In his own words: Trump reveals the real, spiteful reason he is sabotaging ObamaCare

On Wednesday Donald Trump signed an executive order that significantly damages the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). It’s purpose is to force people into the old “junk” plans that failed to provide necessary coverage. What’s more, it will remove the protections for people with preexisting conditions. And he wasn’t finished with his mission to deliberately destroy ObamaCare.

Donald Trump

Later the same day the White House released a statement advancing their assault on affordable healthcare. They announced that the administration would stop paying the cost-sharing reduction [CSR] payments that subsidize many individual policies These subsidies mainly go to lower and middle income families who otherwise would be unable to purchase insurance.

It’s a monstrously cruel decision on Trump’s part that defies reason. Except that Trump took a few questions from reporters Thursday morning wherein he helpfully offered the reason himself (video below):

“If you take a look at CSR payments, that money is going to insurance companies. To prop up insurance companies. That money is going to insurance companies to lift up their stock price. And that’s not what I’m about. Take a look at who those insurance companies support, and I guarantee you one thing. It’s not Donald Trump.”

And there you have it. Trump is taking out his vengeance on an industry that he thinks hasn’t been generous enough to him. Like almost every other decision he makes, it’s all about Trump or go suck an egg. Like his attacks on media that is critical of him, including recent threats to revoke their licenses. That, by the way, ha cannot do because the federal government doesn’t license TV networks or journalists. But never mind the facts, Trump is openly admitting that his healthcare policy is driven by partisan politics and donations.

To make matters worse, the foundation for Trump’s revenge fetish is utterly false. In this morning’s rant he repeatedly complained about insurance companies making too much money. Let’s set aside the inappropriateness of a president castigating an American industry for being successful. Trump is wrong on the facts. The insurance sector’s equity growth over the past three years (14%) has only slightly exceeded that of the S&P 500’s financials index (12.5%). What’s more, his contention that the industry doesn’t support him could not be more off base. A look at the campaign contributions from big insurers shows that Republicans received far more than Democrats. Consequently, since his anger at insurers is so badly misdirected, his actions are just plain nasty and hurtful. And the victims are wholly undeserving of his wrath. That, of course, includes the people whose coverage will now be out reach. According to analysts at CNBC:

“Two months ago, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that individual health plan premiums would be 20 percent higher than originally projected if the [CSR] payments ceased. It also projected that premiums would be 25 percent higher than they otherwise would be by 2020, and that the federal deficit would be increased by almost $200 billion if the subsidies ended.”

Trump promised that he would provide more and better healthcare at lower cost. But his imperial executive actions yesterday ensure that millions will lose their health insurance, those who don’t will pay more, and the nation’s deficit will increase. And by taking this action unilaterally, without any input from the people’s representatives in Congress, Trump is essentially invoking the repeal of ObamaCare without any effort to replace it. It’s a disaster in the making that will be fully owned by Trump and the Republican Party, if they go along with it.

UPDATE: Now Trump is bragging that he hurt an industry that employs hundreds of thousands of Americans. And his reason for hurting it, as stated above, was because he thinks it didn’t support him. That, by the way, is illegal and another to reason to impeach his fat ass.

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

SRSLY? The Fox News Den of Sexual Predators Accuses Democrats of Enabling Weinstein

Leave it to Fox News to politicize anything, no matter how repulsive. The salaciousness of the Harvey Weinstein scandal must have been too much for them to pass up. So for the past several days they have been desperately trying to tar any and all Democrats with Weinstein’s disgusting behavior. It’s a tactic commonly used by the political bottom-feeders on the right, and especially by Fox News.

Fox News Tucker Carlson

On Wednesday night Tucker Carlson, arguably the most annoying man on television, delivered one of his typically sour monologues. In his opening segment he spun furiously in an effort to intertwine Democrats with a story whose focus ought to have been on the victims. But at Fox News it is always more important to cravenly exploit political biases. Carlson made sure to single out Hillary Clinton in his remarks because what’s more relevant than someone who holds no government office, or likely ever will? “Weinstein couldn’t have gotten away with any of this,” Carlson smeared, “without enablers like Hillary Clinton.” And then he unleashed this cognitive mess:

“Sexual abuse is epidemic in Hollywood. The people in charge have covered it up and made excuses for it. In each case protecting the powerful from the powerless and the abused. It is time for the federal government to get involved. The Department of Justice should launch an immediate investigation into Hollywood’s culture of systematic sexual abuse.”

