To Kill A Meme: No Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton Did Not Start The Birther BS

There must be something in the DNA of right-wingers that prevents them from grasping simple truths and retaining them for periods longer than a Vine video. Case in point: Conservatives who for years have been suckling on the moronic accusations that President Obama is not legally qualified to serve because, they say, he was born in Kenya, have also disseminated a related bit of idiocy that Hillary Clinton was the first Birther. Despite the easily obtainable facts that prove that Clinton was not in any way involved in birthing Birtherism, wingnuts cling fiercely to the lie in an attempt to divert attention from the fact that they have been fully immersed in this nonsense from the beginning. And it isn’t just some fringe characters who have this trouble differentiating fantasy from reality.

Ted Cruz Birther

In an interview with Katie Couric on Yahoo News, Sen. Ted Cruz, a candidate for the Republican nomination for president, was asked about critics who raise his Canadian birth as an obstacle to his candidacy. Rather than simply repudiating them as idiots who don’t understand the Constitution, he veered from Couric’s question to this wholly unrelated and irrelevant drivel:

“The whole birther thing was started by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008 against Barack Obama.”

If you think that a sitting U.S. senator and aspiring president should know better than to spew demonstrably false information like that, then you don’t know Ted Cruz (or most of the GOP). This charge against the Clinton campaign has been around for seven years now. And some proponents of the lie attribute the meme to Clinton herself (see the headline from Fox Nation above). However, a little research shows that the roots of Birtherism lie with an extremist group of hard-core Clinton supporters who were not affiliated with the campaign. As revealed by Daily Beast editor John Avlon:

“[T]he Birther conspiracy theory was first concocted by renegade members of the original Obama haters, Party Unity My Ass, known more commonly by their acronym, the PUMAs. They were a splinter group of hard-core Hillary Clinton supporters.”

The theme was then taken up by Philip Berg, a 9/11 Truther who filed the first Birther lawsuit. He also had no connection to Clinton or her campaign. Thereafter, it spiraled out of control online and in emails. And all the while it was Republicans furthering the fallacy. Many of of them were prominent figures in the party, notably another current candidate for the GOP nomination, Donald Trump. [Fun Fact: Cruz is, so far, the only Republican candidate who is defending Trump’s repulsive and bigoted comments about immigrants for which Cruz doesn’t think Trump has any need to apologize]

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It is significant that Cruz employed this dodge to answer a question that had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. He wants to duck allegations by the lunatics questioning his own national origin without calling them lunatics and alienating an important GOP constituency who still believe that Obama is a foreigner unlawfully squatting in the White House. This is how Republicans embrace ignorance and pass it along to their followers. And no one is a better representative of that mission than Ted Cruz.

Donald Trump Too Busy Filing Lawsuits To Run For President (with Classic Letterman Clip)

On the day that phony real estate magnate Donald Trump announced that he is running for president of the United States he made the first of what will surely be many boneheaded and offensive remarks. And ever since he maligned Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals he has faced the wrath of decent Americans who find such bigotry unacceptable.

In less than two weeks Trump has seen his Miss USA/Universe beauty pageant bumped from broadcasts on both NBC and Univision. Other media enterprises including Telemundo and Televisa have also cut ties with Trump. The latest of his business relationships to collapse is his clothing line at Macy’s who, like the others, say that Trump’s values do not represent those of their company (or their species).

Donald Trump Lawsuits

And in a hysterical display of delusion, Trump says that he broke off the relationship with Macy’s. He even criticized the fact that his products were largely manufactured in China, a fact which he defended a couple of weeks ago on CNN’s State of the Union by blaming China for his decision to do business there, rather than in the U.S. It’s an excuse he has been making for years, as evidenced by this hilarious two year old clip from The Late Show with David Letterman:

In response to his critics, Trump is demonstrating the sort of immaturity that disqualifies him for public office by throwing a temper tantrum as he refuses to apologize for his repulsive comments. In fact, he has spent the last couple of days reaffirming his rank prejudices. And now he claims to have filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision. But is he also going to sue NBC and Telmundo and Televisa and Ricky Martin’s charity foundation (which has moved its golf tournament out of Trump’s course in Puerto Rico) and all of the celebrity participants who have quit his pageants and Macy’s too? You have to wonder when he will have time to run for president.

