GOP Insider Leaks Donald Trump’s Secret Plan To Slash Social Security

Throughout Donald Trump’s campaign for president he has taken numerous positions on fundamental issues that directly contradict his prior statements on the same issues. For example, in years past he has said that he is pro-choice, that he supported a ban on assault weapons, and that he favored universal healthcare. Today he holds the exact opposite positions on each of those issues. It’s impossible to know precisely where Trump stands because either his opinions are so malleable they can shift with a stiff breeze, or he is outright lying to pander to voters.

Donald Trump

On the subject of Social Security Trump has made his opposition to cuts in the program a stock part of his campaign repertoire. He boasts about his support for it despite being at variance with the official stance of the Republican Party. Paul Ryan, the GOP Speaker of the House of Representatives, has been proposing cuts and/or privatization for Social Security and Medicare for years.

Republicans have been taking heat for their eagerness to make seniors pay for the deficit that they ran up with tax cuts for the rich and two wars. Now they are understandably worried about being seen again as the enemies of Social Security, one of the most popular government programs in history.

What Donald Trump Isn’t Telling You

Which begs the question: Is Trump really committed to preserving the benefits of Social Security? He recently met with Ryan in a widely publicized attempt to smooth over their differences as he became the presumptive GOP nominee for president. Neither of them disclosed the details of their discussion or any new areas of agreement. However, news is beginning to leak out from others who were in attendance. A source has told Bloomberg BusinessWeek that Trump’s promise to protect Social Security may not be particularly trustworthy. With regard to cutting benefits in order to reduce the deficit, Trump said…

“From a moral standpoint, I believe in it,” Trump told Ryan. “But you also have to get elected. And there’s no way a Republican is going to beat a Democrat when the Republican is saying, ‘We’re going to cut your Social Security’ and the Democrat is saying, ‘We’re going to keep it and give you more.’ “

Trump’s “moral” belief in cutting Social Security should be of concern to the majority of Americans who would oppose such a move. It is a program that is often labeled an entitlement, although it is actually more of a savings plan that the beneficiaries paid into into during their working years.

But the more troubling part of this disclosure is that Trump is admitting that he is withholding his true position on the matter because of the political backlash that would ensue if voters knew what he really thinks. He’s well aware that you “have to get elected” and that proposing to cut Social Security would be a huge impediment to that. And this isn’t the first time that he has publicly acknowledge the need to keep such an agenda secret for political purposes. At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2013 he said:

“As Republicans, if you think you are going to change very substantially for the worse Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in any substantial way, and at the same time you think you are going to win elections, it just really is not going to happen.”

Clearly, for many years, Trump has held the belief that lying about his position on Social Security was a necessary deception to win elections. And he intends to continue the charade throughout his campaign. Even as he states publicly his support for Social Security, he has staffed his team of advisers with long-time opponents of the program. Sam Clovis and John Mashburn are two of Trump’s advisers who have advocated for privatizing Social Security or converting it to a block grant program that would allow states to limit benefits.

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

Lying Is Donald Trump’s Campaign Strategy

From the start of his campaign, Donald Trump has demonstrated that he will tell every audience exactly what they want to hear to gain their support. It doesn’t matter that he may have held completely different positions in the past, or currently for that matter. His only motivation is to win without regard for the truth. And this latest revelation is evidence that he is comfortable lying to voters in order to get the victory that he wants.

Fox News Just Gift-Wrapped Their Primetime Schedule And Gave It To Donald Trump

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that Fox News has jumped aboard the Donald Trump bandwagon in a big way. His most ardent supporters are featured regularly to exalt the presumptuous Republican presidential nominee. Those supporters include the anchors of Fox’s most watched programs in primetime.

