FOX NEWS POLL: Trump Liked Less Than Bernie Sanders, Planned Parenthood, and ObamaCare

The sad saga of America’s most unpopular new president ever continues to sink to unprecedented depths. Donald Trump’s support exists within a narrow realm of alt-right bigots and the diehard GOP (Greedy One Percent). This administration repeatedly fumbles and embarrasses itself with poor policies and even worse execution. The result is that the American people are getting fed up with his incompetence and lies.

Donald Trump

On Thursday, Fox News, Trump’s favorite news source and official White House Ministry of Propaganda, released a new poll. The results may be a surprise to the President who expects blind loyalty and unwavering adoration. On most questions related to Trump and his agenda, the people were decidedly dissatisfied. Beginning with the foundational question of approval, respondents snubbed The Donald bitterly. Here is the ranking of what they regard as most favorable:

  • Bernie Sanders: 61%
  • Planned Parenthood: 57%
  • Obamacare: 50%
  • Mike Pence: 47%
  • Donald Trump: 44%

So the registered voters in this survey prefer a Democratic Socialist to Trump by 17 points. They also prefer Planned Parenthood, who he has promised to defund. And worst of all, from Trump’s perspective, the Affordable Care Act that he has obsessively ranted about repealing is more popular than he is. Did I mention that this is a Fox News poll?

In addition to these devastating results, the poll’s respondents have also wearied of his Twitter fetish. Fifty percent disapprove of his tweeting, with another 32 percent wishing he would be more cautious. And his most cherished policy pursuits rank at or near the bottom of the public’s list. For instance, when asked what one accomplishment would make them most happy their ranking was the following: Create jobs: 33 percent. Destroy ISIS: 23 percent. Cut taxes: 10 percent. Put Constitutionalists on the Supreme Court: 9 percent. Repeal and replace Obamacare: 7 percent. Reduce federal regulations: 3 percent. Build a border wall: 3 percent.

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

This is what passes for a mandate from the delusional president who still thinks he had more people at his inauguration than President Obama did. It’s the sort of deranged thinking you would expect after hearing him accuse his predecessor of wiretapping him. Trump is incapable of recognizing how much he’s despised by the nation that voted in greater numbers for his opponent. And this poll reinforces the cognitive break that Trump has with both the political landscape of America – and reality. It’s only a matter of time before Trump lashes out at this poll for promulgating “fake” news. Did I mention that this is a Fox News poll?

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LOL: Crack Fox News Team Uncovers SHOCKING Anti-Trump T-Shirt Conspiracy

Fox News is always on the lookout for the sort of breaking news that impacts the lives of the American people. And they aren’t afraid to spend hundreds of hours on Benghazi myths, Kenyan birth certificates, or imaginary voter fraud. The diligent sleuths at Fox News work tirelessly to inform their viewers of pertinent issues. After all, these are the heroes who previously broke the “Boob Bombs” conspiracy wide open, and disclosed the existence of “Jihad Monkeys.”

Fox News

This week Fox News has landed another incredible scoop that is certain to roil the runways of Washington. The political fashion establishment will never be the same. On an episode of Fox and Friends First, co-host Heather Childers unleashed a sure-fire Pulitzer winning expose. With no fear of the potential consequences, she launched into into this harrowing story (video below):

“Media bias on full display! Newspapers now cashing in on T-shirts splashed with anti-President Trump rhetoric. The Washington Post offering this shirt which says ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness.’ The LA Times selling shirts that say ‘Journalism matters.’ And the Chicago Tribune’s featured the line ‘Speaking truth to power since 1947.’ The shirts being sold for around twenty bucks.

[Editor’s note: Links added in case you want to witness this atrocity for yourself – or purchase one]

Where else but on Fox News could you learn that t-shirts extolling the virtues of a free press were actually attacks on President Donald Trump? Only Fox’s keen eye would notice the anti-Trump message even though there is nothing that even alludes to him. The mere suggestion that journalism might be an honorable profession is evidence of Trump hate. Recall that Trump famously declared that the media is “the enemy of the American people.” He has lashed out reporters as “liars,” “sleazy,” and “horrible people.” And when he isn’t throwing them out of his rallies and press briefings, he’s branding them as “fake news.”

