Trump’s Refusal To Accept The Results Of The Election Is Not ‘Suspense’ – It’s Treason

The third and final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is now history and that’s precisely the place it will reside. Never before has a candidate outright refused to respect the will of the voters. However, Trump is not an ordinary candidate. From the outset of his campaign he’s taken every opportunity to express disrespect for American principles and for his opponents. And that was true during the Republican primary as well as the general election.

Donald Trump

There were many times during the debate that Trump embarrassed himself. He blatantly lied about his prior support for countries like Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia, to acquire nuclear weapons. He defended Russia against charges that they hacked American citizens and institutions. And he denied insulting the women he’s accused of assaulting even though videotape exists to prove it. Trump even blamed Clinton for his failure to pay federal income taxes for nearly two decades.

But the most disturbing thing Trump said last night was that he was unwilling to accept the results of the election if he loses. His baseless assertion that the system is “rigged” against him is typical of his paranoid, narcissistic approach everything. His specific complaints were a cacophony of incoherence. Beginning with this:

“I’ll look at it at the time. What I’ve seen, what I’ve seen, is so bad. First of all, the media is so dishonest and so corrupt and the pile on is so amazing. The New York Times actually wrote an article about it, but they don’t even care. It is so dishonest, and they have poisoned the minds of the voters.”

Even if the media were biased against him, that would not equate to voter fraud or make the election invalid. And he praises the New York Times in the same sentence that he criticizes it. Then he insults voters for allowing their minds to be poisoned, but only if they don’t vote for him. For the record, studies show that Trump received far more favorable coverage in the press than any other candidate.

Trump continued his anti-democratic rant with more blathering that is impossible to translate into human:

“Millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn’t be registered to vote. So let me just give you one other thing. I talk about the corrupt media. I talk about the millions of people. I’ll tell you one other thing. She shouldn’t be allowed to run. It’s … She’s guilty of a very, very serious crime. She should not be allowed to run, and just in that respect I say it’s rigged.”

First of all, the millions of people he’s referring to appear to be names that appear on registration rolls that may not be updated for deaths or relocations. Of course, there is zero evidence that anyone in those circumstances ever voter improperly. But what “serious crime” Trump has in mind is never mentioned. And in any case, he is not the arbiter of who is permitted to run for office. The Constitution doesn’t prohibit even felons from running. He is simply demonstrating his affinity for tyrannical rule. Just as he did when he promised to investigate and incarcerate Clinton if he should become president.

Debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News reminded Trump that his refusal to accept the election results contradicted pretty much everyone in own sphere of influence. Reince Priebus, the Republican Party chair, insisted that the election results should be respected. So did his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, his running mate Mike Pence, and his daughter, Ivanka. Nevertheless, Trump himself veered off to say only that “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense, OK?” He still seems to think this a reality TV game show.

For her part, Clinton was appropriately appalled. She interjected to say “let me respond to that because that’s horrifying.” Continuing she said:

“This is a mind-set. This is how Donald thinks, and it’s funny, but it’s also really troubling. That is not the way our democracy works. We’ve been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them. And that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election.”

Exactly. That is how an adult behaves in a democracy. It’s a question of valuing the principles and traditions that define a free people. And it isn’t an act of partisanship. When you have people like GOP strategist Steve Schmidt saying Trump’s remarks are “a disqualifying moment,” and Fox analyst Charles Krauthammer calling it “political suicide,” it’s safe to say that party affiliation is not involved.

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

What Trump has done is to plant the seeds of doubt in the minds of his gullible followers. He is saying that American elections are untrustworthy and not to be respected. That’s a recipe for chaos and it encourages the most demented malcontents to take matters into their own warped hands. If Donald Trump had an ounce of patriotism he would immediately reverse course and pledge to honor the election. But knowing him that would be way too much to expect.

