Was Mitt Romney Driven Out Of The Presidential Race By Rupert Murdoch?

The first casualty of the 2016 Republican presidential primary has been revealed to be the winner of the 2012 Republican presidential primary, Mitt Romney. Having only expressed his interest in running about six weeks, the prospective campaign crashed and burned in record time. What might have caused this flame-out?

Rupert Murdoch

It is notable that just two weeks ago Rupert Murdoch, the overlord of the Fox News media empire, made public his opposition to a Romney candidacy. Murdoch said of Romney that “He had his chance,” and that he was “a terrible candidate.” Murdoch also was upset at Romney “for failing to deflect criticism that he was ‘super rich.'” That seems like a rather personal complaint by another member of the “super rich” society.

Subsequent to Murdoch’s public letting, some of his minions began to pile on. Fox News contributors Karl Rove, Sarah Palin, and Donald Trump all commenced to bashing Romney. And many of the Fox primary pundits are already lining up behind Jeb Bush, who Murdoch virtually endorsed. The conventional “wisdom” on the right is that Bush will benefit most from the Romney withdrawal. That, however, is far from certain as a flurry of other “establishment” GOP governors (Walker, Jindal, Kasich, Christie, Perry) are still competing for support and particularly donors.

It is also notable that Romney’s announcement came just one week after he met privately with Bush in Utah. It is inconceivable that there was not a decision made at or about the time of that highly secretive tryst. Did Bush make Romney an offer he could not refuse?

Romney’s statement outlining his reasons for dropping out reads more like a declaration of candidacy. He says that he is “convinced” that “we could win the nomination,” and that “I would have the best chance of beating the eventual Democrat nominee.” So obviously he’s quitting. It’s a unique position to take since most politicians who actually believed that they would win the nomination and the general election would stay and fight. But not Romney. He went on to deliver what appears to be an anti-Bush sentiment saying…

“I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee. In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.”

Who might Romney be talking about? Bush is certainly not one of the next generation, being a veteran Republican pol who would be 64 years old at the start of his first term. And as a member of one of the nations’s most prominent political dynasties, he also could hardly be described as less well known than Romney. Neither is the two-time governor of Florida “just getting started” in politics. So Romney has, in effect, dismissed Bush as the next Republican nominee. And worse, Romney has previously disparaged Bush as facing many of the same obstacles that he faced as a candidate – namely his wealth and elitist status. Romney once said of Bush “You saw what they did to me with Bain [Capital]. What do you think they’ll do to [Bush] over Barclays?”

And that’s it in a wingnut shell. The GOP is cram-packed with rich, privileged insiders who advocate on behalf of their fellow upper-crusters. They will all face the question of allegiance to their high society class to the detriment of the vast majority of Americans. Romney’s absence from the fray doesn’t change any of that. But we know at least one of the fat-cats applauding today’s news is Rupert Murdoch, who is one step closer to crowning his own favorite.

Update: The Ego-tastic Donald Trump is giving himself “full credit” for Romney’s bailout. What a shocker.

Free To Be Dumb: The Republican Iowa Freedom Summit Lives Up To Its Billing

This weekend Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who maligned immigrants as drug mules who “have calves the size of cantaloupes,” and supports dog fighting because laws that protect animal welfare are, “exactly what our founding fathers wanted to avoid,” hosted his annual Iowa Freedom Summit with a star-studded cast of prospective GOP presidential candidates. And Fox News was there to capture every thrilling moment.

Fox News

For some reason Fox thinks it is breaking news that Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, and Rick Perry said mean things about ObamaCare. Their definition of “thrashing” must be “to mutter childish slogans and stomp your feet.” And they continue to ignore the fact that their calls to repeal it have failed repeatedly, including when the Supreme Court upheld it. Also forgotten is any mention of what they would replace it with as they throw millions of Americans off of their insurance plans.

The timing of this event couldn’t have been better as this week saw the advancement of several possible candidacies, including Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, both of whom were in attendance. Palin distinguished herself by posing with a sign that said “Fuc_ Michael Moore,” as part of her campaign to defend the box office hit, American Sniper. She addressed the same subject in her speech when she further demonstrated her grown up, Christian values by shouting “Screw the left in Hollywood.” Somebody might want to tell her that Hollywood is responsible for the movie she is defending. Note to GOP: She aint running.