Now the curtain has been pulled aside and everyone can see that any expression of support for the First Amendment is a backhanded slap at the President. So don’t be fooled by hateful slogans like “Journalism matters.” It doesn’t. It’s just a malicious tool used by traitors to undermine the Trump presidency. Thank goodness Fox News is here to reveal these truths. And for anyone who is confused as to why none of this reflects on what Fox News does, rest easy. That’s a red herring because, as any media expert will tell you, Fox News has never engaged in journalism.

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


Trump’s Defense Secretary Says Climate Change Is a Real Threat to American Interests

The Republican Party has long been a fierce opponent of any efforts to mitigate climate change. Their opposition stands in stark contrast to the near unanimous consensus in the scientific community. But that hasn’t stopped conservative leaders from twisting their heads firmly into the sand on behalf of their fossil fuel benefactors.

Donald Trump James Mattis

Donald Trump is among those who refuse to accept the reality of climate change. He has called it a hoax perpetrated by China. He installed an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) director, Scott Pruitt, who doesn’t think that carbon dioxide is a driver of global warming. And much of his domestic policy is focused on advancing the financial prospects of oil and coal producers. But there are some new fissures beginning to show in the administration. The Huffington Post is reporting that:

“Secretary of Defense James Mattis has asserted that climate change is real, and a threat to American interests abroad and the Pentagon’s assets everywhere, a position that appears at odds with the views of the president who appointed him and many in the administration in which he serves.”

Indeed, the new Pentagon chief is directly disavowing the position of the President. He went on to stress that “this is a real-time issue, not some distant what-if.” According to “Mad Dog” Mattis “Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today.”

This is not a particularly new opinion within the walls of the Pentagon. The military has been crystal clear for years about the very real consequences of a world where water and arable land become scarce, and nations erupt into chaos and war. And it isn’t just liberal tree-huggers who have signaled the alarm on climate change. For instance, the Rolling Stone documented this notorious right-wing influencer:

“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.”

Rumsfeld is not alone either. Six of the past Secretaries of Defense (Mattis, Ash Carter, 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 four of the six are Republicans.

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

Trump has variously said that he would rely on his generals, but also that he knows more than they do. It’s too soon to say which side he’ll come down on with regard to Gen. Mattis’ remarks. Trump is well known for not backing off of any position he takes, no matter how flawed. But if he insists on opposing the accumulated wisdom of six defense secretaries, and hundreds of climate scientists, he will only be digging himself and the Earth’s inhabitants a deeper grave.


MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Just Beat Fox News and Every Other Primetime Program On TV

For several weeks now Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program has been picking up steam. Last Monday she rose into the ratings top ten in her time period. And that momentum continued for the rest of the week. As a result, she just snagged a victory over every primetime program for the week of March 6-10.

Rachel Maddow Donald Trump

The Hollywood Reporter noted the achievement saying that:

“Rachel Maddow, MSNBC’s star player, is enjoying one hell of a ratings run right now.

“The cable news network’s 9 o’clock host outrated every other primetime show during the week of March 6. Not only did that make her show No. 1 among adults 25-54 in her time slot with an average 624,000 viewers, she even beat cable news’ perennial victor — Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly.”

A showing this strong is evidence of a titanic shift in the television audience. Bill O’Reilly has been the cable news king of the hill fairly consistently for years. He hasn’t seen any real competition since Keith Olbermann. In her time period, Maddow’s weekly average crushed her direct competition, Fox’s newest primetime host Tucker Carlson. And her victory included both total audience and the key advertising demographic of viewers 25-54. The smug superiority of Carlson was quickly embraced by Fox’s viewers. However, his bewildered and annoyed shtick seems to be wearing thin.

Maddow’s rise has occurred simultaneously with Donald Trump’s collapse. Trump’s approval ratings started in the cellar with the lowest numbers ever recorded for a new president. And they have just gone down from there. This week alone he sunk five points to a pitiful 39 percent.