Trump News Channel

This past week Fox News handed over its primetime schedule to hour-long specials dedicated to Trump. Every single program set aside all other news stories for an episode of fluffing their favorite candidate. This is unprecedented even for Fox. It comes just a week after the chairman of the Fox News empire, Rupert Murdoch, was reported to have embraced Trump’s candidacy. New York Magazine’s veteran Fox-watcher, Gabriel Sherman, revealed that…

“According to a half dozen sources familiar with Murdoch’s thinking, the media mogul has signaled he plans to fully back Trump in the general election against Hillary Clinton.”

So it’s no coincidence that the following week Fox’s schedule is littered with packaged profiles of Trump that add nothing to the viewer’s store of knowledge or ability to make an informed decision. Here is what Fox’s primetime offered up last week as a gift to Donald Trump:

Greta Van Susteren’s “Meet The Trump’s”

Van Susteren devoted the whole hour of her show to interviews with Trump’s family, She spent the most time with his wife Melania whose relentless praise was reminiscent of victims of Stockholm Syndrome. She even said that she and Donald never argue. Does that sound like a normal marriage or a paid campaign infomercial?

Megyn Kelly’s Donald Trump File

This episode of the Kelly File was partly a rebroadcast of “Megyn Kelly Presents,” the widely panned special that aired on the Fox Entertainment Network. There was some additional footage included that was left out of the original broadcast and, having seen it, Kelly was right to have cut it in the first place. It contained nothing new or interesting.

Bill O’Reilly’s “The Trump Phenomenon”

Not wanting to be left out, O’Reilly cobbled together a bunch of old interviews and presented them as a package for any of his viewers who haven’t seen enough of Donald Trump on television lately. O’Reilly and Trump are old pals and the interviews are a tribute to the sort of softball journalism that you would expect between friends.

And Then There’s Sean Hannity

To his credit, Hannity is the only one of the four primetime hosts who actually bothered to deliver a significant amount of new material featuring Trump. Of course it was substantially the same as everything that Hannity has delivered in the past. He has the distinction of having provided Trump with more airtime than any other program on Television (over 17 hours). To illustrate how much time that is, Fox & Friends came in second with less than half that amount.

Since Trump just surpassed the number of delegates necessary to clinch the GOP nomination, we can expect much more of this hero worship from the folks at Fox News as the general election unfolds. The network that has been pretending to be “fair and balanced” for the past twenty years is wholly engaged in their mission to smear Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump.

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

While Clinton has not made herself available to Fox with much frequency (she did appear on Fox News Sunday recently), there is nothing stopping them assembling a packaged piece like these ones that they did for Trump. And maybe that’s for the best because, if they did, they would likely accuse her of blowing up the Hindenburg or assassinating Lincoln.

Donald Trump Lies, Denies Proposing That Japan, Saudi Arabia Get Their Own Nukes

It isn’t exactly breaking news to reveal that Donald Trump has lied about something. He does that nearly every time he opens his mouth (see the Trump Bullshitopedia). But it is still necessary to hold him accountable for his blatant dishonesty. That’s especially true when the consequences include world annihilation.

Donald Trump Lies

At a rally in Fresno, California today, Trump delivered another of his incoherent, stream-of-consciousness, performance art pieces. When he got to the point where he taunts Hillary Clinton with his childish nicknames he spun a little story for his audience, complete with an awful Clinton imitation, about how he spent the previous evening.

“I watched her last night and she lies so much and she was saying last night, ‘Donald Trump wants to see Japan get nuclear weapons. He wants to see South Korea arm themselves and get nuclear weapons.’ I never said that.”

First of all, let’s take a look at what Clinton actually said (and it was last week, not last night):

“Look what he’s done just in the last week. He’s attacked our closest ally, Great Britain. He has praised the reckless dictator in North Korea. He has said we should pull out of NATO, our strongest military alliance. He has advocated for more countries having nuclear weapons.”

Clinton did touch on the fact that Trump has, in contravention to more than fifty years of American foreign policy, advocated for scrapping our nuclear non-proliferation stance. But more to the point, what Trump claims to have never said, he actually did say just two months ago to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who specifically asked him if he was OK with more nations acquiring nuclear capability:

“At some point we have to say, you know what, we’re better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea. We’re better off, frankly, if South Korea is going to start to protect itself. … Saudi Arabia, absolutely. … It’s going to happen anyway.”

