GOP’s Retreat On Ethics Office Doesn’t Erase Their Unscrpulous Intentions

In the past twenty-four hours congressional Republicans have given the nation a taste of the callous disregard they have for ethical conduct. On Monday it was reported that Republicans voted to neuter Congress’ ability to investigate misconduct in their ranks. They adopted a proposal to close the bipartisan Office of Congressional Ethics. Their plan called for replacing it with a panel comprised of members of the GOP-dominated Oversight Committee.

Paul Ryan GOP

Almost immediately this proposal was lambasted by both parties and pundits from across the political spectrum. It was seen as an attempt to protect themselves from scrutiny and punishment for malfeasance in office. Even Donald Trump weighed in via Twitter saying that:

With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it […] may be, their number one act and priority. Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance! #DTS”

Trump’s vague expression of disapproval perfectly illustrates the problem with the Republican’s lack of principle. Notice that he did not criticize the proposal’s intention, only its timing. In fact, he endorsed the baseless complaint that the current system is “unfair.” And that’s precisely what the GOP has believed ever since the office was created by a Democratic congress in 2008.

On Tuesday morning, the Republican’s anti-ethics proposal was put back on the shelf. It was a head-spinning reversal that made clear how terribly they had screwed up. This was the party that promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington, but instead was feeding the gators. Politico reported that:

“Following a public outcry, and criticism from President-elect Donald Trump, House Republicans reversed course Tuesday on drastic changes to the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) offered a motion to restore the current OCE rules, and that was accepted by the GOP conference.”

What was not reported is that there was ample precedent for what Republicans tried to do Monday. Just two weeks ago Newt Gingrich addressed the ethics issue, complaining that for Trump “traditional rules don’t work.” He described Trump’s ascension to power as a “billionaire presidency,” which he meant as a justification for special treatment. In other words, the rules for the rich are different than those for the rest of us.

Furthermore, it’s possible that the House GOP was reacting to something the federal Office of Government Ethics did in November. A series of tweets were posted that sarcastically praised Trump for divesting himself of his business interests. Which not only has he not done, but he stubbornly refuses to do so. He even canceled a scheduled press conference to explain how he would handle his copious conflicts of interest. By closing up its own ethics shop, House Republicans might just be hoping to prevent other such embarrassing exposes of their affinity for corruption.

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

So for the time being, the House Office of Congressional Ethics will continue to operate. However, expect this matter to return when they think they can slip it by without arousing suspicion and criticism. They still believe it is in their interest to suppress ethics inquiries. They just don’t want to get caught doing it at the outset of their party’s domination of government.

Top Advisor Proposes Changes In Ethics Laws For Trump’s ‘Billionaire Presidency’

The specter of Donald Trump’s looming presidency has stirred up serious consideration of potentially unlawful conflicts of interest. His expansive business empire makes ethical violations a near certainty. In fact, there have already been incidents where foreign dignitaries made reservations at Trump hotels in order to curry favor with the President-Elect.

Donald Trump

The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution expressly prohibits the president from receiving money, gifts, or anything of value from foreign governments or officials. Thus, any foreign officials staying at a Trump hotel would automatically put him violation of the Constitution. Additionally, there are numerous ethics laws enacted by Congress to prevent bribery or corruption on the part of public officials. Trump’s businesses present a tangled web of pending breaches just waiting to happen.

This is not a partisan observation aimed at hobbling The Donald before he even moves in. Republicans are keenly aware of the legal obstacles in the road. One of Trump’s closest advisors, Newt Gingrich, conceded that it was an issue in a radio interview on Monday. His remarks were a disturbing commentary on the privilege of class in politics. He described Trump’s ascension to power as a “billionaire presidency,” which he meant as a justification for special treatment. As reported by Politico:

“We’ve never seen this kind of wealth in the White House, and so traditional rules don’t work,” Gingrich said Monday during an appearance on NPR’s “The Diane Rehme Show” about the president-elect’s business interests. “We’re going to have to think up a whole new approach.”

In other words, the rules for the rich are different than those for the rest of us. That’s an argument for the kind of aristocracy that the United States fought a revolution to escape. Public servants enriching themselves through their office should be illegal no matter their net worth. That’s why in prior administrations, presidents would place their assets in a blind trust and divest them if necessary. And contrary to Gingrich’s assertion, there has been great wealth in White House. Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy come to mind.