Consequently, Fox News is pulling out all the stops to prop up their propaganda. Sean Hannity blasted Maddow on Monday for daring to report on Trump’s ties to Vladimir Putin and Russia. Ordinarily Hannity wouldn’t bother to speak her name aloud. But now he is featuring her in his rants. First he complained that she didn’t have “a shred of evidence” tying Trump to Putin. That’s true. She doesn’t have a shred, she has truck load. Then Hannity asked the most blitheringly ironic question ever: “Do these people have any intellectual honesty?” No comment on that is necessary.

As for Carlson, he just announced that he will be interviewing Trump on Wednesday. Given Trump’s toxic presence, that might not be a great programming move. Fox’s glassy-eyed loyalists will love it, but the broader TV audience will likely stay away. What could they possibly learn from television’s most sycophantic Trump fluffer spending an hour with his idol?

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

That’s a problem that Fox News is going to have to contend with for the foreseeable future. Their star attraction is viewed by most Americans as an ignorant bigot who is intent on taking away their healthcare. During the campaign Trump was still a novelty and many people watched just to see if he would burst a blood vessel in his neck or slap an immigrant child. But the public knows Trump now and they’ve lost interest in his juvenile antics. And the more he is paraded out on Fox News, the better it will be for Maddow and MSNBC. Maybe CNN should start paying attention.


Watch Trump WHINE That America Will Remember Obama and ObamaCare Fondly – And He’s Right

Donald Trump has commenced his sales pitch for the Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). It’s generous to call it an alternative when it mainly guts the existing plan and grants millionaires a huge tax break. Nevertheless, Trump went into his negative branding routine, calling ObamaCare a disaster and falsely asserting that it is imploding.

Obama Trump

There is little in the GOP plan that can be identified as being beneficial to American citizens. But in a White House photo-op, the President heralded it as godsend. He claimed that competition was going to bring the cost of health care way down. “It will be a thing of beauty,” he said. But he didn’t explain why that would happen in a future without ObamaCare when it never happened prior to ObamaCare. In fact, costs increased at a far greater rate before the ACA than after.

He also claimed that the ACA covers very few people. That flies in the face of reality. Since the introduction of ObamaCare more than 20 million additional Americans have healthcare coverage. As demonstrated by his ludicrous crowd estimates at his inauguration, Trump has trouble with numbers. However, his ability to whine is firmly in tact. Predicting that the public will react negatively to RepubliCare, Trump sought to preemptively dismiss their judgment:

“So the press is making it look so wonderful. So that if we end it, everyone’s going to say, ‘Oh, remember how great ObamaCare used to be? Remember how wonderful it used to be? It used to be so great?’ It’s a little bit like President Obama. When he left, people liked him. When he was here, people didn’t like him so much. That’s the way life goes. That’s human nature.”

First of all, Obama’s approval rating never dipped below 50 percent in the last six months of his presidency. The nation’s appreciation for him did not start after he left office. And when he did leave his approval peaked at 59 percent. ObamaCare is also viewed more favorably than ever now. People don’t have to wait until it’s gone to miss it. They appreciate it now, especially in contrast to the Republican alternative. So Trump’s lament that everyone’s gonna “remember how great ObamaCare used to be,” is well placed.

Trump then returned to his robotic and hollow repetition that “ObamaCare is a disaster,” for which he offered no proof. All the available evidence points to a program that has exceeded the most optimistic projections. And it continues to gain popularity. This year ObamaCare had more enrollments than any year since it began.

Now that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has completed its analysis of the the Republican plan, a fair comparison can be made. The CBO projects that 24 million people will lose their healthcare coverage by 2026 under the GOP’s plan. And while premiums will decline marginally for young, healthy enrollees, they will skyrocket for seniors and low income earners. Meanwhile, the wealthy will get massive tax cuts that will make it even harder to provide coverage via Medicaid and Medicare. The GOP proposal will cost those programs nearly $900 billion.

Trump’s point men on the issue immediately rejected the CBO report without having read it. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price made a blanket condemnation of the CBO’s competence and accuracy. And Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, spewed a litany of lies aimed at discrediting the CBO.

