Does Trump Have Impeachment Dementia Or Are His Lies Just Getting More Bizarre?

There is something grossly disturbing about how extreme Donald Trump has become in his frantic outbursts decrying the fact that he has been impeached. It’s like watching a paranoid schizophrenic sinking deeper into the delusional hallucinations that drive his deviant behavior. Except this one has access to nuclear weapons.

Donald Trump Red Face

On Monday morning, Trump was suffering from an especially severe case of the whines. This was manifested on his Twitter feed where he posted a string of typically narcissistic messages exalting himself, interspersed with vitriolic attacks on his foes. The trigger for this episode may have been the release of his impeachment trial briefing by his Fox News legal team. The document is 110 pages of expanded Twitter rants that fail to even address the substance of the charges against him. Trump’s lawyers are focused solely on their ludicrous theory that whatever Trump did was okay and that he should not be convicted and removed from office even if every allegation is proved true.

Meanwhile, Trump himself is focused on an imaginary universe wherein everything morphs into whatever he wishes it would be at whatever moment he wishes it. That’s the only explanation for a couple of his morning tweets that bear no resemblance to reality. For instance…

Anyone who has paid even peripheral attention to the impeachment proceedings knows that the House wanted John Bolton’s testimony very much. The problem was that Trump invoked the fake privilege of “absolute immunity” in order to prohibit Bolton, and many other White House staffers, from testifying. There is no way that Trump could not know this. So he is either deliberately lying or mentally unhinged. Which would also explain this other tweet…

The House proceedings were always conducted fairly. Every Republican member of the relevant committees was give equal time to question witnesses and provide defensive arguments. Both Democrats and Republicans had counsel who were also afforded equal time to press their case in the hearings. The only diversion from equality was the absence of testimony from Trump’s White House. But again, they were only absent due to Trump’s refusal to allow them to participate. This is another situation that Trump has to be fully aware of, unless he is certifiably insane or flagrantly dishonest.

So it was Trump who was responsible for the absence of witnesses he is complaining about. And it was Trump whose refusal to cooperate produced the unfairness he is whining about. And it was actually people like Rep. Adam Schiff, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, who were advocating for fairness all along. Trump was, and still is, the obstacle. That was articulated concisely in the Democratic response to Trump’s brief:

“Only if the Senate sees and hears all relevant evidence — only if it insists upon the whole truth — can it render impartial justice. That means the Senate should require the President to turn over the documents he is hiding. It should hear from witnesses, as it has done in every impeachment trial in American history; it especially should hear from witnesses the President blocked from testifying in the House. President Trump cannot have it both ways. His Answer directly disputes key facts. He must either surrender all evidence relevant to the facts he has disputed or concede the facts as charged. Otherwise, this impeachment trial will fall far short of the American system of justice.”

The tweets above show that Trump is either suffering from a massively psychotic departure from reality, or that he is shamelessly distorting the truth that everyone else can see as plain as day. That in itself would suggest that Trump is a few fries short of a Happy Meal. But then, what else is one to conclude about someone who has been documented to have told more than 16,000 lies in three years; or who cozies up to murderous dictators; or who compliments himself as “A Very Stable Genius.” It is simply no longer possible to ignore that America’s “president” is out of his friggin’ mind! Which means the same must be true for the cult followers who continue to support him in Congress, the press, and the wingnutty contingent of the public.

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

Trump’s Perverse Impeachment Defense: He Should Not Be Impeached Even If He’s Guilty

The Senate trial of Donald Trump’s Articles of Impeachment is set to begin on Tuesday. In advance of that, the Democrats released a 111 page brief on how they intend to prosecute the case against Trump. It’s a detailed and comprehensive outline of the high crimes and misdemeanors that justify Trump’s conviction and removal from office.

Donald Trump, Constitution

On the other side of the aisle, Trump’s motley crew of Fox News lawyers released a shallow and lie-riddled response that hardly touches on the specific allegations against Trump. In fact, Trump’s official answer to the Articles of Impeachment is an emotional seven page rant that repetitiously makes a single point: that “the Articles of Impeachment are constitutionally invalid” because they “fail to allege any crime or violation of the law.” It further states that it is “a lawless process that violated basic due process,” and that its consideration would be “subverting the will of the American people.”

