UH-OH: DOJ Inspector General To Probe FBI’s ‘Improper’ Handling Of Clinton Investigation

When reviewing the most consequential events of the 2016 presidential election, one strikingly inappropriate action comes immediately to mind. Less than two weeks before the nation voted, FBI Directer James Comey violated a long-held principle of law enforcement. He released confidential and unsubstantiated data concerning an in-progress investigation of Hillary Clinton.

Comey Trump

Comey’s action gave Donald Trump’s campaign a jet-propelled boost at a time when it needed it most. And it left little time for Clinton’s campaign to respond or recover from the political harm. As it turned out, there was nothing of significance in the additional analysis that Comey initiated, but the damage was done.

Thursday morning the Inspector General’s office of the Department of Justice announced that it will be reviewing these events. Requests from member of Congress, outside organizations, and members of the public, spurred the IG to commence this review. According to the Huffington Post, the review will address several specific topics, including:

  • Allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI Director’s public announcement on July 5, 2016, and the Director’s letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016, and that certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations;
  • Allegations that the FBI Deputy Director should have been recused from participating in certain investigative matters;
  • Allegations that Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public information;
  • Allegations that decisions regarding the timing of the FBI’s release of certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents on October 30 and November 1, 2016, and the use of a Twitter account to publicize same, were influenced by improper considerations.

These are the most salient issues that desperately need to be resolved. Comey’s behavior was suspiciously beneficial to one political candidate, and this investigation should explore any and all motivations. The IG’s review is being careful not to engage in further partisanship. Consequently, it’s also examining allegations that an assistant AG improperly disclosed non-public information to Clinton’s campaign.

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

It remains to be seen what conclusions will be drawn when the review is complete. There could be consequences for Comey, or it could be swept under the FBI’s rug. Timing will also be critical. If this stretches too long into the Trump administration, and his anticipated purges at the DOJ are effected, then nothing of significance will result. Trump’s people will surely protect him and his allies in the FBI, including Comey. So stay tuned as this developing story continues to unfold.

New Poll Reveals The Eight CRAZIEST Things Trump Voters Actually Believe

The nastiness and ignorance that epitomized the campaign of Donald Trump has proven to be stubbornly enduring. Now, as 2016 wraps up, the effect it had on his followers is brought into focus by the results of a new poll. The Economist/YouGov survey (pdf) addressed many of the pressing issues that face the nation. It’s a revealing exploration into the mindset of the electorate. However, the most fascinating (and frightful) revelations are those relating to Trump voters.

Donald Trump Voter

Below are some of the more worrisome responses. Let’s start off with what ought to be the most clear cut inquiry by the pollsters:

Is the country better off now than it was eight years ago?

Most Americans recall that eight years ago the nation was descending into an economic abyss. The stock market dropped 46 percent. Unemployment shot up to 10.1 percent. Home foreclosures hit record figures. And total household wealth declined by more than $19 trillion.

Yet somehow a whopping 60 percent of Trump voters responded to this question saying that the country was better off eight years ago than today. Another 19 percent say there is no difference. That’s after stocks climbed back from about 7,000 to nearly 20,000. And unemployment dropped to 4.9 percent. The auto industry that was on the brink of collapse is reporting record profits. And the delusions of the Trumpsters are unique to their breed. Only 21 percent of Democrats thought 2009 was a better year.

Do you think that the proportion of persons without insurance has increased or decreased over the past five years?

This is another question where the answer is an unambiguous fact. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare), the rate of the uninsured dropped to its lowest levels in history. It now stands at about 10 percent as more than 20 million people got insurance through ObamaCare.

Nevertheless, only 26 percent of Trump voters correctly said that persons without insurance decreased. And once again, Democrats demonstrated greater knowledge with 49 percent answering correctly.

On the subject of climate change do you think: (A) The world’s climate is changing as a result of human activity; (B) The world’s climate is changing but NOT because of human activity; (C) The world’s climate is NOT changing.

While conservatives fiercely deny reality on this question, 97 percent of scientists who study climate agree that “A” is the correct answer.

That doesn’t stop Trump voters from dismissing the science. Only 36 percent of them chose “A” as their answer. That compares to 79 percent of Democrats doing so.

Did Saddam Hussein have weapons of mass destruction before the invasion of Iraq in 2003 that the U.S. never found?

Many people may have forgotten that prior to Bush’s invasion of Iraq there was an international team of nuclear experts investigating and monitoring Iraq. They never found any trace of WMDs. Neither were any found after the invasion.

