Impeached Presidents Should Not Be Able To Nominate Supreme Court Justices

The passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is firstly a personal tragedy for her family, friends, colleagues, and the millions of people throughout the world who admired and were inspired by her intellect, her heart, and her fighting spirit. She is a historical figure whose impact has yet to be fully appreciated.

Donald Trump Walking the Plank

However, it would be naive to pretend that this grievous loss isn’t also a blow to the hopes and dreams of those Americans who value gender and racial equality and the Constitution’s protection for the rights of people over corporations and against the authoritarian aspirations of rogue “leaders.”

Justice Ginsburg was a guardian of the principles that ensure freedom for all Americans. Her loss would be staggering under any circumstance. But to lose her while an ignorant, sociopathic, narcissist is salivating over the prospect of replacing her with an unqualified, neanderthal wingnut is especially painful. The thought of Donald Trump selecting one of his pre-chewed right-wing Stepford judges to take the place of a bona fide superhero of constitutional jurisprudence is excruciating. And Trump’s undisguised glee at having this opportunity is salt in our wounds:

What’s missing from this statement is any hint of reality. Trump was not “put in this position of power and importance” by the American people. They voted against him by a record margin. He was installed by an archaic Electoral College that is anathema to democracy. What’s more, Americans are not proud of Trump. Quite the opposite. He is regarded as a buffoon who is only interested in himself and his puerile pleasures of golfing, tweeting, watching Fox News, and exacting revenge on his perceived enemies.

What Trump is calling an “obligation” is actually just another attempt to steal a seat on the Supreme Court on behalf of his neo-fascist associates in Congress, tunnel-blind evangelicals, and corporate overlords. Trump is violating the precedent set by his GOP confederates who refused to even give a hearing – much less a vote – to an Obama Court nominee during an election year.

Were there any justice in this world, a president who has been impeached ought not to be able to nominate a Supreme Court Justice. Furthermore, impeached presidents with close ties to numerous felons (and pending indictments of his own) should be prohibited from nominating any judges or agency heads or bull manure shovelers. Although, if you’ve ever seen Trump speaking at one of his cult rallies you’d know that shoveling bull manure is something that he is actually pretty good at.

Unfortunately, the last thing we can expect from Trump, or any Republican, is integrity or consistency. They will shamelessly march forward to breach their own precedents without regard to the brazen hypocrisy of their actions.

Consequently, Democrats need to up their game. First of all, they need to win back the White House and the Senate. Then they must abolish the filibuster. Then they need to expand the Supreme Court to fifteen seats. And finally, they need to advance to statehood Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. And it wouldn’t hurt to collapse North and South Dakota into a single state. Seriously, do we really need two sparsely populated Dakotas?

After completing these steps we can begin to restore the nation’s honor and respect for the constitutional principles that empower our democracy and enable our freedoms. We can bring justice to bear on those who betrayed the country in pursuit of greed and power. And we can heal the divisions that Trump deliberately created and exploited in order to advance his self-serving agenda.

It won’t be easy, but it wasn’t easy for Justice Ginsburg to wage a lonely fight for decades either. She should be our inspiration today. And we should be the custodians of her legacy and her last request: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

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

UH-OH: GOP Accuses Biden of Cheating By Being More Intelligent than Trump

This week both Donald Trump and Joe Biden held nationally televised town halls. The difference between these two events could not have been more stark. Any voter who saw both broadcasts would likely – and ironically – agree with something Trump tweeted Thursday: “At no time before has there been a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies, & two agendas for the future.” Can’t argue with that.

Donald Trump, Joe Biden

Trump had his town hall on ABC with George Stephanopoulos and spent 90 minutes repeating many of the same lies he’s been telling for months. He utterly failed to exhibit the slightest bit of knowledge on any subject, stumbling awkwardly off topic on virtually every question in order to hew closely to the tiresome talking points that litter his cult rally rhetoric. At the same time, he displayed a callous disrespect and lack of empathy for questioners who challenged his dishonest muttering, or for the millions of Americans they represented.