Every bit of that is utterly false and has no legal basis as a defense. The charge that there is no crime alleged is false because Trump’s efforts to coerce the Ukrainian president into aiding his scheme to smear Joe Biden is, in fact, a crime. So is withholding military aid allocated by Congress and signed by the President. So is ignoring Congressional subpoenas for documents and ordering his subordinates not to cooperate. But even if those weren’t crimes, it wouldn’t matter because the Constitution doesn’t require violations of criminal statutes. For one thing, there weren’t any criminal statutes at the time the Constitution was written.

As for due process, that is a right granted in courts of law conducting criminal prosecutions. Due process doesn’t apply here because impeachment is a political process conducted in the Congress. Even so, Trump was permitted to present his witnesses and defense, but he declined to do so. He even refused after complaining about not having such an opportunity. And he’s still refusing to allow witnesses and documents that he says are exculpatory.

The claim that impeachment “subverts” the will of the people is bizarre on its face. Was it subverting the will of the people when Clinton was impeached? How could any impeachment – which is, of course, in the Constitution – be pursued without the prospect of removing an elected president? To suggest, as Trump’s response does, that impeachment is “a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their President,” is to assert that the Framers were out of their minds for including impeachment in the Constitution in the first place. They obviously didn’t include it with the intention that it never be used because it might result in a president being removed from office. And Trump probably shouldn’t raise the issue of “the will of the people” to “freely choose their President,” when he lost the election by 3,000,000 votes. If the will of the people were being respected, Hillary Clinton would be president.

To bolster his argument that impeachment is invalid, Trump assigned the newest member of Fox News legal team, Alan Dershowitz, the task of presenting his case to the media. Dershowitz was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos where he offered up this preposterous legal theory:

Stephanopoulos: Is it your position that President Trump should not be impeached even if all the evidence and arguments laid out by the House are accepted as fact?
Dershowitz: That’s right.

The foundation of Dershowitz’s argument is that abuse of power and obstruction of Congress do not meet the criteria for impeachment under the Constitution. So he isn’t arguing that Trump isn’t guilty of abuse of power or obstruction of Congress, only that, in his view, the Constitution allows him to do so.

Think about that. Dershowitz, as well as Trump’s defenders in Congress and the press, believe that a president may abuse power and obstruct Congress without ever having to worry about being held accountable. They can collude with adversarial foreign governments to interfere with an election. They can publish stolen emails and other private documents to smear their opponents. They can withhold critical funds in order to coerce foreign leaders to do their bidding on personal matters. And they can refuse to disclose such behaviors, and even lie about them to the American people.

That’s the crazy vision that Trump and the Republican Party are offering to the nation. That’s their depraved interpretation of the Constitution. And that’s the legal basis for which they believe Trump should be exonerated. They know that they cannot defend Trump as innocent, so they’re embracing his guilt as acceptable. That’s how far Trump and the GOP have fallen.

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

BONUS ADDITION: Dershowitz is flagrantly contradicting himself on the question of whether a crime is a necessary criteria for impeachment. In an interview with CNN’s Larry King in 1998, Dershowitz said that impeachment “certainly doesn’t have to be a crime if you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty, you don’t need a technical crime.” So there’s that. Democrats should play video of that during the Senate trial immediately after Dershowitz’s statement.

Trump Trash-Talking Bernie, Biden, etc, Proves He’s a Frightened Man-Baby.

It’s always easy to tell what Donald Trump is most afraid of at any given time. He reveals his deepest fears in his never-ending stream of Twitter rants. A few weeks ago it was Adam Schiff and the House impeachment hearings when he posted a record 108 tweets in a single day. More recently it was Speaker Nancy Pelosi who he stalked online with attacks on her personally and her San Francisco district. He even retweeted a series of memes implying that she and Sen. Chuck Schumer were terrorist sympathizers.

Donald Trump

This week Trump engaged in his regularly scheduled tweetstorms with the same tired and repetitious whining and pathetic victimhood that is the hallmark of his third grade composition skills. Although, while posting seven tweets congratulating the LSU football team, he never tweeted once about the threats and surveillance of U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovich, the Russia hacking of a Ukrainian company (Burisma) connected to his impeachment, the earthquake in Puerto Rico, comments by Lev Parnas confirming that Trump extorted Ukrainian President Zelensky, or the previously suppressed news that eleven American troops were injured by Iranian missiles fired in retaliation to Trump’s assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

As the week wound to a close, Trump threw in a couple of tweets that clearly addressed an issue close to his shriveled heart. They were thinly veiled, passive-aggressive attacks on his opponents vying for the Democratic nomination for president. He began with a swipe at Mike Bloomberg:

True to form, Trump was flagrantly lying about why Bloomberg wasn’t on the debate stage. The truth is that Bloomberg doesn’t accept any donations, so he can’t meet the DNC’s debate eligibility requirement based on that. Trump once said that he would self-fund his campaign too, but like everything else he says, it was a lie. Trump’s campaign relies entirely on donations from his cult followers, which he spends on personal legal expenses.

