Dueling Endorsements Of Death: Glenn Beck vs. Sarah Palin

One way of recognizing that the Republican Party has devolved into irrelevance is to consider the field of potential endorsers valued by the leading candidates. On that score, the most talked about people coming forward so far have been Sarah Palin (for Donald Trump) and Glenn Beck (for Ted Cruz). If that doesn’t certify the demise of the GOP, what does?

Glenn Beck Sarah Palin

Palin’s endorsement came yesterday in Iowa and was universally received with ridicule and some surprise that anyone still actually cares what she thinks. In addition to giving one of her patented displays of vomiting incoherence, she veered off on a revolting personal tangent to blame President Obama for the breaking news that her son was just arrested for beating up his girlfriend and drunkenly brandishing an AK-47.

Shortly after Palin’s endorsement, the Cruz camp announced that Glenn Beck was signing on with him. That’s right, the man who is convinced that God has turned his back on America, and that the End Times are upon us, is hooking up with the Cruz Evangelical Extravaganza just in time for the Apocalypse.

The list of endorsements for both of these candidates is downright hysterical. In addition to Palin, Trump has sewn up Jerry Falwell Jr., Phyllis Schlafly, and Michael Savage. Cruz has nailed Beck, Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty), and homophobic Christianist James Dobson. Neither candidate has attracted the support of anyone with knowledge of, or experience in, government – a distinction of incompetence in which they take pride. It’s a complete transition to celebrity politics and reality TV campaigning.

The Palin/Beck match-up, however, may be the big draw based on entertainment value. Beck recently announced his split with Palin, whom he called a “clown” that he was “embarrassed” to have ever supported. He has also been hammering Trump with accusations that he voted for Obama. Beck even produced an infographic outlining the mostly speculative reasons for making that accusation (most of which he pinched from Buzzfeed). All of this spurred Trump to fire back in a tweet that “Wacko @glennbeck is a sad answer to the @SarahPalinUSA endorsement that Cruz so desperately wanted. Glenn is a failing, crying, lost soul!”

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

So it is definitely on. The radio talkers and the unreality clowns are gonna have at it big-time. Very little of substance will be involved, and the issues that really matter to voters will be ignored. But there will be pile-drivers and hammer-locks and endless ranting about the gay Kenyan Muslim that has ruined America. If this were pay-per-view it would make a bloody fortune. As it is, it will drive more people away from the rotting corpse of the GOP. So Democrats can be heard from the rafters chanting “Bring it on.”

Sarah Palin’s Disgusting Justification For Her Son’s Drunken Assault: It’s Obama’s Fault

Yesterday was a big news day for Sarah Palin. Not because this washed-up former reality TV character endorsed Donald Trump, a fellow former reality TV character, but because that well-staged political theater was interrupted by more troubling news about Palin’s famously dysfunctional family.

Donald Trump Sarah Palin

It was reported that Palin’s son, Track, was arrested for beating up his girlfriend and wielding an AR-15 rifle while intoxicated. But rather than going back home to attend to her families legal and emotional problems, Palin followed up her Trumpmania tour in Iowa with a another appearance in Tulsa, Oklahoma (video below). It was there that she brought up Track’s tribulations, without mentioning his name or his alleged crimes, as she sought to exalt her domestic abuser offspring as a hero saying…

“I can talk personally about this – I guess it’s kinda the elephant in the room – because my own family going through what we’re going through today with my son, a combat vet, having served in the Stryker Brigade, fighting for you all, America, in the war zone. But my son, like so many others, they come back a bit different, they come back hardened, they come back wondering if there is that respect for what it is that their fellow soldiers and airmen and every other member of the military so sacrificially have given to this country.”

It’s disturbing, to say the least, to hear Palin’s pontificating about the honor of America’s military in conjunction with the news that her drunken son punched and kicked a woman while brandishing a gun. That’s not exactly the best demonstration of military pride. And while it’s true that many veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, that is not an excuse for domestic abuse. And it should not be used to callously dismiss violence in a stump speech at a political rally. But Palin wasn’t through, and it got much worse.

“It’s a shame that our military personnel even have to wonder if they have to question whether they’re respected anymore. It’s starts from the top. The question though that comes from our own President where they have to look at him and wonder ‘Do you know what we go through? Do you know what we’re trying to do to secure America and to secure the freedom that have been bequeathed us?'”

So it’s Obama’s fault that Track Palin got drunk and put his girlfriend in the hospital? Somehow, in Palin’s view, the President is to blame for every veteran’s psychological problems. And she also seems to think that PTSD is caused by not being respected enough on returning from a war, rather than by the horrific experiences inherent to war. Palin thinks that if everybody would just thank a vet, then coping with the nightmare of battle and seeing your buddies blown to pieces would be a cake walk. And she still wasn’t finished.