The Donald was his typically arrogant, Narcissistic self. He insulted fellow Republican Mitt Romney (a no-show) saying that he would not be a good candidate because “he choked” last time around. He also raised the tender issue of Romney’s 47% remarks and said that his RomneyCare in Massachusetts was enough to disqualify him from further consideration. He also slammed Jeb Bush (another no-show) because of his name saying that “The last thing we need is another Bush.” He may get some agreement from Democrats on that. And of course, he bragged about himself. Even though there is little chance that he will enter the race, like every other time he has pretended to run, he is just promoting his own interests and image (like Palin).

Dr. Ben Carson took the stage to further prove that he must have have missed every class in college except brain surgery. He began by complaining that he doesn’t believe in taking healthcare and “putting it in the hands of the government.” Setting aside the fact that ObamaCare doesn’t do that, he expresses his preference for putting healthcare in the hands of greedy, soulless corporations. And he actually said that even if it worked he would oppose it. Um, OK. Then he declares that immigrants only come to America because it is so attractive. Therefore, he proposes that that be reversed. That might actually work. Make America less attractive and nobody will want to come. However, it’s a terrible campaign slogan, and besides, George Bush already tried that.

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The comedy extravaganza continues with featured guests like Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, and Rick Santorum. The prospective candidates from the so-called “establishment” wing of the party (Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio) all declined to attend. That may cost them some Tea-fection when the race begins in earnest. But from this small glimpse into the nascent campaign season, it is bound to be a bountiful cornucopia of laughs. Just wait for the debates to get started.

Ebola Panic: Stephen Colbert Beats Fox News Fear Mongers At Their Own Gaminess

News Corpse just wanted to make sure that everyone saw this hilarious segment of the Colbert Report that illustrates how obsessed Fox News is with fomenting fear among their trembling, dimwitted viewers. Of course, Colbert is a good friend of News Corpse as shown by this totally “real” photograph:

Fox Nation vs. Reality - Colbert

In the segment, Colbert skewers the tendency of Fox News to make a crisis out of everything and blame it on President Obama. But the best parts are aimed at the pitiful losers who are often featured on Fox making asses of themselves. For instance, Colbert brings up a favorite of the Fox & Friends Kiddie Krew with this introduction:

“Ebola is spread only through intimate contact with bodily secretions such as vomit, blood, or feces. Speaking of vomit, blood, and feces – Donald Trump…”

Colbert also singles out the neurosurgeon-turned-Teabagger, Ben Carson, by noting that when he was offering his insane speculation about bio-terrorism he was really “just yanking shit out of his ass. But remember, that’s another way Ebola is spread.”

The ridiculous hysteria that Fox is spreading about Ebola is way out of proportion to any actual threat. There have zero deaths due to Ebola in the Untied States. Contrast that with the 53,000 annual deaths from the flu. If you’re intent on worrying about exposure to a virus, you may want to reassess which one to irrationally fear. In fact, you are even more likely to die by your own hand (39,000 annual suicides) than to be killed by Ebola. So whatever you do, don’t get on any plane that you are on.

New York Attorney General Sues Donald Trump For Fraud

There is one person in America who throughout their career has been repeatedly associated with fraud, deception and financial chicanery. But enough about Sarah Palin. This story is about her close runner-up, Donald Trump.

Donald Trump

The New York office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a forty million dollar lawsuit against Trump and his phony Trump University (a name he was previously forced to change because it didn’t meet the legal definitions of a university). The Associated Press reports that…

“Trump University engaged in deception at every stage of consumers’ advancement through costly programs and caused real financial harm,” Schneiderman said. “Trump University, with Donald Trump’s knowledge and participation, relied on Trump’s name recognition and celebrity status to take advantage of consumers who believed in the Trump brand.”

The program at Trump U. apparently consisted of charging students $1,500 to attend a worthless three day seminar and then corralling them into the “Trump Elite” program that would extract as much as $35,000 more from the gullible Trump wannabes. Despite being told that they would receive personalized mentoring, the students never met Trump, but did get to pose for pictures with a cardboard cutout, which might actually provide more depth than exposure to the real squirrel-topped pseudo-billionaire.

Trump’s representative responded in a typically abrasive manner, accusing the AG of launching a politically motivated attack on his client. He asserted, without evidence, that Schneiderman was trying to extort campaign contributions from Trump.

Much of Trump’s reputation is rooted in fraud. He is not the business genius his PR agents would have you believe. His companies have wound up bankrupt on four separate occasions. Many of the buildings bearing his name are not his projects, but merely licensees to the Trump brand. Were he actually the billionaire he pretends to be, why would he host a cheesy game show on television? What other billionaires waste their valuable time on reality shows rubbing elbows with Gary Busey and Meat Loaf?

