Obama Presents Medals For The Arts: Here’s What The Honorees Think Of Donald Trump

This week President Obama paid tribute to a group of distinguished Americans who represent the best of our nation’s culture. At a White House ceremony Obama paid tribute to recipients of the National Medal for the Arts and the Humanities. They come from diverse world’s of theater, literature, music, and other creative occupations. Among the honorees were beloved and revered figures like Mel Brooks and Morgan Freeman. But there is something that several of them share besides a passion to enrich the lives of others.

Obama Brooks

Many of the honorees have distinct ideas about the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump. And these intelligent, insightful communicators have not been particularly impressed. Here are some of the opinions articulated in the past by these renowned observers of the human condition.

Actor Morgan Freeman:
“Donald Trump is the Honey Boo Boo of rich people.”
[Note: Freeman is an avid Clinton supporter and narrated the biography video that played at the Democratic convention]

Author Sandra Cisneros:
“Donald Trump is a very frightened man. Anyone who is frightened has to bluster and yell and shout.”

Painter Jack Whitten:
“I thought that Sarah Palin was the ultimate political comic book character until Donald Trump entered the scene.”

Author Ron Chernow:
The Trump campaign disturbed him more than “any other presidential campaign in our history.”

Musician Wynton Marsalis:
“It’s cheap populism. It’s an attempt to get a voter base. They used to scapegoat black people, but now there are so many black people in jail they use Mexicans.”

Singer/Actor Audra McDonald:
So the KKK, Vladmir Putin, and Kim Jong-Un all endorse Trump for president…Are we sure this isn’t an episode of South Park?

Chef Jose Andres:
Trump is “a man whose statements had made him a pariah for the great majority of the Hispanic community.” [Note: Andres is currently in litigation with Trump after pulling his restaurant out of Trump’s new Washington, DC hotel. The dispute arose following Trump’s campaign announcement during which he called Mexicans rapists and criminals]

Actor/Writer/Director Mel Brooks:
“If I were doing a sitcom I’d do it about a powerful idiot like this guy, who’s running a big corporation or a big network and we’d get to see behind the scenes what an idiot he is.”

As a special bonus for attendees of the ceremony, when Mel Brooks rose to accept his medal he smiled graciously and then tried to pants the President. However, setting aside that brief and hilarious departure from decorum, these recipients are themselves a tribute to the spirit and vision of American creativity. Their experience and wisdom is both representative and inspirational. And it is not insignificant that so many people of this stature regard Donald Trump as a national embarrassment. If only there were an award for that.

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

Obama Scorches Trump And His ‘Outright Wacky Ideas’ (VIDEO)

It isn’t often that politicians express personal opinions about their ideological foes. The demands of diplomacy overrule the fleeting satisfaction of rubbing some jerk’s face in it. However, there are circumstances that simply won’t allow the observance of customary protocol.

Barack Obama

President Obama encountered one of those circumstance yesterday when he was asked at a press conference about comments made by Donald Trump. The reporter cited Trump’s opinion that “Vladimir Putin has been more of a leader than you,” and that “you have reduced American generals to rubble.” In those two snippets of ignorance Trump managed to insult both America and its military. The reporter then asked Obama if he wanted to “defend his legacy.” The President’s first response was hearty laughter. Then he said this:

“As far as Mr. Trump, I think I’ve already offered my opinion. I don’t think the guy’s qualified to be president of the United States. And every time he speaks that opinion is confirmed. The most important thing for the public and the press is to just listen to what he says and follow up and ask questions about what appear to be either contradictory or uninformed or outright wacky ideas.”

There’s something uplifting about seeing your President righteously smack down a raging goofball like Trump. His ideas, while indisputably wacky, are actually much more problematic than that. They are also dangerous. It’s startling that anyone can take him seriously. Clearly our President doesn’t – at least so far as responding to his insipid blathering.