So it was Trump who enumerated the countries that he thinks should be nuclear armed. Clinton merely summarized his proposal. And now Trump wants to pretend that he never made it at all. In the process he is calling Clinton a liar for saying that he said some stuff that he did, in fact, say.

That’s the level of derangement that we’re dealing with in this era of reality TV presidential campaigns. Donald Trump is unarguably the most dishonest candidate in contemporary politics. That has been certified by the non-partisan fact-checkers at PolitiFact who found that he has been untruthful in 76 percent of the statements they have rated. That compares to Hillary Clinton’s 71 percent truthful ratings.

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

PolitiFact Trump Clinton

As Donald Trump Clinches Nomination The GOP Schemes To Prevent Future Trumps

Political parties are hard-wired to reflexively defend their candidates no matter what controversy arises. They have war room strategists and surrogates at the ready to “clarify” what the candidate really meant when he said that he wants to date his daughter. But you know you have a problem candidate with Donald Trump when the party is revamping its rules, before he’s even officially nominated, in order to short-circuit any possibility of another similar candidate being chosen in the future.

Donald Trump GOP

That’s what is happening today in the inner sanctums of the Republican Party. Insiders have been mulling over procedural changes designed specifically to avert another primary season like the one currently winding down. If they were confident of their prospects in November they would be carving the current rules into stone, but the mayhem and acrimony that characterized the past year for the GOP contestants, and the catastrophic ascendancy of Donald Trump, has party regulars in a tizzy. As reported by the New York Times:

“Leaders of the Republican Party have begun internal deliberations over what would be fundamental changes to the way its presidential nominees are chosen, a recognition that the chaotic process that played out this year is seriously flawed and helped exacerbate tensions within the party.”

It says something about a party when they are so horrified by the choice of their voters that they begin to plot to prevent such an awful choice in the future before their nominating convention commences. Donald Trump represents the very worst of right-wing America: the racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, demagoguery pandering to ignorant celebrity worshipers who don’t care about his frequent lies, hypocrisy, or the absence of any coherent policies. But that’s who the Republican voters chose as their champion to lead the nation and the free world.

The party’s blueprint for a Trump-free future includes rearranging the primary calendar to put less emphasis on the traditional early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Their proposal would keep these states at the front of the line, but pair each with another state to inject some diversity and to prevent any single candidate from gaining unstoppable momentum. They also want to narrow the field of primary voters to just their most loyal constituents. As the Times reports:

“[P]arty activists are also pushing to close Republican contests to independent voters, arguing that open primaries in some states allowed Donald J. Trump, whose conservative convictions they deeply mistrust, to become the presumptive nominee.”

Both of these ideas are actually pretty sound and have been floating around both party camps for years. The artificial exaltation of Iowa and New Hampshire has done nothing but advance candidates who appeal to largely rural, mostly white electorates. Those candidates are not likely to be as popular in states with more diverse and urban voters who make up the majority of the country. And it was never a good idea to permit independents and other non-party members to have a say in selecting candidates for parties to which they don’t belong and may seek to harm.

Ironically, the rules that these party activists are now attempting to alter were put in place after a similarly tumultuous primary season in 2012 that saw Mitt Romney eventually rise from a field of crackpots like Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain. The GOP chairman, Reince Priebus, was instrumental in changing the rules to limit the number of debates and shorten the primary calendar. He must have noticed that the more people saw of his candidates, the less they liked them. The intention was to reduce the embarrassment caused by their frequent televised brawls.

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

Unfortunately for them, the emergence of Donald Trump and his whiny, hostile, substanceless debate performances insured that the embarrassment would continue for yet another election cycle. And unlike 2012, when the process yielded a credible and arguably sane candidate, 2016 produced a narcissistic, ignoramus with designs on a dictatorship. And now they’re stuck with trying to defend him while simultaneously working behind the scenes to avoid a similarly distasteful fate in 2020.