This is just the beginning. Fair-minded people and responsible businesses will continue to distance themselves from Trump. The next big player ought to be the PGA which is currently scheduled to host its PGA Grand Slam of Golf (October 2015), the 2022 PGA Championship, and the 2017 Senior PGA Championship (presented by KitchenAid) at Trump golf courses. There are plenty of other world-class facilities to hold these events. The Golf Channel (which is owned by NBC) should also reconsider whether to broadcast any event that originates from a Trump property. [See update below]

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Of course, as the list of those who “Dump Trump” grows, so will the list of potential litigants for Trump to file against. The GOP already has three candidates who are the subjects of ongoing criminal investigations (Scott Walker, Rick Perry, and Chris Christie). Trump himself has been charged with criminal violations of defrauding students of his fake Trump University. It would be particularly unseemly for him to become embroiled in more litigious controversies of his own making. Yet that is exactly what Trump is doing, and it only took him two weeks into his campaign to achieve this distinction. I can’t wait to see what the next two weeks bring.

[Update: (This was fast)] Donald Trump was interviewed on the Golf Channel today and told them that “I’ve had tremendous support from the golf world, because they all know I’m right.” Well, not exactly. Shortly thereafter the four major golf organizations issued a joint statement contradicting Trump’s arrogant assertion of support:

“In response to Mr. Trump’s comments about the golf industry ‘knowing he is right’ in regards to his recent statements about Mexican immigrants, we feel compelled to clarify that those remarks do not reflect the views of our organizations. While the LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour and USGA do not usually comment on Presidential politics, Mr. Trump’s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf.”

The statement does not make clear whether these organizations will cancel tournaments scheduled for Trump courses, but the pressure is on. The National Hispanic Media Coalition says it will call for a boycott of PGA events if they do not end their business relationship with Trump.

Chris Christie: Telling It Like It Is – If “IT” is Vulgar, Tactless, And Rude

The Republican Party has its fourteenth official candidate to be their nominee for President of the United States. This morning Chris Christie made his announcement from his hometown in New Jersey. Christie joins a parade of hopefuls, none of whom have succeeded in igniting much enthusiasm on the part of GOP voters. Christie enters the race at 2% (according to a Fox News poll) in a field whose leader, Jeb Bush, has a pitiful 15%. And he has some weighty baggage.

Chris Christie 2016

Most of Christie’s speech was focused on his family history and the struggles faced by his two single-parent grandmothers who raised his parents. Other than that, he spoke of his mythical reputation as a frank-speaking truth-teller. He didn’t offer a single specific regarding the platform for a Christie administration. And he left out the fact that his state has had a record nine credit rating downgrades during his tenure.

Christie’s campaign theme of “Telling it like it is,” is ironically one of the most dishonest presentations in modern politics. There is very little to substantiate the claim of straight-talk attributed to Christie. What the media seems to be mistaking for candor is actually Christie’s tendency to be crude, vulgar, and insensitive to common civil behavior. But insulting constituents, berating reporters, and in general being verbally abusive in public is not the same thing as telling it like it is.

The arrogant brutishness evident in Christie’s so-called personality makes it easy to believe that he would order a major bridge closure to retaliate against a mayor who was not sufficiently obsequious. Why would someone like Christie care about who was harmed? And while he still denies any role in that unlawful and potentially dangerous act of revenge, the fact that so many close members of his staff were involved can only mean that he is either lying or incompetent.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Currently Christie does not meet the requirements established by Fox News to participate in the upcoming GOP debate. That leaves him out of a group that includes Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, and Ben Carson. It’s hard to see a path to victory for Christie if some his party’s biggest jokes are pushing him out of contention. And he has his work cut out for him anyway since the Tea Party fruitcakes still haven’t forgiven him for embracing President Obama following the hurricane that devastated much of his state. That is what likely has resulted in his polling second only to Trump on the question of “Who would you never vote for?”

