While Americans Suffer, Trump is Laser Focused On – His Polling?

The voracious ego of Donald Trump continues to run roughshod over our nation. He seems unfazed by the latest reports of 1.1 million Americans infected by the coronavirus, and more than 67,000 dead. And he’s equally unmoved by the news that more than 30 millions Americans have lost their jobs. Trump posted 19 tweets on Sunday morning and hardly mentioned pandemic or it’s consequences at all. So what did he mention?

Donald Trump

It’s all too apparent what is consuming the thoughts of our “president” these days. He makes his priorities known by expressing them unabashedly on Twitter. And on this Sunday morn he revealed that his primary interest is – as usual – himself. The most frequent subject of his tweets was his approval rate polling, with four addressing that one fetish:

It needs to be said that what Trump is bragging about repeatedly is a Gallup poll that is a conspicuous outlier. Most other polls put Trump in the low forties. It is also notable that Trump is excited about this being the highest number Gallup has posted for him, even though it is still below 50% which he has never achieved.

For some reason Trump tempers his giddiness over this poll with a swipe at the “Fake News,” “Lamestream” media that he refers to in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” But whining that the press “doesn’t show real polls” while celebrating a Gallup poll that the press always shows is a strange way to boast about his alleged popularity. He’s tearing it down even as he’s using it to lift himself up.

Additionally, Trump twice makes reference to a “96% Approval Rating in the Republican Party” that he fails to back up with a link or even a name for the pollster. The fact is, that poll doesn’t exist. Nor does Trump offer a source for his assertion that he’s beating Joe Biden. Which is likewise not supported by reality. Biden is shown ahead of Trump both nationally and in critical swing states.

For contrast, the rest of Trump’s morning tweetstorm was littered with tributes to himself and bizarre divergences from the matters that are of interest to most Americans. For instance:

  • Whining that George Bush didn’t speak out against his impeachment.
  • Some guy who wrapped his boat in a Trump ad.
  • How much he misses his cult rallies.
  • Two propaganda videos (here and here)
  • Mike Tyson (?)
  • An old propaganda video attacking Democrats.
  • A shout out to his Turnberry golf course in Scotland.

And then there’s whatever the heck this is:

So rest assured that Trump is on the case, working to ensure that the American people don’t suffer from any deficiency in impotent Trump exaltations and syrupy propaganda. This is how a reality TV game show president thinks governing is done. When he isn’t neck deep in mounds of his own PR manure, he’s maligning the free press or the political foes that he is so transparently afraid of. and naturally, he’s always upselling, such as with these Trump-branded coronavirus face masks. This would all make an entertaining social satire if it weren’t for the corpses that are piling up due to Trump’s negligence and incompetence.

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

Hannity Freaks Out Over Holding Trump Accountable for His Coronavirus Death Toll

Donald Trump is without question the most reckless, ignorant, and incompetent president in America’s short history. Nevertheless, he is renowned for failing to take responsibility for any of his calamitous failures. Trump will vainly shift blame to others, employ awkward deflections, and lie shamelessly to avoid being held accountable. With Trump, the buck is always handed off to an innocent political foe or some hapless flunky.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

Fortunately for Trump, he has a cadre of glassy-eyed disciples in right-wing media who will cover for him no matter how ludicrous the circumstances. Most of them reside at State TV (aka Fox News), such as his shadow chief-of-staff-infection, Sean Hannity. Trump relies on Hannity as a defensive shield against uncomfortable facts, propaganda dissemination, and contorted political strategy. And on Saturday Hannity fulfilled all three of those roles in a brief blog post.

The headline on Hannity’s harrangue was “A NEW LOW: Schiff Says ’50,000 Americans Are Dead’ Because Trump Wasn’t Impeached and Removed.” He lashed out at Rep. Adam Schiff for what he said were “Schiff’s vicious comments.” Elaborating, Hannity charged that…

“Congressman Adam Schiff escalated his war-of-words with the Trump administration Saturday; saying “50,000 Americans are dead” because the President was not impeached and removed from the Oval Office.”