Gingrich doesn’t provide any details of the “whole new approach” he’s proposing. However, he did offer one specific method of by which Trump could avoid accountability:

“In the case of the president, he has a broad ability to organize the White House the way he wants to. He also has, frankly, the power of the pardon,” Gingrich said. “It’s a totally open power. He could simply say, ‘Look, I want them to be my advisers. I pardon them if anyone finds them to have behaved against the rules. Period. Technically, under the Constitution, he has that level of authority.”

Actually, he technically does not. The power of the pardon is not “totally open.” For instance it cannot be used to absolve someone for crimes that have yet to be committed. So for Gingrich’s idea to work, Trump would have to wait for the conflicts to occur, then pardon the offenders. And with his unique business structure, his refusal to let go of any of it, and his family’s involvement, he would have to issue new pardons every day.

Furthermore, while the president can pardon himself for criminal penalties, he cannot stop Congress from impeaching him. So any violation of the Constitution as described above could trigger his ouster from office.

Earlier this month Trump promised to hold a press conference on December 15, to address these matters. That was a week ago and he has still not rescheduled the canceled event, other than to say it could be sometime in January. He may be able to evade questions from the press about his shady financial dealings, but he can’t evade justice for long.

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

Proposals like the one Gingrich offered only serve to inflame the class division that Trump represents. He is not a king and he is not above the law. But no should be surprised that Gingrich favors leniency for ethical violations by the rich and powerful. He himself was ousted as Speaker of the House for ethical breaches related to his book royalties

How The F*ck Can Fox News Report On Trump With These Glaring Conflicts

When Donald Trump was running for president he insisted that he knew “all the best people.” He promised that his administration would benefit from his connections in the business community. He argued that the typical government bureaucrats were failing and that fresh blood was needed. So how is that working out?

Donald Trump Fox News

To date, Trump’s appointees have been decidedly unimpressive. Almost none of them have experience in the fields for which they have been nominated. What’s more, they are firmly rooted in the same governmental swamp that he said he would drain. Politicians and billionaires are quickly filling up his cabinet and advisory slots. But there’s something even more troubling that many of his candidates have in common.

Fox News had a singular role in manufacturing the Trump candidacy. They gave him more airtime than any other candidate and broadcast his stump speeches for hours without interruption. And now they are supplying him with a roster of personnel to take prominent positions in his administration. Here are the Fox News candidates for Trump’s White House (so far). All of them have been on the Fox payroll:

  • K.T. McFarland: She has already been named as a Deputy National Security Advisor.
  • Ben Carson: He is reported to have been offered the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • John Bolton: He is up for Secretary of State, although he is lately being eclipsed by Mitt Romney. And you can throw Fox’s Newt Gingrich into this stew as well.
  • Sarah Palin: If you can believe it, she is in line for Secretary of the Interior.
  • Laura Ingraham: This media-hating pundit could be Trump’s next press secretary.
  • Monica Crowley: (See Laura Ingraham).
  • Mike Huckabee: This former Fox host is being considered for Commerce Secretary.
  • Scott Brown: After losing senate races twice he is now looking at the Veterans Administration.
  • Pete Hegseth: This Koch brothers cohort is also rumored for VA head.
  • Anthony Scaramucci: He is a Wall Street fund manager who is already on Trump’s Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee.
  • Eric Bolling: Currently a c co-host of The Five, he is said to be under consideration for something at Commerce.
  • Donald Trump: That’s right. Trump himself had a recurring role on Fox & Friends for years with his “Mondays With Trump” segment.

With so many of their own personnel potentially joining the Trump administration, how can the network fairly cover him? OK, that’s a dumb question. They have never fairly covered him. But still, they would now be in the position of having to critically assess the performance of their own former employees. These are people with whom they have long standing relationships and affinity. They are also people who are likely to return to the network at some point in the future. That fact alone could impact the behavior of both Fox and their alumni. Some have already left Fox and returned when they had brief political conflicts (Carson, Gingrich, and Brown).

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

Never fear. Fox will find a way to cope with this burden. However, that will probably be to continue their mission as Propaganda Ministry for the Republican Party. Only now Fox will be an official arm of the White House under Trump. They will be America’s Pravda serving the interests of a megalomaniac and his team of apple polishers.

Did Fox News Just Tip Donald Trump’s Hand On His VP Pick?

Media speculation about who Donald Trump will select as a running mate has been heating up in recent days. The fabled shortlist is said to have been whittled down to a handful including Chris Christie, Mike Pence, and Newt Gingrich. Trump’s camp is saying that the decision will be made this week.

