Joe Biden Brilliantly Nails Trump’s Descent Into Corruption and Tyranny

From day one of his accidental presidency, Donald Trump has exhibited clear signs of his aspirations to emulate the brutal dictators that he so admires (Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin). His reverence for the trappings of totalitarianism has been thinly disguised as he openly exchanged love letters with his autocratic heroes and behaved in a manner that mimicked their oppressive methods of governing.

Donald Trump, Joe Biden

On Friday evening Trump committed yet another act of obvious abuse of power. Hoping to avoid media scrutiny, he quietly sent a letter to Congress indicating his intention to fire Steve Linick, the State Department’s Inspector General. Linick just happened to been investigating misconduct by Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

The Inspector General’s position is supposed to be an independent watchdog post to protect the integrity of government agencies. That’s why Trump could not fire Linick outright, but had to give Congress a 30 day notice. Unfortunately, due to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s blind obedience to Trump, it is still likely that nothing will be done about this, at least from McConnell’s perch.

This negligence on the part of Republicans in Congress is all the worse considering that this isn’t the first time that Trump has fired an IG who was investigating his administration. Nor is it the second time. Or the the third. Linick’s dismissal follows that of Inspectors General Christi Grimm (Health and Human Services), Glenn Fine (Defense Department), and Michael Atkinson (Intelligence Community). Each of these people were non-partisan career professionals who served administrations of both parties. Each of them were probing misconduct in the Trump administration. And all of this took place within a six week period.

Trump has been executing a slow-motion version of a Saturday Night Massacre, wherein he’s terminating honorable public servants who were doing their jobs on behalf of the American people. His brazen lawlessness seems to be growing unchecked ever since the Senate failed in their duty to remove him from office after his impeachment.

Trump is becoming ever more desperate in recent days as the coronavirus death toll for Americans approaches 90,000. Which is another even more tragic consequence of the GOP’s acquiescence to Dear Leader. Lately Trump has been fixated on a thoroughly imaginary “scandal” that he has been calling “ObamaGate.” There is no rational explanation for what he’s alleging, and given the opportunity, even he couldn’t define it. But he has been tweeting up a storm with links to rabid Obama haters making bizarre and unsupported accusations.

On Saturday morning Trump embarked on a raging Twitter-palooza that included one tweet saying that “Scandal has defined the Obama Administration.” Which is peculiar considering there is not even a hint of any untoward activity by President Obama over the eight years of his presidency. However, there is nothing but scandal and corruption engulfing Trump and his confederacy of criminals, many of whom have already been indicted and convicted.

So Trump’s current obsessive acting out against IGs is just his way of trying to put a lid on the discovery of his raging malfeasance in office. He is writhing in fear of losing in November and being held accountable for his presidential crime spree. He knows that his approval ratings are plummeting and most polls show Joe Biden beating him nationally, as well as in many of the crucial swing states. So it is especially sweet to see Biden excoriating Trump in a succinct yet effective tweet of his own:

Indeed. While there are many former Trump staffers who have left his employ under a cloud, the only person Trump ever fired for wrongdoing was his disgraced National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who got the ax for lying to both the administration and the FBI. But now Trump is praising Flynn after having had his Attorney General, Bill Barr, drop all charges against him. Never mind that Flynn had confessed and pleaded guilty twice.

Trump keeps demonstrating that he will cozy up to those who swear their unflinching allegiance to his White House mob family. Loyalty to him always takes precedence over loyalty to the United States or its Constitution. And he will continue to poison the waters of justice in order to avoid being held accountable for his innumerable crimes. You have to wonder if there is any breach of law or ethics that will provoke Republicans to act with integrity and dignity and patriotism. but don’t hold your breath.

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

HUH? Fox News Implies Barr’s Absolution of Flynn Invalidates the 2018 Election

The criminal administration of Donald Trump is frantically trying to slip through as many political atrocities as it can before it is swept out office next year. And they aren’t shy about hiding behind the tragedies of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic in order to achieve their nefarious goals. In fact, it almost seems like they are deliberately making things worse by prematurely “reopening” the country economically in order to better cloak their activities.

