Donald Trump’s Sick Response To Terrorist Attacks: Be More Like Terrorists

The tragedy of another terrorist attack on innocent people is once again stirring fear and sympathy as the world struggles to find a solution to this seemingly intransigent problem. And despite the fact that the tactics of these murderous swine proves that they are desperate and losing, the consequences are no less painful.

Donald Trump

The responses to terrorist attacks are almost always insufficient. There is little one can say to comfort the victims and their families for their suffering and loss. There is, however, one thing that these events do not need, and that is more bellicose demagoguery of the sort that Donald Trump is wont to engage in. His post-Istanbul comments (video below) were typical of his impulse for impetuous violence and his embrace of ignorance. It’s a study in how a cranky child might react to not getting its way. But when seen in an adult who aspires to lead a great nation and a massive army it is downright frightening. Trump began his tantrum with an appeal to the infantile nature of his base saying…

“Folks, there’s something going on that’s really, really bad. Alright? It’s baaaad. And we better get smart, and we better get tough. Or we’re not gonna have much of a country left, OK? It’s bad.”

Apparently the key to Trump’s analysis is that terrorism is “bad.” What a revelation. If he had more time he might have added “icky” and lambasted the terrorists as “poopyheads.” It’s hard to know whether Trump was speaking down to the level of his followers or if this is just the limits of his intellectual capacity. In any case, it offers nothing useful to the discourse. But he was just getting started. He continued…

“Their laws say you can do anything you want and the more vicious you are the better.”

First of all, who is the “they” to which he is referring? That’s important in order to confirm the status of their laws. To my knowledge there is no legal entity that grants the right to “anything you want,” nor grants unrestricted viciousness. Certainly terrorists have shown that they are willing to be vicious, but rhetoric like this serve no purpose and appeals only to blind emotion. Trump proceeded by saying that…

“So we can’t do waterboarding which is, it’s not the nicest thing but it’s peanuts compared to many alternatives. So we can’t do waterboarding but they can do chopping off heads, drowning people in steel cages. They can do whatever they wanna do.”

The jealousy in Trump’s voice is palpable. Clearly he is miffed that the terrorists can act more heinously than he can. It’s not fair. He is so upset that he veers off into a fantastical imaginary scenario involving a terrorist family supper:

“And you know they eat dinner like us. Can you imagine them sitting around the table, or wherever they’re eating their dinner, talking about ‘the Americans don’t do waterboarding and yet we chop of heads.’ They probably think we’re weak, we’re stupid, we don’t know what we’re doing, we have no leadership. You have to fight fire with fire.”

I’m sure that’s exactly what terrorists discuss while dining. What could be more appetizing than a discussion of decapitation with the kids while enjoying a tasty siniyah kebab?

Setting aside the cognitive breakdown of Trump’s storytelling, he does actually get to the heart of his philosophy at the end: fight fire with fire. He believes that the United States should adopt the tactics of the terrorists. He is literally calling for Americans to decapitate our enemies or burn them alive because that’s just so American.

It is that brand of vengeful mindlessness that really defines Trump’s idiocy. Not only would it be a violation of our principles, it would be against international law. What’s more, it would validate the tactics of those we are fighting. It would give them permission to continue, and even escalate, their brutality while simultaneously indicting us for crimes against humanity.

Finally, Trump’s rash and irrational proposals would remove any moral authority we have in this struggle and bring into question whether what we are fighting for is any better. Had Trump been around during World War II he would have advocated gassing the Japanese who were being unjustly held in concentration camps. That isn’t the legacy that America hopes to project. It is an abhorrent policy of hatred and vengeance that does nothing to advance our goals. It is the core of the Trump Doctrine and must be rejected in huge numbers. In fact, recent polling indicates that it is already being rejected:

“Clinton leads Trump 50% to 39% on who would best handle terrorism […] Those surveyed also believe presumptive Democratic presidential nominee showed better temperament than her Republican counterpart in response to the attack, 59% to 25%, respectively. Clinton is also favored in confidence that she can handle a similar attack as president compared with Trump (53% to 34%) and that she has better proposals for preventing future attacks (44% to 35%).”

That’s a hopeful sign that the American people are not falling for Trump’s vile campaign of hate. But we must do more than hope that this endures until November. We must unite and work our asses off to avoid the nightmare of a Trump presidency.

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

Chickenhawk Republican Climate Deniers Just Killed Critical Military Funding

The Republican Party has distinguished itself for its shameless, knee-jerk opposition to anything with even a faint fragrance of liberalism. Their robotic rejection of any policy proposed by President Obama, or any other Democrat, is evidence of their acute aversion to critical thinking – or thinking period. And now they may have demonstrated that their assholiness even extends to weakening America’s national security.