What Hannity was referencing was a portion of a Schiff interview on Friday with Chris Hayes on MSNBC (video below). Schiff accurately observed about Trump that “A man with no moral compass will never find his way, and this president certainly hasn’t.” The subject of the segment was Trump’s tragically negligent response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Hayes asked Schiff about comments he made at the conclusion of Trump’s impeachment that speculated about the grave necessity of removing Trump from office to avert future catastrophes. Schiff’s response speculated about the degree of damage Trump would still be capable of if he remained:

“How much damage could he really do? We posed that question to the Senate and we answered it by saying that he could do an awful lot of damage. But frankly, Chris, I don’t think we had any idea how much damage he would go on to do in the months ahead.

There are 50,000 Americans now who are dead in significant part because of his incompetence. Because of his inability to think beyond himself and put the country first. I don’t think we would have ever anticipated that his brand of narcissism and his brand of incompetence, sometimes his brand of malevolence, would be so fatal to the American people.

To be clear, Hannity’s assertion that Schiff said 50,000 Americans are dead because Trump wasn’t removed from office is inaccurate. What Schiff is that the deaths were because of Trump’s incompetence. Of course, those deaths would not have occurred had he been removed, but neither would they have occurred had he not been incompetent. What’s more, the severity of the coronavirus casualties is being under reported. The death toll is now over 65,000 with more than 1,100,000 infected.

A month ago Trump said that he would consider a total of 65,000 deaths to be a “victory.” That was an estimate for August that we reached in April. A few days ago his son-in-law (and senior advisor), Jared Kushner, called it a great success story.” But yesterday Trump was busy tearing down and reconstructing the goal posts at 100,000 fatalities. Expect those posts to be pushed back further in a few weeks.

As for Hannity, his concern about not holding Trump accountable for the death toll isn’t surprising. But he is also failing to hold himself accountable. He spent the past couple of months dismissing the coronavirus as an insignificant form of the flu. As a result, a recent study revealed that watching Hannity actually increased one’s likelihood of dying from the disease. So it would be wise to practice social distancing from Hannity as well as all other Fox News viewers and Trump supporters. You can’t be too careful these days.

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

Trump-Branded Coronavirus Face Masks? Yes, He Really is that Sick

Donald Trump long ago demonstrated that he is utterly incapable of expressing compassion or empathy. This is especially evident in his handling of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. As the number of Americans infected (1,000,000+) and dead (63,000+) continues to rise, Trump focuses his public statements on what he regards as a flawless response to the unprecedented suffering and loss.

Donald Trump, Face Mask, Body Bag

On Wednesday Trump’s Senior Advisor (and son-in-law), Jared Kushner told Fox News that Trump’s ignorant incompetent performance during the crisis was a great success story.” Trump followed that up on Thursday saying that “Our death totals, our numbers per million people, are really very, very strong. We are very proud of the job we have done.” It’s painful to watch Trump paying tribute to himself when the disastrous consequences of his negligence is so apparent. His callousness and conceit insults the memory of the deceased and their grieving families.

However, in Trump World he had still not achieved the pinnacle of heartless insensitivity that he seems to be striving for. That’s why the Trump campaign is now reported to have ordered Trump-branded face masks for Americans living in fear of the pandemic that was worsened by a level of magnitude due to Trump’s inept mishandling and voracious ego.

Recent analyses of Trump’s public remarks have affirmed that he has an acute obsession with exalting himself no matter what else is happening. The New York Times found that in over 260,000 words spoken by Trump at his Coronavirus Task Force briefings (aka Trump 2020 Reelection Campaign Infomercials), “nearly four times more statements were devoted to praising himself than offering condolences to victims of the coronavirus.” A similar analysis by the Washington Post found that out of 13 hours of speaking time, “Just 4 1/2 minutes were devoted to offering condolences to victims of the virus.” The remaining time was consumed mostly with verifiable lies and bragging about imaginary accomplishments.

The thought of people walking around with banners strapped to their faces that identify the actual person responsible for their need to wear such protective gear is a chilling irony. Trump is effectively branding the virus itself with this advertisement, in much the same way as he plasters his name on every other cheesy product that he tries to take credit for. But a better product placement idea for the Trump campaign would be to slap his logo on the 100,000 body bags that his administration just purchased for the future casualties of his failures. Now that would be real truth in in advertising.

