Peak Stupidity: Ranking GOP Member of House Intel Committee Thinks Asking for Straws is Socialism

The most recent polls show that the American people, particularly the young, are not generally fearful of what used to be portrayed as the scourge of socialism. In fact, a more enlightened public is now aware that some of this country’s most cherished institutions (Medicare, Social Security, public schools, etc.) were developed directly from socialist ideas. And new policies that advocate universal health coverage and tuition-free college are gaining in popularity.

Devin Nunes

Of course those views are not shared by the Fox News viewing Deplorables who still worship at the Cult of Donald Trump. Their disdain for an agenda that seeks to mitigate the historically high income inequality, and to make fairness in jobs, taxation, and education a priority, is as strong as ever. And it’s strength is rooted in the ignorance of what socialism actually is.

A perfect example of that ignorance exposed itself Sunday morning in the form of a tweet by Republican Devin Nunes. He is best known for his corrupt chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee wherein he distorted the hearings it held and colluded with Trump to shape White House propaganda. With the Democrats having taken over the majority in the House, Nunes is now the ranking member, while Adam Schiff was elevated to chairman.

The tweet Nunes posted displays his pitiful misunderstanding of socialism, while also advancing his prejudicial views. He tweeted that:

Nunes is breaking the sound barrier of dumbassedness here. He is somehow associating a policy that seeks to reduce pollution and waste with his nightmare of a government controlled society. But free citizens in a democracy frequently enact bills that produce a desired and positive effect. That’s actually a validation of freedom, not some imaginary “Straw Police State.”

Nunes must also oppose separating recyclable garbage, banning cancer causing asbestos, health warnings on cigarettes, and increasing vehicle fuel efficiency standards. Anything that actually improves the lives of the people is inherently anti-Republican, because it interferes with their right to unlimited profits despite the public harm.

What’s more, Nunes is blissfully unaware of his own embrace of socialism. As a farmer in the Central Valley of California (although that is in dispute), Nunes has received tens of thousands of dollars in government subsidies. The district that he represents has received nearly half a billion dollars since 1995. How would Nunes define those handouts to people and businesses who are already prosperous?

This is the kind of idiocy that marks the Republican aversion to, and attacks on, socialism and the new breed of proud Social Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It is the result of being uninformed and unwilling to learn. And that problem is exacerbated by Fox News, who disseminate the lies and distortions of numbskulls like Nunes. It’s one of the reasons that Donald Trump says that he “loves the uneducated.” Without them he would never have been elected and no one would show up at his cult rallies.

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

Fair and WTF? Fox News Insults Democrat as ‘Bird-Brained’, Exalts Republican as ‘Modern Marvel’

Last week the media was abuzz over the “controversy” about whether or not Fox News should be permitted to host a Democratic primary debate. That’s a pretty easy question to resolve considering Fox’s history of bias. And a few weeks ago, Tom Perez, the chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) reversed his prior public statements on the subject and announced that Fox News would not be considered as a debate broadcast partner.

Fox News Alert

Naturally, this outraged Fox News and it’s forward flank of Storm-Trumpers who were appalled at losing their opportunity to disparage Democratic presidential candidates on national television. But their disingenuous consternation was a fraud from the start. They complained that they are a legitimate news enterprise with reputable journalists. Never mind that the vast majority of their airtime is dominated by rightist surrogates for Donald Trump who pretend to be nonpartisan reporters.

When that argument failed to persuade anyone that Fox News was an appropriate platform for a Democratic debate, they accused Democrats of being afraid of Fox. Why Fox thinks that impugning the character of Democrats as cowards is a good way to convince the party that Fox is unbiased is puzzling, to say the least. That charge is both unfair and untrue. It isn’t fear, but intelligence, that drove Democrats to decline to assist Fox in sabotaging their candidates. It makes no sense to reward a network that spends twenty-four hours a day promoting Trump as their savior, while viciously maligning Democrats and others who dare to challenge Trump’s divine right to absolute power.