Of course Trump voters are not constrained by facts. Consequently, 68 percent of them said that it was definitely/probably true that Saddam had WMDs. By contrast, the definitely/probably true respondents among Democrats were only 10 and 32 percent respectively.

Was President Obama born in Kenya?

Why is this still a question? Even Trump stated in a press conference that he now believes that Obama was born in the U.S., period.

Still, Trump’s loyal followers are unmoved. A majority of 52 percent continue to say that Obama is definitely/probably a native Kenyan. Democrats aren’t perfect on this question, yet they’re still far better informed than the Trumpsters. Their definitely/probably born in Kenya numbers are only 7 and 13 percent.

Did Russia hack the email of Democrats in order to increase the chance that Donald Trump would win the Presidential election.

Seventeen American intelligence agencies, including the FBI and the CIA answer this question with a resounding “YES!” President Obama just slammed Russia with sanctions and diplomatic expulsions in retaliation for their interference in our democracy.

However, Trump voters are as defensive about Vladimir Putin as Trump himself. Eighty percent say the charges against Russia are definitely/probably NOT true. And by now you won’t be surprised to learn that the same figures for Democrats are a measly 9/16 percent respectively.

Were millions of illegal votes cast in the election?

This question was motivated by Trump’s tweeted assertion that he would have won the popular vote but for millions of illegal votes cast for Clinton. He never bothered to provide and documentation for his claim. And every expert that reviewed it found it to be false or unsupported by any facts.

OK, guest what? Sixty-two percent of Trump voters say the claim is definitely/probably true. Sixty-four of Democrats say the opposite.

Did Leaked email from Hillary Clinton’s campaign contain code words for pedophilia, human trafficking and satanic ritual abuse – what some people refer to as ’Pizzagate’?

This was one of the more prominent examples of fake news that made the headlines in the past few weeks. It was never given credibility by any legitimate news source. It simply spread like a virus via Facebook and Twitter infecting the dimwitted, right-wing cult fetishists. Eventually, it led to a near tragedy as one of the believers showed up at the pizzeria with an assault weapon.

And yet, 46 percent of Trump voters said that this ludicrous fiction was definitely/probably true. That compared to 76 percent of Democrats saying, essentially, “WTF?”

In conclusion:

It is incomprehensible that so many Americans can be so plainly and dangerously ill-informed. It doesn’t bode well for 2017 and beyond as the Trump administration begins to put its imprimatur on the country. But this epidemic of ignorance was not accidental. It was a deliberate act of disinformation by Trump and the Republican Party. And the media bears its share of responsibility for putting ratings and profit before journalistic ethics.

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

The only hope is for those who have not been deceived to relentlessly correct the record. They need to use facts, and reason, and shame, if necessary, to distribute the truth. It’s a difficult task to pitch reality to weak-willed, faith-based, zealots for whom facts hold no appeal. But failing to try is a far worse alternative. Be strong. Be persistent. Resist!

Trump Romances Billionaire Investor In The ‘Failing’ New York Times – Who’s From Mexico!

It’s becoming more obvious every day that Donald Trump has no core principles. His moral code is strictly set to advancing whatever is in his best interest at the moment. That explains his frequent flip-flops on issues and fluid allegiances with associates. The velocity with which he can change positions is blinding. Take for example his stance on the Electoral College.

Donald Trump

Now the Washington Post is reporting that Trump dined with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. The news that Trump is hobnobbing with yet another billionaire isn’t exactly groundbreaking. He has already stuffed his cabinet with more of them than any of his predecessors. They seem to be the only people with whom he has any relationship.

What’s notable about this tryst is that Trump hasn’t been particularly fond of Slim, his homeland, or his business portfolio. You have to wonder what Trump’s after in inviting such a bitter foe to his luxury Mar-A-Lago resort. Trump viciously castigated Slim during the campaign, primarily for his investment in the New York Times. He said this at a rally in North Carolina on October 14:

“No paper is more corrupt than the failing ‘New York Times.’ The good news, it is failing, it won’t be around too much longer. But they are really, really bad people. The largest shareholder in the Times is Carlos Slim. Now Carlos Slim as you know comes from Mexico. He’s given many millions of dollars to the Clinton and their initiative. So Carlos Slim, largest donor of the paper, from Mexico. Reporters at the New York Times, they’re not journalists. They’re corporate lobbyists for Carlos Slim and for Hillary Clinton.”