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

Trump Unleashes a Rage & Ego-Soaked Twitter Rant that Utterly Ignores the Coronavirus

It seems that every time Trump does or says something dishonest, ignorant, or just plain preposterous, he manages to compound his rhetorical fiasco with commentaries that only serve to affirm his flaming idiocy. It’s a downward spiral to which Trump is apparently oblivious.

Donald Trump, Twitter

Trump’s pitiful and tragic mishandling of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is rife with examples of how he has made things worse by talking (or tweeting) about them. For instance, Trump’s suggestion that ingesting bleach would be an appropriate cure for the virus turned into a multi-day news story as he flagrantly lied about what he said, that was all on video. It has gotten so bad for Trump that even his allies were embarrassed by his antics at the Coronavirus Task Force briefings (aka the Trump 2020 Reelection Campaign Infomercials). He was even briefly persuaded to abandon the daily briefings due his rapidly declining approval ratings.

However, nothing has been able to dissuade Trump from devoting copious amounts of time to his favorite media platform, Twitter. And on Thursday morning Trump suffered another painful breakdown with a barrage of 49 tweets, all before noon. What was especially notable about this tweetstorm was Trump’s singular fixation on a story from last year: The conviction of his former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who he fired for lying.

There was some news regarding this story related to a few handwritten notes that were released by Attorney General Bill Barr’s blatantly biased Justice Department. The notes themselves contained nothing newsworthy. They were merely the musings of FBI agents on how best to interrogate Flynn who later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. But there was no evidence of any wrongdoing whatsoever on the part of the agents. The only purpose Barr might have had to selectively leak this info was to provide chum for the sharks on the right to get hysterical about, and for Trump deflect from his much more serious problems concerning the coronavirus.

Trump took the bait. His Twitter feed was flooded with retweets of bootlicking Republicans, wingnut media shills, random Twitter bots, and notorious Internet conspiracy kooks. Among them were 27 tweets hyping the non-story about Flynn, and just handful of partisans praising Trump’s pitiful pandemic response. But of Trump’s 11 direct tweets, not a single one addressed the coronavirus. There was literally zero out of 49 that had any constructive comment regarding the crisis that has infected more than a million Americans – and killed more than 60,000 – in just two months.

This is how Trump spends his time. When he isn’t watching Fox News or playing the lead role in his daily reality show style briefing, he embraces his Twitter machine and unloads in a scattershot fashion, hitting none of his intended targets. But he is nothing if not persistent, and tediously repetitive, as demonstrated in this frenzied tweet:

Not surprisingly, much of Trump’s ammo is aimed at the media that he detests for telling the truth about him. And it’s ironic that, as lazy and disoriented as Trump is, he once again trots out his lame “Do-Nothing Democrats” label. Meanwhile, Trump’s suggestion that Democrats and the media are trying to steal the election is pure projection. That’s precisely what he did, with Russia’s help, in 2016, and again last year with his attempts to extort Ukraine, for which he was impeached. And, of course, he offers no evidence whatsoever of any Democratic election misconduct.

The American people need to remember that Trump consistently behaves in this manner wherein he focuses intently on his own egocentric cravings. While the rest of the country is hunkering down in their homes, 30 million plus have lost their jobs, the economy is free fall, and the toll on human suffering and lives continues to rise, Trump can’t be bothered with even making mention of it in 49 tweets. And if anyone is still wondering how we sunk to this low, Trump’s latest tweet-splosion should clear that up. He just doesn’t care about anything but himself.

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

Jared Kushner Tells Fox News that 60,000 Dead ‘Is a Great Success Story’

History will record the total absence of “leadership” provided by Donald Trump and his regime as a catastrophic failure. It is unimaginable how thoroughly negligent Trump has been as a deadly pandemic spread across the nation and the world.

Donald Trump, Jared Kushner

Trump’s first inclination was to ignore the coronavirus entirely. He failed to take heed of at least a dozen warnings in his Daily Presidential Briefings. Then he cavalierly dismissed the threat as trivial, saying that it was “totally under control,” that it would “disappear…like a miracle,” and that “you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.” It is now more than a million. And through it all he refused to take any responsibility for his negligence and incompetence as he wasted crucial months shifting blame to others.

