Trump’s Disgraceful ‘Freedom Celebration’ Speech Just Exalts Himself, Whines About the Media

Saturday night Donald Trump took a little time away from lounging at his luxurious golf resort in New Jersey. He flew back to Washington to attend an evangelical concert that supposedly honored veterans in advance of Independence Day.

Donald Trump

As with almost every public appearance he makes, it ends up being entirely about him. He obviously doesn’t care about veterans or the anniversary of America’s founding. If he did, he wouldn’t pollute his speech with self-serving, ego-gratifying bullshit like this (video below):

“The fake media is trying to silence us, but we will not let them. Because the people know the truth. The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House, but I’m president and they’re not. We won and they lost.

The fact is the press has destroyed themselves because they went too far. Instead of being subtle and smart, they used the hatchet and the people saw it right from the beginning. The dishonest media will never keep us from accomplishing our objectives on behalf of the great American people. Will never happen. Their agenda is not your agenda.”

That’s right. In an address intended to celebrate freedom and commemorate the heroes that make it possible, Trump lashed out again at the media. That’s what he considers to be the real “enemy of the American people.” And the context of his attack is, once again, the results of an election that took place eight months ago. His rabid fetish over having lost the popular vote is weighing on him still. And his obsession with blaming the press for all of his own self-destructive behavior persists.

Trump’s preoccupation with these complaints borders on the psychotic. He simply can’t let them go, even at the expense of tributes to heroes. And he wastes time and taxpayer money attending these self-congratulatory rallies because that’s where he gets his validation. These are nothing but political events designed to prop up Trump’s fragile ego.

There has never been a president who was more contemptuous of the press. His words and deeds are explicit incitement to violence. He doesn’t understand the meaning or value of the First Amendment. Otherwise, how could he repeatedly denigrate journalists as “sleazy,” “liars,” and “horrible human beings”? His provocations have resulted in actual physical attacks on reporters. NBC’s Katy Tur had to have security protect her while covering his campaign. Organizations that advance the welfare of journalists have called him “an unprecedented threat” to press freedom. And nothing proves that more than his latest tweet that overtly celebrates violence against the media.

If you thought that Trump had crossed the line before, you underestimated the depth of his hostility and recklessness. This is his juvenile idea of a joke, but it conveys a distinct and abhorrent message. There is no reason to think that he won’t continue to get worse. He wants to discredit and dismantle the media so that he can rule without criticism or accountability. Under his idea of authoritarian leadership there would be only state-run media. All Americans must unite to make sure that he is not successful. It’s a fight that is as consequential as the one for Independence that is being celebrated this week.

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

OOPS! Fox News Pushes Starbucks Boycott For Hiring Refugees, Not Veterans – Check Again Fox

Last week Starbucks announced an initiative to hire 10,000 refugees around the world. In a heartfelt post to the Starbucks website, CEO Howard Schultz wrote that the plan was in response to Donald Trump’s attempt to ban immigrants from majority-Muslim countries. “We have all been witness,” he said, “to the confusion, surprise and opposition to the Executive Order President Trump issued.” The statement continued:

“There are more than 65 million citizens of the world recognized as refugees by the United Nations, and we are developing plans to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business. And we will start this effort here in the U.S. by making the initial focus of our hiring efforts on those individuals who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel in the various countries where our military has asked for such support.”

This is a prime example of the sort of social responsibility that all corporations ought to exercise. It demonstrates empathy for people who have suffered greatly and depend on the compassion of others for their survival.

Sadly, there are some who don’t share these values. Immediately following the announcement, conservative groups began organizing boycotts to express their opposition. For the most part they echoed the Trump administration’s fear mongering of terrorists posing as refugees. However, among the justifications was the argument that Starbucks should be providing this assistance to American veterans instead. Good idea!

In fact, it’s such a good idea that Starbucks thought of it three years ago. Also posted on their website was this 2013 announcement that they would hire 10,000 veterans:

“Company to build a pipeline of talent focused on veterans and active duty spouses, including infrastructure to support at least 10,000 hires in five years” […]

“Veterans and military spouses represent one of the most underutilized talent pools in our country and, without the proper career path, will continue to go untapped. Companies like Starbucks recognize this opportunity and are moving swiftly and aggressively to match the jobs they will create in the future with the talent returning to America over the next several years.”