First of all, Slim is indeed a large shareholder in the Times, but Trump is telling only part of the story. Slim’s 17 percent of the publicly traded Class A shares does not give him any clout. The vast majority of the company is owned by the Sulzberger family, including the privately held Class B shares. Additionally, Slim has no representation on the company’s board of directors. So Trump’s inference of influence by Slim is entirely a product of his warped imagination.

Secondly, the fact that Trump had to mention Slim’s Mexican heritage twice reveals the deep roots of his bigotry. He doesn’t say why it’s important, he just makes sure his audience is well aware of it.

Thirdly, Trump points out that Slim has donated to the Clinton Foundation. However, he doesn’t bother to mention that he gave $100,000 to the Foundation himself. If he’s implying that Slim was seeking some sort of benefit for his donation, then what was Trump seeking?

Finally, Trump makes a leap of illogic to assert that the reporters for the Times are somehow beholden to the Clintons. There is nothing to indicate that the Times’ reporters are in any way influenced by Slim or donations to the Clinton Foundation. This is the sort of dishonest innuendo that Trump has disgorged throughout his campaign.

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

So now Trump is dining with Slim and praising him as “a wonderful man” Never mind that his website still says this about him:

“The New York Times strings are being pulled by Mexico’s Carlos Slim, a billionaire who benefits from NAFTA and supports Hillary Clinton’s open border policies.”

If any of Trump’s speculative accusations were to be taken seriously, then you would also have to apply them to his reasons for meeting with Slim now. Is Trump a shill for Slim and the Clinton Foundation? Or is he just an opportunistic con man who is out for anything he can get for himself? You don’t have to answer that.

LOCK HER UP: Ivanka Trump’s ‘Charity’ Auction Sells White House Access To Wealthy Bidders

The chant rang out loudly at Donald Trump’s campaign rallies: “Lock her up!” It was a taunt aimed at Hillary Clinton who Trump accused of violating unspecified laws. The primary focus of his accusations was the Clinton Foundation, a global charity that has benefited millions and received the highest ratings from charity watchdog groups.

There has never been a verified assertion of wrongdoing by Clinton, nor any evidence of favoritism toward donors. Trump himself donated $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Nevertheless, he continued to call his opponent “Crooked Hillary” and charge her with running a criminal pay-to-play operation.

Ivanka Trump

Which makes the actions of his daughter Ivanka Trump all the more disturbing. Last week she put up an auction on the Charitybuzz website. It offered an opportunity to “Enjoy Coffee with Ivanka Trump.” The bidding started at a hefty $50,000. And at last check it had risen to over $72,000. That limits the potential winners to a narrow community of elites who are likely to expect something for their generosity. In fact, the New York Times interviewed some of the bidders who came right out and admitted it. For instance, Ozan M. Ozkural, a London-based investment manager, told the Times that he “wanted to meet with Ms. Trump to gain insight into topics like President-elect Donald J. Trump’s possible future dealings with Turkey and other nations where Mr. Ozkural invests.” The Times further noted that:

“Mr. Ozkural is one of several high-profile bidders in a feverish competition to win time with one of Mr. Trump’s children. Other bidders include the owner of a Tex-Mex restaurant chain from Houston who wants to press Mr. Trump, through his daughter, about immigration policy, and a real estate executive and fringe presidential candidate from Florida who wants to send a message to Mr. Trump about election fraud.”

This is precisely the sort of shady behavior that Trump had attributed to Clinton. And it adds to the previously reported conflicts of interest that have hounded Trump for months. He has far flung financial enterprises that present myriad opportunities for rampant corruption. The Washington, D.C. hotel that was recently completed already hosts foreign officials seeking to curry favor with Trump. And his claims that he will hand off his businesses to his kids ring hollow when his kids are active in his transition and administration. He promised to hold a press conference to iron out these matters, but canceled it earlier this week.

The fact that the stated purpose of the auction was to raise money for charity hardly diminishes the impropriety. For one thing, the money doesn’t actually go to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, as the website says. Instead, it goes to the Eric Trump Foundation. There is no way of knowing where it goes from there. And we already have the example of Papa Trump’s charity taking donations for veterans, but failing to pass them on to the intended recipients. For another thing, Trump wouldn’t let Clinton off the hook under similar circumstance, so why should Ivanka be let off?

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

Shortly after the Times began inquiring about Ivanka’s auction it mysteriously disappeared from the website. [Note: It is cached here] But that doesn’t remove the stench of corruption that surrounds Trump and his clan. In fact, the unexplained removal is a de facto admission that there was something fishy about the whole endeavor. And they may have still accepted the last high bid prior to the deletion. Unfortunately, we may never know what the bidder is getting for his money. And the same is true for the hundreds of other conflicts of interest the will infect Trump’s presidency.