Trump went on to pretend that he’s worried about the fairness of the Democratic primary process. That’s coming from someone who has already been caught soliciting campaign help from two different foreign governments (Russia and Ukraine). Trump openly used stolen emails to advance his 2016 campaign, and new reports show that he’s preparing to do the same with data stolen, once again, by Russian hackers. But here he is making up fairness issues involving Democrats:

This is one of the most idiotic conspiracy theories that Trump has embraced to date. He couldn’t care less about the competition between Sanders and Biden (other than that he’s afraid of both). He’s just taking advantage of the opportunity to whine some more about having been impeached. And any convenient diversion is something he will cling to. He’s previously made asinine comments about Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Eric Swalwell.

However, this is all a charade to mask Trump’s insecurity. If he had any confidence in his reelection he wouldn’t spend so much energy griping about primary candidates. What’s more, he wouldn’t direct his Republican Party to cancel their own primaries. So far there are eight states (Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, South Carolina, and Virginia) that have either canceled primaries or declared that only Trump’s name will appear on their ballot. Maybe that’s his idea of fairness. And if he were confidant of his prospects he wouldn’t have held twenty-six of his cult rallies since last January. That’s about two per month for a candidate that has no opposition.

The Republican Party has totally bought in to the Cult of Trump. And that may come back to bite them in the arse. As more incriminating information is uncovered, Trump might actually face a real possibility of being removed from office. If that happens, the GOP won’t have a candidate at all for 2020. Or at least not one that presented themselves to the public and garnered votes. But that might not be such a bad thing. Running an unknown, unvetted nobody might still be a better option than running a boorish, racist, criminal, traitorous Trump.

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

Reality TV Law: Trump Recruits His Impeachment Defense Team from Fox News

Donald Trump famously boasted that he “knows all the best people.” It turns out that that’s only true if what he meant by “best” was the foremost crooks, liars, and bootlickers. His administration has witnessed a parade of moral slackers and incompetents. He has fired more of his own appointees than any president in history. These are people that he lauded as “brilliant” until their termination, when he castigated them as “idiots.”

Fox News, Impeach Trump

A troubling hallmark of the Trump White House has been its reliance on staffers that Trump plucked from Fox News. They include Larry Kudlow, K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, Richard Grennell, Jonathan Wachtel, Heather Nauert, and more. The truth is that Trump doesn’t really know anybody with any experience or record of accomplishment. He’s a former reality TV game show host who does nothing but golf, tweet, and watch Fox News.

So it comes as no surprise that as his impeachment looms before him, he resorts to the only source for personnel he’s familiar with to recruit his legal team. That team is already led by a frequent Fox News talking head, Jay Sekulow. And now Trump has announced that he’s filling up the roster with more of the same flunkies he’s seen over and over again on Fox.

The new members of Trump’s impeachment defense team are Ken Starr, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Ray, and Pam Bondi. All of them have been regular fixtures on Fox News as the network strives to host only those who will shamelessly suck up to the President by unflinchingly defending him and ruthlessly maligning his critics. And it’s from these televised auditions that Trump selects his closest associates and most trusted allies. This is a president who only values appearances. It is more important to him that his advocates perform well on television than that they exhibit intelligence, integrity, or fealty to facts. So let’s take a closer look at the stuffed suits Trump has hired to defend him:

Ken Starr…
…is best known as the independent counsel who couldn’t find any wrongdoing on the part of Bill Clinton, so he settled for a smarmy, albeit consensual, sex scandal as the basis for impeachment. Starr himself was later fired from his post as the president of Baylor University amid allegations of sexual misconduct on the football team. And another item on his resume is having worked for Trump pal and pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein.

Alan Dershowitz…
…is remembered as a member of the O.J. Simpson defense team. Trump likely appreciates his ability to get acquittals for people who are obviously guilty. He also must appreciate Dershowitz’s slobbering displays of affection and total faith in Trump’s purity and innocence. Dershowitz also worked for Epstein. Is this a pattern forming?

Robert Ray…
…took over the independent counsel office when Ken Starr left. Other than his frequent Trump-fluffing appearances on Fox and Friends, he isn’t particularly well known for anything significant.

