Is This Treason? What Donald Trump Just Said Undermines American Democracy

It may be an Olympic-grade understatement to say that Donald Trump has done some god-awful things in his quest for the presidency. From mocking the disabled to ripping off veterans to insane proposals with regard to Muslims and immigrants. But he may just have outdone himself.

In a press conference this morning, Trump was asked about reports that Russia was responsible for the hacking of DNC emails. He has previously dismissed the charges as Democratic efforts to distract from the content of the stolen emails, despite the fact that it is the FBI and other intelligence agencies who identified Russia as the likely culprit.

Trump Putin

His response to today’s inquiries, however, introduced a new and deeply disturbing tactic on Trump’s part. He offered, without prompting, his interest in further exploiting the email theft to his advantage. In a direct response to a question on whether he would condemn the hacking he said “No, it gives me no pause,” and that:

“If Russia or China or any other country has those emails I mean to be honest with you, I’d love to see em.”

Let that sink in for a minute. Donald Trump, the nominee of the Republican Party for President of the United States, is affirmatively endorsing the notion of revealing private information that was stolen from Americans by a foreign and hostile government. That is an untenable and unpatriotic position that undermines the country’s interests as well as the principles of personal privacy and information security. But it gets even worse. Trump went on to say:

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

In that statement Trump is literally soliciting Russia to commit cyber-crimes and espionage against fellow Americans. How is that not treasonous? He continued with a thinly disguised reference to Russia being “rewarded mightily” for their hacking. Is that an offer to compensate Russian hackers and spies for their efforts? Or is Trump simply implying that Russia would benefit from a Trump presidency and that he would make it worth their while were they to sabotage the campaign of Hillary Clinton? Either way he is taking up sides with an international foe against his own country. Now what is it that we call that?

In the press conference Trump flatly denied having any connection to Russian politics or business. That’s a lie. Has he already forgotten his Miss Universe Pageant he held in Moscow just three years ago? But his Russian ties go much deeper than that. As reported by Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo:

“At a minimum, Trump appears to have a deep financial dependence on Russian money from persons close to Putin. And this is matched to a conspicuous solicitousness to Russian foreign policy interests where they come into conflict with US policies which go back decades through administrations of both parties.”

Marshall’s article goes into extensive detail of Trump’s connections to Russian oligarchs and politicians. He makes the case that Trump’s chumminess with Putin is not coincidental. Marshall’s documentation is thorough and somewhat frightening. And if anyone wonders why Putin would favor Trump, look no further than Trump’s recent denigration of NATO and his reluctance to honor the agreement. That would be a huge advantage for Putin whose expansionism would be made much easier if he didn’t have to worry about the U.S. defending its NATO allies.

Another Trump lie in the press conference was his assertion that “I never met Putin, I don’t know who he is. He said one nice thing about me.” It is true, of course, that Trump never met Putin (although he once claimed to know him very well because they both appeared on “60 Minutes” in separate interviews, thousands of miles apart). But what are we to make of his claim that he doesn’t know who Putin is? Folks, we are treading dangerously close to mental incapacity here.

Trump’s VP, Mike Pence, issued a statement that appeared to distance himself from Trump’s perfidy:

“If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences.”

Pence might want to confirm that with his boss who is promising that the perpetrators would be rewarded mightily. And contrary to his suggestion that both parties will ensure that there are consequences, the Republican Party has yet to make any public statement repudiating Trump’s remarks or even the more general issue of the hacking of the DNC. Contrast that with the statements from the Democratic side including:

Hillary for America Senior Policy Advisor, Jake Sullivan: This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent. […] This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue.

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta: “I find those kinds of statements to be totally outrageous because you’ve got now a presidential candidate who is in fact asking the Russians to engage in American politics. I just think that’s beyond the pale. […] I think that kind of statement only reflects the fact that he truly is not qualified to be president of the United States.”

It is incomprehensible that a candidate for the nation’s highest office is articulating activities that amount to aiding and abetting foreign enemies. Trump’s comments should be investigated by the FBI and his connections to Russian economic and political players should be thoroughly examined. As for Trump’s supporters, they need to reassess their allegiance to him, because if he can’t be trusted to act in the best interests of the nation, he surely should not get the vote of any patriotic American.