Christine Pelosi Is Getting Death Threats For Seeking Info On Russia’s Hacking – Fox News Berates Her For It

There is a surprisingly effective effort in progress to inform the Electoral College about the Russian hacking of the election. Ever since the Washington Post reported the CIA’s conclusion that “Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency,” electors have been reconsidering how they might vote on December 19. It’s taken on a life of its own online with the hashtag #InformTheElectors

Cavuto Pelosi

One of those electors is Christine Pelosi, a long time activist and daughter of the Democratic leader in House, Nancy Pelosi. She appeared Tuesday on Fox News with Neil Cavuto who berated her for seeking information. Right from the start Cavuto maligned the CIA with the GOP talking point that they are the same people who said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Pelosi corrected him saying that it was the Bush/Cheney administration who pushed that, not the CIA.

Cavuto continued his harangue in an attempt to paint Pelosi as a partisan who is trying to hurt Donald Trump. She repeatedly informs him that all she is asking is for the information to be made available so the electors can make an informed decision. Cavuto seemed oblivious to her response and shot back:

Cavuto: “You are trying to get electors who are heretofore bound to the Republican candidate in Republican states to switch their allegiance.”

Pelosi: “Don’t put words in my mouth. You owe it to the American people to let me tell the truth and to not lie about what I just said.”

Not satisfied, Cavuto hauled off again with the same question, all the while talking over Pelosi and not allowing her to give a complete answer:

Cavuto: “Do you want them to switch their votes? Yes or no.”

Pelosi: “What I want to do is get the information. What I want to do is not to have you mischaracterize what I say so that I get even more death threats and more insults.”

Cavuto had no sympathy for the danger that Pelosi has encountered specifically due to people like him lying about her. He even tried to waive it off with talk about “threats” that he’s received. As if that made her suffering alright.

Throughout the onslaught, Pelosi more than held her own. She continued to drive home the point that she was not prejudging the contents of the intelligence data. It would be up to the electors to decide for themselves whether it was significant enough to change their vote. But she was adamant that the information be available. And when he couldn’t succeed in getting to Pelosi to cower to his bullying, he resorted to a hackneyed bit of fact-mangling about the election results:

Cavuto: “When you include all the candidates, more people voted against Hillary Clinton than voted for her.”

That’s true. However, when you include all the candidates, even more people voted against Trump than voted for him or against Clinton. So what exactly was his point? That’s the sort of dishonest spin that is typical of Cavuto and Fox News. And you can bet that Cavuto won’t be inviting Pelosi back on in the near future.

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

Watch parts 1 and 2 of the Fox News segments here:


Why Vladimir Putin Should Be Time’s Person Of The Year Instead Of Donald Trump

On Wednesday morning Time Magazine revealed their Person of the Year (POY) for 2016. Not surprisingly, they chose Donald Trump. He was certainly a fixture in the media for eighteen nauseating months and dominated much of the political discourse. However, by Time’s own criteria for selecting their annual cover story, Trump may not have been the most appropriate choice.

Trump Person of the Year

Time defines the POY as “the person who most influenced the news, for better or for worse.” It is not necessarily, as Trump described it upon hearing of his selection, “a great honor.” In fact, it can be an outright disgrace as illustrated by some past selections like Stalin and the Ayatollah Khomeini. In Trump’s case, his selection may be more along those lines.

Nancy Gibbs, Editor-in-Chief of Time, says of Trump’s selection that “There is a profound argument about whether his influence was for the better or for the worse.” And Time’s article profiling him also addressed some of the darker aspects of his character:

“For all of Trump’s public life, tastemakers and intellectuals have dismissed him as a vulgarian and carnival barker. A showman with big flash and little substance. […]

“Instead of painting a bright vision for a unified future, he magnified the divisions of the present, inspiring new levels of anger and fear within his country. […]

[H]e proved that tribal instincts never die. That in times of economic strife and breakneck social change, a charismatic leader could still find the enemy within and rally the masses to his side.”

Indeed, Trump embraced an unprecedented reliance on division and scapegoating. His “us vs. them” tactics appealed to a nervous populous that fears the unavoidable demographic changes that are in progress. But does any of that justify his selection as Time’s Person of the Year? Did he really have more influence on the news than anyone else?