At the same time, Trump hijacked the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings to cast himself as the star of what became an egocentric reality TV show that functioned more as a Trump 2020 reelection campaign infomercial. Instead of focusing on public education, he disseminated lies, insulted reporters, and bragged about the ratings. It got to the point that even his political allies were grimacing at his bizarre behavior. So he announced that he would cease to attend the briefings. That didn’t last but a couple of days.

Which brings us to Wednesday morning when Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, made an appearance on Fox News for his regular propaganda and happy-talk segment (video below). And he didn’t disappoint his hosts, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. He kept his remarks socially distant from reality by faithfully adhering to pre-established talking points such as his disparagement of health experts as “the eternal lockdown crowd.” Then he elaborated…

“We’re on the other side of the medical aspect of this, and I think that we’ve achieved all the different milestones that are needed. So the federal government rose to the challenge, and this is a great success story.”

Literally every line of that is flagrantly untrue. We are certainly not “on the other side of the medical aspect of this.” To the contrary, the number of infections and fatalities continue to rise. We have not “achieved all the different milestones.” Unless Kushner regards 60,000 deaths an administration milestone. What’s more, we are not even close to the number of Americans tested that experts say are necessary to “flatten the curve.”

Kushner’s assertion that “the federal government rose to the challenge” is not only false considering its tragically poor performance, it contradicts what Trump says is the federal government’s role. Trump has repeatedly insisted that the states have primary responsibility and the feds are are just a backup of last resort.

Finally, Kushner closed by calling the Trump administration’s handling of this crisis “a great success story.” That’s an assessment so preposterous it hardly deserves a response. With tens of thousands of dead Americans, and over a million more suffering, any characterization of this as successful can only come from deranged and callously insensitive mind.

However, Trump is desperate to sell this snake oil story. The American people are not buying his self-serving presentations of an allegedly flawless response to the COVID-19 pandemic, nor his utterly insufficient efforts to bring relief to a nation crippled physically, emotionally, and financially. And he has fallen behind Joe Biden in every national poll, as well as polling in many of the critical swing states. It is in that state of desperation that Trump is frantically struggling to survive politically and psychologically. But with each passing day he seems to be losing both battles.

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

Fox News Cultists – And Nearly No One Else – Believe Trump is Honest

The determination of Donald Trump to malign the credibility of the media has taken a toll. However, the impact has been felt mostly by his own devoted disciples. The American people by and large continue to have little respect for Trump as a trustworthy source of information.

Trump Lies

Trump’s problems are entirely of his own making. His frequent and shameless lying does not go unnoticed. He has been documented to have told more than 18,000 lies since his inauguration. And particularly with regard to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Trump has repeatedly disseminated easily verified falsehoods. As a result, the majority of the American people don’t believe what he says about pretty much anything. Even more painful from Trump’s perspective, and after years of vilification, they believe the media more.

A new poll by USA Today/Suffolk University affirms these views. When asked if they think Trump is honest and trustworthy, only 31% said that he is, while more than twice as many (64%) said that he is not. What’s more, when the responses were broken down by preferences for news sources, the ideological divide was starkly revealing:

“According to the Suffolk poll, of the 31% of Americans who believe Trump is honest and trustworthy, nearly two-thirds of them say Fox is their favorite news source. Among Fox-first viewers – who comprise about 25% of Americans in the survey – 78% say Trump is honest and trustworthy, while just 15% disagree.

The imbalance is even more striking when you look at people who don’t trust Fox the most. Among the three-fourths of the population who don’t list Fox as their No. 1, just 15% say Trump is honest and trustworthy, while nearly 80% say he is not.”

Let that sink in. The poll shows, firstly, that only 25% of the American people say they watch Fox News. The number is actually smaller than that as the Nielsen ratings show that only about 1% of TV viewers are actually tuning in the right-wing network. The poll respondents are likely just giving credit to the channel that reflects their political biases.

Of the 75% of Americans who are not Fox News viewers, a measly 15% of them regard Trump as honest and trustworthy. That compares to 78% of the Fox cultists who are only a quarter of the total respondents in the poll.