Chickenhawk GOP

The Pentagon has long regarded Climate Change as a credible risk factor for international affairs. It is predicted that it will cause more severe natural disasters like hurricanes and drought, and multiplying refugee crises. All of this will profoundly increase the sort global tensions and conflict for which the United States must be prepared.

In response to these risks the Pentagon implemented a strategy (Department of Defense Directive 4715.21) for dealing with the consequences of a warming world. It was a fairly innocuous plan that mainly called for assigning specific people the responsibility of insuring that necessary measures were being taken to address potential problems. But even that plan was too much for the anti-science GOP, as reported by Politico:

“Last week, however, House Republicans voted to block it. By a 216-205 vote Thursday, the House passed an amendment prohibiting the department from spending money to put its new plan into effect. Not a single Democrat voted for the amendment, which was attached to the defense spending bill.”

The amendment was authored by Colorado Republican Ken Buck, who has no experience in either science or the military. His ignorance on the subject led to a defense of his amendment that makes little sense:

“The military, the intelligence community [and] the domestic national security agencies should be focused on ISIS and not on climate change. The fact that the president wants to push a radical green energy agenda should not diminish our ability to counter terrorism. […] The president has talked about an increase in the climate temperature on the planet. It is a fraction of a degree every year. How that is a current threat to us is beyond me.”

Indeed, this entire subject is beyond Rep. Buck. Apparently he thinks that the Defense Department, with 3.1 million employees and a budget of more $600 billion is incapable of concentrating on more than one thing at a time. Buck also believes that being prepared to respond to future military threats is part of a “radical green agenda.” His absurd position suggests that the U.S. should also drop any projects related to Russia, North Korea, NATO, cyber-warfare, or anything else not directly concerning ISIS.

Republican fear mongers, and their PR division at Fox News, are heavily invested in fighting a narrowly defined war on “radical Islamic terrorism” that mainly consists of reciting those three magic words and watching the bad guys dissolve into the ether. They have no affirmative suggestions for achieving victory, but they are overflowing with pointless criticisms. They mock those, including President Obama, who correctly assert that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than Climate Change.”

Conservatives who dispute the looming danger of a world with declining resources like water and arable land dismiss the warnings of 97 percent of the scientists who study the matter. They believe the whole crisis is a hoax that was invented to enrich greedy professors or, as Donald Trump laughably claimed, by the Chinese. However, the issue was laid out in stark detail by a Republican administration with an icon of modern conservative national security taking the lead:

“In 2003, under Donald Rumsfeld, former President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, the Pentagon published a report titled ‘An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.’ Commissioned by Andrew Marshall, who is sometimes jokingly referred to within the Pentagon as Yoda — and who was a favorite of Rumsfeld’s — the report warned that threats to global stability posed by rapid warming vastly eclipse that of terrorism.”

And Rumsfeld is not alone among security professionals in warning about Climate Change. The Politico article quotes several, with decades of military experience, who regard Buck’s amendment as foolish and more costly in the long run. In fact, four of the past Secretaries of Defense (Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Rumsfeld) all subscribed to the policy that Climate Change is one of America’s top strategic risks. And three of the four are Republicans. Those are the people Ken Buck and his fellow Republicans are overruling with this ill-considered budget cut.

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

So why would the GOP advance this nonsense that is contrary to the non-partisan opinions of most experts? Because conservatives don’t really care about national security. What they want is to terrify people by focusing on the immediacy and bloodshed of incidents like the recent massacre in Orlando. Which is, ironically, the same thing the terrorists want. And that purely political, self-serving objective overrides any genuine interest in the welfare of the American people or the world.

Fox News Host Uses #Brexit Vote To Call For A New Civil War In The U.S.

The pseudo-patriots at Fox News are constantly waving the Stars and Stripes as they espouse a philosophy of American Exceptionalism (aka American Supremacy). They consider themselves to be the palace guards of a near fetishistic nationalism. They pounce on President Obama for any slight that their imaginations perceive and berate those they feel have not been sufficiently deferential to their brand of jingoism.

Fox News

For some reason, however, when it comes to honoring the unity of the United States, Fox News is often less than loyal to the country. Yesterday’s vote in the United Kingdom on whether to remain in the European Union has brought out some of that anti-American fervor that is always just slightly below the surface of the Tea Party StormTrumpers at Fox News. Todd Starnes, host of Fox Radio’s News & Commentary program, was so exhilarated by the U.K.’s vote to leave the EU that he rushed to tweet his response to Brexit saying, “Hey Texas — did you see what the British just did? #freedom.”