“So when my own son goes through what he goes through coming back, I can certainly relate with other families who kinda feel these ramifications of some PTSD and some of the woundedness that our soldiers do return with. And it makes me realize more than ever, it is now or never for the sake of America’s finest that we have that Commander-in-Chief that will respect them and honor them.”

To Palin this is all about what her family “goes through.” Not once did she mention the victim and what she went through. Palin isn’t even denying what her son did. She is floating a possible insanity defense. In which case you might think she would have some sympathy for the victim. Instead, she ignores the battered woman, excuses her son’s violence, blames it all on the President, and closes with a brazenly political plea to vote for Donald Trump.

This sleazebag, with a son who is a divorced domestic abuser, a daughter with two out-of-wedlock kids from different fathers, a defender of the deviant Duggar family, a supporter of the racist Duck Dynasty Klan, and close friend of pedophile and advocate of presidential assassination Ted Nugent, presumes to lecture others on family values. And she campaigns for a racist, wannabe fascist tyrant who mocks the disabled even though she is the mother of a special needs child.

Has there ever been a more nauseating, heartless, self-promoting, ignorant, person in American politics? And yes, I’m talking about both of them – Palin and Trump. They are a perfect match of loathsome demagogues who feed off of each other and the dimwitted idolatry of their glassy-eyed followers. What a sick party the Republicans have devolved into.

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

Reality TV Romance: The Meaning Of Sarah Palin’s Embrace Of Donald Trump

Confirming rumors that Sarah Palin might crawl out from under her frozen tundra to endorse Donald Trump, the big moment came today in a statement from the Trump campaign. For Trump this means that his campaign has now been validated by perhaps the most comically ignorant mainstream politician in decades. He must be so proud. [Update: video of Palin’s endorsement speech added below]

Donald Trump Sarah Palin

Trump getting an endorsement from Sarah Palin is a fairly predictable turn of events. After all, both Trump and Palin are former reality TV characters who pretended to represent an entirely scripted version of their cartoon personas. Both of them are unashamed of displaying rank idiocy (and then defending it). Both of them are flagrantly racist, homophobic, and itching to declare war on any little country they think looked at us funny. Both of them support unfettered proliferation of guns in America, where more than 30,000 people die every year from gun violence. They even refuse to support legislation that would prohibit terrorists from getting guns. Both of them have a visceral hatred for President Obama and an unsettling infatuation with Vladimir Putin (Trump thinks they’d be best buds and Palin is hot for his bear-wrestling manliness).

Left in the lurch is poor, old, and universally disliked, Ted Cruz. Palin had previously backed Cruz’s senatorial campaign and they have been fast friends ever since. They also share a spiritual bond that Donald Trump, with his blatantly irreligious posturing, cannot possibly match. But getting jilted has inflamed Cruz to caution Palin that her endorsement of Trump would tarnish her reputation. Assuming for the sake of argument that Palin has a reputation capable of being tarnished, the gist of Cruz’s warning is that an association with Trump is a dirty affair. And Cruz knows dirty affairs as evidenced by his proud acceptance of an endorsement from Palin pal Phil Robertson of the Duck Dynasty (in the most bizarre political video I’ve ever seen).

The question now is: What can Trump expect to get from a Palin endorsement? Palin is a has-been political loser who resorted to trashy TV in order to salvage her floundering career and advance her greed and lust for attention. She was fired from Fox News (twice). Following that humiliation she launched an online video channel that went offline less than a year later due to lack of interest. Then she announced, with great fanfare, her hosting of a nightly program on the wingnut fringe “One America News” network. That lasted less than a dozen episodes. Notably, the second to the last episode was an interview of Donald Trump.

Palin’s most recent endorsement prior to this was of France’s Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the leader of the openly fascist Front National Party (she lost). Palin praised Le Pen as the “It Girl” on whom she has a crush. Palin, Le Pen, and Trump all share the same ideology that advocates deporting all them evil foreigners, carpet bombing civilians, and imposing Christianity as the mandatory faith of their hoped-for theocracy. Then Palin could implement her plan to force everyone in the country to “speak American.”

