donald had just named his VP pick: Indiana Governor Mike Pence, cheering disgruntled Tea Party right-wingers who distrusted Trump’s bonafides as a rabid regressive.

The problem many GOPers have with Trump (and what led to an opening gavel protest) isn’t his racism, misogyny, his adoration for despicable despots like Putin, Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Un, or even his deceit, his cheating of veterans, small businessowners, investors and failures as a businessman (Trump’s supposed advantage) – it is that Trump isn’t dependably anti-civil rights and anti-human rights – that is, not sufficiently and dependably a Christian conservative, that he can’t be counted on to strip women of their reproductive freedom, or to deny LGBT their rights and dignity. What is more, he has had the audacity to break with the Corporatists who own the Republican party in challenging trade agreements and the TPP.

But in picking Indiana Governor Mike Pence (over the bullying criminal Chris Christie or Newt Gingrich), they have a calmer, more politically astute, more solidly and dependably anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-gay autocrat who has already proved his bonafides by shutting down the government in order to extort the repeal of Obamacare.

According to Pence, Trump’s main attribute is that he has tapped into the frustration of Americans “like no other since Reagan.” Add to that “fear” and “anger” and you have the complete package. But while Trump has been able to corral the so-called “angry [white] voter by casting himself as the anti-establishment, outside-Washington guy (all non-National electeds do that), a businessman, not a politician, he tapped in Pence the poster boy for why voters feel so angry and frustrated, alienated and cynical over the dysfunction of government. When 66% of Americans say the country is on the “wrong track” for a sizeable proportion of the “wrong trackers,”  it’s not because of what Obama has done, but what Republicans have obstructed.

RNC_071816_42e2 (c) Karen Rubin-Mike PencePence, who spent six terms in Congress and was a central figure in the Tea Party, supported the government shut down, holding the entire nation hostage to Tea Party extortion to repeal Obamacare. The Tea Party would rather destroy the US economy, see people lose their jobs, homes, retirement, rather than support a woman’s right to choose or every Americans’ right to life-saving health care. He is part and parcel of the ruling elite responsible for stagnant wages, massive college debt, who voted for the Iraq War that contributed to the rise of ISIS (the list goes on and on).

Pence may be more reserved, more dignified, dare I say, more presidential in his demeanor that his boss, The Don, but his policies and rabid ideology are more venal.

The difference is that while Trump sounds like a bumbling, stumbling fool when he attempts to express any idea beyond bombastic sloganeering – and there are people who dismiss his most radical ideas saying “he doesn’t really mean it”, Pence not only speaks in controlled complete sentences, is effective at using political dodges, but has a record.

He is particularly abominable on Women’s Reproductive Rights. In his 12 years in the House of Representatives, Pence cosponsored legislation that would make abortion illegal nationwide in almost all cases and ban some of the most common forms of contraception; in 2006. He led the fight to defund Planned Parenthood, even bringing the federal government to the brink of a shutdown. He voted for the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, a law to give separate legal status to an embryo or a fetus and voted to impose a new, impossibly complex national patchwork of parental-notification mandates on doctors and young women. In 2011, he co-sponsored a bill that allowed hospitals to refuse to perform an abortion on a woman who needed one to live and co-sponsored a federal personhood amendment, the “Life At Conception” Act.

He shut down the only HIV testing center in Scott County, Indiana — in the name of preventing HIV/AIDS. That county later experienced what the press called “an exploding HIV outbreak.”

Last year, Pence proudly signed the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” essentially making it legal for businesses in Indiana to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals and families.

He supports voucherizing Medicare, raising the eligibility age and privatizing Social Security.

He thinks climate change is a hoax.  “Global warming is a myth. The global warming treaty is a disaster. There, I said it.”

An advocate for gun rights, Pence voted to loosen restrictions on guns purchased across state lines; voted to keep victims from holding firearm manufacturers financially responsible for crimes committed at gunpoint; allowed guns to be brought onto school property; and at the NRA’s 2016 Leadership Forum, championed looser conceal carry regulations.

He’s been a consistent opponent of comprehensive immigration reform; in 2010, he opposed a pathway to citizenship; in 2009, he supported revoking birthright citizenship for children of immigrants; and in 2006, advanced an immigration proposal to deport millions of immigrant families.

All of these policies have been codified in the most regressive GOP platform ever proposed. 

Supports Trump’s Call to Expand Torture

In Congress, Pence derived those who opposed torture by saying that it was a “somewhat absurd thought that you could move people who have masterminded the death of 3,000 Americans by Oprah Winfrey methods.”

In his first interview after being named Trump’s VP, he told Leslie Stahl on “60 Minutes,”  (www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-trump-pence-republican-ticket ), he doubled down to make it clear he agreed with Trump’s policy to expand the use of torture, saying, “What I’m OK with– what I’m OK with is protecting the American people. …what I can tell you is enhanced information gleaned information that saved American lives and, I was informed, prevented incoming terrorist attacks on this country from being successful. The American people expect the president of the United States to be prepared to support action to protect the people of this nation, and I know Donald Trump will.”

RNC_071816_57e2 (c) Karen Rubin-Donald TrumpBut getting back to the theme of the RNC’s first night, making America Safe (again), restoring law and order – there is nothing that Trump or Pence have proposed that would actually accomplish that, or that either one have a clue – beyond the force of Trump’s strongman personality.

We got a taste of that during Lesley Stahl’s interview with Trump/Pence on “60 Minutes” (www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-trump-pence-republican-ticket/):

Pointing to the Nice terror attack, the Dallas and Baton Route police shootings – the world “spinning apart” (in Trump’s words), Stahl asks, “Are you ready for this world that we are facing today?”

Trump replies, “We’re both ready. I’ve no doubt. We need toughness. We need strength. Obama’s weak, Hillary’s weak. And part of it is that, a big part of it. We need law and order. We need strong borders.”

But when pressed about what that would actually mean – does he propose sending more American troops into the fight? How would “strength” have prevented the Nice terror attack, or the failed coup in Turkey?

“Well, as a president, I’m going to be– you know, they’ve been an ally and I stay with our allies. They have been an ally. But that was a quick coup. I was actually surprised to see how well it was handled. And you know who really handled it? The people. So, I mean, we can say what we want, but the people handled it. When they surrounded the army tanks and without the people, you would’ve never had it. The military would’ve taken over.” (No comment about how Turkey President Erdogan is using the coup to cement anti-democratic, autocratic control or how he is pushing to make Turkey an Islamic, not a secular, state.)

To which Pence chimes in, “But I truly do believe that the larger issue here is declining American power in the world. I truly do believe that history teaches that weakness arouses evil and whether it be the horrific attack in France, the inspired attacks here in the United States, the instability in Turkey that led to a coup. I think that is all a result of a foreign policy of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that has led from behind and that has sent an inexact, unclear message about American resolve. One of the reasons why I said yes in a heartbeat to run with this man, is because he embodies American strength, and I know that he will provide that kind of broad-shouldered American strength on the global stage as well.”

Melania Trump in her widely anticipated speech to the Republican National Convention, manages to lift whole sections from Michelle Obama’s speech to the 2008 Democratic National Convention © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Melania Trump in her widely anticipated speech to the Republican National Convention, manages to lift whole sections from Michelle Obama’s speech to the 2008 Democratic National Convention © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Since “Keeping America Safe” is the essence, really, of the Trump hate-filled campaign, it is really curious how the evening’s speakers did not cast an iota of detail how Trump/Pence would actually accomplish that, short of throwing around wounding sound bites. Indeed, most of the night was devoted to accusing Hillary Clinton of various crimes (Benghazi), but all the accusations were based on outright lies. And even Melania Trump’s speech was plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech to the Democratic National Convention (the part she intended about Donald’s values and trustworthiness), rather than reveal anything real about her husband’s qualities to be president, or shed any light on the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

–Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features

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News & Photo Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. For editorial feature and photo information, email editor@news-photos-features.com. ‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures, Tweet @KarenBRubin

Obama Administration Awards $150 Million in TechHire Partnership Grants to Expand Tech Economies of Communities Across Nation

Labor Secretary Tom Perez announced the release of $150 million in Department of Labor grants for 39 partnerships across the country © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Labor Secretary Tom Perez announced the release of $150 million in Department of Labor grants for 39 partnerships across the country © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Obama Administration has jsut announced winners of $150 million in TechHire Partnership grants, including $126 million for at-risk and disadvantaged young Americans 

Vice President Biden and Department of Labor Secretary Perez announced the release of $150 million in Department of Labor grants for 39 partnerships across the country. With these funds, awardees will launch innovative training and placement models to develop tech talent, as a way to keep and create jobs in local economies. In addition to federal funding, grantees are leveraging nearly $50 million in philanthropic, private and other funding to contribute to their own local partnerships. 