The unmistakable message of that tweet was that Texas ought to follow in the U.K.’s footsteps and secede from the U.S. It’s a message that isn’t particularly original. There has been a Texas secession movement (now being called Texit) going on for many years, led by groups like The Republic of Texas and the Texas Nationalist Movement. Former Governor Rick Perry was not averse to hinting at the idea while he was in office and running for president. But being advocated by a the host of a major “news” network is a new wrinkle.

Given a shallow analysis, one could find some compelling reasons to let Texas go, including the immediate loss of millions of right-wing crackpots and two wingnut senators. Governing the remaining forty-nine states would become noticeably easier without the largest red state mucking things up. Republicans would lose their largest source of electoral college votes.

But with closer scrutiny you would also have to be concerned about the millions of other rational, progressive Texans who would suffer undeservedly. What’s more, the conservative utopia about which the secessionists fantasize would not likely be forthcoming. For the past several years the population of the state has been trending more liberal with a growing community of Latino citizens. That’s probably not the demographic profile that the mostly white secessionists have in mind.

What Fox News and these anti-patriots fail to grasp is that there is no provision in the U.S. Constitution for secession. About a hundred and fifty years ago some southern states, including Texas, had sought to set up their own government separate from the United States. That turned out badly for them, and it wasn’t so great for anyone else either. It was the bloodiest war in the nation’s history. How Texas would achieve a separation today is not explained by the proponents.

For a Fox News host to advocate for what would be another bloody civil war is beyond irresponsible. It is insane. It’s the advocacy of once again pitting Americans against one another with no hope for successfully attaining their goal. It would result in untold fatalities and economic catastrophe as demonstrated by the response of the world’s financial markets today. Clearly there is very little optimism about the prospects for England’s future by those who are most affected by it.

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

Just the suggestion of pursuing Texit inflames the same sort of bigotry and division that has fueled the campaign of Donald Trump who, after an embarrassing moment when he revealed that he didn’t know what Brexit is, he came out in favor of it. He literally announced his support for one of the most consequential events in history just moments after saying “I don’t think anybody should listen to me because I haven’t really focused on it very much.” And that pretty much sums up the low level of thought that has gone into the issue by Trump and his ilk. It’s an embrace of ignorance that is both mind boggling and frightening. And it is being furthered by irresponsible propagandists on Fox News.

Twidiots: Donald Trump And Sarah Palin Vie For Stupidest Tweet Of The Day

In the midst of a campaign season that has seen some startlingly ignorant remarks by the most fact-challenged assembly of Republican candidates and pundits, two of the party’s most laughable dolts are challenging each other for pinhead primacy. The face-off between Donald Trump and Sarah Palin may prove to be an epic contest by the legends of loony.

Trump/Palin Tweets

In one corner we have Donald Trump. The recognized leader in marathon lying, his versatility also makes him a contender for Stupidest Tweet.

In his relentless efforts to congratulate himself Trump posted a tweet giving thanks for the results of a poll that actually showed him losing to Hillary Clinton 49-51. As if that weren’t bad enough, what makes this particularly notable as epically dimwitted is that the poll is from the ultra-rightist TV network One America News (OAN) and was conducted by a blatantly biased pollster, Gravis Marketing. So even when his polls are conservatively skewed he’s losing, but in his ego-driven obliviousness he still finds it worthy of celebration.

Trump is drawn to polls that have no credible reputation and whose results are obviously bogus. In the past he has linked to polls that showed him leading with Latinos, with African-Americans, and with a higher favorability than Clinton in New York. But in this latest non-credible tweet he isn’t even leading. Polls that conduct accurate surveys of public opinion are giving Trump his worst numbers to date, including one that shows him with an unfavorable rating of 70 percent, the worst ever recorded by that poll.

In the other corner we have Sarah Palin, the word salad queen who thinks Africa is a country and whose “death panel” fantasy was PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year for 2009.

Palin’s entry in the Stupidest Tweet contest has a high degree of difficulty considering she is tackling head on the alleged stupidity of President Obama. Her tweet says that “OBAMA IS A SPECIAL KIND OF STUPID.” And right off the bat, she demonstrated her own lack of mental acuity by posting a broken link that led to a missing Facebook page. Undaunted, I navigated to her commentary on Facebook and found a screed lambasting the President for “Exploiting a sick, evil, ideological-driven attack on Americans to further your twisted anti-Second Amendment mission.”

