John McCain Says Trump Admin’s Rhetoric Was ‘Partially to Blame” for Chemical Attack in Syria

Donald Trump’s demonstration of impotent machismo last week is beginning to get the scrutiny it deserves. The national press initially fawned over his missile attacks on Syria, suggesting that he had finally become “presidential.” It was an embarrassing display of the media’s war fetishism.

Donald Trump

It didn’t take but a few hours for reality to set in regarding the wisdom (or lack thereof) of Trump’s pointless aggression. The bombed airstrips were back in use the next day, and there was no perceptible impact on Assad’s barbarism.

On Face the Nation (video below), host John Dickerson asked Sen. John McCain about the strike. McCain indicated his general support for military action and the “message” it would deliver to Assad and other brutal tyrants. However he also noted that the failure to do any sustained damage rendered the mission ineffective. But McCain went on to express an even more startling opinion regarding Trump’s first act as Commander-in-Chief:

Dickerson: Do you think the administration did anything to encourage this behavior by the Syrians by saying that the Syrian people would determine Assad’s fate? And that removing him is not a priority? Things that were said before the use of chemical weapons?

McCain: I think it probably was partially to blame. And Secretary Tillerson basically is saying the same thing. After kind of contradicting himself and then saying the same thing, argues vigorously for a plan and a strategy.

That’s a rather damning assertion coming from a senior Republican and chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services. It’s the sort of blame that Republicans usually reserve to malign President Obama. But it isn’t the first time that a Republican has observed the potential harm of weak leadership. Former Vice-President Dick Cheney, seeking to ramp up the fear quotient during George W. Bush’s reelection, said this:

“Terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness.”

The unintended implication of that is that the 9/11 terrorists perceived weakness on the part of Bush which invited them to attack. The same could be attributed now to Assad perceiving such weakness in Trump. After all, after Obama forced Assad to relinquish the chemical weapons he had at the time, Assad never tried to use them again during Obama’s tenure. It wasn’t until Trump came into office that he felt he could risk it.

It’s more than a little curious that both Bush and Trump had a foreign policy crisis early in their terms. In Bush’s case, he was suffering from low poll numbers and much of the nation didn’t consider him legitimate due to the Florida election controversies and the Supreme Court eventually deciding the presidency. His invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq bolstered his public image. Similarly, Trump has the worst poll numbers ever for a new president. And now he has an excuse to start another war. Does this prove anything conclusively? Nope. I’m just sayin. Particularly in light of this tweet by Trump in 2012:

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

After Watching Fox News, Trump Blames Obama For Gitmo Terrorists Released By Bush

As President of the United States, Donald Trump continues to ignore the resources available to him in that position. There’s a vast intelligence bureaucracy as well as agencies that collect data on virtually anything he might need to know. Nevertheless, he still prefers to rely on dubious sources like talk radio and cable news.

Donald Trump

Trump’s favorite goto source for iffy information is, of course, Fox News. He has demonstrated a pattern of posting tweets shortly after seeing something on Fox. It is never independently verified, and is often blatantly false.

The latest example of this aberrant behavior occurred Tuesday morning. As is his routine, Trump awoke early, grabbed the remote, and turned on Fox & Friends. The “curvy couch” potatoes were discussing a news story about a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was killed by an airstrike in Yemen. Then they went on to point out that “at least 122 former Gitmo detainees have re-engaged in terrorism.”

In this rare incident, the Foxies actually got the story right. A former Gitmo detainee was killed and there were 122 others who are believed to have returned to the battlefield. So far, so good. Now let’s see what Trump has to say about what he just saw on Fox:

Notice the editorial addition that Trump added to the story: “released by the Obama Administration.” That is demonstrably false. The office of the Director of National Intelligence, which now reports to Trump, tells a different story. Of the 122 former detainees who have re=engaged, 113 were released during the administration of George W. Bush. Only nine were released during the Obama administration. The total numbers of those released were 532 for Bush (21.2% re-engaged), and 161 for Obama (5.6% re-engaged).

So the knee-jerk rightists who blame President Obama for every evil on the planet are wrong again. Obama actually released far fewer detainees, and a much smaller percentage of them resumed fighting. Trump’s criticism of Obama’s “terrible decision” is just another in a long line of falsehoods. And for some reason, Trump is still determined to ignore his own intelligence experts. With all of the resources at the FBI, CIA, NSA, DNI, Pentagon, etc., Trump still leans on Fox News. Then he adds his own totally made up nonsense.