And what’s in it for Palin? Well, Trump is easily the biggest spectacle in the GOP circus. Palin undoubtedly hopes that hitching her rickety wagon to Trump will get it rolling again. She has proven repeatedly that her primary motivations have always been promoting herself. Never mind that she is the mother of a special needs child who is embracing a man who callously mocked a reporter with physical disabilities. That’s not as important as getting a pitchman like Trump to raise your profile and hawk your books. Cruz would not be nearly as useful from that marketing perspective. Also, Cruz would not likely consider Palin for a cabinet post in his administration, while Trump has already speculated on it, specifically mentioning Energy Secretary.

What’s more, Palin’s base of support has dwindled severely. When was the last time anyone made reference to the Tea party in anything other than a joke? Palin even had a brutal falling out with Glenn Beck, who recently said that “I don’t care what Sarah Palin says any more. Sarah Palin has become a clown. I’m embarrassed that I was once for Sarah Palin. Honestly, I’m embarrassed.” Coming from someone that once described himself as a “rodeo clown,” that’s pretty scathing.

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

The farce surrounding Trump’s candidacy just keeps getting more bizarre. His pathological lies (see the Trump Bullshitopedia), his noxious bigotry, his unabashed ignorance, are setting new lows for a Republican Party that was already underwater. And now he’s excited about an endorsement from a washed up grifter whose public profile has been in a steep free fall for the past few years. She didn’t help John McCain get to the White House at the height of her popularity, so there’s no reason to think she would be much help to Trump, the guy who insulted McCain as not being a war hero because he had been captured and held as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for five and a half years. And there’s something else That Trump and Palin have in common, a complete lack of any sense of loyalty.

Here’s a heaping serving of Palin’s Word Salad.

[Addendum:] Last night Sarah Palin’s eldest son, Track, was arrested for punching his girlfriend and brandishing a gun while drunk. So while her son was facing multiple violent criminal charges in Wassilla, the Grizzly Mama was partying with Trump. It’s funny that a woman whose son is a divorced domestic abuser, and whose daughter has two out-of-wedlock kids, is constantly lecturing other people about family values.

Celebrity Has-Been Break-Up Of The Year: Glenn Beck And Sarah Palin

This year the celebrity obsessed media adopted one of their own to lead the Republican Party to a humiliating defeat next November. Donald Trump’s rapid rise on the basis of his fear mongering and bigotry drove much of the press for most of the year. However, we would be remiss to forget the previous press darlings and their ultimately doleful fate.

Glenn Beck/Sarah Palin

That’s right. In September of 2015 Glenn Beck called it quits with Sarah Palin after some undisclosed messiness. He revealed the break-up on his radio show (video below) the day after he appeared at a rally with her in Washington, D.C. This is what he told his shocked listeners:

“I don’t care what Sarah Palin says any more. Sarah Palin has become a clown. I’m embarrassed that I was once for Sarah Palin. Honestly, I’m embarrassed.”

Well, now he knows how most of the rest of the country feels about having Palin presume to speak for us. But it’s still ironic that the man who describes himself as a “rodeo clown” is suddenly seeing Palin in similarly derogatory terms. At least he still has his conspiracy theories and Messiah complex.

This has been a bad year for Palin. She lost her job at Fox News for the second time. She started up a sham Internet video channel that was so unpopular that it shut down just six months later. Her abstinence-advocate daughter had her second out-of-wedlock child. She just put her Arizona vacation home up for sale. And on top of all of that she lost her best bud, Glenn. So sad.

Today both Palin and Beck have faded into ghostly presences that haunt the shadows of the fringe world. Although maybe zombies would be a better metaphor since they are both desperately in need of brains. Their disappearance is unarguably a good thing for America, but a serious blow to comedy.

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

Sarah Palin Confesses Her Girl-Crush On France’s Le Pen And The Fascist Front National Party

Ever since John McCain and Fox News burdened America with the addle-brained Mistress of the North, Sarah Palin, she has managed to unveil new ways of embarrassing herself and the country. In particular, she ranted about non-existent “death panels,” she accused President Obama of “palling around with terrorists,” and she affiliates with some rather conspicuously deviant characters like Ted Nugent. And now, in an op-ed for the far-right website Brietbart News, Palin has revealed her deep affection for a politician from France’s Front National, a party rooted in antisemitism and neo-fascism.

Sarah Palin

The article is a love letter to the modern Nazis of the French fringe who mirror Palin’s Tea Party politics of nativist, xenophobic, fear mongering and radical Christianist theocracy. She opens saying that…

“I have a political crush, but one I couldn’t vote for today – because she ran for office in France. Marion Maréchal-Le Pen is the new deserved ‘It Girl’ of French politics and a clear voice of courage and common sense in a country and continent in need of both.”