Palin was outraged that Obama had the audacity to address the dangers of terrorists having easy access to assault weapons shortly after a terrorist killed 49 people and wounded 53 more with an assault weapon. She accused him of insinuating that the Orlando shooter represented all gun owners, which he never did. Then she demanded of him to “Forget your asinine gun control, do your job and engage in Islamic terrorist control.” Apparently she is unaware the Obama has been fully engaged in the fight against terrorism and has achieved significant progress while she and her ilk have done nothing but complain that he doesn’t say the three magic words, “radical Islamic terrorism” (as if that would change anything).

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

This Battle of the Lame-Brained promises to be an exciting spectacle as the election proceeds toward its November conclusion. And these demonstrations of Olympian idiocy will surely not be the last contenders. We have two worthy combatants who are determined to set new records for dumbf*ckery. So stay tuned for much more to come.

Fox News ‘Psycho’ Analyst Tells Real Doctors To ‘Shut Up’ About Gun Violence

The tragedy in Orlando last week has once again provoked the debate over access to assault weapons and the ease with which such destructive arms are attained by sick people with intent to do harm. It’s a fairly one-sided debate since the majority of Americans are in favor of common sense reforms such as universal background checks, prohibiting suspected terrorists from buying guns, and banning assault weapons.

Fox News

But leave it to Fox News to take the side of the NRA extremists who oppose any effort to make our country safer. With the exception of a couple of surprising and out of character commentaries by Bill O’Reilly and Gretchen Carlson, the consensus opinion of Fox News anchors and contributors is that guns should not even be included in the discussion about how to respond to mass murders by guns.

On Fox & Friends, for instance, the Curvy Couch Potatoes called in a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team to offer his “professional” opinion on the matter. Psychologist Keith Ablow is a blatantly political mouthpiece for right-wing propaganda and a confirmed Obama hater who long ago abandoned any credibility as a medical advisor. At the outset of the interview he was asked by co-host Brain Kilmeade whether gun violence is a disease or advancing a political agenda by the government. Ablow responded saying that…

“Of course gun violence isn’t a disease. This is part of the progressive agenda, alive and well at the AMA, the American Medical Association.”

Ablow went on to accuse the AMA of having a desire to “look into the problem of uncontrolled gun ownership.” Presumably, therefore, he is in favor of uncontrolled gun ownership, a position he shares with the world’s terrorists. In support of his argument he rattled off a stream of unrelated statistics about various causes of death in Argentina and Sweden that in no way addressed the very real and continuing problem in the United States. Then he lectured the AMA and the American Psychiatric Association on the need to “rebuild our mental healthcare system,” as if that was a novel idea that they hadn’t though of, or been working on for decades in spite of the opposition from conservatives like Ablow.

Ablow and Kilmeade also felt that it was important to note that homicides by guns were not among the top twenty causes of death in the U.S. That’s correct because health issues like heart attacks and cancer dominate the top ranks of fatalities. But their argument appears to suggest that the thousands of preventable deaths by gun violence are therefore irrelevant and unworthy of discussion. It’s a position that callously dishonors the victims and their families.

Perhaps the most striking part of Ablow’s remarks is that he touches on a cogent thought momentarily, but lets it fade off into his knee-jerk gun fetishism without acknowledging it’s importance. He said that…

“There are reasons for homicide and nobody knows how many of those acts would have taken place without guns.”

Exactly. The fact that nobody knows the answers to many of the questions surrounding the epidemic of gun violence in America is precisely the reason that organizations like the AMA and Centers for Disease Control should be studying the subject. However, Republicans in Congress, at the behest of the NRA, passed legislation that prohibits such studies. Ablow called the attempt to link guns to violence “foolishness,” but what’s more foolish than literally legislating away the quest for knowledge?

As usual, Ablow squeezed in a slap at President Obama by complaining that the AMA “are the people who championed Obamacare” (which, of course, has resulted in more Americans having access to affordable health care than ever before). He ranted that liberals have an agenda “to eat away at gun rights with medical research.” And after this brazenly political screed, Ablow had the audacity to demean those who advocate for more knowledge and greater safety by saying “that’s being political. So stop it. Call yourself the American Political Association and shut up.”

Shut up? That’s the advice of the “doctor” on whom Fox News relies for their “fair and balanced” discourse on matters of national importance? That’s how a “news” network approaches a debate on how to deal with serious and deadly issues? Fox News is doing what they always do with controversial issues. They consult a hardcore partisan to push their right-wing message without regard for the truth or the welfare of the nation.

Here’s a Primer on Keith Ablow:

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?