In the same forum where Trump confessed his affection for Russia’s dictator and his distaste for our generals, Trump provided details of his wackiness. For instance, he advocated taking Iraq’s oil. That would not only violate international law, it would incite a new generation of terrorists. He also affirmed his view that it should be expected that women in the military will be assaulted. And I can’t imagine that the intelligence agents who briefed him were thrilled to see him discussing it on television.

Obama further mocked Trump by noting that when talking about critical matters of national security “You actually have to know what you’re talking about.” And then he said:

“There is this process that seems to take place over the course of the election season where somehow behavior that in normal times we would consider completely unacceptable and outrageous becomes normalized.”

That’s actually not Trump’s fault. That’s something the media needs to address. It’s a journalistic travesty that Trump is treated as if his bullcrap is on par with analyses by seasoned experts with decades of experience. The press is too timid to tell the public when Trump is flagrantly lying. Likewise, they seldom expose his rants as merely word jumbles that have no meaning. And more often than not, Trump is either lying or babbling. Ethical journalists have a responsibility to point that out.

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

Short Circuit: Donald Trump, The GOP’s Lunatic-In-Chief, Says Hillary Clinton Is The Crazy One?

On Friday Hillary Clinton appeared at a conference for African-American and Latino journalists, an affair whose invitation Donald Trump declined. Following her prepared remarks she answered questions from the assembled reporters. During this Q & A Clinton used a colloquial term to characterize a misunderstanding. That led Trump to blow a gasket based on his inability to comprehend common language.

Donald Trump

The problem centered around Clinton’s response to Chris Wallace of Fox News regarding the truthfulness of her testimony to the FBI. Clinton conceded that there was a discrepancy in her response which she explained to the journalists saying that:

“I was pointing out in both of those instances, that Director Comey had said that my answers in my FBI interview were truthful. That really is the bottom line here. What I told the FBI, which he said was truthful, is consistent with what I have said publicly. I may have short-circuited and for that I will try to clarify.”

All that Clinton was saying is that she may have associated both her public statements and her FBI testimony with Comey’s affirmation of her truthfulness. However, Comey was speaking only to her testimony. And all she meant by “short circuited” was that she had awkwardly conflated the two separate matters making it appear that Comey had validated both.

Enter Donald Trump. Grasping onto the dramatic imagery of a short circuit, Trump took the remark entirely out of context to suggest that Clinton had admitted to a mental infirmity. He lashed out at her at a rally Saturday saying that she had suffered a “short-circuit in the brain.” He tweeted a similar absurdity that said:

Anybody whose mind “SHORT CIRCUITS” is not fit to be our president! Look up the word “BRAINWASHED.”

Trump might want to take his own advice, because the definition of “brainwashed” has nothing to do with short circuiting. What’s more, his inability to comprehend such simple concepts does more to prove his own unfitness for the presidency. Not that more proof was necessary. Trump has provided ample evidence of his dodgy mental state for most of the past year. The consensus of professionals is overwhelming. For instance:

When looking objectively at the symptoms commonly associated with personality disorders and dementia it is hard not to consider Trump a likely candidate for such a diagnosis. What follows is an exploration of the three most prominent symptoms of dementia and their relationship to Trump’s behavior.

Trump’s Impaired judgment

From the very beginning of his of campaign for the Republican nomination for president, Trump engaged in outbursts that were hostile and irrational. His assertion that the immigrant population in the U.S. was the result of Mexico sending over rapists and murderers was untethered to reality. And that was just the first day. Trump went on to belittle Sen. John McCain’s status as a war hero; he charged that Megyn Kelly’s questions during a Fox News debate were unfair because she was menstruating; he proposed a ban on all Muslims from entering the country; he called climate change a hoax created by the Chinese; he declined to honor the NATO treaty; he advocated committing war crimes against the innocent families of suspected terrorists; he still thinks that President Obama is not an American or a Christian; he won’t rule out nuking Europe. And there’s more where that came from.

