Donald Trump’s Plan To Arm Drunken Bar Patrons Is Even Too Sick for The NRA

Within hours of the horrific massacre in Orlando, Florida, Donald Trump was congratulating himself and seeking political advantage from the suffering of others. He spent the next few days lambasting President Obama for not saying ‘radical Islamic terrorism,” a right-wing mantra that is at best a trivial distraction that has no effect whatsoever on counter-terrorism activities. [See The Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine]

Donald Trump

Yesterday Donald Trump escalated his grandstanding by repeating an ignorant trope about how different the outcome would have been if the patrons of the Pulse nightclub had themselves been armed. Every expert on public safety has repudiated that notion as being either ineffective or increasing the risk. But in this specific circumstance it would be so ridiculous that even the NRA distanced itself from Trump’s remarks. The NRA’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, told CBS’s Face the Nation that “I don’t think we should have firearms where people are drinking.” And Chris Cox, chief lobbyist for the NRA, said that “no one thinks that people should go into a nightclub drinking and carrying firearms.” Well, not on one. Some states are passing laws explicitly permitting it.

Still, for most sane folks the prospect of arming patrons of a crowded establishment where alcohol is being served is inviting tragedy even without any terrorists showing up. It would lead to common arguments having deadly results, as well as increasing the odds of lethal accidents. Trump’s phony machismo is just further evidence of how shallow he thinks through issues that can have profoundly disturbing consequences.

As a result of his quick-draw mouthing off, and the NRA’s equally quick disapproval, Trump tried to walk back his statement in a tweet (of course) falsely asserting that “When I said that if, within the Orlando club, you had some people with guns, I was obviously talking about additional guards or employees.” The dishonesty of that lame qualification is easily observed by revisiting his original comment:

“If we had people, where the bullets were going in the opposite direction, right smack between the eyes of this maniac — if some of those wonderful people had guns strapped right here, right to their waist or to their ankle, and this son of a bitch comes out and starts shooting, and one of the people in the room happened to have it, and goes boom — boom — you know what? That would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks. That would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight. So don’t let them take your guns away.”

What’s obvious about that statement is that Trump was referring to the bar’s patrons. The security guard in the club was, in fact, armed. Trump was talking specifically about “those wonderful people” and then he warned his rally audience, who were not security professionals, to resist letting anyone “take your guns away.” Never mind that no one is trying to take guns away from responsible, law-abiding citizens. Trump was clearly recommending that everyone, including bar patrons, strap on loaded weapons and prepare for a night out Wild West style. And it’s not the first time he has pitched this idiocy.

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

This whole affair is textbook Trump: Exploit the fear and bigotry of your followers by saying something stupid and indefensible. Then refuse to apologize, or even acknowledge the asinine nature of your statement, and lie about what you allegedly meant. It’s the strategy of an egocentric authoritarian who knows he can get away with anything because his glassy-eyed disciples won’t hold him to account and the media is too obsessed with ratings to do its job. Hopefully that situation will correct itself as the election season proceeds.

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Watch In Disbelief As ABC News Paints Homophobe Donald Trump As Pro-Gay

The debate over the causes of the Orlando massacre last week have run the gamut from radical Islamic terrorism, to the availability of military-style assault weapons, to violent homophobic extremism. The reality from the available facts is that there are elements of all three contributing to the madness of the shooter. But the media isn’t helping matters when they introduce absurdities into their analysis that blatantly contradict the truth.

Donald Trump

Yesterday on ABC News (video below), their Chief White House Correspondent, Jonathan Karl, promoted Donald Trump’s delusional pronouncement that “LGBT is starting to like Donald Trump very much lately. I will tell you.” Neither Trump nor Karl offered any evidence of that, and polling shows that Trump has a dismal favorability rating with LGBT people of only 18 percent. By contrast, Hillary Clinton is viewed favorably by 54 percent of the LGBT community.