While Trump did seem to be on an endless loop across every news network, he can’t be given credit for that exposure. The cable news broadcasters voluntarily donated their airtime to Trump. They covered his stump speeches live and uninterrupted for hours on end. They allowed him to conduct phone interviews where he was rarely challenged or held accountable for his remarks. It wasn’t so much a matter of him influencing the news as the news exploiting his unpredictability for ratings.

But there is an even better argument for why Trump did not earn this POY selection. Much of the noise surrounding his campaign was generated by somebody else. Working behind the scenes, Russian President Vladimir Putin was responsible for influencing the news throughout the election year. His interference in American politics was pronounced and frightening. And all of it was aimed at electing Donald Trump. For instance:

Hacking the Democratic National Committee:
The first stirrings of Russian operatives in the U.S. election process came during the Democratic convention in July. The DNC email system was hacked into and private communications stolen from it were published. For some reason the media found it acceptable to make these private documents public. Remember, these were not government documents that the public has a right to know about.

Hacking Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s email:
The email account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman was also hacked. Again, this was private information that the media made public at the behest of Russian agents. While there was no wrongdoing revealed in these emails, there were things that partisan politicos could exploit and put a negative spin on. They succeeded in turning a huge portion of the campaign into a debate over emails that ultimately proved nothing.

Wikileaks support:
The Russian hackers delivered their stolen data to Wikileaks for distribution. From there Wikileaks released thirty-six separate batches of Clinton’s email. They deliberately strung it out over time in a manner designed to have the most detrimental effect on her campaign. Occasionally they would release a batch timed to a damaging news story about Trump in order to divert the media attention to Clinton and away from Trump.

Hacking voting systems in several states:
Reports of these efforts were the most direct intrusions into actual election processes. Hackers working on behalf of the Russian government are suspected in the onslaught against more than 20 state election systems

Spreading pro-Trump fake news:
The Washington Post reported that “The flood of ‘fake news’ this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy.” The epidemic of fake news actually outperformed news from more conventional and reliable sources.

The incidents outlined above arguably resulted in the bulk of media attention throughout the election year. They drove the media narrative and spurred the production of additional stories. Trump himself relied on the information stolen by Russians for much of his campaign rhetoric.

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

Consequently, Trump was a secondary factor in the influence of news events in 2016. It was Vladimir Putin who was actually steering the events that dominated the news. Putin and his agents succeeded in manipulating both the American press and the American political system. He got his man into the White House. And Trump was nothing but a prop on a much larger and more perilous stage. He is more worthy of being named Puppet of the Year.

Tweet-aholic Trump Pours Out His Frantic Fear Of Vote Recount (Millions Voted Illegally?)

As the Trump team continues to stitch together their administration, efforts to certify the election results are also progressing. In an unprecedented display of support, Green Party candidate Jill Stein has raised over six million dollars for recounts. That’s enough for Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and Michigan will require only a million more.

Donald Trump

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump is aghast at the potential challenge to his Electoral College victory. And consistent with his juvenile temperament, he is once again taking to Twitter to whine about the burdens of democracy. Terrified of being exposed as a loser, crybaby Trump is lashing out at Hillary Clinton for doing exactly what he planned on doing himself. The tweet-storm began Saturday afternoon and continued through Sunday afternoon. He began with this:


Trump’s characterization of the recount as a scam is not supported by any evidence. It’s just him swinging wildly. And who knows what he means by “impossible recounts.” This is surely possible and even routine. As for “badly defeated” Dems, maybe his handlers haven’t told him that Clinton got over two million more votes than he did. And if they were demoralized, raising six million dollars is a funny way of showing it. Next up was this:


An important distinction here is that Clinton, unlike Trump, never said that she wouldn’t accept the results of the election. She isn’t even saying that the recount is aimed at changing the result as called on election night. Both Clinton and Stein are saying that this is being done to insure election integrity. In the face of mounting evidence that nefarious players (i.e. Russia) may have interfered with voting, it is imperative that a review be done to preserve confidence in the system. Why is Trump afraid of that?

The next few tweets were merely his recounting of Clinton’s election night comments:

Trump is chastising Clinton for wanting nothing more than to have certainty that the election was conducted fairly. He refers to her remarks about “respecting the results,” which is, and has always been, her position. However, that was not his position. He said repeatedly during the campaign that the election was rigged. And he stated that as fact despite having no proof of it. Therefore, he wasn’t prepared to accept the results – unless he won.