Obviously Palin relates to Maréchal-Le Pen due to her own tenure as an “It-Girl” in the early days of the McCain campaign before people heard her speak. And the love she has for this repugnant pol tells us that she is still as ignorant about the world as ever. Maréchal-Le Pen’s “courage and common sense” was soundly rejected by French voters yesterday as both she and her equally abhorrent aunt, Marine Le Pen, lost their bids for regional elective offices. Even in the wake of the tragic attacks last month in Paris, the French people could not abide the hateful politics of the Le Pen family.

Some additional morsels of idiocy in Palin’s op-ed include her assertion that…

“The Left wraps itself in political correctness and multiculturalism like a suicide vest. They’d rather blow up the whole country than admit the stupidity of thinking a nation can remain the same after inviting in millions of people who despise its values.”

Setting aside the offensive comparison of liberals, who are devoted to the principles of American freedom, to terrorists in suicide vests, Palin’s rhetoric asserts that there are millions of people who hate America that are being invited in. She doesn’t say who these people are, where they’re from or why they hate the country. The only plausible rendering of her word salad is that she is referring to Syrian refugees, of whom there will only be about 10,000, mainly consisting of families desperate to escape the terrorists who have overrun their homes.

Palin goes on to write something that actually has a ring of truth to it when she says that…

“Pundits are already seeing the similarities between Marion and Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump, and Sen. Ted Cruz.”

Indeed, the similarities could not be more obvious. Trump and Cruz represent the fascist wing of America’s Republican Party. They all hold the same views about kicking out all of the foreigners to whom they object. They all support carpet bombing of countries where some of our enemies reside, without regard for the innocent civilians that would be murdered as a result of that tactic, which has been designated a war crime. And they all believe that Christianity should be the basis of Western civilization and its governments.

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

When you take those positions and combine them with the conservative politics that elevate corporations over people, you wind up with the brand of fascism that Mussolini once said would be better called corporatism. And for Palin to point out that the Le Pen family and the GOP are ideological twins is actually a helpful contribution to the political dialog, although not in any way that she would understand.

ISIS Or GOP? Sarah Palin’s Description Of Terrorists Fits Both

The rapidly wilting tundra weed we know as Sarah Palin came out of her ice cave today to remind us all of why we have forgotten her. But she wasn’t stepping forward to condemn the horrific murders by a Christian terrorist at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility. Like many of her political persuasion, she is ignoring that it even happened. Instead, she took to Facebook to attack President Obama’s execution of the war against ISIS. She begins her tirade saying that…

“We desperately need a Commander-in-Chief for such a time as this, not a divisive ‘Community Organizer’ with a blowhorn, stirring domestic aggravation. Americans should be able to live with no fear of any outmanned, outsmarted, outgunned punkass-evil, misogynist, homophobic, intolerant death cult trying to infiltrate innocent populations.”

Forgive us if we’re not quite certain to whom she is referring. The first group that comes to mind when described as an “outgunned punkass-evil, misogynist, homophobic, intolerant death cult,” is the Republican Party. Chances are that is not what Palin had in mind. But the GOP is a party that worships the NRA, is fiercely opposed to women’s issues, regards gay rights as blasphemy, and relentlessly lobbies for unending war. So Palin should have been more specific if she wanted people to reach a different conclusion. And speaking of “a blowhorn, stirring domestic aggravation,” has she looked in a mirror lately?

Sarah Palin

In her Facebook rant, Palin asserts that the only thing necessary to defeat ISIS is the “the political will from on high with the command to ‘fire!'” She is apparently ignorant of the fact that under Obama’s direction the command to “fire” has been issued over 8,000 times. That’s how many U.S. bombing missions have been conducted against ISIS in the past couple of years. As a result, many of their leaders have been killed and their hold on territory has receded. In addition, other nations such as England, Germany, France, Jordan, Saudia Arabia, even Iran, have been battling ISIS. So Palin’s attempt to minimize the difficulty of the task is plainly ill-informed. Furthermore, the successes achieved thus far are not diminshed by the fact that small cells of ISIS sympathizers have carried out random acts of terrorism. That’s one of the harsh realities of modern warfare.

Palin went on to say that “Muslim extremists crave an oncoming clash of civilizations.” That’s true. And it’s one of the arguments for refusing to surrender the high ground to them on that matter by referring to them as “Islamic” terrorists. ISIS is desperate to be viewed as the legitimate voice of Islam. However, most Muslims reject that claim and oppose the designation. In fact, the only parties insisting that ISIS be called “Islamic” terrorists are ISIS, Republicans, and Fox News.

