The Twelve Lies of Christmas

It’s getting difficult to keep track of all the lies. They’re multiplying like tribbles. And I guess that’s by design. The point, I suspect, is to lie so much that we focus on the lies instead of on the underlying facts, like the fact that the stock market is having its worst December since 1931, or that the Kurds in Syria are talking about releasing over 3,000 ISIS prisoners, or that hundreds of thousands of federal workers aren’t getting paid as a result of the government shutdown. With that said, though, I can’t help but focus the lies themselves, which seem to be growing more egregious by the day. So, here, in the spirit of the holiday, are my top twelve lies… Actually, as of right now, there are only eight, as I have holiday-related things to do, but I may add more later. Or, better yet, you can help add to the list in the comments section… At any rate, here are the first eight of the Twelve Lies of Christmas.

LIE NUMBER ONE. Donald Trump mentioned on Friday that, like him, Ronald Reagan wanted to build a border wall. This is a lie. In fact, when asked about illegal immigration during a 1980 campaign debate, Reagan said, “Rather than… talking about putting up a fence, why don’t we work out some recognition of our mutual problems, and make it possible for them to come here legally, with a work permit, and, then, while they are working and earning here, they pay taxes here.” And that was pretty much a constant theme through his presidency, from beginning to end. Regan not only wanted more immigrant-friendly policies, but he wanted to offer amnesty to undocumented workers already in the United States. During the 1984 presidential campaign, Reagan said, “I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and who have lived here, even though, some time back, they may have entered illegally.” And he continued to push for more immigrant-friendly policies until the end of his 8-year term in office. Describing America as a “shining city” in his farewell address, Reagan said the following about those who seek to make their way here. “If there had to be city walls, the walls had doors, and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here,” the Reagan said. “That’s how I saw it, and see it still.”

LIE NUMBER TWO. The day after Trump stunned our allies, elected officials, and military commanders by announcing an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, he tweeted that Russia was “not happy” about the move. This, as we know, is an enormous lie. In fact, Putin just said the following about Trump’s decision. “American troops should not be in Syria and have been there illegally… If the decision to withdraw them was taken, that’s the right decision,” The Russian dictator said. And yet Trump, and other members of his administration, still maintain that Putin is angry that we’re pulling troops out, giving the Russians free rein in the country. [According to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, “The idea that Putin is happy about this is ridiculous.”]

For those of you who still might be tempted to believe the President when he says that the Russians aren’t happy about what he just did, check out this post from professional Russia-watcher Julia Davis.

LIE NUMBER THREE. Trump, over this weekend, has started blaming Democrats in Congress for the government shutdown, which we all know that he’s the architect of. He’d essentially told Republicans in Congress that he’d support a continuing resolution to keep the government funded, even if he didn’t get funding for his ineffective and ridiculously expensive border wall, but, when they came to the White House with a resolution agreed to by both the House and Senate, he told them that he wouldn’t accept it. Apparently, it would seem, the mockery of right wing pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter had gotten to him, and he’d decided to change course. So now he’s saying, “The Democrats now own the shutdown!” One would think he’d know better than to try this, as we have him on tape from December 11 saying, “I am proud to shut down the government for border security… So I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame (the Democrats) for it.” Here, in case you missed it, is the video.

LIE NUMBER FOUR. Donald Trump just sent out a tweet about how he’s decided to forgo a 16-day golfing vacation in Florida to stay in DC and sign important bills in the Oval Office, apparently unaware of the fact that people can just zoom in and see that he’s just pretending to sign a blank piece of paper.

It’s also worth noting that, according to White House reporter Kathryn Watson, Donald Trump was not in the Oval Office when he tweeted this out.

LIE NUMBER FIVE. Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin just put out a statement saying that, “We continue to see strong economic growth in the U.S. economy.” The statement, which he issued from the super-exclusive El Dorado resort in Cabo San Lucas, comes out as the markets are in free fall, and investors are experiencing the worst December since 1931. [By the way, we should also be alarmed by the fact that Mnuchin, from this same resort, just called the CEOs of America’s six largest banks, asking if they have “ample liquidity.” This demonstrates pretty clearly, I think, that they’re scared of a crash. Perhaps more alarming, however, is the fact that Mnuchin is conducting stress tests by phone, from a resort.]

LIE NUMBER SIX. According to Washington Post White House Bureau Chief Philip Rucker, Trump is claiming that “many” federal workers want the government to stay closed. Trump, according to Rucker, told members of the press, “Many of those workers have said to me, communicated, stay out until you get the funding for the wall. These federal workers want the wall.” As I understand it, Trump did not offer any proof that he had, in fact, talked with any of the nearly 400,000 federal employees who are currently working without pay, or the 350,000-some more who have been furloughed. And, for what it’s worth, J. David Cox, the president of the American Federation of Government Employees… who, you can be sure, has talked with many of these 750,000 people… just issued a statement calling on Congress to “immediately fund and reopen the government and stop holding the people’s government hostage”.