Thousands Raised To Rebuild Bombed GOP HQ – By DEMOCRATS – As Trump Blames Clinton’s ‘Animals’

An explosive device was thrown through the window of a Republican Party office in Hillsborough, North Carolina yesterday. The perpetrators left a disturbing warning in spray paint saying “Nazi Republicans, leave town or else.” This act of violence is contemptible and indefensible. But the reaction to it has also highlighted the differences between responsible Democrats and the human firebomb, Donald Trump.


Immediately after the news broke, Hillary Clinton expressed her disapproval and sympathy. She tweeted that “The attack on the Orange County HQ @NCGOP office is horrific and unacceptable. Very grateful that everyone is safe.” By contrast, Donald Trump posted his own tweet with a somewhat different message. He said that “Animals representing Hillary Clinton and Dems in North Carolina just firebombed our office in Orange County because we are winning @NCGOP.”

Trump’s approach to this crime is typical of his emotionally stunted relationship to the world around him. His first instinct is to insult and dehumanize his perceived enemies as “animals.” Then he assigns blame to them despite having no evidence of responsibility. And finally he politicizes the act for his personal gain. For the record, Clinton is leading in North Carolina in every recent poll.

The police are still combing over the crime scene and have not released any details of their investigation. But before drawing conclusions, people should ask themselves the old question in these circumstances: Who benefits? Clearly this sort of behavior would only be detrimental to Clinton’s campaign. So who would benefit from engaging in it? Certainly not Clinton. Nevertheless, Trump makes the illogical jump to condemn her rather than his own violence prone followers who stand to profit from the false implication.

But that’s not the only demonstration of how Democrats react responsibly when tragedy strikes. Within a few hours of the bombing there was a fundraising appeal posted to the website GoFundMe. Democrats sought to raise money to help the GOP reopen their office. The appeal condemned the bombing as “abhorrent” and declared that “this is not how Americans resolve their differences.”

The response was swift and inspiring. It took less than four hours to exceed their goal of $10,000. More than 500 people donated to the cause. Typical of the comments from donors was one that read “I’m a Democrat but I don’t believe in violence.” Another donor said “This act of terror was an attack on all of us. In moments like these, there’s no partisanship. We’re all Americans. We stand by you.”

That’s the proper way to address situations like this, especially before any facts are known. Americans generally reject violence as a political tactic. They come together to restore the victims and renounce the perpetrators.

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

Ironically, it’s Trump who regularly incites violence at his rallies. He’s currently making baseless charges of a rigged election that are roundly criticized as harmful to democracy and potentially dangerous. His response to this incident is in line with that and only encourages further animosity. Trump and his followers should take a lesson from the Democrats who promote peace and unity in the face of violence. Sadly, based on Trump’s response, they are not likely to do that.

GOP Politburo Demands All Party Members Submit To Trump – Or Else

At last July’s Republican convention, the party went to great lengths to portray themselves as united behind their nominee. It was an uphill effort considering many of the most prominent members of the party were openly contemptuous of him. Donald Trump had alienated a broad swath of his colleagues. His childish insults, flagrant bigotry, and embarrassing ignorance didn’t sit well with party regulars. Many refused to attend the convention, including the governor of the state that hosted it.

Reince Priebus

During the course of the primary Trump made up disparaging nicknames for his opponents (Little Marco, Lyin’ Ted, etc.), belittled John McCain’s heroism, mocked Carly Fiorina’s looks, and maligned other respected Republicans including past presidents. As Trump transitioned into the general election he continued to estrange his peers and discount their usefulness to his campaign. Consequently, former candidates like Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, and John Kasich have refused to endorse him. Many others have announced their support for Hillary Clinton. The list of Republicans who are abandoning their party over Trump grows by the day.

Now the Republican Party has decided to crackdown on these drifters. Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee told John Dickerson on Face the Nation (video below) that wayward Republicans “need to get on board.” He made thinly veiled threats that anyone who fails to support Trump could be prohibited from running as a Republican in the future:

“If they’re thinking they’re gonna run again someday, I think we’re gonna evaluate the nomination process and I don’t think it’s gonna be that easy for them. […] If a private entity puts forward a process and has agreement with the participants in that process, and those participants don’t follow through with the promises that they made in that process, what should a private party do about that if those same people come around in four or eight years?”