That’s a far fall from grace for candidate who once topped the polls and was personally solicited to run by Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. Setting aside that gross ethical breach by an alleged “news” operation, Christie will still enjoy Fox’s favor when he visits Sean Hannity tonight for his first post-announcement interview, just as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio did before him. So welcome to the Clown Car, Gov. Christie. And as they, buckle up, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

Boycott Trump: The Donald Declares A War On Latinos That He Can’t Possibly Win

Well, there can be no more doubt about. Donald Trump is the most pathetic ignoramus in the Republican Presidential Clown Car Primary. If it wasn’t bad enough that his laughably embarrassing announcement speech was riddled with falsehoods, or he claims to have a foolproof plan that will “bring ISIS to the table or, beyond that, defeat ISIS very quickly,” but he refuses to say what it is, he is now launching a trade war against Latinos, the fastest growing demographic in the American electorate.

Boycott Donald Trump

The war was instigated after Trump insulted Mexican immigrants by saying that “they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” And although he probably thinks that he was being complimentary with his appended assumption, it certainly wasn’t taken that way by those he was insulting. Subsequent to his remarks, the Spanish-language TV network, Univision, announced that they would no longer partner with Trump on his Miss USA Pageant, and would cease all business relationships with Trump.

Univision was not alone in condemning Trump. Many other Latino celebrities, executives, and politicians cited Trump’s vile comments and pledged to avoid associations with him. In one instance that crossed the line of civility, a Univision exec retweeted a photo juxtaposing Trump with Charleston killer, Dylann Roof. The Tweet was quickly deleted despite the obvious similarities in appearance and expression. But not before the poor attempt at humor pierced The Donald’s thin skin.

The war, now raging, saw Trump escalate to threats of lawsuits against Univision. But even more frightening, Trump declared that Univision execs would not be permitted on Trump’s golf courses. That’s a pleasant bit of imagery. Trump is now running restricted country clubs that prohibit Latinos. Somehow, I don’t think that any of them are losing any sleep over not being able to play on Trump’s lawn.

Perhaps the most absurd volley in this battle is Trump’s attempt to get the Republican National Committee to cancel the GOP presidential primary debate on Univision. It’s absurdity rests on the fact that Univision is not scheduled to be hosting a debate, and was explicitly snubbed when the RNC put together their debate plans. RNC Chair Reince Priebus called Univision “a long-term enemy of the Republican Party.” Instead, the RNC went with the number two Spanish-language network, Telemundo, which has half the viewers of Univision and is owned by the GOP-friendly (?) NBC network. So Trump’s temper tantrum to terminate Univision is just another figment of his dementia.

Not surprisingly, Trump has gotten some support from the Wingnut Echo Chamber. One of those digging deep to defend him, Breitbart News, leaped face first into the dump Univision shallow end. An article by their editor, John Nolte, began by agreeing with Trump’s insult to Mexicans saying that “What Donald Trump said about illegal aliens and rape and crime was not untrue.” So Nolte is also a racist who believes that there are eleven million Mexican criminals and rapists in America. As for the Univision debate, Nolte agrees that the broadcast should be removed from the schedule that it already isn’t on. But his brilliant alternative is to have the fictional debate moved to Fox’s Spanish-language network, MundoFox. Nolte apparently thinks that the MundoFox audience of about 170,000 is a better platform for the GOP Comedy Hour than Univision’s 2.1 million (more than ten times greater).

With Trump banishing Univision from his country clubs and trying to get his party to nix a debate that doesn’t exist, he is begging for retaliation. This is something that he would surely regret if Latinos en masse responded by ditching the Trump brand. They could all boycott his golf courses, and his hotels as well. They could refuse to buy his ties, cologne, or other cheesy consumer goods. That includes the Trump line at Macy’s (who should also feel the heat of partnering with a racist). They could shun his real estate properties. And this economic backlash could extend to anyone who is repulsed by Trump’s overt racism. Asians, Saudis, Europeans, and American consumers can and should withhold patronage from him on the basis of his prejudice. And if he thinks he can prevail by blackballing all of them from his golf course, then his reality blind-spot is even bigger than his ego (and that may not be possible according to the laws of physics).