Trump/Gingrich

However, Fox News may have inadvertently let the rat out of the bag. They announced that they have suspended Newt Gingrich’s employment as a Fox News contributor due to the VP talk:

“Fox News Channel has mutually agreed to suspend its contributor agreement with former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich effective immediately. Due to the intense media speculation about Gingrich’s potential selection as Donald Trump’s Vice Presidential candidate, we felt it best to halt his contributor role on the network to avoid all conflicts of interest that may arise.”

Of course, Gingrich has been the subject of VP conjecture for months. As far back as May 20, Donald Trump himself told Fox News that he was “absolutely” on his shortlist. If Fox was concerned about avoiding conflicts of interest they ought to have suspended Gingrich then.

The question now is: Why would Fox News move to cut Gingrich loose just a few days before Trump’s decision will be made public? Does it make any sense that Fox would allow Gingrich to appear on the network for months after being tagged as a VP prospect and then ditch him a couple of days before they know for sure?

If Gingrich is not Trump’s choice, then Fox will have suspended him for a few days for nothing. It seems far more logical to have taken this step if Fox knows that Gingrich will be Trump’s running mate and they are getting out in front of the decision so they can say they removed Gingrich from the air prior to his selection.

On the other hand, this may mean nothing more than that Fox was derelict in suspending Gingrich’s contributor status, which should have been done long ago. But there is good reason to be suspicious about the timing. Either way, we’ll probably know by the end of the week. Stay tuned.

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

Post Primary Report: What Will Become Of Rick Santorum And Newt Gingrich?

Now that the Republican presidential primary is effectively over (sorry Ron Paul, you were always a joke, even to your own party), what will losers Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich find to while away all the free time on their hands?

Well, there will certainly be books to peddle and speaking engagements. And, of course, they can be retained as lobbyists for the one-percenters on whom their campaigns were focused. But the easiest job, because it requires no work, research, or investment, is media pundit, a role both Santorum and Gingrich played just prior to their primary candidacies.

However, the jobs that Santorum and Gingrich had at Fox News may not be waiting for them now that they are available again. Both of them have had rather uncomplimentary things to say about Fox during their campaigns:

Santorum: The media has just completely tried to shape this race. And not just the liberal media. It’s even Fox News. You know, Bill O’Reilly has refused to put me on his program. As far as he was concerned I wasn’t a worthy enough candidate to earn a spot to sit across from him and be on his program. Here you have folks supposedly in the conservative media who are saying, “You know, we’re gonna choose who are gonna win.” And then complain that the mainstream media does the same thing.

Santorum: The man has had a ten-to-one money advantage. He’s had all the organizational advantage. He has Fox News shilling for him every day — no offense, Brian, but I see it. And yet he can’t seal the deal because he just doesn’t have the goods to be able to motivate the Republican base and win this election.

Gingrich: I think FOX has been for Romney all the way through. Callista and I both believe CNN is less biased than FOX this year. We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are of FOX, and we’re more likely to get distortion out of FOX. That’s just a fact. […] We’re going to go to the White House Correspondents’ dinner because [Callista] wants to. And we’re actually going to go to CNN’s table, not FOX.

I wouldn’t be surprised if CNN or MSNBC signed these guys – disappointed, but not surprised. However, they may have better luck with GBTV, Glenn Beck’s Internet site. Especially Santorum whom Beck told during an interview that he wanted to kiss “in the mouth.”

[Update] Fox responds to Newt: “This is nothing other than Newt auditioning for a windfall of a gig at CNN—that’s the kind of man he is,” a spokeswoman for Fox News responded in a statement to Yahoo News. “Not to mention, he’s still bitter about the fact that we terminated his contributor contract.

Remember When Conservatives Were Against Unelected Judges And Judicial Activism?

In another brazen exercise in hypocrisy, conservatives have launched a coordinated attack on President Obama for remarks that were entirely reasonable and uncontroversial. The President was asked by a reporter how he would respond if the health care reform bill currently being debated by the Supreme Court were to be ruled unconstitutional. His response said in part…

“I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress. And I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint — that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step.”

This has set off a round of panic attacks in right-wing circles as knee-jerk contrarians accuse Obama of undermining the constitution, subverting democracy, and even threatening the Supreme Court. Where any objective person can find the presence of a threat in the President’s remarks is beyond incomprehensible. It’s Obama Derangement Syndrome in action. Conservatives assert that these comments were intended by the President to be a warning for the justices deliberating the case. Never mind that Obama in no way implied that there would be consequences if the justices did not arrive at a particular ruling, only that he was confidant of a favorable outcome. That’s pretty much the position taken by anyone interested in a pending judicial proceeding. And as the President said explicitly, he was just reminding conservatives of their own long-held views on judicial activism.