A Large and Growing Opportunity for Local Economies 

Having a pipeline of tech talent can be an important factor in bringing new jobs to local economies, facilitating business growth, and lifting more local residents into the middle class. These grants will enable more communities to expand their own local tech sectors.

  • Tech jobs are a pathway to the middle class. Tech jobs pay one and a half times the average wage of a private-sector job. Studies have shown that these opportunities are also accessible to those without college degrees– men and women with non-degree certificates in computer or information services earned more than 65 percent of men and women, respectively, with more traditional Associate degrees.
  • There is a large and growing unmet demand for tech workers.Today, there are over 600,000 open IT jobs across all sectors—more than two-thirds in fields outside the tech sector, such as manufacturing, financial services and healthcare. Across the country, employers are struggling to find skilled talent for these positions. A study from CEB found that in 10 major metropolitan areas (including New York, Atlanta, Seattle, and Houston), there are only five skilled job seekers available for every eight open IT jobs. Compared to 2010, it now takes employers five additional weeks to fill the average vacancy—at a cost to employers of $8.6 million per 1,000 vacancies.
  • New innovations in training and hiring can help meet the tech job demand. Nearly 40 percent of tech jobs do not require a four-year degree. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of fast-track tech training programs like “coding bootcamps” that prepare people with little technical know-how for tech jobs, often in just a few months. A recent survey from Course Report found that bootcamp graduates saw salary gains of 38 percent (or about $18,000) after completing their programs. At the same time, employers in cities like Albuquerque have been adopting new “skills-based” hiring approaches that enable job seekers to demonstrate their skills to get hired even if they lack traditional qualifications like computer science degrees.
  • Tech talent can be an important driver of local economic development.Companies report that one of the main factors in deciding where to locate is the availability of skilled talent. Moreover, research from economist Enrico Moretti shows that for each job in the average high-tech firm, five new jobs are indirectly created in local economies.

In response to this opportunity, in March 2015, President Obama launched TechHire, a bold multi-sector effort and call to action for cities, states, and rural areas to work with employers to design and implement new approaches like coding bootcamps to train workers for well-paying tech jobs often in just a few months.

Since then, 50 communities with nearly 1,000 employer partners have begun working together to find new ways to recruit and place applicants based on their skills and to create more fast-track tech training opportunities. These range from programs in New York City that connect low-income young people to tech training and internships to a program in rural Eastern Kentucky that teaches former coalminers to code.

The federal government is doing its part to support communities in this work with a specific focus on making sure that access to these innovations is widely shared, supporting best practice sharing amongst communities, and encouraging engagement of the key stakeholders that fuel a TechHire community — including employers, innovative training providers and local workforce development leadership. As stakeholders help engage more employers and connect more local communities to these opportunities, the TechHire network will continue to grow.

More details on today’s announcements

Today, the Department of Labor is awarding 39 grants—totaling $150 million—for programs in 25 states and Washington, DC to support innovative ways to get workers on the fastest paths to well-paying information technology and high-growth jobs in in-demand sectors like healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and financial services. Of these grants, $126 million will specifically target strategies designed to best support young Americans, ages 17 to 29.

All of the partnerships funded today engage in the following practices:

1)      Expand access to accelerated learning options that provide a quick path to good jobs, such as “bootcamp”-style programs, online options, and competency-based programs.

2)      Use data and innovative hiring practices to expand openness to non-traditional hiring by working with employers to build robust data on where they have the greatest needs, identify what skills they are looking for, and build willingness to hire from both nontraditional and traditional training programs.

3)      Offer specialized training strategies, supportive services, and other participant-focused services that assist targeted populations to overcome barriers, including networking and job search, active job development, transportation, mentoring, and financial counseling.

4)      Emphasize inclusion by leveraging the high demand for tech jobs and new training and hiring approaches to improve access to tech jobs for all citizens, including out-of-school and out-of-work young Americans, people with disabilities, people learning English as a second language, and people with criminal records.

$126 Million in Grants to Create Pathways to Careers for At-Risk and Out-of-School, Out-of-Work Young Americans

Examples of selected communities and programs include: 

  • Atlanta, GA. ATL TechHire: Fostering an IT Workforce Ecosystem to Inspire Atlanta’s Under-Represented IT Workforce to Pursue IT Careers ($4 million)

ATL TechHire will train the City of Atlanta’s youth and young adults with barriers to employment and other unemployed and underemployed for open jobs in tech. Led by the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, in partnership with Iron Yard and TechSquare Labs, ATL TechHire has developed customizable training tracks to serve differing needs. Participants will be enrolled in TechSquare Labs’ innovative Culture Fit and Career Readiness programs, as well as fast-track training with one of the Iron Yard’s coding bootcamps, to train participants for jobs in front- and back-end engineering, mobile engineering, data science, and design; or with the Atlanta Technical College for degrees that lead to in-demand IT jobs.

  • Albuquerque, NM. New Mexico Tech Connections (NMTC): Expanding Career Pipeline to IT for Youth and Disadvantaged Workers($4 million)

Workforce Connection of Central New Mexico (WCCNM) will use grant funds to expand its NMTC consortium in order to build a career pipeline into IT for around 338 young adults and other workers with barriers to training and employment. Serving the city of Albuquerque, as well as Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia counties, NMTC consists of training and education partner, College of New Mexico, along with six area employers and promises to address gaps in conventional training for H-1B jobs.

  • Miami, FL. ACCEL in Tech: Bringing Customized Training in IT, Healthcare and Financial Services to Those with Barriers to Employment ($3.5 million)

Acquiring Credential and Creating Experiential Learning (ACCEL) in Technology will leverage the size and resources of Miami Dade College, along with the expertise of partners including CareerSource South Florida Mount Sinai Medical Center, AHIMA Foundation, and the McKinsey Social Initiative, who will provide guidance on advisory boards, curriculum development, employee mentors, opportunities for paid work experiences, and commitments to hire participants. This program will develop customizable training for the individual. Through this initiative, over 400 young adults with barriers to employment will gain access to training in IT, healthcare, and financial services.

  • New York, NY. TechIMPACT Program: Training and Placing Youth at Large Tech Companies and Startups ($3.9 million)

LaGuardia Community College will partner with General Assembly, Udacity, Software Guild and others to offer accelerated tech training to young adults in web development, java, and computer network support. Given that young people often struggle to connect to their first job, TechIMPACT is teaming up with partners to make sure that graduates have connections to internships and job placements when they graduate. IBM, Walmart, and other employer partners are committing to interview and hire qualified candidates, and Uncubed will place graduates with a network of high-growth startup companies.

  • New York; Washington, DC; and Maryland. Pathways to Tech Careers: Providing Multi-Tiered Training Model to Improve Skills of Young, Low-Wage, and Veteran Workers ($5 million)

Jobs for the Future, Inc.’s program will establish and expand accelerated training programs that prepare youth and young adults with barriers to employment for high-wage, high-demand careers in IT in New York City Washington, D.C., Prince George’s County, Anne Arundel County and Howard County, MD.  PTC will have three tracks including a bootcamp-style, immersive web development training, a data analytics training for incumbent workers to upskill to better jobs, and a short-term IT security program for veterans. PTC will build on the national presence of JFF, General Assembly, and Per Scholas to demonstrate multiple strategies to move individuals from entry-level jobs into the middle-class with tech training.