In other words, fall in line or be cast out as heretics. Dickerson noted that “It sounds like a brush-back pitch,” to which Priebus coyly grinned but did not deny. In fact, Priebus was letting the stragglers know that they could suffer penalties for their independence. In order to be a Republican candidate, he implies, one has to conform to the party’s demands. Of course, Priebus has no legal authority to decide who can run as Republican and who cannot. Anyone who registers as a candidate and meets ballot access requirements can mount a campaign.

The attempt by Priebus to strong arm party members into compliance is unprecedented and unenforceable. But mostly it reveals the shaky foundation of the party’s professed unity. It shows that their candidate is so toxic that they have to employ threats to secure support. The list of anti-Trump Republicans includes many of the party’s most respected leaders. In addition, fifty top GOP national security officials publicly condemned Trump as not qualified to be commander-in-chief. They warned that he would be “the most reckless President in American history.” Most recently former Defense Secretary Bob Gates wrote a scathing editorial for the Wall Street Journal in which he said that “A thin-skinned, temperamental, shoot-from-the-hip and lip, uninformed commander-in-chief is too great a risk for America.”

In this environment it is going to be hard for Priebus to enforce his autocratic ultimatum. Too many free thinking Republicans are horrified that their party has been hijacked by a celebrity ignoramus. They are unwilling to bow down to an unstable, tantrum throwing, narcissistic, wannabe dictator. And no matter how much party apparatchiks like Priebus complain, Trump will never unify the party. To the contrary, his campaign from the start has sought to upend it. On that measure he can claim a somewhat dubious victory.

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

LMFAO: Donald Trump Just Made A Pro-Clinton ‘Deplorables’ Ad – No, Really!

With everything that is circling the media drain at the moment, Donald Trump has proven once again that he is an incompetent candidate and his purported media prowess is a myth. The most prominent story currently getting play is about Hillary Clinton’s remark that “you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables.’” She’s wrong of course. It’s way more than half.

So the Trump Team set off to exploit what they regard as the “worst mistake of the political season.” They produced an ad (below) featuring Clinton reciting the allegedly controversial remarks. There’s just one problem.

Trump Deplorable Ad

The ad’s visual are mostly of Clinton and stadium audiences cheering wildly. Trump’s audiences. If you watch it with the sound off it appears to be a positive presentation of Clinton on the campaign trail. What’s more, nowhere in the ad does it say that Clinton’s comments were wrong. The gist is that they insult Trump’s voters. But why would any of them feel insulted unless they thought it applied to them? They’re assuming that they are in the half that Clinton called deplorable. In effect, they are admitting that they are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.

As the ad proceeds it contains shots of a Trump a rally with the word “DEPLORABLE” over it like a label. Then Clinton’s words – racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic – are played over video of Trump supporters as if they are examples of what she’s referring to. The ad ends with a narrator saying that Clinton is “viciously demonizing hard working people like you.” But by then the damage is done.

The visual messaging in this ad is powerfully pro-Clinton. The negative tone of the voiceover is unlikely to carry much weight. The theory behind this was explained by former CBS political correspondent Lesley Stahl who was schooled by a Reagan operative on the optics of reporting. She had broadcast a critical segment about Reagan’s funding cuts for children with disabilities and public health. The piece showed him speaking at the Special Olympics and a nursing home. The next day Reagan aide Richard Darman called to thank her. This exchange followed:

Darman: Way to go, kiddo. What a great piece. We loved it.
Stahl: Didn’t you hear what I said?
Darman: Nobody heard what you said.
Stahl: Come again?
Darman: You guys in Televisionland haven’t figured it out, have you? When the pictures are powerful and emotional, they override if not completely drown out the sound. I mean it, Lesley. Nobody heard you.

