FEATURE

To See The Politics Clearly: Think & Talk Vertically, Not Horizontally

Thinking vertically not only has the potential to unite those who are currently divided but also empower those who are presently conquered.” “As old labels indicate, we’ve all been conditioned to think about politics horizontally, from right to left. This way of thinking needlessly divides us by magnifying our differences and glossing over our commonalities. Turn the political spectrum on its head, and think top to bottom instead of left to right, and a magical thing can happen. Picture a man and a woman. He’s white. She’s black, He’s a farmworker, she’s a childcare provider. Both are struggling to make…

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Dems Better Understand — And Quick — Hugs & Empathy Won’t Defeat Trump

Not being Trump seems like Biden’s main pitch. By Suzanne Moore The Guardian (8/21/20) I missed the balloons, the streamers, the strutting around the stage. I missed the lines carefully calibrated for applause and the veering off-script. I missed the theatricality. But the revolution is now streaming. The pandemic meant the Democratic convention was televised online, in four nights of two-hour party political broadcasts. There was no pizza big enough for this endurance test. The convention felt like a charity marathon without an audience, punctuated with unfunny comedy and sob stories. Tear-jerking speeches informed us that Joe Biden is a nice man….


Democrat’s Flip-Flop On Fossil Fuel Subsidies Follows Deep Financial Ties To The Industry

The DNC quietly removed language from the party platform yesterday that endorsed an end to fossil fuel subsidies, after voting two years ago to allow itself to accept fossil fuel PAC contributions. By Donald Shaw Sludge (8/18/20) The Democratic National Committee has quietly dropped from its party platform language calling for an end to subsidies and tax breaks for fossil fuel companies, HuffPost reported on Tuesday. The language had been added to the platform in error, a DNC spokesperson told HuffPost. The day after a draft of the Democrats’ 2020 policy platform was released, July 23, climate journalist Emily Atkin noted that unlike the…


Economic Perversion: Just 12 US Billionaires Now Own More Than $1 Trillion In Combined Wealth

‘Disturbing Milestone’ [Editor’s Note: As an extra twisted bit of perversion, three of those on the dirty dozen list are from the same family, the Waltons, who profit off their overworked and underpaid Walmart workers and taxpayers who subsidize the poor pay and benefits through having to provide food stamps and Medicaid for many of those workers; we all subsidize their unearned wealth. — Mark L. Taylor] By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (8/17/20) New research published Monday [8/17] by the Institute for Policy Studies shows that the dozen richest American billionaires now collectively own more than $1 trillion in wealth, a finding…


As The Pandemic Has Exposed The Rotted Core Of The Corporate Industrial Food System, The Resiliency Of The Local Agriculture Movement Offers Hope

  Despite some obvi­ous prob­lems, the indus­tri­al food sys­tem is a mar­vel of effi­cien­cy — until some­thing goes wrong.  By Joseph Mullington In These Times (8/14/20) The yel­low-brown com­post has been heaped into hills taller than the near­by bull­doz­ers. The piles don’t look like pigs, but that’s what they are. Pigs and woodchips. It’s mid-May and thou­sands of hogs have been killed and tossed in a wood­chip­per on this farm field in Nobles Coun­ty, Min­neso­ta. They rep­re­sent but a frac­tion of the num­ber of ani­mals that have met such an end here in the third-high­est hog-pro­duc­ing state in the coun­try. The Min­neso­ta Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture said on May 6 that at least 10,000 hogs were…


We’re Thinking Of Covid-19 The Wrong Way. It’s Not A Wave – It’s A Wildfire

Like a fire, the virus relentlessly seeks out its fuel, humans, and will keep spreading as long as it has access to that. By Michael T Osterholm & Mark Olshaker The Guardian (8/4/20) We have no previous experience with a worldwide coronavirus pandemic, so when Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, began spreading, public health experts leaned on our experiences with influenza pandemics to inform their predictions. These pandemics are often described in terms of “waves” and “troughs”. We have now seen enough to replace the ocean analogy with a better one: wildfire. Like a wildfire, the virus relentlessly seeks out fuel (human hosts),…