Consequently, Trump is suffering a huge trust deficit from which he is unlikely to recover in the few months remaining before the election. And his recovery is all the more difficult since there is no sign that he plans to be more truthful going forward, or that is even able to be. Trump’s commitment to spewing self-serving fiction has been a key component of his character (or lack thereof) for decades. And the more he puts himself in from of the people, the more he lies, and the more his credibility sinks into an abyss.

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

GOING POSTAL: Trump’s USPS Envy Reveals His Egomaniacal Intentions

Never forget that there is always an ulterior motive behind everything Donald Trump does. If there isn’t a tangible personal benefit for Trump he wouldn’t be doing it. That benefit could be political, financial, or just a shot in the arm to his voracious ego. But it’s there, and you don’t usually have to dig too deep to find it.

Donald Trump, Stock Market Crash

Last week Trump reprised his long-running vilification of the U.S. Postal Service. His hostility to this agency, that is explicitly authorized by the Constitution, is rooted in his jealousy of and contempt for Jeff Bezos, a real billionaire and the owner of Amazon and the Washington Post. In a rancid screed on Friday Trump called the Postal Service “a joke” and complained about their management and deficits, saying that…

“The post office, if they raised the price of a package by approximately four times, it would be a whole new ballgame. But they don’t want to raise it because they don’t want to insult Amazon, and they don’t want to insult other companies, perhaps, that they like. The post office should raise the price of the packages to the companies. Not to the people, to the companies. If they did that, it would be a whole different story.”

First of all, if the Post Office raised their prices four times, those costs would be passed on to their customers. So Trump’s ignorant and disingenuous promise not to burden “the people” with the increases is a purposeful lie. This is similar to his ludicrous claim that tariffs imposed on China are paid by the Chinese government directly to the U.S. treasury. In fact, they are paid by American companies who either absorb the decline in their profit margin, or tack the increase on to their products, amounting to a de facto tax on all American consumers. As a failed businessman Trump can’t be expected to understand how these things work.

What’s more, Trump’s assertion that Amazon is getting some kind of a sweetheart deal is false. They are paying bulk rates similar to all other shippers of mass quantities of packages. It’s also false that the Post Office is losing money as result of their relationship with Amazon. Actually, it is Amazon and other large retailers who are the bright spots in the USPS business. Without them the Postal Service would be even further in debt. And Trump’s idiotic proposal to raise rates would likely cause Amazon and others to develop their own delivery operations (which Amazon has already started), resulting in still deeper debt for the USPS.

The aim by many on the right is to fully privatize the USPS and run it like FedEx. That’s preposterous. FedEx and other third-party shippers are profitable because they took only the most profitable type of business from the Postal Service. They do not, and cannot, deliver ordinary first class mail. Nor do they service many rural areas. So unless you want to pay $14.00 to send a letter to grandma, or a birthday card to your sister, you better start supporting the Post Office.

The real problem facing the USPS is not package delivery, but a bizarre requirement that they must pre-fund 75 years’ worth of retiree health benefits. Neither the government nor private companies are required to do that. And the prices for their services are in line with their costs. That is actually required by a 2006 law mandating that “each line of business within the postal service set its prices at least high enough to break even.” It is, therefore, literally against the law for the postal service to lose money on package delivery. Again, business moron Trump wouldn’t know this.

So why is Trump fixated on this issue when there are so many other matters (such as a deadly global pandemic) that require the nation’s attention? For two reasons. First, he is bursting with envy of Jeff Bezos. He knows that he will never achieve the sort of success or respect that Bezos has. Consequently, he seeks to illegally abuse the power of the presidency to inflict pain on his nemesis. In addition, Bezos is also the owner of the Washington Post that Trump despises because they aren’t afraid to publish the truth about him. That assault on journalism is another unlawful action on Trump’s part intended to intimidate the free press.

The second motivation behind Trump’s attack on the Postal Service is his fear of the prospect of all Americans having access to their right to vote. Mail-in ballots are permitted in many states and also by the Pentagon for our citizens in the military. And it is especially necessary at this moment in time to protect people from exposure to the coronavirus.