Finally, Palin takes a dig at Seth Meyers, who interviewed her last week (video below). During the segment he effectively shamed her for being so insensitive to the plight of the Syrian refugees who are seeking asylum in the U.S. and elsewhere. She charged that he needs to “recover” from his “gullibility.” But it was Palin who demonstrated that she is incapable of coherent analysis and didn’t even know the process in place for vetting refugees before admitting them. Now she is demeaning Meyers and anyone else for “believing the Feds have an 18-24 month bureaucratic vetting process that successfully filters out the bad guys.” Of course, there have been nearly 785,000 refugees admitted into the U.S. since 2001 and not a single American has been harmed because of it.

Since Palin was so inept at responding to Meyers’ questions on the show, she is now resorting to a second try via an editorial on the widely disrespected, wingnut and birther website, Breitbart News. But she still fails to make any sense and her reputation as a blithering idiot is only enhanced. She should have quit while she was a[air]head.

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

Sarah Palin And GOP Favor Gun Rights For Terrorists To Open Carry, Just Like Jesus Said

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The time when the War on Christmas warms the cockles (whatever they are) of American patriots as they prepare to celebrate the release of another Sarah Palin book: Sweet Freedom: A Devotional. Palin’s latest butchering of the English language “invites you to draw strength and inspiration from 260 meditations based on guiding Biblical verses.”

Sarah Palin

One of the inspirational verses in the book is Luke 22:36, which says “But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” And from that Palin has constructed an interpretation that strains the bounds of reason. She spoke with Tom Sullivan of Fox News Radio and delivered her warped analysis of the scripture:

“In the New Testament, Luke:22. We’re talking about gun control. Jesus, I swear he was a proponent of open carry. Because he told his disciples, he said ‘You better arm yourselves. You better protect the innocent. You don’t rely on the authorities. You don’t rely on others peoples.’ He said ‘You carry your sword.’ He told his disciples ‘Before we go on our journey, if you have a cloak, if you have your purse, OK, go get ’em. But if you don’t have a sword with you…’ – which was their arms back then – ‘…then you sell your cloak and you go buy a sword. And you get out there and you defend the innocent and yourself. Let’s go.’ He was all for self-defense and the Second Amendment.”

Really? Then why on the next morning did he tell his disciples to cease any defense of him, saying that “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Biblical scholars read this verse as Jesus merely advising the disciples to be prepared with necessary tools for the tasks of survival (i.e. hunting, and cutting cloth or building materials). That explains why after he told them to buy swords he replied that “It’s enough,” when they responded saying that they had two already. Certainly two swords would not have been enough to fight the officers who would come to arrest Jesus. But they would be plenty as parts of a tool collection.

What’s more, nowhere in the verse does it say that Jesus advocated using swords, or any weaponry, to “defend the innocent and yourself.” To the contrary, he preached against violence and favored passive resistance as in “turn the other cheek.” Palin’s interpretation sounds like Jesus was assembling an early incarnation of The Avengers to suit up and take on the evildoers of Jerusalem.

In an oddly significant juxtaposition to Palin’s mangling of the Bible, Fox News reported yesterday that terrorists have had nearly unfettered access to guns in America. Gretchen Carlson’s story quoted a study by the Government Accountability Office on the ability of people on the Terrorist Watch List to legally purchase guns:

“People on the Terrorist Watch List here in the U.S. – Who knew they were still legally able to buy guns? Look at this data from the Government Accountability Office going back to 2004. Suspected terrorists made more than 2,200 attempts to buy guns from U.S. dealers. More than 2,000 of them, or 91% were successful.”

Who knew? Well, actually many people knew. Even Fox News knew and reported on it many times. This has been an issue for gun safety advocates for years. There have been several attempts, going back to at least 2007, during the Bush administration, to pass legislation to close what has been called “The Terror Gap,” but they have always been met with fierce opposition from the NRA and Republicans in Congress.

One of those Republicans who has opposed the legislation is Texas representative Tony Dale. Ironically, Dale is now citing the ease with which guns are available as a reason to deny entry into the U.S., and Texas, by Syrian refugees. Dale is worried that among them will be terrorists who will be able to purchase guns thanks to the legislation that he voted for. And another opponent of closing the Terror Gap was the late Adam Gadahn (aka Azzam the American), an Al Qaeda operative who issued a directive to his comrades saying that…

“America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely, without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?”

It’s rather strange that Carlson would be so surprised that this is occurring when it is something that has received so much attention in the past. And her editorial take on the subject seems to be aligned with the gun safety advocates who are pushing for restrictions on gun purchases by those on the watch list. That would put her at odds with the rest of the Fox News team, the GOP, the NRA, and Sarah Palin. Which means, of course, that she is at odds with Jesus the Avenger. Uh oh.