First of all, sexual abuse is epidemic in America. It isn’t unique to Hollywood, and that assertion minimizes the scale of the problem. Which may be deliberate on Carlson’s part. More to the point, Carlson’s statement would actually be more appropriate if applied to Fox News. The list of their high-level perverts began with former CEO, Roger Ailes. Then Fox’s biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, finally succumbed to years of rumored sexual harassment. The president of Fox News, Bill Shine, was also dismissed under a cloud. As were Fox Sports President Jamie Horowitz, Fox News Latino VP, Francisco Cortes, and most recently, host Eric Bolling.

As Carlson noted, “The people in charge have covered it up and made excuses for it. In each case protecting the powerful from the powerless and the abused.” It wasn’t until their victims started coming out publicly that the network acknowledged the cesspool they were wallowing in. So if the Justice Department should launch an investigation, they might want to start with Fox.

Oh wait, they already did. A probe of the personnel and finances of Fox News was initiated in the final days of the Obama administration. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, was in charge. That is, until Trump fired him.

On Wednesday the Daily Mail reported that Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has instructed the FBI to open a probe into the Weinstein affair. However, the Daily Mail is an ultra-conservative British tabloid, which makes this story somewhat suspicious. To date it has only been shared on other right-wing websites like Breitbart, Redstate, and Newsmax. But it’s premise is not implausible. Trump is known for taking positions based on something he just saw on Fox News. So if he watched Carlson make this proposal, he might well have directed Sessions to have the FBI initiate an investigation. And a good bootlicker like Sessions would surely have obeyed.

In his segment, Carlson complained that it took Hillary Clinton five days to denounce Weinstein. Donald Trump still hasn’t done so. The only comment he made was “I’m not surprised.” So apparently Trump has known that Weinstein is a sexual predator, but he never bothered to mention it. As for Carlson, his hypocrisy is off the charts. He works for a network that harbored some of the most despicable miscreants imaginable.

There is no evidence that Fox News has cleaned up its act. Carlson owes his program to the departure of Megyn Kelly, who left in part due to sexual harassment from Bill O’Reilly. And now Carlson’s show actually airs in O’Reilly’s old time slot. Meanwhile Sean Hannity has brought O’Reilly back into the Fox fold as his guest, without ever mentioning the reasons he was fired. So if Carlson had any integrity, he might want to reexamine who the real enablers are.

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

What Wannabe Dictator Trump Just called Freedom of the Press is ‘Disgusting’

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was first for a reason. It incorporates some of the most cherished and essential principles to maintaining America’s experiment in democracy. Among them is the explicit protection of freedom of the press. The Constitution doesn’t say anything about liking it or approving of its contents. But the unfettered freedom to investigate and report the news is sacrosanct.

Donald Trump

That’s why Donald Trump’s repeated assaults on this freedom are so appalling. He’s spent much of the past two years maligning the very notion of a free press. He calls anything that isn’t sufficiently adoring “fake news,” and personally insults honest journalists. His hostile rhetoric has even led to physical attacks and death threats to reporters who are just doing their jobs.

At a press avail Wednesday morning Trump lashed out again. This time he took aim directly at the First Amendment’s freedom of the press (video below). The attack came during a state visit by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Reporters asked Trump about recent reports that he had inquired about increasing the American nuclear arsenal. Trump denied that he ever discussed the matter and called the reports “fake news” by NBC. And then he added this:

It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write. And people should look into it. […] And then they have their sources that don’t exist. In my opinion they don’t exist. They make up the sources. There are no sources.

Oh yeah. It’s so disgusting that the press gets to write whatever they want. Who’s responsible for that? Somebody has to do something about it. Before you know it they will expect to get away with criticizing the President and not land in jail. Trump must wonder how Vladimir Putin manages to lock up – or kill – critical journalists without any opposition to speak of.

Clearly that’s a goal for this president. He has taken this same position before. Last year he unleashed a particularly abhorrent rant wherein he called the press “the enemy of the American people.” And he fretted over the fact that “Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it.”

When someone articulates such a plainly authoritarian stance once, it might be considered a gaffe. When it’s repeated multiple times, it’s a mission. Donald Trump has no understanding of, or respect for, the Constitution. And he will abuse it at will if given the opportunity. That opportunity must be withheld from him at all costs. And if his handlers or the Congress won’t do it, than it’s up to the American people. RESIST! IMPEACH!

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

Trump Threatens NBC’s Broadcast License in a Straight-Up Tyrannical Move

Determined to emulate his hero, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump has issued a threat that brazenly violates the Constitutional guarantee of a free press. In a couple of utterly idiotic tweets, Trump threatened to challenge NBC’s broadcast license.