Nevertheless, Karl continued to hype Trump’s stumping on the issue by running clips of Trump criticizing Clinton for accepting donations to the charitable Clinton Foundation from Saudi Arabia or other countries with poor records on human rights for gays and women. But both Trump and Karl neglected to put that claim in context by disclosing that Trump has many business relationships with people and businesses in the same countries that are not charitable in the least, but from which he will personally profit.

Karl closes the segment with a conclusion that can only be described as deranged. He said that…

“When it comes to gay rights, it’s Hillary Clinton who supports gay marriage, not Donald Trump. But even so, there is little doubt, David, that Trump is the most pro gay rights Republican presidential candidate that we have ever seen.”

WTF? Donald Trump cannot be portrayed as pro-gay rights by any stretch of the imagination. He has a long history of insulting remarks and hostile positions aimed at the LGBT community. He has publicly committed to appointing Supreme Court Justices who would overturn marriage equality. He has promised to sign the First Amendment Defense Act, which codifies discrimination against gays in commerce, employment, and housing. He meets with, and panders to, anti-gay hate groups like the Family Research Council. His solicitous embrace of anti-gay, evangelical extremists has been a core strategy of his campaign.

Karl might have been on firmer ground if he had merely suggested that Trump was less anti-gay than other Republicans who blame them for natural disasters and advocate stoning them to death. But only slightly firmer since many of Trump’s friends and allies (i.e. Jerry Falwell, Jr., Tony Perkins, and Alex Jones) proudly hold those views. But to put the words “pro” and “gay” in the same sentence as “Donald Trump” is a deliberate bastardization of the political reality that defines him. It is also a breach of journalistic principles that require adherence to honest representations of news events and figures.

Donald Trump’s cynical play for support from people whom he openly seeks to harm is a sinkhole of lies that no one should be so naive as to fall into. And it’s particularly reprehensible that he is using the tragedy in Orlando to fish for votes among people still in shock over what happened. Karl’s reporting on Trump only makes things worse by his failure to live up to his professional obligation to inform the public with facts and reason and coherent analysis. Karl failed miserably on all three counts.

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


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.


Donald Trump Bagged Nomination Due To Media’s Lust For Ratings, Harvard Study Reveals

The 2016 primary campaign for the Republican nomination for president has been accurately portrayed as a circus. It included seventeen candidates, most with little experience, but an abundance of ego, bluster, and a determination to divide the American people. The ringmaster of the show was Donald Trump, who was given the vast majority of media coverage virtually guaranteeing his victory.

Donald Trump

Now a study by Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politic, and Public Policy has certified conclusions that were fairly obvious even to casual observers. The study’s authors open with a summary of their findings:

>”The report shows that during the year 2015, major news outlets covered Donald Trump in a way that was unusual given his low initial polling numbers—a high volume of media coverage preceded Trump’s rise in the polls. Trump’s coverage was positive in tone—he received far more “good press” than “bad press.” The volume and tone of the coverage helped propel Trump to the top of Republican polls.”

The study notes that “media exposure is arguably the most important” indicator of success for primary contestants, and Trump received more than his fair share of it. What’s more, his coverage came despite the fact that he had not earned it by the conventional methods of attracting media attention for politicians: standing in the polls and fund raising. So why did the press lean over backwards to focus on Trump at a time when he plainly didn’t deserve it? According to the study:

“The answer is that journalists were behaving in their normal way. Although journalists play a political brokering role in presidential primaries, their decisions are driven by news values rather than political values. Journalists are attracted to the new, the unusual, the sensational—the type of story material that will catch and hold an audience’s attention. Trump fit that need as no other candidate in recent memory. Trump is arguably the first bona fide media-created presidential nominee.”