Fox News ‘Psycho’ Analyst Assails ‘Obama’s America’ For ‘Get High, Stay Home’ Generation

This week the Pew Research Center released the findings of a study on Millennial living arrangements that showed more of them are staying in their parents’ homes longer. They cited a variety of reasons for this, but none of them included the farcical conclusions of Dr. Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.

Keith Ablow

Dr. Ablow appeared this morning on Fox & Friends (video below) to discuss the Pew report’s findings. He began by falsely claiming that most young people cannot afford to live on their own. That was a flagrant exaggeration since the number of Millennials found to be living at home was only 32.1 percent. It’s a plurality, but not anywhere close to a majority. He went on to attributed the number of youthful homebodies to a lack of available jobs. While mentioned as a contributing factor, it was not a primary factor according to Pew:

“This turn of events is fueled primarily by the dramatic drop in the share of young Americans who are choosing to settle down romantically before age 35. Dating back to 1880, the most common living arrangement among young adults has been living with a romantic partner, whether a spouse or a significant other.”

The Get High, Stay Home Kids

So the study found that the decision to delay marriage or other romantic commitments played the largest role in kids’ decisions to remain at home. But Ablow’s analysis went even further off the deep end when he declared that the whole situation “was stoked by Obama,” and his “agenda for America,” which he described as “Get high, stay home, don’t be autonomous.” According to Ablow…

“These kids are high, they’re high on pot. They’re high on Facebook. They’re high on Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat. So they can’t be bothered to cobble together three jobs.”

Ablow accused Millennials of feeling “entitled to all kinds of free stuff,” and essentially being too high and/or lazy to take care of themselves. Of course this typically hollow assessment neglected to take into consideration that the vast majority of Millennials are actually quite independent. The Pew study found that 31.6 percent were living with a spouse or partner in their own household. Another 14 percent were living alone. And there are still many more who live with non-romantic roommates, in college dorms, or with non-parental family members (i.e. siblings, cousins, grandparents, etc.)

However, none of these facts prevented Ablow and his Fox & Friends cohorts from distorting the truth and laying all the blame on President Obama. That seems to be a signature compulsion with Ablow, who has blamed the President for everything from riots in Ferguson, MO., to Ebola. Even his assertion that the job market resulted in Millennials residing with their parents was characterized as Obama’s fault, rather than the Great Recession of Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush. It is the Obama administration that has produced more than 22 million jobs and 74 straight months of private sector job growth.

It seems peculiar that Ablow and Fox News would be so anxious to insult Millennials in the middle of this election cycle. They are the largest generation of Americans and are notoriously independent in their political allegiances. If the recent poll by the Washington Post and ABC News is any indicator, there has just been a significant shift in preference among Millennials from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. Clinton still leads, but the margin is much narrower. These polls will likely continue to fluctuate, but it can only be helpful to Clinton if Fox News continues to disparage this important voting bloc.

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

The Keith Ablow Affliction:

For the record, Keith Ablow has been dispensing ludicrous psychological diagnoses for years. Some of his past adventures in malpractice include his charges that President Obama was waging psychological warfare on the American people, that Newt Gingrich was honorable for being unfaithful to multiple wives, accused Obama of wanting Ebola to spread in America, and my personal favorite, he actually praised the Unabomber’s sociopathic philosophy. These are a few of the reasons that may have contributed to his abrupt separation from the American Psychiatric Association. But who needs those medical establishment elitists when you have Fox News?

Fox News Hails Beyonce Boycott By Police Because She Supports #BlackLivesMatter

This morning a Baltimore police officer was acquitted of four charges related to Freddie Gray, an African-American who died in police custody in 2015. That was just one of many recent incidents involving police use-of-force (i.e. Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice) that resulted in a tragic and unnecessary fatality. These deaths inspired the rise of the #BlackLivesMatter movement as an attempt to raise awareness of the problem.