  • Seattle, WA. TechHire Seattle-King County: Implementing LaunchCode’s Successful Apprenticeship Model ($3.8 million)

Seattle Central College will work with the LaunchCode Foundation, EnergySavvy, Unloop, Floodgate, Ada Developer Academy and other partners to connect young Americans to jobs in database administration and development, mobile product development, network design and administration, programming, web design, and web development training. To increase opportunities for employers to find high-quality, diverse, entry-level talent, and for students to learn on the job, LaunchCode will connect students at no cost to the student with companies that will offer mentorship and training through a paid apprenticeship program, with the option for employers to hire the student at the end of the 3-6 month apprenticeship. Launchcode has successfully launched and grown this model in 4 U.S. cities, achieving 90 percent placement rates and more than doubling salaries of participants. Seattle is leveraging $4.4 million in philanthropic and private contributions to support this initiative.

$24 Million in Grants to Connect People with Criminal Records, People with Limited English Proficiency and People with Disabilities to In-Demand Jobs

Examples of selected communities and programs include:

  • Indianapolis, IN. GOAL! Program: Expanding Language and Technical Skills for LEP Individuals ($3.2 million)

Led by the Labor Institute for Training (LIFT), in partnership with Jobs for the Future and Indiana Adult Education, Growing Opportunities in America for Latinos! (GOAL!) will enhance and expand services throughout the state of Indiana. The program will enhance and expand English language and advanced manufacturing technical skills for 400 residents with limited English proficiency. Incumbent workers will also have access to upskill opportunities through the Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) registered apprenticeship, leveraging the American Apprenticeship Initiative grant awarded by the Department of Labor to Jobs for the Future.  

  • Kern, Inyo, and Mono Counties, CA. Next Step Program: Offering Skills Training to Individuals with High-Function Autism Spectrum Disorders ($4 million)

The Exceptional Family Center, the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Bakersfield Adult School will collaborate with local employers and partners to train local individuals with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders for open jobs. Geared towards those with documented barriers to training and employment, the Next Step Job Training and Employment Partnership (Next Step) will offer courses at UCLA Extension and Bakersfield Adult School in computer skills, vocational education, and medical coding. The partnership will also offer a bootcamp training on soft skills to improve employability and job performance—including effective communication, workplace behavior, and independent living.

$36 Million of Total Grants will Support Workers in Rural Communities in Retooling and Retraining for New Jobs

Of the $150 million in grants, $36 million have been awarded to programs that will specifically target rural communities that are serving young people and other disadvantaged populations described in the sections above.

Examples of selected communities and programs include:

  • Midlands Region of SC. Midlands TechHire: Offering Numerous Boot Camps, Scholarships and Internships in Networking and Programming ($4 million)

Midlands Technical College will offer scholarships to 400 individuals for five accelerated learning boot camps that will train students for networking and programming occupations, such as computer technicians and web development, in six to eight weeks. Along with the wide range of technical training programs offered, Midlands TechHire will provide exam preparation for certifications, as well as classes and workshops in soft skills and job readiness. Graduates of these accelerated training programs will qualify for sponsorship of exam fees and paid three-month internships in IT occupations. With assistance from 24 grant partners, Midlands TechHire will be able to provide a comprehensive assessment of barriers and customized support services for each student.

  • West Virginia. WVTTITransforming Local Economy by Training and Upgrading Young Adults for New Tech jobs in Software and Engineering ($4 million)

With its West Virginia Technology Transformation Initiative (WVTTI), Bridge Valley Community and Technical College is helping transform this once coal-dependent regional economy into a technology-based one. WVTTI is specifically focused on helping the young adult population find jobs as software developers, mechanical engineers, and machinists, among other opportunities. By leveraging this grant and facilitating relationships among local training providers, workforce organizations, and employers such as the Appalachian Power Company, the WVTTI will expand efforts to help young West Virginians upgrade their skills and gain the credentials needed to obtain middle- and high-skill jobs.

More details on all winners can be found here.

Building on Progress: President Obama’s Job-Driven Training Agenda

The TechHire Partnership grants build on progress already underway. Since the President and Vice President released their Job-Driven Training review in July 2014, Federal agencies have taken actions to make programs serving approximately 20 million Americans every year more employer-driven. And over the past 7 years, we have taken a number of steps to support the American workforce and prepare it for the 21st century, including:

Training Americans for jobs of the future. Through TechHire and Computer Science for All, the Administration is connecting Americans with the tech skills that employers are increasingly seeking, across many industries and roles.

Launching Computer Science for All. This year, the President unveiled his plan to give all K-12 students across the country the chance to learn computer science (CS) in school. This initiative builds on a growing movement led by parents, teachers, districts, states, and the private sector to expand CS education. To jumpstart this effort, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) have pledged to invest more than $135 million to support and train CS teachers across the country over the next five years. In addition, in his budget, the President has called for $4 billion in funding for states, and $100 million directly for districts, to train teachers, expand access to high-quality instructional materials, and build effective regional partnerships. Since its launch, nine states have taken action to expand access to CS education, the private sector has made more $250 million in philanthropic commitments, and more than 25 Governors have called on Congress to increase K-12 CS funding.

Making sure all Americans have a fair shot. The President has taken steps to expand and improve efforts to connect workers who have been displaced by economic change to the workforce system and into good jobs. Building on models of what works, these efforts have helped not only those affected by trade and globalization, but also by the aftermath of the Great Recession, by long-term changes in the energy industry, by the rapid rate of technological change and the adoption of new methods, and in communities that suffer from economic isolation and decline. 

  • Securing a six-year extension and expansion of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) in June 2015, which provides vital job training, income support and other benefits to American workers displaced by the forces of globalization. The number of estimated workers currently eligible for benefits and services is over 100,000, which is almost double the number of workers eligible for TAA benefits and services in all of fiscal year 2015 under the older program.  
  • Helping the long-term unemployed get back to work and stay in the labor force, including through a $170M Ready to Work grant that supports partnerships with businesses to create a best practices for hiring the long-term unemployed. In addition, DOL is providing robust reemployment services and eligibility assessments through $200 million in grants to all 50 states and territories to help prevent long-term unemployment and connect jobseekers to the labor market. Through FY 2016, an estimated 1.3 million unemployed workers will be served.
  • Launching the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative, a Department of Commerce led effort bringing together 10 federal agencies to assist communities negatively impacted by changes in the coal industry and power sector with coordinated federal economic and workforce development resources that help communities diversify their economies and provide reemployment services and job training.
  • Strengthening relationships with businesses to recruit and hire veterans.The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) within DOL established an employer outreach team that encourages employment commitments from national and regional employers seeking to hire veterans.  VETS expanded the outreach team to connect with over 600 employers ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Scaling Up What Works. The Administration has implemented a job-driven checklist that reorients job training grants to align with the elements that matter most to getting Americans into better jobs.

  • Implementing the job-driven training checklist that reorients competitive job training grants to align with best practices based on elements that matter most to getting Americans into better jobs. To date, agencies have awarded over 15 competitive job-training grant programs that total more than $1.5 billion.
  • Signing the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the first reform of federal job training programs in nearly 20 years that reaches approximately 20 million Americans annually. WIOA improves business engagement, accountability, access, and alignment across training programs. 

Doubling Down on Proven Strategies. The Administration is using evidence-based practices to direct limited Federal resources into results-driven models. For example, a recent study found participants in Registered Apprenticeship programs earned $300,000 more over their lifetimes than a comparison group. 

  • Expanding Registered Apprenticeship programsthrough $265 million in targeted investments. Since the President’s 2014 State of the Union call to action, the United States has added more than 81,000 new Registered Apprenticeship opportunities, the nation’s largest increase in nearly a decade.
  • Investing in training for dislocated workers that follows employer needs in key sectors. DOL has awarded nearly $300 million in Sector Partnerships and Job-Driven Training grants focusing on training dislocated workers. Sector partnerships are consistently cited as one of the most effective strategies to better align education with employer needs and have been shown through randomized evaluations to lead to higher rates of employment and earnings.
  • Investing $2 billion in the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program that has created 2,300 in-demand education and training programs at community colleges in all 50 states. To date, nearly 300,000 participants have enrolled in these programs, earning 160,000 credentials.

 

Hillary Clinton Details Initiative for Technology and Innovation

 

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton celebrates her New York State primary victory for the Democratic nomination for President, April 19, 2016.

Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has detailed her vision to promote technology and innovation © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has stated her commitment to building an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.  Going way beyond rhetoric, sloganeering, she has put forward five major goals at the core of her vision for a stronger economy that helps us grow together:

1.  A 100 Days Jobs Plan to Break Through Washington Gridlock and Make the Boldest Investment in Good-Paying Jobs Since World War II.