Donald Trump

Make no mistake, this is what dictators do. They begin by criticizing the media and ridiculing honest journalists. But they eventually resort to outright censorship and government control. Trump has already been lashing out at the press for years. But his repetitive and tedious cries of “fake news” are actually just whining about stories that he doesn’t like. These are his tweets Wednesday morning:


And This Just In: Another tweet:

First of all, Trump offers no support for his contention that NBC’s story is untrue. NBC is standing by the story which had numerous sources affirming the information. This is typical of Trump’s infantile reaction to anything remotely critical. His fragile ego is constantly on the brink of crumbling.

Secondly, Trump’s threat is another example of his Olympic-grade stupidity. If anyone still doubts that Defense Secretary Rex Tillerson called him a moron, you can set those doubts aside. The problem with Trump’s threat to challenge NBC’s license is that the government does not license television networks. There is no license to revoke. The FCC does license individual TV stations and requires them to serve in the public interest. There’s is no way that Trump could have the licenses pulled from every NBC affiliate throughout the country.

Even if Trump were dumb enough to pursue this, he would have to show that each affiliate deliberately broadcast false information that they knew was untrue. Of course, the network most guilty of doing that is Fox News. If that’s the standard being applied then let’s get Fox off the air ASAP. [NOTE: That isn’t possible either because the FCC rules apply only to broadcast television, not to cable].

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

So once again Trump has demonstrated that he is painfully stupid. And in the process he reaffirmed his devotion to authoritarian control of the media and government. He is clearly unfit to be president and is a danger to the country for this and many other reasons. That’s why an anxious nation is impatiently waiting for special counsel Robert Mueller to complete his investigation and for Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings. It can’t happen too soon.

Moron Trump Turns Out to Be a Chicken, Backs Out of IQ Challenge With Sec. Tillerson

Late last week NBC News revealed that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had openly disparaged Donald Trump as a “f*cking moron.” The surprisingly accurate analysis came during a meeting at the Pentagon in July according to three sources. Tillerson later held an unprecedented press conference to refute the charge that his boss is frighteningly dumb. However, he forgot the actual refutation and never denied that he made the statement.

Donald Trump Chicken

It’s notable that there was almost no one defending Trump’s alleged intelligence following Tillerson’s honest appraisal. However, Trump himself finally addressed it in an interview with Forbes Magazine, saying:

“I think it’s fake news, but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”

This would not exactly be an epic contest of wits. Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he is woefully deprived in the smarts department. He has the vocabulary of a third grader and cannot seem to retain or comprehend simple facts. An IQ test would resolve this controversy in the “reality show” manner that Trump is accustomed to. And it would give Tillerson an opportunity to prove that Trump’s insult to his intelligence was fake news. Never mind that Trump has previously demeaned Tillerson by stating that his diplomatic efforts were a “waste of time.”

Unfortunately, the big competition has already been called off. Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was asked about the event at the White House press briefing. She advised that the President just “made a joke, nothing more than that.” He never intended to take on Tillerson. Which is a shame because the Mensa Institute had offered to sponsor the event.

Had this match gone on it would have been another fiasco for Trump. He has recently been squabbling with the Republican chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker. Corker expressed concern that Trump’s White House was on the verge of chaos. Trump replied with a flurry of furious tweets. But Corker had the last word when he tweeted back saying:

Corker elaborated in a statement to the New York Times. He said that Trump’s behavior “concerned” him and that he feared the President was putting the nation “on the path to World War III.” He also made note of Trump’s tendency to lie, saying “I don’t know why the president tweets out things that are not true.” And he implied that he was not alone in harboring these concerns. “I know for a fact,” Corker said, “that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him.”

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

These comments should worry every American. If a conservative Republican is this nervous about a president from his own party, there is likely a fire raging under that smoke. It’s time for Corker and his GOP colleagues to stop complaining about the imminent danger Trump represents and do something about it. They don’t have to wait for special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to begin impeachment hearings.

GOP Chair Lies to CNN Saying ‘Women Never Came Forward’ to Report Trump’s Sexual Abuse

Let’s get one thing straight at the start. Harvey Weinstein’s actions were inexcusable. They were gross and demeaning and exploitative. He was right to apologize and seek professional help. But that wasn’t enough. It was also right for the board of directors of the company he founded to fire him.