Donald Trump, Bill Barr

On Thursday Trump’s Justice Department led by Attorney General, Bill Barr, announced that they were asking a federal judge to drop the charges against Michael Flynn, Trump’s disgraced former National Security Advisor. Flynn had pleaded guilty to an array of charges including lying to the FBI. He also promised to cooperate with federal prosecutors until he abruptly reneged and hired a new team of lawyers. The charges against him were pretty airtight, which is why he originally admitted his guilt. But more recently he concluded that by hanging tough he would be able to secure a presidential pardon or a dismissal, which is what has now occurred.

Flynn was the poster boy for the corruption that infects every cell of the Trump regime’s body. He had unsavory relations with the governments of Russia and Turkey. He was considered dirty even before Trump was inaugurated. President Obama fired him and warned Trump to steer clear. Naturally, that probably had the effect of endearing Flynn to Trump. Birds of a feather, and all that. Just last week Trump unleashed a tweetstorm of 27 tweets supporting Flynn.

The news that Barr was dropping the charges broke pretty quickly as every news network interrupted their programming with special coverage. However, the coverage on Fox News stood out for its predictably biased slant, including bizarre opinions by their “straight” news anchors, Bill Hemmer and Bret Baier. They joined to imply that Barr’s dismissal of Flynn’s charges somehow reflected on the validity of the 2018 election (video below):

Hemmer: It begs the question, what was Bob Mueller doing all this time? And were they out there looking for something that never existed? Were they trying to find a crime were they could not find one?
Baier: We’re in the middle of dealing with COVID and all of the health crisis and the economic crisis, but if you look back and you realize when Bob Mueller and his team knew that there was nothing there there, it was before the midterm election. And that raises its own questions about where that investigation went and how it proceeded.

WTF? If these guys don’t know what Mueller was doing at this point, they are either too stupid to be allowed to function outside of an asylum, or they are brazenly lying in support of their extreme right-wing agenda. Hemmer’s “questions” as to whether a crime occurred is deliberate disinformation. Mueller’s report explicitly stated that he was not able to exonerate Trump. It also enumerated several instances of felony perjury. Plus, there were several indictments and convictions in addition to Flynn’s guilty plea. All of this has been on the record for years now.

As for Baier, his preposterous speculations expose him as a bitterly partisan political hack. He asserts that Mueller at some point “knew that there was nothing there there.” That’s a flagrant lie. When Mueller testified before Congress he said that “Trump and his campaign welcomed and encouraged Russian interference,” and that they “lied about it to cover it up.” Does that sound like he knew there was no there there?

What’s more, the contention that Flynn being let off the hook now has some bearing on the 2018 election cannot be squared with reality. First of all, how can a decision to allow an admitted felon to go free by a dishonest and devotedly loyal Trump Attorney General have any such effect? Barr’s decision doesn’t make Flynn innocent and it doesn’t alter the voters’ choices to sweep corrupt Republicans out of office. Flynn’s get-out-of-jail-free card only serves as a further indictment of the corruption in Trump’s criminal syndicate. If anything, it validates what voters did in 2018.

More importantly, Barr’s Trumpist puppetry will likely spark a new level of outrage among the majority of Americans who already want Trump, and his GOP confederates, gone in November. If they think that coddling traitors is going to translate into Republican votes, they are dumber than Trump looks. Flynn’s freedom will remind every American voter that Republicans are on the side of those who betray our country. The likelihood of a Democratic tsunami at the polls in November became greater today.

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

Trump Orders Justice Dept to Persecute His Critics and Pamper His Accomplices

There really is no bottom. Now Wannabe Dictator Donald Trump is bringing fascism to America. He is directing his corrupt Justice Department to investigate and prosecute (persecute) his critics. Meanwhile, he lobbies for light sentences and dangles pardons for his bootlicking sycophantic criminal accomplices. This is not normal. And it demonstrates that Republicans who thought Trump might learn from his impeachment were frighteningly mistaken and/or deluded.

Donald Trump

Trump’s Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, announced that he will be revising the sentencing recommendations for convicted felon Roger Stone. The prosecutors who tried the case recommended seven to nine years based on established legal guidelines. But Barr’s intervention is based on nothing more than Trump’s angry tweets. And if that’s not bad enough, Barr is assuming control of virtually everything that comes into the Justice Department that involves Trump. And Trump is obviously pleased…

The spectacle of seeing a president congratulate his toady AG for letting a convicted criminal off the hook should send shivers up the spines of the American people. Stone was found guilty of five counts of lying to Congress, and one count each of witness intimidation and obstruction. But his friend in the White House is pulling strings so that he doesn’t have to pay the price for his crimes. As a result of Barr’s interference, all four of the federal prosecutors who tried the case have quit.