These are all examples of behavior that is inconsistent with rational judgment. They have no basis in fact and cannot be portrayed as constructive methods of expressing oneself.

Trump’s Loss of Memory

Trump has frequently bragged that he has “one of the best memories of all time.” However, that boast has been utterly demolished by his own words and actions. One notable example was his insistence that he had seen television reporting of “thousands and thousands” of Muslims celebrating the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. That was an invented memory because there is no evidence that it occurred, despite the fact that television footage of such an event would be easily retrievable. More recently he had another invented memory wherein he imagined watching a video of palettes of cash being unloaded from an American plan in Iran.

Trump’s memory was also noticeably deficient when he called Ted Cruz “the single biggest liar” he ever met just three months after lauding him and floating him as a possible VP pick. Similarly he once praised Hillary Clinton as a “terrific” woman and a great Secretary of State. Now he is saying that she was the “worst Secretary of State in history.” And as for President Obama, Trump tweeted that he is “perhaps the worst president in U.S. history.” But this is what he wrote in his book Think Like A Champion:

“What he has done is amazing. The fact that he accomplished what he has—in one year and against great odds—is truly phenomenal.” […]

“Barack Obama proved that determination combined with opportunity and intelligence can make things happen—and in an exceptional way.” […]

“His comments have led me to believe that he understands how the economy works on a comprehensive level. He has also surrounded himself with very competent people, and that’s the mark of a strong leader.” […]

“He’s totally a champion.”

Clearly Trump has either a failing memory or mental blocks that render his memory unreliable.

Trump’s Childish Behavior

This is perhaps the symptom least in need of elaboration, but here goes anyway. Trump is the most juvenile presidential candidate in this nation’s history. He lashes out with infantile insults about people’s looks and character. If he is criticized he will punch back with baseless, often unrelated, rebuttals. And that’s when he isn’t throwing tantrums like when he ditched the Fox News debate. Now he is whining about the upcoming debates with Clinton and already alleging that they are rigged. Anyone who doesn’t exhibit unrestrained adoration is an enemy who is out to destroy him.

Trump has the ego of four year old who believes the world revolves around him. The parts of his campaign stump speeches that aren’t attacks on his rivals are comprised primarily of bragging about how great he is at everything and how high his poll numbers are. The rest of his rhetoric, when put through the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, scored at the third grade level. Of course, that’s probably still somewhat higher than most of his Tea-vangelical supporters.

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

Every day Trump validates the notion that he is mentally challenged and unfit to perform the duties of the president. His immature outbursts, his brazen narcissism, and his faulty cognition, are all indications of potential senility. And now he exhibits a classic case of projection by asserting that Clinton is the one who is crazy based on his feeble reading of Clinton’s use of the phrase “short circuit.” When all of this is taken into account, it seems obvious that there is a problem here that requires attention. Hopefully someone close to him will notice and get him the help he so clearly needs.

8 Reasons Donald Trump Is A HUGE Hypocrite For Calling Obama ‘Ignorant’

On the same day that President Obama delivered one of the most powerful and well received convention speeches since a younger Obama spoke at a convention in 2004, Donald Trump made a desperate attempt to steal the news cycle from the Democrats’ festivities in Philadelphia. And it wasn’t just his dangerous solicitation of hostile foreign nations to commit cyber-crimes against America.

Donald Trump

In the same press conference where Trump invited Russia to illegally interfere in U.S. politics by hacking his political opponent, he had the audacity to malign Obama as “the most ignorant president in our history.” Never mind that Obama graduated from Columbia University before getting his law degree from Harvard (magna cum laude), where he was editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review, went on to teach constitutional law, got elected to the Senate, and became the President of the friggin’ United States.