However, Trump has claimed that mail-in voting is only used by cheaters (including himself) and that it is rife with fraud, although there has never been any evidence of that. However, Trump himself revealed the real reason he’s opposed to it when he told Fox News that it “doesn’t work out well for Republicans.” He went on to complain that Democrats were “crazy” for supporting vote-by-mail, saying that “They had levels of voting, that if you ever agreed to it you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

So there you have it. Trump is afraid because he knows that the more people who vote, the less likely it is that Republicans will be elected. And his confederates in the Republican Party agree with him. They are probably right. Consequently, killing initiatives like vote-by-mail that make it easier to vote is part of the GOP platform, along with other assorted means of suppressing votes.

What true patriots should be doing now is contacting their representatives in Congress and demanding that they support the Postal Service by fully funding it and providing emergency funds to help it get through the pandemic. Remember, they are a major American employer, including tens of thousands of veterans. In addition, you can help by buying a sheet of commemorative stamps. I would suggest the Trump tribute stamp that is labeled as “Year of the Rat.”

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

GOOD NEWS! Trump is Reportedly Retreating in Fear to His Bunker

For the past several weeks Donald Trump has cast himself as the star of his latest reality TV show, “The Coronavirus Task Force” (aka The Trump 2020 Reelection Campaign Infomercial). He has shamelessly exploited the public health crisis by hijacking these briefings to make himself the center of attention and advance his own political objectives.

Trump Fear

Trump’s voracious ego compelled him to take center stage for these pseudo-informational events because he was convinced that his magnetic presence would be impossible to resist. Unfortunately for him, his impression of his own charisma was a figment of his acutely narcissistic imagination. As the briefings played on (and on and on and on), it became clear that Trump wasn’t doing himself any favors. He was also hurting his fellow Republicans and even the reputations of the experts on the task force. Polling on both Trump’s job approval and his handling of the coronavirus have declined sharply. What’s more, surveys showed that he was losing the presidential election to Joe Biden nationally and in key swing states like Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Consequently, Trump’s advisors sought frantically to persuade him that he needs to fire himself as the COVID-19 spokesmodel. and it appears that they have finally gotten through. Axios is reporting that…

“A number of Trump’s most trusted advisers – both inside and outside the White House – have urged him to stop doing marathon televised briefings. They’ve told him he’s overexposed and these appearances are part of the reason polls aren’t looking good for him right now against Joe Biden. ‘I told him it’s not helping him,’ said one adviser to the president. ‘Seniors are scared. And the spectacle of him fighting with the press isn’t what people want to see.’ But Trump has defended the practice, telling critics that the briefings get good ratings.”

Indeed, Trump has been fiercely fixated on the ratings for the televised briefings. He has the shallow view that high ratings are reflective of his popularity. They aren’t. Many people tune in to get information from experts like Dr. Fauci. Still more watch to see what bizarre nonsense Trump will disgorge next. And on that front at least, Trump doesn’t disappoint.

It’s difficult to imagine that anyone finds Trump’s hysterics at these briefings appealing. He spends the bulk of his time lying about imaginary achievements, lavishing praise on himself, and yelling petulantly at reporters. His behavior is so outlandish that even many of his allies are repulsed. In addition to prescribing potentially fatal “cures” like injecting bleach, Trump passes off fiction as fact, such as his claim that the United States has done more virus testing than all major countries combined (Fact check: U.S. tests = 5 million, other countries = 20 million).

It’s no secret to those paying attention that Trump has been using the briefings to replace his cult rallies that can no longer be held. Not being able to soak up the adoration of his glassy-eyed disciples has put Trump in a funk. The briefings have allowed him to unload his spiel while lashing out at the press that for some reason still thinks they need to cover his mania as if it’s newsworthy. But lately he’s been frustrated by not being able to coherently respond to questions challenging his mounting failures. And Trump shut down Friday’s briefing in less than thirty minutes without taking a single question.

If Trump does retreat from the briefing podium he is surely going to find something else to satisfy his starving ego. He may visit factories that are making medical supplies and take credit for their productivity. He could show up at businesses that are prematurely reopening, putting the lives of their employees and customers at risk. He’ll surely be a more frequent guest on Fox News. Or he’ll do what was just announced on Friday: deliver a commencement speech at West Point which will require cadets, who had been sent home, to return to New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus, in order witness another Trumpian display of propaganda and rancor.