Updates on the program show that Starbucks is ahead of schedule. They currently have 8,800 veterans on the payroll as result of this initiative. But that news hasn’t seeped through to the right-wingers who are determined to punish Starbucks unfairly. Nor has it seeped through to their media of choice: Fox News.

Fox News

Last week Fox News aired a segment that overtly supported the boycott effort. Their story featured graphics that promoted a #BoycottStarbucks hashtag and the message “Refuge Hiring Plan Sparks Online Outrage.” At no time did they point out Starbucks’ program for hiring veterans. And Tuesday morning Fox & Friends continued the Starbucks bashing. They hosted the proprietor of Black Rifle Coffee Company, a wannabe Starbucks competitor. He told the “Curvy Couch” potatoes that he plans to hire 10,000 veterans. That’s an admirable goal, especially for a company that currently has only six employees (according to BuzzFile). He may have overly optimistic growth projections. Or maybe he’s just a con artist looking for a quick buck with Fox’s help.

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

Once again, Fox News never disclosed that Starbucks implemented a veterans hiring program three years ago that’s actually hiring thousands of veterans. It doesn’t fit their anti-refugee agenda and pro-Trump propaganda. Consequently, they left it out of their broadcast, deceiving their viewers and feeding their hatred. These are lengths to which Fox will go to advance their agenda of bigotry and lies. In the process they are actually hurting an American company that’s helping our vets. Nice work, Fox.

Where’s The Outrage? Trump Maligns Soldiers With PTSD As Weak ‘People [Who] Can’t Handle It’

As if the nation needed another reason to be nauseated by Donald Trump’s ignorance, intolerance, and insensitivity. This morning Trump spoke before a meeting of the Retired American Warriors PAC, a right-wing superPAC created less than two months ago by Trump supporters. Trump delivered some prepared remarks via the TelePrompter he once said was disqualifying, then took some questions from the decidedly friendly audience.

Soldier

One of the questions addressed the problems associated with veteran suicides and mental health issues like PTSD. The gentleman asking the question framed it as an advocacy of faith-based solutions. Trump ignored that and went straight to a tone-deaf and insulting response:

“When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over and you’re strong and you can handle it but a lot of people can’t handle it.”

Well, that’s revealing. Apparently Trump believes that veterans suffering from PTSD are too weak to handle the horrific aftermath of their wartime service. In his view soldiers who performed courageously, but who were traumatized by what they experienced aren’t strong enough to handle it.

That is the sort of callous commentary that could only come from someone who evaded military service with four deferments and a medical disqualification. You have to wonder how veterans with PTSD will feel when they hear a candidate for president saying this. It certainly won’t promote their recovery and wellness to know that they are thought of as weak.

In other remarks at the event Trump blatantly dodged a question about what his plan for defeating terrorism would be. He also insulted the whole of the military by characterizing it as “depleted.” This is a theme he has made a staple of his campaign that also regards America as less than great. It’s a theme that includes an aversion to soldiers who were captured (i.e. John McCain). Candidate Trump has belittled American military leaders by claiming that he knows more about ISIS than they do. And he held a phony telethon to raise funds for vets, but ended up stiffing them.

It’s unfathomable that, after all of that, anyone in the military could support Trump for president. His ignorance of, and disdain for, the nation’s armed services ought to be of concern to all veterans and active duty soldiers. What’s more, his utter failure as a businessman should worry anyone who thinks that he might have solutions to problems in the military infrastructure or world affairs.

This new display of contempt is only the latest evidence of his unfitness to serve as president and commander-in-chief. It will be interesting to see if the media bothers to report it and put his candidacy in the proper context.

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

Billionaire Will Donate $5 Million To Veterans If Trump Releases His Tax Returns

Donald Trump’s professed affinity for veterans is being tested today by a fellow billionaire. Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn issued a public challenge to The Donald to release his tax returns before October 19, the date of the final presidential debate. If he does so Reid will donate five million dollars to a veterans charity.

