Corruption Fighter or Political Hack? Trump is a Hypocrite Who is Dirty on Both Counts

When the first allegations surfaced that Donald Trump had put pressure on Ukrainian President Zelensky to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Trump vociferously denied it. Then the partial White House summary of a phone call between Trump and Zelensky revealed that Trump did raise the issue of investigating the Bidens and even tied it to Ukraine receiving military aid from the United States. So what began as a hot mess is congealing into the world’s biggest dumpster fire.

Donald Trump

After forceful denials, then vague acknowledgements, then outright admissions on national TV, Trump is now making a new argument in his tattered and incoherent defense. Trump is asserting that he has an absolute right to ask foreign governments to conduct investigations on U.S. citizens, including those who are his political opponents. He doesn’t bother to identify where in the Constitution he derives that right, but he’s determined to exercise it despite it being completely imaginary. And his justification for engaging in a blatant betrayal of the country is that he’s only concerned about corruption, not politics.

That’s an absurdity that requires some further examination. First of all, if Trump believes he has evidence of corruption he should be calling the FBI, not foreign governments, particularly not those with whom we have adversarial relationships. The notion of asking China – whose legal system is itself corrupt – to investigate an American citizen and political foe is ludicrous and is begging for wrongful outcomes. And it’s all the worse considering that Trump is simultaneously seeking trade concessions from China while making these improper requests.

Furthermore, Trump’s intentions are unarguably political. He’s totally focused on only the alleged corruption of Joe Biden, for which every credible investigation has found no wrongdoing. He repeatedly mentioned Biden in his communications with both Ukraine and China. If Trump is a corruption fighter, why isn’t he asking Ukraine – a nation rife with corruption – to look into anything other than Biden? And why isn’t he asking China to investigate presidential offspring who are suspiciously getting Chinese trademarks approved (Yes, that’s about Ivanka)? And why is he blocking efforts to probe corruption here in the United States (Yes, that’s about his tax returns)?

Clearly Trump doesn’t give a damn about corruption. He is only concerned with smearing his political opponents and stealing another election with the help of foreign governments. He’s doing almost exactly what he did in 2016 with Russia. The difference is that last time he was a passive beneficiary of the election interference that welcomed and encouraged. But this time he is actively initiating it, and using the power of the presidency to force his criminality on others.

The distinction that Trump is impotently trying to make between corruption and politics is impossible to reconcile (unless your Fox News). The truth is that Trump is both flagrantly corrupt and brazenly political. And all he’s doing by pretending that there is any difference between the two in his immoral behavior is reminding everyone what a slimeball hypocrite he is and always has been.

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

Devotion to the Cult of Trump Risks the GOP Having No Presidential Candidate in 2020

Time is running out. It’s running out for Donald Trump as Congress is on a fast track toward impeachment. And as the walls close in around him, he is becoming ever more unhinged and incoherent. He’s even taken to crying “coup” about the constitutional process for considering the removal of a corrupt leader. It’s a sad spectacle that diminishes the stature of the nation.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

But time also running out for the Republican Party that seems to have no strategy for a post-impeachment electoral landscape. As the prospects for impeachment grow by the hour – mainly due to Trump’s own panicky and desperate outbursts – the GOP continues to fortify their bunker as it is under siege from all directions. Even the Senior Legal Analyst at Fox News, Andrew Napolitano, is now saying that Trump’s “conversation [with Ukrainian President Zelensky] manifested both criminal and impeachable behavior.” Nevertheless, Republicans are all in on Dear Leader Trump and if he goes down, well dammit, they’re all going down with him.

The 2020 election is just a little more than a year away. Deadlines will soon be expiring for challengers to declare their candidacy. So what happens if Trump is impeached and the Republican Party has no one on the ballot running against whoever the Democratic nominee is? Pence will not automatically become the GOP’s candidate. There is a process for determining that which we all know as primaries. But the Republican National Committing has been working to cancel primaries in order to stifle any opposition to Trump. They also recently tightened the rules to “squelch dissent at the Republican National Convention next year.”

Currently there are three Republicans, other than Trump, running for the GOP nomination: Bill Weld, Joe Walsh, and Mark Sanford. The only reasonably qualified candidate among them is Weld, a two-term governor of Massachusetts. But other Republicans with qualifications and national name ID are keep their distance. They include Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and former Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker.