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

DrumphTV: Donald Trump Eyes Boring America With His Own Cable Network

Perhaps in anticipation of a humiliating defeat in the presidential election, insiders in the Trump camp are talking about the possibility of Donald Trump trying to drag his glassy-eyed disciples from the musty arenas and airport hangers where he stages his rallies to the comfort of their own trailer parks. Vanity Fair is reporting that…

“Trump is indeed considering creating his own media business, built on the audience that has supported him thus far in his bid to become the next president of the United States. […] Trump’s rationale, according to this person, is that, ‘win or lose, we are onto something here. We’ve triggered a base of the population that hasn’t had a voice in a long time.'”

Make America Snooze Again
Donald Trump

Donald Trump has distinguished himself as one of the worst businessmen of his generation. He has suffered multiple bankruptcies. He has underperformed the markets within which his companies operate. He is currently being sued for fraud. He couldn’t even manage to make money in the casino business. And this may be one of his worst ideas to date. What’s more, his incentive is wholly based on misplaced greed and his delusional narcissism:

“Trump, this person close to the matter suggests, has become irked by his ability to create revenue for other media organizations without being able to take a cut himself. Such a situation ‘brings him to the conclusion that he has the business acumen and the ratings for his own network.’ Trump has ‘gotten the bug,’ according to this person. ‘So now he wants to figure out if he can monetize it.'”

WTF? Does Trump think that if he started a cable network that he would be the star attraction 24 hours a day (without making America nauseous)? He’s fooling himself if he actually believes that his glowing orange presence is what drove the ratings during the Republican primary. The reason people were watching was the prospect of seeing him crumble to the floor in a fit, speaking in tongues, or otherwise implode on live TV. What could he provide on TrumpTV with that kind of perverse entertainment value.

Maybe Trump would produce his version of The 700 Club (of course it would have to be the 7,000,000,000 Club) where he would lecture his emotionally unstable viewers on how awful America is, and then try to sell them steaks, time shares, and worthless diplomas. He could give Alex Jones his own Conspiracy Theory Theater Hour and pair Ivanka and Ted Nugent as a bizarro Donny and Marie.

Even that would be bound for failure. Despite Trump’s ego, he does not have the broad based popularity to attract a television audience sufficient to support a network. Especially since his campaign has rebranded him as the nation’s foremost racist, misogynist, xenophobic, hate monger since Archie Bunker. His campaign supporters may seem numerous when you stuff a few thousand into a baseball stadium in Alabama, but in order to succeed in TV you need millions of viewers to tune in regularly. Will his fans do that to hear the same stump speech he has been rambling off for the past year?

And where will the advertisers come from? Trump has already seen some big corporations back away from any affiliation with him. Today there is a report that Wells Fargo, UPS, Motorola, JPMorgan Chase, Ford and Walgreens, have all opted not to sponsor the Republican National Convention this year, as they have in the past. Most companies do not want to be associated with demagogic bigots. Just ask Rush Limbaugh whose advertising revenue has collapsed to the point where it is threatening the continued existence of his radio show.

What Trump doesn’t know is that the cable business is a terrible investment right now for new enterprises. There is an over-saturation of channels struggling to get attention. The cable systems have no space for new channels. Trump would have buy an existing network to get any distribution. And people with far more adoring fans have had a tough time rolling out new networks. Oprah Winfrey is perfect example of one America’s most beloved figures whose cable venture is struggling. Glenn Beck can’t even get on most cable systems and is languishing in the web world. Sarah Palin has had three cable shows bite the dust, as well as her own effort to launch a web video service that lasted less than year.

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

The notion that America is hankering for Donald Trump to come into their living rooms is one that only an acutely deranged egotist could entertain. But it’s interesting that this boneheaded idea is bubbling up just as the general election is about to commence. It seems like Trump is not as certain of his ability to win at everything he tries as he wants people to think. Otherwise he wouldn’t be floating this fallback position before the campaign against Hillary Clinton has even gotten started.

Return Of The Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine: Say ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Three Times

Radical Islamic Terrorism. Radical Islamic Terrorism. Radical Islamic Terrorism.

There, I said it three times. Is it gone yet?

In the childish imagination of American conservatives the only reason that terrorism still exists is that President Obama and other Democrats have failed to utter the magical incantation “Radical Islamic Terrorism.” The Wingnut Republican Tabernacle and the Pharisees of Fox News have devoutly concluded that this mantra is the key to defeating groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS. They believe that it is rhetorical kryptonite to terrorists. And then they wonder why we think they’re stupid.