What really makes Trump’s typically childish insult so absurd is that he himself has repeatedly demonstrated an affinity for idiocy that is unmatched in modern times. This may explain why he said in February that he “loves the poorly educated.” And while it’s tempting to smugly imply that they would be the only ones who would buy into his vacuous campaign, that would be unfair. After all, “poorly educated” doesn’t mean stupid.

What follows are just a few examples of the embarrassingly daft comments that have discharged from The Donald’s prodigious dispensary of dimwitticisms(™) in just the past few weeks on the campaign trail.

  1. Trump was asked in a debate about his priorities with regard to America’s “Nuclear Triad” And his answer revealed that he had no idea what it is.
  2. Prior to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Trump couldn’t answer a question about Brexit until the interviewer gave him an explanation.
  3. When asked whether he would defend Article One of the Constitution, Trump responded that he’d defend all the articles up to the twelfth. But there are only seven articles in the Constitution.
  4. Attempting to criticize Democratic VP candidate Tim Kaine, Trump said that he “did a terrible job in New Jersey.” The only problem is that Kaine is the former governor, and current senator, from Virginia.
  5. Trump was so upset that the man who shot Ronald Reagan was being released from the custody of a mental institution that he complained that “David Hinckley should not have been freed.” Hinckley’s first name is “John.”
  6. After being pummeled for not repudiating white supremacist David Duke, Trump asserted that he “didn’t know anything” about him. Which was not only an admission of ignorance, it was a lie.
  7. Pretending to be a devout Christian, Trump bungled the quotation he sought to recite from the bible in a way that brought laughter from a Christian university audience.
  8. Trump earned one of his many “Pants-On-Fire” lie designations from PolitiFact when he claimed that the Trans-Pacific Partnership “was designed for China” to “totally take advantage of everyone.” Except that China is not a part of the TPP.

To be sure, there are many other incidences of Trump’s flagrant ignorance, but these few paint a sorrowful picture of a willful aversion to the sort of knowledge and incentive to learn that is required of a national leader (or a CPA, or a pet groomer, or any citizen).

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

And yet Trump regards himself as the foremost authority on – well, everything. When MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski asked him who he consults with he responded “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.” That’s when he isn’t consulting his other primary source of information that he identified when he said “All I know is what’s on the internet.” And if that doesn’t send shivers down the spine of America’s voters, they better see a neurologist stat.

Fox ‘News’ Reports That ‘Obama Endorses Trump’ But Leaves Out Some REALLY Important Details

The week-long Republican National Convention is over and what most people will remember from it is that Melania Trump is plagiarist and that Donald Trump thinks the America is in the grip of a dystopian nightmare. There is little evidence that the typical polling bump that these events generally produce will occur. That is in large part due to the fact that depressing harangues intended to frighten voters are more likely to alienate than inspire. That’s why Ronald Reagan’s campaign slogan was “Morning in America” and not “Mourning in America.”

Consequently, Fox News has had to scramble to manufacture anti-Democratic plot lines in advance of the Democrat’s convention this coming week. So far they have latched onto the story about the hacked DNC emails implicating the party in efforts to undermine the Bernie Sanders campaign. It’s rather humorous to see Fox, and their roster of right-wingers, feigning concern for the unfairness shown to Bernie – as if they care.

In the absence of any other news with which to malign the Democrats, Fox News began running a story that they got from their sister publication, the New York Post. It is a trivial bit of tabloid gossip that Fox is elevating to scandal status via brazenly misleading promos. The phony Fox headline is “Obama Endorses Trump.”

Obama Endorses Trump

Any of the poor saps who were watching this story unfold on Fox & Friends discovered after the commercial break that the Obama referenced in the promo was not President Barack Obama, but his brother, Malik. Why this would be of interest to anyone is a mystery. The Obama brothers have not been close for many years and Malik has made a career out of exploiting his family ties and denigrating the President. Nevertheless, Fox found this to be a significant development and ran the story several times throughout the day.