This is is pretty much all the Trump administration can do at this point. The facts are aligned against them. But it’s encouraging that even Trump realizes that American’s have positive views of both Obama and his healthcare policies. He can’t deny the popularity of a program that made insurance available to millions for the first time. But he sure does whine tremendously goodly.

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


Trump-Fluffer Hannity Implies CIA Hacked Democrats and Blamed It on the Russians

The role of Fox News during the presidency of Donald Trump is essentially the same as Pravda’s in Russia. It is as close to state-run television news as we get in the United States. The network will almost always support Trump and defend him from any and all criticism. And the most fawning Trump flunky at Fox is, without a doubt, Sean Hannity.

Trump Hannity

During the campaign, Hannity hosted Trump on his program more than any other candidate. And Trump appeared on his show more than any other show on TV. Hannity even publicly endorsed Trump in the midst of the campaign. So no one should be surprised that he is still licking Trump’s Ferragamos. But this week he went even further. Hannity is now joining the President’s pro-Putin fan club and opposing America’s intelligence community.

Analysis of all available data about the hacking of Democrats has produced near unanimous agreement that Russia was the culprit. Seventeen separate intelligence agencies agree with that assessment. And the ever-growing number of connections between Trump and his inner circle are cause for concern. Unless, that is, if you’re Sean Hannity.

On his radio show last week Hannity floated an absurd and utterly unsupported allegation acquitting Putin’s gang of any wrongdoing. He asserted that the CIA “uses stolen malware to attribute cyberattacks to nations like Russia.” Hannity said that this was revealed in documents from WikiLeaks, but that isn’t true. It was merely part of a press release that WikiLeaks put out, but was not supported by the actual documents. Then Hannity continued this line of nonsense on his Fox News program (video below). His guest, Lt. Col Tony Shaffer (ret), said that it was the CIA that hacked the Democrats. Despite having said the very same thing himself on the radio earlier that day, Hannity pretended to be surprised. In the following exchange with Shaffer he wondered:

Hannity: You’re telling me this whole Russian story – that the media’s been running with for months and months and months – that it was our people that did it and they just put the fingerprints of the Russians on it?
Shaffer: That’s right. I don’t have proof of it, but I’m telling you this is what I’ve heard.

The notable part of this charade is that Shaffer openly admits that he has no proof. But that doesn’t stop Hannity from participating in spreading this crackpot conspiracy theory. In order to believe his ramblings you would have to dismiss the findings of the entire intelligence community. Plus, you would have to dismiss them in favor of unfounded opinions based on Russian denials. It hardly seems patriotic to side with a hostile foreign adversary over American national security professionals.

In addition, you’d have to ignore all of the connections already proven between the Russians and Trump’s “brain” trust. They include Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, Jared Kushner, J.D. Gordon, and Roger Stone. What are the odds that a single candidate – now president – would have so many associates tied to communications with our Russian foes? This can’t be written off as coincidence.

Nevertheless, Hannity struggles vainly to absolve Russia of any complicity with the hacking. Instead, he places the blame squarely on his fellow Americans. It’s unclear why Hannity thinks that’s a better scenario. His theory asserts that it was the CIA that hacked Democrats in order to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. He believes that Trump’s victory was assisted by rogue and treasonous spooks. And this is better how? At least he seems to be accepting that Trump is an illegitimate president who won as the result of unlawful interference. Except that in his blind haste to exonerate Putin, he doesn’t appear to know that he believes that.

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

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YOU’RE FIRED: Trump Sacks U.S. Attorney Probing Fox News For Hiding Sexual Harassment Lawsuits

On Friday the White House announced that it was asking forty-six U.S. Attorneys to submit their resignations. They were further instructed to clear out their desks by the end of the day. Replacing staff at the Department of Justice is a routine part of most administration transitions. However, it is rarely done so ham-handedly without prior notice or opportunity to orient the replacements.

Preet Bharara Donald Trump

By acting so impetuously, Donald Trump is leaving numerous in-progress investigations without leadership or direction. They include cases involving terrorism, drug trafficking, civil rights abuses, and more. There is no reason to rush these lawyers out the door. Most are career attorneys who have served during both Democratic and Republican administrations.