[Update 6/29/15: NBC has announced that they have cut all business ties with Trump. This includes the Apprentice programs and the pageant broadcasts. And while Univision is not a debate host, NBC’s Telumundo is. Will Trump now lobby the RNC to cancel that debate? Stay tuned]

Donald has always been a fraud who is more adept at promoting himself than any business venture. For a sampling of his tendency to fail, take a look at these 12 Donald Trump businesses that no longer exist. There is a reason he embarrasses himself by hosting a TV game show. Can you think of any other billionaire who has the time to do that? Obviously he needs the money. He is no more a businessman than Kim Kardashian.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

What’s more, Trump is a way too obnoxious to get anywhere in politics. It is simply idiotic to say that Mexico “is not out friend,” when they are one of America’s biggest trading partners (second biggest market for exports and third biggest for imports).

The fact that he suffers from Doofus Tourettes Syndrome doesn’t help either. How else do you explain his birtherism, or his recent declarations that America is a hell hole,” and that the American dream is dead?” These are not the bumper-stickers of a winner. But they do define the cretinous, narcissistic, anti-personality of Donald Trump. And Democrats couldn’t be more thrilled that he is among those who want to be the banner carriers for the Republican Party in 2016.

Republicans Despondent Over ObamaCare Should Be Sending The Supreme Court Fruit Baskets

Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court upholding the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) is being portrayed in the media as an historic victory for President Obama. And, to be sure, the ruling does affirm the constitutionality of the law and prevents the cancellation of more than six million health insurance policies nationwide.

However, from a political perspective, the big winners are the Republican Party. Chief Justice John Roberts really pulled their butts out of the fire with his decision finding that…

“In a democracy, the power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people. […] Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

For the rest of the day, and throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, you will hear the moaning and gnashing of teeth of disingenuous Republicans pretending to be disappointed by the ruling. In fact, they could not be happier. This ruling allows them to run on a platform of repealing what they claim is a disastrous law that curtails all freedoms and sets the course of the nation toward Armageddon.

ObamaCare Supreme Court

Had the Court ruled against the subsidies, millions of Americans would have lost their health insurance, and the the remainder would have been subject to higher premiums as the pool of the insured became smaller and sicker. In that scenario, Republicans would have had to run the gauntlet of enraged voters who were suffering the consequences of the GOP’s greedy self-interest. Most of those voters would have been from red states and the south where the most recipients of subsidies from federal exchanges reside.

As a result of the this ruling, the GOP will still run on a “repeal and replace” campaign, but they won’t have to do it with their own constituents breathing down their necks in disgust. Instead they will lament the corrupt socialists on the Court and promise to deliver something better if they win the White House and Congress in 2016. Never mind that they have made that promise for more than six years but have never produced a viable replacement. To their credit/shame, they have voted more than fifty times to repeal ObamaCare.

On the other hand, Democrats won the legal and logical battle with this ruling. But they lost the opportunity to run against a Republican Party that had stolen the health insurance from millions of Americans. One of the great ironies of democracy is that it is harder to run on your accomplishments than it is to run on your opponents’ failures. So while millions of voters who were rescued from the heartlessness of the GOP by this ruling should be grateful to Democrats for passing the legislation, their gratitude will be harder to translate into votes than if the Court had struck down the bill and they could vote their disapproval of Republicans.

In the final analysis, it is far better that the Court upheld the subsidies because, politics aside, real people’s real lives hang in the balance. For whatever period of time that ObamaCare may have been obstructed by a negative ruling, Americans would have suffered both financially and medically. Indeed, people without access to health care would have become sicker and even died. And those who survived would have lost much of their financial security, including their homes and retirement savings. So if Democrats have to try harder to get their message across, then so be it.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

In light of that, every time you hear a Republican whining about the awful Supreme Court decision, remember these two things: 1) They are actually ecstatic that it takes them off the hook for all the outraged voters who would have lost their insurance had the decision gone the other way. And 2) Their feigned despair is actually an expression of disappointment that millions of people didn’t get shafted and forced to face poor health and bankruptcy, which is what they were ostensibly rooting for.