Donald Trump

In light of that, it is downright nauseating that the chair of the Republican National Committee, Ronna Romney McDaniel, would turn up on CNN and dismiss the grotesque behavior of Donald Trump by comparing him favorably to Weinstein. Trump is actually much worse. In an interview with Wolf Blitzer (video below), McDaniel had the gall to assert that:

“It’s not even comparable. Harvey Weinstein brought women into his hotel room. I mean to even make that comparison is disrespectful to the President. He didn’t have eight settlements. He didn’t have women coming forward. Harvey Weinstein admits that he did that.”

It’s not even comparable? Everything that McDaniel specified regarding Weinstein is directly comparable to Trump. Her statement that “He didn’t have women coming forward” was a blatant lie. At least a dozen women have come forward with accusations about Trump’s abusiveness. McDaniel also lied about there being no settlements. Numerous women have filed complaints against Trump that resulted in settlements that Trump legally suppressed with binding non-disclosure clauses. He used the same tactic to hide complaints that never made it to a courtroom. Despite these obvious similarities, McDaniel went on to explain the alleged differences anyway. But she directly responded only to the infamous “pussy grabbing” videotape:

“Here’s the difference, Wolf. The President apologized for that and many Republicans came out and said those comments were not appropriate. The difference is that Harvey Weinstein is a major bundler for the DNC. They have embraced him him. He has admitted to these instances when he put women in a completely inappropriate situations. That he was a sexual predator.”

Once again, in each specific reference made by McDaniel the differences she asserts are only visible to someone who is purposefully dishonest. In his belligerent “apology” Trump mainly said he was sorry for having been caught. He never apologized to his victims. And he quickly changed the subject to attack Bill and Hillary Clinton. While some Republicans did repudiate his comments, many actually defended him. And Trump is unarguably the most prolific bundler of campaign financing for the GOP. They embrace him even though he admitted to being a sexual predator.

The only real difference is that Weinstein is now unemployed and Trump continues to reside in the White House (when he isn’t at one of his golf resorts, that is). Republicans are perfectly agreeable to allowing Republican perverts to retain the powerful positions they hold if they make an insincere apology. But if you’re a Democrat you must be impeached and all other Democrats must renounce everything you ever did or said.

The hypocrisy is on an atomic scale. If McDaniel and her party had any sliver of integrity they would abandon their support for Trump and demand that he resign. And they have plenty of other reasons for doing so. Trump is not only a monstrous sexual deviant. He is a traitor for his collusion with Russia to subvert our democracy. He is also corrupt financially as he unconstitutionally enriches himself through his government position. And his reckless incompetence is an imminent danger to the nation and the world by inciting nuclear conflicts with both North Korea and Iran. Have there ever been more reasons to impeach a president than Trump has provided in less than a year in office?

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

Donald Trump, Jr. Remains Conspicuously Silent on America’s Most Notorious Sexual Abuser

America is currently facing a cornucopia of calamities. They include everything from mass murders to healthcare to income inequality to voter suppression to potential nuclear war. And there is virtually no government in place to address these dilemmas as Donald Trump and his administration is ripping apart at the seams.

Donald Trump

So naturally Trump’s son Don, Jr. is taking the lead on the matter that is most pressing in the country today: What to do about sexual abusers in positions of power. Except his attention is narrowly focused on a single case, that of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Little Donnie has been following in his father’s footsteps by tweeting furiously about whether liberals and Democrats have sufficiently condemned Weinstein’s gross misconduct. For instance:


[Retweeting right-wing radio talker @marklevinshow]


[Retweeting alleged rapist @JulianAssange]


[Replying to @jimmykimmel]

That’s great. A conservative who is uncharacteristically speaking out against the abuse and harassment of women in the workplace. There’s just one problem. The Trumpette has left some glaring omissions from his crusade for women’s rights and safety. First and foremost, his own father. Donald Trump has been accused by at least a dozen women of sexual harassment or abuse. And he has even confessed to criminal abuse in the infamous Access Hollywood videotape.

The Little Don is very upset that, in his warped view, liberals and Hollywood “elites” haven’t spoken out about Weintstein. But his father is also among those who have declined to condemn him. When asked on Saturday, Trump said only that “I’m not surprised.” That hardly qualifies as a denunciation. And for the record, many on the left have come forward to rebuke Weinstein. In fact, all of the women who courageously came forward with their testimony are denizens of Hollywood. And it was the supposedly leftist New York Times that broke the story in the first place.