The obvious scam that Trump is running is second only to the hilarious attempt by Glenn Beck to operate his own Beck University, an affiliate of his premium web site operation. Students at Beck’s re-education facility learn how to fear impending tyranny and to stock up on bullets and gold coins. At least at Trump U. you get souvenir photos and maybe an old Trump paperback suitable for kindling.

Fox News And Donald Trump Use Snowden Story To Revive Birther Claims

No one is surprised anymore when Fox News brazenly brandishes their rightist leanings or promotes Republican candidates and causes. Anyone who is paying attention recognizes that Fox is the PR arm of the GOP. But having established that fact, Fox is now swinging for the fences and attempting to take the mantle of fringe fictionalists from the likes of Glenn Beck and Alex Jones.

The media is clearly obsessed with this new melodrama revolving around Edward Snowden and the international chase scene that has reporters racking up frequent flier miles and dreams of sky-high ratings. They would like nothing better than a helicopter hovering over a white Bronco as it tracks Snowden to some exotic tropical sanctuary. Every media whore in the business is weighing in.

Sarah Palin

So it goes without saying that this morning on Fox & Friends, the kiddies on the curvy couch hosted national joke and Hair Club for Dicks spokesman, Donald Trump, to discuss the Snowden affair. Trump wasted no time in sensationalizing the matter with his typically shallow analysis by calling for Snowden (who has been convicted of nothing) to be executed and blaming Obama for everything. But Trump’s outraged is not reserved for Snowden alone. When he was asked what he thought about the newspapers that published Snowden’s documents, Trump said that it was “disgraceful.” So he is not only opposed to whistleblowers, he also opposes journalists. He even managed to inject a swipe at Climate Change when he mentioned some nonsense about magazine covers in the 1920’s reporting global cooling.

However, the focus was squarely on Snowden as Trump implied that America is weak and in danger of imminent extinction. Although, in the minds of these extremist right-wingers, America is always mortally threatened by whatever their issue du jour might be, whether it’s health care, immigration, or totalitarian bicycles (seriously). But the wheels really came off the interview when Trump segued from Snowden’s flight to his favorite subject, the President’s birth certificate.

Trump: You know the only thing we don’t seem to get are the records from the President. Isn’t that interesting?
Brian Kilmeade: Yeah, no one leaks that.
Steve Doocy: Yeah, where are those?

Yeah! How come that Kenyan socialist Muslim doesn’t release his records – again? Why is continuing to deceive the American people about his foreign nativity and his phony academic resume? And when will he come clean about his real father being former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers? And what his Marxist upbringing, his gay husband, and his alien reptilian body that lies beneath that human costume he wears?

America wants to know. And thank God for Fox News – the only media outlet courageous enough to ask these questions. As for Snowden, if he really wants to gain some credibility with the Free Speech crowd, he should show up in Red Square wearing a Free Pussy Riot t-shirt while he’s in Russia.

Snowden - Pussy Riot

CPAC So Far: The Conservative Miscreant Conference Doesn’t Disappoint

In the first two days of the Conservative Political Action Conference, the right-wingnut contingent was out in force and was not holding back on their animus and denial. They still believe that the reasons for their losing are related to poor messaging, not poor messages. So even with the highest rated cable news network blasting their propaganda 24/7, and polls showing that the American people overwhelmingly prefer the solutions advanced by Democrats, Republicans continue to cling to ideas that have been soundly rejected by voters.

That is, of course, good news for Democrats and President Obama. The more that rightist stars shine their light on absurdities and overt hatred, the more people will be repulsed and gravitate toward the left. Some examples of the tone-deaf rhetoric emanating from the CPAC ballrooms include these utterances from their heroes:

Donald Trump is very unhappy that the social safety net, that he and the right would love to see unravel, cannot be loosened without sacrificing votes:

Donald Trump

Allen West, the guy who says there are 70 card-carrying communists in congress, also thinks that his battle against his ideological opponents on the left is analogous to fighting terrorists.

Allen West

And Marco Rubio doesn’t want to be perceived as a bigot just because he holds bigoted views:

Marco Rubio

It is that sort of demented rancor expressed by these GOP Tea-holics that is keeping the party from corralling any support, particularly from minorities and young voters. Yet after throwing such temper tantrums, whose only purpose is to malign their perceived enemies, they persist in the delusion that their policy prescription is fine and it’s just their media, and in some cases their candidate selection, that is flawed.