What Fox failed to mention were the reasons that Malik gave for favoring Trump. The article in the Post says that Malik was “annoyed that Clinton and President Obama killed Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy, whom he called one of his best friends,” and that “what bothers him even more is the Democratic Party’s support of same-sex marriage.” The Post quoted Malik as saying that “I feel like a Republican now because they don’t stand for same-sex marriage, and that appeals to me,”

Malik Obama is such a strong advocate of “traditional” marriage that he has entered into it at least three times (and as many as twelve, by some reports). And unlike Trump, whose three marriages were consecutive, Malik’s are concurrent (i.e. he’s still married to all of them).

The Post also reported another part of Malik’s past wherein he created a dubious charity that ran afoul of the law, noting that it was “an off-the-books operation that hadn’t registered with the state of Virginia or, as it claimed, had tax-exempt status from the IRS.”

No wonder Malik Obama is a big fan of Donald Trump (And Trump is a fan of Malik too). They both collect wives for a hobby (and on top of that Trump is a serial adulterer who wants to bang his daughter). They both oppose marriage equality (although Trump has been known to swing both ways – on the issue, that is). They both admire brutal dictators (Trump has been known to praise Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-Un, and others). And they both make up charities that end up being exposed as self-serving scams.

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

The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox & Friends never mentioned any of those things as they struggled to find relevance in this pathetic story. The only takeaway from this that has any import is that Malik Obama and Donald Trump were cast from the same loathsome mold. Other than that, this ludicrous story has no bearing on President Obama, Hillary Clinton, or the election. It is more a reflection on Trump and Fox News than anything else.

How Not To News: Fox Resorts To Knee-Jerk Obama Blaming After Baton Rouge Shooting

Today brings a new incident of senseless violence that rips at the heart of the nation’s conscience. Six police officers were shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana this morning, three of whom were killed. As usual in these circumstances, words are insufficient to convey the sour combination of sorrow, sympathy, and fury.

Fox News Alert

The motivation of the shooter(s) has yet to be determined as investigators are still trying to piece together the slowly unfolding evidence. President Obama spoke with passion and grace as he condemned the shootings and called on all Americans to be united in offering condolences and determination to end the cycle of violence. At times like these the least helpful contribution to the painful drama is irresponsible speculation and self-serving assignment of blame. So naturally, that’s what Fox News devoted itself to for most of the day. And it didn’t take them more than a few minutes to launch into a tirade of offensive and baseless allegations.

Long before any verifiable information was available, Fox was on the air condemning the shooting as a deliberate attack on law enforcement. Never mind that there was no evidence from either the police department, witnesses, suspects, or any other source affirming that conclusion. At Fox “News” facts just get in the way of the right-wing sensationalism that is the core of their narrative. Particularly when they are determined to cast blame for the crimes on their ideological foes.

Within minutes of the first reports, Fox News had drawn a conclusion about the shooter’s motives without having any proof. Host Harris Faulkner stated as fact that “This is an ambush of epic proportions.” Then she reached out to Fox’s trusty roster of knee-jerk conservatives for analysis. They included Steve Loomis, a police union official who embarked on a feverish rant about President Obama’s culpability for the shootings saying “the president of the United States has blood on his hands that will not be able to come washed off.” Then former FBI agent Steven Rogers asserted without foundation that the White House “added flames or fuel to the flame of racism.”

Fox’s own host Jeanine Pirro agreed with the Obama-blamers saying that “the killing of cops is now becoming normalized. It’s now becoming legitimized.” That’s a nearly delusional comment that defies reason. She went on to say that “I agree with your other guests to say that it starts at the top.” So Pirro believes that the President is legitimizing the killing of cops and, of course, no one on Fox asked her to validate that deranged and unsupported point of view.