2.  Make Debt Free College Available to All Americans.

3.  Rewrite the Rules So that More Companies Share Profits With Employees, and Fewer Ship Profits and Jobs Overseas.

4.  Ensure that Corporations, Super-Rich and Wall Street Pay Their Fair Share.

5.  Put Families First by Making Sure Our Policies Meet the Challenges They Face in the 21st Century Economy. 

Here are details from the Hillary for America campaign outlining the initiatives she is proposing to cultivate technology and innovation:

In setting forth this agenda, Hillary recognizes that technology and the internet are transforming nearly every sector of our economy—and she believes that with the right public policies, we can harness these forces so that they lead to widely-shared growth, good-paying jobs across the country, and immense social benefits in healthcare, education, public safety, and more.

Hillary laid out a comprehensive agenda for leveraging technology and innovation to create the jobs of the future on Main Street. These ideas are a core component of the jobs plan she will put forward in the first 100 days of her Administration, along with investments in infrastructure, clean energy and manufacturing.

Highlights of her technology and innovation agenda include:

  • Spurring entrepreneurship and innovation clusters like Silicon Valley across the country, by investing in incubators and accelerators, expanding access to capital for start-ups, and facilitating tech transfer to bring ideas to market.
  • Allowing young entrepreneurs to defer their federal student loans for up to three years, so they can get their ventures off the ground and help drive the innovation economy.
  • Connecting every household in America to high-speed internet by 2020, while hooking up more public places like airports and train stations to the internet and enable them to offer free WiFi to the public, and helping America deploy 5G and next generation systems that can offer faster wireless speeds and help unleash the Internet of Things.
  • Providing every student in America access to computer science education by the time they graduate, including through engaging the private sector to train 50,000 new computer science education teachers in the next decade.

In full, Hillary’s agenda for technology and innovation has five components, laid out below:

  1.     Building the Tech Economy on Main Street

Hillary’s technology agenda will be a catalyst for creating good jobs in communities across America.  She is committed to making entrepreneurship and participation in the digital economy widely shared—across regions, across classes, and across generations.

Hillary will:

  • Invest in Computer Science and STEM Education by:
    • Providing Every Student in America an Opportunity to Learn Computer Science:  To build on the President Obama’s “Computer Science Education for All” initiative, Hillary will launch the next generation of Investing in Innovation (“i3”) grants, double investment in the program, and establish a 50% set-aside for CS Education.
    • Engaging the Private Sector to Train up to 50,000 Computer Science Teachers:  Hillary will launch an initiative to expand the pool of computer science teachers—both through recruiting new teachers into the field, and through helping current teachers in other subjects gain additional training.
    • Encouraging Local STEM Education Investments:  Hillary’s Department of Education will support states and districts in developing innovative schools that prioritize STEM, implementing “makerspaces,” and build public-private partnerships.
  • Build the Human Talent Pipeline for 21st Century Jobs by:
    • Opening up the Higher Education and Job Training Landscape:  Hillary’s College Compact dedicates $10 billion in federal funding to enable students to participate in promising new programs—such as nanodegrees, accelerated learning programs for computer coding, and online learning.
    • Rebooting Job Training around Industry Needs and Job Credentials:  Hillary will create a grant program to support public-private partnerships to tailor job training opportunities to match labor demands in technology-driven industries.
    • Supporting Programs to Diversify the Tech Workforce:  We must break down the barriers to full and equal participation by all groups in the 21st century economy.
  • Spur Entrepreneurship and Innovation Clusters like Silicon Valley across the Country:  Hillary will support incubators, mentoring, and training for 50,000 entrepreneurs in underserved markets, while expanding access to capital for small businesses and start-ups.
  • Support Young Entrepreneurs:   Hillary will allow entrepreneurs to put their federal student loans into a special status while they get their job-creating ventures off the ground.  For millions of young Americans, this would mean no payments on their student loans for up to three years—zero interest and zero principal—during the start-up phase.  She’ll also give innovators who start social enterprises or new businesses in distressed communities the opportunity to apply for forgiveness of up to $17,5000 of their student loans after 5 years.
  • Attract and Retain the Top Talent from Around the World:  As part of comprehensive immigration reform, Hillary would “staple” a green card to STEM masters and PhDs from accredited institutions, and support visas that allow top entrepreneurs from abroad to come to the U.S., build companies, and create jobs for American workers.
  • Invest in Science and Technology R&D:  Hillary will grow the research and development budgets of entities like the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and DARPA, so that we can tackle big challenges—like ensuring America continues to lead the world in High Performance Computing, green energy, and machine learning.   She will also devote more resources to technology transfer, so we get ideas to market.
  • Ensure Benefits are Flexible, Portable and Comprehensive: As the nature of work in America changes, the government must do all that it can to update the safety net and ensure that benefits are flexible, portable, and comprehensive.
  1.     Investing in World-Class Digital Infrastructure

Hillary understands that investing in high-speed broadband and next-generation wireless is a win-win for jobs:   it will put people to work in building out and upgrading our digital networks, and it will create millions of opportunities for people who can get online more easily, innovative, start companies, and sell their products.  Hillary will:

  • Close the Digital Divide:  Hillary will finish the job of connecting America’s households to the internet, committing that by 2020, 100 percent of households in America will have the option of affordable broadband with speeds sufficient to meet families’ needs.
  • Launch a “Model Digital Communities” Grant Program:  Hillary would create a competitive grant program to give cities, regions, and states incentives to create a “model digital community” with lower cost, world-class connectivity for homes, businesses, and public spaces.
  • Connect More Community Anchor Institutions to High-Speed Internet:  Similar to how the E-rate program, launched under President Bill Clinton, brought broadband to public schools and libraries, Hillary will invest new federal resources to hook up America’s anchor institutions—train stations, airports, and other public places—and enable them to provide free WiFi to the public.
  • Deploy 5G Wireless:  Hillary will help foster the evolution to 5G and other next-generation systems that can deliver much faster wireless connections and support the Internet of Things, smart factories, driverless cars, and much more.
  1.     Advancing America’s Global Leadership In Tech & Innovation

Hillary’s technology policy agenda will position American innovators to lead the world in the next generation of technology revolutions — from autonomous vehicles to machine learning to public service blockchain applications. Hillary will:

  • Fight for an Open Internet Abroad:   As Secretary of State, Hillary boldly elevated Internet Freedom to the top levels of American foreign policy.  She will continue this work as President — fighting for Internet Freedom, insisting nations respect human rights online, and opposing efforts to block internet access or shutdown social media.
  • Promote Multi-Stakeholder Internet Governance:   Hillary believes that internet governance should be left to the global community of engineers, companies, civil society groups, and internet users, and not to governments.
  • Grow American Technology Exports:    Hillary will promote access to markets for U.S. technology companies and advance Export Control Reform.  She will also protect U.S. trade secrets, and resist calls for forced technology transfer or data localization.
  • Promote Cyber-Security:   Hillary will build on the U.S. Cybersecurity National Action Plan by empowering a federal Chief Information Security Officer and upgrading government-wide cybersecurity.
  • Safeguard the Free Flow of Information across Borders:  Hillary supports efforts like the U.S.-EU Privacy Shield to find alignment in national data privacy laws and protect data flows across borders.
  • Update Procedures Concerning Cross-Border Requests for Data by Law Enforcement:   Hillary will seek to modernize the MLAT system, and will pursue agreements with likeminded countries for compliance with requests for data by law enforcement, in a manner that respects privacy, security and human rights.
  1.     Setting Rules of the Road to Promote Innovation While Protecting Privacy

Hillary believes the government has an important role to play in laying a foundation for broad-based innovation and economic growth—by reducing regulatory barriers to entry, promoting healthy competition, and keeping the internet free and open.  She also believes we should be ensuring that these advances protect individual privacy and security.  She will:

  • Promote Healthy Competition at the Federal, State and Local Level:  Hillary believes that all governments have a role to play in laying down rules of the road that foster innovation, promote healthy competition, and protect consumers.
  • Defend Net Neutrality:  Hillary believes that the government has an obligation to protect the open internet, and she strongly supports the FCC decision under the Obama Administration to adopt strong network neutrality rules.
  • Improve the Patent System to Reward Innovators:  Hillary will enact targeted reforms to the patent system to reduce excessive patent litigation and strengthen the capacity of the Patent and Trademark Office, so that we continue to reward innovators.
  • Effective Copyright Policy:  The federal government should modernize the copyright system through reforms that facilitate access to out-of-print and orphan works, while protecting the innovation incentives in the system.  It should also promote open-licensing arrangements for copyrighted material supported by federal grant funding.
  • Commercial Data Protection:   Advances in computing like the rise of “big data” and the Internet of Things is yielding transformative benefits, but raising important questions about privacy.  Hillary’s approach to privacy will be to encourage high standards—and affirm strong consumer protection—through regulatory enforcement in an adaptive manner that doesn’t stifle innovation.
  • Protect Online Privacy as well as Security:  Hillary supports creating a national commission on digital security, so that the technology and public safety communities can work together on solutions that address law enforcement needs while preserving individual privacy and security​
  1.      Engineering a Smarter and More Innovative Government

Hillary believes that, beyond enabling innovation and technology-driven economic growth, we should look technology and data to improve the way that government serves the American people. Hillary will:

  • Make Government Simpler and More User Friendly:  Hillary will make the U.S. Digital Service (USDS) and other digital services a permanent part of the executive branch.   She will charge the USDS with transforming the top 25-citizen facing government services. She will streamline government procurement, get rid of unnecessary red tape, and make it easier for the federal government to use innovative technology—including open source software.
  • Open up More Government Data for Public Uses:  Hillary would accelerate the Obama Administration’s open data initiatives, including in areas such as health care, education, and criminal justice.  She would fully implement the DATA Act to make government spending more transparent and accountable to the American people, improving USASpending.gov so that Americans can more accurately see how and where their taxpayer dollars are spent.

Fact Check: 15 Biggest Lies in Trump’s Speech Attacking Hillary Clinton

Donald J. Trump goes on the attack after a very bad week in which, gasp, his poll numbers fell © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Donald J. Trump goes on the attack after a very bad week in which, gasp, his poll numbers fell © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Donald Trump’s 45 minute attack on Hillary Clinton on June 22 – a rebuttal of sort to her scathing attack on Trump as someone who would crash the economy rather than create jobs –  sounds like a desperate reaction to the building negatives his presidential campaign is facing as reporters begin to expose his hypocrisies and failures.

The New York Times today reported how he is funneling millions of dollars of campaign spending back to his own businesses and relatives: In May, the biggest-ticket item was Mr. Trump’s use of the Mar-a-Lago Club, his Florida resort, which was paid $423,000. The campaign paid $350,000 to TAG Air for his private airplanes, $125,000 to Trump Restaurants and more than $170,000 to Trump Tower, the Manhattan skyscraper that houses the campaign’s headquarters….” And said, “the presumptive Republican nominee, who points to his business acumen as a case for his candidacy, is trying to do what he has suggested he would in 2000 when he mulled making an independent run: ‘It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.’” (Donald Trump’s Self-Funding Includes Payments to Family and His Companies).

The New York Times, in an article fact-checking Trump’s speech on June 22, said, “Donald J. Trump has had a rough week, overseeing a shake-up of his campaign staff and reporting a dismal fund-raising total. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee tried to refocus his campaign on Wednesday with a speech attacking his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. But he took liberties with the truth, delivering a series of inaccurate and misleading statements.”

The Hillary for America Campaign also offered its own fact-checking.

Fact Check: 15 Biggest Lies in Trump’s Speech Attacking Hillary Clinton

In his speech attacking Hillary Clinton Wednesday, Donald Trump — Politifact’s reigning ‘Liar of the Year’ — resorted to a litany of hypocritical attacks, nutty conspiracy theories and outright lies.

Many of the most outrageous attacks were long ago discredited by independent fact checkers, but Trump is still peddling them.

Here is a breakdown of 15 of Trump’s biggest lies about Clinton in his Wednesday speech:

LIE: “Ambassador Stevens and his staff in Libya made hundreds of requests for security. Hillary Clinton’s State Department refused them all.”
FACT CHECK: Trump made a similar allegation before, and the Washington Post Fact Checker called it a “whopper.”

LIE: “Under her plan, we would admit hundreds of thousands of refugees from the most dangerous countries on Earth – with no way to screen who they are or what they believe.”
FACT CHECK: Hillary Clinton has called for being “vigilant in screening and vetting refugees from Syria.” Moreover, Politifact has rated the claim that there was no way to screen refugees from the Middle East as “false.”

LIE: “For the amount of money Hillary Clinton would like to spend on refugees, we could rebuild every inner city in America.”
FACT CHECK:  To date, the only financial commitment Hillary Clinton has specified along these lines is $15 million to broadly support the integration of immigrants, including refugees. And an independent analysis of the potential cost associated with resettling an additional 70,000 refugees–as Clinton proposed last year–has pegged the price tag at $582 million. By comparison, the cost to rebuild the city of Detroit alone is $1.25 billion, according to the city’s emergency manager.

LIE: “Thanks to Hillary Clinton, Iran is now the dominant Islamic power in the Middle East, and on the road to nuclear weapons.”
FACT CHECK: Politifact rated the claim that Iran is on the road to nuclear weapons “false,” saying, “the terms of the deal expressly forbid pursuing a militarized nuclear program.”

LIE: “Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the transfer of 20% of America’s uranium holdings to Russia, while 9 investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.”
FACT CHECK: According to Factcheck.org, “the author of ‘Clinton Cash’ falsely claimed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State had ‘veto power and ‘could have stopped’ Russia from buying a company with extensive uranium mining operations in the U.S.” In fact, the State Department was just one member of a nine-agency panel that reviewed this transaction. The panel was led by the Treasury Department, not State, and Hillary Clinton was never personally involved in the consideration of the deal.

LIE: “Hillary’s Wall Street immigration agenda will keep immigrant communities poor, and unemployed Americans out of work.”
FACT CHECK: Comprehensive immigration reform would boost economic growth and increase the size of the labor force.

LIE: Hillary Clinton “has even deleted this record of total support [for TPP] from her book.”
FACT CHECK: According to NBC News, “The cuts were part of 96 pages of cuts made to account for the paperback’s smaller size, according to a publisher’s note. But not all of them were cut: there’s still two pages praising the deal, or at least the idea of it.”

LIE: “Among the victims is our late Ambassador, Chris Stevens. He was left helpless to die as Hillary Clinton soundly slept in her bed — that’s right, when the phone rang at 3 o’clock in the morning, she was sleeping.”
FACT CHECK: According to Factcheck.org, “Trump is certainly entitled to his opinion, but the evidence shows Clinton was fully engaged in the immediate response, and subsequent congressional investigations concluded the government response to the attack — including Clinton’s — was appropriate.”

LIE: “She has pledged to grant mass amnesty and in her first 100 days, end virtually all immigration enforcement, and thus create totally open borders in the United States.”
FACT CHECK: While Hillary Clinton has pledged to push for comprehensive immigration reform in her first 100 days, Politifact has given a ruling of “Pants on Fire” to the claim that such a plan would equal “mass amnesty.” In fact, in her memoir, Hard Choices, Clinton wrote that she supported the 2013 Senate immigration bill, which included unprecedented investments in border security, along with a path to citizenship.

LIE: “To cover her tracks, Hillary lied about a video being the cause of his death.”
FACT CHECK: According to the Washington Post Fact Checker, “Clinton says that in speaking with the families, she did not blame the Benghazi attacks on the video. Most participants we interviewed (four out of six) back up her version, saying they do not recall her mentioning a video.”

LIE: “She helped force out a friendly regime in Egypt and replace it with the radical Muslim Brotherhood.”
FACT CHECK: According to the New York Times, “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned on Sunday that removing President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt too hastily could threaten the country’s transition to democracy.”

LIE: Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy has “unleashed ISIS across the world.”
FACT CHECK: Politifact looked at a similar claim Jeb Bush made and rated it “Mostly False.”

LIE: “To cover-up her corrupt dealings, Hillary Clinton illegally stashed her State Department emails on a private server.”
FACT CHECK: Independent experts like Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists have said there was no criminal aspect to her use of a private email server.  Additionally the Wall Street Journal reported that federal officials do not expect criminal charges to be filed as part of the Justice Department’s ongoing review of the private email system.