Pam Bondi…
…is the former Attorney General for the state of Florida. She was caught in a campaign finance scandal wherein she accepted an illegal $25,000 donation from a Trump charity and then promptly dropped a case against his bogus Trump University that was later found to be guilty of fraud.

So the reality TV presidency is now being extended to the legal team that he’s relying on to absolve him of the high crimes and misdemeanors that led to his impeachment. It’s not much more than a cast of made-for-TV characters who will be preaching to the cameras and viewers at home, rather than to the assembled “jurors” in the Senate chamber. From Trump’s perspective this might seem like a smart move since the majority Republicans in the Senate have pretty much already declared their intentions to acquit him regardless of the evidence.

However, the American people are not going to be as forgiving as Trump’s GOP sycophants in Washington. They already believe that Trump is guilty, and a majority support his impeachment and removal from office. So it isn’t likely that Trump will find success in the melodramatic soap opera stunts deployed by this team of Fox News litigators. Team trump may have the system rigged for an acquittal, but the voters are going to hear all the evidence and make their own judgment come November.

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

Sean Hannity and Fox News are Up to Their Hair Plugs in the Lev Parnas Affair

With each new day there are new and damning revelations affirming Donald Trump’s criminal behavior related to Ukraine and efforts to manufacture dirt on Joe Biden and subvert the 2020 election. The latest bombshells come from Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, whose nefarious activities include extorting Ukrainian President Zelensky and surveilling former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovich.

Fox News Sean Hannity

Parnas was interviewed on MSNBC Wednesday by Rachel Maddow in a wide ranging discussion that made it clear that Trump “knew exactly what was going on” and was lying about his feigned ignorance of Parnas and his mission. But the evidence of Trump’s guilt is abundant. Also interesting is the evidence of Hannity’s guilt, and that of Fox News.

Proof is emerging of Hannity’s relationship with the Giuliani Crew. Hannity himself is in bed with Parnas. They have had communications that resulted in Hannity tweeting about bogus allegations of Ukrainian interference in the U.S. election to help Hillary Clinton. That tweet was deleted, but remains archived. Trump, however, didn’t delete his subsequent tweet promoting Hannity’s story on the subject that same night. Likewise, The Giuliani Crew also communicated with Don Trump Jr, who posted a tweet attacking Yovanovich. So their is an unbroken chain of propaganda circling around between Trump, Giuliani, his Ukraine mob, Fox News, and back to Trump and his crime family.

What’s more, Parnas had much to share about the complicity of Fox News in Trump’s plot to coerce Zelensky into helping him smear Biden. The Giuliani team worked with right-wing author John Solomon to disseminate their lies. At the time Solomon worked for The Hill, but is now employed by Fox News. So naturally Hannity unleashed a furious assault on Parnas and the network that hosted him. Hannity’s rage was so intense that he lapsed into the sort of incoherent outbursts you might hear from a paranoid schizophrenic on a street corner shouting at passing cars (video below). He began…

“Yesterday, last-ditch effort, Hail Mary, smear job, yup the congenital liar attached new documents to the articles of impeachment. Including so-called evidence from a former Giuliani contact. Oh by the way on conspiracy TV. The guy is facing federal charges from the Southern District of New York. You don’t really want to mess with those people.”

Did you follow that? Apparently Hannity is upset that new incriminating evidence about Trump has come out. But he can’t rebut any of it, so he unloads a barrage of nasty adjectives. He glosses over the fact that Parnas is working with Trump’s lawyer, but hones in on his having been indicted. And while Hannity is adamant that that’s a problem for Parnas, it doesn’t seem to be a problem for other Trump comrades who are under indictment or already convicted, including his campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his national security adviser Michael Flynn, his personal attorney Michael Cohen, and his fixer Roger Stone. Hannity continued…

“So [Parnas] goes right to state-run MSDNC conspiracy channel media. Keep in mind when people like him, trying to stay out of jail, think about this, how many times have we heard from the liberals ‘oh you can’t waterboard, or use enhanced interrogation because people will say anything, they’ll lie to make it end.’ Well people trying to stay out of jail, in my humble opinion, they’ll say anything.”

Now Hannity thinks that MSNBC is “state-run” media. You have to wonder what state Hannity thinks that it’s being run out of. It must be the “Deep State.” And it’s cute that Hannity is trying to connect an indicted defendant giving testimony to waterboarding. No one has tortured Parnas. He is simply doing what many defendants do when faced with prosecution. He’s turning state’s evidence. That’s a voluntary action to secure a lighter sentence. And it does not have the pitfalls of torture, where victims will indeed say anything to make it stop. A defendant providing testimony must tell the truth or any agreement made with prosecutors is null and void.