What’s more, Trump’s tweet also makes a dangerously reckless and baseless accusation that former special counsel Robert Mueller “lied to Congress.” Trump doesn’t bother to cite any alleged falsehood, probably because he just made it up to slander Mueller. In a subsequent tweet Trump asserted, also without any foundation, that the career DOJ lawyers who tried Stone are “Rogue prosecutors.”

Trump has frequently weighed in on the criminal prosecutions of his associates. Just the fact that he has so many associates who have been prosecuted and found guilty is horrifying. But his reaction has been to lobby for lighter sentences or to issue pardons himself. Some of this confederacy of felons include his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, his deputy campaign manager, Rick Gates, his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and more.

On the other side of that legal coin, Trump has accused many of his political adversaries of crimes without any evidence whatsoever. In addition to Robert Mueller, Trump charged that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff “is a corrupt politician and a criminal;” that “Nancy [Pelosi] is every bit as guilty;” that “Hillary Clinton lied to the FBI;” and that “The Biden family was PAID OFF.” None of these allegations have an iota of evidence for support. They are purely driven by the animosity and vengeance of a wrathful president.

It has been widely known for years (decades?) that Trump is a vile and vindictive person who relishes punishing his perceived enemies. And he perceives enemies virtually everywhere, as he himself recently confessed. But the fact that he has an administration full of glassy-eyed cult followers who will obediently serve his will makes him all the more dangerous. And the Department of Justice is at the top of that list.

What this means is that there is nothing left to separate America from the totalitarian regimes and their tyrants that Trump so admires. This was articulated well by Sen. Chuck Schumer Wednesday on the floor of the Senate. It cannot be overstated how unusual it is for a speech like this to take place. but his words should be taken seriously if this country is to restore justice and preserve democracy:

“The President is claiming that rigging the rules is perfectly legitimate. He claims an absolute right to order the Justice Department to do anything he wants. And the President has as his Attorney General an enabler. And that’s a kind word. Does anyone think it’s out of the question that Pres. Trump might order the FBI to investigate Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden or anybody else without any evidence that supports such an arbitrary violation of individual rights?

“Oh, I know. Some far-right conspiratorial writer, who has no credibility and who just makes things up, writes it, Fox News puts it on, Sean Hannity or someone talks about it, and then the president says ‘Investigate.’ That is third world behavior – not American behavior.”

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

Wannabe Dictator Trump’s Campaign to Persecute His Political Rivals is Revealed on Fox News

It didn’t take Donald Trump long to convert his impeachment into what his diseased brain thinks is a plus for him. Deep down he knows that he’s been severely wounded and tainted for life. That’s evident by how obsessed he is with denying it. But he is now transferring his fear and desperation into a dangerous assault on American values and liberty.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

Less than forty-eight hours after the Republican majority in the Senate voted to let Trump off and cover up his crimes, Trump began a purge of the witnesses who were courageous and honest enough to tell the truth about him. He fired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his brother, as well as the Ambassador to the E.U., Gordon Sondland. He’s in discussion now to fire the intelligence community Inspector General. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

One of the most loyal StormTrumpers in Congress is Sen. Lindsey Graham. Never mind that he once said that Trump is “a kook, crazy, and unfit for office.” Today Graham is another glassy-eyed disciple of the Cult of Trump. And he visited with Fox News Trump-fluffer Jeanine Pirro for a mutual worship session on Saturday night where he revealed the totalitarian aspirations of Trump and where it’s headed next.

Graham: Half the people behind the Russia investigation are gonna go to jail.
Pirro: Hopefully.
Graham: Well, just hang tight.

These are the sort of threats that plague the tyrannies that Trump so admires. Places like North Korea, China, and Russia. Now Graham is admitting that he and Trump will be implementing those policies here in the U.S. And it isn’t just Graham speaking out of turn. Trump is saying the very same things, and touting his partnership with Graham and the Senate Republicans:

What’s more, Graham’s appearance on Face the Nation included his assertion that there is an existing process by which Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is funneling dirt on Joe Biden to Trump’s Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr:

Graham: The Department of Justice is receiving information coming out of Ukraine from Rudy … He told me that they had created a process where Rudy could give information and they would see if it’s verified.