Murdoch’s Media Machine Digs Desperately For Anti-Clinton Dirt

Republicans just got a jolt of reality smashed in their faces by a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing that Hillary Clinton is wildly popular among Democrats (92%) and is beating the GOP front-runners by substantial margins (Jeb Bush by eight points, Marco Rubio by ten, Scott Walker by fourteen). This is after much of the right-wing media has been crowing about how Clinton is supposedly damaged goods due to the manufactured scandals that have been aimed at her. Fox News in particular has been almost giddy reporting that Clinton’s reputation for trustworthiness has allegedly been tarnished by Fox-generated stories about emails and charities and Benghazi.

The new poll results indicate that the glee in the imagineering suites at Fox may be premature. So something in the realm of Rupert Murdoch must be done to churn up the Clinton-loathing and cheer up the Fox viewers. And they apparently have settled on their plan.

Clinton Bash

The Murdoch-owned New York Post just published a story by Peter Schweizer, author of “Clinton Cash,” the the widely debunked book from Murdoch’s HarperCollins publishing subsidiary. The Post article then became the topic of a segment on Murdoch’s Fox News program “Fox & Friends.” The article was also re-posted on the Fox News community website, Fox Nation. This is obviously an effort to flood the zone with as many Murdoch-run outlets as possible. The article features a headline that will likely score the Delusional Headline of the Week Award: “Clinton Cash Author Demolishes Hillary’s Self-Defense.” That headline is completely accurate – as long as your definition of “demolish” is “to utterly fail to rationally impair.”

Schweizer attempts to rebut some recent comments made by Clinton in response to a reporter’s inquiry. She was asked about her role in approving the sale of a uranium mining company to a Russian enterprise. She answered clearly that she had no role in the decision as it does not fall into the purview of the Secretary of State. Schweizer seems to have been incapable of understanding that response and set about to “demolish” it in three steps. Here is what Post readers and Fox viewers are supposed to think is a demolition of Clinton’s defense in Schweizer’s own words:

“First, nine investors who profited from the uranium deal collectively donated $145 million to Hillary’s family foundation … But Hillary expects Americans to believe she had no knowledge [of it].”

The issue of donations to the Clinton Foundation is old news that has been extensively analyzed and dismissed for lack of any trace of wrongdoing. There are thousands of donors to the Foundation which, unlike similar groups, fully discloses who their donors are. And with all of that information available, there has not been a single proven allegation of the Clintons trading favors for contributions. Furthermore, Clinton has never said that she had no knowledge of these affairs, just that the decisions were made at a lower level within the State Department. Therefore, there could not have been any influence peddling.

“Second, during her Sunday interview, Clinton was asked about the Kremlin-backed bank that paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a single speech delivered in Moscow. Hillary’s response? She dodged the question completely.”

What makes this assertion interesting is that the paragraph following the one in which Schweizer accuses Clinton of dodging the question completely, includes her explicit answer to the question. Some dodge. Clinton said plainly that “The timing doesn’t work.” because the speech, and the compensation for it, came “before I was Secretary of State.” So having failed to make any sense, Schweizer shifts gears to point to an entirely different financial transaction about which Clinton was not asked. Even so, without having been asked, her prior response stating that she could not have traded any favors since she was not making the decision applies to this transaction as well.

“Third, Clinton correctly notes in the interview that ‘there were nine government agencies who had to sign off on that deal.’ What she leaves out, of course, is that her State Department was one of them.”

Not only did Clinton correctly note that nine agencies are required to sign off on the deal in question, she has repeatedly noted that the State Department was one of them. In fact, it was Clinton’s staff that corrected the error in Schweizer’s book that omitted this fact. So Clinton did not leave out the State Department’s role, but Schweizer did leave out the role of the other agencies. What’s more, he continues to suggest that there are some financial shenanigans on Clinton’s part, even though she could not push through any favors for donors because without the other agency head’s approvals there would be no deal.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

In the end, Schweizer failed to coherently rebut a single thing that Clinton said in her interview. His only recourse was to incredulously ask whether Americans can believe Clinton’s version of events. Well, according to the poll cited above, the answer seems to be an enthusiastic “yes.” And all of the effort, investment, and deceit that went into this full-court press by the Murdoch media against Clinton seems to have been wasted. Unfortunately, that is not likely to deter these unethical, pseudo-journalistic cretins from doing more of the same for the next year and a half. So settle in for a campaign season of viciousness and lies, because that’s all the right has to work with.