Health Care ‘Scaredy-Crats’ Abandon The Voters At A Time Of Great Need … Again

  By Mike McCabe, Executive Director Our Wisconsin Revolution (7/28/20) I’ve said it many times before and will say it again. We have one party that’s scary and another that’s scared in this country. The Republican Party grows scarier by the day. And on the crucial issue of health care, establishment Democrats are proving themselves not only afraid to lead, but even afraid to follow public opinion.   That vote was all about the establishment working the system, abandoning progressive principles and obstructing change. Polling in April showed that 69% of voters in the U.S. support Medicare for All. Support among…


A Bipartisan Group Secretly Gathered To Game Out A Contested Trump-Biden Election. It Wasn’t Pretty Or Promising

“He doesn’t have to win the election. He just has to create a plausible narrative that he didn’t lose.” By Jess Bidgood Boston Globe (7/25/20) WASHINGTON — On the second Friday in June, a group of political operatives, former government and military officials, and academics quietly convened online for what became a disturbing exercise in the fragility of American democracy. The group, which included Democrats and Republicans, gathered to game out possible results of the November election, grappling with questions that seem less far-fetched by the day: What if President Trump refuses to concede a loss, as he publicly hinted recently…


Right-Wing Domestic Terrorism Is On The Rise. How The Cowardly Obama Administration Wimped Out On Addressing The Threat

We have a huge intelligence gap regarding violent right wing extremism, including in law enforcement. [Editor’s Note: Yet another example of how cowardly liberals refusing to stand up to right wing bullies are a fascist’s greatest ally. — Mark L. Taylor] By Anna Bauman, Meghna Chakrabarti & Jonathan Chang On Point / WBUR (7/21/20) In 2009, a Department of Homeland Security report predicted that the recession coupled with the nation’s first Black president could give rise to a surge in right-wing domestic terrorism. Political backlash ensued, and the intelligence unit disbanded. Now, over a decade later, the report’s author is still ringing alarm…


Chris Hedges: America Faces A Historic Choice — “ugly corporate tyranny” Or Revolution

These are “the good times,” says Hedges, compared to what may lie ahead. But there’s real hope in the streets. [Editors Note: Want to understand the context of what is happening? Journalist Chris Hedges lays it out the bipartisan failure unspooling before us . — Mark L. Taylor] By Chauncey Devega Salon ( 7/16/20) Time is broken in Donald Trump’s America. Minutes feel like hours, hours feel like days. Weeks are months, and months are years. And there is an overwhelming sense of time warped by dread as the country careens towards a dangerous climax on Election Day — whatever the outcome. Disorientation is…


We Worked On The Sanders Campaign — Some Democracy Would’ve Made It More Effective

  It became clear that management would not consider the input of its workers in the field. [Editor’s Note: How ironic that an avowed Democratic Socialist had his campaign managed like just any other clueless corporation. As in most corporations, the well-paid campaign executives of the Sanders campaign ran a top-down, clueless show. More sheep dog than revolutionary, it is clear Sanders’ true job was to herd stray progressives back into the DNC corral. — Mark L. Taylor] By Mia Arievitch, Simon Narode & Ben Mora Jacobin (7/6/20) here is no doubt that Bernie Sanders’s campaign for president inspired an…


On Tax Day — As Millions Go Homeless & Hungry — Analysis Shows Billionaire Wealth Growth Since START Of Pandemic Exceeds Total Budget Deficits Of 23 US States

“A few very wealthy people in states are doing really well, while millions suffer. If there ever was a wake-up call to make the rich start paying their fair share of taxes this is it.” By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams (7/15/20) A new study out Wednesday shows that billionaires around the U.S. have added to their wealth in the months since the coronavirus pandemic began in March at levels exceeding budget shortfalls due to the economic crisis triggered by the outbreak in 23 states. “This analysis shows how out of whack our economy has become with handfuls of billionaires in…


On Contact: Chicken Hawk Patriotism & Dissent With Anti-War Combat Veteran Danny Sjursen

