Trump Admin is Misusing Funds for ObamaCare on Efforts to Sabotage It

For much his still nascent administration, Donald Trump has sought to portray the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) as dead. It is more of a negative branding campaign than anything connected to facts or reality. The American people have expressed their support for ObamaCare in numerous polls. But Trump is determined to destroy it while promoting his extraordinarily unpopular attempt at repeal and replace.

Donald Trump

The Daily Beast is now reporting that the Trump administration has been misdirecting funds intended to encourage enrollment in ObamaCare. Instead, they have been using it in “a public relations campaign aimed at methodically strangling it.” That violates both the ACA’s legal mandate and the President’s constitutional duty to “faithfully execute the laws of the land.” According to The Daily Beast:

“The strategy has caught the eye of legal experts and Democrats in Congress, who have asked government agencies to investigate whether the administration has misused funds and engaged in covert propaganda in its efforts to damage and overturn the seven-year-old health care law. It’s also roiled Obama administration veterans, who argue that the current White House is not only abdicating its responsibilities to administer the law but sabotaging it in an effort to facilitate its undoing by Congress.”

The Health and Human Services department, under healthcare opposing Trump appointee Tom Price, has been busily producing anti-ObamaCare videos. The videos feature alleged “victims” of ObamaCare. It’s a blatantly one-sided propaganda venture that ignores the millions of people the ACA has helped. And the taxpayer funds diverted to it are substantial, despite its twisted purpose and ineffectiveness:

“Under Secretary Tom Price’s stewardship, HHS has filmed and produced a series of testimonial videos featuring individuals claiming to have been harmed by Obamacare. Those ”viral’ videos have had decidedly limited reach, often gathering somewhere between 100 and 200 views each. But the Department has made a heavy investment in them nonetheless. To date, it has released 23 videos. A source familiar with the video production says that there have been nearly 30 interviews conducted in total, from which more than 130 videos have been produced.”

The funds for this project are coming from the HHS’s Consumer Information and Outreach budget. It’s appalling that the administration would divert money intended to help people get insurance to a campaign of deliberate sabotage. They are taking money allocated to advance a healthy populace, and using it to steer people away from healthcare choices that are legally available to them. In effect, they may be guiding people away from necessary medical attention that could result in tragedy.

This isn’t the first attempt by the Trump administration to make America sick again. Trump has been making thinly veiled threats about discontinuing the cost-sharing reductions (subsidies) that make insurance affordable for millions. That would also throw the insurance markets into a state of instability that could threatened future participation. And they have made changes to the websites for HHS and Healthcare.gov that are unambiguously hostile to consumers seeking information about ObamaCare. Earlier this year the White House halted all advertising and promotions to encourage last minute enrollments for 2017 coverage. That was a sinister attempt to keep the public uninformed and enrollment numbers down.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

In the end, all of this is nothing more than the fulfillment of the Republican dream: deprive Americans of healthcare and reward the wealthy with tax cuts. Although they obviously don’t like ObamaCare, it is the current law of the land. And the agency tasked with administering it ought not be working to kill it. If they could pass their repeal (which it appears they cannot), things might be different. In the meantime, all they are doing is cynically and selfishly playing politics with people’s lives.

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How Deranged Are Trump Supporters? New Poll Shows That It’s Worse Than You Ever Imagined

In the Era of Trump, Americans have been been subjected to wild diversions from reality. Donald Trump and company have unleashed baseless accusations of “fake news,” and the ceaseless dissemination of “alternative facts.” They have violated constitutional protections of free speech and abused the media in an unprecedented manner. Trump called the media “the enemy of the American people.” And his White House Press Office has discontinued on-camera briefings.

Donald Trump

This overt hostility and flagrant assault on transparency has had an impact on a certain sector of the electorate. Trump voters have evolved into a breed of ill-informed, willfully ignorant yokels whose devotion to their Orange Julius Caesar borders on cult worship. This alarming descent into madness is frightfully illustrated in the results of a new survey by Public Policy Polling (PPP). The depth of the delirium of these lost souls is unimaginable. And yet, the data from the PPP pollsters is clear. Here are some examples from the study:

  • Only 45% of Trump voters believe Donald Trump Jr. had a meeting with Russians about information that might be harmful to Hillary Clinton…even though Trump Jr. admitted it. 32% say the meeting didn’t happen and 24% say they’re not sure.
  • 72% of Trump voters consider the Russia story overall to be ‘fake news,’ only 14% disagree.
  • Only 24% of Trump voters even want an investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, 64% are opposed to an investigation.
  • Only 26% of Trump voters admit that Russia wanted Trump to win the election, 44% claim Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win, and 31% say they’re not sure one way or the other.
  • Even if there was an investigation, and it found that the Trump campaign did collude with Russia to aid his campaign, 77% of his supporters think he should still stay in office to just 16% who believe he should resign.