On the other hand, during the CNN town hall with Anderson Cooper, Biden was plainly well acquainted with the issues that are uppermost on the minds of the American people. And he articulated his views with a minimum of error. What’s more, he reaffirmed why he is often praised for his compassion and ability to relate to the common man and woman. His performance exposed Trump’s infantile taunts of “Sleepy” Joe, and his baseless insinuations about Biden’s mental acuity, as wholly outside of reality. Which is a place where Trump must feel comfortable considering how often he goes there.

Consequently, the Republican Confederacy of Trump-Fluffers sprung into action to malign Biden’s town hall presence. Since they can’t allow the public to simply observe Biden speaking coherently, the rightist slander squadron deployed to accuse him of cheating, implying that he must have had prior access to the questions. A representative example of this desperate attack line came from the disgraced former Fox News host, and serial sexual predator, Bill O’Reilly:

REALLY? Just to be clear, what O’Reilly and the rest of the right are accusing Biden of is being smart enough to anticipate that he would be asked questions about such topical matters as the coronavirus, jobs, voting, healthcare, the economy, policing and race, and climate change. They seem to think that only a super genius would have been able to figure that out. Obviously Trump wasn’t able to do it.

Plus, at the same time that these wingnuts are insisting that Biden couldn’t possibly retain knowledge about pressing matters that he’s dealt with for decades, they are also suggesting that he is capable of memorizing a slate of questions – and the answers – that he was allegedly provided beforehand. That alone would require a fair amount of mental dexterity that Trump could never muster.

So now Biden is “guilty” of being more intelligent than Trump (a low bar, to be sure). But this is consistent with the Republican mindset that intelligence is an elitist trait that should disqualify one from public service. They malign universities as centers of left-wing indoctrination. They refuse to respect the guidance of doctors, scientists, and other experts in professional fields. And they cling to Trump’s prideful ignorance as the leader who famously declared that he “loves the poorly educated.” And why shouldn’t he. Without them he’d have no cabinet – or voters.

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

Trump Knows He’s Losing and It’s Driving Him Crazy(er)

There is an almost pitiable factor to the very public descent of Donald Trump into an abyss of anxiety and debilitating terror. His fragile mental state is so obviously decaying before our eyes as he unleashes ever more bizarre rants and transparent, implausible falsehoods.

Donald Trump Circling the Drain

There may never have been a more conspicuous case of a public figure sucked into a downward spiral of emotional decomposition than what we are witnessing with Trump. He has been reduced to whining about an election that he’s already concluded he’s lost even though it’s still more than a month away. By his own estimation, the election has been rigged against him and the results will therefore be invalid. And not a single person has yet to cast a vote.

Trump is venting his rage at having lost in advance in an avalanche of tweets that all say essentially the same thing: “I’m a hapless victim of people having the audacity to vote against me.” He is baselessly warning that the “election result may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED,” and imploring to anyone who might be listening to “Stop Ballot Madness!” For instance…


So Trump wants to interfere with states’ rights in order to demand that all voters be forced to go to the polls amidst a deadly viral pandemic. He asserts that it would be “like always before” even though mail-in voting has been a part of the electoral process for decades.


For the second time Trump is threatening some unspecified “MAYHEM” if people vote the same way they have been for years. And he also repeats the vague admonition that these states had better obey him “before it’s too late.” Or what?


Now Trump is repeatedly alleging, without any evidence, that foreign countries will disrupt our election if voting by mail is permitted. But the only foreign interference that has been documented is that conducted by Russia with Trump’s cooperation. Also notable is that all three of the tweets above were flagged by Twitter for dispensing misinformation.


And to top it all off, Trump is now trying to persuade his cult followers to vote by mail themselves, after having declared the whole thing an invitation to fraud and espionage.

These attacks on mail-in voting are simply Trump’s way of priming his deplorable disciples for what he clearly realizes is a historic electoral defeat. Rather than display some measure of dignity and patriotism, Trump is determined to incite civil unrest as he advances his aspirations for authoritarian tyranny.