All of this leaves Trump feeling pretty cocky. He tweeted Thursday that he has “95% Approval Rating in the Republican Party.” Which won’t help him in the least if he’s found to be guilty of impeachable crimes. After all, he isn’t President of the GOP. His national approval rating is still mired in the low 40’s (it’s never hit 50). And even his favorite pollster, the utterly disreputable and biased Rasmussen, shows him dropping six points in the last week (to 47) as impeachment heats up.

The Cult of Trump is in full force in the Republican precincts of America. They simply will not stand up for the principles of law and order and patriotism that they once heralded as their party’s brand. Not if that means going against their totalitarian boss. So if Trump is impeached, and there is little or no time to field alternatives in the primaries, the party may wind up invoking some arcane rule and shoving whatever candidate the party elites choose down the throats of their voters.

And Trump isn’t making it any easier for them. On Thursday morning, Trump admitted to a national television audience that he asked Zelensky to interfere in an American election by digging up dirt on Joe Biden. That’s actually one of the anticipated articles of impeachment. And to add fuel to this dumpster fire, he added a request for China to do the same. Let that sink in. Trump wants China – a nation known for its corruption and absence of any ethical legal system – to conduct an investigation/smear campaign on an American citizen and candidate for president. That should go down well with voters. And still the GOP is marching lock-step with Trump, even though he may not even be their candidate next year. The whole party seems to be as confused and incompetent as Trump.

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

The Madness: ‘I’m Donald Trump and I Approve this Message’ that Impeachment is a Coup

For those of you who have been waiting for Donald Trump to finally crack wide open and devolve into madness, that time has come. Sure, there are those who will that say it happened long ago, but now the cracks are rupturing into massive fissures that threaten to swallow the entirety of Trump’s frazzled psyche and, if we’re not careful, the whole nation..

Donald Trump, Constitution

Trump is sweating out the prospect of his impending impeachment with the worst imaginable reactions. If he were smart he’d just resign now. His tweets and public comments reveal someone who has given up on reality in favor of throwing bizarre tantrums and lashing out at his perceived enemies. He has actually warned that criticism of him could lead to civil war. But on Wednesday morning he whined that “the press has gone crazy” because they reported on his unspeakably cruel proposal to shoot migrants and to build a border moat stocked with snakes and alligators. By the way, Fox News confirmed those reports, so they must be crazy too.

Trump also ranted about what he called the “Do Nothing Democrats.” Nevermind that the House has passed more than 200 bills that are being blocked by GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. Trump complained that Democrats were “wasting everyone’s time and energy on BULLSHIT.” And isn’t that a lovely presidential expression of bipartisanship.

Trump’s derangement continued during a press avail wherein he attacked the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, impotently calling for him to resign and recklessly accusing him of treason. This obsession with Schiff stemmed from a brief passage in Schiff’s opening statement at a committee hearing. Trump has been incessantly whimpering that Schiff fraudulently put words in his mouth. But the truth is that Schiff merely paraphrased Trump and said he was doing so in advance. But Trump leaves that part out.

However, the most disturbing recent remarks from Trump concern his allegation that the efforts to impeach him are a coup. That’s a charge that Trump picked up from the wingnut media that has been bellowing this absurdity for several days. But it’s one thing for right-wing propagandists to spew these ludicrous conspiracy theories, and another when it comes straight from the President as it did when he tweeted that “what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP.” And now Trump has included this preposterous nonsense in an official campaign ad:

This video is abhorrent for many reasons. It is filled with lies about Democrats “trying to undo an election.” The video includes a clip of Fox News host Mark Levin making a declarative, and ignorant, statement that Trump broke no laws. Levin asks his Fox colleagues if they can name one. They can’t, but I can: The laws that Trump can be charged with violating right now include extortion, campaign finance, witness intimidation, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy against the United States.

The video also falsely alleges that Democrats are “fabricating evidence.” It includes images of mostly women in Congress including Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. And it closes with the abhorrent charge that the Ukraine affair and the whistleblower complaint are “nothing short of a coup.” And remember, this is an official campaign ad that Trump was required to approve.

Apparently Trump has no idea what a coup is. For the record, it’s an illegal, and often violent, overthrow of a government by force. Impeachment, on the other hand, is the constitutional provision for removing a corrupt leader through a defined legal process that requires the bipartisan affirmation of Congress.