LIE NUMBER SEVEN. The President just tweeted out the he has awarded a contract for a construction firm to build 115 miles of wall across our southern border. This cannot be true, as, under our Constitution, it’s the legislative branch of government the controls our nation’s purse strings.

LIE NUMBER EIGHT. Following the example of Jim Mattis, Brett McGurk, the State Department official tasked with coordinating international efforts to fight ISIS, handed in his resignation a few days ago in protest over Donald Trump’s surprise announcement that the U.S. would be pulling troops out of Syria. Trump responded by saying that he did not know McGurk, and suggesting that he was just grandstanding… So, taking Trump at his word, this would mean that, after two years in our office, the President of the United States still did not know the man responsible for overseeing the international coalition against the Islamic State… Either that, or he was lying… Here are two of my favorite responses to Trump on this matter.

[note: McGurk didn’t enter the government under Obama, as Trump suggests in his tweet. He began his work in the Middle East under President George W. Bush, and continued under Obama.]

[note: Jason Rezaian, a global opinions writer for the Washington Post, was taken prisoner by the Iranian regime in 2015, while serving as the Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief. His 2016 release was negotiated by McGurk.]

LIE NUMBER NINE. Donald Trump, under intense pressure at home, and looking to turn the tide in a more positive direction, finally went to visit our troops in Iraq. While talking with men and women in uniform at the Al Asad Air Base during his visit, Donald Trump said, “You protect us. We are always going to protect you. And you just saw that, ’cause you just got one of the biggest pay raises you’ve ever received… You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years. More than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one.” This, of course, was a lie. Members of the military have seen their pay increase every year for more than 30 years. Pay is increasing by 2.6% in 2019 as a result of the National Defense Authorization Act, which is the biggest jump in the past nine years, but it did just go up 2.4% in 2018.

OK, I need to clean the house now, and get ready for relatives. Please feel free to finish this post on your own.

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  1. Bob
    Posted December 23, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    LIE NUMBER FIVE. Hyborian Warlord ever leaves his mothers basement for anything except another microwave hotdog and a fresh Mr Pibb. Also his Star Trek Next Generation mousepad would never pass a blacklight test for old dna.

  2. Dave Morris
    Posted December 23, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    LIE NUMBER SIX. ” I was visited last night by the ghost of Christmas past. It was none other than George Washington. He said I was doing a great job making America great again, and that I am the best president EVER!”

  3. Anonymous
    Posted December 23, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    When Cohen got sentenced, Trump said that any violation of campaign finance law wouldn’t have been his fault, as he was relying on his attorney to tell him what was legal and what wasn’t. Here’s footage of Trump from several years ago saying that no one knows more about campaign finance law than he does.

  4. Jean Henry
    Posted December 23, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Says the United States loses “250 Billion Dollars a year on illegal immigration, not including the terrible drug flow. Top Border Security, including a Wall, is $25 Billion. Pays for itself in two months.”
    Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

    Says of immigrant family separations at the border, “we had the exact same policy as the Obama administration.”
    Thursday, November 29th, 2018

  5. Jean Henry
    Posted December 23, 2018 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    WAPO has him at 16 lies for Dec 20th alone–the last day posted on their log of Trump deceptions.

  6. MrNobody
    Posted December 23, 2018 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Ugh — regarding #4:

    It’s far more likely that the photo exposure (or adjustment) has washed out the type on the page, then factor in resizing and JPG compression. Nice try though. Total garbage of course that the pictured stack is of” bills” and that he’s doing anything other than watching TV.

    I mention this because I agree with your sentiment and think that including this example weakens your argument.

  7. MrNobody
    Posted December 23, 2018 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    To help illustrate my point:

  8. iRobert
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Do you know how you can tell when Trump is lying?

    His mouth is open.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

  10. Anonymous
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Did you see the Mnuchins on vacation?

  11. iRobert
    Posted December 24, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    The Dow is down 653 points today. Merry Christmas!

  12. Sad
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Up over a 1000 points today!

    Happy New Year!

  13. John Brown
    Posted December 28, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Sad, even a dead cat will bounce.

    Govt workers, who swore to protect the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic, are going unpaid so a evil Ruskie Stooge can make a desperate play for deplorable supporters. Cohen was in Prague meeting Ruskies in 2016. Treason will be the final conclusion.

  14. Sad
    Posted December 28, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    What will a treason trail do to the stock market?

    Oh boy.

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