What manner of sickness is this? Less than half of the Trump disciples believe that Don, Jr. met with Russians despite his having confirmed it. Do they think he’s lying? More troubling though, is that more than three quarters of the StormTrumpers are comfortable with him serving as president even if he conspired with a foreign hostile enemy to steal the election.

Is there any line he can’t cross? Apparently not. Because the survey also asked a question referencing Trump’s campaign comment that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any voters. And 45% of Trump voters said they would still approve of him if he shot someone. This is Jonestown-level dementia. When people talk about “drinking the Kool-Aid,” they can’t get closer to that comparison than this.

As a final humiliation to the President, PPP asked respondents to indicate who they trusted more: Trump or various media organizations. Trump lost in every match up:

Voters say they trust NBC and ABC each more than him, 56/38. They say they trust CBS more than him 56/39. They say they trust the New York Times more than him 55/38. Voters say they trust CNN more than him 54/39. And they say they trust the Washington Post more than him 53/38.

Those are significant majorities that favor the “failing” New York Times and “fake news” CNN. Despite Trump’s relentless efforts to negatively brand his media adversaries, he has had no success in doing so. And his continued whining in the face of that rejection is pathetic.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

However, his glassy-eyed followers will undoubtedly fall in line no matter what atrocities he commits. That’s a sad commentary on the state of the nation. It remains to be seen how they will eventually react when the hammer comes down on his criminality. They may just pretend not to have supported him in the first place. After all, the one thing we’ve learned about them is that they have an unlimited capacity for self-delusion.


‘You Treat Me Like a Baby,’ Whines an Infantile Donald Trump Before Firing Top Aide

A new book is shedding some light on the inner workings of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. And it isn’t pretty. Journalist Joshua Green’s account of the Trump campaign focuses heavily on his relationship with campaign advisor, and Breitbart News boss, Steve Bannon. Bannon was later hired to serve Trump in the White House as his strategic advisor. The book’s title, “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency,” says a lot about the nature of Bannon’s odious influence.

Trump/Bannon

The publisher’s description of the book’s contents evoke an unprecedented incursion of far-right fringe politics into the mainstream of the Republican Party. It casts Bannon as “a bomb-throwing pugilist who’d never run a campaign and was despised by Democrats and Republicans alike.” Here’s more:

“From the reporter who was there at the very beginning comes the revealing inside story of the partnership between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump—the key to understanding the rise of the alt-right, the fall of Hillary Clinton, and the hidden forces that drove the greatest upset in American political history.”

Excerpts from the book are already beginning to leak into the media. They tell us something about the volatile, profane character of Trump, and his hair-trigger temperament. That’s something he shares with Bannon who, at one point, lambasted House Speaker Paul Ryan as “a limp-d**k motherf**ker.” But some of the most hostile rhetoric was reserved for Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

According to Green, there were episodes when Trump would fly off the handle due some negative press. On one occasion a story revealed the turmoil behind the campaign’s closed doors. “How can anybody allow,” Trump yelled at Manafort, “an article that says your campaign is all f—– up?” On another occasion Trump was upset at reports that some of his team were frustrated that they could not get him to listen. They told reporters that they had to book interviews on television in order to get the TV-obsessed candidate’s attention. This led to an outburst by Trump aimed directly at Manafort:

“Am I like a baby to you? I sit there like a little baby and watch TV and you talk to me? Am I a f—ing baby, Paul?”