To be perfectly clear, this is not a normal means of investigating possible criminal activity. Private attorneys do not work with federal prosecutors to collect and analyze alleged evidence. This is how totalitarian rulers engage their surrogates to suppress opposition and stoke fear into anyone that might consider being critical or even independent.

This is obviously Trump’s intention. It’s what he has been doing all along. It’s why he partners with the likes of Giuliani, Parnas, Fruman, etc. It’s why he attempted to extort the president of Ukraine. It’s what led to the ousters of everyone from Jeff Sessions to Gen. John Kelly to John Bolton, and so many more. It’s a mob style presidency that believes it can only survive via intimidation and punishment. And it’s why it is still so urgent that Trump be removed from office before he causes even more harm.

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

Trump’s Inner Mob Boss Emerges with Alarming New Threats to Politicians and the Press

One of the most prominent and disturbing elements of Donald Trump’s character (or lack thereof) is his tendency to embrace the language and behavior of mafia dons. He regards himself as an infallible and unchallengeable force who demands total obedience and blind loyalty. This weekend Trump displayed that mob boss fixation on several occasions.

Donald Trump

The recording of him telling Lev Parnas to “take out” U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovich was chilling to hear. Trump gave orders to Parnas, a shady figure with ties to Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian politicos, to “Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.”

Trump’s apologists in Congress and on Fox News dismiss this as being within the President’s power to fire an ambassador. That’s true, but then either he fires her or he instructs his Secretary of State to do so. Parnas has no government role or authority to terminate the employment of an American diplomat. So what did Trump mean and why would he assign this mission to such a fringe player who is currently under felony indictment?

Similarly, Trump threatened the whistleblower who reported Trump’s extortion of Ukrainian President Zelensky, as well as the whistleblower’s White House source[s]. Trump alleged that they could be considered spies and warned “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.” That’s an overt death threat aimed at someone who legally protected from such retaliation.

On Sunday morning Trump also aimed a threat at House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff, saying that he “is a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man. He has not paid the price, yet…” Here Trump is baselessly alleging that Schiff is both “corrupt” and “sick,” two traits that are more recognizable in Trump himself. And what “price” does Trump have in mind that he’s implying Schiff will soon be paying?

This is typical behavior from Trump. And it manifested again in another Sunday tweet wherein he implied his interest in sabotaging National Public Radio (NPR) by eliminating their federal funding. This attack was triggered by an NPR reporter’s interview with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mary Louise Kelly asked Pompeo a couple of perfectly fair questions about Ukraine that he wanted to avoid. He became angry and erupted in a profanity laced outburst which she reported.

This led to Fox News host Mark Levin tweeting his disapproval of Kelly and asking “Why does NPR still exist,” and “Why are we paying for this big-government, Democrat Party propaganda operation?” Trump replied that it was “A very good question,” setting the stage for potential budget cuts to the public radio broadcaster.

First of all, NPR is not a “big-government, Democrat Party propaganda operation.” In fact, it receives very little federal funding. According to its latest financial report, just one percent of its annual operating budget consists of public monies. By far, most of its funding comes from corporate sponsorships, dues paid by member stations, and listener donations. The greater harm would come to radio stations that air NPR programming, most of which serve rural communities in what Trump would call his base.

What’s more, it’s simply ignorant to accuse NPR of being politically slanted to the left. If anything the opposite is true. After all, the board of its governing agency, the U.S. Global Media Agency (USGMA), is headed by Kenneth Weinstein, a Trump appointee. Also on the board … Mike Pompeo. That’s right. The Secretary of State is an ex officio member of the board of directors of the USGMA. And this is what Trump and Levin believe is a “Democrat Party propaganda operation.” It must be another department within the “Deep State” that is staffed by Trump loyalists.

Trump’s foul and menacing behavior is notable not only for its similarity to that of a mob boss. It represents an imminent danger to innocent people in politics and the press. Past episodes of this rhetoric has resulted in actual bomb threats and other attempted violence. And the scary part is that that is precisely what Trump wants. He is a bully who believes that he can get his way through threats and intimidation. It actually fits the legal definition of terrorism.

