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.

Majority Of Americans (Including 41% Of Republicans) Favor Socialist Healthcare

The Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) has been a contentious point of debate in the media ever since it was proposed by a timid Congress that worked fervently to water it down and excise its most progressive elements. In subsequent polling the nation has appeared divided on whether they favored the insurance reforms, although the polls often neglected to differentiate from those who opposed it because it went too far and those who who opposed it because it didn’t go far enough.

Medicare For All

This week Gallup released a poll that definitively settles that question. They gave respondents a clear choice that included the option of “Replacing the ACA with a federally funded healthcare program providing insurance for all Americans.” That option, which is essentially universal healthcare, received a clear majority of 58% favoring it.

What’s more, when Gallup broke down the responses by party, it revealed that 41% of Republicans were in favor of the federally funded option as well. Not a majority, nor even close to the 73% of Democrats, but a surprisingly high figure representing the heretofore unknown socialist wing of the GOP.

The other options in the poll were “Keeping the Affordable Care Act in place,” which was divided 48-49%, and “Repealing the Affordable Care Act” which was also close at 51-45%. However, as Gallup noted:

“…the group of Americans in this survey who favor the law’s repeal, a core policy proposal of many Republican presidential candidates during this campaign season, includes some who apparently want the ACA repealed to replace it with an even more liberal system.”

ObamaCare, in its present form, has been an unqualified success. It has brought the number of uninsured down to historically low levels. It has kept the cost of healthcare down, both in premiums paid to insurers and direct costs of care. It has guaranteed access to insurance for people with preexisting conditions and provided equality of cost and care for women. These are just a few of the reasons that, despite a concerted effort by Fox News and other conservative media to scare Americans away from it, ObamaCare continues to enjoy widespread popularity.

Considering the broad appeal of a universal, Medicare-for-all style healthcare program, it would be advantageous for the presidential candidates to pay heed to the will of the people. To date, only Bernie Sanders has taken a position that fully embraces this policy. Hillary Clinton, though, has been inching toward it with a recent statement in support of a public option.

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

It would also be helpful if the media would cover this preference on the part of the American people. This may not be as sexy a subject as Donald Trump’s latest sleaze mongering, but the press is supposed to be a source of credible information, particularly in the midst of a presidential campaign. No one would expect Fox News to report the results of this poll, and they haven’t. It would completely contradict their phony free-market, crony-capitalist, Republican sponsored narrative. But the rest of the national television newscasters have largely ignored it as well. And without a responsible media giving this issue the attention it deserves, the candidates for both national and local offices will feel no pressure to address it either.

On Fox News, Republican Losers Get Credit For Democratic Successes

One of the most consistent fallacies presented by Fox News on a daily basis is the assignment of blame for for anything that goes wrong exclusively to President Obama. If it can be cast as negative, Obama did it. Some of the laughable liabilities attributed to the President include the riots in Ferguson, MO, California’s drought, Ebola, and even Hurricane Katrina (which happened three years before he was elected. They have blamed him for high gas prices that hurt consumers, as well as for low gas prices that hurt oil companies. There is simply no way Obama can win with these partisan hacks.

Bush Blame Obama

Fox News’ Stolen Honor

Now, in addition to making Obama shoulder the responsibility for the failures of incompetent Republicans, Fox News is also stealing the credit for anything good that happens during any Democratic administration. This week alone has provided two glaring examples of this stolen honor by Fox pundits who can’t seem find anything that Republicans have done that actually helped the nation.

First we have Eric Bolling, a co-host of Fox’s The Five. During a segment devoted to bashing Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Bolling sought to diminish her husband’s success in orchestrating what was at the time the longest period of non-wartime economic growth in the nation’s history. Since he couldn’t plausibly deny that it was an era of unprecedented prosperity, Bolling served up this pretzel logic: “The reason why Bill [Clinton] did so well is because of Ronald Reagan.”

Of course it was. Never mind that Reagan was followed by four years of his vice-president George H.W. Bush who ran the economy into the ground and was summarily booted out of office. And perish the thought that Bolling would provide any substantive argument to support his made up theory. According to Bolling Reagan deserves the praise simply for being Reagan.

Following that, Fox’s senior political analyst, Brit Hume, made an appearance on Special Report to deliver his explanation for the political successes of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Eventually the discussion diverted to the state of the economy under President Obama. Hume began by asserting that the economy isn’t really in very good shape, but then shifted to proclaim that whatever was good about it wasn’t Obama’s doing, saying that “The credit for rescuing the economy, if it belongs with government, has got to be shared, at least [with George W. Bush].”

And why not? After all, Bush merely presided over the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. And his response was a basket of bailouts for the banks that were instrumental in the market’s downfall. It wasn’t until Obama came into office that efforts were made to stimulate the economy, and even that was opposed and obstructed by the Republicans in Congress.