One possible explanation for Trump’s hastiness could be something he saw the night before on Fox News. Sean Hannity demanded that anyone affiliated with the Obama administration be summarily dismissed ASAP. What he was advocating was nothing short of the purges conducted by old-school tyrannical regimes. Perhaps it’s a coincidence that Trump carried out the ideological cleansing the next day. But there is abundant evidence that Trump responds obediently to things he sees on Fox News.

Which makes the case of fired attorney Preet Bharara especially troubling. Bharara is the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In that jurisdiction he has had responsibility for high profile prosecutions of organized crime, Wall Street corruption, and political malfeasance. He has a reputation for being thorough and non-partisan. He was even personally asked to remain by President-Elect Trump last November, which he agree to do.

What makes Bharara’s dismissal so controversial is that one of the cases he is currently investigating involves Fox News. Last month the New York Daily News reported that:

“The feds are conducting an ‘ongoing criminal investigation’ of Fox News Channel and whether Rupert Murdoch’s company hid from investors the payments it made to employees who alleged they were sexually harassed, an attorney alleged in court Wednesday.” […]

[Attorney Judd Burstein, representing former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros] “said Fox News’ payouts to female employees claiming sexual harassment are not disclosed in Fox’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings, which could be a violation of federal securities law.”

The ever-increasing number of former female Fox News staffers alleging sexual harassment is not just a moral atrocity. It also threatens to cost the network millions of dollars and loss of prestige. The current rash of scandals began with Gretchen Carlson and quickly spread to others including Andrea Tantaros, Juliet Huddy, and even Megyn Kelly. As such it’s pertinent to any analysis of the company’s fiscal health and they have a responsibility to inform investors. Fox News already lost its founder and CEO. Roger Ailes, as a result of the scandal.

To say the least, it is unseemly for Trump to shove Bharara out the door while he is working on such a sensitive case. Fox News is Trump’s most devoted media cheerleader, thus Trump has an incentive to shield them from legal jeopardy. And for this act of presidential protection to take place immediately after a plea from Hannity – Fox’s most adoring Trump fluffer – just compounds the inappropriateness.

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

Bharara, as a matter of principle, refused to cooperate with the Trump purge. CNN reported that he would not comply with the request for a resignation. In effect, he dared Trump to fire him. And given Trump’s penchant for petty vengeance, that is exactly what Trump did. This opens the door for a replacement who Trump is already considering. Marc Mukasey is a lawyer who counts among his clients Fox’s ex-CEO Roger Ailes. Were he to assume the position, it is unlikely that the case against Fox News would proceed. This is how Trump drains the swamp.


BRILLIANT: The ‘No TRUMP Act’ Was Just Introduced in Congress in Response to Presidential Corruption

Much has been written about the flagrant conflicts of interest inherent in Donald Trump’s presidency. He is a walking violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause. The purpose of that clause is to prohibit the president from receiving cash or gifts from foreign persons or governments. Nevertheless, Trump stubbornly refuses to divest himself from his far flung business empire. Already there is evidence of foreign interests deliberately booking his hotels and resorts in order to curry favor with him. Even worse, some reports indicate that the Trump Organization is applying political pressure to do so.

Donald Trump

In addition to the windfall from big-spending foreigners, Trump is also profiting from domestic business transactions since becoming president. ThinkProgress reports that it costs taxpayers $3 million dollars each time Trump visits his luxury Palm Beach resort, Mar-A-Lago. And that’s not all:

“In order to have constant access to the commander-in-chief, the military is forced to rent space in Trump Tower at a taxpayer cost estimated to be $1.5 million annually, with the money lining the Trump family’s pockets. Relocating the executive branch to Mar-a-Lago each weekend raises the profile of the club and encourages people to pay for the access a $200,000 membership provides.”

Additional security expenses are incurred by the First Lady, Melania, spending virtually all of her time at Trump Tower. The Secret Service has taken up residence in the floor below Trump’s penthouse, for which the American people are paying. These and other expenses, including those incurred by the Trump kids, put money directly into the family’s bank account.