Clinton is still prepared to accept the results, but wants to put to rest the discrepancies that have been uncovered. If the results show that she is the actual winner, all the better. But if they don’t, she isn’t contesting the election. That’s the difference between her ethical review and Trump’s deranged, baseless accusations. But he still isn’t through:


This is just plain delusional. Trump’s Electoral College margin of victory was a mere 36 votes. That would easily be exceeded by the the three states that are being recounted. Plus, there is zero evidence of even a single person voting illegally, much less millions. The discrepancies being reviewed in the recount are for other irregularities, not fraudulent voters. And if Trump really believes there were millions of illegal votes, that actually makes a recount even more important. He should donate to Stein’s effort.


These tweets make no sense whatsoever. What three or four states is he referring to? Surely not the most populace states (California, New York, Illinois) where Clinton obliterated him. And, of course, there is no way to affirm his boastful speculation.

Late Addition: Idiot Trump makes another case FOR a recount. Even though he still provides no evidence:

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

Another benefit of a recount is that we will have a more accurate record of the vote totals. That would be useful in the fight to eliminate the Electoral College. It is an anachronism that only serves to distort democracy. When the candidate that received over two million more votes is not the one sworn in as president, there is a serious problem. It affirms the fundamental unfairness of the system. And that may be why Trump is so scared of an accurate recount. He is relying on that unfairness to secure his victory, whether deserved or not.

Trump Punks America: 15 Broken Campaign Promises Since Election Day

Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump was in a frothing rage against what he insisted was making America a Hell hole. But for all the anxiety he caused, his post-election transformation may indicate it was all a ruse. The blustery ranting about immigrants, ObamaCare, and his despised rivals and critics, has melted into a sappy stew of acceptance.

Donald Trump Stupid

To illustrate that, Politico has put together a collection of “15 Trump Flip-Flops in 15 Days.” Some of these reversals are mind-boggling and sure to send his Deplorables into hysterics (see Politico for more details and supporting links):

On President Obama

During the campaign Trump called Obama the worst president in history and the founder of ISIS, among other things. Now he has “great respect” for him and looks forward to his counsel.

On Protesters

In overnight tweets Trump went from maligning protesters as “professionals” “incited by the media,” to loving their “passion for our great country.”

On ObamaCare

There were few more highly charged demands for Trump than his call to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Now he is cozying up to many of the provisions that define the program. For instance, mandating coverage for people with preexisting conditions and allowing children to remain on their parents’ policies.

On The Border Wall

Trump was unyielding in his insistence that an actual wall be constructed along the Southern border (paid for by Mexico). Then on 60 Minutes he conceded that he would be satisfied with a plain old fence.

On Gay Marriage

Before the election Trump told Fox News he would appoint judges who would reverse the recent decisions on marriage equality. After the election he told CBS that the matter was settled law and he was “fine with it.”

On Hillary Clinton

Who can forget Trump’s assertion that he would appoint a special prosecutor to go after Clinton and throw her in jail? Or his rallies where he led the crowd in chants to “Lock her up?” Now he’s telling the New York Times that he doesn’t want to hurt the Clintons. “I really don’t,” he said. “It’s just not something that I feel very strongly about.”

On Immigrants

Prior to election day Trump was adamant that all 11 million undocumented residents would be rounded up and deported. Post election day he is saying that his deportation force will only target a couple of million criminals (who are already being targeted by Obama’s DOJ).

On Fighting ISIS

Trump once demeaned the military and famously claimed that he knew more about ISIS than the generals. More recently he has changed his tune to tribute saying “We have some great generals.” Although he later reversed that as well, saying that they aren’t getting the job done.

On Nuclear Proliferation

This isn’t so much a reversal as it is an outright lie. During the campaign Trump advocated for countries like Japan and Saudi Arabia to defend themselves with their own nukes. After taking heat for that foolishness, he tried to pretend he never said it.

On The Electoral College

In another flip-flop-flip, Trump denounced the Electoral College as a “disaster.” Then praised it as “genius.” Then went back to saying that he was “never a fan of the electoral college.”

On Trump University

Trump steadfastly refused to settle with his former students who said they were victims of fraud. Until after the election when he settled for more than $25 million.

On Climate Change

Here is something that Trump once called a hoax created by China. And in any event it wasn’t caused by anything humans have done. Now he says that “I think there is some connectivity. Some, something.” You have to admire his articulate analysis of the science.

On The Paris Climate Agreement

In the same vein, last May Trump declared that he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement. But last Tuesday he told the New York Times that “I have an open mind to it.”