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

This is an administration that is pathologically obsessed with lying. The media should remind everyone of this each time they cover anything that Trump says. He is simply too unreliable to take seriously. How can the press pretend otherwise? And how can anyone in Congress have any confidence in his words? Worst of all, how can any other country believe the American president when he lies so brazenly to his own people?

Shake It Off: Crybaby Trump Starts 2017 With A New Year’s Swipe At His ‘Many Enemies’

As if to cement his reputation as a crude, vulgarian, narcissist, Donald Trump posted a New Year’s tweet that highlights many of his worst traits. It demonstrates that he has no sense of diplomacy and carries petty grudges forever. He tweeted:

The first notable part of that message is that Trump is aware that he has “many enemies.” That’s an uncharacteristically truthful assessment from this pathological liar. Indeed, he does have many enemies. And he’s earned every one of them by being a petulant, racist, egomaniacal, neo-fascist.

Secondly, it’s troubling that Trump regards American citizens who voted against him (the majority) as enemies. He is making it abundantly clear that he does not plan to be the president of all the people. What’s more, Vladimir Putin is not on his enemies list. His sickly sweet bromance with Russia’s murderous dictator, who has orchestrated cyber attacks against America, is in full blossom. Trump recently praised Putin following President Obama’s imposition of sanctions for the hacking of our election. Let that sink in. He praised Putin rather than joining with our President, and nation, in defense of democracy.

Finally, Trump’s “enemies” know exactly “what to do.” Continue fighting his ignorance, lies, and totalitarian tendencies until he’s deposed and slinks away in disgrace.

Trump’s pompous audacity did not go unnoticed on Twitter. Here are a few of the responses he received:


For this year-end opportunity to unite the nation and express hopes for a peaceful future, Trump instead chose to be spiteful and arrogant. It’s the behavior of a sore winner, if you can call someone who lost the popular vote by a record margin a “winner.” Even former President George W. Bush showed more grace in his New Year’s message. In 2002 he said “I encourage all Americans to join with me in reaffirming our commitment to helping people around the world achieve peace and freedom.” See? It’s not that hard.

Trump, however, remains a bully and a divider who seeks only to exalt himself. And that’s probably what he meant by tacking “Love” on to the end of his tweet. Love for himself. That’s all he’s ever shown.

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

Michael Moore Literally BEGS Donald Trump To ‘Do Your Job. Attend The Briefings’

Critics of Donald Trump warned that he was unprepared for the presidency, and unwilling to prepare, long before Election Day. Now as President-Neglect he is validating all of their worst fears. Reports that Trump has been shrugging off national security briefings raise serious concerns about his commitment to the job.

Donald Trump

These briefings are not social get-togethers for lonely intelligence operatives. They are critical data exchanges that could impact the lives of American citizens as well as those of our foreign allies. And they are especially important for someone who has no prior experience in international affairs. Trump needs to be ready on day one of his presidency, and there is more to learn than he comprehends. The terrorist attacks on 9/11 occurred less than nine months into the administration of George W. Bush. And he had warnings that he also ignored.

On Wednesday night, Michael Moore was on Late Night with Seth Meyers. There was a wide ranging discussion that touched on several aspects of the Trump transition. Among other things, Moore speculated that Trump might not receive the necessary votes from the Electoral College to assume the presidency. But later in the segment Moore got serious about the dangerous level of disengagement exhibited by Trump. He expressed concern about Trump dodging the briefings. And he was disturbed that Trump was “more engaged with tweeting about Alec Baldwin and SNL.” Then he turned to the camera and pleaded directly:

“With all due respect Mr. President-Elect, on our behalf you have to pay attention. You have to attend these briefings. This is our country, this is our security, this is our safety. You’re horsing around with all this nonsense and you’re not doing your number one job. And the number one job of the president is to make sure that the country is safe.

“I beg you, seriously, there is no right or left, Republican or Democrat going on here. I’m asking you to do your job for the sake of the people who may end up dead because you didn’t do your job. We had this happen once before. We had this non-engaged president who wasn’t reading his briefs. You don’t even attend the briefs. So I’m begging you to do that. I’m begging you to get up in the morning, send out your tweets of whoever, and then, God please, attend the briefings.”

