Good News: Trump Plans to Spend 2018 on the Campaign Trail Helping More GOP Candidates Lose

In the past few weeks there have been a couple of important elections that drew national attention. One was for the governorship of Virginia. The other was for a senate seat in Alabama. In both contests Donald Trump campaigned furiously for the Republican candidate. And in both cases the Democrat won. Proving that the President’s support is no guarantee of success, even in staunchly red territories of the South.

Donald Trump

So it will come as good news to Democrats to learn that Trump is planning to hit the road in 2018 to campaign for Republican candidates across America:

“President Donald Trump is not on the ballot in 2018, but the White House is planning a full-throttle campaign to plunge the president into the midterm elections, according to senior officials and advisers familiar with the planning. […] The president has told advisers he wants to travel extensively and hold rallies and that he is looking forward to spending much of 2018 campaigning.”

That’s right. The president with the lowest approval rating since polling began is so enamored with himself that he thinks he’d be an asset to other political aspirants. Never mind the recent evidence that an association with Trump spells doom in races where Republicans should have had the edge. His conceit is so all-encompassing that he’s convinced that his presence is beneficial, or even desirable. This is a man so utterly lacking in self-awareness that he can’t comprehend that a majority of voters cringe at the site of him. And any candidate who stands next to Trump on the political stage is going to be covered by the stench of his divisiveness, racism, ignorance, misogyny, and boorish character.

Democrats must be salivating at the prospect of Trump’s ambitious campaign plans. They would surely welcome him into the fray knowing that he is more likely to hurt their GOP opponents than to help them. At the the same time he is one of the best motivators for Democrats to get out and vote. The more Trump tries to push his GOP colleagues, the bigger the blue wave is going to be next November. And as an added benefit, if Trump is traipsing around the country dragging down Republican electoral hopes, he won’t be in Washington creating more domestic and international crises. And Trump’s focus on electioneering is more proof that the only agenda of the Republican Party is the preservation of power.

Representatives of the Trump administration’s political team are as delusional as he is regarding the value of his contribution. One insisted that “this isn’t about adulation and cheering crowds.” That ignores the evidence of his narcissistic tendencies that compel him to continue holding rallies long after the presidential campaign was over. He clearly thrives on the fawning adoration of the deplorables who flock to his personal praise-a-thons.

The risk of having Trump stump for a candidate is that the thrill he gets from his glassy-eyed disciples only exacerbates the harm he is likely to cause. That’s because the more the crowds cheer, the more he talks about himself and ignores the candidate he came to promote. And whenever Trump goes off topic he winds up creating inane controversies that overwhelm whatever message he hoped to communicate.

For these reasons Democrats will be the first to encourage Trump to campaign vigorously and often. The more he is associated with Republican candidates the better the chances of electing Democrats. And Trump’s toxicity will only increase in the new year as more revelations from the investigations of his collusion with Russia emerge. And that’s not even taking into consideration scandals related to his financial corruption and sexual harassment and abuse. So bring it on Donnie. We double dare you.

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

Roy Moore’s Alabama Trainwreck Was a Disaster for Fox News and a Big Win for MSNBC

Alabama’s senate race became a national event due the the unique circumstances that marked the election. Roy Moore’s campaign was emblematic of a new movement to hold sexual predators accountable. And his anachronistic racial and religious rigor was reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition. Donald Trump also figured into the southern soap opera. Despite his sudden amnesia with regard to Moore, the outcome would be a referendum on the President whether Fox News liked it or not. And they really didn’t like it.

Fox News Sad

You’ll never guess who else didn’t like it. Fox News viewers voted with their remotes Tuesday. As the election returns came in, the ratings for Fox News fell off a cliff. And by the time the race was called for Doug Jones they had lost more than half their audience. In the 9:00 hour Fox’s coverage of the race was pretty strong with about 3.8 million people watching (831K in the 25-54 demo). For much of that time Moore was still leading. Rachel Maddow wasn’t far behind with 3.1 million viewers (760K in the demo).