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

So you have to wonder what Trump is so afraid of. There is a Republican majority in the Senate. It would take twenty of them to join with every Democrat to convict Trump and remove him from office. If Trump is scared – and he obviously is – it suggests that he knows something about what he did that could result in enough Republicans voting against him. And that fear would explain the extreme hysteria he’s displaying by his lies, insults, and paranoid references to coups. Because he knows that soon we will all know the gravity of his crimes. It’s just a matter of time, which he is rapidly running out of.

Rachel Maddow Rides Impeachment to Ratings Victory Over Trump-Fluffer Sean Hannity

In the week since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Donald Trump is the subject of an official House impeachment inquiry, there have been some extraordinary developments. Trump himself blew a gasket and began flinging rhetorical feces at Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, and what he called Democrat Savages,” and even his faithful defenders at Fox News. Trump descended head first into paranoid rants accusing his perceived enemies of treason and assorted other imaginary atrocities.

Rachel Maddow

What’s more, the public has been rapidly accepting that Trump is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors warranting his removal from office. Recent polls show a net 20 point swing in favor of impeachment. The Ukraine affair has the advantage of being quickly understood without the complexities of Trump’s unsavory connections to Russian and the 400 page Mueller Report that reveals criminality and obstruction of justice – if people would read it.

As the impeachment story heats up it is also having an impact on television news viewing. The past week saw MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow spike significantly as she focuses on Trump’s tribulations. Among the all-important advertising demographic of 25-54 year olds, Maddow handily beat her Fox News competition, Sean Hannity. Maddow averaged 586,000 viewers a day for the week, compared to only 550,000 for Hannity. This is good timing for Maddow whose new book – Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth – comes out today.

As the ratings and the polls consistently reflect the trouble Trump has caused for himself, he is becoming ever more desperate for the sort of flattery that fuels his tender ego. He typically finds it in the cultish sycophancy of Fox News and the utterly disreputable polling by Rasmussen. But lately he has been feuding with Fox and Rasmussen just reported a five point drop in his approval in the past week. Consequently he resorted to posting the results of an online poll at Breitbart “News.”

You might think it’s pathetic that Trump would rely on such a blatantly biased and unreliable survey of the crackpots who patronize Breitbart. But what’s even worse is that a poll taken in his own Twitter feed, with more than twice the number of respondents, has support for impeachment exceeding 90 percent.

It’s apparent that the movement to impeach Trump is only going to pick up steam as it goes forward. And along the way more people will be exposed to the facts offered by Rachel Maddow, while Hannity’s viewers slink off to the comforting seclusion of the underside of the rocks they call home. But this is no time to get complacent. Trump’s exploding derangement is going to spray psycho-shrapnel everywhere. And his most devoted disciples will even threaten civil war. In fact, both he and they and Fox News already have. So stay alert and engaged Resistors. This is just the beginning.

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

Trump Must Resign: His Own Reprehensible Words Require Immediate Removal From Office

With each new day Donald Trump makes the case stronger for his impeachment. This isn’t a close call. He is acting out in a way that can only be explained by a fearful and guilty conscience. Trump’s Twitter tantrums are getting more hostile and disconnected from reality. And his ravings serve as incitements to his glassy-eyed disciples to resort to violence.

Donald Trump Walking the Plank

For these reasons Trump cannot be tolerated in the White House for any longer than it takes to invoke and complete the legal and constitutional process of impeachment. He represents an imminent danger to the nation that worsens by the hour. And this threat rests on top of the blatant assault on the rule of law by a reckless and self-obsessed aspiring tyrant. Trump’s defenders keep asking what laws he has broken. So for those wingnuts in denial about Trump’s legal jeopardy, the laws he can be charged with violating right now include extortion, campaign finance, witness intimidation, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy against the United States.