That doesn’t seem like to much to ask. The fate of the nation (and the world) is at stake. We have a tragic precedent in 9/11 that ought to make this an easy call for Trump. Unfortunately, nothing seems to be easy for him, particularly if it requires actual work. He shouldn’t need to be prodded to do the most basic parts of his job. If it’s too much for him, he shouldn’t have asked for the job. But now we’re stuck with him and we expect him to spend more time with security briefings than with ego-stroking victory rallies and comedic impressions.

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

The Daughter Of Raving Trump Flunky Rudy Giuliani Says ‘I Love Hillary’

In the rough and tumble game of politics there are some surprising allegiances and discord. This year has seen the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, accuse rivals of being dummies, liars, and foreigners. And yet, those vanquished foes eventually succumbed to the siren call of political whoredom and endorsed him anyway. Which proves the old adage “with friends like these who needs enemas?”

Rudy Giuliani

Likewise, there are familial frictions that can strain otherwise warm relationships. The profound respect for Republican family values is displayed perfectly by Trump, who values families so much he’s had three of them, so far. He shares that propensity for multiple wives and mistresses with his devoted surrogate and 9/11 Tourettes sufferer, Rudy Giuliani. The former New York mayor has carried Trump’s banner into battle with a zeal generally observed in mating hyenas.

That’s why it may come as a shock to him that his his daughter has joined the opposition. Politico is reporting that Caroline Giuliani is supporting Hillary Clinton for president. In a statement to Politico she said:

“I love Hillary, I think she’s by far the most qualified candidate that we’ve had in a long while.”

In a Facebook post she proudly declared “I’ve been pro-Hillary all along” as she praised an article in the Huffington Post by a Bernie Sanders supporter who realized that Clinton was America’s best hope.

Caroline also noted that her dad is aware of her Democratic leanings. She previously voted for President Obama, so Rudy has had time to get used to the idea. Caroline said that “He knows and is fully comfortable with it and thinks I have a right to my opinion.” That’s mighty open-minded of a man whose choice for president has called Clinton “the devil.”

But Caroline isn’t alone in her preference for Clinton among iconic GOP offspring. Barbara Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, attended a fundraiser for Clinton in Paris last week. Barbara joins her grandpa, George H.W. Bush, who recently told Kathleen Kennedy Townsend that he is on Team Hillary.

Then there is John McCain’s granddaughter, also named Caroline, who supports Clinton and wants Trump “to be humiliated in November” because “loyalty to party means nothing when the party has been poisoned.” And Ronald Reagan’s son Ron is a committed liberal. And his other son Michael tweeted that his father would not support Trump and that the former First Lady Nancy “would vote for HRC.”

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

These famous Republican kids join scores of other Republicans who support Clinton. They are nauseated by Donald Trump and embarrassed that he managed to con enough voters to snag their Party’s nomination. It’s an encouraging sign that such prominent conservatives are speaking out. And with a month to go before election day we’ll soon find out whether the deplorable faction of the GOP can prevail.

In Defense Of The Pre-9/11 Mindset: 2016 Edition

[On September 11, 2006, I wrote an essay about how the American perception of its place in the world supposedly shifted after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. I reprint it here today because, sadly, it’s still true. And in the midst of a historic election wherein one candidate has made fear his brand it seems worthwhile to revisit these thoughts]

9/11

In September of 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney, in a sinister demonization of Democrats, warned that…

“if we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we’ll get hit again, and we’ll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States, and it will fall back into the pre-9/11 mindset, if you will, that in fact, these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts and that we’re not really at war.”

The Pre-9/11 Mindset is much maligned as mindsets go. Disdain is heaped upon it as if it were a discarded hypothesis. There is now a stigma associated with a worldview that was perfectly acceptable 24 hours prior. And a cadre of power hungry fear merchants is restlessly hawking the notion that everything we thought we knew has withered into irrelevance. The Post-9/11ers propose that an imaginary line has been drawn that illuminates the moral and intellectual differences between those who stand on one side or the other. So what exactly does it mean to be 9/10ish?

I remember clearly what was on my mind. I was still upset that a pretend cowboy, whose intellectual marbles rattled around vacantly in his 2 gallon hat, had gotten away with stealing an election. I was recalling, with renewed appreciation, an era of domestic surplus and international cooperation. Or as The Onion headline put it when Bush was first elected, “Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over.”