LIE: “Her server was easily hacked by foreign governments – perhaps even by her financial backers in Communist China – putting all of America in danger.”
FACT CHECK: The New York Times reported that security logs show no evidence of foreign hacking.

LIE: “Hillary Clinton appointed a top donor to a national security board with top secret access – even though he had no national security credentials.”
FACT CHECK: Contrary to Trump’s claim, the appointee in question actually serves on the Board of Directors of the American Security Project, the Foreign Policy Program Leadership Committee at the Brookings Institution, and on the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, a member of the national security board to which Fernando was appointed, said Fernando’s “expertise in cyber-security is a great asset to our national security.” Brookings executive vice president and former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk said of Fernando: “I’ve always valued his foreign policy insights.”

Hillary Clinton Eviscerates Myth of Donald Trump as Businessman, Warns Trump Would Blow Up Economy

Plaza Hotel, New York: “The myth of Donald Trump reached its zenith in 1988, the year that his book, The Art of the Deal, was published. That year, Trump bought the Plaza Hotel, a crown jewel of New York real estate; he also bought a 282-foot yacht, and a fleet of airplanes owned by Eastern Air, which he renamed the Trump Shuttle,” The New York Times reported. By December 1990, as all of his ventures neared collapse, he filed for bankruptcy on the Plaza (© 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com).
Plaza Hotel, New York: “The myth of Donald Trump reached its zenith in 1988, the year that his book, The Art of the Deal, was published. That year, Trump bought the Plaza Hotel, a crown jewel of New York real estate; he also bought a 282-foot yacht, and a fleet of airplanes owned by Eastern Air, which he renamed the Trump Shuttle,” The New York Times reported. By December 1990, as all of his ventures neared collapse, he filed for bankruptcy on the Plaza (© 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com).

On the same day as Donald Trump, who during the primary boasted that he was not accepting outside funding so would be unbeholden to anyone, issued his first email soliciting campaign contributions, declaring it will be “the most successful introductory fundraising email in modern political history,” Hillary Clinton delivered a speech detailing why “Donald Trump Is Unfit To Manage The U.S. Economy” and then followed up with “Here’s Why, Literally” documenting Trump’s actual record.

At the same time, his sycophants – the so-called Angry Voters who are desperate to look outside the “professional political class” for a new Leader of the Free World – point to his business acumen, thinking that would somehow translate into growing the economy (which is now the strongest in the world, even at the slow pace of growth) and creating jobs (“I’m going to be the greatest jobs president God ever created,” he boasted.)

Indeed, Trump’s entire record has consisted of doing whatever it takes to benefit himself, no matter who he hurts, from wealthy stockholders, to working class people just trying to get by, to the stooges he bilked out of thousands of dollars thinking Trump University would be their ticket to riches. Trump’s entire campaign so far has been one long advertorial for his businesses – he holds his press conferences in his hotels where he actually takes reporters on tour, holds up Trump steaks (not actually Trump steaks, of course), Trump wine, Trump water. But while he singular campaign strategy has been to “brand” Clinton as “Crooked Hillary,” he has time and again been shown to be the crook, the conman. (The New York Times reports how he was mentored in his tough-guy style by none other than the attorney Roy Cohn, who worked for Sen. Joe McCarthy and later for gangsters.)

Following Clinton’s major economic policy address, the Hillary for America Campaign issued an annotated release, documenting her core proposition:

“If Donald Trump were to get behind the wheel of the American economy, he would very likely drive us off a cliff, and working families would bear the brunt of the impact of lost jobs, lost savings, and lost livelihoods.

“That’s the natural conclusion when you look at Trump’s policy proposals, his rash and reckless temperament, and his record in the private sector of doing harm to working families and small businesses. Need proof? Just this week former McCain economic policy adviser Mark Zandi released a report saying that if Trump got his way he would lead our economy into a ‘lengthy recession’ that would cost millions of jobs, reduce growth, stagnate middle class incomes, and explode the debt.”

“See for yourself how the lines from Hillary’s Clinton’s speech today compare with Trump’s record:”

A few weeks ago, I said his foreign policy proposals and reckless statements represent a danger to our national security.

Hillary Clinton: He is not just unprepared — he is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability, and immense responsibility

The Briefing: Trump Literally Said All Those Things
Liberals and conservatives say Trump’s ideas would be disastrous. The Chamber of Commerce and labor unions… Mitt Romney and Elizabeth Warren… and economists on the left, right and center all agree: Trump would throw us back into recession.
Politico: Economists savage Trump’s economic agenda

U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Does a recession sound ‘great’ to you? Does 7 million lost jobs sound like ‘winning?’ No probably, not. And yet, that’s exactly where our country would be headed under Trump’s trade policies, according to an analysis released last week.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: Trump’s policies would make life exponentially worse for those who count on a paycheck.

Mitt Romney: If Donald Trump’s plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into prolonged recession.

Elizabeth Warren: When the economy is in this kind of trouble, calling on Donald Trump for help is like if your house is on fire calling an arsonist to come help out.

One of John McCain’s former economic advisers actually calculated what would happen to our country if Trump gets his way.  He described the results of a Trump Recession: we’d lose 3.5 million jobs, incomes would stagnate, debt would explode, and stock prices would plummet.  And you know who’d be hit hardest:  the people who had the hardest time getting back on their feet after the 2008 crisis. 

Moody’s Analytics report by Mark Zandi, economic adviser to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign: By the end of [Trump’s] presidency, there are close to 3.5 million fewer jobs and the unemployment rate rises to as high as 7% … the average American household’s after-inflation income will stagnate, and stock prices and real house values will decline.

One of the leading firms that analyzes the top threats to the global economy – the Economist Intelligence Unit – comes out with a new list every month.  It includes things like terrorism and the disintegration of Europe.  And this month, #3 on the list is Donald Trump becoming president.  Just think about that. 

Politico: A Donald Trump presidency poses a top-10 risk event that could disrupt the world economy, lead to political chaos in the U.S. and heighten security risks for the United States, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The Economist: July 2016 – Trump has a score of 16 on the same list as a Eurozone breakup (15) and the “rising threat of jihadi terrorism destabilises the global economy” (12)

Every day, we see how reckless and careless Trump is.  He’s proud of it

TRUMP: I want to be unpredictable.

Donald Trump actually stood on a debate stage in November and said that wages are too high in this country.  He should tell that to the mothers and fathers working two jobs to raise their kids. 

The Week: Donald Trump kicks off GOP debate by saying American wages are ‘too high’

TRUMP: Our wages are too high

He said – quote – “having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country” – at a time when millions working full-time are still living in poverty.

TRUMP: I think having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country.

Center for Poverty Research of University of California, Davis: In 2013, 4.4 million people who usually work full-time were working poor

Back in 2006, before the financial crash, he said, quote, “I sort of hope” that the housing market crashes, because he’d make money off all of the foreclosures. 

TRUMP: I sort of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy

Over the years, he said all kinds of things about women in the workforce.  He called pregnant employees – quote – “an inconvenience.”  

TRUMP: Well you know, pregnancy…it’s certainly an inconvneince for a business. And whether people want to say that or not, the fact is it is an inconvenience for a person that is running a business.

He says women will start making equal pay as soon as they do as good a job as men – as if we aren’t already.  

QUESTION: So if you become president will a woman make the same as a man and will I get to choose what I do with my body? 
TRUMP: You’re going to make the same if you do as good a job. And I happen to be pro-life. OK? I’m pro-life.

And he clearly doesn’t know how much of our growth over the last 40 years is thanks to women.

McKinsey & Company: Since women’s participation in the workforce took off, in the 1970s, their productivity has accounted for about a quarter of current GDP

And he wants to end Obamacare, but he has no credible plan to replace it or to help keep costs down.  It wouldn’t be good for our economy if 20 million people lost their health insurance.  And it would be devastating to all those families. 

DonaldJTrump.com: On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.

TRUMP: Repeal and replace with something terrific

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: Trump’s health care plan “would nearly double the number of uninsured, causing almost 21 million people to lose coverage.”