Because Stahl’s piece spoke about some dreadful policies by Reagan, while showing him looking dapper at popular events and institutions, what she said simply did not register. Apparently Trump’s media team still has not learned that lesson. And all this new ad will do is amplify the message that Trump appeals to a deplorable community of bigots. His campaign says they will be spending two million dollars to air this ad in swing states like Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. Clinton should send them a thank you note.

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

Sorry GOP Haters: Clinton Foundation Given Top Rating By Charity Watchdog

Republicans have an obsessive compulsion to viciously denigrate anything associated with Democrats, and especially Hillary Clinton. Their derangement reached a pinnacle when they decided to go after the Clinton Foundation. It was a repugnant political tactic that could have a devastating impact on the life-saving work of the organization. Republicans, however, are more concerned with smearing Clinton than saving lives.

Hillary Clinton

Today their strategy of demonizing the Clinton’s hit a snag. Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, completed an analysis of the Clinton Foundation that resulted in awarding it their highest rating. The Associated Press reports that:

“The Clinton Foundation received four out of four stars — the highest rating that Charity Navigator gives after a close look at a charity’s finances. The rating is based on annual federal tax documents and an objective algorithm.”

Rightist critics have been blasting the Clinton Foundation for unfounded charges of providing access to Clinton when she served as Secretary of State. To date they have produced no evidence that there were any favors or special treatment given to Foundation donors. So they re-aimed their rancor at the Foundation’s operations with charges of corruption. They alleged that the Foundation was negligent in funding worthy causes. That specific charge was refuted in by another non-profit evaluator:

“According to its 2014 consolidated tax report, the Clinton Foundation spends about 12 percent of its budget on running the foundation. Another watchdog, Charity Watch, previously gave the Clinton Foundation an “A” rating on a scale of A-F.”

Despite these glowing reviews, the GOP continues to slander the Foundation. Fox News, of course, pulled out all the stops to advance these lies. Bill O’Reilly complained that Clinton was “Using a charity for private gain.” Charles Krauthammer called it a “gigantic slush fund.” Jeanine Pirro and Monica Crowley both said it was a “money-laundering operation.” None of these charges had any evidence to back them up. Not to be left out, Donald Trump himself has taken a leading role in the obviously coordinated attacks. He alleged that the Foundation was a “vast criminal enterprise run out of the State Department.” Which begs the quest: Why did he donate $100,000 to the Foundation through his own foundation?

Speaking of which, the Trump Foundation contrasts very poorly with the admirable work done by the Clintons. Vanity Fair described it as a sham:

“Publicly available records for the Trump Foundation show that the real estate mogul has donated very little of his own money to his charity. Even more damning is the fact that few of those donations have gone to legitimate charitable causes, unless you count Trump’s own social interests and society galas as charities.”

Just this week additional proof of Trump’s corruption was exposed when it was reported that he paid a fine for making an illegal political donation with his foundation’s money. Even worse, the gift appears to be an attempt to buy off a prosecutor who was investigating him for fraud:

“Donald Trump paid a $2,500 fine to the IRS this year after it was discovered that the mogul’s namesake charity had illegally made a $25,000 political contribution, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

“The Donald J. Trump Foundation gave the money to a group called ‘Justice for All,’ which was supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s campaign. At the time, Bondi was weighing whether to pursue an investigation into allegations of fraud that had been leveled against Trump University. She eventually declined to bring charges.”

All of this makes it rather remarkable that Trump and his Republican cronies are condemning Clinton without any factual basis. While at the same time his reputation is in tatters and the damage is fully documented. The stellar ratings awarded to Clinton’s Foundation prove that her family has been operating their Foundation with integrity and transparency. Hopefully this news will break through the media clutter of Trump’s hate speech and phony Clinton scandals. The more we share this good news, the more good it will do come November.