Now Fox News is helpfully validating the decision by the DNC by continuing to demonstrate their abject hatred for Democrats. On their website they posted two stories next to each other that tells the tale of of Fox’s blatant political prejudices. One story featured a favorite foil for Fox News, Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She was pictured with a caption that read “Bird-Brained” and was accompanied by an article by an avowed climate denier who criticized her “Green New Deal.”

The other story was about Republican representative Dan Crenshaw. He is also a veteran who lost an eye in Afghanistan. His story had a caption reading “Modern Marvel” and was headlined “GOP Rep Reveals ‘Captain America’ Glass Eye to Avengers Star.” The accompanying piece was a short, unnarrated video of Crenshaw meeting actor Chris Evans.

Fox News, Ocasio-Cortez, Crenshaw

So Fox News chose to juxtapose a story about a Republican they portrayed as a superhero with one about a women they maligned as ignorant and evil. And this is the network that has seriously tried to argue that they should be treated like a legitimate news operation that can fairly moderate a political debate by the party they so obviously despise. What a joke. At least we can be thankful that they are so profoundly stupid that they continue to provide these examples of why they should never be taken seriously.

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

Fox News Blacklists Conservatives for ‘Refusing to Fawn Over President Donald Trump’

Earlier this week Jane Mayer of the New Yorker published an exhaustive treatise detailing how Fox News and Donald Trump’s White House have become inextricably intertwined. The article presented numerous examples of the network working hand in hand with the administration to either whitewash Trump’s failures or malign his critics. While the political bias of Fox News is not a revelation, the aggregation of so much evidence in one story has a had a real impact.

Fox News, Censorship

Among those impacted was the Democratic National Committee (DNC), who shortly after the article was published reversed their prior position of allowing Fox News to host a Democratic primary debate. That was never a good idea, but it took the voluminous presentation by Mayer to convince the DNC. And subsequently, more testimony to Fox’s propagandistic aspirations have come to light.

Bernard Goldberg was once a familiar face on Fox’s right-wing roster. He was a frequent contributor to the O’Reilly Factor before Bill O’Reilly was fired for multiple instances of sexual harassment that cost the network millions of dollars in settlement fees. O’Reilly’s termination occurred just a couple of months after Trump’s inauguration. And it wasn’t long after that that Goldberg found himself person non grata for an entirely different reason. According to Newsweek (because Goldberg’s website is blocked by a paywall):

“Goldberg detailed how Fox News executives refused to allow conservatives to criticize Trump and other right-wing figures, such as Sarah Palin. Goldberg wrote a Tuesday blog post on his personal website saying top figures at the cable network sought retribution against him after he complained Sean Hannity and other hosts were only flattering Trump and Palin during interviews rather than pressing them journalistically.”

Goldberg went on to lambaste Fox and singled out Sean Hannity for conducting interviews that “resemble wet kisses a lot more than journalism.” And he further alleged that Fox News was blacklisting any conservative on the network who wasn’t unwaveringly adoring of Donald Trump. But the banishment was strictly limited to disloyal conservatives.

“Fox will tolerate a liberal criticizing President Trump, I said, but the network didn’t want conservatives taking shots at him. Sometimes I defended the president against what I thought was unfair criticism. But I was also critical of Mr. Trump, of his vindictiveness and his dishonesty.”

This is the environment at Fox News as described by a stalwart conservative commentator. And the treatment he’s receiving isn’t unique to him. Fox previously jettisoned conservative Trump critics like David Frum, Bill Kristol, and George Will. It’s clear that anyone who strays from the approved doctrine will be excommunicated and banished.

Now some people are aghast that the DNC nixed Fox as a host for their primary debates. It seems unarguable that a network that has devoted itself to destroying Democrats through insults and lies ought not to recognized as a legitimate news enterprise and rewarded for their abuse. Indeed, Fox’s rabid hatred for Democrats even led one of their top personalities, Lou Dobbs, to tweet a call for Democrats to be prosecuted for abuse of power and treason. It’s also rather hypocritical to criticize Democrats for blacklisting Fox when Fox itself is blacklisting their own conservatives who they now feel have wandered off the wingnut trail.