9/11 was undoubtedly an unwelcome milestone in American history. But the idea that everything changed on that day is shallow and puerile. The history of human civilization reveals that we simply do not change that much from one century to the next. And the events that actually do precipitate change are rarely the ones we presume them to be. There was terrorism before 9/11. There were birthdays and funerals and parking tickets and snow cones and life’s everyday extraordinary spectrum of pleasure no matter how painful.

What changed was that a nation that was once perceived to be inviolable and courageous was now seen as vulnerable and afraid. Like a child lost in a crowd, America was searching for a guardian, but what we got was no angel. As President Bush took to the mound of rubble for his megaphone moment, he was not alone. He was accompanied by a media that sought to construct a hero where none stood. I must admit that it was an ambitious undertaking considering the weakness of the raw material. They took an inarticulate, persistently mediocre, dynastic runt, who on September tenth was considered by many to be Crawford’s lost idiot, and transformed him into a statesman overnight. The enormity of this achievement underscores the power of the media.

My Pre-9/11 Mindset was thrust into fear on that transitory day because I knew that the imbecile we were stuck with in the White House was incapable of reacting appropriately to the threat. I remember vainly trying to persuade previously reasonable people that if they thought Bush was a moron the day before, there was nothing in his breakfast that infused him with wisdom on that sad morning.

What transpired since has, regrettably, proven me right. We toppled the Taliban but let the 9/11 commander escape. Now the remnants of the Taliban are rising again and creating havoc in an unprepared and unstable Afghanistan. We were misled into an unrelated conflagration in Iraq via fear and deception. Now tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been liberated – liberated from the confines of their physical bodies. It’s too bad that these liberated corpses will be unable to march in the parades celebrating their liberation. A world that had nothing but sympathy for us after 9/11, is now repulsed by our arrogance. At home we are paying for our adventures by burdening the next few generations with a record debt. And we pay a much greater price in the cost of lost liberties, courtesy of a despotic cabal in Washington that has more trust in fear than it does in our Constitution.

The historical revisionists that cast the Pre-9/11 Mindset as a pejorative are blind to its inherent virtue. The Pre-9/11 Mindset honors civil liberties and human rights. It recognizes real threats and inspires the courage to face them. It demands responsibility and accountability from those who manage our public affairs. It condemns preemptive warfare and torture. The Pre-9/11 Mindset is not consumed with fear, division, and domination. It is rooted in reality with its branches facing the sunrise.

The Pre-9/11 Mindset is superior in every aspect to the Post-9/11 apocalyptic nightmare that has been thrust upon us. Its adoption is, in fact, our best hope for crawling out from under the shroud that drapes our national psyche. Vice President Cheney also said that…

“Terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength. They are invited by the perception of weakness.”

If that’s true, then the terrorists must have perceived the weakness of the Bush administration and considered it an invitation to launch their attack. How do you suppose they perceive us now? They’ve seen the passage of the Patriot Act that limits long-held freedoms. They’ve seen our government listening in on our phone calls and monitoring our financial transactions. They see us lining up at airport terminals shoeless and forced to surrender our shampoo and Evian water. They see us mourning the loss of our sons and daughters who are not even engaged in battle with the 9/11 perpetrators. They see us as fearful and submissive. Is this not emboldening the terrorists for whom this perception of weakness will be seen as yet another invitation to attack?

Yes, I have a Pre-9/11 Mindset and it is not a yearning for a simpler bygone era of harmony. You could hardly call the maiden year of this century simple or harmonious. I have a Pre-9/11 Mindset because I’ve had it all along; all through the Post-9/11 defeatism and scare-mongering; through the war posturing and false bravado; through the sordid attempts to divide Americans and vilify dissenters; through the bigotry and arrogance of those who believe that their way is the right way and the world will concur as soon as we’re done beating it into them. I have a Pre-9/11 Mindset because I have not let the Post-9/11 Mindset infect my spirit with its yearning for a bygone era that more closely resembles the Dark Ages than the Renaissance.

Pre-9/11 Mindset Post-9/11 Mindset
Enduring Peace Perpetual War
Prosperity Poverty and Debt
Civil Rights The Patriot Act
Human rights Torture
Accountability Corruption
Reality Fear

I have a Pre-9/11 Mindset because I have a mind, and I use it.