By Chis Hedges On Contact (7/4/20) On the show this week, Chris Hedges discusses the nature of patriotism with West Point graduate and US Army combat veteran, Danny Sjursen. Sjursen’s newest book “Patriotic Dissent: America In The Age Of Endless War” will be published September 8, 2020. Link To 28-Minute Video (Commoner Call photo by Mark L. Taylor, 2020. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org ) ***** Undercover Patriots: Trump, Tulsa & The Rise of Military Dissent By Danny Sjursen TomDispatch (7/9/20) It was June 20th and we antiwar vets had traveled all the way to Tulsa,…


Winning Isn’t Enough: Time For Democrats To Wake Up & Dream Big Again

Win for what? By John Nichols The Nation (6/15/20) The simple farmhouse where Henry Wallace was born and came of age can be found in Orient Township, on the southern side of Iowa’s Adair County, just off what is referred to as a minimum maintenance road. Drivers are advised to travel it “at your own risk.” That pretty well sums up the approach that has been taken with Wallace, Franklin Roosevelt’s second vice president, over the 75 years since he battled for the soul of the Democratic Party at its 1944 convention, struggled to keep alive the promise of the…


Even If This Dem Wins His Primary, Let’s Hope He Is Soundly Defeated

By Andrew Perez TMI (7/7/20) As Democrats campaign against “tough on crime” policies and for criminal justice reform, the party may end up with a congressional nominee who confined former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to an 8-by-6-foot cell at least 23 hours a day. James Averhart, who is competing in a July 14 run-off election for an Alabama congressional seat, also oversaw a Bush-era military push to track down and punish veterans who deserted the Vietnam War — an initiative seen as an attempt to discourage soldiers from deserting during the Iraq War. Averhart, who served as Chief Warrant…


Mike McCabe: America’s New Jim Crow

  “We’ve got to deal with the fact that we live in a country that started with a constitution that said people could be property. And once that constitution was amended and slavery was abolished, those who sought that kind of economic and social control weren’t about to embrace equality. They went about constructing Jim Crow. They went about building segregation laws that would allow them to continue to exercise that control. And once Jim Crow was swept away by the civil rights legislation of the 1960’s, they didn’t embrace equality. They went about building a new structure, and that…


FDR’s Letter To Corporate Democrats Will Blow Your Mind

  Jimmy Dore Show (3/29/17) Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote a letter to corporate democrats threatening to withdraw his nomination if they did not support his progressive Vice President pick Henry Wallace. His sentiments about the need for Democrats to be more progressive applies even more to today’s world. Link To 15+-Minute Video ***** FDR’s Letter to the Democratic Convention Delegates in 1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt Letter to the Democratic Convention July 18, 1940 Members of the Convention: In the century in which we live, the Democratic Party has received the support of the electorate only when the party, with absolute…


Duplicitous FBI Has A Long, Murderous History Of Targeting Black Activists. That’s Still True Today

The most apparent protest violence that falls within the FBI’s jurisdiction is not coming from BLM activists or antifa, but from police. By Mike German The Guardian (6/26/20) Throughout its history, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has viewed Black activism as a potential national security threat. It has used its ample investigative powers not to suppress violence, but to inhibit the speech and association rights of Black activists. And its reaction to the protests following the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd shows little has changed. In October 1919, a young J Edgar Hoover, director of the Bureau…


MLK Identified ‘America’s Triplets’ — Racism, Yes, But What About Our Militarism & Materialism?