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

Trump Campaign Linked To Russian Hacking Of DNC, FBI Asked To Investigate

In the days leading up to the Democratic National Convention reports that the party’s computer networks were hacked threatened to derail the entire affair. Stolen emails were timed for release in a deliberate attempt to harm the party’s prospective nominee, Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t long before Russian operatives were identified as the likely perpetrators.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

The notion that Russians were attempting to interfere with American elections was not especially significant. The KGB has done this sort of thing before. However, their interest in advancing the campaign of Donald Trump ought to have raised red flags. What would motivate them to go to these lengths to get Trump into the White House? And who else would have an incentive to achieve that goal? There’s an obvious answer to the latter question and it may have been revealed in this article in The Hill:

“The ranking members of four House committees have asked the FBI to investigate whether officials from Donald Trump’s campaign had any role in recent cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).”

There are legitimate reasons to suspect that the Trump camp is connected to the hacking of Democratic networks. The Democrats, including House Oversight Committee member Elijah Cummings, have genuine concerns that they are asking FBI Directer James Comey to investigate. They want to know whether “connections between Trump campaign officials and Russian interests may have contributed” to the cyberattacks. As The Hill article notes:

“The five-page letter lists a number of press reports detailing an apparent relationship between Trump aides and Russia, including foreign policy adviser Carter Page’s reported dealings with Russian energy firm Gazprom and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s ties to a pro-Russian official in Ukraine.”

That’s just the beginning. Trump’s affection for Russian President Vladimir Putin has been well established, along with myriad political and financial connections. He frequently praises Putin’s leadership. And who can forget Trump’s explicit request for the Russians to hack into Hillary Clinton’s email? That’s a naked call for foreign adversaries to commit crimes against an American candidate for president.

In addition, Trump has articulated policies that are favorable to the Russians. Most notably his willingness to abandon the NATO Treaty and allow Putin to annex parts of Ukraine and the Baltic states. What’s more, Trump and his associates are deeply intertwined with Russian financiers who hold significant amounts of his debt. Time Magazine recently reported that:

“…as major banks in America stopped lending him money following his many bankruptcies, the Trump organization was forced to seek financing from non-traditional institutions. Several had direct ties to Russian financial interests in ways that have raised eyebrows.”

The cumulative affect of these facts make it all the more critical that a full investigation is conducted. The integrity of our elections are stake. Republicans will howl, but this is not the sort of partisan hustle that typifies GOP efforts to slander Democrats.

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

The Republican Congress spent eight years twisting the nation’s legislative branch into a private investigative arm of the GOP. They held dozens of hearings on everything from Benghazi to Planned Parenthood. And in every case the only purpose was to harass Democrats and waste taxpayers’ money. Yet for all their trouble they never proved a single misdeed by the Democrats they sought to defame. By contrast, the abundant and sordid details evident here make the Democrats’ request for an investigation into Trump’s possible role in Russian hacks appropriate and necessary.

‘Fair And Balanced’ My Ass! Fox News Goes Full Propaganda Factory For Donald Trump

Fox News was never “fair and balanced” and was never meant to be. The slogan itself is a backhanded slap at every other media outlet that implies they are neither. It’s the same type of messaging that cults use to insure that their disciples believe only their dogma and reject all others as deceivers.

Fox News

So the debate over whether Fox News is biased ended before it even began. However, there is a much more interesting debate over who is in charge of the Republican Party. Is the GOP running its own show, or are they merely a vehicle to carry out the agenda of Fox News? Several years ago former Bush speechwriter David Frum recognized a power shift and wrote that “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox.” This question became even more complicated when Donald Trump’s campaign was taken over by Breitbart News (Fox-on-Steroids).

One thing that is unmistakable is that Fox News devotes all of its resources to pushing the conservative Republican political agenda. Throughout their broadcast day they provide vigorous support for right-wing candidates and policies. Their most prominent anchors are personal friends of Donald Trump, and Sean Hannity has even endorsed him on the air. And now they are literally creating pro-Trump memes to boost his campaign on social media. These are graphic advertisements that are either promoting Trump or bashing Hillary Clinton. Their are no pro-Clinton memes at all. Have a look (Slideshow):

Fox News Memes

Could this be any more brazenly partisan? Fox News is hyping some of the most ridiculous attacks on Clinton and many are purely opinions that have no basis in fact. In other words, it isn’t remotely news, it’s propaganda. When they resort to quoting Larry the Cable Guy saying that “Hillary will be the end of the country,” it’s safe to say they have crossed a line into the surreal.