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

GOP Debate Lowlights Featuring Donald Trump’s ‘Sarah Palin Moment’

Fox Business Network is patting itself on the back for pulling off the most boring primary debate to date (transcript). They led the candidates through what amounted to a two hour Republican infomercial. The moderators were so detached that when Donald Trump flew off on a tangent about China in response to a question about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, they failed to inform him that China was not a party to the deal. Rand Paul stepped in to correct the record, but they never followed up to get a straight answer from Trump.

And speaking of Donald Trump, he contributed some of the most hair-brained comments of the evening. Most notably, Trump may have delivered what will become his “Sarah Palin Moment.” He was asked what he would do in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, Trump said “I got to know [Vladimir Putin] very well because we were both on 60 Minutes.” That’s about as delusional as Palin’s belief that her geographical proximity to Russia gave her insight into the region’s labyrinthine complexities.

The Republican Foreign Policy Dream Team:
Donald Trump Sarah Palin

Furthermore, Trump never actually met Putin who taped his 60 Minutes segment in Moscow. Trump was interviewed in his Manhattan penthouse. So what he meant by being “stablemates” is incomprehensible. It’s impossible to avoid the conclusion that he was being deliberately misleading.

In addition to his fudging a close relationship with Putin, Trump came out against raising the minimum wage because he thinks that people “have to work really hard and have to get into that upper stratum.” He continued saying that if wages were higher it would make the U.S. less competitive. In other words, he expects American labor to compete with the slave-wage earners of China and other nations that abuse their working class. That should make a good campaign bumper sticker.

But a Trump rant wouldn’t be complete without his descending into rancid bigotry. And Trump didn’t disappoint. While answering a question about his utterly ludicrous proposal to round up and deport eleven million undocumented residents, Trump sought to validate his approach by comparing it to a program implemented by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. And as if to put a sunny disposition on the controversial program, Trump introduced the comparison with a reminder of Eisenhower’s chummy campaign slogan, “I like Ike.” What Trump left out is that Eisenhower’s Operation Wetback (yes, that was what it was called) resulted in dozens of fatalities and a taint of racism. Approximately 1.2 million people were deported to rural areas of Mexico with none of their possessions or other resources necessary to survive. Trump is calling for ten times as many deportations and still won’t explain how he will do it.

Now we don’t want to pick on Trump exclusively. Ben Carson also indicated his opposition to raising the minimum wage saying that “Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases.” Once again, Carson is pulling data out of a human body part far removed from area that he generally operated on. There is ample evidence that raising the minimum wage has no negative impact whatsoever on job creation. But not satisfied with merely misstating reality, Carson went on to actually call for lowering the minimum wage for some workers.

Marco Rubio weighed in on the matter of wages and education. Apparently he is not too anxious to encourage Americans to seek higher education. Consequently, he advocated for vocational training as opposed to college. Of course, there isn’t anything wrong with vocational schools, which may be superior alternatives for some students. But Rubio reduced the argument to “Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.” However, Rubio’s argument is not based in reality. The median salary for philosophy professors is almost $64,000. The median salary for welders is about $37,400. And philosophy majors (who often go into many other lines of work where an understanding of people and society is required) command higher average salaries throughout their careers. We need both welders and philosophers, but no one should be persuaded based on dishonest applause lines from self-serving politicians.

Rand Paul’s breakout moment in the debate came during a discussion on income inequality when he said that “If you want less income inequality, move to a city with a Republican mayor or a state with a Republican governor.” Not surprisingly, this is another Republican distortion of the truth. Of the ten states with the worst income inequality gaps, six are run by Republicans. Do these people ever get tired of being wrong?

Apparently not. Because Carly Fiorina joined the parade in a rant against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She inexplicably said that “We’ve created something called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a vast bureaucracy with no congressional oversight that’s digging through hundreds of millions of your credit records to detect fraud.” What Fiorina considers a “vast bureaucracy” is a relatively small agency with fewer than 1,000 employees. For comparison, the IRS has about 90,000. What’s more, it has the same measure of congressional oversight of almost every other federal agency. It’s director must be confirmed by the Senate, and it is subject to budgetary constraints imposed by Congress. Finally, you’ll have to ask her what she finds so offensive about uncovering fraud and protecting America’s consumers.