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

Donald Trump’s Latest Tweets Prove He’s A Whiny Brat Who Will Never Be ‘Presidential’

Throughout the Republican primaries Donald Trump has behaved like a colicky infant throwing tantrums and lashing out at opponents with insults that would make an eight year old wince with shame. He is easily the most profane, classless, cretin who ever ran for president. His remedial English, hollow policy pronouncements, and incessant boasting, are cartoonish in nature. Even Fox News mogul, Rupert Murdoch, agreed when he tweeted “When is Donald Trump going to stop embarrassing his friends, let alone the whole country?”

Donald Trump

Trump has spoken about “pivoting” to “acting” more presidential several times in response to reporter inquiries. Setting aside the absurdity that such questions need to be asked, he generally took the position that he would get around to it eventually and that it would be easy. That position is an admission that he is not currently acting presidential and that when he does so it would just be an act. rather than a genuine component of one’s character.

Now that he is the official nominee of the Republican Party, it might seem like a good time to make the pivot. Unfortunately, Trump doesn’t think so. He posted a could of tweets today that are typical of his childishness and evidence that he doesn’t have the temperament to be hall monitor, much less president. First he took a wild swing at Sen. Elizabeth Warren using one of his juvenile and offensive taunts to describe her:

There isn’t a single word in that tweet that is true. All of Warren’s public statements prior to Kaine’s selection indicate that she never considered herself to be a VP candidate. Following the Kaine announcement she responded directly to Trump with her own tweet saying that “I’m right where I want to be, @realDonaldTrump: Calling you out & holding you responsible for your reckless vision for America.” She has a close relationship Hillary Clinton who campaigned with her just last week. Trump assumes that everybody else harbors the same measure of hatred that he does. But no one has less insight into why Clinton chose Kaine than Donald Trump.

A few hours later, Trump posts another petulant tweet aimed at the new Clinton/Kaine ticket:

First of all, Trump is ignoring the fact that ISIS has virtually endorsed his candidacy. And just as Clinton predicted, they are using him in their recruiting videos. But it’s his third grade level heckling that continues to prove that he is utterly incapable of even a hint of presidential bearing. The reason Clinton and Kaine don’t look presidential to him is that he doesn’t know the meaning of the word (literally).

Trump has called his own GOP colleagues “losers, weaklings, liars, and pussies.” Even if he were to start behaving like a princess at high tea, it would just be another facade that he could abandon when he no longer needs to pretend. And if you aren’t convinced that this behavior is cause for concern, Just imagine how Trump would deal with Congress, citizen groups, and foreign heads of state. It would not be merely embarrassing, it would be dangerous.

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

Watch Donald Trump being “presidential”

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.

Donald Trump Is Already Trying To Take Political Advantage Of The Tragedy In Nice, France

News reports of a horrific incident in Nice, France are unfolding in real time. The latest estimates of fatalities is in the seventies, with many more injured. There are few facts available to explain what occurred, but the media is speculating that it is an act of terrorism.

Donald Trump

At times like these ethical leaders are expected to refrain from making irresponsible remarks that could muddy the waters and add to the confusion that is always present in breaking news. And most of all, they are morally prohibited from seeking political gain from the suffering of others. Suffice to say that Donald Trump is not an ethical leader.

While bodies were still strewn about the streets of Nice, Trump took to Twitter to exploit the tragedy. His first tweet was relatively innocuous saying only:

How does that comment help the situation? Trump is stating the obvious and then asking an absurd question. Someone should ask him “When will we learn WHAT? Does he have a lesson plan on the threat of trucks mowing down pedestrians that he’d like to share with us? And his warning that “It is only getting worse” is typical of his campaign’s reliance on fear mongering.

The only reason he is commenting at all is to get his name into the news cycle. And that is even more apparent in the tweet that followed:

It would be understandable if Trump’s news conference tomorrow involved a subject that was frivolous or otherwise disrespectful following this event. But the announcement of a vice-presidential candidate doesn’t fit that criteria. In fact, it almost rewards the perpetrators of this act by demonstrating that they can disrupt our democratic processes with their brutal and cowardly attacks. It’s a victory for the terrorists.