If he isn’t stopped he will only get worse. That’s why his impeachment is so urgent. Even if he were to be defeated at the ballot box in November, that would give him 77 days to exact revenge on those he deemed to have betrayed him. That’s a risk that American can’t afford.

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

Trump’s Perverse Impeachment Defense: He Should Not Be Impeached Even If He’s Guilty

The Senate trial of Donald Trump’s Articles of Impeachment is set to begin on Tuesday. In advance of that, the Democrats released a 111 page brief on how they intend to prosecute the case against Trump. It’s a detailed and comprehensive outline of the high crimes and misdemeanors that justify Trump’s conviction and removal from office.

Donald Trump, Constitution

On the other side of the aisle, Trump’s motley crew of Fox News lawyers released a shallow and lie-riddled response that hardly touches on the specific allegations against Trump. In fact, Trump’s official answer to the Articles of Impeachment is an emotional seven page rant that repetitiously makes a single point: that “the Articles of Impeachment are constitutionally invalid” because they “fail to allege any crime or violation of the law.” It further states that it is “a lawless process that violated basic due process,” and that its consideration would be “subverting the will of the American people.”

Every bit of that is utterly false and has no legal basis as a defense. The charge that there is no crime alleged is false because Trump’s efforts to coerce the Ukrainian president into aiding his scheme to smear Joe Biden is, in fact, a crime. So is withholding military aid allocated by Congress and signed by the President. So is ignoring Congressional subpoenas for documents and ordering his subordinates not to cooperate. But even if those weren’t crimes, it wouldn’t matter because the Constitution doesn’t require violations of criminal statutes. For one thing, there weren’t any criminal statutes at the time the Constitution was written.

As for due process, that is a right granted in courts of law conducting criminal prosecutions. Due process doesn’t apply here because impeachment is a political process conducted in the Congress. Even so, Trump was permitted to present his witnesses and defense, but he declined to do so. He even refused after complaining about not having such an opportunity. And he’s still refusing to allow witnesses and documents that he says are exculpatory.

The claim that impeachment “subverts” the will of the people is bizarre on its face. Was it subverting the will of the people when Clinton was impeached? How could any impeachment – which is, of course, in the Constitution – be pursued without the prospect of removing an elected president? To suggest, as Trump’s response does, that impeachment is “a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their President,” is to assert that the Framers were out of their minds for including impeachment in the Constitution in the first place. They obviously didn’t include it with the intention that it never be used because it might result in a president being removed from office. And Trump probably shouldn’t raise the issue of “the will of the people” to “freely choose their President,” when he lost the election by 3,000,000 votes. If the will of the people were being respected, Hillary Clinton would be president.

To bolster his argument that impeachment is invalid, Trump assigned the newest member of Fox News legal team, Alan Dershowitz, the task of presenting his case to the media. Dershowitz was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos where he offered up this preposterous legal theory:

Stephanopoulos: Is it your position that President Trump should not be impeached even if all the evidence and arguments laid out by the House are accepted as fact?
Dershowitz: That’s right.

The foundation of Dershowitz’s argument is that abuse of power and obstruction of Congress do not meet the criteria for impeachment under the Constitution. So he isn’t arguing that Trump isn’t guilty of abuse of power or obstruction of Congress, only that, in his view, the Constitution allows him to do so.

Think about that. Dershowitz, as well as Trump’s defenders in Congress and the press, believe that a president may abuse power and obstruct Congress without ever having to worry about being held accountable. They can collude with adversarial foreign governments to interfere with an election. They can publish stolen emails and other private documents to smear their opponents. They can withhold critical funds in order to coerce foreign leaders to do their bidding on personal matters. And they can refuse to disclose such behaviors, and even lie about them to the American people.

That’s the crazy vision that Trump and the Republican Party are offering to the nation. That’s their depraved interpretation of the Constitution. And that’s the legal basis for which they believe Trump should be exonerated. They know that they cannot defend Trump as innocent, so they’re embracing his guilt as acceptable. That’s how far Trump and the GOP have fallen.

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

BONUS ADDITION: Dershowitz is flagrantly contradicting himself on the question of whether a crime is a necessary criteria for impeachment. In an interview with CNN’s Larry King in 1998, Dershowitz said that impeachment “certainly doesn’t have to be a crime if you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty, you don’t need a technical crime.” So there’s that. Democrats should play video of that during the Senate trial immediately after Dershowitz’s statement.