Donald Trump had bewitched the media with his celebrity from having hosted a TV game show for fourteen years. In addition to that he had a tendency to fly off the handle without notice. You could never be sure when he might start screaming the “N” word or slap an immigrant orphan across the face. He had that “train wreck” allure that the media craves but fails to acknowledge:

“Journalists seemed unmindful that they and not the electorate were Trump’s first audience. Trump exploited their lust for riveting stories. He didn’t have any other option. He had no constituency base and no claim to presidential credentials. […] The politics of outrage was his edge, and the press became his dependable if unwitting ally.”

The study found that the advertising equivalent value of the media coverage Trump received from the outlets they reviewed came to about $55 million. They acknowledge that this number was an underestimate of Trump’s total take if the rest of the media were included. In that case the number would be closer to two billion dollars. Also, this calculation only included coverage that was either positive or neutral. And on that measure the study found that “Across all the outlets, Trump’s coverage was roughly two-to-one favorable.”

Concurrent with the media infatuation for Trump, the nation’s press was taking a diametrically opposite stance toward the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. The study found that “Clinton had by far the most negative coverage of any candidate,” which drove the increase in her unfavorable poll ratings. She addressed this recently and was mocked for pointing out the obvious. But there was indeed an unmistakable bias that was evident across the board, and most prominently at Fox News (big surprise).

“Whereas media coverage helped build up Trump, it helped tear down Clinton. Trump’s positive coverage was the equivalent of millions of dollars in ad-buys in his favor, whereas Clinton’s negative coverage can be equated to millions of dollars in attack ads, with her on the receiving end. Of the eight news outlets in our study, Fox News easily led the way. Clinton received 291 negative reports on Fox, compared with only 39 positive ones, most of which were in the context of poll results that showed her with a wide lead.”

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

So the next time you hear someone complain that the media is liberal you’ll understand what a load of bull that is, and always has been. When the facts are compiled, and dispassionately examined, the truth is revealed. This study by Harvard should become mandatory reading for everyone in journalism school and, more importantly, everyone in journalism. And don’t forget the confession of Les Moonves, the CEO of CBS, who said of the Trump effect that “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” That is where their loyalties lie.

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What Donald Trump Just Said About Our Military Is Beyond Contempt (VIDEO)

Another day, another reprehensible comment from the Republican nominee for President of the United States. This time Donald Trump has insulted American soldiers risking their lives in Iraq by insinuating that they are thieves.

Donald Trump Hell Hole

At a rally in Greensboro North Carolina, Trump was pontificating on his proposal to steal oil revenues from Iraq and belittling those who criticized him.

“When we got out we should have taken the oil. I’ll never forget, some of the pundits – most of them don’t have the brains they were born with – they said ‘they’re talking about a sovereign country.’ Iraq. Crooked as hell. How about bringing baskets of money, millions and millions of dollars, and handing it out.”

First of all, how the hell did he think we should have taken the oil when we got out (never mind that we are actually still there)? Did he think we could have just sucked all of the underground reserves dry, pumped it into tankers and sailed back to America? And what he’s referring to about handing out millions of dollars from baskets is anyone’s guess.

No doubt there is some corruption in Iraq since the U.S. dismantled its government and left it in a shambles, but Trump clearly has no idea what he’s talking about and no facts to back it up. But what he said next should boil the blood of every American soldier, their families, neighbors, acquaintances, strangers, and pretty much anyone with a shred of patriotism. Referring to disbursement of money from baskets, Trump asked:

“Who are the soldiers who had that job? Cause I think they’re living very well right now, whoever they may be.”

In other words. Trump is accusing American soldiers of stealing money from their own government. He says it so matter-of-factly that it doesn’t seem like he has any doubt that our servicemen and women would engage in such shoddy, criminal behavior.

It’s fair to assume that Trump doesn’t find this unusual because it’s behavior to which he can relate. After all, he has spent a lifetime ripping off others through shady real estate deals that went bankrupt and blatant scams like his Trump University. So he’s just projecting what he would have done if he had access to that cash in Iraq. Of course we’ll never know what kind of soldier he would have been because he evaded the draft with five deferments during the Vietnam war.