The Right-Wing Noise Machine has been spinning feverishly to push this issue in order to damage the President and cast him as opposed to constitutional principles. Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove called Obama a thug. Mark Levin said that he declared war on the Court. Fox Nation currently has at least eleven articles on this subject. And Fox News has been running numerous segments including one this morning that featured three former George W. Bush staffers to assert that what Obama said was unprecedented and nothing like anything that Bush ever said (see below).

Among the complaints being hurled by the right-wing, extremist opponents of the administration is that Obama’s use of the phrase “unelected judges” amounts to a form of tyranny and is an affront to judicial independence. But it is Republicans who have been more often associated with that phrase over the years as they brandish it every time a court rules against whatever pet litigation they are pushing – especially when it concerns reproductive rights or gay marriage. For example, here are a few instances when the very people lambasting Obama today used identical language when it served their purposes:

  • Mitt Romney: Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage.
  • Mitt Romney: The ruling in Iowa today is another example of an activist court and unelected judges trying to redefine marriage and disregard the will of the people as expressed through Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act.
  • Rick Santorum: 7M Californians had their rights stripped away by activist 9th Circuit judges.
  • Newt Gingrich: Court of Appeals overturning CA’s Prop 8 another example of an out of control judiciary. Let’s end judicial supremacy
  • Speaker John Boehner: This latest FISA proposal from House Majority leaders is dead on arrival. It would outsource critical national security decisions to unelected judges and trial lawyers.
  • Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO): Today, the decision of unelected judges to overturn the will of the people of California on the question of same-sex marriage demonstrates the lengths that unelected judges will go to substitute their own worldview for the wisdom of the American people.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions: This ‘Washington-knows-best’ mentality is evident in all branches of government, but is especially troublesome in the judiciary, where unelected judges have twisted the words of our Constitution to advance their own political, economic, and social agendas.
  • Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL): I’m appalled that unelected judges have irresponsibly decided to legislate from the bench and overturn the will of the people.
  • George W. Bush: This concept of a “living Constitution” gives unelected judges wide latitude in creating new laws and policies without accountability to the people.
  • Thomas Sowell: Unelected judges can cut the voters out of the loop and decree liberal dogma as the law of the land.
  • Laura Ingraham: We don’t want to be micromanaged by some unelected judge or some unelected bureaucrat on the international or national level.
  • Gov. Rick Perry: [The American people are] fed up with unelected judges telling them when and where they can pray or observe the Ten Commandments.
  • Pat Robertson: We are under the tyranny of a nonelected oligarchy. Just think, five unelected men and women who serve for life can change the moral fabric of our nation and take away the protections which our elected legislators have wisely put in place.
  • Robert Bork: We are increasingly governed not by law or elected representatives but by an unelected, unrepresentative, unaccountable committee of lawyers applying no will but their own.
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch: A small minority and their judicial activist allies are seeking to usurp the will of the people and impose same-sex marriage on all of the states. Ultimately, the American people, not unelected judges, should decide policy on critical social issues such as this one.
  • Steve Forbes: You have judicial activism, where unelected Supreme Court justices are trying to impose a state income tax.
  • Glenn Beck: Even if you agree that the role of government is to take wealth from one to another, should it be the role of unelected judges and justices that do this?
  • Sen. John McCain: We would nominate judges of a different kind […] And the people of America – voters in both parties whose wishes and convictions are so often disregarded by unelected judges – are entitled to know what those differences are.
  • Justice Antonin Scalia: Value-laden decisions such as that should be made by an entire society … not by nine unelected judges.

If the conservatives quoted above were to be consistent, they would now be pleading with the court not to overturn the health care reform bill that was passed by super-majorities in both houses of congress. Instead, the right is aghast that a Democratic president would deign to remind them of their own principles and is clamoring for a judicial resolution. It has already been demonstrated that Republicans have no problem switching positions once Obama has agreed to them. Cap and trade and insurance mandates were both originally proposed by Republicans, but as soon as Obama announced support for the concepts the GOP reconsidered and insisted they were the socialist ideas of an aspiring dictator.

Now that one of the GOP’s favorite attack lines, judicial activism, has been usurped by the President, conservatives are crawling out of the woodwork to characterize it as an assault on the judiciary. Republicans have always defined judicial activism as the act of judges ruling against them. When judges rule in favor of the conservative position they regard it as following the constitution. So hypocrisy is not a particularly surprising development in this matter. But the degree to which it is demonstrated here may set new records for shamelessness.


Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the University of California Irvine Law School, wrote in his book, “The Conservative Assault on the Constitution” that…

Although there is no precise definition of judicial activism – it often seems to be a label people use for the decisions they don’t like – it seems reasonable to say that a court is activist if it overturns the actions of the democratically elected branches of government and if it overrules precedent. In fact, conservatives, including on the Supreme Court, often have labeled decisions striking down the will of popularly elected legislatures as ‘activist.'”

Activism is in the eye of the beholder, but there is no doubt that conservatives have been at the forefront of scolding courts for ruling against them. Taking that to the extreme is Newt Gingrich who recently told Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation that he advocated arresting judges to force them to defend unpopular decisions before Congressional hearings. If that isn’t a threat against the judiciary, what is?

The right has very little problem with violating the constitution when it comes to separation of powers. Just this week a conservative judge on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals gave a Department of Justice attorney an unusual homework assignment. In a case unrelated to the one before the Supreme Court, Judge Jerry Smith wondered whether Obama was suggesting “that it is somehow inappropriate for what he termed ‘unelected’ judges to strike acts of Congress.” Then Smith ordered the attorney to produce a three page letter “stating specifically and in detail in reference to those statements what the authority is of the federal courts in this regard in terms of judicial review. That letter needs to be at least three pages single spaced.”

It is difficult to imagine on what basis this judge has assumed authority to issue such an order. It is a blatantly political and petulant demand that can only be intended to insult and embarrass the DOJ and the President, and has no bearing on the case before him. The President never said that the Supreme Court could not overturn an unconstitutional law. He just said that he didn’t believe that this law was unconstitutional and therefore, in his view, and that of many legal experts, should not be overturned. Judge Smith is a bald-faced partisan and would be more at home on Fox News than on the bench.

The question is, what will Republicans say if the Court upholds the health care reform bill? Would that be an act of judicial tyranny against the will of the people (never mind that the bill was passed by the people’s representatives in congress with super-majorities in both houses)? And how can Republicans continue to rail against Roe v. Wade as the ultimate example of an activist judiciary now that they have established that such a charge is tantamount to tyranny and regarded as a threat?

The answer, of course, is that conservatives will do what they always do: pretend that their prior assertions never existed or don’t apply. They will trudge forward with blindfolds over their eyes and plugs in their ears, unimpeded by anything they said previously, no matter how badly it contradicts what they are saying now. It’s hypocrisy at its best and the Republican way of life.

Is President Obama A Christian? Santorum? Gingrich? Romney?

It’s always comforting to know that there is someone you can turn to who can provide answers to the perplexing spiritual problems that we all face on a daily basis. Someone with wisdom and insight and experience in the ways of the Lord.

Such a person is Rev. Franklin Graham, at least in his own mind. He is the son and heir to the Billy Graham evangelist empire, and he appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today (video below) to discuss the personal faiths of some national leaders. Here is what transpired:

Willie Geist: Do you believe that Pres. Obama is a Christian?
Graham: You have to ask Pres. Obama.

After that dodge, Graham spent several minutes evading the question by repeating the excuse that he doesn’t know what is in another person’s heart. Throughout the segment he pointedly refused to simply say that he believes that Obama is a Christian. However, he does say that he thinks Obama bends over backwards for Muslims and he finds it significant that some Muslims regard him as one of their own.

So what about Rick Santorum? Is he a Christian? Geist posed that question to Graham and got this response:

Graham: Oh, I think so. Because his values are so clear on moral issues. No question about it.

So he cannot answer the question about Obama because he can’t see into another person’s heart, but apparently he can see into Santorum’s heart. And that’s not all. Graham then volunteered this about Newt Gingrich:

Graham: I think Newt is a Christian. At least he told me he is.

Well, Obama also told Graham that he is a Christian, but that didn’t seem to stick. Graham said that what matters most is not what people say but how they live their lives. So of course he would be suspicious of an assertion of faith from Obama, a devoted husband and churchgoer, but he would accept Gingrich’s testimony, despite being a thrice-married, admitted adulterer who left his congressional post in disgrace for ethical violations.

Which brings us to Mitt Romney. When Alex Wagner asked Graham if Romney is a Christian, Graham wiggled this out:

Graham: I like him. He’s a Mormon. Most Christians would not accept Mormonism as part of the Christian faith.

Nevertheless, Graham praised Romney as a candidate. So there you have it. According to this Christian leader, being a serial sinner or a practitioner of a false religion is not an impediment to either the White House or Heaven. But God has much stricter standards for heathens like Obama who are faithful to their families, charitable to others, and ethical in their profession. It really makes you want to sing the praises of whatever brand of Christianity Graham is peddling.