Beetlejuice

What we have here is the widespread adoption of the fabled “Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine” wherein you shout “Radical Islamic Terrorism” three times and ISIS disappears. It’s clearly an obsession with these strategery geniuses. What’s more, they are convinced that babbling a few words of sorcery is a more effective weapon in the fight against terrorists than actually fighting terrorists. So even though as Commander-in-Chief President Obama disposed of Osama Bin Laden and eliminated thousands of terrorist operatives, including many of their leaders, he can’t possibly be serious about the mission until he chants that sacred three-word spell. Never mind the reports from the real world about actual military progress:

The Pentagon says it has killed about 26,000 ISIS fighters altogether, cut into the group’s cash flow, and driven the terrorists out of 40 percent of the land the organization once controlled. The population living under ISIS’s brutal reign has dropped from 9 million to 6 million people. U.S. strikes have killed several top ISIS strategists, and there are reports that ISIS fighters are retreating wherever they’re attacked, rather than fighting as fiercely as they once did.

And yet, draft dodgers like Donald Trump, who have no experience whatsoever in national security or counter-terrorism, continue to insist on adherence to a vapid slogan they’ve elevated to scripture. In a tweet shortly after the Orlando massacre was reported Trump asked:

“Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!”

Those are the sort of deep thoughts that populate the mind of a man who when asked who he speaks to for advice on foreign policy responded that “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.” It’s the same man who immediately after hearing the news of the gruesome shootings rushed to Twitter to congratulate himself – twice (here and here) for being right about his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the country. Apparently his “very good brain” missed the fact that the shooter was an American citizen born in New York.

And set aside the fact that Trump is a confirmed birther who believes that Obama should resign in disgrace for being a Kenyan who faked his American citizenship. Now his first response to the worst mass shooting in american history is to taunt the President for not saying “Radical Islamic Terrorism.” I can’t help but wonder what Trump and his ilk think would change if the President humored them and said the three little words (which used to be “I love you”). Would there be even one more life restored or one more terrorist removed from the battlefield? Of course not. Yet Trump spent the majority of his first post-Orlando speech preaching the “Radical Islamic Terrorism” gospel as if it had some relevance to solving the problem.

On the other hand, there are concrete reasons for declining to say “Radical Islamic Terrorism” or to otherwise refuse to associate the entire Muslim faith with the acts of violent extremists. We have legitimate concerns regarding our ability to form coalitions with the Muslim nations in the Middle-East whose cooperation is required to prevail against ISIS. That objective is not helped by demeaning their faith. But it’s more than that. By accepting the terms and definitions of the terrorists, Republicans, Fox News, et al, are acting as the PR department for the terrorists who desperately aspire to be regarded as the legitimate voice of Islam. Why are people like Trump insisting on granting the terrorists that victory?

When you look at who is for or against directly tying the terrorists to Islam you’ll discover a set of alliances that is enlightening. Those is favor of connecting those dots are the terrorists themselves, Fox News, and the Donald Trump faction of the Republican right. On the other side is President Obama, religion and terrorism experts, and the vast majority of the world’s Muslims who, we must not forget, are also the vast majority of the victims. So the real question here is why is Donald Trump, the GOP, and Fox News on the same side as the terrorists in an effort to brand their heinous activities?

Conceding that terrorism is the way of Islam amounts to an acceptance of the terrorists demands. It is a form of appeasement that rewards them with precisely what they seek: religious legitimacy. And the Trump Crusaders are playing into their hands. They are, in effect, supporting the goals of the terrorists.

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

One of the arguments frequently proffered to assert that Islam and terrorism are inseparable is that the terrorists call themselves Muslims. By that logic they would also have to argue that Christianity and terrorism are inseparable because right-wing militias, the KKK, and abortion clinic bombers call themselves Christian. But don’t expect to hear that from tunnel-blind right-wingers. Their only interest is in spreading irrational hatred and employing fear to gain power. Sounds something like terrorism, doesn’t it?

The Heinous Political Opportunism Of Fox News On The Orlando Massacre

The sad reality of having to cover yet another incident of mass gun violence in America is made all the worse by the revolting political opportunism of the knee-jerk hate mongers at Fox News. In the early hours of Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida, a gunman entered a nightclub with an AR-15 and other weapons and murdered fifty innocent people, wounding more than fifty others. It’s a tragedy that calls for the uniting of all Americans against the insanity that produces these maniacs.