Donald Trump Has A Frightening Plan To ‘Reform’ Government That He Won’t Tell You Tonight

One of the most persistent criticisms of Donald Trump is that he’s been running for president for over a year and has failed to articulate a single policy in any detail. His platform is made up entirely of vapid slogans (“Make America Great Again”), simplistic one-liners (“Build a Wall”), and childish insults (“Crooked Hillary”). Rest assured that as he accepts the Republican Party’s nomination for president tonight he won’t be any more forthcoming about how he intends to achieve his vaguely stated goals.

RNC Trump

Consequently, we should be grateful that his surrogate, Gov. Chris Christie, is shooting his mouth off in private meetings with GOP donors. It is in these settings that Republicans often reveal their true intentions as they seek to squeeze funds from their wealthy benefactors. Yahoo news is reporting that:

“If he wins the presidency, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would seek to purge the federal government of officials appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama and could ask Congress to pass legislation making it easier to fire public workers, Trump ally, Chris Christie, said on Tuesday.

Christie, who is governor of New Jersey and leads Trump’s White House transition team, said the campaign was drawing up a list of federal government employees to fire if Trump defeats Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

“As you know from his other career, Donald likes to fire people,” Christie told a closed-door meeting with dozens of donors at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Chris Christie is in a position to know what he’s talking about. He is a leading candidate to assume a prominent role in a Trump administration, i.e. Attorney General or Chief of Staff. And he shares Trump’s visceral hatred of President Obama, so he would be anxious to erase any remnants of his historic presidency.

Government purges are a tactic that has been popular with fascist regimes for decades. It is a means of consolidating power, imposing ideological conformity, and insuring loyalty. But it is grossly undemocratic and contrary to the principles of a free society. In the United States the concept of “career” employees has been valued because it results in decisions being made on merit rather than political partisanship. Even the threat of political purges can sway agency staffers to adopt positions that are overtly harmful in order to please their current bosses rather than the public whom they serve.

The last notable example of this type purge occurred during the administration of George W. Bush. He took the wholly unprecedented and unethical action of firing staff attorneys at the Justice Department and replacing them with lackeys who would do his bidding. That led in part to an email scandal that dwarfs anything Hillary Clinton has been accused of.

The purge that Christie spoke of goes far beyond what Bush did at the Justice Department. Under a President Trump every agency of government would be at risk. The Environmental Protection Agency could be stuffed with pro-coal and oil shills who would obliterate regulations that have proven to be effective in cleaning the air and water in America. Health and Human Services could become the headquarters for dismantling ObamaCare. The Department of Labor could be restructured to serve corporations and diminish the influence of unions. The Department of Education could begin to kill off public schooling in favor of vouchers and faith-based alternatives. And just imagine the harm that could be done with extreme hawks populating the Homeland Security and Defense departments.

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

This is just another of Trump’s secret agendas that make him an existential threat to the nation – and the world. Some of what he is plotting isn’t known because he refuses to disclose anything significant about policy, or even personally (such as his ultra-secret tax returns). Some of it isn’t known because he has no idea what he believes to begin with. What we do know about his governing philosophy we’ve learned by his inadvertent slips of the tongue to the press. For instance, yesterday he said that he would not necessarily honor our mutual defense agreements under the terms of the NATO treaty. Revelations like the one Christie has provided helped to torpedo Mitt Romney’s campaign in 2012. And that’s why the press needs to aggressively seek out information that the candidates strive to conceal. Democracy depends on it.

Fox News Host Rants About Clinton Emails – Was Bush Shill When 5 MILLION Emails Vanished

With the conclusion of the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, clearing her of legal wrongdoing, partisans on both sides are spinning this issue to their respective advantage. While FBI Director James Comey said plainly that there was no “evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws,” Republicans chose to malign his reputation during nearly five hours of questioning in a congressional hearing that proved nothing.

George Bush Dana Perino

Throughout this matter, one of the most vocal critics of Clinton was a Fox News co-host of The Five, Dana Perino. She embarked on an extended Twitter tirade yesterday beginning with an introduction to a multi-tweet rant:

That was the opening for another twenty or so tweets about how dearly she appreciated the opportunity to work for the White House and how seriously she took her job. Each tweet contained an implied swipe at Clinton who she cast as not sharing her respect for the position. Perino sought to paint herself as having no political biases, she was just there to serve America:

That, of course, was utter bullcrap. She was the press secretary for a starkly partisan administration that sharply divided the America people. There was a sentiment within the Bush realm that “you are either with us or you are with the terrorists.” Then Perino herself baselessly accused Comey of having a partisan double standard wherein he would have indicted a Republican under the same circumstances.