Seeking to address this lucrative scam, an Oregon congressman has come up with a brilliant solution. It’s a creative piece of legislation that would put an end to the Trump clan’s profiteering. USA Today provides the details:

“The ‘No Taxpayer Revenue Used to Monetize the Presidency’ Act, otherwise known as the ‘No TRUMP’ Act. The bill, introduced Thursday by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for events, overnight stays, food or other expenses at hotels owned or operated by a president or his relatives.”

Blumenauer’s acronym is work of comic genius. However, the bill itself makes sense and would apply to any president. There are good reasons to deny presidents the ability to use the office for personal gain. By introducing a profit motive it becomes impossible to tell whether the president is acting in the best interests of the nation or himself. And that’s especially true with a notorious con artist like Trump.

Republicans spent a good deal of time complaining about how often President Obama played golf or took vacations. Never mind that it was less than most of his predecessors. And Trump has already spent almost as much in a month as Obama did in a year. Trump himself whined about the cost of Obama’s use of Air Force One:

The absurdity of that is apparent. The President must travel in a secure environment and be prepared to deal with any potential crisis. But the No TRUMP Act doesn’t stop The Donald from traveling or fulfilling his duties. He can simply choose to stay at a hotel that he doesn’t own. And any money that he receives from government use of his properties should be transferred to the U.S. Treasury. He has said he will do that for money received from foreigners, but there has been no proof yet that he is doing so. The No TRUMP Act would make it a legal requirement.

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


Paul Ryan’s Health Insurance Seminar Proves One Thing: He Has No Friggin’ Idea How Insurance Works

Thursday morning Republicans rolled out a presentation of their long-awaited alternative to the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). It came in the form of a lecture by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. He stood before the class and gave a PowerPoint aided speech that supposedly spelled out everything you might need to know about the GOP plan.

Paul Ryan

There was just one problem. Well actually, way more than one. But in the broadest terms the single most problematic part of Ryan’s lecture was that it made no sense whatsoever. It failed to address how it would cover everyone who is presently covered. There were no financing specifics to explain how it would be funded. But the most prominent flaw in his presentation was that it revealed that he has no idea what insurance is. Nor does he have any notion of how it works. Ryan summed up his criticism of ObamaCare saying that:

“The whole idea of Obamacare is … the people who are healthy pay for the people who are sick. It’s not working, and that’s why it’s in a death spiral.”

Let that sink in. What Ryan is saying is not that ObamaCare doesn’t work, but that the whole concept of insurance doesn’t work. Every insurance product, whether it’s for healthcare or auto accidents, operates on the same principle. Many people pay into a pool that is used to cover the costs of the unfortunates who suffer a loss. Insurance depends on the fact that most policy holders will not have a claim (i.e. healthy people). Therefore, their premiums pay for folks who do have claims (i.e. the sick or injured).

Paul Ryan doesn’t seem to grasp that concept. To demonstrate the depth of his confusion, he offered a little example:

[Video below, starts at 14:30]: “Take a small business that has forty employees. Let’s say that four people in that business get cancer. Well, under that business, that business has to pay for all those cancer patients, all those cancer treatments. So the other thirty-six people in that forty person pool get hit with much, much higher premiums to pay for the four that got cancer. That’s how the insurance works today. And that is one of the reasons why this thing is going bankrupt.

“Here’s our solution. Let’s just make sure we cover the people who have preexisting conditions. Make sure reinsurance or risk pools kick in for those four people in that small business that get cancer. Subsidize that coverage and what you do by doing that is you dramatically lower and stabilize the price of insurance for everybody else.”

Let’s break that down. Ryan says that the practice of insuring people by having many people contribute to a risk pool is going bankrupt. He might want to run that by the multi-billion dollar, highly profitable insurance corporations for confirmation. Then he proposes that only the sick people get federally subsidized insurance. That leaves the population of healthy people with lower premiums. That’s actually true. And it makes the insurance companies wealthier because they are only covering people who don’t need any coverage.