Some of the critics of the DNC’s decision claim that Fox has some reputable journalists and shouldn’t be shut out. But that’s an absurd argument. No one would attend a convention of their mortal enemies simply because there might be a handful of neutral bystanders hanging around. And those who say that Democrats who are “afraid” to appear on Fox aren’t fit for office are also missing the point. Nobody is afraid of Fox. It isn’t fear that brought about this decision. Quite the opposite. It’s having the courage to smack down a loud, aggressive, bullying opponent who means you nothing but harm. And it’s having the intelligence to deny a phony “news” operation the legitimacy of your presence and participation.

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

The portrait that Goldberg paints of the editorial prejudices at Fox News corroborates everything that Mayer revealed in her article. And that article corroborates everything that many critics of Fox have been saying for years. And while the biases of Fox have been well known for a long time, they have gotten much worse during the Trump era. It is now a fully devotional cult worshiping clan wherein there is no discernible distinction between Fox and the Trump administration. And that is no place hold a “fair and balanced” debate for any political party.

Top 10 Reasons the DNC Was Right to Refuse a Fox News Hosted Democratic Primary Debate

A few weeks ago the chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Tom Perez, was asked by Fox News anchor Bret Baier whether he would consider scheduling a Democratic Party primary debate on Fox News. Perez responded saying “Absolutely, we’re having discussions with Fox and others.” That reply was widely criticized by Democrats appalled at the notion of rewarding the propaganda arm of the Trump White House with that kind of opportunity to continue their campaign of political sabotage.

Fox News Sad

However, after the publication of Jane Mayer’s article in the New Yorker that detailed the all-consuming embrace between Donald Trump and Fox News, it appears that Perez has had a wise and welcome change of heart. He now says that:

“I believe that a key pathway to victory is to continue to expand our electorate and reach all voters. That is why I have made it a priority to talk to a broad array of potential media partners, including Fox News. Recent reporting in the New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and Fox News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates. Therefore, Fox News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates.”

That decision should have been an easy one from the start. Fox News has not made a secret of it’s prejudices. They spend twenty-four hours a day promoting Trump as the savior of America, shielding him from any and all criticism, and viciously maligning Democrats and others who dare to challenge Trump’s divine right to absolute power.

It’s tempting to invoke analogies about putting foxes in charge of hen houses, but that’s way too easy. It would have to also include hiring Colonel Sanders to run the operation. And if anyone isn’t convinced that Fox News is unfit to produce an impartial and nonpartisan debate program, here are some recent segments that Fox has aired that reveal the extremities of their bias:

  1. Fox News accuses Democrats of advocating infanticide.
  2. Fox News brazenly lies to smear Democrats on a mission of mercy to reduce global poverty.
  3. Sean Hannity of Fox News thinks Americans shouldn’t ever see the Mueller report on Trump.
  4. Trump confirms that Fox News shills are his chief influencers.
  5. Fox News refused to run an ad for an Oscar-nominated anti-Nazi documentary.
  6. Tucker Carlson of Fox News insists that there was ‘no collusion’ between Trump and Russia because there just wasn’t any.
  7. Fox News Fails to see any Russian collusion in Roger Stone’s indictment.
  8. Fox News compares Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Hitler and Stalin in unhinged rant.
  9. Fox News airs Ruth Bader Ginsburg obituary graphic.
  10. Fox News hosts blatantly push him to declare a national emergency over his border wall funding.

Can anyone make a credible case for the network that spews those lies and slander to host a debate by the party they have been unambiguously trying to destroy? Well, Fox News senior vice president Bill Sammon can. He said that:

“We hope the DNC will reconsider its decision to bar Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, all of whom embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism, from moderating a Democratic presidential debate. They’re the best debate team in the business and they offer candidates an important opportunity to make their case to the largest TV news audience in America, which includes many persuadable voters.”

There is so much in there that is just plain nonsense. To begin with, it’s already been established that “journalistic integrity and professionalism” is nonexistent on Fox News. They do not have “the largest TV news audience in America.” In fact, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC has beaten her competition, Sean Hannity, nearly every night for four straight months. And Fox’s audience is the least persuadable bunch of right-wing cult worshipers in TV land. They are more reliably Republican voters than even members of the GOP. There simply isn’t a significant number of Fox News viewers who will ever vote for a Democrat.