Fox News

However, instead of seeking the unity and solace that the nation so desperately needs at times like this, Fox News ventured off into a flagrantly biased political diatribe against President Obama (video below). Fox and Friends co-host Tucker Carlson was interviewing an author and alleged expert on terrorism when he asked the following question:

“Doesn’t the politicization of all of this, the relentless lying by the administration about the Islamic terror threat we face make it harder for people to want to step forward and say what they see?”

Carlson’s question is so rife with hypocrisy and hatred it is difficult to know where to begin. First of all, it is Carlson who is responsible for “the politicization of all of this.” Most of the people in positions of authority are withholding comments until more facts are known. The only statement from the administration was an acknowledgement of the horror of terrorism, committment to its defeat, and expressions of condolences. Carlson’s question is itself political in nature and aimed at maligning the president he hates.

Secondly, there is absolutely no evidence of “lying by the administration about the Islamic terror threat we face.” That’s a scurrilous fabrication straight from the warped mind of an anti-Obama bigot. The Obama administration has forthrightly addressed the terrorist threat and has done more to combat it than any other president in history. Under his direction the American military has killed or captured hundreds of terrorist leaders and operatives, including Osama Bin Laden, a task that President Bush was unable to achieve for seven years.

For the host of an alleged “news” network to make such reprehensible comments, only hours after the slaughter, while the victims and their families are still grief-stricken, is not unusual for Fox News. They have engaged in similar politicization of tragedies as disperse as Benghazi, Paris, Aurora, Newtown, and San Bernardino. It didn’t make any difference if the crimes were related to terrorism or not. They were always somehow the fault of President Obama.

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

Fox News is brazenly catering to the hatred of their audience. This is all to common for Fox as documented in The Collected Hate Speech of the Fox News Community. All it takes is brief glance at the comments on Fox’s website to see that the political obsessions and biases expressed by Fox anchors is mirrored by their viewers. These are just a few of the vile outbursts on their Orlando article:

foxnews-comments-orlando-terror

Watch Tucker Carlson and his nauseating friends on Fox News:

Fox News Is Ramping Up Their Flagrant, Dishonest Smearing Of Hillary Clinton

This week saw Hillary Clinton become the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States, an historic achievement as the first woman to do so. She also got the endorsement of President Obama and other party leaders. These events affirm that the 2016 general election has officially commenced. And with that. Fox News is rolling out its quadrennial blitzkrieg of smears and lies aimed at all things Democrat, and specifically Hillary Clinton.

Yesterday on Fox & Friends, the Curvy Couch Potatoes latched onto an interview Clinton gave to Scott Pelley of CBS New wherein she was asked the sort of tough question that Fox insists the lamestream media never ask her:

“It’s possible that your biggest obstacle is not your opponent but yourself. Fifty-two percent of the American people who participated in our CBS news poll have an unfavorable opinion of you. That is the highest negative impression of anyone ever nominated by the Democratic party since we started asking that question in 1984. Do you bear any responsibility for that?”

The Fox Newsers then spent several minutes lambasting Clinton for her answer which they portrayed as refusing to accept any responsibility. To them it was further proof of her arrogance and dishonesty. The only problem with that is the substance of her actual answer (video).

Fox News

Oh, I’m sure I do, but I think when I was secretary of state and serving our country, I had an approval rating of 66 percent, and I think it’s fair to ask, ‘Well, what’s happened?’ And what’s happened is tens of millions of dollars of negative advertising and coverage that has been sent my way.”

So right up front Clinton explicitly acknowledged that she bore responsibility for the public’s perception of her. The fact that she went on to cite other contributing factors doesn’t diminish what she said. And the ability of the media to influence public opinion is something that conservatives are usually the first to complain about. However, that criticism of the press is apparently off-limits to Clinton. The same subject, with the same dishonest spin, was also discussed later on Fox’s Outnumbered.

Today, another Fox News distortion of reality was broadcast following a White House press briefing. Fox News told their gullible viewers that Press Secretary Josh Earnest had confirmed that the FBI probe into Clinton’s email is a “criminal” investigation.

Fox News

Once again, there is a small problem with that characterization: It isn’t remotely true. Fox was referring to this exchange between Earnest and Fox’s correspondent, James Rosen:

Rosen: So when a career prosecutor or an FBI agent who’s working on the Clinton investigation hears this President speak openly of how he wants Hillary Clinton to succeed him, you don’t think that that career prosecutor or that FBI agent takes that as some indication of how the President wants to see this case resolved?
Earnest: No. I think that those career prosecutors understand that they have a job to do, and that that job that they’re supposed to — which is to follow the facts, to pursue the evidence to a logical conclusion — that that is a job that they are responsible for doing without any sort of political interference. And the President expects them to do that job. […] That’s why the president, when discussing this issue in each stage, has reiterated his commitment to this principle: that any criminal investigation should be conducted independent of any sort of political interference.