However, Hannity’s description of defendants saying anything to stay out of jail actually fits Trump much better. After all, he is known to be a pathological liar anyway. And he doesn’t have any agreement with prosecutors to worry about voiding. He’s lying through his capped teeth to avoid prison. And he clearly doesn’t care what he says, or how ludicrous the lie, if he thinks it will either deflect from his guilt or help him to evade accountability. The whole lot of them are neck deep in criminal behavior. And if more disclosures like those Parnas is serving up come to pass, they are all going to be sharing a cell block.

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

Trump Fluffs Lou Dobbs of Fox News for Feeding His Mad Lust for Flattery

Wednesday morning was buzzing with historic news and revelations of scandal. and none of it was good news for Donald Trump. Most prominently was the House of Representatives voting to send the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. And none too soon. The American people’s desire to see Trump removed from office is growing. But there was also new reporting tying Trump to the nefarious activities of Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, and the troubling surveillance of U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

Fox News, Lou Dobbs

Trump has been actively employing petty tactics he picked up while hosting his reality TV game show. He’s been counter-programming events that he fears will reflect poorly on him. So on Tuesday evening he held another of his cult rallies to coincide with the Democratic primary debate in Iowa. And on Wednesday he scheduled a signing ceremony for what is being called “Phase One” of a trade deal with China. Never mind that no one has seen the contents of the alleged deal. Trump was only concerned with trying to steal attention away from the impeachment vote in the House. He failed at both of these cynical ploys.

Trump’s flagrantly manipulative signing ceremony was a wholly vacant waste of time that produced nothing newsworthy. Trump spent a full half hour thanking the shameless toadies in the room, including members of his Cabinet and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. It was a such a painfully boring presentation that even Fox News cut away from it. Which is a shame, because had they stayed tuned they would have seen Trump planting a big fat wet kiss on Fox host Lou Dobbs (video below):

“A man who always liked me, because he’s smart, so smart. The great Lou Dobbs. You know, at first he said, ‘He’s the best since Reagan.’ Then he got to know me more and more and he said, ‘He’s even better than Reagan.’ […] He said ‘He’s the greatest of them all.’ I said ‘Does that include Washington and Lincoln?’ And he said ‘Yes.'”

Isn’t that sweet? Trump recites some nauseatingly worshipful praise about himself that he attributes to one of his biggest fans on the network that serves as his Ministry pf Propaganda. Dobbs surely has a deep infatuation with Trump and an opinion that is shared by almost nobody outside of State TV. In fact, historians ranked Trump dead last out of all forty-five presidents. Lincoln and Washington came in first and second respectively. Trump nemesis Barack Obama placed eighth. And even Bill Clinton, who was also impeached, was respectable at thirteen.

Trump also landed at the bottom of the heap in a ranking based on Gallup approval polls going back to 1937. He has never managed to hit 50% (his highest mark was only 46%). Both Obama and Clinton top out much higher, at 69% and 73% respectively. So Trump is the least popular president in history according to both historians and the American people.

Yet Dobbs – and Trump himself – have much more positive opinions that must be based on their mutual admiration society. Trump has long been enamored of Dobbs, whose advice he often seeks on official government policies. In the new book, A Very Stable Genius,” there is a revealing illustration of Trump’s dependence on Dobbs, particularly on matters involving immigration:

“The president would routinely call [former Homeland Security director Kirstjen] Nielsen to say a version of ‘Did you see Lou Dobbs? You’re totally f*cking embarrassing me. This is my issue!’… Sometimes, Trump would refer to one of Dobbs’s proposals and say, ‘Kirstjen, just do it. Just do it.’ ‘But we can’t do it,’ Nielsen would explain, usually because whatever Dobbs had uttered on TV was against the law.”

That’s how far into the abyss of ignorance Trump has driven this country. He relies on a “shadow cabinet” of Fox News flunkies like Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and others, including legal hacks like Alan Dershowitz and Mark levin. So if you wondered how things got so bad, you now know that you can blame it on both Trump and Fox News. There isn’t much we can do about Fox, but we can get rid of Trump this coming November, if we work for it.