However, the race was called (first by Fox News, oddly enough) at about 10:30. And that saw a drop off for Fox to about 3.5 million (889K demo). But, Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC took off scoring 3.745 million (1.0M demo). And CNN also spiked with 3.5 million (1.5M demo). And by the 11:00 hour, when it was clear that Jones was victorious, Fox News was pitifully defeated. They ended primetime with just 1.8 million viewers (470K demo). That’s less than half the total audience they had before the returns were in That compared to MSNBC’s 3.7 million (947 demo), about twice Fox’s numbers, and CNN’s 3.2 million (1.4M demo).

Clearly Fox News viewers were too upset to continue watching television. Seeing the pedophile they supported lose to an honorable Democrat was just too painful. Never mind that by the next morning most of them were insisting that Moore was never a viable candidate, they never really liked him, and that they are better off without him in the senate making the GOP look bad. That’s pretty much the view taken by Fox News and, not coincidentally, many Republicans and Donald Trump. Not to worry. They still have sexual predator and Russian collaborator (allegedly) Trump and his devoted Deplorables to make them look bad.

On the other hand, Doug Jones’ victory inspired viewers to tune into MSNBC and CNN en masse at the conclusion of the race. This isn’t because the Democrat won. Americans tuned in to the networks where they thought they would get truthful reporting of the results, without the desperate spin of losers trying to make excuses. That’s why the numbers didn’t increase for Fox News even when there was actual news to report. And the Fox cultists who had tuned in early weren’t going to subject themselves to what they considered bad news. A few more nights like this and Fox News will have to cease broadcasting.

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

Watch Fox News Freak Out Over Doug Jones Victory, Pretend They Never Wanted Roy Moore Anyway

The good people of Alabama came through on Tuesday and elected the decent senate candidate (Doug Jones) rather than the racist, crackpot, pedophile (Roy Moore). That doesn’t absolve the a-holes in Alabama who voted for Moore, but it’s an encouraging sign that positive changes are coming. The only way to characterize this outcome is as a monumental transformation for a state that hasn’t elected a Democratic senator for a quarter of century.

Fox News

But leave it to Fox News to find other ways to characterize such an obviously anti-Trump, anti-Republican event. And it only took a matter of seconds for Fox to try to recast the Jones win as something positive for the GOP. Anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum were plainly unhappy with the call. Less than a minute after announcing that Jones would win the senate seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Fox went into hyper-spin mode saying this (video below):

MacCallum: “You know there was a lot of discussion about whether a Roy Moore win would be a win, really, for the GOP. And there’s some questions tonight about whether or not there’s some silver lining, perhaps, for Republicans tonight. A victory by Moore, who was embroiled in a sex scandal, might have made it more difficult for the GOP to have gained control of the Senate in next year’s midterm elections.”

There’s so much to unpack here. Let’s start with the eagerness of Fox News to abandon Moore, the candidate they have been pimping for months. They are pretending that his loss is actually what they wanted all along. If they think this will be taken this seriously, it is a bitter insult to their dimwitted viewers. However, they know their viewers best, and they are probably right. The Fox audience would need a “silver lining” or a security blanket and a binky after what happened last night.

What’s more, by virtually conceding that Moore’s “sex scandal” would have been a major obstacle to the GOP’s electoral prospects next year, they are validating the very same case against Donald Trump. Actually, not quite the same. Trump has been accused by more women of more repulsive acts of harassment and abuse. If Fox News thinks that Moore’s loss will make those crimes go away they are deeply delusional. They will surely work hard to bury Trump’s reprehensible behavior, but in the comment above they have recognized that it cannot, and will not, be dismissed.

Finally, MacCallum’s phrasing is curious. The GOP does not have to “gain control” of the Senate next year. They currently have control. What she might be worried about is the growing possibility of Democrats assuming control of both houses of Congress. And once again, whatever difficulty she thinks the GOP would have had with Moore in the Senate isn’t going to be resolved as long Trump is in the White House.

Speaking of Trump, he also made an effort to distance himself from Moore after the loss. He tweeted that:

There is no record of Trump ever saying that Moore would “not be able to win.” What record there is of Trump’s endorsement was deleted from his Twitter feed (here and here and here). He also deleted a tweet congratulating Moore and cheering him on to victory. Ever since Moore won the GOP primary, Trump has been behind him. He even recorded a robo-call and staged a rally just across the Alabama border in Florida to whip up support. But following Moore’s loss, Trump has unceremoniously kicked him to the curb and proclaimed the he was right all along (as he always is in his sociopathic, narcissistic imagination).