So it’s up to the American people to prevent such an outcome by producing the sort of landslide victory for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (and Democratic senators and congresspersons and state representatives) that will make it impossible for Trump’s impotent accusations of fraud to be taken seriously. That means unwavering commitment and hard work. Because the clearer it is that Trump is a loser, the more insane his assaults on his political foes – and America – will become. Stay Strong!

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

Trump is Advocating ‘Herd Mentality’ Knowing it Will Kill 2 Million Americans

On Tuesday evening, Donald Trump took a rare step outside of his protective Fox News bunker for a town hall style interview on ABC with George Stephanopoulos. It was a pitiful spectacle of prideful ignorance and shameless lying. In other words, business as usual for Trump.

Donald Trump, Coronavirus

Among the many dangerously dishonest departures from reality disseminated by The Donald were his bizarre defenses of his incompetent and deadly mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to spreading many of the same falsehoods he’s been putting out for months, Trump contradicted himself by denying that he downplayed the severity of COVID-19 (which he admitted to in the new book, RAGE! by Bob Woodward), while also insisting that he did downplay it in an effort to avoid creating a panic. So Trump was simultaneously downplaying it and not downplaying it, a feat only possible by an acutely disturbed psychotic (which is pretty much what America thinks of Trump).

When the discussion came around to the development of a vaccine, Trump managed to surprise Stephanopoulos with a claim that no public health expert or epidemiologist would give any credibility to. That led to this exchange:

STEPHANOPOULOS: It would go away without the vaccine?
TRUMP: Sure, over a period of time. Sure, with time it goes away.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And many deaths.
TRUMP: And you’ll develop — you’ll develop herd — like a herd mentality. It’s going to be — it’s going to be herd-developed, and that’s going to happen. That will all happen.

First of all, Trump’s cognitive infirmity produced a glitch that resulted in his reference to “herd mentality” when he likely meant “herd immunity.” Herd mentality is something completely different, but familiar to those who study cult behaviors. Which may explain why it was on Trump’s mind.

More to the point. Trump is proposing a “solution” to the pandemic that would be nothing less than catastrophic. The herd immunity to which Trump was trying to refer is a process that requires 60-80% of the population to become infected. By even the most conservative estimates, that would result in more than two million American deaths.

What makes this all the worse is that Trump knows this horrifying fact and is apparently comfortable with it. That was not always the case. Back in April Trump addressed this subject and forthrightly rejected the concept of herd immunity:

“At a news briefing centered on the virus, Trump was asked about Sweden’s decision to embrace a ‘herd immunity’ approach to it, allowing it to spread widely enough that there would be enough people with immunity to slow the spread. ‘I think we could have followed that approach,’ Trump said of Sweden’s strategy. ‘And if we did follow that approach, I think we might have 2 million people dead.'”

So five months ago Trump opposed herd immunity and the prospect of millions of fatalities. But now, as the number of American deaths approaches 200,000, he’s embracing it without concern for the victims. And he’s doing everything he can to achieve herd immunity at the expense of his own cult followers. He is gathering them into indoor facilities without adhering to his own CDC guidelines that call for social distancing and face masks.

Unfortunately, the herd/ignoramus mentality practiced by these glassy-eyed Trump disciples will also put the rest of us at risk. As they spread out in the communities where they live and work they will expose people to the virus who would never have attended a Trump revival meeting. So those of us who are not brain damaged StormTrumpers will need to be extra careful in the coming weeks. And hopefully, with determination and hard work, we will evict Trump and his ghoulish confederacy of traitors from our White House.

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

Trump Shocks Fox News By Leaking Secret Deal for a Weekly Segment.

Throughout the 2020 presidential campaign, Donald Trump has affirmed his cowardly approach to the media. The vast majority of his interviews have been reserved for the Fox News Trump-fluffers that he knows will be gentle with him. He has virtually sealed himself in a Fox News bunker. But despite his tedious and impotent repetition of Stalinist inspired catch phrases like “fake news” and “the media is the enemy of the people,” Trump, as he recently admitted, spends hours watching Fox every day.