We are now a nation of citizen-consumers, held in thrall to the extreme materialism that Dr. King decried. By Andrew Bacevich TomDispatch (6/23/20) In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, Americans are finally—or is it once again?—confronting the racism that afflicts this country and extends into just about every corner of our national life. Something fundamental just might be happening. Yet to state the obvious, we’ve been here before. Mass protests in response to racial inequality and discrimination, including police brutality, have been anything but unknown in the United States. Much the same can be said of riots targeting black…


The Classic ‘Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes’ Anti-Racism Exercise

  Witness History / BBC (6/19/20) When Dr Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968, US school teacher, Jane Elliott, decided to try to teach her all-white class about racism. She decided to segregate them according to the colour of their eyes, and treated them differently. Although controversial from the start, the “blue eyes/brown eyes” teaching exercise has been adapted in schools and workplaces for diversity training ever since. Jane Elliott has been explaining to Rebecca Kesby why she still thinks the model has value today in defeating racial prejudice. Link To 9-Minute Audio  


Want To Defeat Trump Without Campaigning For Biden? Here’s How

By David Duhalde In These Times (6/17/20) The mainstream media made hay over the Democratic Socialists of America’s (DSA) commitment to endorsing no one but Bernie Sanders for president. Despite the DSA’s public statement recognizing Donald Trump as a global threat, the organization will not back Joe Biden. Of course, defeating Trump does mean a President Joe Biden (absent some dramatic change), but that still doesn’t mean left-wing groups should endorse by default. In fact, Biden likely doesn’t want our public support. He appears intent on repeating the Clinton 2016 playbook: Rely on a critical mass of progressives to vote against Trump,…


While The Media Reports On Racial Justice, The Daily Brutality Of Economic Injustice Is Ignored

  Corporate capitalism has proven itself to be fully capable of methodical sadism in the pursuit of maximizing profits. [Editor’s Note: It is not a matter of GOP vs Dem or Left vs Right or even Trump vs Biden — it is all about TOP vs BOTTOM.– Mark L. Taylor] By Norman Soloman Reader Supported News (6/10/20) Grassroots outrage and nationwide protests after Minneapolis cops murdered George Floyd have pushed much of U.S. corporate media into focusing on deadly police mistreatment of black people. The coverage is far from comprehensive on the subject of racism in the “criminal justice” system…


Promotion Of New 9/11 Documentary ‘SEVEN’ Airing On PBS

  Architects & Engineers For 9/11 Truth (6/11/20) PBS affiliates across the country today will begin airing a five-minute version of the new documentary SEVEN directed by Loose Change creator Dylan Avery about the explosive findings of the recently completed University of Alaska Fairbanks study on the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7. The short film, titled Spotlight On: SEVEN, will run for a minimum of three months on up to 200 local PBS stations, reaching at least three million viewers. For those wanting to watch the short film on television, “Spotlight On” programs do not air at scheduled times because they run as needed in…


Big Bank CEOs Want To ‘Listen’ To Black Communities. How About They Just Return Their Stolen Wealth Instead

There’s a whole lot of cheap Wall Street listening going on, but not much doing. By Richard Eskow Common Dreams (6/9/20) Fox News triggered legitimate outrage last week with a graphic showing that the stock market rose after the uprisings that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, the acquittal of Rodney King’s attackers, and the murders of Michael Brown and George Floyd. But Fox performed a public service, too, by revealing an underlying truth about our financialized economy: When it comes to profits, Black lives and Black pain don’t matter at all. In fact, they’re often good for business….


Law n’ Disorder: Confessions Of A Former Bastard Cop

Understand: Police officers are part of the state monopoly on violence and all police training reinforces this monopoly as a cornerstone of police work, a source of honor and pride.  By Officer A. Cab Medium (6/6/20) I was a police officer for nearly ten years and I was a bastard. We all were. This essay has been kicking around in my head for years now and I’ve never felt confident enough to write it. It’s a time in my life I’m ashamed of. It’s a time that I hurt people and, through inaction, allowed others to be hurt. It’s a…


If You’re Shocked By Police Violence, You Don’t Understand US History

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, resulting in Floyd’s death, Memorial Day, 2020. The image — and especially the entitled expression on Chauvin’s face — encapsulates the war waged by American law enforcement against African American and other minority citizens since the days of slavery and occupation of Native lands. (Screenshot) The billions of dollars that governments spend on increasingly militarized police can be better used to address the underlying socioeconomic conditions that contribute to police encounters. By Malaika Jabali The Guardian (6/5/20) Amid worldwide protests against the police killing of George Floyd, activists around…


James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time”