Fox News on Beyonce

From the start, Fox News has been dismissive, or outright hostile, to #BlackLivesMatter and it’s representatives. They pushed the insensitive and disingenuous alternative of “All Lives Matter” and labeled the black activists racists and anti-police. However, saying that “black lives matter” is no more exclusive of concern for other lives than saying “save the whales” means screw all the other marine mammals. It is just a way drawing attention to a serious problem.

What Fox News considers to be a serious problem is the exercise of free speech by American citizens, particularly those in the entertainment industry. Their target this morning was Beyonce, who will be performing in concert in Pittsburgh next week. Some of her recent appearances and videos have carried the message of #BlackLivesMatter, which has drawn criticism from right-wing pundits and politicians.

On Fox & Friends today, co-host Ainsley Earhardt invited Robert Swartzwelder, the president of the Pittsburgh Fraternal Order of Police, to explain why he is filing a labor complaint on behalf of officers potentially being “forced” to work the concert. She introduced the segment saying that…

“Beyonce backlash is brewing. The singer’s apparent anti-police message has gotten the attention of Pittsburgh officers, many of who plan to boycott the singer’s upcoming concert in their town. There is just one problem. The city might force those officers to work security at her concert on May 31st.”

Earhardt’s bias was plainly stated in her opening by referring to an “anti-police message.” When she asked Swartzwelder about the looming boycott (which he said was not a boycott) he characterized it as ordinary and uncontroversial, and that officers regularly decline certain assignments such as traffic detail. Which is, of course, a ridiculous comparison. No officer has ever cited their objection to the political position of an automobile as a reason for not wanting traffic duty.

Swartzwelder went on to say that officers were offended by “various references in Beyonce’s music” that “all police officers engage in police brutality,” which Beyonce has denied. In the view of Swartzwelder, and Fox News, any criticism of the police is a criticism of all police and is, therefore, unacceptable. And Earhardt was sympathetic saying…

“I get it. I understand. You watch the video and you’re saying she is anti-cop rhetoric, you see the anti-cop images. So if she’s gonna be anti-cop why would we wanna go work her concert?”

While Earhardt did inquire as to whether the police “have an obligation to the people” that would “trump your feelings toward Beyonce,” she buried it under the false premise that Beyonce is against the police. The larger point is that the police do indeed have an obligation to the people. The security services that they provide are not just for the safety of the artist, but also the rest of the community. Their service ought to blind to politics and driven by a commitment to the ethical codes of conduct of their profession and their sense of duty.

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

Officers should not have the ability to veto an assignment based on their political prejudices. You never see them refusing to provide security during a KKK rally, so why should they be able to put an artist and the community at risk simply because they disagree with a perceived political opinion? Aren’t they validating their critics? And more importantly, what does it say about those who refuse to serve?

The Sleazification Of American Presidential Politics Courtesy Of Donald Trump

Politics has always been a rough and tumble game with mudslinging and character attacks that test a candidates endurance. And while it often diverts from the issues that voters care about, those types of tactics are usually short-lived distractions and the public debate generally returns to the primacy of a candidate’s policies and proposals.

Donald Trump

But this year it’s different. One of the candidates is a former reality TV game show host with a long history of making tabloid melodrama the centerpiece of his celebrity. Donald Trump is a rich, spoiled, thrice married playboy who flaunts his infidelities, and isn’t shy about slandering anyone he perceives as an enemy. And he has brought his crass demeanor and inflated ego to his candidacy for president.

It is precisely because Trump is so ignorant when it comes to the pressing matters of state that he needs to rely so heavily on smear campaigns and juvenile name-calling. It has been nearly a year since he announced his entry into the race and he is no more knowledgeable today than when he began. Consequently, we can expect to see a continuation of the empty-headed insults and bullying that are the hallmarks of Trump’s campaign. And today there were two frightening examples of what the next five months are going to look like on the campaign trail.