Donald Trump, Mask, Fox News

Trump’s reliance on glassy-eyed disciples like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs, and Maria Bartiromo, is further evidence of the cult-like nature of his following. And no one can plausibly deny that Fox News isn’t fulfilling its role as Trump’s Ministry of Disinformation. It’s the same sort of mutually beneficial relationship that parasites enjoy with their willing hosts.

On Tuesday morning Trump visited once again with the network’s “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. The “interview” was typical of the slobbering tongue baths that Trump is accustomed to on the network. The adoring hosts smiled vacantly as Trump accused Joe Biden of using drugs during previous debates and public appearances. They declined to follow up after he asserted that the governor of Nevada is going to rig the ballots in his state. They fawned over his phony “peace” agreement that entirely excluded the Palestinians. They valiantly kept straight faces when Trump blamed wildfires on “exploding trees.”

However, there was a moment of melodrama when Trump seemed to reveal a secret agreement that he made with his Fox News benefactors. It went something like this…

Trump: It’s good to be here. It’s great to be with my friends. I think we’re gonna do this, we’ve agreed to do it once a week in the morning, and I look forward to it. Like the old days.
Steve Doocy: I haven’t heard that. Well, that’s an exclusive.right there.

So Trump just broke the news of a programming agreement between him and Fox. Trump was also fondly recalling his pre-presidential days when he had a weekly segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” However, now that he resides in the White House, such an arrangement would be wholly inappropriate for both Trump and Fox News. It was so improper that when Trump repeated the news later in the program, Doocy – probably on orders from producers in the control room – shot it down in this awkward exchange:

Trump: We’re going to do it every week. Every Monday, I think they said. And if we can’t do it on a Monday, we’ll do it on a Tuesday like we did today.
Doocy: You may want to do it every week but Fox has not committed to that. We’re going to take it on a case-by-case basis. And Joe Biden, as well, is always welcome to join us for 47 minutes like we just did with the president.

Note that Trump had already hung up by the time Doocy issued his denial that an agreement had been reached. But Trump was not expressing some vague desire to have a weekly segment. He explicitly said that “we’ve agreed to do it,” and referred to what “they said” about his new regular Fox gig. Of course knowing Trump, that could have been either a lie, a figment of his imagination, or the truth that was supposed to be confidential.

No matter, Trump’s casual acceptance of such a flagrantly unethical deal reveals how comfortable he is with embracing blatant propaganda. It also tells us that he has an hour available to chat with with his Fox friends every week. That’s important because it would significantly cut into his other primary duties: golfing, tweeting, and watching other programs on Fox News.

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

Wannabe Dictator Trump Orders AG Barr to Prosecute Clinton for Following the Rules

It’s always to easy to see when Donald Trump is freaking out over some perceived slight or the unforgivable offense of someone daring to tell the truth about him. If he were a poker player his “tell” would be throwing a tantrum and overturning the table. He has the emotional response mechanism of a four year old, if that.

Donald Trump, Bill Barr

On Monday morning Trump overturned the figurative table in a frantic tweetstorm that was clearly intended to deflect from some of the more serious news stories of the past week. For instance, Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage, exposed Trump for having known just how deadly the coronavirus is, but lying about it to the American people. An article in The Atlantic revealed Trump’s disregard for America’s war dead as “losers” and “suckers.” And his polling versus Joe Biden continues to decline, as does his fundraising.

Consequently, Trump needed a distraction to avoid having to deal with these problems. So he reached back into his bag of golden oldies and pulled out a moldy conspiracy theory regarding cell phones used by Hillary Clinton and others in the Obama administration. The nightmare tale that Trump unfolded suggests that these folks conspired to hide damning evidence of some imaginary crimes by deleting the contents of their phones before returning them to the government inventory. Trump posted eight tweets on this subject. The substance of his commentary consisted of profound remarks like “Action must be taken!,” and “DOJ?,” and this classic that also trivializes a threat to lynch a black NASCAR driver:

Trump has tweeted and spoken about these bogus allegations dozens of times in recent weeks. And he has been helped by Sean Hannity of Fox News, who hosted Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, Friday night to disseminate the same falsehoods (video below).