As the sinkhole widens around our panicky president, he appears to be determined to use his own shovel dig ever deeper. His Twitter feed is infested with conspiracy theories, personal insults, unbridled hatred, and outright lies. But worst of all are his flagrant attempts to sow national discord and even civil war. His tweets have taken on the persona of a paranoid schizophrenic who shouts gibberish at passing cars. For instance:

  • Trump tweeted that “I want [House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam] Schiff questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason.”
  • Trump asked “Was this person [the whistleblower or his source] SPYING on the U.S. President?”
  • Trump alleged that Democrats “are lying & cheating like never before in our Country’s history in order to destabilize the United States of America.”
  • Trump asserted that “the Democrats don’t care if they burn down and destroy this nation.”
  • Trump quoted a “pastor” who predicted that impeachment will “cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.”
  • Trump charged that he’s “looking for Corruption and … By the way, the Bidens were corrupt!”
  • Trump repeated the absurdity that “Rep. Adam Schiff illegally made up a FAKE & terrible statement, pretended it to be mine … Arrest for Treason?”

These utterly unhinged outbursts reveal Trump’s severe mental infirmity and unfitness for office. There is simply no rational justification for charging a Democratic congressman with treason, a crime punishable by death. Nor is it rational to claim that Democrats want to “destabilize” and “destroy” the nation. And aligning himself with the opinion that the lawful process of investigating the President is a valid basis for civil war is just plain insane.

However, Trump’s confession that he did indeed illegally solicit Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for dirt on Joe Biden was a bit of a surprise. The surprise isn’t that Trump did it, just that he admitted it. And notice that Trump, who often whines about due process for himself, isn’t giving it to Biden who he flatly says – with zero evidence – is corrupt.

Trump’s manic hysteria is producing some of his most dishonest statements to date. And for someone who has been documented as telling over 12,000 lies, that’s saying something. Among his recent falsehoods are that Rep. Schiff purposefully misquoted Trump. In fact, Schiff prefaced a brief portion of his opening statement at a congressional hearing by stating explicitly that he was creatively paraphrasing Trump. There was no effort to mislead anyone.

Trump has also been tweeting that the whistleblower is fake. But he’s ignoring the fact that the whistleblower’s complaint matches perfectly Trump’s own memo summarizing his phone call with Zelensky. And Trump keeps citing Zelensky as saying that there wasn’t any pressure put on him to dig up dirt on Biden. But you don’t ask the hostage if his captor is putting pressure on him. What was Zelensky supposed to say? He obviously feared losing the foreign aid that Trump was withholding from him.

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

This combination of brazen illegality and psychotic breakdown is far more than enough reason to oust Trump from office. And the urgency increases as his mental meltdown accelerates into orbit. Trump can still do an enormous amount of damage to this country and its international reputation. Yes, even more than he’s already done. And we as a nation must not allow that.

Desperation Time: Trump Aims Tweet Tsunami At One of His Biggest Fox News Fluffers

The walls are closing in around Donald Trump and he knows it. With the House of Representatives conducting an official impeachment inquiry, the President is exhibiting clear signs of a psychotic meltdown, the likes of which have never been seen in the Oval Office. He’s suffering from a severe case of Hysterical Impeachment Syndrome and taking on the tactics of the Nazis he admires.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

On Sunday morning this display of desperation reached a boiling point as Trump unleashed a massive tweetstorm against one of his most reliable defenders. Ed Henry of Fox News has become a bona fide Trump-fluffer in his role as a Fox & Friends co-host. But that is apparently not enough to inoculate him from the gnawing animus of a cornered presidential rat. Following a segment of the Trump & Friends program, Henry was mobbed by angry StormTrumpers who were orgasming over what they thought was a takedown by Fox’s Trump attack dog, Mark Levin (video below).

In fact, Levin just spent a couple of minutes screaming at viewers about nonsense that never addressed the substance of Trump’s tribulations. He began by badgering Henry about why he hasn’t asked for the identity of the whistleblower. Of course the answer to that is obvious to those who aren’t infected by Levin’s cult worship of Trump. The whistleblower statute was designed to protect people from retribution and, in this case, violence and potential charges that Trump himself implied could lead to execution.

Levin bellowed that he wants to “know all about the whistleblower … What kind of dogs they’ve had, how many marriages they’ve had, if they had a DUI” Notice that he doesn’t want to know if the whistleblower is telling the truth or has corroborating evidence. He is only interested in irrelevant personal issues that are only useful for smear campaigns. Levin continued by mocking the need for the whistleblower’s anonymity merely because “his life might be in danger.”

Levin also ranted about why the whistleblower wasn’t being questioned by congress. For the record, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff (who’s resignation Trump has impotently demanded), has already announced that the whistleblower will be interviewed by the Committee. But Levin plowed forward making the absurd assertion that nobody has identified any laws that were broken by Trump’s extortion of the President of Ukraine. For starters, there’s extortion. And there’s campaign finance violations, witness intimidation, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy.