Donald Trump Launches Pretend Campaign Saying “The American Dream Is Dead”

Real estate fraud and TV game show host, Donald Trump, has bought into another season of his long-running comedy show “The Pretentious.” In a speech at his own Trump Tower in Manhattan, Trump defied his critics by actually continuing to pretend that he is running for president of the United States of America.

Trump’s forty-five minute rambling regurgitation was notable primarily for two themes: 1) How terrible America is, and 2) How great he is. By the end of the speech it was clear that Trump thinks he is doing the nation a favor by allowing us to vote for him (although it will never get that far). After petulantly calling all other public servants “stupid” and “losers,” Trump unveiled the latest branding for his 2016 presidential bid: “The American Dream Is Dead.”

Donald Trump

That ought to fire up the Republican Party that is so bereft of competent leaders that Donald Trump is currently ranked in the top ten (along with such respected statespersons like Ben Carson, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, and Rick Santorum). Trump promises to resurrect a better, stronger Zombie American Dream with a Great Wall on its southern border, no healthcare for its citizens, an abundance of guns, and deal-making lobbyists in place of foreign ambassadors.

Trump’s new “dead dream” platform appears to be replacing the one he floated last month that declared that “This Country Is A Hell Hole.” (Seriously, he really said that). These appeals to conservative, Tea Party Republicans may attract some support since most of them also spend a majority of their time complaining about what a rotten country this is. These pseudo-patriots believe that our troops are brave when they are killing brown people in foreign lands, but are evil invaders when they conduct training exercises in Texas. The American Dream may not be dead, but with Trump’s candidacy, you can’t say the same about the Republican Party.

As an example of Trump’s diplomatic skills, he spoke about our neighbors to the south and said that Mexico “is not our friend. They’re killing us economically. […] They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Setting aside the fact that this “unfriendly” neighbor is one of America’s biggest trading partners (second biggest market for exports and third biggest for imports), it was nice of Trump to concede that there are “some” good Mexicans out of the 11,000,000 drug dealers, criminals, and rapists that are currently living here undocumented.

The main reason that most people don’t take Trump’s candidacy seriously (other than his crazed birtherism and crass demeanor) is that he would be required to file detailed financial reports that would expose him as a fraud. He brought this up during the speech and insisted that he is proud of his financial status. Well, he’s also proud of his hair, so we can’t place much stock in what makes him proud. More to the point, he still has not produced any bona fide financial statements, and the one that he did produce was blasted by Forbes Magazine as “Exaggerating His Net Worth (By 100%).” And the conservative magazine Newsmax debunked Trump’s wealth claims saying…

“Most of his signature property, Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York, is comprised of condominium units and common elements — hallways, elevators — that have been sold and no longer hold value for Trump. […] Developers in locales as far flung as South Korea, Turkey, Panama and Hawaii have paid Trump fees to put his name on buildings he neither constructed nor owns.”

Additionally, Trump’s vaunted reputation as a real estate wizard is a fairy tale and totally undeserved. His businesses have failed on numerous occasions and filed for bankruptcy at least four times. It’s on the basis of that resume that Trump hopes gain support.

Trump has thirty days to officially file his candidacy and produce financial records that show assets, liabilities, and sources of income for himself and his immediate family. He promised today that he would so, and do it on time with no extensions. I still don’t think he’s going to do it. However, the delay gives him time to appear in the first GOP debate that will air on Fox News next month. He’ll be on Fox News sooner than that though, as he visits Bill O’Reilly tonight for his first post-announcement interview (bypassing Sean Hannity).

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

If Trump does follow through and becomes a real candidate, it will be interesting to see where his support comes from. He doesn’t need regular people to donate to his campaign as he can self-finance if he wants. Most likely the group of Americans that will contribute most generously will be the professional comedians lobby. They are a powerful special interest group and have an agenda of expanding joke-creation and restoring America’s hysterical exceptionalism.

Jeb Bush Announces That He’s Running For The Nomination Of A Dying GOP

“Fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.” Or so Jeb Bush would like you to think as he officially throws his hat into the clown car for the 2016 GOP presidential primary. This would make the third time getting fooled if anyone falls for it.