There is no excuse for Trump canceling his announcement. It would not offend anyone if it went forward. So why did he do it? Because tomorrow the media is still likely to be tightly focused on what happened in Nice and Trump’s VP announcement would get buried. The only reason he canceled the news conference is so he can reschedule it at a time when he will get more attention. That I can tell you.

In addition to his tweets, Trump called into Fox News for an interview with Greta Van Susteren. Of course, the subject of the incident in Nice came up and Trump proved that he is utterly incapable of governing in a world with this sort of danger and turmoil. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

Van Susteren: What would you be doing right now?
Trump: I’d be making it very, very hard for people to come into our country.

That’s what he’d be doing RIGHT NOW? He wouldn’t be contacting President Hollande of France and other world leaders? He wouldn’t be assembling his national security team? He wouldn’t be assessing the threat level here in the U.S.? He went on to repeat his mantra of building a wall and banning people from “terrorist” countries. It’s as if all he knows is what’s been prepared for him in his stump speeches. And then:

Van Susteren: What do you think President Obama should be doing about this?
Trump: Well, the first thing he should do is say that it’s radical Islamic terrorism.
Van Susteren: And then what?
Trump: And then not let people into our country.

Really? Van Susteren tried to give Trump opportunities to flesh out his answers with something coherent, but Trump was oblivious. The remainder of the interview was totally useless and flagrantly self-serving. It even included a swipe at Hillary Clinton when he said that “Hillary is weak and ineffective. She created ISIS.”

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

It is this type of ignorant blathering that illustrates why Trump would be downright dangerous if he had any real power. He is wholly ill-equipped to govern and every opportunity he is given to prove himself ends in embarrassment. If the media does its job, remarks like these by Trump will be showcased for voters so hat they can make an informed choice in November. If that occurs, the choice should be an easy one.

EPIC FAIL: Donald Trump Wrangles The Most Laughable Roster Of Speakers For His Convention

With the Republican National Convention set to begin next week, Donald Trump finally released the schedule of speakers. Two weeks ago Trump tweeted that “The speakers slots at the Republican Convention are totally filled” and promised to release the list the next day. That highly anticipated announcement took two weeks to materialize. Perhaps the reason is that the list, as just revealed by the New York Times, is an embarrassing collection of has beens and D-List denizens of the tabloids. Other than speculation about who Trump will select as a running mate (which Fox News may have inadvertently revealed), this is the most hotly sought after convention news, but the Trump camp is treating it as an afterthought.

The Times, however, is reporting that the lineup is “lacking many of the party’s rising stars” and relies instead on “Trump’s eclectic collection of friends, celebrities and relatives.” What’s more, in an effort to transform the convention into a shallow spectacle that draws on Trump’s Reality TV experience, the nightly schedule has been assigned dramatic themes akin to chapters in a soap opera:

“There are plans to emphasize different themes each night of the convention. Mr. Trump wants to touch on a few of his favorite hot-button issues, like the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, former President Clinton’s infidelities and border security.”

Really? Trump and his handlers actually think it’s a good idea to dredge up Benghazi, which multiple investigations, including those led by Republicans in Congress, absolved Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration of any wrongdoing. Even the latest Special Committee, after spending two years and seven million dollars, found nothing of significance that wasn’t already known or reported by one of the seven other congressional committees (which didn’t stop Fox News from desperately trying to find a way to spin it negatively).

And the night devoted to “President Clinton’s infidelities” is certain to be a major draw to anyone interested in twenty year old personal scandals that were thoroughly reported at the time and have been resolved by the Clinton’s who, to their credit, preserved their family and their marriage vows. Contrast that with Donald Trump, who has openly bragged about his adulterous ways and is currently on his third wife (so far).

The list of speakers obtained by the Times is a revealing look into the weakness of Trump’s support and his inability to produce an event that voters will find relevant to their lives. Rather than praise for the candidate, the schedule is focused on negativity toward his opponent and the Americans who he has already maligned for the past year. From the Times:

Night 1: A Benghazi focus, followed by border patrol agents and Mr. [Jamiel] Shaw, whose son was killed by an undocumented immigrant. Senator [Tom] Cotton, Mr. [Rudy] Giuliani, Melania Trump, Ms. [Joni] Ernst and others.