Trump was so aroused by the reactions to Levin’s high-volume tirade that he retweeted twenty (20!) comments by random Twitteristas praising him. They included such brilliant and dignified retorts as “Ed Henry just got his ASS handed to him by Mark Levin,” and “Levin just tore Ed Henry to shreds,” and “Levin sure put that lying shit head Ed Henry in his place,” and “Levin ripped Ed Henry a new one.” Who can argue with logic like that?

So now Ed Henry is among the Fox News untouchables who Trump’s cult followers are ordered to despise. He joins Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace. But what’s peculiar about this is that Henry is a devoted Trump-fluffer himself. Among his glassy-eyed defenses of Dear Leader, Henry has lied about seeing Trump’s non-existent border wall. He falsely claimed that “Hollywood has been threatening to blacklist” Trump supporters.
He celebrated a court ruling against Obamacare that could cause millions to suffer saying that it was “a little gift ahead of Christmas.”

When Trump has reached the point that he is attacking even his most faithful media shills on his favorite Fox News program, you know that he’s gone over the edge. It’s a state of fearful derangement that is only going to get worse as time goes by. And Trump isn’t doing himself any favors by maligning the Fox News protectorate that he needs to continue gaslighting his base. So buckle up, America. Trump is determined to make this a bumpy ride to impeachment.

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

Trump Calling Democrats ‘Savages’ is an Old Nazi Tactic to Dehumanize Critics

The stench of Donald Trump’s desperation is becoming more unbearable by the minute. As the efforts to impeach him gain momentum and the evidence piles up ever higher, Trump is resorting to increasingly more outlandish and repulsive behavior. The fact that he regards these pitiful measures as beneficial to his cause is only further proof that he’s lost what remains of his diseased brain.

Donald Trump, Adolf Hitler

On Saturday morning Trump was uncharacteristically muted. In place of his regularly scheduled tweetstorm he posted only the plaintive, all-caps cries of “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” and impotent regurgitations of his tiresome bumper sticker slogans, MAGA and KAG. That restrained output is curious considering the flood of deranged tweets he’s been unleashing in the past week. But it’s still early, and he’s playing golf. So…

The spectacle of an American president whining so helplessly is an unending embarrassment to this nation. But even worse is the malevolent tone that he is lately exhibiting. Trump has taken to calling his political foes “spies” and implying that they should be executed. And in Saturday’s tweets Trump channeled the ghost of Hitler to vilify the whole of the Democratic Party as “savages.”

It’s notable that the only named victims of this abuse are members of Congress who are either Jewish or women of color. It seems like a stretch to consider that a coincidence. But he did manage to expand the scope of his racist wrath to the rest of the party.

More to the point, Trump’s use of the word “savages” is familiar to anyone who lived through, or has studied, Hitler’s Nazi movement. It was a common common tactic to dehumanize those you were trying to eliminate from society. The theory of the Nazi oppressors was that it would be easier to convince an ignorant and angry populace (i.e. Deplorables) to approve of imprisonment and mass murder if the victims were cast as subhuman.

Apparently Trump has embraced that abhorrent theory. There is no other explanation for why elected representatives of American citizens would be maligned as “savages.” It’s a wholly incongruous description of people who merely have different opinions and perform their lawful, constitutionally mandated duties. Clearly Trump’s objective is to plant this disgusting impression of his perceived enemies in the minds of his cult followers so that they can later be called upon to defend him by any means necessary. And that includes violence and terrorism.

In addition to Trump’s nauseating descent into Hitlerian extremism, he has also taken to calling his political opponents the “Do Nothing” Democrats. For the record, Democrats in the House of Representatives have passed more than 200 bills. They are currently being blocked by Republican Senate Leader, Mitch McConnell, who earlier this year bragged that he would preside as the “Grim Reaper” over a legislative graveyard. Which adds to the ghoulish morbidity of Trump’s Republican Nationalist Party.

Finally, in his tweet Trump also tried to compare how he’s been treated by Democrats to how Republicans treated President Obama. But to date there has not been any effort by Democrats to claim that Trump wasn’t an American citizen, or that he founded ISIS, or that his associates were members of a pedophile sex trafficking ring, or that he was an undercover Muslim terrorist, or that he aspired to be a dictator.