Jeb (as he will be known from now on, having dropped “Bush” from his logo), gave a typically Republican speech chock full of animus for liberals and promising to right the alleged wrongs thrust on the nation by the current occupant of the White House. For some reason, Jeb neglected to mention that President Obama restored a nation that was in a deep recession caused by brother George and his two wars and tax cuts for the rich. In fact, Jeb was so determined to leave his brother to the ash heap of history that he never even mentioned him by name in the speech.

Also unsaid by Jeb was any reference to ISIS (or Al Qaeda or terrorism). Ordinarily that wouldn’t mean a damn thing, except that that sort of omission is always used as evidence of weakness when a Democrat does it. Just this week Fox News skewered Hillary Clinton when her speech mentioned ISIS only once. Which was once more than Jeb. What are the odds Fox News will notice that?

Jeb has already revealed that his first post-announcement interview will be with Sean Hannity of Fox News. So he will be following in the footsteps of Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rick Perry, who all lost their interview-ginity to Hannity as well. This is a Republican christening of sorts, and one sanctioned by the party, whose chief spokesman, Sean Spicer, said “I think if you didn’t go to Hannity you would be sued for political malpractice.” So according to the Republican Party it is malpractice not to kiss Hannity’s ring. That’s a pretty good confirmation that the Republican Party doesn’t really exist anymore with Fox News taking over their messaging and the Koch brothers taking over their electoral operations.

And if that isn’t proof enough, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus (whose name without the vowels is RNC PR BS) was recently interviewed by conservative radio talker and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham and told her that “Republicans don’t exist as a national political party if we do not win in 2016.”

Reince Priebus

Still not convinced? Back in 2012, Rush Limbaugh told his audience of proud dittoheads that “If Obama wins let me tell you what it’s the end of … the Republican Party.” So the party’s demise is already three years overdue by Limbaugh’s calculation. Of course, Limbaugh’s track record for accuracy is dismal. There’s a much better gauge coming up tomorrow. That’s when Donald Trump is scheduled to make a “major announcement” concerning his presidential ambitions. I still stand by my prediction that there is no way he will run. But if he does, then all of the predictions about the end of Republican Party will be immediately fulfilled.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Surprise: Hillary Clinton Speech Panned By Fox News As “Class Warfare”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivered a speech today in New York at a rally of thousands of excited supporters. It was the first major event since the declaration of her candidacy. The speech covered many of the issues that are uppermost on the minds of American voters including the economy, national security, immigration, climate change, and civil rights. But that didn’t stop Fox News from narrowing the scope of their perception of the speech to a single divisive concept: Class Warfare.

Hillary Clinton

It is notable that Fox did not air a segment analyzing the speech for about twenty minutes after it was over. That contrasts with the other news networks who immediately brought in analysts to discuss the substance and impact of the speech. It appears that Fox needed some time to decide how they would frame the speech and the speaker in the most unflattering way before committing to covering it.

When Fox did come back to the subject of Clinton’s address, they first interviewed their own media reporter, Howard Kurtz, whose response was lukewarm and devoid of any insight. Then Fox let a couple of pundits spar over Clinton’s event in Crossfire fashion. Finally, after stalling for more than an hour, anchor Uma Pemmaraju introduced conservative pollster and GOP “word doctor” Frank Luntz to lead a segment with the pejorative premise that “Hillary Clinton [is] really playing up the class warfare theme” and that “She’s taking this hard-left turn.” It’s the sort of typical wild swing that Fox News uses to fan the embers of anti-liberal cliches when they haven’t got any coherent argument to make.

Clinton’s full 45 minute speech was actually much more diverse as she offered some personal stories about herself and her family, along with a platform of “four fights” that she intends to lead as a candidate and a president:

  • The first is to make the economy work for everyday Americans, not just those at the top.
  • Now, the second fight is to strengthen America’s families, because when our families are strong, America is strong.
  • So we have a third fight: to harness all of America’s power, smarts, and values to maintain our leadership for peace, security, and prosperity.
  • The fourth fight – reforming our government and revitalizing our democracy so that it works for everyday Americans.

