The stock market is booming. Consumer confidence is soaring. The unemployment rate is falling. The economy is getting more robust every day. And President Donald Trump’s approval ratings have just hit a new low.
Congratulations, Trump. You are the president of a loyal base whose members adore you. The bad news, Mr. President, is that almost no one else does.
According to a new CNN poll, just 35 percent of Americans approve of the way the president is handling his job. Fifty-nine percent disapprove. The poll was taken before Congress passed the new tax law, so he may get a bump in the next round of polls. But it’s unlikely to be more than just a bump. The economy is already barreling ahead — and that hasn’t done much for his approval numbers.
So what’s going on? I’m not exactly going out on a limb to suggest his low approval numbers have a lot to do with his tweeting, his bluster and his pettiness. In short, a lot of Americans think he’s temperamentally unfit for office.
But you don’t have to admire this president, or even like him, to acknowledge the obvious: that more than a few journalists — like most other liberal Democrats — won’t rest until he’s out of office.
Trump thinks they just make stuff up to hurt him — or at least that’s what he says. Who knows if he actually believes it. His loyal base believes it and that may be all he needs to keep the “fake news” narrative going.
But here’s another explanation: Contrary to popular belief, journalists are only human and so, from time to time, they make mistakes.
But mistakes, if they’re really just that and not something more nefarious, should go in both directions. Funny, but when reporters make mistakes about this president, they all seem to go in just one direction — the anti-Trump direction.
If these were simply honest errors, some of them, just by chance, would help the president. But they don’t. So what should we make of it?
To say journalists have a liberal bias and detest this president isn’t exactly breaking news. When it comes to Donald Trump, a lot of journalists figure if the sun rose in the east today, he must have done something wrong and they’re going to prove it. So they let their journalistic instincts lapse; they let their guardrails down. Instead of being skeptics, they become gullible patsies, taking in all sorts of later discredited information peddled by anonymous sources — as long as it makes the president look bad.
They put out false information about collusion with the Russians, for example, because they want to believe that he conspired with his pal Vladimir Putin to rig the election. Collusion, after all, could lead to impeachment, the holy grail.
And if, heaven forbid, you criticize them for sloppiness or for going overboard, you’re accused to being a Trump sycophant who wants to put a stake through the heart of the First Amendment and democracy itself.
But how would these same journalists respond if it were Barack Obama or President Hillary Clinton who was under investigation by a special prosecutor who loaded up his team with Republican donors? How would they react if a lead FBI investigator texted his mistress that candidate Clinton “is a (expletive) idiot” and that they needed an “insurance policy” in case she somehow won the election?
We know how they’d react: They’d say the deck was stacked against the Democrat. They’d be outraged. And for good reason.
Yes, Donald Trump, with his egocentricities, his thin skin, his unnecessary quarrels with critics, and a lot more, gives the media plenty of ammunition to use against him. It’s as if he’s saying, “I just loaded the gun for you reporters who hate me; here it is; ready, aim, shoot me.”
Still, there are times when I wonder why he wastes so much time and energy beating up on the press when, thanks to their not so hidden contempt for him, they do such a good job beating up on themselves.
Distributed by Creators Syndicate
Gallery: Inside Melania Trump’s Extreme Forced Plastic Surgery
Melania Trump has opted for some major cosmetic procedures to stay looking young for the President (especially because Donald Trump reportedly had a scalp reduction to correct balding, and maintains his complexion with heavy-handed spray tans).
There have been so many, despite denials, that it’s often questioned whether FLOTUS is actually Melania Trump, or perhaps a new model that Trump had imported. However, most insiders have claimed that Melania was forced to have these extreme treatments, so much that she looks nothing like the original.
Trump Blames Dead McCain for Healthcare Failures
In a Thursday interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Trump attacked late Senator John McCain (R-AZ). He said McCain “did the nation a tremendous disservice” when he voted against a GOP bill that would repeal and replace ObamaCare in 2017.
“He did the Republican Party a tremendous disservice and he did the nation a tremendous disservice, tremendous, and it’s unfortunate,” Trump said, according to The Hill.
“He went thumbs-down at the very last moment and I thought it was a disgraceful thing to do and very, very bad for our country and bad for health care,” Trump continued. “It was done and then John McCain, at the very last moment, late in the evening, went thumbs-down and everybody said, ‘What was that?'”
Trump also criticized McCain for being connected to a dossier of claims about Trump and Russia. Trump also complained about not being thanked for giving McCain the “kind of funeral that he wanted” after the senator died of brain cancer in August 2018.
“I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president I had to approve. I don’t care about this, I didn’t get a thank you. That’s OK,” Trump said.
Trump Wants to Take Away Disability Benefits from Happy Veterans
The Social Security Administration once again is floating an extremely ableist proposal: using social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook, to monitor people with disabilities who receive disability benefits from the government including the 1.3 million veterans.
It’s not uncommon for veterans to have both Social Security and veterans disability claims going on at the same time.
Alternatively, some veterans receive veterans disability benefits before applying for Social Security disability.
A “service-connected” disability is one that was a result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service.
The agency is arguing this is necessary to fight fraud, ensuring that people who “aren’t really disabled” won’t be able to collect benefits. For the disability community, the implications of this proposal are significant — and very scary. If they seem too happy on social media, or show their live is getting better in any way, shape of form, they might lose their benefits.
The government provides many forms of disability benefits. But most people think of Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income when they hear “disability.”
Social Security Disability Insurance is paid to people who worked at some point during their lives. It’s linked to their earnings, with people generally making less than $1,200 in benefits every month.
Social Security disability does not compensate disability claimants based on a partial loss of employability. You are either totally disabled or not disabled under Social Security’s definition of disability.
The SSA hasn’t yet offered specifics on how it might use social media in evaluating disability claims.
But writing for Forbes, Imani Barbarin, who has cerebral palsy and is an advocate for the disabled community, observed that the policy could backfire by mistakenly rejecting people from the program. She noted that such a proposal demonstrates a “fundamental misunderstanding” of disability and how a social media post made by a disabled person could easily be misconstrued.
“Disabled people don’t all function in the same way, and disability is not a set of stereotypes like taking selfies staring longingly at the world. They live lives while managing their energy for the activities they can handle and trying to make those they cannot more accessible,” Barbarin wrote. “Additionally, studies have shown that a majority of social media users show only the good in their lives, not the hardships or difficulties.”