The first came in the form of a Trump video dredging up an old and discredited allegation about Bill Clinton. The accuser, Kathleen Willey, had told her story to the Independent Counsel investigating Clinton back in the early 1990’s, as well as the FBI, who dismissed it as inconsistent, unverified, and riddled with lies. As Media Matters reported, she also told it to conspiracy fruitcake Alex Jones and Donald Trump.

The video Trump is now distributing shows Willey recycling her assault charges with no more evidence today than she had twenty-three years ago. The difference is that now she has Donald Trump paying her to repeat this rotting pile of salacious gossip. Although it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Trump, a still festering birther, would hype such obvious garbage. Willey has also accused the Clintons of killing her husband and her cat.

The second steaming heap was reported by the Washington Post and also attempts to reanimate a scandal that has been dead for a quarter of a century. Trump spoke to the Post today and unprompted resurrected the ghost of former White House aide Vince Foster. Foster committed suicide in 1993, which led to a flurry of ludicrous conspiracy theories mainly accusing Bill and/or Hillary of murdering him.

So today Trump told the Post that he considered Foster’s death to be “very fishy.” Continuing, Trump said of Foster that “He had intimate knowledge of what was going on. He knew everything that was going on and then all of a sudden he committed suicide.” Trump never reveals what might have been going on that would make him a target for assassination. He also neglects to mention that Foster’s death “was ruled a suicide in investigations conducted by the United States Park Police, the Department of Justice, the FBI, Kenneth Starr and Congress.”

The fact that Trump is bringing up these bizarre and stale smears of yesteryear shows that he intends to drag the campaign down to levels never seen before. He will continue to avoid substantive issues like national security, economics, healthcare, and equality because he simply doesn’t comprehend any of them. So prepare to be inundated with assertions that Hillary Clinton is a lizard-person from outer space who is plotting to devour your children. Because that’s as close to reality as Donald Trump is capable of getting.

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

And what’s really sad is that Trump’s glassy-eyed followers won’t see anything wrong with this style of campaigning. They don’t care if he talks about ISIS or Martians as long he says he’s gonna obliterate them in the first week of his presidency. And they certainly don’t care if he lies through his capped teeth as he has been doing for the past year (see the Trump Bullshitopedia). His fans love nothing better than the tales of murder and lust that are more at home in the cheesiest of soap operas. So that’s what they will get and most of it will be happily delivered by Fox News. They will never ask him to demonstrate any of the intelligence or ability to govern the most powerful nation on Earth – Lucky for him.

Veterans Shortchanged And Lied To By Donald Trump Re: $6 Million In Donations

Remember that time when Donald Trump was so afraid of Megyn Kelly that he ditched a Fox News debate and scampered off to host a fake telethon for veterans? The event that he deliberately scheduled to compete with the televised debate turned out to be nothing more than another self-serving Trump stump speech. The only difference was that he shamelessly exploited wounded veterans as campaign props and proudly announced that he had raised six million dollars for their benefit.

Donald Trump Veterans

Months later, reports by CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and others, exposed Trump’s fraud by contacting the veterans groups that he identified as the recipients of his alleged largess. Turns out that only a fraction of the six million dollars had found its way to the intended beneficiaries. His campaign could not, or would not, account for the missing funds, referring reporters to his website where there was no information about the disbursement of the donations.

Now the plot is thickening. Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was asked about the donations by the Washington Post and now claims that the amount raised was less than previously stated. He said that he didn’t know what the correct amount was or how much had been disbursed. Then he attempted to disavow entirely the claims of the telethon’s success. Referring to Trump’s prior boasts, Lewandowski said that…

“What he said was, ‘We hope to get $6 million.’ He said this at an event where we were trying to get money. It was a best guess. That was his goal. His goal was to get somewhere around $6 million.”

Not exactly. Trump made a point of bragging on several occasions that he had raised six million dollars. What’s more, his website still has a page that makes the same claim:

“Mr. Trump personally contributed $1 million dollars to the cause and raised an additional $5 million before the one-hour event concluded, totaling more than $6 million dollars.”