Let’s not forget that Trump also tried to rip off the veterans he professes to love with a charity event that raised a few million dollars that he didn’t bother to distribute to the needy organizations until after he was called out by the Washington Post (whose press credentials he recently revoked).

If anyone still believes that Donald Trump is a friend of the military they really need to study his record more closely. And this latest insult should put an end to the charade that he cares about soldiers or veterans. It wasn’t enough last year when he insulted Sen, John McCain by saying that he wasn’t a war hero, despite having spent six years in a Vietnamese prison camp. Trump is continuing to reveal himself to America, and it’s an ugly picture. But it’s not unexpected coming from someone who called America a Hell Hole.

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


President Obama Humiliates The ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Trolls And Takes A Swipe Donald Trump

President Obama gave an address today that covered the tragic events in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, as well as an update on the fight against terrorism. The speech was remarkably similar to my article yesterday “Return Of The Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine: Say ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Three Times.”

After offering condolences to the victims and their families, Obama gave an accounting of the progress being made in the fight against ISIL and other terrorist organizations and reiterated our objective in the fight saying resolutely that “Our mission is to destroy ISIL.”

Obama Trump

While partisans on the right are constantly demonstrating their faltering patriotism by declaring that America is losing the war on terror, the facts enumerated by the President prove that the opposite is true. The evidence is in the significant losses of the terrorist’s leadership and foot soldiers and the shrinking geography and area of influence that terrorists control.

Obama covered all of that in detail. However, he also took some time to put to rest the absurd obsession that rightists have with the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” saying that “there is no magic to the phrase.” Nevertheless, and contrary to all reason, it has become an acute fetish with Republicans who hold that the mere utterance of the phrase will magically dissolve ISIS into the ether. Obama shot that down with eloquence and intelligence. He began with a direct hit:

“For a while the main contribution of some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have made in the fight against ISIL, is to criticize this administration, and me, for not using the phrase “radical Islam.” That’s the key they tell us. We can’t beat ISIL unless we call them radical Islamists.”

“What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is it a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is “none of the above.” Calling a threat by a different name doesn’t make it go away. This is a political distraction.”

Indeed it is. And that is likely the goal of Obama’s critics who callously use this issue for political gain and as a cudgel against the President they never regarded as legitimate. Obama answers those who call for him to recite the magic phrase with a simple and logical observation:

“Not once has an adviser said, ‘Man, if we use that phrase, we are going to turn this whole thing around.’ Not once. So someone seriously thinks that we don’t know who we are fighting? If there is anyone out there who thinks we are confused about who our enemies are, that would come to a surprise of the thousands of terrorists we have taken out on the battlefield.”

“If the implication is that those of us up here and the thousands of people and the country and around the world who are working to defeat ISIL aren’t taking the fight seriously, that would come as a surprise to those who have spent these last seven and half years dismantling Al Qaeda in the FATA for example, including the men and women in uniform that put their lives at risk and the special forces that I ordered to get Bin Laden that are now on the ground in Iraq and Syria.”

And then Obama turned his attention to the person who is currently the most prominent presidential troll on this subject.:

“They know full well who the enemy is. So did the intelligence and law enforcement officers who spent countless hours disrupting plots and protecting all Americans. Including politicians who tweet and appear on cable news shows. They know who the nature of the enemy is.”

Politicians who tweet? Obama went on to state that his reasons for not using the magic phrase have “nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with actually defeating extremism.” He correctly notes that the terrorists want to make this a war between Islam and America, that they want us to validate them as the legitimate voice of all of the world’s Muslims. But if we fall into that trap, the President said, “we are doing the terrorists work for them.” He warned that “this kind of rhetoric and loose talk and sloppiness” represents a dangerous mindset, one that he recognizes in Donald Trump:

“We now have proposals from the presumptive Republican nominee for President of the United States to bar all Muslims from immigrating into America. You hear language that singles out immigrants and suggests entire religious communities are complicit in violence. Where does this stop? […] Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that’s not the America we want? It doesn’t reflect our democratic ideals. It won’t make us more safe, it will make us less safe.”