To give credit where it’s due, there some questions that where genuinely probing and worthwhile. Sadly, not one of them got a direct answer. The candidates exercised the old debate strategy of not answering the question you are asked, but the question you wish you were asked. And the moderators did nothing in the way of follow ups to attempt to get a responsive answer. Here are three outstanding, and unanswered, questions:

Gerard Baker, Wall Street Journal: Now, in seven years under President Obama, the U.S. has added an average of 107,000 jobs a month. Under President Clinton, the economy added about 240,000 jobs a month. Under George W. Bush, it was only 13,000 a month. If you win the nomination, you’ll probably be facing a Democrat named Clinton. How are you going to respond to the claim that Democratic presidents are better at creating jobs than Republicans?

Maria Bartiromo, Fox Business: [Hillary Clinton] was the first lady of the United States, a U.S. senator from New York, and secretary of state under Barack Obama. She has arguably more experience, certainly more time in government than almost all of you on stage tonight. Why should the American people trust you to lead this country, even though she has been so much closer to the office?

Baker: Income inequality has been rising in the United States. Fifty years ago, for example, the average CEO of a big corporation in this country earned 20 times the average salary of one of his or her workers. Today, that CEO earns about 300 times the average salary of a worker. Does it matter at all that the gap between the rich and everyone else is widening?

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

This debate was a peculiar creature from the start. The Fox Business Network has program ratings so low that Nielsen doesn’t even publish them. The only explanation is that it was a gift from the Republican Party to Rupert Murdoch and the Fox News family. As it turns out, it was a generous gift in that the debate drew a record number of viewers (13,500,000) for the tiny network. Although it was still the smallest audience of any of the debates held so far this election cycle. The next debates are scheduled for November 14 (Democrats on CBS) and December 15 (GOP on CNN).

Alex Jones And Matt Drudge: The Most Bizarre Interview You Will Ever Imagine You Witnessed

You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop, the InfoWars Interview.

Alex Jones / Matt Drudge

On Tuesday’s episode of InfoWars (video below), host and the conspiracy theory’s chief theoretical conspirator, Alex Jones, almost invited yellow pseudo-journalist Matt Drudge to join him in a discussion of the current state of the world of the deranged. I say almost because the interview began with Jones announcing that his teen crush Drudge was in the studio, but that he would not appear on camera (for fear of losing his soul?).

Jones: I did not do this as a stunt. Neither did Matt Drudge. He is here. We got a hot mic over there. He wants to stay literally in the shadows behind the curtain.

So in this version of the Wiz, the great and powerful Drudge commands that you do pay attention to the man behind the curtain. In a bizarre bit of Burlesque theater, Jones conducted the whole interview with Drudge allegedly a few feet away, out of camera range. There was never an explanation for why Drudge refused to be seen. He isn’t exactly camera shy as he once hosted his own TV show (on Fox News of course). What could be more perfect for the conspiratorial set than for a reclusive disseminator of rightist propaganda to lurk off-camera and send his disembodied voice across the webosphere in a dialog with a sociopathic skeptic? What self-respecting minion of Alex Jones would believe that Drudge was really there at all? Wake up, sheeple!

As a testimonial to the fabulousness of this chin-flapping, Sarah Palin tweeted that this is “One of the best interviews I’ve heard in a long time!” And why not? The pair spent much of their forty-six minute “bull” session congratulating each other on their bravery for standing up to some unseen oppressor who has shackled them to a dreary existence as mere multimillionaires with legions of glassy-eyed disciples. The horror! Although there were a couple of subjects that were examined in a fair amount of detail that deserve attention.

First of all, Drudge dredged up the obsession that kicked off his career twenty years ago: Hillary Clinton. Apparently he is still enthralled with her terrifying omnipotence and simultaneous impotence. Here is an abridged summary of his rambling and incoherent remarks about his Wicked Witch of the White House:

Drudge: How sick are the American people right now? They could put Hillary Clinton’s brain in a jar in the Oval Office and she’d be elected. People are really sick. […] Before this country is so completely altered and we’re left with Hillary’s brain in the Oval Office in a jar – ‘cuz that’s what we’re getting. She is old and she’s sick. She is not a contender. They’re making her a contender with these propped up Saturday Night Live things. It’s like a head on a stick. […] I’m very pessimistic on this race because I’m just not so sure it’s not gonna end up with the dreaded brain in the jar in the Oval Office, once known as Hillary Clinton – who is hypo-thyroid. Anybody who is seventy years old who’s hypo-thyroid you do not elect president, ladies and gentlemen. You don’t do it. […] Why aren’t we seeing Hillary’s lovers? Excuse me? Why aren’t we seeing Hillary’s lovers? Where’s the cover-up on this?

The only question arising from that schizoid rant is whether Drudge is on too many psychotropic drugs or too few. Either way he needs some serious medical attention. He is particularly disturbed by the thought of a jar of brains, which may be attributable to simple jealousy that Clinton has something that he and his wingnut cohorts can only dream about.