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

After Years of Backing Trump’s Denials, Fox News Asks If America is ‘Ready for Russia’ in 2020

New reporting has confirmed that “Russian hackers targeted the Ukrainian gas company [Burisma] that’s a major focus of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.” The significance of this cannot be overstated. Recall that candidate Trump asked Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails before the 2016 election. And now we learn that Russia has hacked the company connected to his extortion of Ukraine to probe the Bidens prior to the 2020 election. This isn’t suspicious at all, is it?

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

Throughout the campaign and into his presidency, Trump sought to defend Russia from charges that it was involved in the hacking of Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. He tried to shift blame to everyone form China to “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.” Trump even took the word of Vladimir Putin over that of the United States intelligence community that unanimously agreed that Russia was behind the hacking and the release of the stolen data. Asked point blank if he thought Russia was involved, Trump replied “I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

Naturally, Fox News has been taking Trump’s side in this mission to absolve Russia of any guilt and to deceive the American people. They backed up Trump’s denials at every turn and embraced his absurd call for a partnership with Russia on cyber-security matters. And they continue to do so to this day. On Tuesday morning’s episode of Outnumbered on Fox News, co-host Dagen McDowell rehashed the debunked theory that there were other perpetrators in the hacking, saying that “It’s Russia over here, but what about everything else that’s going on, whether it’s compromising our election or compromising our data security?” That led to this exchange (video below):

Harris Faulkner: I just hope we’re ready for the next election.
Jessica Tarlov: Well, it doesn’t sound like we are.
Brian Kilmeade: I think we are.
Tarlov: Really? But there are election security bills sitting on [Mitch] McConnell’s desk that he won’t touch.
Kilmeade: I do believe we’re ready. And I believe the Russians are gonna learn that we’re going to blink the lights on that country should they try it. I think that’s the best offense. The best defense is a great offense.
Tarlov: Can you call McConnell and tell him to pass some of those election security bills?
Kilmeade: It’s already done.

Kilmeade’s confidence in America’s readiness is peculiar considering that virtually nothing has been done an a national scale to secure our election systems. His assertion that Russia would be punished for any bad behavior has no factual basis, especially since Trump has let them off the hook for their prior transgressions. In fact, Trump still seems to be inviting foreign governments to interfere in our elections, as we’ve seen with Ukraine.

If a great offense is the best defense, then the U.S. is in big trouble. We have no offense whatsoever. And our captain has not said a single word about the new report of Russians hacking Burisma. Finally, Kilmeade’s off-hand response to a request to prod McConnell into action that “It’s already done,” doesn’t even make sense. What’s been done, by whom? Certainly McConnell isn’t going forward with any election security measures.

Let’s face it, Trump doesn’t want anything to be done about election security or Russia’s interference in our elections. Even if he isn’t colluding with Russia, he knows that their efforts benefit him and wants them to continue. That’s what special counsel Robert Mueller was referring to when he said that Trump had welcomed and encouraged Russia in the 2016 election.

It looks very much like the same thing is happening now. And it could have the same effect if nothing is done about it. Congress needs to act quickly and decisively to insure that our democracy isn’t subverted again. The American people need to let Congress know that we expect nothing less from them. And the media must not allow itself to be used again by foreign adversaries to disseminate their propaganda and choose our next president.

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

Trump’s Press ‘Slackretary’ Runs to Fox News to Slander Democrats as Terrorist Supporters

Stephanie Grisham was appointed as Donald Trump’s third press secretary in as many years on July 1, 2019. In those six months she has not held a single press briefing. However, the slacker press shill has appeared repeatedly on Fox News and a couple of other Trump-fluffing media outlets like Sinclair. So Grisham is pocketing $179,000 a year to disseminate propaganda on shamelessly biased TV networks.

Stephanie Grisham, Fox News

On Monday morning Grisham made another stop at Fox News to polish the lies of her boss. The entire segment was typically repugnant and riddled with lies (video below), but this time she managed to advance some of the most nauseating attacks on the vast majority of Americans, and specifically those who are members of the nation’s largest political party, the Democrats. Grisham responded to a question from Fox’s Harris Faulkner about Trump’s retweeting of a blatantly bigoted meme that was intended to portray House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer as terrorist enemies of the state:

Faulkner: Why would the President even take the time to retweet something like this?
Grisham: I think the president is making clear that Democrats are parroting Iranian talking points and almost taking the side of terrorists and those who were out to kill Americans. I think the President was making the point that the Democrats seem to hate him so much that they’re willing to be on the side of countries, and leadership of countries, that want to kill Americans.