However, the most absurd part of this diatribe came when Perino referenced the time when she had to defend the Bush administration from charges of a cover up when they disclosed that two years of emails – more than five million – had been forever lost.

First of all, socks notwithstanding, Perino neglected to actually refer to any prior explaining rant. Secondly, if the emails were found (and that has not been established) it wouldn’t prove that there was no intent to deceive, only that the attempt at deception might have failed.

Flashback to April of 2007. The Bush administration was in the midst of dual scandals regarding: 1) the outing of Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent whose identity was deliberately compromised as payback for her husband’s criticism of the Bush lies that led to the invasion of Iraq, and 2) the unethical firing of eight federal attorneys for politically ideological reasons. Additionally, there were questions about Karl Rove improperly using a Republican National Committee e-mail account that the White House later said disappeared.

So contrary to her assertion that it wasn’t the same, virtually every element of it is matched perfectly, There is classified information that was compromised, albeit in this case it was deliberate and it endangered the lives of covert CIA operatives. There were also improper political motivations in attempting to clean the Department of Justice of any attorneys left over from prior Democratic administrations. And there was an intent to hide official communications by using the RNC’s email servers instead of those at the White House as required by law. On top of all of that, there were millions of emails that were never recovered. And the explanation given was that it was just a computer glitch. Which is funny because Perino mocked any suggestion that any of Clinton’s missing emails might have been inadvertently deleted by tweeting:

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

What makes this even worse is that Perino just happened to be Bush’s press secretary at the time. That’s right, she was not a pundit, she was the President’s spokesperson. And this was the White House itself (not some home server) that lost millions of emails (not only 30,000) that were then being requested by investigators. And it was Perino who defended this blatant malfeasance. Here she is downplaying the matter in a report on CNN by Ed Henry (now at Fox News, but off the air because he was caught having an adulterous affair):

Perino actually used the defense that “there’s no indication the emails were intentionally lost,” which she dismisses as a defense for Clinton whom she believes should be prosecuted regardless of lack of intent. Now that’s a double standard. And it is astonishing that Perino could be so rattled by the FBI’s report when she herself was so intimately involved in spinning an identical controversy when she worked for Bush. Of course, now that she’s at Fox News, she’s still spinning for the same right-wing gang.

On Fox News, Republican Losers Get Credit For Democratic Successes

One of the most consistent fallacies presented by Fox News on a daily basis is the assignment of blame for for anything that goes wrong exclusively to President Obama. If it can be cast as negative, Obama did it. Some of the laughable liabilities attributed to the President include the riots in Ferguson, MO, California’s drought, Ebola, and even Hurricane Katrina (which happened three years before he was elected. They have blamed him for high gas prices that hurt consumers, as well as for low gas prices that hurt oil companies. There is simply no way Obama can win with these partisan hacks.

Bush Blame Obama

Fox News’ Stolen Honor

Now, in addition to making Obama shoulder the responsibility for the failures of incompetent Republicans, Fox News is also stealing the credit for anything good that happens during any Democratic administration. This week alone has provided two glaring examples of this stolen honor by Fox pundits who can’t seem find anything that Republicans have done that actually helped the nation.

First we have Eric Bolling, a co-host of Fox’s The Five. During a segment devoted to bashing Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Bolling sought to diminish her husband’s success in orchestrating what was at the time the longest period of non-wartime economic growth in the nation’s history. Since he couldn’t plausibly deny that it was an era of unprecedented prosperity, Bolling served up this pretzel logic: “The reason why Bill [Clinton] did so well is because of Ronald Reagan.”

Of course it was. Never mind that Reagan was followed by four years of his vice-president George H.W. Bush who ran the economy into the ground and was summarily booted out of office. And perish the thought that Bolling would provide any substantive argument to support his made up theory. According to Bolling Reagan deserves the praise simply for being Reagan.

Following that, Fox’s senior political analyst, Brit Hume, made an appearance on Special Report to deliver his explanation for the political successes of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Eventually the discussion diverted to the state of the economy under President Obama. Hume began by asserting that the economy isn’t really in very good shape, but then shifted to proclaim that whatever was good about it wasn’t Obama’s doing, saying that “The credit for rescuing the economy, if it belongs with government, has got to be shared, at least [with George W. Bush].”