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

Fox News has created a pro-Trump meme factory to spew GOP talking points in support of their chosen candidate. The fact that they are creating these graphics with only a single, ultra-rightist point of view should satisfy any lingering doubts about the partisan objectives of Fox News and their management. Continuing to pretend that there is an independent Republican Party is a fool’s exercise. There is now only Fox News and their political subsidiary that is marketing a racist, misogynist demagogue to its glassy-eyed congregation.

Trump Is ‘Incredibly Grateful’ For Adviser Who Said Hillary Should Be ‘Shot For Treason’ (AUDIO)

Thursday Hillary Clinton delivered a scathing address that castigated Donald Trump for his affiliations with right-wing extremists. She fully documented her allegations and often used his own words for confirmation. Subsequently, Trump and his allies struck back with baseless accusations that Clinton was a bigot. He insisted that he was being unfairly maligned and that there was nothing untoward about his political views or relationships. But less than twenty-four hours later, Trump is already proving his extremist bona fides.


The latest instance began a few weeks ago when a Trump adviser went ballistic (so to speak) on Hillary Clinton during Jeff Kuhner’s talk radio show. New Hampshire state representative Al Baldasaro, who co-chairs the Trump campaign’s national veterans coalition, began ranting about Benghazi. Not surprisingly, he blamed Clinton for the whole thing:

“She is a disgrace for the lies that she told those mothers about their children that got killed over there in Benghazi. She dropped the ball on over 400 emails requesting back up security. Something’s wrong there. I wish they’d made the documents public on why Anderson was – the Ambassador Anderson – because in my mind I want to think were they moving guns? Were they doing something there? How did they know he was even there?”

First of all, the ambassador to Libya was Chris Stevens, something a veterans adviser ought to know. Secondly, accusing a murdered diplomat of unlawfully running guns, without any evidence, is beyond reprehensible. But Baldasaro wasn’t finished:

“This whole thing disgusts me. Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”

That grotesque comment earned Baldasaro a visit from the U.S. Secret Service. You’ll notice that he never said that she should be tried or convicted. It’s the sort of hateful discharge that has become all too common among Trump’s associates. And for that matter, Trump himself. Recall his conjecture that only the “second amendment people” could stop Hillary Clinton from nominating Supreme Court justices.

Flash forward to the present. Trump gave an interview to Paul Steinhauser of New Hampshire’s NH1 News, and the subject came up again. It led to the following exchange (Video: Segment begins at 1:54):

Steinhauser: One of your good friends and one of your biggest supporters here in New Hampshire, state Rep. Al Baldasaro, he’s here today. He said some controversial things over the last month or two about Hillary Clinton, suggesting she should be put in front of a firing squad for treason. What do you think about his comments? Do you condone them?

Trump: Well, I didn’t know that but I will tell you he’s a very fine person. He is a person that loves the military and loves the veterans. He is a man that, as far as veterans and veterans affairs goes, I don’t think anybody knows more than Al. He loves the veterans and what I really know about him is that nobody wants to take care of the veterans of this country, who have been treated horribly, more than Al. So that’s what I do know.

Steinhauser: But you don’t condone any comments?

Trump: I don’t know what he said. You’d have to show me what he said.

Trump’s awkward response was an obvious attempt to dodge the question. He seemed to think that if he said “veterans” enough (five times) the reporter would become hypnotized and unable proceed with the interview. That plan failed, and when asked again Trump feigned ignorance. He claimed that he needed to know what Baldasaro said, even though Steinhauser had just told him. The only principled response to such a question is “I do not condone any calls for violence of any kind.” It isn’t really that hard if you have principles.