This is the sort of toxic rhetoric that has become the hallmark of Trump’s debasing of the presidency. If challenged, Grisham would not be able to cite a single instance of any Democrat, much less Pelosi and Schumer, “parroting Iranian talking points” or being “on the side of countries…that want to kill Americans.” But Grisham was not challenged by Faulkner. Her despicable words were in line with the mission of Fox News to exalt Trump and disparage his critics.

Grisham has not been alone in hurling these sort of grotesque obscenities. Many other Republican cretins have gone down this same path of division and hatred. And naturally, Trump is the leader of this parade of the pathetically putrid. He retweeted five other expressions of a similarly vile nature, asserting that Democrats were supporters of terrorists. That’s a bizarre accusation coming from Trump, and not just because it’s so grossly untrue. But Trump is the one who has cuddled up to murderous tyrants like Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Mohammed bin Salman, and he famously fell in love with Kim Jong Um. And not to be outdone by the Twitter brigades he retweeted, Trump composed his own tweet that accused Democrats of having an affinity for Iranian General Qasem Soleimani:

This march toward an ever more loathsome and hateful brand of politics has been in the making since Trump announced his candidacy. He believes that behaving like a severely disturbed child who’s been possessed by demons is an appropriate way to conduct government business. It’s why he continually maligns anyone who isn’t sufficiently worshipful. And, as is evident in his press secretary and his sycophants in Congress and the press, his sociopathy has infected all those around him. It’s a downward spiral that is observable in all those who still seek his favor by emulating the disgusting lack of morality that is his trademark.

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

Trump TV? Trump’s Billionaire Buddies Are Bidding to Buy Failing Fox News Foe

Donald Trump spent his morning doing what he does nearly every morning: Pounding out desperate comments in a flurry of rage-tweeting. For the most part his Twitter tantrums consisted of whining about having been impeached. Trump seems determined to establish himself as the most sniveling, cowardly, self-perceived victim who has ever occupied the White House.

Trump TV

At least Trump now seems to have correctly characterized his impeachment in a more realistic context asking “Why should I have the stigma of Impeachment attached to my name?” Poor baby. It’s interesting that someone with a such a pronounced messiah complex would associate his tribulations with the Stigmata. Perhaps someone close to him will tell him that he’s suffering this fate because he righteously earned it by breaking laws and obstructing justice. But don’t count on that.

Trump also tweeted a couple of flagrant contradictions. In one he complained that the government of Iran would not “let reporters roam free.” This is coming from the same guy who calls U.S. reporters “the enemy of the people,” revokes their credentials, and proposes banning them from the White House. He’s a real free press advocate, isn’t he?

The other contradiction came in the form of a demand that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff be forced to testify before Congress. Really? Trump has refused to allow any members of his administration to testify in the Senate impeachment hearings, even after complaining that he was denied due process (which doesn’t exist in impeachments) during the House hearings. and, of course, he’s too scared to testify on his own behalf. Trump may be first defendant who opposes the testimony of those he says will exonerate him. That’s not the behavior of an innocent man.

The more Trump whines about impeachment, the more obvious it is that he is panicking and frightened by its prospects. He is fraught with anxiety, though he tries impotently to pretend not to be. But there’s another prospect that is bubbling up from under the surface of his fear. He might already be laying the groundwork for his post-presidency later this year.

A group of Trump’s billionaire buddies is seeking to purchase the floundering One America News Network. OANN has been trying for fifteen years to mount a challenge to Fox News as the preeminent lunatic wing of conservative media. They have had some support from Trump who has tweeted about them forty-seven times. Often when he’s mad at Fox News for not being sufficiently adoring. Trump recently advised his cult followers to “start looking for a new News Outlet” because “FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore.” Which, if nothing else, is a candid admission that Trump regards Fox, not as a news network, but as part of his “us.”

So why would these wealthy Trump confederates be interested in shelling out a couple hundred million dollars for OANN? It can’t be as an investment opportunity. The “network” has so few viewers that Nielsen doesn’t even track them, and they aren’t carried by any of the major cable operators.

Likewise, Trump’s pals couldn’t be interested in acquiring OANN in order to impose a more conservative editorial posture. That wouldn’t be possible. It is already a bastion of Trump-fluffing adulation and bizarre, anti-liberal conspiracy theories, including the Seth Rich murder and George Soros smears. It has notable ties to Russia, and is suing MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow because she reported that.