Well, okay … that last one Trump has been accused of. But the difference is there was never any evidence of it with regard to Obama. But Trump has spent the last two and half years cozying up to Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Mohammad Bin Salman, and Kim Jong Un. And while Obama tried to create an environment of political unity with the GOP (often to his detriment), Trump has done nothing but vilify Democrats and the media who he repeatedly refers to as “the enemy of the people.” So among the things that Trump is too stupid to learn is that he should never try to compare himself to Obama.

UPDATE: Trump posted another tweet containing a video wherein the big crybaby whined about “the single greatest scam in the history of American politics.” (Wait, wasn’t that the Russia “hoax”?) He didn’t say what the scam is, but presumably it’s his pending impeachment. Then he went full fear monger saying that “Democrats wanna take away your guns…” and healthcare, and vote, and freedom, and judges, and everything. That’s right. He said Democrats wanna take away EVERYTHING! Scary, aint it? Well, he’s obviously scared out of his frizzled mind. And for good reason. He knows what he did. And he knows what the consequences are.

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

Hysterical Impeachment Syndrome: Trump Issues Impotent Demands that Adam Schiff Resign

Donald Trump is previewing his regularly scheduled Weekend Tweetstorm with a special Friday edition. And the lengths he goes to to exalt himself and malign his critics is reaching new levels of hysteria and panic. If Trump thinks this sort of behavior is consistent with that of an innocent man, he is suffering from a deeper case of dementia than anyone previously imagined.

Donald Trump

Trump’s morning rant follows Thursday’s late night flurry of Fox News videos, many of which proposed a bizarre theory that impeaching Trump would hurt Democrats more. It’s clear from their nasty reactions, however, that they don’t really believe that. And Trump’s own response is escalating in animosity – and incoherence – by the minute. For example:

So much derp in one “liddle” tweet. First of all, Trump is outraged that CNN omitted an apostrophe from his infantile prefix to Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s name. So outraged that he forgot the difference between an apostrophe and a hyphen. He also forgot how to spell the word “describing.” And he thinks that this punctuation atrocity somehow changes his meaning in a “dishonest” way.

Trump then moves on to bash the New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker (and for some reason his wife) for writing a story about Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that clearly included an extortion threat. Trump has been denying the reality of that even after the incriminating memo summarizing the call was released. But the worst part of this tweet was Trump’s assertion that Baker “should not even be allowed to write about me.”

Trump continues to have the delusional impression that he’s a tyrannical monarch who gets to decide who and what is permitted in the free press that he repeatedly calls, in Stalin’s words, “the enemy of the people.” That burning hatred for the Constitution was further reflected in Trump’s next tweets that continued his attack on Schiff:

Apparently Trump doesn’t grasp the concept of paraphrasing with emphasis to make a point. That’s what Schiff was doing. He even prefaced his remarks (video below) by saying that Trump’s phone call “reads like a classic organized crime shakedown. Shorn of its rambling character, and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the President communicates.” So contrary to Trump’s brazen lie, Schiff was not “supposedly reading the exact transcribed version of the call,”

What’s more, nobody has to make Trump sound horrible or look guilty. Trump does an excellent job of that without assistance. Which makes his demand that Schiff resign all the more pathetic and shimmering with the impotence of a wannabe dictator who doesn’t know that he lacks the authority he imagines he has. But Trump wasn’t through with Schiff.

It’s ironic that Trump would call Schiff “sick” in a tweet where he once again makes an absurd demand that Schiff “must resign and be investigated.” Notice the backwards order that Trump puts those in: resign, then be investigated. Trump followed that up with an all-caps tweet that his conversation with Zelensky was “perfect.” If that was perfect, what kind of horror would mediocre be? (Note: Why does he keep saying “perfect,” a word that is generally reserved for things like hanging pictures or seasoning chicken dinner?) Trump also claimed that Democrats are “now to be known as the DO NOTHING PARTY!” Nevermind that they have passed more than 200 bills that Mitch McConnell is blocking in the Senate.

Finally (well, for now), Trump took a wild swing at the whistleblower, who he said without explanation “isn’t a Whistleblower at all.” That contradicts his own Acting Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, who told Congress under oath that the whistleblower and his account of the events, was credible and made in good faith. Trump, nevertheless, whined that the complaint was inaccurate and speculated baselessly that it was the work of either a leaker, a spy, or a partisan operative.

