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9:28 PM Sun, Oct. 21st

Keeping It Straight: Fact checking King Trump

At the end of the GOP'er Clown Show, King Trump took to the podium - a black and gold one that replaced the "plain jane" model used by the little people - and rambled on for an hour and quarter, a time frame never before seen at a convention, but reminiscent of other dictators through history.

Interesting were the changes in the King who has moved from being a "self-funded" candidate (which was a tax scam) to one where he begged and pleaded for anyone to send him cash. Previous histrionics about other people using teleprompters disappeared as he used the accursed devices and proved his inability to do so by actually "reading," very poorly, the words of a hack speechwriter.

During his rambling and at times all but incoherent remarks, things were missing - most notably his contention that Mexico would fund his wall. Secondly, there has been a change in the King's desire to prevent Muslims from entering our nation. He no longer spews his hatred at Muslims, instead opting now to cover anyone he does not like.

It was obvious the King is hell-bent on total economic disaster as he promised even more and greater tax cuts for the wealthy, along with trillions of dollars in spending on infrastructure, schools, the military, and deportations, ad nauseam. King Trump has no explanation where those moneys will come from.

Then there are the "facts" the King spewed that need to be closely examined.

TRUMP: "Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this administration's rollback of criminal enforcement. Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America's 50 largest cities. That's the largest increase in 25 years."

FACTS: President Obama actually achieved major increases in spending for state and local law enforcement. Trump's claim about rising homicides comes from a Washington Post analysis published in January. Trump accurately quotes part of the analysis, but omits the statistical jump was so large because homicides are still very low by historical standards. In the 50 cities cited by the Post, half as many people were killed last year as in 1991.

TRUMP: "The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015. They are being released by the tens of thousands into our communities with no regard for the impact on public safety or resources."

FACTS: The pace of releasing immigrants is driven not by the Obama administration, but by a court ruling. By the standard used by the government to estimate illegal border crossings - that being the number of arrests - King Trump is correct in the number this budget year exceeded last year's total. But those numbers remain down from 2014.

TRUMP: "The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50 percent compared to this point last year."

FACTS: Not according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The group found the number of police officers who died as of 20 July is up slightly this year, at 67, compared with 62 through the same period last year. Overall, police are statistically safer on America's streets now than at any time in recent decades. For example, the 109 law enforcement fatalities in 2013 were the lowest since 1956.

TRUMP: "My opponent has called for a radical 550 percent increase in Syrian (refugees). ... She proposes this despite the fact that there's no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from."

FACTS: Trump persists in telling the lie that the U.S. does not screen refugees. The administration screens them and knows where they are from. The Department of Homeland Security leads the process, which involves rigorous background checks. Processing a refugee can take 18 months to two years.

TRUMP: "After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region, and the entire world. Libya is in ruins, and our ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control. Iraq is in chaos. Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis now threatens the West. ... This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism and weakness."

FACTS: 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. Clinton worked to impose sanctions that helped coax Tehran to a nuclear deal with the U.S. and other world powers last year, a deal in which Iran rolled back its nuclear program to get relief from sanctions that were choking its economy.

She did not start the war in Libya, but supported a NATO intervention well after violence broke out between rebels and the forces of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Clinton had no role in military decisions made during the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya. Republicans' claim that high-level officials in Washington issued a "stand-down" order delaying a military rescue in Benghazi has been widely debunked.

TRUMP: "America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world."

FACTS: The U.S. tax burden is the fourth lowest among the 34 developed economies that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Taxes made up 26 percent of the total U.S. economy in 2014, according to the OECD, far below Sweden's tax burden of 42.7 percent, Britain's 32.6 percent or Germany's 36.1 percent. Only three OECD members had a lower figure than the U.S.: Chile, South Korea and Mexico.

TRUMP: "My opponent wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment."

FACTS: Hillary Clinton has not proposed any revocation of the constitutionally protected right to bear arms. She does support a ban on certain military-style weapons and an expansion of existing criminal background checks to apply to weapons sales at gun shows.