Not to be left out, Donald Trump posted his reaction on Facebook and characteristically turned it into a self-serving political comment that also took aim at Obama: “We grieve for the officers killed in Baton Rouge today. How many law enforcement and people have to die because of a lack of leadership in our country? We demand law and order.” He followed that up with several alarmist tweets that focused on negativity and division. Contrast that with the statements by Obama and Hillary Clinton who called for unity in the face of adversity.

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

The blatant manner with which Fox endeavors to malign the President, and more generally the #BlackLivesMatter movement, despite the absence of any evidence, is a testament to their innate prejudices. But worse, it is a perversion of the most basic tenets of ethical journalism. Rather than waiting for confirmation of what occurred, Fox jumped straight to spinning their favorite fables of an exploding anti-cop epidemic and the total breakdown of civil society. It’s a stance that conveniently fits with their hatred of all things Obama and their advocacy of Donald Trump. But it is not how professional journalists conduct themselves, not that Fox cares about that.

Fox News Mangles Obama’s Dallas Response, Then Airs The Single Worst Pro-Gun Argument Ever

While the tragic events in Dallas were still unfolding, President Obama took time from the NATO summit in Poland to speak to the horror that has once again stained the streets of an American city (video below). Speaking on behalf of all Americans he offered his condolences and promised that “the federal government will provide whatever assistance Dallas may need as it deals with this tremendous tragedy.”

Obama

Acknowledging that all the facts were still not known at the time, he condemned the shootings as “a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.” He praised the officers for “doing their jobs, keeping people safe during peaceful protests” when five of them were killed and seven others wounded. Continuing, he said:

“I believe that I speak for every single American when I say that we are horrified over these events, and that we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas. According to police, there are multiple suspects. We will learn more, undoubtedly, about their twisted motivations. But let’s be clear: There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement.”

It was a heartfelt statement that sought to console the victims and their families and to bring Americans together in this time of shared grief, reminding everyone “to express our profound gratitude to our men and women in blue — not just today, but every day.” But the only part of his remarks that Fox News saw fit to broadcast was this out-of-context soundbite:

“We also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic.”

That happens to be an indisputable fact, but Fox News presented it as an attempt to politicize the tragedy by calling for gun control. Of course, there is nothing political in that comment unless any recognition of the reality of gun violence is considered political. Which, in the world of Fox News, it surely is.

That’s why Fox News spent most of the morning maligning the President. In one particularly absurd segment, Fox interviewed a guest who offered a unique perspective on the proliferation of guns in American society. He explained that the situation in Dallas proves that gun control doesn’t work, because if the police can’t defend themselves against an attack like this then it’s up to citizens to arm themselves for protection.

Seriously? If the police can’t defend themselves against an attack like this, with all of their resources, manpower, and training, how the hell is a private citizen going to prevail in a similar situation? What would an armed citizen do differently that would have protected him from this type of assault? In all likelihood he would panic and spray bullets around a densely populated area resulting in even more civilian casualties. He would not have the expertise to differentiate a suspect from another citizen, who might also be armed. It would be a blood bath.

What’s more, with citizens running around brandishing AR-15’s, how would the police be able to assess the risks and identify the actual suspects? In that environment everyone would look like a suspect. This could result in police firing on the wrong people because they appeared to be dangerous or threatening. At the very least it would consume precious time while officers confronted armed citizens in an effort to determine whether or not they were criminals.

If anything, the fact that the police were unable to prevent the murders of their own colleagues by a well-armed maniac is proof that sensible gun regulations are necessary. If the perpetrator did not have access to a high-powered, semi-automatic weapon, he would not have been able to cause nearly the harm that he did. He would not have had the range or the rapid-fire capability, and some of the deceased officers might be alive now.

For Fox News to air deranged commentaries like this, while much of downtown Dallas is still being cordoned off as a crime scene, is irresponsible in the extreme. And for them to falsely accuse Obama of politicizing the shootings, even as they cut his full statement to a single sentence, is patently dishonest. The only politicization going on here is by Fox News and the gun fetishists they represent.

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.

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.

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?