But Ryan doesn’t say where the government would get the money to pay for the cancer patients in his scenario. Ordinarily those funds would come from the healthy people that he just removed from the picture.

So one of three things would happen. Either the government would have to bear the total cost of healthcare for America’s sickest population and incur massive debts. Or everyone would have to be taxed to finance the coverage for those patients. Or the sick people would just die. Ironically, there is a germ of a real solution in there. Universal healthcare would provide all Americans with coverage and spread the costs so broadly across the populace that the premiums would be easily manageable.

But that’s not what Ryan and company are proposing. They want to give all the healthy people cheap insurance and burden the sick with unpayable bills. That’s the solution that is being advanced by Republicans in Congress and has already been endorsed by President Trump. If you have the intestinal fortitude, you can watch the entire presentation by Ryan and see if it makes any sense to you. If not, stay away because intestinal maladies are not covered in the GOP plan.

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 Becoming The Propaganda Ministry Of The Trump Administration

The relationship between Donald Trump and Fox News goes back years. Long before he was running for president he had a regular segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” It served as the launching pad for his eventual campaign and a platform from which he could attack President Obama. In addition to that free political infomercial time, Trump was close friends with Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Roger Ailes.

Donald Trump Fox News

This parasitic partnership served both the ego of Trump and the greed of Fox. Consequently, it’s not especially surprising that it would continue into his presidency. However no one could have predicted the depths it would reach. From the outset of the nascent Trump administration, he has used the right-wing network as a virtual farm team. The only other comparably rich pool of potential White House recruits was Goldman Sachs. This week two new Foxies became the beneficiaries of Trump’s job creation program.

Heather Nauert was most recently a co-host and news presenter on Fox and Friends. Now she has been tapped as spokeswoman for the State Department. This is her first government job.

Following her to Trumpville is Fox contributor Richard Grennell. He served as Director of Communications for the U.S. representative to the United Nations from 2001 to 2008 before signing on at Fox. That means he was the key spokesman throughout the Iraq war debacle. Now Trump is nominating him to be the ambassador to NATO. What’s peculiar about this is that Trump has repeatedly criticized the U.S. invasion of Iraq that it was Grennell’s job to defend. And now Trump wants to put him at NATO, an organization Trump said was outdated.

These two Foxugees are joining three former colleagues already on Team Trump. K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, and Sebastian Gorka. There would have been four but Monica Crowley withdrew from the National Security Council after being exposed as a plagiarist. She’s back at Fox now. Appearing on Hannity Tuesday night she whined that she had been the victim of “a straight up political hit job.” She also said that her publisher backed her up but, in fact, they halted all sales of her book.

Still more Fox personnel have been considered for administration roles. Trump appears to be building a de facto Ministry of Propaganda out of the White House. All of the elements are falling into place. He’s assembled a cast of characters that has experience in developing fiction and defending the indefensible. Now on the inside they can be counted on to continue showering him with praise and deflecting criticism.

On the other side of this partnership, Fox News is well positioned to take advantage of their unique circumstance. They can expect to be excluded from Trump’s tirades against “fake news.” More importantly, the network’s corporate parent can count on Trump to shepherd through regulations that benefit the company. Fox would love to have the FCC relax TV station ownership caps so they can monopolize markets by buying up more stations. Also high among the priorities of Fox’s CEO Rupert Murdoch, is scuttling the merger of competitors AT&T and TimeWarner. That’s actually a good idea, but not for the selfish reasons Murdoch harbors.

Finally, how can Fox News fairly cover an administration that’s lousy with its own former employees? This presents a conflict that is unprecedented. Those involved are closely associated with one another, and they likely expect to return to Fox after their government service. So neither will want to antagonize the other for fear of hampering future opportunities.

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

Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” is being kept by draining it right into the White House. The stench of corruption stemming from his unsavory connections to Russia now has a media machine to mask the odor. It’s the sort of thing that one observes in the regimes of dictators. There has never been anything similar in the United States. It’s up to what’s left of the independent press to make sure it doesn’t take hold. So we may be in big trouble.