Nevertheless, Fox News still believes that they should get a chance to host a Democratic debate. Despite being a network whose hosts and contributors have universally banded together to disparage special counsel Robert Mueller – an American hero who has devoted his entire life to public service – as a corrupt, conflicted, Stalinist, traitor to America. They remain silent when Trump calls the media “the enemy of the people.” creating an environment that encourages censorship and violence. They have advised Trump to act illegally by ignoring judicial rulings and issuing executive orders that violate the Constitution. And no one on Fox said a word when Trump declared that he knows – and could name – Democrats in Congress who hate America.

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

Does that sound like a network that should be allowed to host a debate by members of the party that they are railing against in the most despicable terms? Obviously Perez came to his senses by nixing Fox as a debate host. And if anyone thinks that it’s discriminatory, just remember that Trump has already nixed the networks that he doesn’t like. While he has give more than forty interviews to Fox News, he has given zero to CNN and MSNBC. And he is supposed to be the president of all the people, not just the GOP/Trump-friendly ones he finds at Fox News. The Democratic Party has no such obligation. And they certainly have no obligation to present themselves to their sworn enemies for an orchestrated political assault.

UPDATE: Naturally Trump weighed in on this via Twitter:

Which is funny, because he actually boycotted a Fox News debate himself. It was because he didn’t like Megyn Kelly who was one of the moderators. Now he’s all verklempt because Democrats don’t want to legitimize a network that does nothing but insult them.

Also, Trump has already done the same thing. He’s given 40+ interviews to Fox and zero to CNN and MSNBC. What’s more, most Americans would love it if he boycotted debates not on Fox. The less of him, the better.

Devastating Poll: More Americans Believe Convicted Liar Michael Cohen than Donald Trump

In more than two years as President, Donald Trump’s approval rating has never risen above fifty percent. It’s a singular achievement in failure that no other president in history can claim. He is unchallenged as the most unpopular president ever. And yet, in his fantasy bubble world he still believes (and tweets) that he is universally beloved.

Donald Trump

Trump is so delusional that he frequently refers to himself as “your favorite president” in tweets (here and here and here and here and here and here and here). However, the truth is hard to avoid considering the wealth of data that exposes how reviled he is by everyone other than his Deplorable base. And a new poll by Quinnipiac University really drives home the point in a brutal way that will surely trigger spasms from the Twitterer-in-Chief.

Quinnipiac asked 1,120 voters “In general, who do you believe more: President Trump or Michael Cohen?” Fully half of the respondents said they believe Cohen more. Only thirty-five percent said they believe Trump. Let’s put that in perspective. It’s a pretty crushing judgment when a president is viewed as less believable than a confessed, convicted liar. But then again, we’re talking here about a president who has been documented to have lied more than 9,000 times since his inauguration.

Making matters worse, a plurality (44-36) say that “Cohen told the truth during his testimony before the U.S. House Oversight Committee.” In addition, a plurality of forty-one percent approve of the way Democrats handled the Cohen hearing. But a majority disapprove of the Republicans’ antics. And a broad majority (58-35) say that “Congress should do more to investigate Michael Cohen’s claims about President Trump’s unethical and illegal behavior.” And sixty-five percent say that Trump is not honest.

There’s a lot of other bad news for Trump in this poll. Overall, his approval rating is a dismal thirty-eight percent. He’s underwater on the questions of leadership skills, caring about average Americans, foreign policy, and immigration. Fully seventy-one percent say that he’s a bad role model for kids.

What’s more fifty-four percent say that special counsel Robert Mueller is “conducting a fair investigation.” Sixty-four percent say that “Trump committed crimes before he was president.” And a plurality of forty-five percent say he committed crimes while president.

Considering how furiously Trump has been trying to malign Democrats, Mueller, and what he calls the “Russia Witch Hunt Hoax,” these poll results reveal that his efforts have been profoundly unsuccessful. The majority of the American people are clearly unwilling to succumb to his lies and flagrant distortions of reality. And they haven’t been distracted by his attempts at misdirection (i.e. border walls, North Korea) or his retaliatory attacks on his political opponents and the media.