There is, however, absolutely no credibility to these charges. In fact, Clinton, and every other government employee, are actually required to wipe the contents off of their phones and other electronic devices, or physically destroy them, as a security precaution to prevent confidential information from being exposed. A State Department official explained this directive to Wired Magazine in 2016, saying that…

“‘…department security policies mandate that all electronic devices are cleared of sensitive or classified information prior to reuse or disposal.’ Some devices are wiped and reused, in other words, while others are destroyed as part of the recycling process.”

So Trump’s purported scandal is that Clinton et al are following the rules. Nevertheless, Trump is improperly pressuring his Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr to “take action” against his political foes. And all because of this fictional “crime” that is really just another example of Trump’s flaming ignorance of the government that he pretends to lead. And Barr is likely to follow those orders, just as he has with regard to dropping charges against Michael Flynn, and siccing his “special” prosecutor on Joe Biden. Fortunately, the American people are not falling for it, and Trump is just digging himself into an ever deeper hole.

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

Fox News Poll: Majority Say Trump Doesn’t Have the ‘Mental Soundness’ to Serve

For the past several months Donald Trump has been trying to portray Joe Biden as mentally unfit to perform the duties of the presidency. Trump acts out his inner infant by referring to Biden with childish nicknames like “Slow” and/or “Sleepy” Joe. It’s an embarrassing display of desperation by an emotionally stunted candidate who relies entirely on lies and fear mongering.

Donald Trump

However, Trump’s frantic campaign of lame insults has not taken hold among America’s voters. He is behind in every national poll, as well as in most of the critical battleground states. Think about that. Trump is losing bigly to a candidate that he says is not only mentally deficient, but also a radical socialist bent on destroying America. If you can’t beat someone like that, you might as well give up.

In the latest Fox News poll (which Trump has a love/hate relationship with), Biden is beating Trump with a majority of likely voters (51-46%). Biden’s favorables are positive (54-45%), while Trump’s are underwater (46-53%). Biden is also leading on an array of the issues most important to the electorate. According to Fox News

“Likely voters trust Trump over Biden on just one issue: the economy, by 5 points. Biden is favored on racial inequality (+12), coronavirus (+8), health care (+8), Supreme Court nominations (+7), and immigration (+7 points). Voters also trust Biden over Trump on ‘policing and criminal justice’ (+7), while the two are rated about evenly on ‘maintaining law and order’ (Biden +2).”

Trump has been especially obsessed of late with what he is characterizing as a nation besieged by violent insurrectionists like Black Lives Matter (a peaceful equal justice advocacy movement) and Antifa (a figment of Trump’s imagination). So it’s particularly notable that Biden is regarded by voters as the better candidate on policing and Trump’s adopted catch phrase, “law and order.” His hysterical rhetoric is having zero effect on voters, or worse (from his perspective), it’s alienating them and driving them in the opposite direction.

Perhaps the most noteworthy finding in this poll is that voters regard Biden as more fit mentally than Trump. The poll shows a majority of 51% attesting to Biden’s mental soundness. Conversely, Trump has a majority of 51% worried about his mental infirmity. This poll replicates the results of similar poll by Fox News two months ago. So once again, Trump’s barrage of malicious slander has failed to turn voters against Biden. Instead, his prepubescent pettiness appears to have splashed back in his face.

Another poll by ABC/Ipsos has more bad news for Trump. In addition to a broad majority (65%) disapproving of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic (which he was caught lying about), the poll found that “Most Americans, by a 2-to-1 margin (61-37%), think Biden has more respect for those who serve in uniform than Trump does.” So Trump has utterly failed to convince anyone of his phony devotion to the military. That isn’t surprising considering he’s a five-time draft dodger who insults POWS, steals from veterans’ charities, and thinks fallen soldiers are “losers” and “suckers.”

Trump’s tantrums are having the opposite effect of what they intended. Everything that he has embraced as the core issues of his propaganda output is turning out to be more advantageous for Biden. This should be a slap upside the head to those who believed that Trump was a marketing genius. The truth is that he’s a bumbling failure who can be expected to ruin any project that he so incompetently mishandles. It should be abundantly clear now that everything he touches turns to …let’s just say… bull manure.