Ironically, Trump’s tantrum was proving the accuracy of the criticism he was complaining about. It wasn’t long after that that Manafort was fired. And even that was an ordeal reminiscent of a soap opera. Trump’s son-in-law and consigliere, Jared Kushner, informed Manafort that he was “going to have to go.” Manafort was resistant complaining that a resignation would make it “look like I’m guilty.” But Kushner persisted and told Manafort that a press release would be going out in minutes announcing his resignation.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The book promises to be as exciting and erratic as the characters it profiles. It would make a great cinematic thriller. Unfortunately, the plot does not make for a great presidency. It certainly doesn’t do anything to make America great again. But it does underscore the danger of putting a paranoid narcissist with no experience in the White House. And it reinforces the dire necessity of removing Trump from office before he does even more damage.


Holy Sh*t: Fox News Host Would Take the ‘First Trolley to Hell’ For Dirt on Hillary

If you were wondering how low Fox News would go to make excuses for the Donald Trump Crime Family, we have a new baseline. And I do mean BASE! The cascading reports of Trump, Jr.’s collusion with Russian operatives continue to expose rampant criminality. Every day there is some new revelation that makes the meetings more troubling. But Fox News remains ready and willing to obfuscate, distract, and lie in defense of the Trumps.

Jeanine Pirro Fox News

On Sunday, Fox’s Jeanine Pirro offered up a new serving of her patented vocal excrement. She was deeply upset about all the breaking news involving Russia and the Trumps. But she wasn’t upset with the unsavory behavior of the President and his family. She was angry at Democrats and the press for revealing it. Pirro’s tirade began with accusations that Democrats were “responsible for the demise of a workable and effective government.” She continued whining that “We simply can’t go four more years with Russia, Russia, Russia.” Indeed. We can’t go four more years of Trump. He needs to go now.

However, from Pirro’s perspective Don Jr. is an innocent victim. She insists that he did nothing wrong and, if he did, it was because of his inexperience. That’s an excuse that has been made for Trump himself, as if it makes any malfeasance forgivable. Here is the core of her televised tantrum (video below):

“So Donald Trump, Jr., a political neophyte, gets an email from a friend saying he has information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia that would be useful to his then-candidate father running for president. He has a meeting less than twenty minutes and the discussion ends up on rescinding the ban on Russian adoption. Nothing beneficial to the campaign comes out.

But now the hue and cry, “Indict him for treason, for collusion, campaign finance violations.” I got news for you. There is no law that says a campaign cannot accept information from a foreign government. If that were the case, everyone on a campaign who talked to a foreign national is committing a crime.”

Poor Donnie boy. Why should he be persecuted for being a political newbie? Fraternizing with enemy spies is an understandable mistake that anyone could make. Never mind that campaign veteran Paul Manafort was also in the meeting. Pirro would like the whole affair to be forgotten since nothing came of it. Except we have no proof that nothing came of it. Shortly after the meeting Hillary Clinton’s emails began to trickle out.

Furthermore, “Judge” Jeanine is flatly wrong about there being no law against getting information from a foreign government. It is a flagrant violation of campaign finance law that forbids anything of value being provided to a campaign by a foreign government. And opposition research has distinct and considerable value. Campaign consultants are paid handsomely for such work. And Pirro’s suggestion that any foreign national aiding a campaign would be a criminal is absurd. She makes no distinction between a foreign citizen and a representative of a foreign government.

Pirro also regurgitated a previously debunked falsehood about Hillary Clinton’s campaign colluding with Ukrainians to get information on Trump. That never happened. She also ranted wildly about alleged sales of uranium to Russia in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation. That’s also been proved to be completely false.

But Pirro’s longest leap off the end of the rationality plank came when she literally proposed a bargain with Satan:

“As someone who’s run for office five times, if the Devil called me and said he wanted to set up a meeting to give me opposition research on my opponent, I’d be on the first trolley to Hell to get it. And any politician who tells you otherwise is a bald-face liar.”

Really? Doesn’t she know that Team Trump is denying they were trying to get opposition research from the Russians? Which, in her eyes, would make them bald-faced liars. More to the point, Pirro is taking the position that conspiring with the Prince of Darkness is an acceptable campaign activity. Do the evangelical supporters of Trump and the Republican Party know about this? Pirro is saying, in effect, that there are no ethics in the politics of conservatives like herself. If it’s OK to work with Satan, than surely Vladimir Putin can be trusted as a collaborator. In fact, the willingness to embrace the devil would explain a lot about the GOP for the past few decades.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.


Dumbfu*ks at Fox News Want to Know: What’s a Bigger Threat to America: Fake News or Russia?