From thepostarchive This is the full audio book of James Baldwin’s the Fire Next Time (1963) read by Jesse L. Martin. It contains two essays: “My Dungeon Shook — Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of Emancipation,” ( 0:00 – 12:00 ) and “Down At The Cross — Letter from a Region of My Mind” ( 12:00 – ). Check out this playlist of other Baldwin videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list… Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair…


The Last Words Of George Floyd: Sign Letter Of Protest

These are the last words of George Floyd, the 46-year-old man who died as Minneapolis police office Derek Chauvin pinned him down, kneeling on his neck for seven long, agonizing minutes, until he suffocated: “It’s my face man I didn’t do nothing serious man please please please I can’t breathe please man please somebody please man I can’t breathe I can’t breathe please (inaudible) man can’t breathe, my face just get up I can’t breathe please (inaudible) I can’t breathe sh*t I will I can’t move mama mama I can’t my knee my nuts I’m through I’m through I’m claustrophobic…


Here’s Why You Need To Wear A Damn Mask & Keep Your Distance To Be A Good Neighbor

Could nearly half of those with Covid-19 have no idea they are infected? By David Cox The Guardian (5/30/20) When Noopur Raje’s husband fell critically ill with Covid-19 in mid-March, she did not suspect that she too was infected with the virus. Raje, an oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, had been caring for her sick husband for a week before driving him to an emergency centre with a persistently high fever. But after she herself had a diagnostic PCR test – which looks for traces of the Sars-CoV-2 virus DNA in saliva – she was astounded to find…


How Democrats Are Working Closely With Their Republican Allies To Launch A Corporate Counter-Revolution Against Progressive Reform & The American People

Whatever resistance exists in the nation’s capital, it is so often performance art, rather than anything real. By David Sirota The Guardian (5/26/20) These are bleak days for America’s progressive movement. The Democratic primary process handed the party’s nomination to the candidate with the most conservative record. Corporate-friendly politicians like the New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, are using the pandemic to brandish their images and install billionaires to run things. Progressive lawmakers in Congress are being steamrolled, even by their own party’s leadership. And a recession is battering the state and local budgets that fund progressive priorities like education and the social…


Who’s The Bigger American Idiot? The Dunce Or The Fool?

“What everyone from around the world who’s not American that I talk to really means is this. There are two kinds of American Idiot. The dunce, and the fool. The willful one, and the negligent one. There’s the Trumpist — who doesn’t know any better, who’s only known hate, ignorance, fear, and rage: the dunce. But there’s also the fool. The Democrat who votes against healthcare, retirement, education — and should know better. The sophisticated elite — who doesn’t see that America’s an imploding society in every possible way right about now. The New York Times columnist, the CNN anchor, none of…


Thanks To Gerrymander-Coddled Republicans, Wisconsin Now Resembles A Failed State

By Nathan Robinson The Guardian (5/19/20) A failed state is one that can no longer claim legitimacy or perform a government’s core function of protecting the people’s basic security. Lately, the Wisconsin supreme court seems to be doing its level best to make its state qualify for “failed” status. Multiple decisions have both undermined the government’s legitimacy and endangered the people. First, there was the primary. Because voting in person is clearly risky during a pandemic, several states delayed their primaries to make sure everyone was able to mail in a ballot instead of having to go to a polling place. Not…


Is Elon Musk(rat) Really A Genius? Um, No, He’s Just Another Whiny, Self-Important, Hypocritical, Freeloading, Grifting Little Billionaire

Just another freeloading beneficary of taxpayer support, exploitation of workers and big talking record of lying. “F*ck, Elon Musk.” By Mehdi Hasan Deconstructed (5/14/20) OVER THE WEEKEND, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to voice his frustrations about the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown in Alameda County, California. The billionaire entrepreneur threatened that he would take his auto factory to another state if it was not allowed to reopen immediately. On Monday, he announced that he would be resuming production at the facility in contravention of the lockdown. By Wednesday morning, the county had caved to Musk, announcing that his factory would…


Dying To Head To The Bar With Your Buddies For A Beer? Here’s How Rapidly Covid-19 Can Spread To Everyone (Including You) In A Restaurant