Trump-Fluffers at Fox News Begin War Mongering Before Soleimani’s Body is Cold

On the second day of the new year Donald Trump launched a new conflict in the Middle East, this time with the region’s largest military, Iran. Contrary to his frequent promises to withdraw the United States from the Middle East, Trump’s assault is likely to result in another prolonged war that will be costly in both lives and dollars.

Donald Trump

No American will mourn the demise of General Qasem Soleimani. He was the leading purveyor of Iran’s international terrorism and was responsible for hundreds fatalities among both Americans and civilians in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. But the mission to assassinate Iran’s second highest military leader in Iraq was nevertheless a provocative act that could lead to further unnecessary tragedies for the U.S. and the region.

This is particularly apparent since Trump has no coherent strategy, policy, or end game. He failed to consult members of Congress as the law requires and, therefore, had no legal authorization for the attack. And in a flurry of syrupy, worshipful retweets, Trump included one by disgraced pundit Dinesh D’Souza that shamefully implied that had Trump told Congress they would have told Iran. To date, the only one who has disclosed state secrets to hostile foreign nations is Trump when he speaks to Putin.

In fact, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that he discussed this attack with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in advance. So Trump informed Russia, but not Congress. It’s also notable that, by targeting an individual, as opposed to military assets, Trump possibly violated international laws against assassination.

Trump’s initial justification for the attack is that it was executed in order to prevent imminent future attacks on Americans. However, he provided no evidence of any such threat. It sounds very much like the false assertions of the Bush administration alleging nonexistent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Also familiar is the statement by Pompeo, who baselessly claimed that “We have every expectation that people not only in Iraq, but in Iran, will view the American action last night as giving them freedom.” That recalls Dick Cheney’s preposterous assertion that “My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators [in Iraq].”

Immediately following Trump’s attack, Fox News predictably leaped to his defense with a vigor that can only be described as gleeful. Although he was on vacation, Sean Hannity called into his own program to insist that Iran had “put American lives in jeopardy and the president very quickly acted,” and that it was “a huge victory and total leadership by the president.” But Brian Kilmeade of Fox and Friends was representative of the Fox position when he rebutted Geraldo Rivera’s criticism of the attack by gloating that “I will cheer this on. I am elated.”

Make no mistake. This is the host of a popular Fox News program expressing his elation about a potential war that would result in untold casualties of Americans for a purpose that no one in the Trump administration has been able to define.

If you’re looking for a plausible reason for why Trump would take this action at this time, look no further than the news that broke earlier the same day. The release of newly unredacted emails from Trump’s national security personnel that state unequivocally that Trump knew his withholding of military aid to Ukraine was illegal. The discovery of this provides additional urgency for the Senate to agree to call witnesses and to introduce documents when it takes up Trump’s impeachment.

Trump knows this, and it escalates his fear that impeachment could result in his removal from office. So in order to deflect from the growing political peril he is enduring, Trump appears to have taken the course of action that he once falsely accused President Obama of considering: Start a war with Iran:

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

The Best/Worst Donald Trump Advice of 2019: Read The Transcript!

It’s New Year’s Eve and Donald Trump is doing what he does most of the rest of the year: Lounging at his golf resort, watching Fox News, and posting asinine lies on Twitter. It’s a lazy lifestyle of ego gratification that he has adopted since becoming president and rarely wavers from it.

Trump Lies

True to form, Trump was busy tapping out tweets on Tuesday morning to insult Democrats, praise Putin, and insist on his innocence with quotes from some Fox News flunkies. And stuffed into the mix was one of Trump’s favorite phrases that he thinks is an effective argument for his impeachment defense. And as it turns out, it’s actually the most useful suggestion that Trump has given to the nation for the whole year. Therefore News Corpse has chosen it as…

The Best/Worst Donald Trump Advice of 2019: Read the Transcript!

Everyone really should read the summary memo that Trump falsely calls a “transcript.” The memo that Trump himself released reveals with crystal clarity that Trump extorted President Zelensky of Ukraine. Trump asked Zelensky to interfere in the U.S. election by trying to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. And he conditioned critical U.S. military aid on Zelensky’s cooperation. What the memo says that Trump said, in response to Zelensky’s inquiry about the aid, was…

“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.”