The fair and balanced couch dwellers at Fox and Friends are suddenly very concerned about threats to America. Not the ones posed by hostile foreign adversaries disrupting our elections and hacking our politicians and candidates. Nor the ones saber-rattling about war with a crackpot dictator in North Korea. And certainly not the one that puts the entire planet at risk of becoming uninhabitable.

Fox News Dennis Prager

Nope. What Fox News is worried about is whether what they call “fake news” has surpassed Vladimir Putin’s Russia as an imminent threat to the United States. Bear in mind that the issue that’s throwing Fox News into a tizzy is actually real news reporting of Donald Trump and his crime family’s collusion with Russia. But just the suggestion that Trump is anything less than divinely pure qualifies as fakery to Fox.

In Monday morning’s episode of Fox and Friends, host Steve Doocy introduced a segment with sanctimonious radio talker Dennis Prager. He pretends to be a paragon of virtue and mentor to all of us inferior heathens. Prager tweeted his opinion that the media is America’s preeminent enemy.

And that led to Fox’s featured segment on the subject (video below):

Doocy: What’s a bigger threat to America: Fake news or Russia?

Prager: This may sound odd to you and many of the viewers. I don’t understand why this tweet is controversial. Putin does not threaten Western civilization. Western civilization is a set of ideas and values. When students remove the American flag from their campuses, that’s not Putin. All of the things happening in the West to undo Western civilization have nothing to do with Putin. The only thing I regret about the tweet is that I didn’t write that the universities and the media in the West are a greater threat to Western civilization.

I have to agree with Prager’s first point. It definitely sounds odd. Prager is making some sort of vague differentiation between Western civilization and the government and political institutions that uphold it. His babbling about our ideas and values being separate from Putin’s election tampering is pure gibberish. And yet he thinks that a cloth flag is a more tangible part of what makes America than democracy.

Prager went on to complain that “Half of American millennials think socialism is preferable to capitalism. That’s a result of the media and the universities.” It’s also the result of critical thinking and independent analysis. For one thing, socialism and capitalism are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the United States is a working example of a hybrid of the two concepts. Social Security and public education have not hampered the economic success of Ford, Starbucks, or Amazon.

Finally, Prager whined that “The media have gone from news media to opinion media in the guise of news. That is extremely dangerous.” I can’t argue with that. But the irony is that he said it on Fox News – the indisputable champion of blatantly biased pseudo-journalism. Fox News practically invented the modern practice of opinion media. And, in closing, I’ll agree with Prager again. Fox News is extremely dangerous.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.


Desperate Trump Tweet Accusing Hillary Clinton Proves He Doesn’t Know What ‘Illegal’ Means

As the walls continue to close in around the Donald Trump crime family, he’s resorting to ever more desperate outbursts. On his Sunday morning Twitter venting, the President let loose on several familiar topics. His act is getting so stale that it can be predicted with almost perfect certainty.

Hillary Clinton

Among the subjects gnawing at his ego today were his pitiful approval ratings that reached another new low. At thirty-six percent he is the most unpopular president in seventy years of polling. And yet, his comically rounded up tweet bragged that at “almost 40% [it] is not bad at this time.” That’s sort of true, it isn’t bad. It’s historically abysmal. And even as he sought to spin this poll as good news, he dismissed is it as “just about the most inaccurate poll around.” So in effect he’s saying “See how great I’m doing in this bullshit poll?”

Trump also took a perfunctory slap at the media, complaining about its “phony unnamed sources & highly slanted & even fraudulent reporting.” The man who allowed Russia to influence our election also charged that the media was “DISTORTING DEMOCRACY” (his caps). Never mind that Trump happily boasts about his own unnamed sources when they serve his purpose.

Perhaps the most ludicrous tweet of the morning, though, was the one that dug deepest into his desperation and paranoia. It’s a comment that harkens back to the classic campaign chants of “Lock her up.” That was when Trump was accusing Hillary Clinton of heinous acts of criminality that were never supported by facts. Trump tweeted this morning that:

This explains so much. Perhaps we now know why the Trump family so frequently engages in unlawful behavior. They clearly don’t know what the word “illegal” means. For instance, there is nothing illegal about getting questions prior to a debate. In fact, a competent debate prep team probably anticipates the questions in advance anyway.