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

Trump Wonders ‘How Different My Life Would Have Been’ if He Weren’t a Treasonous Swine

While it seems like this could be said about pretty much every week lately, this past week was one of the worst for Donald Trump. Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage, exposed Trump for having known just how deadly the coronavirus is, but lying about it to the American people. An article in The Atlantic revealed Trump’s disregard for America’s war dead as “losers” and “suckers.” And his polling versus Joe Biden continues to decline, as does his fundraising.

Donald Trump Swine Pig

So what is a perpetually unpopular president (he’s never hit 50%) do to turn around his floundering campaign? In Trump’s case he resorts to moldy complaints about having been impeached due to an imaginary “witch hunt” and whining about his perceived persecutors:

When Trump says that “now we find out” something, he means that he just finished watching Sean Hannity on Fox News. Indeed, on Hannity’s Friday night program he discussed the “wiping” of phones with Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany (video below). “Now we learn what Mueller’s team was doing,” McEnany lied. “Several dozens – think about that – several dozens of devices returned damaged, wiped clean, some of them intentionally so.”

What Trump and McEnany are too ignorant to know (or too dishonest to admit) is that the federal government requires that phones and other electronic devices used by those with access to confidential and classified materials be either thoroughly cleansed of the data, or physically destroyed. A State Department official addressed this issue with regard to Hillary Clinton’s phones. He told WIRED magazine in 2016 that…

“‘…department security policies mandate that all electronic devices are cleared of sensitive or classified information prior to reuse or disposal.’ Some devices are wiped and reused, in other words, while others are destroyed as part of the recycling process.”

So the shock expressed by McEnany, Hannity, and Trump is really just confirmation of how woefully ill-equipped they are to do their jobs.

But Trump had only just begun to deceive. He went on to characterize the Mueller Report as a “scam,” saying that that “has now been determined.” Notice that he doesn’t say who or what determined it. That’s because he’s making it up. In fact, the Department of Justice Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, found that the investigation was proper and was not motivated by political bias. Furthermore, the Republican-run Senate Intelligence Committee concluded pretty much the same thing.

All of this proves that Trump’s petulant whimpering and victimhood are the product of a weak and frightened man who is conscious of his guilt. And his plaintive yearning for a different life are really just the regrets of an inept criminal who is upset at having been caught.

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

Fox News Spins Ludicrous Comparison of 9/11 to the Coronavirus

It’s the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. It was a day that shook the nation, and the world, in a profoundly painful way that woke many up to the reality of our vulnerabilities. And on this solemn day there have been some respectful remembrances and thoughtful condolences for the victims, their families, and for the first responders who sacrificed so much.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Coronavirus

Of course, there have also been some grossly inappropriate attempts to hijack this day for political and/or personal advantage. Donald Trump was notorious for that when he bragged on the day of the tragedy that his building in Manhattan had just become the tallest in the city:

It should come as no surprise that Fox News joined in on the brazen exploitation of horror. On Friday morning the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends aired a segment that drew a preposterous comparison between 9/11 and the coronavirus pandemic. Co-host Brian Kilmeade unleashed this nauseating rant (video below) that had no basis in reality or even sanity. “New York is attacked,” Kilmeade began. “America is under siege.” And he continued…

“But at the same time, New York kept moving. In a very short time the stock market was open. People were still getting into subways. People still went to work. At the same time keeping an ear to the news to find out what’s next as we would mobilize in a matter of months and kill almost every single person that was involved in this. The first generation of Al Qaeda.”

“That’s what’s different now. This, we stopped. And America looked around and go ‘What do we do?’ We knew who the enemy was then. Here we’ve got this invisible virus that the Chinese are responsible for, but it doesn’t look like that’s an attack. “

Kilmeade is earning his reputation for being the stupidest man on Fox News. He apparently doesn’t realize that people were comfortable returning to the subways after 9/11 because they were in no danger of contracting an airplane crash from another passenger. Their coworkers were unlikely to infect them with a collapsing skyscraper.