That’s a textbook quid pro quo. Trump then talks about getting some information related to a debunked conspiracy theory about a computer server that belonged to the Democratic National Committee. But he quickly segues from that to explicit requests for dirt on Joe Biden:

“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 [Rudy Giuliani and] the Attorney General [William Barr] would be great … so if you can look into it.”

So yes, please take Trump’s advice and read the “transcript.” It’s one of the most precise confessions that Trump has made to his criminal behavior. And if that isn’t enough, there is also Trump’s explicit admission that he wanted Zelensky to probe the Bidens, which he made on national television. Yet somehow, Trump still had the audacity to spend much of the year denying that he asked for that obvious quid pro quo. In fact, he tweeted that there was no such request at least 43 times this year.

Trump’s Twitter timeline was awash with flagrantly dishonest declarations of his innocence that he usually couched in attacks on others. He tweeted about the whistleblower 119 times this year; he swore that there was “no collusion” 153 times; he called his critics “crazy” 209 times; and he whined impotently about impeachment a whopping 589 times. That’s nearly twice every day.

Trump is particularly obsessed with the whistleblower whose whereabouts he repeatedly asks for. He accuses the whistleblower of having gotten everything wrong in his report to the Inspector General. That claim was chosen by PolitiFact as their Lie of the Year for 2019. But worst of all, in a post-Christmas tweet, Trump retweeted a shady account that allegedly named the whistleblower. Of course, that cannot be substantiated, but the harm is done to that person whether or not he/she is involved.

What’s more, the post that Trump retweeted was extraordinarily suspicious. The name on the account changed at least four times. And with each new name, the previous one was deleted. But all of the accounts had the exact same tweet content, were created at the same time, and linked to known Russian propaganda sources.

It’s a year-end enigma that just drips with criminal, if not treasonous, intrigue. But it Trump is confidant that everything will be resolved if you would only “read the transcript!” Even if none of his own willfully ignorant cult followers will:

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

Trump Violates Whistleblower Protection Laws with Retweet of Suspicious (Fake?) Twitter Account

You have to wonder if Donald Trump is now actively seeking additional Articles of Impeachment that can be filed against him. Apparently “Abuse of Power” and “Obstruction of Congress” are not stigmatizing enough for a malignant narcissist who considers himself the greatest [fill in the blank] that the world has ever seen, not to mention the Earthly personification of The Chosen One.”

Donald Trump, Prison

Late on Friday night Trump embarked on a three hour Twitter-palooza that included panicky attacks on his perceived foes, fear-soaked cries of unfair persecution, and featured a random assortment of worshipful Twitter defenders, including QAnon crackpots. Trump tweeted until midnight, saving what he must have considered the best for last. The final post of this 40-plus, witching hour harangue was a tweet that could land Trump in even deeper impeachment trouble. The posting that Trump retweeted will not be linked here because of its profoundly illegal content and reckless endangerment of the innocent. But here is a graphic with appropriate redactions:

Donald Trump Whistleblower Tweet

This tweet includes the name of someone that the original tweeter (Sophia), and Trump, are asserting outright is the whistleblower. Of course, they have no evidence to make such an assertion, and there is no credible validation of its accuracy. Nevertheless, Trump is disseminating this rumor as if it were true. There are two big problems with this.

The first problem is that it is unlawful to expose the identity of an anonymous whistleblower. The whistleblower statute is provided to protect the individual from harm and/or retaliation, and to maintain the right for others to safely come forward when they encounter government waste, fraud, abuse, and to protect public health and safety.

The second problem is that, because the identity of the whistleblower is still unknown, the person identified in this tweet could have nothing to do with this, but his/her welfare is still put in jeopardy. That is an act that is beyond reckless. It would be irresponsible for anyone to post this sort of information. but it’s far worse that a president would participate in such a potentially harmful act.

Trump is not only speculating about someone whose identity he doesn’t know, he is threatening the person with prosecution for perjury. That’s precisely the sort of retaliation that the Whistleblower statute prohibits. What’s more, there is no evidence of perjury. While Trump has repeatedly claimed that the whistleblower’s report was untrue, a simple comparison of the filing to the summary memo (what he falsely calls a transcript) of Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president shows that the whistleblower was correct on every point made. Trump himself has corroborated the whistleblower’s account.