Nor is it illegal to delete your own personal emails. Despite the controversy surrounding this, no one has ever proved that Clinton deleted any government documents. And that’s after FBI investigators scoured her servers and recovered many of the deleted emails.

Both of these allegations were leveled by Trump in defense of his unscrupulous son, Don. Daddy Trump is attempting to argue that his son’s treasonous collusion with hostile Russian operatives should be excused because Clinton deleted some emails and might have cheated in a debate with Bernie Sanders. Trump is obviously still obsessed with Clinton and can’t stop thinking about her and her popular vote victory. What’s more, he’s blaming the “fake” news media even though the evidence of Junior’s crimes came from his own emails. How ironic.

You have to wonder what Trump is thinking when he posts these tweets. Does he believe that they will exonerate him and his skeevy family? Does he think that he’s persuading anyone other than his glassy-eyed disciples that they’re all innocent? Can’t he read all of the replies on Twitter that are overwhelming opposed to his whining commentaries?

Trump is a president who is not only notching new lows in public opinion, he is losing the battle on almost every front. The same poll that showed him at thirty-six percent approval has other bad news for him as well. It shows that sixty percent of Americans think Russia did try to influence the election outcome. It also shows that sixty-three percent believe that meeting with Russians during the campaign was inappropriate. Other polls show that his agenda is almost universally despised. America hates his healthcare plan, his border wall, and his immigration ban.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

These are not split decisions. They are uncommonly large majorities that have concluded that Trump and his family are dishonest and untrustworthy. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the Republican Party recognizes the risk to their congressional dominance. That’s when they will start to turn on Trump in order to save their own political skins. And the good news is that they will almost certainly make that decision too late.

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NIXON? REALLY? Geraldo Rivera Gushes an INSANE Defense of Trump and Praise for Fox News

It must be awfully hard to be a Fox News shill these days. The still flowing flood of incriminating evidence against Donald Trump and his sleazy family is nearly impossible to justify. The contortions that Fox News hosts and pundits have to employ seem painful in the extreme. Some of them aren’t even trying anymore.

Geraldo Rivera

That, however, is not the case with the crew at Fox and Friends, and their Saturday morning guest, Geraldo Rivera (video below). In a discussion about Don Trump, Jr.’s meeting with Russian operatives, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes crawled all over themselves trying to defend the indefensible. Eventually they wound up where they often do – blaming the media.

For his part, Geraldo Rivera set up his remarks by reminding everyone that the Trumps were close, personal friends. He restated his “tremendous respect and admiration” for them. Then he gently chided them for what he characterized as minor goofs. Rivera described the meetings with Russian government operatives promising dirt on Hillary Clinton as “understandable,” but “not criminal.” Legal experts disagree. He did manage some criticism of Don, Jr. for his “dissembling” otherwise known as lying.

And then Rivera went flying headfirst off the tracks. Co-host Abby Huntsman asked a typically asinine question. She wondered whether the media was to blame for the troubles Don, Jr. was undergoing. Because of course it was the media’s fault that Donnie met with unsavory Russians and then lied about it repeatedly. But Rivera’s historical analog to this affair was the presidency of Richard Nixon. His take on it was pure lunacy:

“During the years of Tricky Dick Nixon, 1972 and 1973 principally. If there had been a Fox News then, if there had been a Sean Hannity then, I do not believe President Nixon would ever have been forced to resign. Why do I say that? Because when you see how his story evolves, and he has no one to defend him, how everybody’s deserted him, no on got the other side of the story. So that rinky-dink burglary then metastasized into the cover up, which led to the tumult, the nuclear explosions in the administration, and finally the resignation of the President.”

“I think if we had Sean then, if we had Fox and Friends then, I think that President Nixon would have weathered that storm. Now, I think that President Trump will likewise weather the storm, but I think that it will cause amazing stresses.”

So Rivera blames the downfall of Nixon on the absence of defenders in the media. Not on the fact that he presided over an illegal break-in of the Democratic campaign office. Not on the threats and bribes and lies that marked the cover up. Rivera thinks there was another side to the story of Nixon’s corruption that wasn’t being told. You know, the good side of the corruption.

But the best part of this cognitive meltdown is Rivera’s accidental admission that Fox News is nothing more than an alibi generator for crooked Republicans. He’s saying that despite the obvious crimes, Nixon might have survived if he had Fox News to lie for him. Nixon’s problem wasn’t that he broke the law, violated his oath of office, and had no discernible ethics. It was that he didn’t have someone like Sean Hannity to fabricate excuses and point fingers at innocent bystanders.