Kilmeade is likewise unaware that the reason we “stopped” this time is because COVID-19 is a highly transmissible infectious agent for which there is no vaccine or treatment. His attempt to draw parallels between these two events is simply pathetic, but not at all unexpected from Fox News.

In addition to his absurd correlations and xenophobic insults aimed at China, Kilmeade also made some blatantly false statements. While America was attacked, we were not under siege. There was no invading army and no subsequent assault. The stock markets remained closed until September 17, the longest shutdown since 1933, which Kilmeade characterized as “short.” We did retaliate against the Taliban that was harboring Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. However, we did not kill “every single person that was involved.” Al Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin Laden, wasn’t killed until ten years later.

Finally, Kilmeade’s description of Americans looking around wondering what to do utterly fails to explain why that’s so. It’s because we have a president who lied to the people about the peril this virus posed. Trump knew how deadly it was and purposefully withheld that information in order to advance his reelection prospects. He repeatedly downplayed the danger, oversold the development of a vaccine, and mocked those who advised and practiced safety guidelines such as social distancing and facial masks.

Trump also contradicted the experts and disseminated falsehoods about unproven cures such as hydroxychloroquine and injecting bleach. Even worse, he embraced quacks who ranted about “demon sperm” and spread crackpot conspiracy theories that only a fraction of those reported to have died from COVID-19 were actually its victims.

Is there any wonder why some Americans were baffled about what to do? Even now there are those who believe that the coronavirus is (as Trump has said) a hoax. Never mind the nearly 200,000 graves (6,400,000+ infected) and the grieving families and friends of those stricken. The confusion that Kilmeade referenced is almost entirely the fault of Trump. The remainder of the guilt lies with Kilmeade, and his confederates at Fox News, who continue to cover for him.

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

In Defense Of The Pre-9/11 Mindset: 2020 Edition

[On September 11, 2006, I wrote an essay about how the American perception of its place in the world supposedly shifted after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. I reprint it here today because much of it is still true. And in the midst of a historic election, Donald Trump has made fear his brand. He is exploiting the horror of another catastrophe, the coronavirus pandemic, to advance his selfish political interests.

While 9/11 is nearly twenty years in the past, there is a nightmare that we are all living through now that has already taken as many lives as 64 9/11’s due to Trump’s negligence, incompetence, and even deliberate and dishonest malfeasance. It, therefore, seems like an appropriate time to revisit these thoughts]

9/11

In September of 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney, in a sinister demonization of Democrats, warned that…

“if we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we’ll get hit again, and we’ll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States, and it will fall back into the pre-9/11 mindset, if you will, that in fact, these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts and that we’re not really at war.”

The Pre-9/11 Mindset is much maligned as mindsets go. Disdain is heaped upon it as if it were a discarded hypothesis. There is now a stigma associated with a worldview that was perfectly acceptable 24 hours prior. And a cadre of power hungry fear merchants is restlessly hawking the notion that everything we thought we knew has withered into irrelevance. The Post-9/11ers propose that an imaginary line has been drawn that illuminates the moral and intellectual differences between those who stand on one side or the other. So what exactly does it mean to be 9/10ish?

I remember clearly what was on my mind. I was still upset that a pretend cowboy, whose intellectual marbles rattled around vacantly in his 2 gallon hat, had gotten away with stealing an election. I was recalling, with renewed appreciation, an era of domestic surplus and international cooperation. Or as The Onion headline put it when Bush was first elected, “Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over.”

9/11 was undoubtedly an unwelcome milestone in American history. But the idea that everything changed on that day is shallow and puerile. The history of human civilization reveals that we simply do not change that much from one century to the next. And the events that actually do precipitate change are rarely the ones we presume them to be. There was terrorism before 9/11. There were birthdays and funerals and parking tickets and snow cones and life’s everyday extraordinary spectrum of pleasure no matter how painful.