  “What the video demonstrated, is that it will spread to surfaces and to people very efficiently.” [Editor’s Note: Remember, whatever you pick up at a bar or restaurant you carry home to your family and friends. — Mark L. Taylor] By Luke O’Neil The Guardian (5/15/20) Even as Covid 19 deaths in the US continue to grow, now surpassing 85,000, many states have begun loosening lockdown restrictions. Regardless of the wisdom of such moves, it’s clear that there’s a desire to return to something resembling normalcy across the country, as in Wisconsin, where locals returned to packed bars this week. How…


‘Screen New Deal’ — How Crisis Will Lead To Every Detail & Action In Your Life To Be Tracked By Google & Other Tech Giants

Under Cover of Mass Death, Andrew Cuomo Calls in the Billionaires to Build a High-Tech Dystopia By Naomi Klein The Intercept (5/8/20) OR A FEW fleeting moments during New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, the somber grimace that has filled our screens for weeks was briefly replaced by something resembling a smile. “We are ready, we’re all-in,” the governor gushed. “We are New Yorkers, so we’re aggressive about it, we’re ambitious about it. … We realize that change is not only imminent, but it can actually be a friend if done the right way.” The inspiration for these…


The One Simple Question Joe Biden’s ‘Sunshine Progressive’ Supporters Simply Can’t Answer

Hell, even Bernie can’t answer the question. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (4/30/20) No doubt, Facebook is one of the oddest gathering spots to be found in modern American culture. While some of the postings popping into your day can be entertaining, amusingly distracting, sometimes informative and frequently obtuse, the political flow of Facebook postings rises and falls with the tides and gurglings of the political moment with varying degrees of sanity and inanity. Occasionally, there can be informative and even constructive political dialog on the various ‘progressive’ Facebook pages I follow on a regular basis. Too often,…


To Stop Even Worse Pandemics, We Must Stop Destruction Of Nature

“The health of people is intimately connected to the health of wildlife, the health of livestock and the health of the environment. It’s actually one health.” By Damian Carrington The Guardian (4/27/20) The coronavirus pandemic is likely to be followed by even more deadly and destructive disease outbreaks unless their root cause – the rampant destruction of the natural world – is rapidly halted, the world’s leading biodiversity experts have warned. “There is a single species responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic – us,” they said. “Recent pandemics are a direct consequence of human activity, particularly our global financial and economic systems…


Brutal New Ad Thumps Trump For Making ‘America first’ — In COVID-19 Deaths

  By Brad Reed Raw Story (4/28/20) A brutal new advertisement from pro-Democrat super PAC Priorities USA takes President Donald Trump’s slogan of “America first” and throws it right back in his face. “Donald Trump said he would put America first, and now he has,” the ad begins. “The United States leads the world in coronavirus cases. More than 50,000 Americans dead, twice as many deaths as any other country. Over 26 million people have lost their jobs, and it’s only getting worse.” … Read The Rest And 30-Second Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2020. Open source…


Author Gerald Posner: How Republicans & Democrats Have Ensured Big Pharma Profits Off The Misery & Death Of Coronavirus

Rising/The Hill (4/23/20) Author of, ‘PHARMA: Greed, Lies and the Poisoning of America,’ Gerald Posner explains how Pharma lobbies Democrats and Republicans to influence coronavirus relief bills, and profit from the crisis. Link To 10-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )  


GOP-Led Senate Intel Committee Issues Unanimous New Report Destroying Trump’s Claims: Russia Interfered To Help Trump

  By David Badash Raw Story (4/21/20) The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday quietly released a new report supporting the Intelligence Community’s position and report that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to help Donald Trump win the White House. The committee is led by Republicans, including Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC). The report, its fourth, was bipartisan and unanimous. The Committee reports that the December 2016 Intelligence Community Assessment delivered “a coherent and well-constructed intelligence basis for the case of unprecedented Russian interference,” and “reflects strong tradecraft.” President Donald Trump has repeatedly lied to the American people about what he falsely…