At this point Trump is just sending conspiratorial trial balloons into the polluted air that he’s making worse with the incessant and toxic exhaust from his own mouth. And the frequency and fury of his Twitter tirades is only exacerbating the public perception of his guilt. A poll on Thursday showed a thirteen point increase in Americans who think Trump should be impeached. And that’s even before many of these latest revelations had time to percolate through the mediasphere.

Long story short: Trump is revealing a measure of fear that is weighing heavily on him. But that may be the most sane response he’s had to any of this controversy to date. Fear would be precisely the right emotion under these circumstances. So if he’s scared it’s because he has good reason to be.

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

Fox News Marches Lock-Step with ‘Impeaching Trump Will Hurt Democrats’ Talking Point

This week just keeps getting worse for Donald Trump. First it was revealed that a whistleblower charged him with serious breaches of national security in a conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Then he was forced to release the memo containing an account of that phone call that was disturbing and incriminating. And on Thursday the text of the whistleblower’s complaint was also released after the White House could no longer persist in suppressing it. Simultaneous to this, his Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, was grilled about his conduct with regard to the whistleblower complaint in a pair of congressional hearings.

Fox News, Impeach Trump

In addition to that, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House or Representatives would be formally conducting an impeachment inquiry. Much of the work on that had already begun, but this made it official. Trump’s response to these events was to panic-tweet dozens of bootlicking testimonials by worshipful disciples in politics and the press. It was a barrage of sycophantic adoration and utterly dishonest rationalizations for his flagrantly unlawful acts. It was most assuredly not the behavior of an innocent man.

Not surprisingly, Fox News was prominently featured among these tributes to Trump’s treason. Their mission to shield Trump from any and all harm continues as the news gets ever more precarious for his dangling presidency. And what appears to be a coordinated offensive by Fox news is taking shape. Thursday’s messaging was strikingly aligned across many of its programs. What they are pitching is that, regardless of how terrible this all looks for Trump, it’s really much worse for Democrats. For instance:

  • Karl Rove on Fox’s Daily Briefing told host Dana Perino that “Impeachment is a losing issue for Democrats.”
  • Rush Limbaugh warned Democrats that “They’re not thinking about blowback.”
  • Newt Gingrich offered his stale analysis that “When [Pelosi] starts an investigation the person who’s gonna get clobbered is Joe Biden.”
  • Tucker Carlson turned to frightening Democrats, saying that they “have just become so obsessed with destroying Donald Trump, that they’re destroying themselves.”
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders summed it all up by asserting that “All this is doing is helping [Trump] get reelected.”

WOW! That sounds pretty darn awful for Democrats. And by extension, it sounds like Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party should be celebrating. In fact, they ought to be thanking Democrats and promoting their efforts to impeach Trump at every opportunity. After all, it’s only going to help Trump get reelected and crush the Democrats’ hopes for majorities in Congress. If Republicans really believe what they are saying, then all of this drama over impeachment should be putting them in good mood.

However, for some reason that isn’t the case. Even after insisting that the Democrats are destroying themselves, and that Trump will be the beneficiary, they are still whining incessantly and demanding that all efforts to impeach Trump be halted. Trump himself is threatening legal action, which is not an option with regard to impeachment. And his Twitter feed is blowing up with more tweets and retweets than ever, almost all which are nasty reactions to his pending impeachment.

Apparently, Trump and his minions are not really as happy about him being impeached as they are trying to pretend. The reality is that his violations of law, ethics, and his oath of office, are more than sufficient to warrant impeachment and removal from office. And no one knows that better than Trump. He is aware of what he’s done and what the consequences are. And that is why he – and the Cult of Deplorables he leads – have been scared into incoherence. It’s almost pathetic enough to feel sorry for them. Nah, not really.

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

Lacking Any Coherent Impeachment Defense, Trump Deploys An All Fox News Blitzkrieg

On Wednesday morning Donald Trump released the transcript White House provided, non-verbatim memo of his July phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. It was somewhat anticlimactic considering that he had already admitted that he pressured Ukraine to smear Biden, and even declared Biden “corrupt” and subject to the electric chair. Still, he has been saying for days that the call was “perfect,” that he had done nothing wrong, and promised that it would exonerate him. What the hell was he thinking!