The Weinstein affair is, unfortunately, not unique. There are many similar atrocities being committed every day. But there are some distinct differences between Weinstein and the behavior of the President. For one thing, Weinstein is not a national leader. He has no role in the legal or administrative process of government. He makes entertainment for television and cinema. Secondly, he was not nominated for the presidency by the Republican Party, or voted into office by sanctimonious, family-values, right-wingers. And finally, Weinstein voluntarily took a leave of absence from his own company, and its board of directors has ordered an investigation. [Late Breaking: The board has fired Weinstein].

Needless to say, Donald Trump still resides in the White House. He has not acknowledged his inappropriate behavior. Nor have most of his supporters spoken out against it. What’s more, Don, Jr. is a frequent guest on Fox News which has had its own problems with sexually abusive personnel. Their late CEO, Roger Ailes, was ousted earlier this year. Likewise their biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, and several other prominent Fox news staffers. Neither Trump the elder, nor his son have denounced any of them. It’s a case of such blatant hypocrisy that it seems profoundly ludicrous for them to even bother talking about Weinstein.

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

When Trump or his Trumplet can publicly condemn people like Ailes and O’Reilly (and Trump himself), then they will have some moral grounds for tackling Weinstein. In the meantime they should stop criticizing liberals and Democrats who have been forthrightly fighting for women’s rights all along, and without regard to political partisanship.

Donald Trump Wants ‘Equal Time’ on TV – And the Unintended Reason That’s a Fantastic Idea

It wouldn’t be Saturday morning without Donald Trump posting a flurry of frantic Tweets. True to form, his latest Twitter tantrum unleashed a stream of nonsense with more tedious swipes at the media. As usual he’s upset that there are reports that he considers negative. He’s right. But it isn’t the fault of the media that he screws up so much.

Donald Trump

This week the news about Trump included his troubles with White House staff, and particularly Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. NBC had multiple inside sources that heard Tillerson call Trump a “moron.” Trump further embarrassed himself by insulting victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. And he recklessly implied hostile intentions to both North Korea and Iran. If there was positive news about him last week it would have been reported. Followed by inane suggestions that he was finally pivoting to become presidential. So absent any of the good news Trump craves, he tweeted this:

Poor Donald. He simply cannot abide the sort of mockery that every president has endured since the founding of the nation. While he virulently insults his foes as “crooked, crazy, sick,” etc., he whines about being the butt of jokes.

As for the substance of his tweets, is Trump asking for an equal amount of “unfunny and repetitive” material? Because that can certainly be arranged by his comedy surrogates, if not by himself. Secondly, are there really “more and more people” who want to see more of Trump on TV? And are they currently under a doctor’s supervision? Finally, did he end his second tweet with a question mark because even he isn’t sure WTF he means?

More to the point, it’s his remedy for this perceived offense that is most worrisome. He actually believes that the media give him less time than his liberal and Democratic opponents. Hence his proposal to invoke the Equal Time rules to restore balance. However, the evidence shows that Trump has received far more airtime than any other public figure. This was true during the election when he received nearly three times the coverage of any of his opponents. After his inauguration he continued to dominate the press, as reported in a study by the Shorenstein Center of Harvard University:

“President Trump dominated media coverage in the outlets and programs analyzed, with Trump being the topic of 41 percent of all news stories—three times the amount of coverage received by previous presidents. He was also the featured speaker in nearly two-thirds of his coverage.”

The real world data clearly contradicts Trump’s self-serving bitchfest. But it’s also notable that he is, once again, demonstrating that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The Equal Time Rule was intended prevent television stations from influencing the outcome of elections by favoring one candidate over another. It has nothing to do with airtime distribution when an election is not in progress. He may be thinking of the Fairness Doctrine, but the sainted Republican Ronald Reagan did away with that thirty years ago.

As is often the case, the motivation for these tweets by Trump was likely a segment on Fox News shortly before he tweeted. And speaking of Fox News, they would have an interesting dilemma if Trump got his way with regard to Equal Time. Fox News has distinguished itself as the PR division of the Trump administration. They are the closest thing to state-run television that America has ever known. If they were required to provide Equal Time to Democrats it would mean that half of their schedule would be taken over by the party they are devoted to destroying.

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

So let’s let Trump have his way. Let’s actually have an accounting of the network airtime distribution and require networks to balance their coverage. In all likelihood, that would result in Democrats getting significantly more coverage on Fox News, and even some marginally more coverage on every other network. It would be a welcome change in the broadcast environment that either favors Trump or the ratings-friendly melodrama he generates. So bring it on, Donnie.