Donald Trump

On the campaign trail Trump has been vocal in his support for veterans despite not actually doing anything on their behalf. He sponsored a fake telethon last year after fleeing a Fox News primary debate for fear of facing Megyn Kelly. According to Trump the telethon raised six million dollars, much of which was still unaccounted for several months after the event.

With this challenge from Hoffman Trump has an opportunity to secure some serious funds for the American heroes he says he loves. The problem is that he has also been steadfast in refusing to release his tax returns until an alleged audit is completed. That excuse has been mocked as ludicrous by tax experts and the IRS has said there is nothing from stopping him from making the data public. What’s more, Trump himself offered to so in a challenge of his own. He recently said that if Hillary Clinton releases email that has been deleted, he will release his taxes. Never mind that Clinton cannot “release” something that doesn’t exist, Trump’s offer is an admission that the audit is a phony excuse.

The challenge issued by Hoffman ought register in Trump’s memory. In 2012 He issued a similar challenge to President Obama (video and transcript here). In exchange for Obama releasing his college and passport records Trump would donate five million dollars to the charity of his choice. This was an extension of his Birther campaign attempting to invalidate Obama’s citizenship and consequently, his presidency. Trump portrayed the offer as “a deal that I do not believe that he can refuse.” In the same context, therefore, how can Trump refuse Hoffman’s offer?

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

If Trump is sincere in his stated concern for the welfare of veterans he has no legitimate reason to reject Hoffman’s offer. The only reason for refusing would be that there is something so damaging in his taxes that he can’t afford to make them public. In other words, he would be protecting his own self-serving interests at the expense of veterans. Given his lifetime of mercenary greed and stinginess, it’s easy to predict how Trump will respond to this challenge. It isn’t for nothing that he has been deemed the least charitable billionaire.

What Donald Trump Just Said About Our Military Is Beyond Contempt (VIDEO)

Another day, another reprehensible comment from the Republican nominee for President of the United States. This time Donald Trump has insulted American soldiers risking their lives in Iraq by insinuating that they are thieves.

Donald Trump Hell Hole

At a rally in Greensboro North Carolina, Trump was pontificating on his proposal to steal oil revenues from Iraq and belittling those who criticized him.

“When we got out we should have taken the oil. I’ll never forget, some of the pundits – most of them don’t have the brains they were born with – they said ‘they’re talking about a sovereign country.’ Iraq. Crooked as hell. How about bringing baskets of money, millions and millions of dollars, and handing it out.”

First of all, how the hell did he think we should have taken the oil when we got out (never mind that we are actually still there)? Did he think we could have just sucked all of the underground reserves dry, pumped it into tankers and sailed back to America? And what he’s referring to about handing out millions of dollars from baskets is anyone’s guess.

No doubt there is some corruption in Iraq since the U.S. dismantled its government and left it in a shambles, but Trump clearly has no idea what he’s talking about and no facts to back it up. But what he said next should boil the blood of every American soldier, their families, neighbors, acquaintances, strangers, and pretty much anyone with a shred of patriotism. Referring to disbursement of money from baskets, Trump asked:

“Who are the soldiers who had that job? Cause I think they’re living very well right now, whoever they may be.”

In other words. Trump is accusing American soldiers of stealing money from their own government. He says it so matter-of-factly that it doesn’t seem like he has any doubt that our servicemen and women would engage in such shoddy, criminal behavior.

It’s fair to assume that Trump doesn’t find this unusual because it’s behavior to which he can relate. After all, he has spent a lifetime ripping off others through shady real estate deals that went bankrupt and blatant scams like his Trump University. So he’s just projecting what he would have done if he had access to that cash in Iraq. Of course we’ll never know what kind of soldier he would have been because he evaded the draft with five deferments during the Vietnam war.

Let’s not forget that Trump also tried to rip off the veterans he professes to love with a charity event that raised a few million dollars that he didn’t bother to distribute to the needy organizations until after he was called out by the Washington Post (whose press credentials he recently revoked).