It was likely the “first fight” that triggered the criticism that Clinton was engaging in class warfare. It’s funny, though, that economic policies that favor the wealthy are never called a class war until the people start fighting back. As Bernie Sanders recently said, redistribution of wealth has been going on for decades, from the poor and middle-class to the rich. Policies aimed at reversing that trend are merely to bring back some fairness.

It was that “fourth fight,” however, that produced some of the most striking rhetoric in the speech. Clinton insisted that “Prosperity can’t be just for CEOs and hedge fund managers. Democracy can’t be just for billionaires and corporations.” She made a good case for reform that would restore the the ideals of democracy that have withered at the hands of corporations, billionaires, and the politicians they’ve bought:

We have to stop the endless flow of secret, unaccountable money that is distorting our elections, corrupting our political process, and drowning out the voices of our people. We need Justices on the Supreme Court who will protect every citizen’s right to vote, rather than every corporation’s right to buy elections. If necessary, I will support a constitutional amendment to undo the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United. I want to make it easier for every citizen to vote. That’s why I’ve proposed universal, automatic registration and expanded early voting. I’ll fight back against Republican efforts to disempower and disenfranchise young people, poor people, people with disabilities, and people of color. What part of democracy are they afraid of?

As the campaign season heats up Fox News will predictably try to frame Clinton, and all Democrats, as evil, socialist, godless, incompetents. But it will useful to remember what they were saying about Clinton before they decided she was the next anti-Christ. Here’s a sampling that was compiled by Media Matters:

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

What Republican Party? Fox News And The Koch Brothers Have Replaced The GOP

Everyday there is more and more evidence that the Republican Party is dissolving into the ether of a new political atmosphere. It began with Fox News usurping the PR responsibilities of the party. For anyone to advance in the GOP they had to go through Fox News. At the same time, the Koch brothers have been moving in on party operations and raising more campaign money than the party could ever hope to.

Koch Brothers

News Corpse has covered this phenomenon in some detail here and here, examining how the interests of Fox News came to supersede those of the GOP:

Fox has corralled a stable of the most disreputable, unqualified, extremist, lunatics ever assembled, and is presenting them as experts, analysts, and leaders. These third-rate icons of idiocy are marketed by Fox like any other gag gift (i.e. pet rocks, plastic vomit, Sarah Palin, etc.). […] The problem is that by elevating bona fide nutcases, they are debasing honest and informed discourse. The mental cases are crowding out any reasonable voices that might exist amongst the more moderate Republicans (if there are any left). Fox appears to have made a tactical decision to permit the inmates full run of the asylum. […] So even as this helps Rupert Murdoch’s bottom line, it is making celebrities of political bottom-feeders. That can’t be good for the long-term prospects of the Republican Party.

The trend is accelerating as we go into the 2016 presidential campaign season. Now Fox has appointed itself the gatekeeper of the GOP primary, wherein they will only permit the top ten Republican candidates, as determined by certain unnamed polls, to participate in their televised debates. Even Republican party operatives are opposed to this power grab by a media company.

In addition to Fox News assuming the roll of party spokesman, the billionaire Koch brothers are angling to replace the party’s electoral architects by building and distributing the voter access tools and outreach capability that used to be the sole province of the political party. Yahoo News published an in-depth investigation that shows how the Koch’s syndicate has moved in on party territory, much to the consternation of the party chieftains.

“The RNC is now openly arguing, however, that the Kochs’ political operation is trying to control the Republican Party’s master voter file, and to gain influence over — some even say control of — the GOP.

“‘I think it’s very dangerous and wrong to allow a group of very strong, well-financed individuals who have no accountability to anyone to have control over who gets access to the data when, why and how,’ said Katie Walsh, the RNC’s chief of staff.”

So if the Koch brothers end up running the electoral operations of Republican candidates, and Fox News continues its role in media strategy and execution, the only question that remains is: What’s left for the remnants of the Republican Party to do? They become an organization with no authority, responsibility, or relevance.

If they don’t take steps to reverse these trends, and do it soon, the GOP will drift into an ignoble and faded history. Ordinarily, that might not seem like such a horrible idea. But if their replacement is Fox News and the Koch brothers, we might all be better off rooting for the GOP.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.