Twitter Scorches Fox News and Trump for Taking Credit for Obama’s Economy

The big economic news on Friday was that 33,000 jobs were lost in September. It was the first time in seven years that the jobs numbers went negative. Most reports were quick to cite the rash of hurricanes that plagued the nation in recent weeks. However, the job growth statistics throughout 2017 have lagged behind the same time period in 2016.

Donald Trump economy

It’s no coincidence that Donald Trump and Fox News have been bragging about the performance of the stock market. It’s an easy, albeit deceitful, distraction from the other bad news of the day. Never mind that stocks are currently in the second longest bull market in history and that it started in 2009 under President Obama. Trump has done literally nothing that would change the momentum of Obama’s economy. Not a single economic bill has reached his desk for signature. But that hasn’t stopped him and his propaganda division at Fox News from trying to steal the credit, as demonstrated in these tweets:

The wealth increase that Fox News is touting is based solely on the rise of equities. Not only is it false to describe that as “the nation’s wealth,” it is a fluid indicator that could reverse course tomorrow. Indeed, many stock analysts regard the market’s current position as overvalued. These analysts are predicting a “correction” that could send the markets down ten or twenty percent. What’s more, the soaring stock market does not reflect the economic realities of most Americans. Other economic indicators (i.e. wages) are showing only small advances. The beneficiaries of stock gains are predominantly the usual suspects of the GOP (Greedy One Percent).

Some of these discrepancies were observed by the Twitter community, who proceeded to bludgeon Fox for their bullshit. A few of the notable comments follow:

It’s always dangerous to rely on stock market performance to validate the economy. There are too many factors that can shift investor sentiment. And with Trump’s saber-rattling over nukes with both North Korea and Iran he’s playing with fire, literally. And if that doesn’t sink the markets, then his proposed tax plan, which will benefit only the rich and blow up the deficit, will do the job.

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 Proposes Unconstitutional Senate Investigation of the Media

One of the first things that aspiring tyrants do after assuming power is to suppress and/or control the media. That’s a difficult task in a country that has explicitly protected a free press in its Constitution. But that isn’t stopping Donald Trump from trying anyway.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

In his latest Twitter tantrum, Trump has taken another step toward the monarchy that he so fervently desires to lead. He has escalated his relentless (and unsuccessful) smear campaign against what he refers to as “fake” news, but is actually any news that isn’t fawning adulation. On Thursday morning he tweeted this disturbingly fascist proposition:

There are several easy answers to Trump’s frightful question. To begin with, “so much of our news” is not fake. Trump doesn’t bother to offer any proof of his allegation because he doesn’t have any. The media may get things wrong from time to time, but “made up” news is rare and dealt with harshly. Unlike what happens when Trump himself makes things up. He refuses to issue corrections or apologies and, more often than not, repeats the lies after he already knows they are lies. The Washington Post has documented more than 1,100 false or misleading claims since his inauguration. That’s almost five lies per day.

More importantly, what Trump is suggesting is blatantly unconstitutional. He is directing another independent government body to investigate the independent media. The Constitution prohibits Congress from “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” A White House sponsored Senate investigation based on news content is an unambiguous breach of the First Amendment.

Another reason the Senate Intelligence Committee isn’t looking into fake news is that it’s the Intelligence Committee. It has no jurisdiction in that area. Trump’s proposal is a clear effort to deflect the Committee, and the nation, from an entirely different investigation. Already under way is the probe into Trump’s electoral collusion with Russia and related financial corruption. Trump’s obviously afraid of what they’ll discover and is anxious to divert attention away from it.

Another reason Senate Intel isn’t looking into fake news is that it would likely turn up more evidence of fakery by Fox News than by any other media organization. The Republicans in charge of the Committee are aware of this and thus reluctant to pursue it. Fox News has been found to have lied far more often than any of their peers. PolitiFact scored their coverage as “Mostly False, False” or “Pants on Fire” sixty percent of the time. That compares to forty-one percent for MSNBC, and only twenty-seven percent for CNN. So Trump’s favorite network would suffer the most damage from such an investigation were it constitutionally permitted.

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

Trump’s obsession with portraying the media as fake is driven by fear. He’s afraid of reports that correctly describe his ignorance and incompetence. He’s afraid of being caught in bed with the Russians (literally and figuratively). He desperately wants to change the subject and poison the minds of news consumers. And he’s willing to subvert the Constitution in order to assuage his fears and achieve his goals. That’s what dictators do. And Trump has been behaving like a manic tyrant throughout his brief residence in the White House. And for most of his adult life for that matter.