On Torture

Trump has long held that torture was an effective tool for fighting terror and that he supported waterboarding and even tactics that were “much stronger.” But he is backpedaling on that position after having met with General Mattis, a candidate for Secretary of Defense who opposes such measures.

On The New York Times

Along with many other media outlets, Trump castigated the Times as liars who were bent on destroying him. He rarely said their name without attaching the prefix “failing.” But in his meeting with them Tuesday he called them “a world jewel” for whom he has “great respect.”

Conclusion

After reviewing these stunning reversals, the inescapable conclusion is that Donald Trump has no moral core. Despite his brash rhetoric on the campaign trail, he is clearly not committed to any ideological agenda. You might expect his supporters to be disappointed upon learning that he isn’t planning on keeping his word. However, if the past is any indication, they are probably too wrapped up in hero worship to care.

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

It would be interesting to know how he would have fared if he ran on retaining ObamaCare, letting undocumented residents slide, and expressing his respect for Clinton and Obama. That we will never know. But going forward it would be premature for Democrats to get excited about Trump’s policy reversals. He could just as quickly shift back to his previous positions. The only thing that can be expected from him is inconsistency, hypocrisy, and the selfish pursuit of his own best interests.

Trump Gives A Big F.U. To The Media And The Public With A Virtual Press Blackout

Donald Trump was declared the winner of the presidential election two weeks ago. Since that time he has failed to hold a press conference to address the nation he will be representing. This is the longest period a president-elect has gone without a post-election press conference in forty years. But it’s worse than that because he actually hasn’t had a formal press conference since July. Do you suppose there might be a reason for that?

Donald Trump

Speculation could start with the fact that Trump has been more openly hostile to the media than any politician in recent memory. At his rallies he has called them dummies, losers, sleazy, liars, and more. He has not been the least bit shy about expressing his white-hot hatred for the Fourth Estate. He overtly threatened the press with lawsuits and other retribution. That included revoking the press credentials of media outlets he felt were too critical of him. In return, media advocates condemned his reckless behavior as “an unprecedented threat to press freedom.”

However, there are more substantive motives for Trump avoiding press scrutiny. The swarming torrent of scandals swirling around him pose serious risks to his nascent presidency. It begins with his election that is tainted by allegations of voter suppression and his loss of the popular vote. It continues with at least a dozen women who are charging him with sexual assault. Then there are his unsavory connections to Russia and its efforts to interfere with the election.

And that’s not all. Just a few days ago Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle a lawsuit to compensate the fraud victims of his phony Trump University. His cabinet and administration appointees are affiliated with radical racist organizations. And he has a growing list of ethically compromising conflicts of interest. There has never been a president who has more brazenly used the office for personal gain.

No wonder Trump is avoiding the media. By going four months without taking questions from the press corps, Trump has evaded scrutiny over these and other issues. This may benefit his efforts to silence criticism, but it is a disservice to citizens and to democracy.

Sadly, the media seems to be all too willing to go along with him. Even after the atrocious way that Trump treats the press, they continue to cater to his whims. Very little mention is made of his extended refusal to face the media. That is decidedly different from the treatment that Hillary Clinton received when she went a few weeks without holding a press conference. Even though she did conduct hundreds of interviews with individual reporters, she was hounded and criticized. Fox News displayed a running clock of the days since her last press conference. And there was rampant insinuations of her having something to hide. Where is that criticism for Trump, who is no longer merely a candidate, but president-elect?

When asked when he might hold his first post-election press conference, his spokesperson, Kellyanne Conway, would say only “Soon.” She dodged any more specific answer saying that he was too busy with his transition activities. Does she expect him to be less busy when he’s the leader of the free world? What’s more, he wasn’t too busy to convene a private, off the record meeting with the heads of the major media corporations and some leading news anchors. The New York Post revealed some of what took place in that meeting, and it wasn’t pretty:

“It was like a f–ing firing squad,” one source said of the encounter.

Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said “I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,” the source said.

The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing down,” the source added.

A second source confirmed the fireworks.

To be sure, that account was from the notoriously bombastic New York Post. Some other reports described the get together with less intensity. But while the Post may lean toward melodrama, the others may be more interested in preserving access to the administration. All things considered, the Post’s account sounds more like the Trump we have all come to know.