Contrary to Lewandowski’s new characterization, that is not an expression of hope, it is stated as a fact. In addition, seeking to further glorify himself, Trump made specific reference to his own alleged generosity. However, since he refuses to release any of his tax returns there is no way to verify the truth of that claim either. And Trump’s unscrupulousness has not gone unnoticed by actual veterans. Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told the Post…

“No matter how you cut it, that’s just shady. If he was going to make it right, a couple of weeks before Memorial Day would be a good time to do it. It behooves him, not just politically but ethically, to come forward and account for this money.”

Lewandowski attributes the donation shortfall to unnamed donors who made large pledges that they later welshed on. So he’s blaming Trump’s friends who reneged on their promises to help the veterans. Those are the same people that Trump is always saying will be part of his administration.

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

Of course, Trump could make up the difference himself if his interest in the vets were genuine. After all, he has already loaned his campaign over $40 million, so what’s stopping him from kicking in another couple of million for the veterans he claims to love? Nothing but his selfishness and personal greed. It is not without cause that he is known as the least charitable billionaire.

Islamophobic Fox Fans Call For 9/11 Style Attacks In NY Over ‘Sharia’ Financing

The Fox News community website, Fox Nation, is often a welcoming place for bigots and hate mongers. Their history of tolerating repulsive comments, on a site that claims to have moderators keeping the discourse civil, is testimony to their intention to embrace and encourage right-wing hostility (see The Collected Hate Speech Of The Fox News Community). But the latest episode of wingnut spleen-letting may surpass anything that has come before it – and that’s saying something.

Fox Nation

Fox Nation Frets Over Sharia Law

The article that incited the heinous comments below was a report in the New York Post (a corporate cousin to Fox News) that a Muslim developer was preparing to build a 43-story luxury condominium tower and Islamic cultural museum in lower Manhattan. The Post’s article was featured on Fox Nation with a somewhat more ominous headline that invokes Sharia Law. That’s part of what set off a rash of rhetorical racism, along with certain details that were predictable triggers for Fox’s intolerant audience.

First of all, the site of the development was once proposed as a site for an Islamic cultural center that Fox News branded as the “Ground Zero Mosque,” despite the fact that it was neither a mosque, nor at 9/11’s Ground Zero. Fox, along with a cacophony of conservative pundits and politicians, turned the issue into a bitter debate that fed on the bigotry of the anti-Muslims on the right. As a result, the center was never built. Now the same developer, Sharif El-Gamal, is hoping to complete a project that will bring jobs and commerce to the area. What a monster!

Secondly, the Fox brigades are disturbed by the method of financing for the project. Consistent with Islamic principles, El-Gamal sought financing from institutions that avoid the collection of interest on loans. And not surprisingly, the mention of “Sharia-compliant financing” in the article set off alarms at Fox Nation. However, there is nothing unsavory about this method of financing. In fact, it contains protections that arguably make it a more ethical way to deal with loans. [Here is a summary explanation of Sharia-compliant banking] Also, it is not a law and is no more an intrusion on American laws than keeping Kosher is for Jews.

Finally, the Fox Nationalist bigots were generally objecting to the fact that the project is headed by a Muslim (It’s a good thing they don’t know that the architect is a Mexican-American). Since they regard all Muslims as terrorists, they are certain that there is some ulterior motive that involves the murder of innocent Americans. And their response to that is to suggest replicating the tactics of terrorists themselves. They see no irony in advocating the sort of destruction that would result in countless fatalities throughout the vicinity, including the first responders who would rush to the scene to try to save lives. Here is sampling of the comments attached to the Fox Nation article:

Fox Nation Hankering For Another 9/11:

Fox Nation Comments

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

No commentary is needed for the nauseating remarks by the hateful Fox Nation mob. However, it is worth noting that the editors at Fox chose a photo of the devastation at the site of the World Trade Center, which has nothing to do with the new development or the article about it. They might have chosen to show a picture of the proposed high-rise, but then that wouldn’t have manufactured a controversy that would set their dimwitted readers’ blood to boil, which is Fox’s highest priority.