Donald Trump To Endorse Mitt Romney? Gingrich Dodges A Bullet

[Editor: If this article looks familiar, it’s only because everything in politics looks the same]

The InterTubes are buzzing with the news that tomorrow morning carnival barker Donald Trump has scheduled a press conference to make an “important” announcement concerning the presidential race.

Donald Trump

Some reports are already disclosing that their sources say that Trump will give his uncoveted and toxic endorsement to Mitt Romney. This is further affirmation of Trump’s political acumen as the gold-plated Trump casts his lot with the candidate who doesn’t care about the poor.

Trump’s support, if it pans out, would follow the endorsements of lunatic fringers Ann Coulter, Michael Savage and Jon Voight. The good news for Romney is that none of these epic losers managed to dampen his showing in the Florida primary this week. That may prove fortuitous because a Trump endorsement is potentially far more damaging.

As it turns out, Trump’s seal of approval could be the most severe test yet for Romney’s electoral prospects. The Pew Research Center surveyed voters last month and found that 20% said that they would be “less likely” to vote for a candidate that Trump had endorsed. Indeed, the survey showed that Trump would scare off more voters than any of the other people tested.

However, we must not assume that Trump doesn’t have an ulterior, self-serving motive. In fact, we should always assume that he does. In this case it might have something to do with his oft-stated threat that he would consider launching an independent campaign for president if his preferred candidate did not prevail in the GOP primary. Thus, by endorsing someone who the establishment has embraced, Trump provides himself the perfect excuse to stay out of a race he knows he can’t win, and to continue to earn the only income he has as a television game show host.

In the meantime, it would be useful to recall the planks in the Trump platform. When Romney accepts Trump’s endorsement and praises him for stepping forward to support his fellow one-percenter, he should be called on to comment on these issues that Trump has focused on so intently:

1) Obama’s Citizenship: This is without a doubt the cornerstone of Trump’s campaign. He talks about it at every appearance – even those where he pretends to not want to talk about it. Obama has shown the only document that the state of Hawaii issues for births. If Trump wants to continue to believe that the Obama family (and assorted communists and Muslims) hatched a plot almost fifty years ago to raise a mixed-race, foreign-born child to become an illegitimate president, that’s between him and his racist, delusional followers.

2) Obama’s Religion: Despite the fact that the President has repeatedly affirmed his devout Christianity, Trump suspects that he is secretly a Muslim and the proof may be on his birth certificate. Never mind that any religious designation on a birth certificate would be irrelevant. Obviously the baby Barack did not select his faith, but the adult has been clear and consistent.

3) Obama’s Authorship: Trump has embraced the WorldNetDaily crackpots who believe that Bill Ayers was the ghostwriter of Obama’s autobiography “Dreams From My Father.” The evidence of this fraud is the observation that both used certain phrases like going “against the current.” Well, that settles that. Trump also believes that Obama was born Barry Soetoro and later changed his name, despite the fact that he was named after his father, Barack Obama, Sr., and it wasn’t until he was four years old that his mother was remarried to Lolo Soetoro.

4) Obama’s Academics: Trump is fond of questioning Obama’s academic credentials, insisting that he was too stupid to get into Harvard. He says he is investigating this (are they the same investigators he sent to Hawaii?). Of course it is documented that Obama had graduated from Columbia before getting a scholarship to Harvard where he became the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude.

5) Foreign Policy: Trump has advocated declaring a trade war with China. He also proposed addressing the deficit by stealing the oil from Libya and Iraq. This is the sort of bravado that Trump likes to display with his own business enterprises, which have resulted in four bankruptcies. In addition he has expressed support for an actual shooting war with both Iran and North Korea. However, with international relations between sovereign nations with standing armies, he may produce even worse outcomes than he has with his failing hotels and casinos.

6) Economic Policy: While he doesn’t have a 999 plan, Trump has proposed a tax increase that might inflame the sensitivities of Grover Norquist and the Tea Party:

“I would impose a one-time, 14.25% tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth over $10 million. For individuals, net worth would be calculated minus the value of their principal residence. That would raise $5.7 trillion in new revenue, which we would use to pay off the entire national debt. […] Some will say that my plan is unfair to the extremely wealthy. I say it is only reasonable to shift the burden to those most able to pay. The wealthy actually would not suffer severe repercussions.”

That actually sounds pretty good. Too bad he has disavowed that plan that appeared in his book, and now thinks he can appropriate billions of dollars from other countries to pay down our debt (he doesn’t say how).