But there is even more wrong with this tweet. For one thing, Sophia is not exactly a credible source. The picture in her Twitter profile is, in fact, a stock photo available from Getty Images. Furthermore, the text of her tweet is a verbatim copy from a three week old posting on the blog of a notorious, right-wing conspiracy nut, Jim Hoft (Gateway Pundit). The text of the tweet of her own that she retweeted was also copied from Hoft’s page. And it bizarrely claims that “secret” hearings exonerate Trump. But how could Sophia (Hoft) know that if they’re secret? And for the record, those hearings were open to both Democrats and Republicans.

Clearly Sophia is a dubious character who is endeavoring to plant and disseminate disinformation on the Internet. And Trump somehow managed to stumble upon this bogus account and retweet it. Coincidence? Who knows? But what is know for certain is that Trump has put an innocent person’s life in danger. (Note: the person is innocent whether or not he/she is the whistleblower). And he has also added to the potential list of legal breaches for which he can be impeached. If only the Senate would do its job with integrity and concern for the nation, rather than coddling the criminal occupying the White House.

UPDATE: This is bizarre. The Twitter account for “Sophia” (Surfermom77) has been deleted entirely. But when that name is entered it redirects to someone named “Emma” (2Samson67) that has all of the exact same content as Sophia. The tweet that Trump retweeted is still in the same place on his Twitter timeline, but now says it’s from Emma.

UPDATE II: Now Emma’s account is deleted and was replaced with “Leona” (2Leona65), which was also deleted and replaced with a second “Leona” (4Shereene4). All of these accounts have the same content (tweets) and say they are “100% Trump supporters” in California and joined Twitter in July 2013. They seem to be trying to evade detection and suspension by Twitter.

UPDATE III: And the parade of fake accounts continues. The second Leona has been deleted and replaced with “Gigi” (LovelyGigi33). Stay tuned.

UPDATE IV: The mysterious tweet that kept changing identities is now gone. But the damage was done, and Trump’s complicity in this deceit – and illegal naming an alleged whistleblower – needs to be fully investigated.

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

Smoking Gun? Trump Ordered Pentagon to Delay Ukraine Aid Shortly After Zelensky Phone Call

The fact that Donald Trump has now been impeached (despite what the loons on Fox News say), hasn’t slowed the discovery of new evidence of his guilt. This is one of the reasons that it’s so important to ensure a comprehensive consideration of the Articles of Impeachment when they get transmitted to the Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knows this, and so do the vast majority of Americans who favor a full and fair hearing, including witnesses and document production.

Donald Trump

The impeachment controversy has sparked as epic battle between Pelosi and the Senate’s GOP majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who has already announced that he has no intention of conducting a fair hearing and will be “taking his cues” from White House lawyers. In the meantime, new evidence has already emerged that appears to be profoundly damaging to Trump:

That’s right. Less than two hours after Trump got off the phone with President Zelensky of Ukraine, he ordered the Defense Department to withhold military aid to a country that was being invaded at the time by Russia. The order included a directive to keep it quiet due to it’s “sensitive nature.”

Trump is fond of telling everyone to “read the transcript” of his phone call with Zelensky. He’s tweeted that demand 29 times in the past few weeks. Most recently, yesterday. He is referring to reading the notes made in a memo that describes his conversation with Zelensky. And he is apparently too oblivious to recognize that the memo actually confirms that he conditioned military aid on Zelensky’s promise to help him smear Joe Biden. What Trump said, in response to Zelensky’s inquiry about the aid, was…

“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.”

That’s a textbook quid pro quo. Trump then talks about getting some information related to a debunked conspiracy theory about a computer server that belonged to the Democratic National Committee. But he quickly segues from that to explicit requests for dirt on Joe Biden:

“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 [Rudy Giuliani and] the Attorney General [William Barr] would be great … so if you can look into it.”

This new memo was acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Center for Public Integrity. It is among the documents that the White House had previously refused to surrender to congressional investigators. There are many more that Trump continues to withhold. And he is still refusing to allow his staff to give testimony.

But if there’s one thing this memo proves, it’s that there is a real need to continue probing this criminal president and the accomplices in his administration. And when the Senate takes up the impeachment, they must permit the introduction of new evidence and testimony from relevant witnesses. The truth will likely come out eventually, anyway. But if Republicans in Congress allow Trump to deny access to it at this stage, they will be held accountable by both the courts and the voters.

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