What makes this even worse is that Trump lied about not knowing what Baldasaro said. When the comment was originally made in July, Trump was asked to respond. His campaign spokesperson, Hope Hicks, told NH1 News that “We’re incredibly grateful for his support, but we don’t agree with his comments.” So apparently Trump did know about Baldasaro’s repugnant comments and instructed Hicks to renounce them. Unless his spokesperson is putting words in his mouth without consulting him. Neither of those options represent the qualities necessary for national leadership. And why is he refusing to renounce the same comments now? Is he afraid of offending his friends in the alt-right?

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

Trump’s supporters have a history of expressing their views about Clinton with overtly violent overtones. For example, the Riverside County GOP tweeted a photo of an executioner with the caption “Ready for Hillary.” Ted Nugent shared a video on Facebook of Clinton being shot by Bernie Sanders. The death threats aimed at Clinton frequently come from notable Republicans, rather than from anonymous Internet trolls. And Trump’s response to these incidents is clearly encouraging this abhorrent behavior.

Hillary Clinton Blasts Trump’s Racist Alt-Right Alliance In Withering Exposé (VIDEO)

This election cycle has produced some of the most outlandish and offensive affiliations ever recorded in American politics. Donald Trump’s shameless exploitation of ultra-right ideologies is marking new territory for fringe players. The Republican nominee’s unsavory ties to Russian oligarchs and Mafia Dons is unprecedented. But Hillary Clinton’s address yesterday was a rare condemnation of a candidate’s overt bigotry and a damning summation of Trump’s bond with America’s white supremacist movement.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton spoke about how Trump’s campaign has mainstreamed the “alt-right” hate movement. She began by noting that the divisive rhetoric spewed by Trump “is like nothing we’ve heard before from a nominee for President of the United States.” What follows are highlights from the speech (full video below).

“From the start Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party. His disregard for the values that make our country great are profoundly dangerous.”

“A man with a long history of racial discrimination who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of the supermarket tabloids and the dark, far reaches of the Internet should never run our government or command our military.”

Clinton then pointed out that: Trump was sued by the Justice Department – twice – for refusing to rent to black and Latino tenants; that he is the nation’s foremost birther; that he said a federal judge could not do his job because he was of Mexican heritage; that he failed to disavow former Klan leader David Duke; and that by retweeting white supremacists “Trump took this fringe bigot with a few dozen followers and spread his message to eleven million people.”

Clinton also recited some of Trump’s blatant lies, such as his claim to have seen thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the fall of the World Trade Center. A celebration that never actually happened. He also accused Ted Cruz’s father of being involved in the Kennedy assassination. She also mocked his medical prognosis saying that “His latest paranoid fever dream is about my health. And all I can say is ‘Donald, dream on.'” She then outlined some of Trump’s nefarious sources and supporters.

“It’s also what happens when you listen to the radio host Alex Jones [of InfoWars], who claims that 9/11 and the Oklahoma bombings were inside jobs. He even said – and this really is so disgusting – the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre were child actors and no one was actually killed there. I don’t know what happens in somebody’s mind, or how dark their heart must be, to say things like that. But Trump doesn’t challenge these lies. He actually went on Jones’ show and said ‘Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.'”

“He may have some new people putting words in his mouth, but we know where he stands. He would form a deportation force to round up millions of immigrants and kick them out of the country. He’d abolish the bedrock constitutional principle that says if you’re born in the United States you’re an American citizen. He says that children born to undocumented parents in America are ‘anchor babies’ and should be deported. He’d ban Muslims from around the world from entering our country just because of their religion.”

“Look at who he’s put in charge of his campaign. Trump likes to say that he only hires the best people. But he’s had to fire so many campaign managers it’s like an episode from The Apprentice. And the latest shake was designed to ‘Let Trump be Trump.’ So to do that he hired Stephen Bannon, the head of a right-wing website called as the campaign CEO. Now to give you a flavor of his work, here are a few headlines they published, and I’m not making this up: Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy; Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?; Gabby Giffords, the gun control movement’s human shield; Hoist it high and proud, the Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage. […] Just imagine, Donald Trump reading that and thinking ‘This is what I need more of in my campaign.'”