Donald Trump, Phone, Pacifier

Keeping in mind that several days prior to this phone call, Trump had frozen nearly $400 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine, who were engaged in a conflict with Russian troops on their eastern border. With that as context for Trump’s remarks, here are some relevant and incriminating parts of the memo (full document below):

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. […] I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance.”

“Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it. […] I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.”

“The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

So Trump starts out by asking for “a favor.” That’s precisely how Godfather Don Corleone began his conversations with shakedown victims when he made them “an offer you can’t refuse.” Zelensky knew that the aid his country needs was at risk. This is as close to a quid pro quo as is ever encountered in organized crime. And having that followed up by a request to meet with Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and his Attorney General, William Barr – which is a new and troubling revelation – only makes Trump’s clearly unlawful intentions more clear.

The fact that Trump bothered to malign special counsel Robert Mueller is another indication that he is tying this call to his own political tribulations. And directly warning Zelensky that “it’s very important that you do … whatever you can do,” is hardly a subtle nudge. Trump then brings up the Ukrainian prosecutor who he calls “very good” despite being held in disrepute by the U.S. government, the European Union, the World Bank, and other international institutions.

Trump then got to the real point when he brought up Joe Biden and made the objectively false statement that he “stopped the prosecution” of Biden’s son. In fact, the corrupt prosecutor wasn’t even actively pursuing the case. And every investigation into the matter found zero evidence of any wrongdoing by Biden. Nevertheless, Trump pressed this issue repeatedly in the phone call and kept pressing for a meeting with Giuliani and Barr.

If this is Trump’s idea of an exculpatory document, you have to wonder what he considers incriminating. Trump is seen here explicitly abusing his power by recruiting a foreign leader to interfere with an American election. And he is using funds allocated by Congress to extort the illegal results he wants. There is no defense for this criminal behavior. Trump couldn’t even provide one, so he claimed on Wednesday that it should all be ignored because the stock market went up. Really? For the record, the market today is stagnant at best. It’s exactly where it was in January of 2018, a year and a half ago. Trump is also arguing his innocence based on his leading poll numbers. Except that he’s losing to every top Democrat. In fact, a Fox News poll saying just that was released a week before Trump called Zelensky. Coincidence?

Then Trump turned to his goto protectors at Fox News to vainly try to spin this in his favor. He posted (so far) twelve (12!) tweets of Trump-fluffing sycophants that contained no factual refutation of the damning contents of the White House summary phone call. They included:

  • Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway writing that the whistleblower’s attorney worked for Hillary Clinton and “Schuck” Schumer. That was for short internships nearly twenty years ago.
  • Fox host Mark Levin asserting that the is media trying to protect Biden.
  • Sean Hannity interviewing Attorney Joe DiGenova, whose reputation was so bad that he couldn’t be added to Trump’s staff.
  • Tucker Carlson interviewing Jenna Ellis, a member of the Trump 2020 Advisory Board.
  • Sean Hannity interviewing GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, a sellout who once called Trump an idiot and a liar, but who now kowtows to him in the most embarrassing fashion.
  • Lou Dobbs interviewing Harmeet Dhillon from the Republican National Lawyers Association.
  • Sean Hannity (again), this time with Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Leader.
  • Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro, another Fox News host and shameless Trump-fluffer.
  • Yet another Hannity reference saying that the whistleblower has a political bias.
  • Fox and Friends asserting that “Democrats have been talking about Impeaching Donald Trump since before he was inaugurated. @SteveDoocy @foxandfriends”
  • Fox host Bret Baier saying that “You don’t see a direct quid pro quo in this.”
  • Fox’s White House correspondent, John Roberts, saying that there was no quid pro quo in the memo.

Someone who has a good argument for innocence wouldn’t have to resort to a cadre of notoriously biased pundits and Fox News propagandists for legal help. But this is Trump’s whole modus operandi. Remember, his preparation for the presidency was hosting a reality TV game show for fourteen years. His entire reference to his job is tied to television and celebrity. So rather than accumulate knowledgeable defenses from intelligent, reputable people, he leans on dishonest TV personalities talking to partisan hacks. You know, people just like himself.

UPDATE: The whistleblower complaint has been declassified and released. It’s available here with a few redactions.

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