Night 2: A focus on the economy: Mr. [Dana] White, president of the U.F.C.; Asa Hutchinson, the governor of Arkansas; Michael Mukasey, the former United States attorney general; Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a vice-presidential possibility; Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader; Tiffany Trump; Donald Trump Jr. and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Night 3: Ms. [Pam] Bondi; Ms. [Eileen] Collins; Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker; Senator Ted Cruz of Texas; Eric Trump; Ms. [Natalie] Gulbis; and the nominee for vice president.

Night 4: Mr. [Tim] Tebow; Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma; Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman; Gov. Rick Scott of Florida; Mr. [Peter] Thiel; Mr. [Thomas] Barrack; Ivanka Trump; Donald J. Trump.

Wow! I can hardly wait. In addition to Benghazi, Trump will spend a portion of the first night on his racist immigration proposals by featuring speakers intent on demeaning Latino-Americans. His second night’s economic focus is headlined by the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, who will be followed by crowd pleasers like Mitch McConnell and Scott Walker. The third night welcomes Florida’s Attorney General, Pam Bondi, who also stars in an alleged bribery scheme wherein she sought a campaign donation from Trump before shelving an investigation into his phony university. And on the fourth night, which ought to be the grand finale, Trump is trotting out a failed NFL quarterback who is currently unemployed, and a couple of fellow billionaires. And of course his family is distributed on various nights throughout the convention.

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

Where are the GOP’s leading lights and rising stars? Most are not even attending the convention. None of the living Republican presidents will be there. Nor will the past two GOP candidates for president. Nor will at least a third of the sitting Republican senators. And only three out of the seventeen Republicans who ran for president in 2016 will appear at the podium, and one of those (Ted Cruz) hasn’t even endorsed Trump.

This may be one of the most pathetic political conventions in modern times. The animosity Trump has sown among his peers via his abhorrent policies, inherent hostility, and childish behavior, has doomed him to casting a third rate affair that will produce more laughter than enthusiasm for his candidacy. Personally, I think my satirical lineup would way more fun:

Trump's RNC

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.

FBI: No Charges For Hillary Clinton. Cue The VRWC Charges Of ‘Rigged System’

After months of painstaking research and investigation, the FBI has finally concluded their inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and the legal implications involved. The bottom line as revealed in an unusually detailed public statement by FBI Director James Comey is that “there was no intentional misconduct” and that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

Hillary Clinton

Comey concluded his statement saying that “we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.”

Comey: In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

To be sure, the investigation brought out numerous concerns about the carelessness of Clinton and others with respect to the handling of classified information. Comey enumerated the instances of documents that were classified at some level from among more than sixty thousand emails reviewed, including 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains. And he was not reticent in his summation of the results.

Comey: Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

However, some of the most persistent conspiracy theories from Clinton’s opponents were notably disclaimed. For instance, the allegations that the inquiry would be biased in Clinton’s favor, or that President Obama or others in government would improperly interfere with the FBI’s work were soundly repudiated. Comey led off with a forthright statement saying that “I have not coordinated or reviewed this statement in any way with the Department of Justice or any other part of the government. They do not know what I am about to say.”

Additionally, Comey put to rest the suspicions that Clinton had furtively deleted potentially damaging emails prior to turning them over to the State Department or the FBI. He said that he “found no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.”

And while Comey did express his belief that the possibility of a hostile intrusion into Clinton’s computer system existed, he concluded that “we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked.”

There is plenty of chum in the FBI’s review to keep both Clinton’s supporters and opponents busy for several days. But the failure to find any justification for recommending criminal charges will likely result in this matter eventually having a diminished role in the current election cycle.

However, that will not stop Republicans and Fox News from attempting to blow up the issue in the same manner that they did to Benghazi, another pseudo-scandal for which the right failed to find any significant wrongdoing after years of costly and partisan investigations. Already Donald Trump has tweeted that “FBI director said Crooked Hillary compromised our national security. No charges. Wow! #RiggedSystem.”

Of course, the FBI director said no such thing. Comey never mentioned national security in his statement at all, nor implied that it had been compromised. What’s more, Trump’s allegation that the system is “rigged” is a serious charge. Exactly who does Trump believe is responsible for the alleged rigging? It would have to include Comey himself, a man whose integrity is respected by everyone in Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike. If Trump and his GOP colleagues think that Comey is corrupt he should come out and say so and provide his evidence. Don’t hold your breath.