If anyone still believes that Donald Trump is a friend of the military they really need to study his record more closely. And this latest insult should put an end to the charade that he cares about soldiers or veterans. It wasn’t enough last year when he insulted Sen, John McCain by saying that he wasn’t a war hero, despite having spent six years in a Vietnamese prison camp. Trump is continuing to reveal himself to America, and it’s an ugly picture. But it’s not unexpected coming from someone who called America a Hell Hole.

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

Six Times Donald Trump Lied In A Totally Unhinged Press Conference

This morning Donald Trump held a press conference (video below) to address the numerous questions surrounding the alleged veterans charity event he held four months ago. The telethon-like affair was announced after he dodged a Fox News primary debate for fear of facing moderator Megyn Kelly, and it generated much controversy after reports that the veterans had not received any of the donations.

Donald Trump

In typical Trump fashion, it did not take long for the press conference to devolve into a spectacle of whining and lying on the part of the GOP’s nominee for president. Trump became combative and insulting toward his critics and the media in the room saying that “The press should be ashamed of themselves. You make me look very bad.” If there’s one thing this press conference proved it’s that he doesn’t need any help in that regard. And in spite of the fact that the media has been slobbering all over him for the past year, he still holds them in contempt saying:

“I have been dealing with the press a long time. I think the political press is among the most dishonest people that I have ever met. I have to tell you that, okay? Of course, you’re excluded, Carl [Cameron of Fox News].”

The Bottomless Pit Of Donald Trump’s Lies

1) Right from the start Trump was unable to stick to an honest representation of the veterans’ charity. He complained about protesters outside of Trump Tower who were rightfully upset that the funds Trump claimed to have raise had not been disbursed. Trump said that “The money’s all been sent.” But even if that’s true as of this morning (and there has been no confirmation of that), it has not been true for the past four months, which is far longer than necessary for the beneficiaries to receive funds.

2) Trump then diverted to an excuse that “If we could, I wanted to keep it private, because I don’t think it’s anybody’s business if I want to send money to the vets.” There are two problems with that comment. First, it isn’t his money that he’s supposedly sending to the vets. It is money he raised from other donors who have a right to know where it’s going. Secondly, he can hardly claim that he wanted any of this to be private when he has been shamelessly boasting since he conceived of it and made it available for a live television broadcast. He also previously posted a list of alleged beneficiaries on his website, which is a not the act of someone hoping to remain private. [Note: PolitiFact rated this a “Pants On Fire” lie]

3) Trump said that he “raised close to six million dollars,” which contradicts his previous statements when he said that the amount exceeded six million. That number has been fluid in the last couple of weeks with his campaign disagreeing with the actual take. They even disclosed that some donors reneged on their pledges.

4) Trump claimed that “This started with a speech in Iowa when I said ‘Let’s raise some money for the vets.'” As noted above, this actually started when he skipped out on a commitment to participate in a Fox News debate. Then he scheduled his telethon to take place at the same time as the debate in a vindictive attempt to steal audience away from it. [Note: Trump claimed that it was the lowest rated debate, but there were actually two other debates that had lower ratings]

5) Trump repeatedly said that he didn’t want any credit for the veterans charity. So it’s curious that he also whined about the press holding him to account. Trump cried “Instead of being like ‘Thank you very much, Mr. Trump,’ or ‘Trump did a good job,’ everyone said ‘Who got it, who got it, who got it?’ and you make me look very bad. I’ve never received such bad publicity for doing such a good job.” Poor baby. And he’s not looking for any credit, is he?

6) Trump falsely bragged that he is “the only one in the world who could raise six million dollars for the veterans – have uniform applause from the veterans’ groups.” Let’s just set aside the absurd claim that he’s the only one who can raise funds on behalf of veterans. He is flagrantly lying when he says he’s received “universal applause.” The truth is that many veterans groups refused to be involved with this stunt and vociferously condemned it.