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

In fact, Trump’s wild flailing only serves to make him look more desperate, frightened, and guilty. While it might make him feel better, and fire up his most devoted cult followers, it is having zero impact on the electorate at large. Which will make it that much easier to hold him accountable via congressional investigations, special counsel and U.S. Attorney probes, and maybe even impeachment. Hopefully his day of reckoning will come before he does much more harm.

FINALLY! Jane Mayer’s New Yorker Story Asks if Fox News has Become Trump Propaganda

Twenty-three years ago Rupert Murdoch (an international, ultra-conservative newspaper baron) and Roger Ailes (a Republican media consultant) joined forces to launch Fox News, an avowedly right-wing cable news network. It’s mission was to advance the agenda of the far-right and to malign Democrats and other liberals. Any objective observer recognized their intentions. They were spelled out openly in the slogan, “fair and balanced,” which implied that all the other news outlets were not. It’s a tactic they borrowed from cult marketing.

Donald Trump Fox News

Over time Fox News transformed into a mouthpiece specifically dedicated to Donald Trump. While it still promoted Republican policies, it was through a filter that first took into consideration the best interests of Trump. The evidence of this bias was everywhere. And now Jane Mayer of the New Yorker has compiled an exhaustive collection of it that seals the case. She may be two years late, but the historical value of her documentation is still worthwhile. Some of the key observations included this description of the place that Fox News came to occupy in American media:

“It has evolved into something that hasn’t existed before in the United States. Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor of Presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and the author of ‘Messengers of the Right,’ a history of the conservative media’s impact on American politics, says of Fox, ‘It’s the closest we’ve come to having state TV.’ […] ‘Fox is not just taking the temperature of the base—it’s raising the temperature,” she says. ‘It’s a radicalization model.'”

Indeed. Fox News set out to stir up the Trump Deplorables into a army of angry misfits who have literally threatened to start a civil war over what they regard as the mistreatment of their Dear Leader. And Trump has helped to inflame those sentiments by declaring that the media (which doesn’t include Fox News) is “the enemy of the American people.” He persists in that calculated characterization even after several domestic terrorists have targeted the media for assassination.

Mayer also noted that the intertwining of of the White House and Fox News turned it into a hybrid creature that interacted “so seamlessly that it can be hard to determine, during a particular news cycle, which one is following the other’s lead.” Actually, it isn’t that hard. Trump is too ignorant to come up with an original idea. It is clearly Fox News that is running the President’s show. Numerous examples of him live-tweeting what he sees on Fox have been documented.

This bizarre embrace is further evident in the revolving door relationship between Fox and the Trump administration, wherein his staff was littered with former Foxies, while former staffers often ended up on the network’s payroll. Perhaps the most egregious example of that was when Trump hired Bill Shine as his Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. Shine was the former Fox News president who was fired for his role in enabling the sexual misconduct of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. He was also Sean Hannity’s producer before moving into the executive suites.

Mayer’s article covered a broad array of Fox News history. She wrote about Trump’s long personal relationship with Rupert Murdoch. She revealed that Fox had the Stormy Daniels story before other media, but declined to publish it because “Rupert wanted Trump to win.” She detailed how Trump sought to intervene in the AT&T/TimeWarner merger in order to punish CNN.

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

The whole article is worth the read for anyone interested in how Fox News became Trump’s propaganda division. But most of it is a just a very compelling retelling of the incestuous political/media affair that raged between Trump and Fox News. It’s useful to have this much information all in one place. And hopefully it will persuade some of the laggards who have been willfully blind to this conjoining of wingnuttery that allowing a criminal government to merge with an unethically biased media enterprise is both un-American and dangerous.

Trump’s Lies are Crushed By Senate Intel Vice-Chair: ‘There’s Plenty of Evidence’ of Collusion

Donald Trump has been stuck in a frantic and tedious loop of whiny denials for the past couple years. It consists primarily of him impotently proclaiming his innocence with regard to his nefarious associations with Russian operatives in an effort to steal the 2016 presidential election. For the most part his factless proclamations have only served to make him look more guilty.