What changed was that a nation that was once perceived to be inviolable and courageous was now seen as vulnerable and afraid. Like a child lost in a crowd, America was searching for a guardian, but what we got was no angel. As President Bush took to the mound of rubble for his megaphone moment, he was not alone. He was accompanied by a media that sought to construct a hero where none stood. I must admit that it was an ambitious undertaking considering the weakness of the raw material. They took an inarticulate, persistently mediocre, dynastic runt, who on September tenth was considered by many to be Crawford’s lost idiot, and transformed him into a statesman overnight. The enormity of this achievement underscores the power of the media.

My Pre-9/11 Mindset was thrust into fear on that transitory day because I knew that the imbecile we were stuck with in the White House was incapable of reacting appropriately to the threat. I remember vainly trying to persuade previously reasonable people that if they thought Bush was a moron the day before, there was nothing in his breakfast that infused him with wisdom on that sad morning.

What transpired since has, regrettably, proven me right. We toppled the Taliban but let the 9/11 commander escape. Now the remnants of the Taliban are rising again and creating havoc in an unprepared and unstable Afghanistan. We were misled into an unrelated conflagration in Iraq via fear and deception. Now tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been liberated – liberated from the confines of their physical bodies. It’s too bad that these liberated corpses will be unable to march in the parades celebrating their liberation. A world that had nothing but sympathy for us after 9/11, is now repulsed by our arrogance. At home we are paying for our adventures by burdening the next few generations with a record debt. And we pay a much greater price in the cost of lost liberties, courtesy of a despotic cabal in Washington that has more trust in fear than it does in our Constitution.

The historical revisionists that cast the Pre-9/11 Mindset as a pejorative are blind to its inherent virtue. The Pre-9/11 Mindset honors civil liberties and human rights. It recognizes real threats and inspires the courage to face them. It demands responsibility and accountability from those who manage our public affairs. It condemns preemptive warfare and torture. The Pre-9/11 Mindset is not consumed with fear, division, and domination. It is rooted in reality with its branches facing the sunrise.

The Pre-9/11 Mindset is superior in every aspect to the Post-9/11 apocalyptic nightmare that has been thrust upon us. Its adoption is, in fact, our best hope for crawling out from under the shroud that drapes our national psyche. Vice President Cheney also said that…

“Terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength. They are invited by the perception of weakness.”

If that’s true, then the terrorists must have perceived the weakness of the Bush administration and considered it an invitation to launch their attack. How do you suppose they perceive us now? They’ve seen the passage of the Patriot Act that limits long-held freedoms. They’ve seen our government listening in on our phone calls and monitoring our financial transactions. They see us lining up at airport terminals shoeless and forced to surrender our shampoo and Evian water. They see us mourning the loss of our sons and daughters who are not even engaged in battle with the 9/11 perpetrators. They see us as fearful and submissive. Is this not emboldening the terrorists for whom this perception of weakness will be seen as yet another invitation to attack?

Yes, I have a Pre-9/11 Mindset and it is not a yearning for a simpler bygone era of harmony. You could hardly call the maiden year of this century simple or harmonious. I have a Pre-9/11 Mindset because I’ve had it all along; all through the Post-9/11 defeatism and scare-mongering; through the war posturing and false bravado; through the sordid attempts to divide Americans and vilify dissenters; through the bigotry and arrogance of those who believe that their way is the right way and the world will concur as soon as we’re done beating it into them. I have a Pre-9/11 Mindset because I have not let the Post-9/11 Mindset infect my spirit with its yearning for a bygone era that more closely resembles the Dark Ages than the Renaissance.

Pre-9/11 Mindset Post-9/11 Mindset
Enduring Peace Perpetual War
Prosperity Poverty and Debt
Civil Rights The Patriot Act
Human rights Torture
Accountability Corruption
Reality Fear

I have a Pre-9/11 Mindset because I have a mind, and I use it. America has a decision to make in less than two months. Let’s hope we make the right one and elect a president who will console us, inspire us, and unite us. We need healing, honesty, and competence now more than ever. And we must not allow Trump to have another four years to shred our Constitution and drive us apart. COVID-19 is Trump’s 9/11. Never forget.