At this point Trump is running on the fumes of his fear. He is afraid to answer questions that aren’t posed by Trump-fluffers on Fox News. He is afraid of his polling declining even further. He is afraid of losing the election in November. Sadly, he isn’t afraid of making fatally misguided decisions that are putting the lives of more Americans at risk. But getting off of the the TV every day can only benefit the nation. Ironically, it will also benefit Trump, but he’s too stupid to realize it. As a result, he’ll somehow screw up whatever personal benefit he might have otherwise enjoyed. Which is more good news for America.

UPDATE: Trump tweeted about this and, typically, whined about the press being mean to him, displayed his ignorance of ratings, and proved that he can’t handle honest criticism so he calls it fake in an impotent effort to dismiss it. Can he be any more pathetic?

Trump saying that “the American people are getting nothing but Fake News” during an event where he is the dominant speaker is quite a confession. Notice also that Trump is only complaining about his role in the briefings. None of the other participants, the doctors, scientists, public health administrators, even Mike Pence, are complaining in this pitiful manner. But it sounds like Trump is planning to not only bow out of the the briefings, but eliminate them altogether. We’ll see.

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

Defending His Bleach Injection Insanity, Trump Lies and Makes Matters Even Worse

When lying holds no moral weight, the liar will carelessly compound his dishonesty. So it is with Donald Trump whose pathological falsification of all things great and small is bound to set historical records. Unfortunately, this isn’t sport, and the likelihood that people will be hurt, and even die,cannot be ignored.

Donald Trump Virus

Trump’s bizarre and dangerous assertions on Thursday that injections of bleach or alcohol could be potential treatments for COVID-19 (coronavirus) were the latest escalation of his war on human beings. Trump seems to cherish initiatives that put lives at risk. He displays that in his efforts to kill Obamacare, his rollback of fuel emission standards, and remarkably in his proposal to nuke hurricanes. He clearly doesn’t have even a kindergartners grasp of science. But more worrisome is that he has zero empathy for the citizens of the United States or the world.

On Friday Trump sought to disinfect his noxious suggestion about ingesting household cleaning solutions. But his pitifully lame effort only served to amplify his abundant ignorance. For the record, at Thursday’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing (aka Trump 2020 reelection campaign infomercial), Trump hyped an insane theory of his own making with this inquiry: “The disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning.”

Yes, of course there is. And it would totally kill the virus – along with the patient – but hey, that’s the trade-off. The comment was so preposterous that Trump had to walk it back early Friday as he spoke with reporters. However, his explanation only affirmed that he will lie shamelessly no matter how obvious it is. When asked to clarify his remarks, Trump told reporters that “I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen.”

The only problem with that excuse is that the video above shows that he wasn’t addressing reporters. He plainly turned to Dr. Deborah Birx and Bill Bryan of the Department of Homeland Security for affirmation of his wackadoodle theory. Furthermore, there was no hint of sarcasm in his voice or manner. And if that weren’t enough, Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, issued a statement saying that…

“President Trump has repeatedly said that Americans should consult with medical doctors regarding coronavirus treatment, a point that he emphasized again during yesterday’s briefing. Leave it to the media to irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines.”

Notice that McEnany doesn’t bother to point to whatever she is asserting was out of context. She knows that the media was merely quoting Trump, and doing so accurately. Even worse, McEnany doesn’t dispute the impression that Trump left as endorsing bleach injections. She merely advises that people consult with their doctors first. There’s a problem with that as well. Because if you ask your doctor if it’s okay to shoot up Clorox, you’re likely to be committed to a psyche ward.

Finally, Trump seems to think that it’s his job to float reckless and potentially fatal therapies to the American people on national television. And he said as much in this exchange:

Philip Bump, Washington Post: Respectfully sir, you’re the president and people tuning into these briefings they want to get information and guidance and want to know what to do. They’re not looking for rumors.”
Trump: I’m the president and you are fake news. And you know what I’ll say to you? I’ll say it very nicely. You ready? It’s just a suggestion from a brilliant lab by a very, very smart, perhaps brilliant man. He’s talking about sun. He’s talking about heat. And you see the numbers. So that’s it. That’s all I have. I’m just here to present talent. I’m here to present ideas.”