There is only one other plausible reason that allies of Trump would want to take ownership of a money-losing, blatantly biased, propaganda mill. They could be planning to develop it as the media platform for a former President Trump. After all, he is going to need a job after he can no longer soak the American people by directing business to his golf resorts and hotels. And his famously gargantuan ego will require that he be in the public eye.

The question is, does the the timing have any significance. There wouldn’t be any hurry to make this acquisition if the buyers thought that Trump would be serving a second four year term. So perhaps there has already been a determination made that Trump is either going to decline to run, or that his reelection is too improbable, thus making it necessary to snatch up this stinker and begin painting the walls gold and filling it with tacky furniture.

Whatever happens, OANN will remain an also-ran in the media wars even with Trump headlining. They’ll be lucky if they’re able to give the televangelists some competition. Although, that would be much more appropriate program positioning for the Cult of Trump. And as for Trump’s Sunday Morning Tweetstorm, Speaker Pelosi had some choice words when asked for her reaction: “I don’t like to spend too much time on his crazy tweets because everything he says is a projection. When he calls somebody crazy, he knows that he is.”

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

The Trump ‘Thing’: How Ego and Fear Pushes Trump to Tweet Fake 95% Approval Polls

The depths of Donald Trump’s dissociation from reality seem to have no discernible bottom. And it isn’t just how fiercely he clings to obvious lies to exalt himself and malign his foes. Trump desperately needs to continually reinforce his own self image as an infallible, all-knowing, winner at everything he endeavors to attempt.

Trump Lies

There is no better indicator of severe, mentally crippling insecurity than having to repeatedly declare that you are smarter, handsomer, and more successful than everyone else. In fact, that’s something that intelligent, attractive people almost never do. Yet this is a core component of Trump’s character, or lack thereof. Never mind that he is the most unpopular president in the history of modern polling. He has never reached 50% in his three years in office. Currently, a growing majority of the American people say that he is guilty of impeachable offenses. And his standing around the world is just as dismal.

So naturally, someone as psychologically broken as Trump spent his Saturday morning boasting about what he imagines in his universal appeal. In one tweet he claimed that…

As usual, Trump doesn’t provide a link to this poll or even cite the pollster. That’s because it doesn’t actually exist anywhere but in is cartoon brain. The most flagrantly biased right-wing pollster, Rasmussen, currently has Trump at only 48%, which is down two points since the Soleimani assassination. As noted above, the majority that views Trump as guilty is growing.

As a defensive measure, Trump lashes out at his perceived enemies. Chief among them lately is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. So without any supporting rationale, Trump tweeted that she “will go down as the absolute worst Speaker of the House in U.S. history!” Of course, Pelosi has presided over the passage of more than 400 bills that GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell is sitting on. She has outsmarted Trump at every turn. And there is nothing that Trump hates more than losing to a woman. He also tweeted a grotesquely offensive lie Democrats “have spent the last 3 days defending the life of Qassem Soleimani.” No Democrat has done any such thing. They have merely (and appropriately) objected to Trump’s brazen threats to commit war crimes. Then he wrapped up his pre-dawn diatribes with this hallucinatory drivel:

In the past few months Trump has claimed dozens of times that he has 95% approval from his fellow Republicans. But he has never provided a source for that wildly implausible stat. A more realistic number was published in a poll in November that showed his GOP approval at 74%, down from 87% in July. That is hardly anything to brag about, much less a record. And considering the dwindling prospects of the Republican Party (only 28% of the electorate), even 100% of them wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy. Also, his claim to 53% overall approval is just another fabrication from his narcissistic imagination.

However, the most unintentionally hilarious part of Trump’s morning tweetstorm was his allusion to what he called “The Trump Thing.” That may sound like a lewd reference to his paltry endowment, but despite his affinity for vulgarities, that’s not the case this time. Although it is a 7-10 point modifier to enhance his manhood, in this case it relates to his standings in the polls. In his warped mind he believes that he can just tack on points to his polling for no reason other than that it pleases him.

Where Trump is getting his numbers from is a mystery. In five polls taken since Trump killed the Iranian general, he has declined in four of them (the fifth was flat). And none get anywhere near 53% (Reuters: 43%, Rasmussen: 48%, Economist: 43%, The Hill: 47%, Politico: 41%). But Trump won’t let reality get in the way of his adoration of himself. It’s hard to tell whether he posts this nonsense to persuade others that he is swimming in popularity, or to convince himself that he isn’t a total loser. But at the very least he can be secure in the knowledge that the tiny contingent of his ignorant and worshipful cult followers will believe anything he says. The problem is that he believes it too. As Ricky Gervais says…

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