And why not? After all, Bush merely presided over the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. And his response was a basket of bailouts for the banks that were instrumental in the market’s downfall. It wasn’t until Obama came into office that efforts were made to stimulate the economy, and even that was opposed and obstructed by the Republicans in Congress.

It’s Hillary’s Fault Too

In both of the cases above the inspiration for these self-serving assumptions of economic glory stemmed from a comment Hillary Clinton made on the campaign trail. She said that if elected president she would put her husband Bill in charge of revitalizing the economy, something he is demonstrably good at. That comment sent the conservative pundits into a frenzy. They couldn’t abide her reminding people about the boom-time economy over which Clinton presided. So they endeavored to clumsily steal the credit for themselves.

This is just more proof that if Republicans had anything to be proud of they wouldn’t be trying to take credit for things they didn’t do – for things they affirmatively tried to prevent. They are, in effect, admitting that there are no accomplishments attributable to GOP administrations, so by necessity they have to swipe them from Democrats. It’s dishonest and unethical, but that’s never stopped them before.

Civil Whites March: Fox News Whines That Liberal Media Cut Bush Out Of Selma Ceremony

This past weekend marked the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic events in America’s history. In 1965 hundreds of protesters organized a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to demand an end to the institutional racism that kept African Americans from exercising their right to vote. The marchers were met on the Edmund Pettus Bridge by state troopers who beat them with nightsticks, trampled them horses, assaulted them with water cannons, and left many of the peaceful marchers severely injured.

John Lewis, now a U.S. congressman, was among those who suffered at the hands of the segregationist southern establishment. The televised images of the brutality directed at the marchers played a significant role in elevating the civil rights crisis to a national priority.

So how did Fox News choose to cover this historic commemorative occasion? This morning on Fox & Friends the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes devoted the whole of their Selma segment to complaining about a photo that appeared in the New York Times. Later, the ladies of “Outnumbered” did the same thing. The photo in question was of President Obama walking arm-in-arm with some of the figures who participated in the original march fifty years ago, including Rep. Lewis. But the Fox crew completely ignored the cultural importance of the event in order to play out their obsession with being victims of the “liberal” media.

Fox News

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Dispensing with any discussion of the state of civil rights in the intervening years, Fox focused on their allegation that former president George W. Bush had been deliberately cropped out of the photo that appeared in the New York Times. To them this was further evidence of how the liberal media distorts the news and robs conservatives of their rightful place as champions of civil rights.

There are two small problems with that characterization. First, the Times did not crop the photo at all. They printed the entire photo that had been supplied to them. The photographer had quite reasonably framed the photo to put President Obama in the center, thus missing Bush who was far off to the side. Other photos were taken of the event that show Bush, however, in order to reveal the whole front line of the march, the picture would have either consumed the entire width of the paper or been reduced so that no one could have been recognized.

The second problem is that the notion that Bush is an indispensable component of any photo of a civil rights march is ludicrous. In his eight years as president, Bush attended only one of the annual meetings of the NAACP. His Justice Department investigated the organization with an aim to remove its tax-exempt status. He opposed affirmative action and other legislative remedies to racism. And he appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts who wrote the majority opinion striking down provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that was a direct result of the original march in Selma.

Why the Fox regulars regard Bush as being entitled to a place of honor at this march is a mystery. But even worse is the fact that they would feature this phony assertion of liberal media bias to the exclusion of any substantive reporting on the issues that led to the march in 1965 and the importance of its 50th anniversary this weekend.

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This is typical of Fox’s perverse editorial stance on civil rights issues. On their Fox News Sunday program they hosted Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal (another brick in Rupert Murdoch’s media empire) who complained that Obama called for renewal of the Voting Rights Act. Just to be clear, she was against talking about voting rights in a speech commemorating an historic march for voting rights. Also notable is that Fox News failed to mention that not a single member of the current leadership in Congress attended the anniversary event in Selma.

And yet, Fox found time on multiple programs to gripe about a non-story concerning the cropping of a photo that never happened. That’s what Fox regards as newsworthy. And everybody knows that civil rights begin with exalting white Republicans who never did a damn thing to advance them.