By extension, that’s the role that Rivera is admitting that Fox News plays now. They are deliberately denying reality and replacing it with manufactured falsehoods. They are covering for Trump and serving up other sides to the story of his corruption. And they are accusing others (Obama, Clinton, etc.) of crimes without any evidence whatsoever. It’s a strategy of deceive and deflect. And, as with Nixon, despite the obvious crimes, the goal is for Trump et al to skate free. Of course, many observers have already known this about Fox News for years. But it is helpful when one of their top correspondents is dumb enough it out loud on the air.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.


Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Wants to Know ‘Why is it Lie After Lie After Lie?’

The saga of Donald Trump, Jr. continues to unfold with more damning evidence surfacing everyday. The meeting that he attended last June was originally said to be about Russian adoption. Then they expanded it to say it might have covered opposition research on Hillary Clinton. Then emails were released showing that the meeting was solicited wholly as a campaign dirt exchange and that the Russian government was involved. Most recently it turns out that an alleged Russian spy was in attendance as well.

Shepard Smith Fox News

This web of deliberate deceit has left mouths agape on both sides of the political aisle. Staunch conservatives like Charles Krauthammer and Ralph Peters have blasted the Trump family’s brazen dishonesty and feeble cover ups. This outrage has even extended to Fox News anchors who are no longer capable of masking their astonished disbelief. An example of this occurred Friday in the following exchange between Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace (video below):

Wallace: “We’ve been told a variety of stories, and who knows if we’ve gotten to the end of the story?

Smith: “We’re still not clean on this, Chris. If there’s nothing there – and that’s what they tell us, they tell us there’s nothing to this and nothing came of it. There’s a nothing burger. It wasn’t even memorable, didn’t write it down. Didn’t tell you about it, because it wasn’t anything so I didn’t even remember it. With a Russian interpreter in the room at Trump Tower? If all of that, why all these lies? Why is it lie after lie after lie? […] The deception, Chris, is mind-boggling. And there are still people who are out there who believe we’re are making it up. And one day they’re gonna realize we’re not and look around and go, ‘Where are we, and why are we getting told all these lies?'”

Wallace: “I don’t know what to say. You know, I think there’s a lot of truth to everything that you’ve said.”

Indeed. The look on Wallace’s face, and delayed reaction was telling in itself. That’s pretty much the only response Wallace could have made. The flimsy obfuscation and diversions by Trump and his media shills is painfully obvious. And yet, they continue to pile on the lies even after they are exposed. The complaints from hacks like Kellyanne Conway, Sean Hannity, etc., fail to do anything but shower them all in shame. Nevertheless, Fox News flunkies like Eric Bolling, Jesse Watters, and the Fox and Friends crew are still spinning furiously. But as the truth slowly leaks out they will be left in a pool of embarrassment and disgrace.

Credit must be given to Smith and Wallace who are demonstrating that they aren’t afraid to acknowledge reality on occasion. If this is done more frequently there may be some hope that brainwashed Fox News viewers will see the light. That’s a lot to hope for. But we have to start somewhere.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.


Sorry Trump: House Votes to Affirm that Climate Change is a ‘Direct Threat’ to National Security

Donald Trump is unarguably the most hostile president to the environment this country has ever seen. He is an unabashed science denier who believes that climate change is a hoax invented by China. He petulantly withdrew the United States from the Paris Accords that mobilized more than 170 countries to protect the planet. His director of the Environmental Protection Agency is an avowed critic of the institution and has lobbied to abolish it. Trump opposes development of eco-friendly, renewable energy and supports expanding use of coal and fossil fuels.

Climate Change

That reprehensible record of extremist anti-environmentalism notwithstanding, many of Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress just told him to frack off. An amendment to the Pentagon’s budget sought to eliminate language that addressed the threat of climate change. But the amendment failed with the help of some Republicans and most Democrats. As reported by Axios:

“Forty-six House Republicans joined Democrats Thursday to protect language in defense policy legislation that calls climate change a ‘direct threat’ to national security and requires new Defense Department analysis of its effect on the military. The House voted 185-234 against GOP Rep. Scott Perry’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have stripped the language.”