We’ll see tomorrow if the speculation proves to be correct and Romney is boosted by burdened with the curse of Trump love. But the one thing we know for sure is that the Gingrich camp, now in Las Vegas in advance of the Nevada caucuses, will be scrambling to explain to his Tea Party contingent why it’s really fantastic that Trump jilted him. Whether he knows it or not, he dodged a bullet, and Romney is the one who should be worried.

Donald Trump To Endorse Newt Gingrich? Champagne Flowing At Romney HQ

[Editor’s Note: This article has been superseded by this one]

The InterTubes are buzzing with the news that tomorrow morning carnival barker Donald Trump has scheduled a press conference to make an “important” announcement concerning the presidential race.

Donald Trump

Some reports are already disclosing that their sources say that Trump will give his uncoveted and toxic endorsement to Newt Gingrich. This is further affirmation of Trump’s political acumen as he casts his lot with the fastest sinking ship on the sea.

Trump’s support, if it pans out, would follow the endorsements of Wrangler Rick Perry and pizza magnate Herman Cain, as well as the plea from fading Tea Hag Sarah Palin, who made it clear that she just wants to keep the hamster wheel spinning. None of these epic losers were able to boost Gingrich’s showing in the Florida primary this week.

As it turns out, no one should expect Trump’s seal of approval to have any better effect on Gingrich’s prospects. The Pew Research Center surveyed voters last month and found that 20% said that they would be “less likely” to vote for a candidate that Trump had endorsed. Indeed, the survey showed that Trump would scare off more voters than any of the other people tested.

However, we must not assume that Trump doesn’t have an ulterior, self-serving motive. In fact, we should always assume that he does. In this case it might have something to do with his oft-stated threat that he would consider launching an independent campaign for president if his preferred candidate did not prevail in the GOP primary. Thus, by endorsing someone who is almost certain to lose, Trump positions himself to step in as the savior that he envisions himself to be. And all I can say about that scenario is “please, please, dear God, please!”

In the meantime, it would be useful to recall the planks in the Trump platform. When Gingrich accepts Trump’s endorsement and praises him for stepping forward to grab some Newt-mentum, he should be called on to comment on these issues that Trump has focused on so intently:

1) Obama’s Citizenship: This is without a doubt the cornerstone of Trump’s campaign. He talks about it at every appearance – even those where he pretends to not want to talk about it. Obama has shown the only document that the state of Hawaii issues for births. If Trump wants to continue to believe that the Obama family (and assorted communists and Muslims) hatched a plot almost fifty years ago to raise a mixed-race, foreign-born child to become an illegitimate president, that’s between him and his racist, delusional followers.

2) Obama’s Religion: Despite the fact that the President has repeatedly affirmed his devout Christianity, Trump suspects that he is secretly a Muslim and the proof may be on his birth certificate. Never mind that any religious designation on a birth certificate would be irrelevant. Obviously the baby Barack did not select his faith, but the adult has been clear and consistent.

3) Obama’s Authorship: Trump has embraced the WorldNetDaily crackpots who believe that Bill Ayers was the ghostwriter of Obama’s autobiography “Dreams From My Father.” The evidence of this fraud is the observation that both used certain phrases like going “against the current.” Well, that settles that. Trump also believes that Obama was born Barry Soetoro and later changed his name, despite the fact that he was named after his father, Barack Obama, Sr., and it wasn’t until he was four years old that his mother was remarried to Lolo Soetoro.

4) Obama’s Academics: Trump is fond of questioning Obama’s academic credentials, insisting that he was too stupid to get into Harvard. He says he is investigating this (are they the same investigators he sent to Hawaii?). Of course it is documented that Obama had graduated from Columbia before getting a scholarship to Harvard where he became the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude.

5) Foreign Policy: Trump has advocated declaring a trade war with China. He also proposed addressing the deficit by stealing the oil from Libya and Iraq. This is the sort of bravado that Trump likes to display with his own business enterprises, which have resulted in four bankruptcies. In addition he has expressed support for an actual shooting war with both Iran and North Korea. However, with international relations between sovereign nations with standing armies, he may produce even worse outcomes than he has with his failing hotels and casinos.

6) Economic Policy: While he doesn’t have a 999 plan, Trump has proposed a tax increase that might inflame the sensitivities of Grover Norquist and the Tea Party:

“I would impose a one-time, 14.25% tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth over $10 million. For individuals, net worth would be calculated minus the value of their principal residence. That would raise $5.7 trillion in new revenue, which we would use to pay off the entire national debt. […] Some will say that my plan is unfair to the extremely wealthy. I say it is only reasonable to shift the burden to those most able to pay. The wealthy actually would not suffer severe repercussions.”