Clearly Earnest was not referring to the Clinton case in that response. He was articulating a general principle of judicial propriety that is practiced by any White House. Had he been referring to the Clinton case he would have said “this criminal investigation,” rather than “any criminal investigation.” His statement was meant to be taken more broadly as a principle, just as he described it.

What’s more, Rosen’s question was downright stupid. The notion that a president expressing support for another candidate from the same party is not exactly a revelation. If investigators were susceptible to such pressure, they wouldn’t need Obama to announce his support in order to know that he backs Clinton. That should be obvious to anyone who isn’t desperately trying to construct a dishonest narrative. So it can be assumed that the investigators were already aware of Obama’s position with regard to Clinton. If Rosen had evidence that they had any bias toward Clinton, he would have presented it. Instead, he just floated some wild conspiracy theories. And even after that, Fox still felt they needed to lie about the answer given by Earnest.

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

Expect much more of this to come as the campaign proceeds toward November. Fox knows that all they have is lies and they will pour them out by the buckets full for the next four months. This says something about the dearth of negative information held by Fox. If they had anything truthful with which to skewer Clinton, they wouldn’t have to lie so badly or so frequently.

Donald Trump Continues To Unravel, Barking At Surrogates And Calling His Staff Stupid

DONALD TRUMP: I’ve always won and I’m going to continue to win. And that’s the way it is.

The warning signs of an acute mental breakdown are becoming ever more apparent as Donald Trump slips into the abyss of his own hatred and narcissism. In a conference call today with his key campaign surrogates, Trump unloaded both barrels in a fit over how they are covering for his racist attacks on a U.S. District Court judge.

Donald Trump

The Honorable Gonzalo Curiel is presiding over the case wherein Trump University has been charged with fraud. But Trump has been baselessly accusing him of being unfair due to his Hispanic heritage. Never mind that Trump has not provided a single example of an unfair ruling, or that Trump has not made any motions to have the judge removed from the case, he is doubling and tripling down on his public slander of the jurist who is prohibited by judicial ethics from responding.

And now Trump’s rapidly declining mental state is on full display. As reported by Bloomberg News, today’s conference call clearly showed the strain the affair is having on Trump. He was barking at his own supporters and complaining about their insufficient efforts to back up his blatant bigotry. At one point former Arizona governor Jan Brewer spoke up to advise Trump that an email from his campaign had asked the surrogates to stop talking about the case. Enraged, Trump bellowed “Take that order and throw it the hell out.” He demanded to know who sent the email, and upon learning the name he continued repudiating the email and the sender, who he said he didn’t know. Then he asked…

“Are there any other stupid letters that were sent to you folks? That’s one of the reasons I want to have this call, because you guys are getting sometimes stupid information from people that aren’t so smart.”

Note that the stupid people to whom he is referring are his own staff. The email was copied to the highest levels of Trump’s campaign including his campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and his press secretary Hope Hicks. So he can’t argue that this was all done under the radar by a junior staffer. Nor can he issue blanket insults about the intelligence of his employees and continue to claim that he hires the best people. What does this say about his potential cabinet appointments or Supreme Court nominations?

Trump went on to urge his surrogates to more aggressively defend him and aim their attacks directly at the media. He said that “The people asking the questions — those are the racists. I would go at ’em.” He failed to explain how reporters asking about his trumped up charges against an American-born judge of Mexican descent were themselves racist. He appeared to be concerned only with making sure that his surrogates obediently join him in maligning the judge’s credibility and impugning the reputation of the media.

And that’s what makes this all the more unhinged. The Trump University case has nothing to with the presidential campaign. It doesn’t touch on any political policy or legislative agenda. It is purely a personal matter for Donald Trump. It is, therefore, wholly inappropriate for him to recruit his campaign surrogates to run interference on a civil lawsuit that only affects him personally. Particularly when he is asking them to do his dirty work in a self-serving smear campaign. And if they agree to do it they are willfully abandoning any pretense of integrity or ethics. But then again, they’ve already done that by endorsing him for president.

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

This latest psychological meltdown illustrates just how dangerous a Trump presidency would be. He is incapable of managing his own narcissistic compulsions. He is an unstable character with no concept of the boundaries between his personal obsessions and the public welfare. He has no respect for his own supporters or staff. And his ability to elevate this comparatively minor civil suit to take priority over every other consideration on his path to the presidency is a frightening indicator of a deranged mindset that has no place in the White House.