What would Trump do?  He said he wants to wipe out the tough rules we put on big banks.

TRUMP: Dodd-Frank has made it impossible for bankers to function…[My plan] will be close to dismantling of Dodd-Frank.

He said they created – quote – “a very bad situation.” 

TRUMP: The regulators under Dodd-Frank have made it virtually impossible for the banks to lend money to those people, which is a very bad situation to be in.

He also wants to repeal the new consumer watchdog that Senator Warren helped create to protect families from unfair and deceptive business practices.  That new agency has already secured billions of dollars for people who’ve been ripped off.  He wants to get rid of it.

TRUMPOn repealing Dodd-Frank, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: “absolutely”  

Donald Trump would take us back to where we were before the crisis.  He’d rig the economy for Wall Street again. 

TRUMP: [My plan] will be close to dismantling of Dodd-Frank.

He calls himself the “King of Debt,” 

TRUMP: I am the king of debt. 

And his tax plan sure lives up to the name.  According to the independent Tax Policy Center, it would increase the national debt by more than 30 trillion dollars over 20 years.  That’s “trillion” with a “t.”  

Tax Policy Center: Trump’s plan “would add $11.2 trillion to the national debt by 2026 and $34.1 trillion by 2036”

It’s much, much more than any nominee of either party has ever proposed. 

Estimates of reducation of federal revenues under Republican candidates’ tax plans:

Trump Plan: $9.5 trillion

Romney Plan: $5 trillion

McCain Plan: $600 billion

Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy under Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama: This is the most risky, restless and regressive tax proposal ever put forward by a major presidential candidate

Economists describe it with words like “simply dangerous” and “not even in the universe of the realistic.”

Glenn Hubbard, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush: Described Trump’s ideas on taxes and the budget as “unrealistic” and “simply dangerous”

Marc Goldwein, Center for a Responsible Federal Budget: “It’s not even in the universe of the realistic.

And how would he pay for all this debt?  He said, quote, “I would borrow, knowing if the economy crashed, you could make a deal.  It’s like, you know, you make a deal before you go into a poker game.” 

TRUMP: I would borrow knowing that if the economy crashed you could make a deal. And if the economy was good it was good so therefore you can’t lose. It’s like, you know, you make a deal before you go into a poker game, and your odds are so much better.

The full faith and credit of the United States is something we can just gamble away.  That would cause an economic catastrophe worse than anything we experienced in 2008.  

Michael Strain, economics fellow at American Enterprise Institute: When asked about Trump’s suggestion to default on the debt: “There are no merits to it. The extent to which U.S. Treasurys are kind of the  foundation on which the global financial system is built is really hard to overstate.”

Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama: Called Donald Trump’s idea of not fully repaying investors in U.S. Treasuries “borderline insane”

You don’t have to take it from me.  Ronald Reagan said, “We have a well-earned reputation for reliability and credibility – two things that set us apart from much of the world.”

President Ronald Reagan: The United States has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations. It means we have a well-earned reputation for reliability and credibility—two things that set us apart from much of the world.

Maybe Donald feels differently because he made a fortune filing bankruptcies and stiffing his creditors.  

New York Times: How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, but Still Earned Millions

Boston Globe: The Atlantic City savior who came up snake eyes

Trump also says, we can just print more money to pay our debt down

TRUMP: You never have to default because you print the money

The American dollar is the safest currency on the planet.  Why would he want to mess with that?

PolitiFact: The current system has secured the United States’ position as the world’s safest harbor for global money

Finally, the Trump campaign said that, if worst came to worst, we could just sell off America’s assets.

Trump senior campaign advisor Barry Bennett: The United States government owns more real estate than anybody else, more land than anybody else, more energy than anybody else. We can get rid of government buildings we’re not using, we can extract the energy from government lands, we can do all kinds of things to extract value from the assets that we hold.

First, really?  And second, even if we sold all our aircraft carriers and the Statue of Liberty – even if he let some billionaire turn Yosemite into a private country club – we still wouldn’t even get close.  That’s how much debt he’d run up.

Government Accountability Office: The federal government’s reported assets totaled about $3.2 trillion as of September 30, 2015.

Washington Post: Trump’s nonsensical claim he can eliminate $19 trillion in debt in eight years

Maybe this is what he means when he says “I love playing” with debt. 

TRUMP: I do love debt. I love debt. I love playing with it.

He’d give millionaires a three-trillion-dollar tax cut.  Corporations would get two trillion dollars.  He’s giving more away to the 120,000 richest American families than he would to 120 million hard-working people. 

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Millionaires Would Gain Trillions Under Trump and Cruz Tax Plans 

Tax Policy Center: An Analysis of Donald Trump’s Tax Plan

The Briefing: The Trump Tax Plan – By the Billionaire, For the Billionaires

Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley and Garbiel Zucman of the London School of Economics: Wealth Inequality In The United States Since 1913

Now, before releasing his plan, Trump said, “Hedge fund guys are getting away with murder.” And, “They’ll pay more.”

TRUMP: Hedge fund guys are getting away with murder.

TRUMP: The hedge fund guys won’t like me as much as they like me right now. I know them all, but they’ll pay more. 

Then his plan came out.  And it actually makes the current loophole even worse.  It gives hedge-fund managers a special tax rate that’s lower than what many middle-class families pay.  I had to look twice because I didn’t believe it.  Under Donald Trump’s plan, these Wall Street millionaires will pay a lower tax rate than many working people.

Josh Barro, New York Times: The usual fee structure for a hedge fund is called “2-and-20”: a flat management fee (often 2 percent) on all assets, plus a performance fee (often 20 percent) on profits above a set threshold. Currently, the management fee is taxed at ordinary rates up to 39.6 percent, while the performance fee enjoys a preferential rate of 23.8 percent. Under Mr. Trump’s plan, all this income would be taxed at a maximum of 25 percent. The performance fee would be subject to a small tax increase, but that effect would be dwarfed by the large tax cut on ordinary management fees

Tax Policy Center: The highest-income 1.0 percent would get an average tax cut of over $275,000 (17.5 percent of after-tax income), and the top 0.1 percent would get an average tax cut worth over $1.3 million, nearly 19 percent of after-tax income. By contrast, the lowest-income households would receive an average tax cut of $128, or 1 percent of after-tax income. Middle-income households would receive an average tax cut of about $2,700, or about 5 percent of after-tax income.

And of course, Donald himself would get a huge tax cut from his own plan.  But we don’t know exactly how much – because he won’t release his tax returns. 

TRUMP: There’s nothing to learn from them

TRUMP: It’s none of your business, you’ll see it when I release. But I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible

Every major presidential candidate in the last four decades has shown the American people their taxes. 

Washington Post: Trump “would be the first major-party nominee in 40 years to not release his returns.”

Donald actully told Mitt Romney to do it.  

TRUMP: On Romney’s tax returns: “I think it probably be better off just to release them now

And he said that if he ever ran for President, he’d release his.

TRUMP: If I run, you’ll see what a great job, because I’ll do a full disclosure of finances. … Maybe I’m going to do the tax returns when Obama does his birth certificate… I’d love to give my tax returns

TRUMP: Said he would “certainly” release his tax returns, saying he had “no objection” to the idea

What’s he afraid of?  That we’ll learn he hasn’t paid taxes on his huge income? We know that happened for at least a few years – he paid nothing, or close to it.  

Politico: Trump appears to have paid no taxes for two years in early 1990s

Daily Beast: New Evidence Donald Trump Didn’t Pay Taxes

PolitiFact: Public records show that Trump did not pay federal income taxes in two years — 1978 and 1979

Or maybe he isn’t as rich as he claims… 

Fortune: Why Donald Trump’s Tax Returns May Prove He’s Not That Rich

or hasn’t given away as much as he brags about.

Washington Post: Missing from Trump’s list of charitable giving: His own personal cash

The Republican primary featured the Trump immigration plan: round up and deport more than 11 million people – almost all of whom are employed or are children going to school – then build a wall across our border and force Mexico to pay for it.

TRUMP: We have many illegals in the country, and we have to get them out

CNN: Trump has called for deporting all of the undocumented immigrants in the United States

TRUMP: I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.