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

This statement by Comey will not put an immediate end to the furious debate over Clinton’s behavior with regard to her email. We are, after all, in the midst of a bitter campaign for president and her opponent is the most vulgar purveyor of crass insults and juvenile whining this country has ever seen. But in the end it will likely die down to an annoying roar from desperate partisans as voters begin to focus on the bread-and-butter issues that actually impact their lives. In the meantime, fasten your seat belts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

On Fair And Balanced Fox News It’s Trump Dependence Day

It’s the Fourth of July and Americans are enjoying a day honoring the independence of the nation from a tyrannical monarchy. There are parades, and barbecues, and tributes to heroes going on all over the country. But on Fox News they have their own peculiar way of celebrating this holiday.

Donald Trump

As Independence Day approached, Fox News devoted much of the weekend to multiple re-airings of “13 Hours At Benghazi,” a two year old crockumentary that shamelessly distorted the tragic events that cost the lives of four Americans. The entire purpose of the program was to falsely malign Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration in the minds of Fox’s gullible viewers, despite the fact that every investigation into the matter cleared them of any wrongdoing.

And now, on the Fourth of July itself, Fox News has programmed a couple of “patriotic” hours that feature their choice for America’s icon of nationalistic fervor, Donald Trump. Because what could possibly better represent the spirit of America than a one-sided telethon of veneration for a bigoted, egomaniacal, wannabe dictator?

First of all, Fox News will be re-airing a very special episode of Greta Van Susteren’s On The Record entitled “Meet the Trumps.” In this heart-throttling waste of time Van Susteren devoted the whole hour to interviews with Trump’s adoring family, She spent the most time with his wife Melania whose relentless praise was reminiscent of victims of Stockholm Syndrome. She even said that she and The Donald never argue. Does that sound like a normal marriage or a paid campaign infomercial?

Later, Fox News will present an all new special from Sean Hannity dubbed “The Year of Trump.” This will undoubtedly be the sort of worshipful tripe that has characterized Hannity’s treatment of Trump since he launched his campaign. The only surprise is that he didn’t call it “The Passion of the Trump” in honor of his political savior. Hannity has the distinction of having provided Trump with more airtime than any other program on Television.

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

Suffice to say that no other news network has committed to airing several hours of dedicated Trump-humping programs this holiday weekend. And apparently Hillary Clinton hates the Fourth because Fox has virtually ignored her today. The fact that Fox News chose this particular holiday to slather their viewers in paeans to The Donald tells you something about Fox’s interpretation of patriotism. It is not accidental that Fox scheduled this parade of Trump propaganda on the same weekend that they revived their anti-Clinton Benghazi fest. This sort of flagrant bias is their reason for being. Happy Fourth Everybody!

WATCH: CNN’s Trump Fluffer Brazenly Lies About The FBI’s Clinton Inquiry – And CNN Lets Him

On today’s broadcast of CNN’s State of the Union, fill-in host Brianna Keilar interviewed Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Last month Lewandowski was fired by Trump and then hired by CNN within a few days despite the fact that he has a contract that prohibits him from saying anything critical about his ex-boss.

CNN

Well, Lewandowski is surely in the clear after today’s performance. He not only refrained from any criticism of Trump, he delivered eight minutes of non-stop adulation and shameless up-sucking. He even defended Trump’s use of a blatantly anti-Semitic image in a tweet attacking Hillary Clinton even though Trump himself wouldn’t defend it (he deleted it without comment or apology).

Much of the interview, however, involved the meeting between Hillary Clinton and the FBI to discuss the matter of her emails and the private server she used. There was no new information reported following the meeting except for multiple sources telling CNN and MSNBC that the FBI has concluded that no laws were violated and no charges will be brought. On this subject Keilar asked Lewandowski…

“Corey, the big news this weekend, Hillary Clinton meeting with the FBI – three and a half hours she was meeting with them – and sources tell CNN that this investigation could wrap up before the convention. And if she is cleared of wrongdoing by the Justice Department as we expect, short of her making some sort of mistake in her interview yesterday is what is going to happen, will that deprive Donald Trump of a key political weapon?”