It’s Hillary’s Fault Too

In both of the cases above the inspiration for these self-serving assumptions of economic glory stemmed from a comment Hillary Clinton made on the campaign trail. She said that if elected president she would put her husband Bill in charge of revitalizing the economy, something he is demonstrably good at. That comment sent the conservative pundits into a frenzy. They couldn’t abide her reminding people about the boom-time economy over which Clinton presided. So they endeavored to clumsily steal the credit for themselves.

This is just more proof that if Republicans had anything to be proud of they wouldn’t be trying to take credit for things they didn’t do – for things they affirmatively tried to prevent. They are, in effect, admitting that there are no accomplishments attributable to GOP administrations, so by necessity they have to swipe them from Democrats. It’s dishonest and unethical, but that’s never stopped them before.

Donald Trump Is Now Officially The Candidate Of Fox News

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and CEO of the Fox News parent corporation, is reported to have made his decision to support the presumptuous nominee of the Republican Party, Donald Trump. At first glance this news may seem unremarkable for the avowedly right-wing cable net, but there is a history of discomfort with Trump on the part of Murdoch that he must have overcome either by greed or force.

Donald Trump Rupert Murdoch

Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine has been covering the inside stories on Fox News for several years. He has reliable sources and published the definitive, unauthorized biography of the network’s CEO Roger Ailes: The Loudest Voice in the Room. His latest scoop is one that casts a disturbing glow on the allegedly “fair and balanced” cable news network:

“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.”

Prior to this revelation, Murdoch was not particularly enthusiastic about his billionaire peer. He has tweeted that regarding the characterization of Mexican immigrants as criminals, Trump was wrong. He was critical of Trump’s demeanor saying that “Trump finally loses it, in 95 minute rant.” And in a moment of unexpected clarity he asked “When is Donald Trump going to stop embarrassing his friends, let alone the whole country?”

So the question now is what would make Murdoch set aside those concerns to support a notoriously racist, misogynistic, loose cannon with tyrannical tendencies for president of the United States? It’s a question that Sherman addressed in his column suggesting that the shift may be due to financial considerations. Sherman notes that:

“It’s clear Trump is good for business. According to one Fox News producer, the channel’s ratings dip whenever an anti-Trump segment airs.”

There is no doubt that Murdoch is an aggressive businessman who appreciates any opportunity to make a profit. He has built his media empire around a model of tabloid journalism that places tawdry melodrama above factual reporting. And Donald Trump’s reality TV persona has been a boon to all of the networks covering him for the past year. Les Moonves, the CEO of CBS, put it bluntly saying that Trump “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

However, there may be more to this than sheer greed or political compatibility. In a previous column, Sherman revealed that Trump had dealings with a former Fox News executive who left under suspicious circumstances. The result was that Trump may have acquired information that would be damaging to Fox News and/or its principals. Sherman concluded that “If Ailes ever truly went to war against Trump, Trump would have the arsenal to launch a retaliatory strike.” That sounds very much like something Trump would do.

This could also explain why Fox News was so generous with Trump, giving him more airtime than any other candidate, while simultaneously allowing him to get away with his brutal treatment of Fox News. As News Corpse reported at the time:

“Ordinarily, any Republican candidate would be conscious of the sway that Fox holds over the party and the fate of anyone hoping to rise up in it. But Trump, with an apparently reckless lack of concern, has spent much of the last nine months mercilessly battering the network and its staff. He said of Megyn Kelly that she ‘is the worst’ and has a ‘terrible show.’ He called Karl Rove a ‘total fool’ and ‘a biased dope.’ He said that George Will is a ‘broken down political pundit’ and ‘boring.’ Chris Stirewalt was deemed ‘one of the dumbest political pundits on television.’ Trump laughed off Charles Krauthammer as ‘a totally overrated clown,’ ‘a loser,’ and ‘a dummy.’

Wrapping up the whole network for his disapproval, he tweeted that he was ‘having a really hard time watching Fox News.’ Then he called on his followers to boycott the network. He even went after one of the major shareholders of Fox’s parent corporation.”

Whatever the reason for Murdoch’s newfound infatuation for Trump, it is a troubling development for how the election will be reported. With the CEO of Fox’s parent corporation taking sides, it makes it inevitable that his editors, reporters, and presenters will be influenced and adjust their work accordingly.

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

Of course, Fox News has always been the mouthpiece for the Republican political agenda, so there may not be an apparent difference. But even the facade of neutrality is destroyed when powerful figures within a news organization set the tone for the enterprise. And it makes a mockery of events like today’s announcement that Fox News is seeking to host a Democratic debate before the California primary. Hopefully the party and the candidates will decline that invitation that is only meant to stir more controversy and damage the party’s prospect’s in November. With Murdoch’s capitulation to Donald Trump there is no way to pretend that the network is anything but hostile to whomever the Democrats nominate.