The bill’s author argued that the military has more important matters to deal with and should leave climate change to other agencies. But others pointed out that rising sea levels are already threatening existing military installations. Even more troubling is the fact that global weather patterns are creating disasters that exacerbate regional conflicts. And countries suffering from drought, floods, and resource depletion can become dangerously unstable and vulnerable to extremist insurrections and war.

Opposition to Trump’s climate blindness from within his own ranks is nothing new. Earlier this year his Defense Secretary, James Mattis, openly contradicted his boss. Mattis said that climate change is “a real-time issue, not some distant what-if.” And furthermore, “it is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today.”

Mattis isn’t the first defense secretary to hold these views. In fact, six of the past Secretaries of Defense (Mattis, Ash Carter, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Donald Rumsfeld) all subscribed to the policy that climate change is one of America’s top strategic risks. And four of the six are Republicans. Especially notable is Rumsfeld, under whose leadership the Pentagon published a report on the subject. It’s title was “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.” The report warned that threats posed by climate change were even more perilous than terrorism.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It’s encouraging that a few dozen Republicans joined with Democrats to kill this amendment. But it’s troubling that the majority of the GOP still voted in favor of it. Trump and the Republican Party continue to deny the accumulated wisdom of both scientific and military experts. They support an agenda that advances the interests of oil barons and apocalyptic Christianists. So this victory must be celebrated with a measure of uncertainty and a resolve to keep fighting for positive goals.


What Did Fox News Know About Trump, Jr.’s Russia Collusion, and When Did They Join It?

Much to the chagrin of Donald Trump, the media is still tightly focused on the question of his unsavory connections to Russia. The latest news centers around the activities of his son, Don, Jr. The younger Trump’s ill-advised meeting with a Russian lawyer in an attempt to score dirt on Hillary Clinton has created a tsunami of controversy.

Rupert Murdoch Donald Trump

While many observers ponder the legal jeopardy that Trump faces, others are consumed by the stark foolishness of the affair. Capping the series of unfortunate events was the release of the emails detailing the meeting’s agenda. They explicitly state the purpose as an exchange of information from the Russian government to the Trump campaign.

Some of the reporting has noticed the timeline that sheds light on certain activities that previously seemed unrelated. For instance, Donald Trump’s June 7, 2016 announcement that he would soon give a “major” speech about Hillary Clinton’s alleged criminality. That announcement came just four days after his son’s email exchange with the contact that set up the meeting. It was also just two days prior to the meeting itself. Did Trump get a head’s up about some detrimental data on Clinton that was about be acquired?

The meeting took place on June 9. That was also the day that Trump first tweeted about Clinton’s 33,000 emails that were allegedly deleted? He subsequently returned to that talking point frequently, even soliciting the Russians to hack and reveal the emails.

The promised speech took place on June 13, but not on the promised subject. That could be because no useful information was received at Don Jr.’s meeting. That would jibe with his assertion that his source failed to come through. However, it could also be because the information was so highly charged that they decided to roll it out strategically. Which would square with what occurred a few weeks later. It was on July 24 that the first emails that were hacked from the Democratic National Committee were made public. That release via Wikileaks was closely tied to Russian hackers.

However, there is a another event in the same timeline that hasn’t gotten any attention. On July 25, the day after the DNC hacks came out, Donald Trump himself had a significant meeting. On a golf course in Scotland, the then-candidate met privately with Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox News. Up until that time, Trump and Murdoch had a rocky relationship. Trump was bashing Fox News and its star host, Megyn Kelly. But Trump had just virtually secured the nomination and the time for a reconciliation between the two Republicans seemed ripe.

This opens up an entirely new avenue of investigation. Did this meeting include any discussion of the DNC hacks? Did it cover any data that might have been acquired from Don, Jr.’s tryst with the Russian lawyer? Was there any coordination between Trump and Murdoch on the strategy for rolling out damaging info on Clinton? It is clear that Fox News worked feverishly for Trump’s election. They gave him more airtime and positive commentary than any other media organization. But just how closely were they integrated into this scandal? And should we even mention that Murdoch’s ex-wife, Wendy Deng, is Vladimir Putin’s current girlfriend?

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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These and other questions still need to be answered. But the proximity of these events is a little more than curious. They could all be coincidental, like all of the connections to Russians by multiple Trump associates. But, seriously, what are the odds?