Without even waiting for Lewandowski to respond the answer was obvious. Trump, and every other Republican, have already tipped their hands to reveal a strategy wherein Clinton will continue to be vilified as guilty regardless of the outcome of the investigation. They intend to go on using this weapon even if it is shooting blanks. If Clinton is cleared they will just insist that the Justice Department is corrupt and that the White House is threatening to dispatch killer drones to deal with anyone who goes after Clinton. So Lewandowski did deny that Trump will be deprived of a weapon, but it’s what he said immediately after that that is truly disturbing.

“I think what you have is the American public is so frustrated right now that Hillary Clinton has been under investigation from the FBI from as many as 150 agents for a long time.”

Certainly the American public is frustrated by the seemingly endless parade of bogus Clinton-bashing scandals, not one of which has produced any evidence of wrongdoing despite spending hundreds of hours and millions of dollars on partisan efforts to tarnish her reputation. However, the allegation that there were hundreds of agents investigating this matter was proven to be false long ago. Originally there were anonymous reports from the Washington Post and Fox News that as many as 150 agents were involved, but that was quickly debunked with subsequent reports saying that talk of 150 agents was “ridiculous” and that “the number is closer to 12.”

The fact that Lewandowski would propagate this dishonest argument after it was already know to be untrue is typical of the Trump campaign’s deliberately deceitful modus operandi. While most candidates would cease to use information that they knew was false, that little detail doesn’t seem to bother Trump or his cronies. This is also further evidence that Lewandowski is still working for Trump while he’s getting paid by CNN. And worst of all, it shows that CNN is unable or unwilling to correct the record when a Trump shill dispenses flagrant lies on their air.

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

Donald Trump Tweets Anti-Semitic Smear Of Hillary Clinton

[See update below]

Donald Trump’s history of offensive remarks at his rallies and on social media is well documented. He has called Mexicans rapists; he calls women pigs, slobs, and bimbos; he has tweeted images that disparage African-Americans. His campaign has been an endless source of insults and childish tantrums that have alienated just about everybody. He has even ridiculed his own supporters.

Now Trump has added to that collection an overtly derogatory tweet that uses blatantly anti-Semitic imagery to attack Hillary Clinton. The image placed a Star of David on a pile cash with a caption saying “Most corrupt candidate ever.”

Donald Trump Tweets

The use of this symbol of Jewish identity in this manner has long been a tactic of bigots and was employed frequently in the Germany of the 1930’s and 1940’s. It continues to be used today by neo-Nazi groups in the U.S. and around the world. The message revisits the derogatory and false insinuation that Jews control all the money and banks to the detriment of everyone else. Trump also included his campaign slogan, “America First,” which he has been asked to abandon by the ADL due to its “undercurrents of anti-Semitism and bigotry.”

Trump’s purpose in posting this tweet was to exploit the results of a Fox News poll showing that Clinton is regarded by 58 percent of respondents as “corrupt.” That isn’t surprising considering the media obsession with Benghazi and email servers. However, Trump was also found to be corrupt by 45 percent in the poll. That’s not exactly something to brag about.

Some other results from the same poll that Trump neglected to report include that more respondents think that Clinton: “would make the right decisions for the country” (48 to Trump’s 42); is intelligent (77 to Trump’s 66); and “cares about people like me” (45 to Trump’s 35). On the downside, Trump is seen as obnoxious (83) and hotheaded (89), compared to Clinton at only 45 and 35 percent respectively. And 51 percent of Republicans want a nominee other than Trump. Overall, Clinton is the preferred choice for president by 44 to 38 percent. Reminder: This is a Fox News poll.

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

By posting, and then deleting, this nauseating message, Trump is acknowledging that it was unacceptable and offensive. And unlike some of his previous Twitter vulgarities, this was not a retweet. It was a Trump original. After deleting it he made no comment or apology for his loathsome behavior. He thinks that he can just sweep it under the rug and not pay a price for his bigotry. It’s up to all of us to make sure that doesn’t happen. This needs to be shared far and wide. Despite his inbred sense of superiority and entitlement, Trump does not get to offend people at will and then pretend it never happened.

UPDATE: Putting to rest any doubts about whether Trump’s image was deliberately anti-Semitic, a reporter at Mic found the source for the image on a website for neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and white supremacists. Now we know where they go for their campaign themes.