In closing, Obama recalled that our country has made mistakes in the past “when we acted out of fear and we came to regret it.” He made an impassioned plea to uphold the values that make America worth fighting for:

“This is a country founded on basic freedoms, including freedom of religion. We don’t have religious tests here. Our Founders, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, are clear about that. And if we ever abandon those values we would not only make it easier to radicalize people here and around the world, but we would have betrayed the very things we are trying to protect: The pluralism, the openness, our rule of law, our civil liberties. The very things that make this country great. The very things that make us exceptional. And then the terrorists would have won, and we cannot let that happen. I will not let that happen.”

Republicans have made their choice for a candidate who babbles in platitudes and hate speech; who has demonstrated a profound ignorance of the most pressing issues; and who has no respect for the truth (see the Trump Bullshitopedia). But America still has a choice to make and, if they are paying attention, it will be an easy one. No matter what anyone thinks about Hillary Clinton, the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency should be enough incentive to vote Democratic straight down the line.

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


Crybaby Trump Revokes The Washington Post’s Press Credentials In A Childish Tantrum

Tough-talking Donald Trump has proven again that his macho image is as phony as a diploma from Trump University. Within a couple of hours of his first post-Orlando speech, wherein he ranted about the evils of “radical Islamic terrorism” and the traitors who refuse to say those three magic words, Trump announced that he was too scared to face the bone-chilling visage of reporters from the {shudder} Washington Post. He posted a message on Facebook declaring that…

“Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post.”

Donald Trump Crybaby

Trump didn’t bother to enumerate any instances of the Post’s alleged dishonesty because he expects his disciples to accept whatever he says as gospel without verification. That’s pretty much the same take he has on matters of policy which he never details because he knows his supporters simply don’t care.

The likely reason for banishing WaPo is related to a Facebook post he made just prior to the credential revocation. He complained about a headline in the Post that correctly reported his implied assertion that “President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting.” Again, Trump didn’t bother to elaborate, but his actual commentary said “Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind […] There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable.”

The Post was not the only news organization that noticed Trump’s suggestion that the President might be an accomplice to a terrorist act. Every broadcast news network reported the same story with similar headlines:

Add to that group other similar media reports from The Atlantic, Mother Jones, The New Republic, Salon, Esquire, Vice, Chicago Tribune, Politico, Time, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Reuters, and you have an awfully large chunk of the media who risk losing their press credentials to cover the Trump campaign.

Trump’s campaign has been a hotbed of media discontent for many months. His treatment of the press got so bad at one point that an assembly of media companies got together to discuss what could be done about it. This was after numerous incidents wherein reporters were mistreated by Trump or his staff, including confinement to journalist “pens” and revocation of credentials from reporters the campaign deemed to be unfriendly such as BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, Fusion, Univision, the Des Moines Register, and the New Hampshire Union Leader. Additionally, Trump threw an anchor for Univision, the largest Spanish-language TV network in the country, out of one of his press conferences. He even briefly boycotted Fox News.

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

This is behavior that marks Trump as both cowardly and tyrannical. After all, how can he claim to be able to stand up to Putin or ISIS when he’s running scared from WaPo and Mother Jones? His response to coverage that is less than adoring is to revert to the tactics of a wannabe dictator. He even promised that, as president, he would “open up our libel laws” governing the media so that he “can sue them and win lots of money.” As repugnant as that is coming from a political candidate, it would be far more troubling coming from the White House. Trump is demonstrating an overt hostility to the principles of a free press, and if his narcissistic authoritarianism and ignorance weren’t already enough reason to keep conscientious Americans from voting for him, this should seal the deal.


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?