The other subject that received considerable scrutiny was a paranoid diversion into acute crackpottery. Abandoning any pretense of reality, Drudge unveiled a historical account of the legend of ISIS that would make J.K. Rowling blush with embarrassment.

Drudge: We never really heard of ISIS until recently and I remember when that name first started coming up. Do you know that it was designed to be confused with Darrell Issa? Did you know that’s what it was. Because Darrell Issa was the enemy at the time of this administration. […] They came up with the name ISIS to be confused with Darrell Issa. I’m really being hinest with you. I remember the first time Christiane Amanpour sputtered out this word ISIS thinking did she get that one? […] And then the President going it’s not even ISIS, it’s ISIL or IS. This Dr. Seuss. This is madness.

Obviously. How could we have missed it before? Barack “Svengali” Obama invented the acronym ISIS (Islamic State of Syria and Iraq) and somehow got the terrorists to use it to refer to themselves. But in a bit of brilliant strategic jujitsu, Obama himself sidestepped it in favor of ISIL, which doesn’t sound as much like Issa, but still has an “I” and an “S” in it, preserving the theory’s tenuous plausibility.

It is inspired analysis like this that has made Matt Drudge an icon in conservative media. And his reputation among rightists and Teabaggers will only be enhanced by this eccentric display of lunacy. It perfectly reflects Drudge’s own plaintive question: “Where are the flamboyant characters? This is what America needs right now – flamboyant, intellectual characters.” By entering the lair of professional whack-job Alex Jones, and establishing the natural affinity between the two fringe constituencies, Drudge and Jones have not only answered that question, but they have advanced the level of idiocy that will be forthcoming from the right, as well as the level of laughter from the left.

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

Glenn Beck Is Embarrassed That He Supported Sarah Palin

Who knew? One of this country’s most divisive, dishonest, and unrepentant purveyors of hostility seems to still have some capacity for shame (if you can believe him). Glenn Beck appeared at rally in Washington, D.C. (where he never wants to go back to again) to oppose the Obama administration’s deal to constrain Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Also on the podium were arch right-wingers like Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and Sarah Palin. Sometime between that event and the next morning, Beck had some sort of revelation with regard to his relationship with Palin.

Glenn Beck/Sarah Palin

On his radio program this morning (video below) Beck took aim at Palin for reasons he didn’t make clear. He mentions that he “doesn’t know who she is anymore,” and “doesn’t know what she stands for.” Apparently he’s upset (jealous?) that he saw her talking to Donald Trump, who Beck is not fond of, and asks “What the hell was that?” He also admits that they had a “falling out” because “”she was listening to people who were lying to her about me.” However, he doesn’t go into who those people were or what they were saying. But the most striking comment he had about his former BFF was that…

“I don’t care what Sarah Palin says any more. Sarah Palin has become a clown. I’m embarrassed that I was once for Sarah Palin. Honestly, I’m embarrassed.”

Well, now he knows how most of the rest of the country feels about having Palin presume to speak for us. But it’s still ironic that the man who describes himself as a “rodeo clown” is suddenly seeing Palin in similarly derogatory terms. It’s kind of like the overgrown troll Donald Trump calling Carly Fiorina ugly. But what changed that altered Beck’s opinion of Palin? Certainly Palin hasn’t changed. She is tossing the same word-salad incoherence that has defined her since John McCain unleashed her, making all of us suffer for his foolishness and desperation.

You have to wonder whether this epiphany by Beck will lead to similar insights. Already Bobby Jindal seems to have seen the light about Trump. At a speech at the National Press Club Jindal said that Trump is “a carnival act.” He also called him a shallow narcissistic egomaniac.

Of course, this isn’t news to anyone with a functioning brain. The problem is that there seem to be so many intellectual zombies on the right to whom cartoon characters like Palin and Trump make sense. So when someone like Beck confesses that his prior support for Palin embarrasses him, it is a promising development, even though it is probably inspired by some selfish motive. It offers hope that supporters of Trump will soon feel some shame themselves. We know that many people who voted for George W. Bush are denying it today, and the current crop of Republicans are ashamed to even say his name.

It is too much to expect that any of those who come to realize that it was a grievous mistake to support nut jobs like Palin and Trump (and Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain, and pundits like Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etc.), will ever come to accept a progressive agenda supported by history and facts. But for now perhaps we should be grateful that they can at least experience the cleansing quality of shame and let go of their delusions. It’s a small step forward, but it is a step. At least until they take two giant leaps backwards, which for them is always a possibility.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.