No matter what they say about their presentation of conservatism, they had a fair shot with “severely conservative” Mitt Romney, and they lost. They had the most powerful name in media at their back, and they lost. The 2012 election pitted Obama against a right-wing onslaught that hit every plank in the far-right platform, and they lost badly. [Note: Although MSNBC and CNN both aired Romney’s CPAC speech live, Fox News ignored it entirely]

CPAC is doing precisely what it was intended to do: Spotlight the cream of the rightist crop. They cannot whine about deficient messaging when this is the all-star roster they themselves put on the field. The only problem that conservatives have is that their ideas are stuck in an archaic past, and they didn’t even work then. When they realize that and begin to adopt sensible policies that the American people favor, they might win back some support. But as things stand today, they are stubbornly holding fast to outdated and unpopular schemes designed to benefit the rich. And judging from the performances at CPAC, they don’t plan to change their grating tune.

Daffy Donald Threatens Lawsuit Against ‘Dump Trump’ Organizer

The elephantine ego, with the road-kill squirrel hairpiece, that we know as Donald Trump has emerged again from his lair to make squealing noises about some affront to his imaginary immunity from criticism.

Donald Trump

Trump had his lawyer, Alan Garten, dash off a cease and desist letter to the organizer of a protest aimed at getting Macy’s to sever their relationship with the fake billionaire birther. He is suing Angelo Carusone for not less than $25 million for “disrupt[ing] Mr. Trump’s long-standing and well-established business relationship with Macy’s.”

Curiously, Garten undermines his own case in the letter by insisting that Carusone’s efforts have been unsuccessful and that he has grossly inflated his support (A petition initiated by Carusone has received more than 680,000 signatures). But if Garten’s claim is so, then there cannot be any justification for a multimillion dollar lawsuit. Where are the damages? Nevertheless, Garten issues brassy threats to “not test Mr. Trump’s resolve” lest you suffer “a judgment of stunning proportions.” The only other potential for liability rests in Trump’s complaint that Carusone attempted to “maliciously” “cast him in a false light,” however, nowhere in his letter did he cite any example of that.

In point of fact, Trump is attempting to bully Carusone into abandoning his rights under the First Amendment. It is squarely within the law to organize and engage in protests, including those that encourage boycotts and other consumer actions. Trump’s threats represent another example of his aversion to democracy and the Constitution. He recently threatened to sue Bill Maher for having made a joke about Trump’s thoroughly joke-worthy challenge to get hold of President Obama’s college transcripts.

Rest assured that this suit is going nowhere. It would be laughed out of court by any reputable judge. Which is too bad for Trump because this appears to be the only way he has of making any money. His business record is replete with bankruptcies and he recently had to unload his Trump Plaza in Atlantic City for a record low price that was less than 10% of its original cost to build.

Given Trump’s dismal performance in real estate, and his declining popularity as a game show host, it seems that there would be no cause of action for defaming his reputation because, seriously, how much lower can he go?

The Ugly, Asinine American: Donald Trump Links Wind Farms To Terrorism

If you thought that Donald Trump had embarrassed himself beyond the limits of human tolerance during the presidential campaign, you don’t know The Donald.

This is a man who continues to believe, despite all evidence, that President Obama is a Muslim from Kenya. He is a man who made a pathetic challenge to exchange five million dollars for Obama’s college transcripts. He is a man who thinks that Bill Ayers is Obama’s ghostwriter. He is man who called for a revolution because he thought, incorrectly, that Obama lost the popular vote. So what could he have done since the election to further affirm his world-class idiocy?

Donald Trump Ad

The ad above is part of Trump’s effort to kill a wind farm in Scotland near one of his golf courses. He thinks it will hamper the view of the snooty elitists batting little balls around his exclusive club. But it’s not enough that Trump’s dishonest and self-serving ad misrepresents the value of renewable energy resources, Trump goes further to associate an advocate of wind power with the terrorist who brought down an airliner over Lockerbie.

This is about as despicable an act of character assassination as you will ever see. And it is a naked attempt by Trump to further his own greedy interests at the expense of a public servant, Scotland’s environment, and the general concept of dignity. To top it off Trump Tweeted “Windmills are destroying every country they touch— and the energy is unreliable and terrible.” That’s not the least bit hypoerbolic. Just look at the trail of former nations that have been destroyed by windmills. Obviously Trump knows as much about energy as he does about Obama’s birthplace.

The desperation in making such wild and offensive claims is apparent. Trump is proving once again that the only thing he cares about is his own wealth and ego. It’s sad for the rest of the American populace that he is prancing around the world ruining people’s impression of America. If only there were a way that we could refuse to let him back in.

FoxBlocked: What Becomes Of The Fox News Rejects?