The Disgusting, Dishonest Press

Trump spent much of his time lambasting the media as disgusting, dishonest and losers. In a particularly notable exchange, Trump went after ABC News correspondent Tom Llamas. Earlier in the press conference Llamas asked Trump if he was “setting a low bar today for being contentious.” Llamas asked “Is this what it’s going to be like covering you if you’re president?” Trump responded simply “Yeah, it is going to be like this.” But later Trump lashed out at Llamas calling him a “sleaze,” and saying “Your a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well.”

That’s a peculiar reason for Trump to criticize a reporter. However it makes perfect sense that Trump would be disturbed by someone who is well informed and knowledgeable about facts. It is also not surprising that Trump would seek out a Latino reporter as the object of his attack. Particularly one who has the gall to ask: “Your critics say you tend to exaggerate and have a problem with the truth. Is this a prime example?”

Donald Trump ‘Acting’ Presidential?

The remainder of the press conference consisted of Trump defending himself on the charges of fraud related to his defunct Trump University and insulting fellow Republicans like Bill Kristol and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. There was nothing about his demeanor today that suggests he is finally pivoting to “act presidential.” And he certainly isn’t trying to hew any closer to the truth (see the Trump Bullshitopedia).

One more thing: Trump noted that he had donated a million dollars himself. He said that the full amount was given to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation. He also noted that this foundation had “honored” him last year, which makes the donation seem a little like a payoff. What’s more, the charity watchdogs at Charity Navigator designated this group as “not eligible to be rated” “because it does not meet our criterion of having nontrivial fundraising expenses.”

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

Veterans Shortchanged And Lied To By Donald Trump Re: $6 Million In Donations

Remember that time when Donald Trump was so afraid of Megyn Kelly that he ditched a Fox News debate and scampered off to host a fake telethon for veterans? The event that he deliberately scheduled to compete with the televised debate turned out to be nothing more than another self-serving Trump stump speech. The only difference was that he shamelessly exploited wounded veterans as campaign props and proudly announced that he had raised six million dollars for their benefit.

Donald Trump Veterans

Months later, reports by CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and others, exposed Trump’s fraud by contacting the veterans groups that he identified as the recipients of his alleged largess. Turns out that only a fraction of the six million dollars had found its way to the intended beneficiaries. His campaign could not, or would not, account for the missing funds, referring reporters to his website where there was no information about the disbursement of the donations.

Now the plot is thickening. Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was asked about the donations by the Washington Post and now claims that the amount raised was less than previously stated. He said that he didn’t know what the correct amount was or how much had been disbursed. Then he attempted to disavow entirely the claims of the telethon’s success. Referring to Trump’s prior boasts, Lewandowski said that…

“What he said was, ‘We hope to get $6 million.’ He said this at an event where we were trying to get money. It was a best guess. That was his goal. His goal was to get somewhere around $6 million.”

Not exactly. Trump made a point of bragging on several occasions that he had raised six million dollars. What’s more, his website still has a page that makes the same claim:

“Mr. Trump personally contributed $1 million dollars to the cause and raised an additional $5 million before the one-hour event concluded, totaling more than $6 million dollars.”

Contrary to Lewandowski’s new characterization, that is not an expression of hope, it is stated as a fact. In addition, seeking to further glorify himself, Trump made specific reference to his own alleged generosity. However, since he refuses to release any of his tax returns there is no way to verify the truth of that claim either. And Trump’s unscrupulousness has not gone unnoticed by actual veterans. Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told the Post…

“No matter how you cut it, that’s just shady. If he was going to make it right, a couple of weeks before Memorial Day would be a good time to do it. It behooves him, not just politically but ethically, to come forward and account for this money.”

Lewandowski attributes the donation shortfall to unnamed donors who made large pledges that they later welshed on. So he’s blaming Trump’s friends who reneged on their promises to help the veterans. Those are the same people that Trump is always saying will be part of his administration.

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

Of course, Trump could make up the difference himself if his interest in the vets were genuine. After all, he has already loaned his campaign over $40 million, so what’s stopping him from kicking in another couple of million for the veterans he claims to love? Nothing but his selfishness and personal greed. It is not without cause that he is known as the least charitable billionaire.