Mark Warner, CNN

Among his most persistent citations of innocence has been a repeated reference to remarks by the Republican chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr. Last September Burr told reporters that he had not seen any direct evidence of collusion or conspiracy with Russia on the part of the President. Note that he did not say it didn’t happen, only that his committee had “no hard evidence” of it. But that was enough to trigger Trump into making multiple identical tweets on the subject. It began on Sep 12, 2018, and continued on Feb 7, 2019, and Feb 8, 2019 and Feb 9, 2019 and Feb 10, 2019 and Feb 22, 2019 and Feb 25, 2019.

Some of these tweets were Trump unleashing his standard “Witch Hunt” rants, and others were retweets from the likes of Sean Hannity. But they all said exactly the same thing incorrectly quoting Sen. Burr: “No Collusion!”

Well, on Sunday morning Trump’s favorite proof that he was a squeaky clean paragon of virtue fell apart. Sen. Mark Warner, the Vice-Chair of the Intelligence Committee appeared on CNN’s State of the Union and explicitly contradicted Trump’s distorted version of events (video below). His remarks could not have been more clear:

“Anyone who says there’s no evidence of collaboration – there’s plenty of evidence. […] The notion that there’s no evidence is just factually wrong. Just in the public domain there are literally reams and reams of evidence of Russian outreach to Trump officials and clear interest from Trump officials, including the President’s own son, welcoming the opportunity to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.”

Warner outlined a small portion of the evidence that was just revealed during the recent House Oversight Committee’s hearing with Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen. He cited three pieces of evidence from Cohen’s testimony:

“One, the fact that Donald Trump and Michael Cohen mislead the American public for months about the whole notion of trying to continue to get a Trump Tower project going in Moscow. […]

“The second is the evidence that Mr. Cohen put out that he was in the presence of Donald Trump when Roger Stone called indicating that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange from Wikileaks, indicating that Wikileaks was about to drop a bunch of very damaging information about Hillary Clinton. […]

“And finally we have this whole question wherein Mr. Trump knew about the meeting in Trump Tower that included Don Jr, Jared Kushner, the campaign manager, Paul Manafort. Clearly a meeting that was not about Russian adoption, but was about the idea of turning over dirt on Hillary Clinton.”

For good measure, Warner’s counterpart in the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, spoke on the same issues on CBS’s Face the Nation, saying that “there is both ‘direct evidence’ and ‘abundant circumstantial evidence’ of collusion with Russia.” He elaborated:

“They offer that dirt. There is an acceptance of that offer in writing from the president’s son, Don Jr., and there is overt acts in furtherance of that. That is the meeting at Trump Tower and all the lies to cover up that meeting at the Trump Tower, and apparently lies that the president participated in.”

So this should put an end to the fallacy that there is no evidence against Trump for conspiracy with Russia. Quite the opposite is true. There are mountains of evidence. And that’s even the position of the Vice-Chair of the Senate committee that Trump is so fond of citing on his own behalf. But don’t expect this to end Trump’s plaintive wailing that he’s innocent. When has reality ever interfered with his determination to disgorge obvious lies to shield himself from the consequences of his criminal behavior?

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

Trump’s 2 Hour CPAC Freak Out (Only on Fox News) Exceeds Even His Own Standards for Lunacy

Just when you thought you could never use the preface “Just when you thought” again when referring to Donald Trump, he makes an appearance at the Wingnut-Palooza festival, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Scheduled for a fifty minute address, the long-winded, rambling President spoke for a little over two hours.

Donald Trump

The entire speech was lousy with lies, insults, and imaginary recitations of events that obviously never took place outside the confines of his diseased mind. He revisited Hillary Clinton’s emails, his inauguration crowd size, and some totally incomprehensible blathering about tariffs that goes back to the eighteen hundreds. He even took some time out to hump the American flag.