That actually sounds pretty good. Too bad he has disavowed that plan that appeared in his book, and now thinks he can appropriate billions of dollars from other countries to pay down our debt (he doesn’t say how).

We’ll see tomorrow if the speculation proves to be correct and Gingrich is boosted by burdened with the curse of Trump love. But the one thing we know for sure is that the Romney camp, now in Las Vegas in advance of the Nevada caucuses, will be exhausted by the time Trump has delivered his announcement. They will have been celebrating all night in Sin City. With all the vintage champagne flowing in those luxury casino suites, who knows, Romney may have a couple of new wives by morning.

The End Of The Romney Campaign, Courtesy Of George Soros

The Tea Party contingent of the right-wing Republican set has long regarded George Soros as the mastermind of every evil they imagine has been perpetrated in America for the last half century. It is full-on fixation that connects Soros to everything from the Holocaust to Global Warming. And, like most psychotic fixations, it has no basis in reality.

Consequently, what could be a more damning allegation against a Republican than that they are allied with Soros? It’s the knockout punch. It’s the death blow. It’s the Newtron bomb. And it’s what Mitt Romney is staring down this morning. In an interview in Davos, Switzerland, Soros finished Romney off with these words:

“Well, look, either you’ll have an extremist conservative, be it Gingrich or Santorum, in which case I think it will make a big difference which of the two comes in. If it’s between Obama and Romney, there isn’t all that much difference except for the crowd that they bring with them.”

That settles it. Romney is toast. How could he possibly survive such a wound?

But there must be more to this than what is observable on the surface. After all, if Soros is the evil genius the right believes him to be, then to what end would he make such a comment? He certainly knows how his opinions are magnified through his web of media minions. There can be only one possible answer. Soros is deliberately sabotaging Romney. He wants Gingrich to be the GOP nominee because he knows that Gingrich will not only lose the race for president, but he will also likely cause the loss of the GOP control of the House and much of their power in the states.

It’s a devious plot that has already taken in Gingrich, who quickly jumped on the story and is excitedly pushing this quote to the press. It will probably become a part of his stump speech, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it featured in his next TV ad. It’s just too juicy a plum to leave dangling.

The Soros Fixation is so toxic that it causes hallucinations in those infected. For instance, conservatives are convinced that Soros commands a media empire that blankets the planet despite the fact that he has zero interest in any prominent media enterprise. He may have donated large sums of money to Media Matters and NPR, but he has no editorial authority over them, and they are not exactly the equivalent of Time Warner or NBC News. That is starkly distinct from the influence of a mogul like Rupert Murdoch who is directly in charge of a worldwide criminal … I mean media conglomerate.

The depths of the Soros fixation are nearly immeasurable. Cliff Kincaid, the director of the right-wing Accuracy in Media actually argues that Soros is pursuing an acquisition of Fox News and that he is “getting his way.” Kincaid believes that it was Soros who pressured Fox to dump Glenn Beck, and he is now trying to launch an effort to force the network to rehire Beck. Says Kincaid…

“It’s time for Glenn Beck, now on Internet TV, to return to the cable channel so that he can continue his investigative journalism into the rapidly expanding influence of the Soros network of organizations.” […He continues…] “Fox is moving to the left and filling its ranks with the kind of shallow commentators we have come to associate with the little-watched cable channel MSNBC.”

That quixotic fantasy reveals just how severely the fixation has damaged some sufferers. When someone can seriously portray Beck as an “investigative journalist” and Fox as “moving to the left,” you know it’s time to increase the dosage. And the notion that any of the brass at Fox want Beck back is belied by the fact that, in their separation announcement, they said there would be specials and documentaries from Beck, but none have materialized.

The question is: Will the right be fooled by this attempt by Soros to deep-six Romney and, subsequently, Republican hopes for retaking the White House? And the answer is: Of course they will! Once the name Soros has entered their psyche they lose what little cognitive ability they had. For Romney to recover from the devastating impact of this blow will take superhuman strength (which Romney lacks) or buckets of cash (which Romney bathes in).

Either way it affirms the mental and strategic superiority of George Soros who is capable of upending his enemies anytime he wants. Other political players could learn from this example. Nancy Pelosi, for instance, could doom the career of any Republican she chooses by simply endorsing them. And if President Obama were to come out against raising taxes for the rich, there would be a GOP drafted bill to do just that on his desk by the next morning.