“According to the Southern Poverty Law Center which tracks hate groups, Breitbart embraces ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. This is not conservatism as we have known it. This is not Republicanism, as we have known it. These are racist ideas, race-baiting ideas, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-woman. All key tenets making up the emerging racist ideology known as the alt-right.”

“The grand godfather of this global brand of extreme nationalism is Russian President Vladimir Putin. […] Trump himself heaps praise on Putin and embraces pro-Russian policies. He talks casually about abandoning our NATO allies, recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea, giving the Kremlin a free hand in Eastern Europe.”

“All of this adds up to something we have never seen before. There has always been a paranoid fringe in American politics, a lot of it arising from racial resentment. But it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.”

This was a powerful denunciation of Trump’s affinity for the far-right freakshow that makes up America’s deviant demographic. It was a profoundly candid rebuke that is not often seen in political debates that frequently attempt to temper strong opinions. But it was effective and necessary and it has put Republicans on edge. They have yet to counter a single factual point made in the speech. And Donald Trump, usually a bombastic defender of his vile bigotry, could only muster a tweet criticizing Clinton’s speech for being too short. Like he could withstand more of this.

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

Trump’s ISIS Policy Says Little About ISIS, But Would Ban Most Republicans From The U.S.

Last week Donald Trump sank to new lows in both presidential credibility and polling. So today he stepped up to his former enemy, the TelePrompter, to try to salvage his floundering campaign. He delivered what was pitched as a foreign policy speech that promised to enumerate the details of his plan to destroy ISIS. It didn’t.

Trump Border Wall

Trump unveiled a laundry list of the same vagaries that he has been spewing on the campaign trail for months. There was not a single substantive proposal directed at defeating ISIS. However, he did repeat his racist calls to limit immigration based on religious grounds. In fact, nearly everything he suggested was related to immigration rather than confronting terrorists on the battlefield. And when he wasn’t talking about immigration he was reiterating his preoccupation with President Obama saying the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”

What stood out in Trump’s address was the ideological test he is now advocating for admission to the country. He stipulated that any aspiring immigrants must pass a test that certified their acceptance of the American values of equality. Among those are religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights.

On the surface that seems like a decent pivot for The Donald to a position of tolerance and inclusion. There’s just one problem: A fair number of his supporters, and most of the Republican Party, would fail the test. If the people attending Trump’s rallies were subjected to this criteria they might risk deportation under his rules.

The official GOP platform defines marriage as between a man and a woman. It rejects anti-discrimination laws to protect transgender individuals. Parents of LGBT children would be allowed to force their children into conversion therapy. These views are shared by Trump and a majority of the Republican Party. Consequently, party members would be excluded from entry into the U.S.

With respect to gender equality, the GOP has opposed fair pay laws for decades. They have voted down family leave proposals. Overturning Roe v Wade has been one of their highest priorities. In the meantime they have been legislating away women’s reproductive choice bit by bit in states they control. Defunding Planned Parenthood has become an obsession.

On the question of religious freedom, Trump and his party have used the issue as an excuse to discriminate against same-sex marriage. Only Christians are permitted to demand special rights to deny other Americans their constitutional liberties. And Heaven forbid if someone were to wish you a “Happy Holiday” in December. Republicans insist that Christians be allowed to practice their religious rituals in government facilities, but lobby to prevent Muslims from even opening a mosque in many communities.

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

What Trump delivered today was a speech that was stuffed with retreads from prior speeches. And when he wasn’t regurgitating himself, he was lambasting the President and Hillary Clinton, mostly for things they didn’t do, or for things Trump made up. But the lasting impression from this address is that under a Trump Administration he, his followers, and his follow Republicans would be turned away at his border wall for failing the bigotry screening he says he would impose. Come to think of it, that would actually make America great again.