It would be a monumental waste of time to do an analysis of the whole brain dump that Trump unloaded. But there are a few moments that set the tone for an afternoon of utter idiocy. Let’s begin with Trump’s descent into the sort of profanity that right-wingers would roast any Democrat for engaging in. Having something to do with the Reagan administration forty years ago, he said that:

Don’t bother trying to figure out what he’s talking about. Just move on to the next part where Trump exhibits his fear of the future that holds puts him in extreme legal jeopardy. He predictably attacked special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as a “Witch Hunt,” and asserted falsely that one of Mueller’s team was running the Clinton Foundation (that he calls the Hillary Clinton foundation). He also said that another team member “has perhaps the worst reputation of any human being I have ever seen.” Seriously, that’s as specific as he got. Then he repeated one of his favorite lies that former FBI Director James Comey and Mueller are best friends. In the real world they are at best acquaintances. They had dinner once and have never visited each other’s homes.

But perhaps the most offensive portion of today’s Trump tirades was when he tried to emulate the McCarthyist rhetoric that insinuated that America’s enemies infiltrated the government and the Congress:

“We have people in Congress right now that hate our country. And you know that. And we can name every one of them if they want.”

So now Trump has a list of America-haters that he can (but won’t) make public. If the list has any accuracy at all, his name will be at the top of it. After all, he’s the one that openly expresses his love for Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and any other foreign dictator he has met. And somehow Trump wandered off at the end into an immigration rant that questioned how these members of Congress did in “their country.” What countries he’s talking about remains a mystery.

This CPAC speech is officially Trump’s longest to date. For two hours, he managed to entertain the Deplorables at the conference. But the good news is that the damage was limited to the convo attendees and to what’s left of the audience at Fox News. Fox proved their devotion to the President by being the only cable news network that aired the speech live and uninterrupted. They have truly earned their reputation as State TV. But unfortunately for them and Trump, their audience is rapidly shrinking in the face of strong competition from MSNBC, led by the top rated program on cable news, the Rachel Maddow Show. And that, at least, is good news.

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

Plead the 25th: Trump Disgorges an Insane Tweetstorm About an Imaginary Michael Cohen Book

Like Clockwork. Whenever Donald Trump is the most fearful about his snowballing legal peril, he lashes out from his Twitter throne with the most deranged and groundless spasms of utter nonsense he can contrive given his obviously advanced mental infirmity. And on Friday morning he didn’t disappoint. The fury that he unleashed only affirms just how recent events have driven him to near incapacitation.

Donald Trump

Trump just returned from Vietnam where he engineered an historic failure to achieve any of the progress that he promised prior to his meeting with his girlfriend (“We fell in love”), Kim Jong Un. As Jimmy Kimmel put it, “Trump literally got more done in his summit with Kim Kardashian.” And while Trump was embarrassing America abroad, his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was dishing on him in a hearing before the House Oversight Committee. His testimony was so damaging that even the senior judicial analyst at Fox News recognized that Trump could be liable for as many as four felonies.

It’s at times like these that Trump totally freaks out and decides to go public with his delusions and make things even worse. The following tweets are some of the best arguments that Trump is suffering from senile dementia and needs to be evaluated for a possible invocation of the 25th Amendment. He starts off with this pile of blathering falsehoods:

First of all, nothing about this was either “new” or “just released.” In fact, the Daily Beast reported on a proposal for a book by Cohen last May. It was tentatively titled “Trump Revolution: From The Tower to The White House, Understanding Donald J. Trump.” But it was scrapped due to his legal problems that were beginning to spin out of control. Also, why is Trump always so obsessed with people writing him “love letters,” ala Kim Jong Un? And then Trump tweets that:

Congress cannot demand something that doesn’t exist. There was never a book published or even submitted to the publisher. So it’s impossible to figure out what Trump is referring to that is so head spinning. But it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the pitch for the book featured a vastly different characterization of Trump than the one that Cohen is presenting now. A year ago he was still shilling for the President and telling what he now concedes were lies. The difference between his statements then and now is that now he’s making them under oath. Nevertheless, Trump continues:

No – It’s clear that Trump does not see. The case for his conspiracy with Russia is stronger than ever. And there is still no evidence of any wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton, even after thousands of hours of investigations by a Republican congress. If there were, Trump’s Justice Department would have brought indictments. What’s more, the only reason Trump’s finances are being scrutinized is that there is so much evidence of criminal activity. If this is a “Witch Hunt” then it’s already found a vast coven of witches. And finally:

How does Trump know what Cohen’s book manuscript shows? Does he have a copy? Why doesn’t he just release that to the public? Perhaps because it doesn’t exist. Even the prospective publisher said that he never received a manuscript. And Trump shouldn’t be portraying others as lying “on a scale not seen before,” considering the documentation of his lies since taking office that now exceed over 8,000. As for Lanny Davis (who is not Hillary Clinton’s lawyer), why does Trump care what he has to say? He is representing Cohen and will surely take positions that advance Cohen’s interest. And he’ll probably be more effective than Trump’s legal team headed by the always entertaining Rudy Giuliani.