First of all, the suggestion to inject poisons was not from the “very smart, perhaps brilliant man.” That was all Trump. More to the point, it is not the president’s job to present any and all ideas, particularly those that are not validated by science and that can result in tragedy. That’s just rumor mongering. And Trump’s recent experience with hyping the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine proved the folly of such snake oil pitches when it turned out that it contributed to more deaths among a trial group of coronavirus patients, than those who did not receive it.

If there’s one thing that can be learned from this, it’s that Trump’s babbling must never be taken seriously. His ignorance and callous disregard for the welfare of others can only lead to pain and loss. And even when he’s called out for his fatal errors, he will manufacture distortions of reality to try to absolve himself of responsibility. These are the behaviors of a narcissistic sociopath. And those who continue to cover for him, whether in the public, the press, or politics, are not only complicit, they are hopelessly lost cultists.

UPDATE: So after suggesting that people ingest poison, then lying that it was HHS official Bill Bryan who said it, then lying that he was sarcastically addressing it to reporters, Trump has now tweeted that he did in fact say it to Bryan. Trump really needs someone on his staff to manage his lies better.

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

Reality TV Host Trump Appoints Another Fox News Regular to a High Profile Post

The gross negligence and incompetence of Donald Trump has been painfully evident in his tragic mishandling of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis. This intrusion of his ignorance and ego (observable at his daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings that make even his allies cringe) could not have resulted in anything but tragedy and loss.

Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

Just as responsible for his personal failings is his reliance on a coterie of imbeciles and bootlickers, many recruited from his State TV propaganda operation, aka Fox News. On Thursday morning it was announced that yet another Fox News talking head has been elevated to a critical post in the Trump administration. Former general Anthony Tata has been a Fox News contributor for several years. His appearances are predictably slathered in adulation of Trump and blind loyalty to Trumpism. That’s been a sure-fire method of attaining employment in the administration of our reality TV game show host “president.” Politico reports that…

“Anthony Tata, a retired Army brigadier general, novelist and Fox News regular, will be tapped as the next Pentagon policy chief, according to three people with knowledge of the decision.

“If confirmed by the Senate, Tata would replace John Rood, who was forced out in February as part of President Donald Trump’s loyalty purge after two years in the job.”

Trump’s embrace of Fox News is an unprecedented merger of media and government. He routinely seeks the advice of Fox anchors who are bursting with shallow opinions, but have no relevant skills. Sean Hannity is Trump’s virtual chief of staff, despite lacking either education or experience. And the Fox News/White House revolving door has seen at least 21 people spinning through its portal. They include…

  • Senior advisor Hope Hicks
  • Former Fox president Bill Shine
  • State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert
  • Former Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka
  • Former National Security Advisor John Bolton
  • White House director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp
  • Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson
  • Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell
  • Deputy National Security Advisor K. T. McFarland

This is the sort of politicization of critical government roles that insures catastrophe. The White House utterly lacks any assembly of knowledge, experience, or historical memory. Consequently it suffers from a tunnel blind sameness of perspective that is wholly obedient to the Dear Leader responsible for doling out privilege and access to power.

As a recent example of this abysmal absence of leadership and devotion to unflinching personal loyalty, the Trump administration dismissed Dr. Richard Bright, the leading expert on viruses and vaccines at the Department of Health and Human Services. Bright subsequently spoke out about his “demotion” noting that, because he “resisted efforts to fund potentially dangerous drugs (i.e. hydroxychloroquine) promoted by those with political connections,” the administration retaliated against him with a punitive transfer. As it turns out, that drug, that was hyped repeatedly and recklessly by Trump and Fox News actually contributed to more deaths among a trial group of coronavirus patients, than those who did not receive it.

These efforts by Trump to pack his White House with ultra-partisan right-wingers that he finds at Fox News can only only lead to ever more incidents of bad judgment and potentially deadly mistakes, whether by misguided intent or flagrant ignorance. This is particularly dangerous during a time when the nation is engulfed in a pandemic that requires leadership driven by science, not politics. Unfortunately, Trump is incapable of governing that way. So we can expect to see more turmoil, suffering, and disastrous blunders until he is booted out of office. November cannot come too soon.

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