This policy is both un-American and very bad economics.  Kicking out 11 million immigrants would cost hundreds of billions of dollars, and it would shrink our economy significantly.  Some economists argue that just this policy alone would send us into a Trump Recession.  

American Action Forum: The federal government would have to spend roughly $400 billion to $600 billion to address the 11.2 million undocumented immigrants and prevent future unlawful entry into the United States.

Mark Zandi, economic adviser to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign: If Trump’s policies were enacted it would be some form of disaster for the economy. If you force 11 million undocumented immigrants to leave in a year, you would be looking at a depression.

Interestingly, Trump’s own products are made in a lot of countries that aren’t named America.  Trump ties are made in China; Trump suits, in Mexico; 

WALLACE: Your Trump Collection clothing line, some of it is made in Mexico – 
TRUMP:  It’s true.
WALLACE:  — and China.
TRUMP:  That’s true.

CNN: Donald Trump suits and ties are made in China

Trump furniture, in Turkey; 

Trump Home Press Release: The entire production process, from the moment the raw wood is cut until the product is finished or upholstered, occurs in Dorya’s Izmir, Turkey.

Trump picture frames in India; 

Donald Trump Park Avenue Collection picture frame 4 x 6: Origin: India

and Trump barware in Slovenia.

Trump Home by Rogaska: We preserve the art of almost 350 years of making crystal ware in Slovenia

I’d love him to explain how all that fits with his talk about America First. 

TRUMP: America First will be the major and overriding theme of my administration.

TRUMP: #AmericaFirst

TRUMP: #AmericaFirst

On the other hand, Donald Trump never misses a chance to say that  Americans are losers and the rest of the world is laughing at us.  

CNN: Donald Trump thinks pretty much everyone is a loser

Washington Post: Losers: A list by Donald Trump

TRUMP: The world is laughing at us.

Just the other day, he told a crowd that America is – quote – “not going to survive.”

TRUMP: It’s amazing that our country can continue to survive, but you know? Eventually it’s not going to survive. Just so you understand. Eventually it’s not.

The King of Debt has no real plan for making college debt free or addressing the student debt crisis that has people in their 40s and 50s still paying off loans. 

Trump campaign Co-Chair Sam Clovis: When asked whether Trump would have a plan to ensure debt-free college: “Unequivocally no…It’s absurd on the surface.”

He has no credible plan for rebuilding our infrastructure, apart from his wall.

Positions” listed on Donald Trump’s website: 

No ideas for how to strengthen Medicare and expand Social Security – in fact, his tax plan would endanger them. 

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Under [Trump’s] plan, balancing the budget in 2026 would require cutting all government programs — including Social Security, Medicare and defense — by about two-fifths if all programs were cut by the same percentage.  Balancing the budget without cutting Social Security, Medicare, and defense would require eliminating essentially the rest of government under both plans. 

No real strategy for creating jobs, just a string of empty promises.

TRUMP: We’re going to save that coal industry, believe me.

Jason Bordoff, director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy: The U.S. coal industry has been in structural decline for decades, recently driven by things like weak global demand and cheap natural gas. And eliminating environmental rules protecting air and water is not going to bring those jobs back.

Maybe we shouldn’t expect better from someone whose most famous words are, “You’re fired.” 

TRUMP: You’re fired

He has no clean energy plan, even though that’s where many of the jobs of the future will come from and it’s the key to a safer planet.  He just says that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese.  

TRUMP: The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive

TRUMP: Obama’s talking about all of this with the global warming and … a lot of it’s a hoax. It’s a hoax. I mean, it’s a money-making industry, okay? It’s a hoax, a lot of it.

And he has no plan for helping urban and rural communities facing entrenched poverty and neglect. 

Positions” listed on Donald Trump’s website: 

Donald Trump says he’s qualified to be president because of his business record. 

TRUMP: I’ve been a world-class businessman…That’s the thinking that our country needs

A few days ago, he said, quote, “I’m going to do for the country what I did for my business.”  

TRUMP: I’m going to do for the country what I did for my business.

He’s written a lot of books about business – but they all seem to end at Chapter 11. 

PolitiFact: Trump’s four bankruptcies were Chapter 11 reorganizations

Over the years, he intentionally ran up huge amounts of debt on his companies and then defaulted.  He bankrupted those companies – not once, not twice, but four times. 

New York Times: His casino companies made four trips to bankruptcy court, each time persuading bondholders to accept less money rather than be wiped out.

Hundreds of people lost their jobs.  

Chris Wallace: In that case alone lenders to your company lost over $1 billion and more than 1,100 people were laid off.

Shareholders were wiped out.  Lenders lost money.  

Forbes: In the case of his casinos, Trump has screwed his shareholders three consecutive times by wiping out their investment.

Contractors – many of them small businesses – took heavy losses.  Many went bust.  But Donald Trump always came out fine. 

USA Today: Trump [offered] as little as 30 cents on the dollar to some of the contractors

New York Times: Triad Building Specialties nearly collapsed when Mr. Trump took the Taj into bankruptcy.

Here’s what he said about one of those bankruptcies: “I figured it was the bank’s problem, not mine.  What the hell did I care?”

TRUMP: I figured it was the bank’s problem, not mind. What the hell did I care?

He also says, “I play” with bankruptcy.

TRUMP: I play with the bankruptcy.

Just look at what he did in Atlantic City.  He put his name on buildings – his favorite thing to do.  He convinced other people that his properties were a great investment, so they would go in with him. But he arranged it so he got paid no matter how his companies performed.  So when his casino and hotel went bankrupt because of how badly he mismanaged them, he still walked away with millions.  Everyone else paid the price.  Today, his properties are sold, shuttered or falling apart.   So are a lot of people’s lives.  

New York Times: How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, but Still Earned Millions

USA Today: Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills

And here’s what he says about that: “Atlantic City was a very good cash cow for me for a long time.”

TRUMP: Atlantic City was a very good cash cow for me for a long time.

Those promises you’re hearing from him at his campaign rallies?  They’re the same promises he made to his customers at Trump University.  Now they’re suing him for fraud.  

CNN: Donald Trump still battling lawsuits from defunct Trump University


Fortune: How Bad Are the Charges Against Trump University? Really Bad

The New Yorker: Trump University: It’s Worse Than You Think

The Daily Beast: Maddings, an ex-marine now 32, who told The Daily Beast that he racked up around $45,000 in credit card debt to buy Trump University seminars and products. … “It was a con. I’m 25-years-old, barely making $3,000 a month and they told me to increase my credit limit. I just maxed out three credit cards and I’m supposed to be able to qualify for loans to buy real estate? Those stupid principles have led me to borrow $700,000 of other people’s money and lose it all. I’m still paying off some of that debt to this day.”

He’s been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits in the past 30 years.

USA Today: Trump’s 3,500 lawsuits unprecedented for a presidential nominee

A large number were filed by ordinary Americans and small businesses that did work for Trump and never got paid – painters, waiters, plumbers – people who needed the money, and didn’t get it – not because he couldn’t pay them, but because he could stiff them. 

USA Today: At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters.

USA Today: Juan Carlos Enriquez, owner of The Paint Spot, in South Florida, has been waiting more than two years to get paid for his work at the Doral. The Paint Spot first filed a lien against Trump’s course, then filed a lawsuit asking a Florida judge to intervene.

Sometimes he offered them 30 cents on the dollar for projects they had already completed.  

USA Today: Trump [offered] as little as 30 cents on the dollar to some of the contractors

Hundreds of liens have been filed against him by contractors, going back decades.  They all tell a similar story:  I worked for him, I did my job, he wouldn’t pay me what he owed.

USA Today: Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills

He says, he’s a businessman, and this is what businessmen do. 

TRUMP: Every major business leader, has used the – I never went bank bankrupt, by the way, as you know, everybody knows. But – hundreds of companies, hundreds of deals, I used the law four times and made a tremendous thing. I’m in business. I did a very good job.

Well, CNN pointed out that no major company has filed Chapter 11 more often in the last 30 years than Trump’s casinos.

CNN: No major U.S. company has filed for Chapter 11 more than Trump’s casino empire in the last 30 years

Now imagine Donald Trump sitting in the Oval Office the next time America faces a crisis. Imagine him being in charge when your jobs and savings are at stake.  Is this who you want leading us in an emergency? 

TRUMP: Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics! 

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