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

So Trump is once again displaying the signs of a man consumed by fear who has no idea how to respond to the numerous and legitimate allegations swirling around him. So he posts incoherent tirades on Twitter that are filled with lies and slander. And for some reason he thinks this will be helpful. Well, he’s kind of right. It will be very helpful to special counsel Robert Mueller and the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

UH-OH: Michael Cohen Paints ‘Grave Picture’ for Trump, Says Fox News Sr. Judicial Analyst

The testimony in the House Oversight Committee by Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen on Wednesday provided both fireworks and yawns. Much of what was discussed was already known, but was given more weight by the dramatic nature of a congressional hearing. The fireworks were mainly due to Republican efforts to malign Cohen while obediently defending the President and deflecting from any potentially bad news.

Fox News Judge Napolitano

However, there were some revelatory moments that could expose Trump to some legal jeopardy if they are confirmed by other evidence or testimony. The risks for Trump were so apparent that even the senior judicial analyst on Fox News noticed. Andrew Napolitano was interviewed by Neil Cavuto after Cohen’s hearing (video below). His observations were decidedly unlike those that might be expected on Trump’s favorite propaganda network. He began by addressing the coordinated strategy of the committee’s Republicans to portray Cohen as an incorrigible liar. “If he’s that kind of a monster, Mr. President,” Napolitano asked, “why did you keep him around for ten years?”?

That’s a good question. He might also have pointed out that if lying was such an unforgivable sin, then how can the GOP continue to excuse Trump, whose documented record of lying has exceeded more than 8,000 falsehoods since he took office. But it was Napolitano’s legal analysis that really put Trump’s troubled future into perspective. He offered a brief synopsis of the legal peril that the President may soon find himself in. The upshot, according to Napolitano, is that in Cohen’s testimony “there’s at least four potential felonies” that Trump faces. Napolitano said that:

[Cohen] paints a potentially grave picture for the president. If the conversation he says he overheard with Roger Stone is true, then the President lied under oath. Because the President swore to the accuracy of his answers to the written question from [special counsel] Bob Mueller, one of which was ‘Did you speak to Roger Stone about Julian Assange?’ Answer: ‘No’

“If what Michael Cohen says is true about the President meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower in June of 2016, then he lied under oath, because he told Bob Mueller he didn’t know about it.

“The payments by Donald Trump, signed while he was president, to Michael Cohen, showing a debt to Michael Cohen. The President swore in his financial statements filed with the Department of the Treasury, he didn’t have any debts with Michael Cohen. And two months after he swore to the accuracy of that he starts writing checks of $35,000 a month to Michael Cohen. That extends the conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission of accurate campaign information into the President’s presidency.”?

If this were an analysis by a Democrat or a liberal pundit it wouldn’t be especially notable. But for the senior judicial analyst at Fox News to be pointing out these legal problems for Trump is rare and, from Trump’s perspective, worrisome. Not that Trump isn’t already worried. His incessant tweeting about “Witch Hunts” and his childish insults aimed at his critics is the obvious behavior of someone consumed by fear. In remarks Trump made about Cohen’s testimony from Hanoi, he reinforced that image of a cornered rat:

“He lied a lot, but it was very interesting, because he didn’t lie about one thing: He said no collusion with the Russian hoax.”?

Actually, Cohen never said that there was no collusion. He only said that he had no direct evidence of it, but that he had his suspicions. So Trump is still desperately trying to distort reality to fit his twisted version of it wherein he can be free of the frightening consequences of his unlawful acts. And if his precariousness legal status is so apparent to a Fox News analyst, then he truly does have something worry about.

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