Former Reagan State Department Official Scorches “Fascist” Donald Trump

For the past year much has been written about Donald Trump. He may be the most widely despised candidate for president to ever seek the office. The animosity directed at him comes from all across the political spectrum and many Republicans even now refuse to support his candidacy.

Donald Trump Fascism

That said, I can’t recall reading a more damning critique of The Donald than the one that appeared this week in the Washington Post. It was written by Robert Kagan, a former official in Ronald Reagan’s State Department, so this is no left-wing hit piece. It lays out a devastating account of why Trump would be a disastrous choice for leader of the free world, beginning with the headline: “This Is How Fascism Comes To America.” It gets worse from there. And the best way to convey the sentiment of this article is to simply let it speak for itself with a some choice excerpts. Therefore…

“The Republican Party’s attempt to treat Donald Trump as a normal political candidate would be laughable were it not so perilous to the republic.”

“His incoherent and contradictory utterances have one thing in common: They provoke and play on feelings of resentment and disdain, intermingled with bits of fear, hatred and anger. His public discourse consists of attacking or ridiculing a wide range of “others” — Muslims, Hispanics, women, Chinese, Mexicans, Europeans, Arabs, immigrants, refugees — whom he depicts either as threats or as objects of derision.”

“Trump himself is simply and quite literally an egomaniac. But the phenomenon he has created and now leads has become something larger than him, and something far more dangerous.”

“As Alexander Hamilton watched the French Revolution unfold, he feared in America what he saw play out in France — that the unleashing of popular passions would lead not to greater democracy but to the arrival of a tyrant, riding to power on the shoulders of the people.”

“This phenomenon has arisen in other democratic and quasi-democratic countries over the past century, and it has generally been called “fascism.” Fascist movements, too, had no coherent ideology, no clear set of prescriptions for what ailed society.”

“Successful fascism was not about policies but about the strongman, the leader (Il Duce, Der Führer), in whom could be entrusted the fate of the nation. Whatever the problem, he could fix it. Whatever the threat, internal or external, he could vanquish it, and it was unnecessary for him to explain how.”

“To understand how such movements take over a democracy, one only has to watch the Republican Party today. These movements play on all the fears, vanities, ambitions and insecurities that make up the human psyche.”

“If someone criticizes or opposes the leader, it doesn’t matter how popular or admired that person has been. He might be a famous war hero, but if the leader derides and ridicules his heroism, the followers laugh and jeer.”

“What these people do not or will not see is that, once in power, Trump will owe them and their party nothing. […] Imagine the power he would wield then. In addition to all that comes from being the leader of a mass following, he would also have the immense powers of the American presidency at his command: the Justice Department, the FBI, the intelligence services, the military. Who would dare to oppose him then?”

“[I]s a man like Trump, with infinitely greater power in his hands, likely to become more humble, more judicious, more generous, less vengeful than he is today, than he has been his whole life? Does vast power un-corrupt?”

“This is how fascism comes to America, not with jackboots and salutes (although there have been salutes, and a whiff of violence) but with a television huckster, a phony billionaire, a textbook egomaniac “tapping into” popular resentments and insecurities, and with an entire national political party — out of ambition or blind party loyalty, or simply out of fear — falling into line behind him.”

That pretty much sums it up. Kagan has captured perfectly what Trump represents as a candidate. He is all bluster and ego without a hint of intellect, experience, or judgment. And sadly, his glassy-eyed followers dance to his calliope like well-trained circus geeks. It’s shocking that whatever level-headed Republicans remain aren’t bellowing from rooftops the warnings that are embedded in this article. they are not only sacrificing themselves and their party, they are putting America’s head on the chopping block. And they don’t seem to give a damn.

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