Yesterday the news broke that Karl Rove and Dick Morris were being designated pundit-non-grata, at least temporarily, by Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. Apparently even a rabidly biased cable network known as the PR division of the GOP can tire of analysts who rarely get anything right.

Fox Blocked: Rove and Morris

I feel for the poor Fox viewers who are now going to miss out on the monumentally idiotic assessments and predictions by this pair of hacks. With important policy debates on the “fiscal cliff,” new cabinet appointments, immigration, Syria, etc., on the agenda, Fox viewers will be deprived of the insights that have made them so stupefyingly ignorant so long.

But I also wonder what will become of Rove and Morris. Their colleague, Rick Santorum, has already been reduced to joining WorldNetDaily, (aka Birther Central) as a columnist. Neither Rove nor Morris has commented publicly on the curb-stomping they just suffered. But I can’t help but feel that the worst part of this humiliation is that while Ailes dismissed them, he kept Sarah Palin and Donald Trump. How do they console themselves knowing that their commentaries were deemed unsuitable going forward, but Palin’s word salad jumbles, and Trump’s ego-soaked dementia, will continue to get broadcast? OUCH!

No doubt Rove will find a way to self-finance his media presence with funds misappropriated from his Super PAC. And Morris is still posting his vodcasts on his own web site for the willfully dumb and the aficionados of toe-sucking. But somehow, it just won’t be the same without their access to the vast audience of glassy-eyed Fox disciples (which is actually only about 1% of the population). At least we’ll still have Palin and Trump, and Limbaugh and Nugent and Hannity and, maybe, if we’re really, really good, Fox will hire Allen West and give us all something to brighten our holiday.

Fox News Kicks Karl Rove And Dick Morris To The Curb, But What About…?

New York Magazine is reporting that changes are afoot at Fox News following their pitifully inept coverage of the presidential campaign. Fox spent most of the year polishing the bubble within which their viewers, and even many of their favored candidates, resided. They were so averse to reality that they refused to report the results of polls that didn’t support their fantasy worldview, even when those polls were conducted by Fox News.

Fox Blocked - Rove Morris

The anchors and other spokespersons for the channel worked overtime on behalf of Mitt Romney and the Republican Party. They were unambiguously biased, which led to some rather embarrassing analyses and predictions. Most notable among these gaffes were the relentlessly anti-Obama/pro-Romney observations of Karl Rove and Dick Morris. And surprisingly, there are consequences for being so reliably wrong. According to Gabriel Sherman at NYMag:

“[Fox News CEO Roger] Ailes has issued a new directive to his staff: He wants the faces associated with the election off the air — for now. For Karl Rove and Dick Morris — a pair of pundits perhaps most closely aligned with Fox’s anti-Obama campaign — Ailes’s orders mean new rules. Ailes’s deputy, Fox News programming chief Bill Shine, has sent out orders mandating that producers must get permission before booking Rove or Morris.”

Well, that’s the least they can do – literally. While benching Rove and Morris makes perfect sense considering how dreadful their service to the network was, it doesn’t begin to address the problems at Fox. Bill Shine confirmed that the memo was authentic and that its purpose was to convey the message that “the election’s over.” If so, why is Fox continuing to feature a roster lousy with players who were every bit as disastrous as Rove and Morris.

Sarah Palin is a fixture on the network despite her nonsensical fear mongering about the creeping socialism of Obama and the Democratic Party. Mike Huckebee retains his Fox program even though he was an unrepentant supporter of Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin. Both were prolific fundraisers for a raft GOP candidates who mostly lost.

Then there is John Bolton, Laura Ingram, Tucker Carlson, Monica Crowley, Bill Kristol, Michelle Malkin, Eric Bolling, Dana Perino, Greg Gutfeld, the entire cast of Fox & Friends, and Fox’s own GOP Carnival Barker, Sean Hannity. How can Fox maintain seriously that they want to move on past the election when their schedule is littered with the same political hacks who played starring roles in the biggest flop of the season?

The answer is that they have no intention of moving on. The wrist-slapping of Rove and Morris will be short-lived and the familiar partisanship at Fox will continue unabated. If anything, the month that has transpired since election day already proves that Fox is still in campaign mode with their attacks on Susan Rice, their sensationalizing of the so-called “Fiscal Cliff,” and any number of other trumped up scandals.

Oh yeah, that reminds me. There has been no mention of their sidelining the Billionaire Birther, Donald Trump. So don’t expect to see much change at Fox, other than a bit of window dressing that will all come down when the weather clears.