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

The old fallacy of the “liberal” media is further undermined by these events. Trump is getting far more favorable treatment than Clinton did under similar circumstances. More importantly, he is getting away with suppressing coverage of his scandalous activities. The media is supposed to hold politicians to account, but they are failing to do their job. If this keeps up for the next four years America will be buried in tabloid irrelevancies. Trump’s improprieties will be state secrets. And the National Enquirer and Breitbart News will become the dominant media and serve as America’s Pravda.

How The Obsolete Electoral College Can Save Us From ‘President’ Trump

Before I write a single word on the subject in the title of this article, I want to acknowledge that it is an extremely unlikely proposition. So anyone hankering to post frantic accusations of deranged liberals in denial, STFU. I know. That said, this deserves support purely from a conceptual perspective. It puts a focus on the legitimate reasons that Donald Trump’s election is an aberration of democracy. At the same time, it exposes the anachronistic nature of the Electoral College whose time was over long ago. And in the unlikely event that this notion should gain steam and become plausible, so much the better.

Trump Newspapers

The election of Donald Trump has caused a tsunami of critical analysis, most of which revolves around the shock that it occurred at all. Trump was opposed by an unusually broad array of Americans, including Republicans, national security experts, economists, and more. His utter unpreparedness for the job wasn’t sufficient to dissuade voters from choosing him over a far better qualified woman. In fact, Hillary Clinton’s experience was portrayed as a flaw. Because who wants experience in the most powerful leader in the world?

The day following the election, citizens across the country took to the streets to protest Trump’s victory. It was a spectacle unseen since the protest marches for civil rights or against the Vietnam war. Clearly there is a significant faction in the nation that is looking for a way out. And there just might be one.

There is nothing in the Constitution that binds members of the Electoral College to vote for any particular candidate. Some states have laws that impose a fine if the Elector doesn’t vote for the candidate who won the state, but those rogue votes are still counted. Consequently, Electors could still vote for Clinton when they meet on December 19, and she would then become the president-elect. And since Trump won with a bare majority of 279 Electoral College votes, only ten Electors would have to switch.

The Arguments For Electoral Vote Swapping:

Changing a vote in the Electoral College ought not to be done lightly. It should require thoughtful consideration and persuasive reasoning. Here is a summary of what might justify this radical step:

  1. THE POPULAR VOTE: Hillary Clinton received nearly a quarter of a million more votes half a million more votes than Donald Trump. The popular vote rarely diverges from the electoral vote, but this year the divergence is profound. Electors could be prevailed upon to honor the choice of the people.
  2. FRAUD AND SEX CRIMES: Trump is currently being sued for fraud with regard to his phony Trump University. Barring a postponement or settlement, the trial will be held later this month. If Trump is found to have committed fraud, it might sway some electors to rethink there obligations. There are dozens of other lawsuits pending against him. And he has promised to file suits of his own against women who have accused him of sexual assault.
  3. THE KKK KONNECTION: Trump has an unsavory relationship with the alt-right, white nationalist community. This includes the CEO of his campaign, Stephen Bannon, who is also the chairman of Breitbart News. Breitbart has become the alt-right’s home on the Internet. And racist icons like David Duke have been cheering on Trump’s candidacy. This affiliation makes it impossible for Trump to represent all Americans.
  4. THE PUTIN FILES: Trump’s ties to Russia are deeply disturbing. He owes millions of dollars to Russian financiers connected to the Kremlin. He has been linked to the Russian hacking that targeted Clinton. His policies are frighteningly aligned with those of Vladimir Putin (i.e. weakening NATO). And it was just disclosed that his campaign has been meeting with Russian officials. Need I say more?
  5. UNFIT TO SERVE: There is a general concern about Trump’s temperament that suggests his unfitness to carry out the duties of the president. He is thin-skinned and vengeful and subject to childish outbursts when he is opposed or criticized. Furthermore, he’s ignorant and shows zero interest in educating himself about the issues upon which many millions of lives rest.

These are serious arguments that could justify an Elector (or ten) voting against Trump. Taking an action like this would be an extreme measure reserved for only serious threats. But if anyone represents a clear and present danger to the United States, it’s Donald Trump. And there are many citizens who are worried about the prospect of his assuming residence in the White House. To that end they have started a petition directed to the Electoral College. It currently has over 1,000,000 2,300,000 3,500,000 signatures (and rising fast) and poignantly asks “Why not use this most undemocratic of our institutions to ensure a democratic result?”

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

That’s a good question. Feel free to sign the petition. No matter how long a shot this is, it’s still a good way for citizens to express their disgust and refusal to submit to the horror of a Trump presidency. Progressives are now the loyal resistance, and they should act like it.