These weren’t the only kicks Moore suffered. Other Fox News hosts were equally as dismissive. Ainsley Earhardt on Trump’s favorite show, Fox and Friends, said that “This was not a referendum on Trump. I feel like it was a referendum on Harvey Weinstein.” Her fellow “Curvy Couch” potato, Todd Piro, added that he didn’t want to be a “Pollyanna,” noting that the Republicans still have a one seat majority in the senate. Isn’t that a little too obvious an expression of Republican bias, even for Fox News? And Laura Ingraham giddily opined that “Jones is a lame duck from day one. He has zero chance of winning in 2020. This state loves Trump. This is not an anti-Trump result.”

For the record, Trump’s approval rating in Alabama, according to exit polls, was a 48-48 percent split, with “strongly approve” at 32 percent and “strongly disapprove” at 41 percent. Those are catastrophic numbers for Trump and Republicans in Alabama. And Trump’s approval nationwide is even worse. But don’t expect Fox News to acknowledge that. They are on a mission to implant happy-talk in the minds of their glassy-eyed viewers who need some cheering up. That, however, won’t last long. Fox has already segued to renewed outrage over Hillary Clinton’s emails and denigrating special counsel Robert Mueller as treasonous abomination of justice. Just another day of shrill propaganda for Fox News.

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

Gee Thanks: Donald Trump and Fox News Bring Back the Russia Pee-Pee Dossier

The nation, and the world, are presently enveloped in a myriad of potential catastrophes. For example: nuclear war with North Korea; tax reform; natural disasters; terrorism, etc. Under the circumstances, you might think that Donald Trump would seek to focus on any of those critical issues. If so, you don’t know Donald Trump. True to form, the President has managed to shine a spotlight on one of his biggest embarrassments.

Sean Hannity

The now infamous Trump Dossier is a treasure trove of salacious and politically damning information. Much of it is speculative, but much has also been vetted and independently corroborated. The former British spy who compiled it is considered reliable by many intelligence agencies, including those in the United States. And if there is one scandalous controversy that Trump should be anxious to ditch, it’s the one that has him cavorting with Russian prostitutes. But for some reason, the Twitter obsessed President can’t resist his self-destructive urges:

Poor Donnie, Always the victim. And now he’s helping to remind America of his alleged escapades in Moscow with a different kind of golden shower than the one in his Manhattan penthouse. Trump is reprising this story because the Washington Post just published an article that ties Democrats to the Dossier. The only problem with this breaking news is that it was broken a year ago. In October of 2016, David Corn wrote for Mother Jones that the Dossier’s author had been “researching Trump’s dealings in Russia and elsewhere.” In his article Corn noted that:

“This was for an opposition research project originally financed by a Republican client critical of the celebrity mogul. (Before the former spy was retained, the project’s financing switched to a client allied with Democrats).”

So what began as opposition research for the GOP was taken up by Democratic operatives. That’s probably because the findings included “troubling information indicating connections between Trump and the Russian government.” Also, sources alleged “an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit.” But in any case, the Democratic connection was obviously known long before WaPo’s “scoop.” It was even known by wingnut propaganda dispensers at Fox News. Trump fluffers like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson have long been peddling this partisan snake oil.

So it’s ironic that Trump is now relying on the “fake” news purveyors at WaPo for his smear campaign info. His tweet Wednesday morning credited Fox News with the data. However, there’s a bigger question here. Do Trump and Fox News really think it’s noteworthy that Democrats might have funded opposition research against their opposition? Isn’t that what all campaigns do as a matter of routine? When Fox’s Jeanine Pirro was defending Trump, Jr. for meeting with Russians during the campaign she bragged that:

“As someone who’s run for office five times, if the devil called me and said he wanted to set up a meeting to give me opposition research on my opponent, I’d be on the first trolley to Hell to get it. And any politician who tells you otherwise is a bald-faced liar.”

In fact, Trump said pretty much the same thing:

Now suddenly it’s an abomination for Hillary Clinton’s campaign to engage in opposition research. The hypocrisy is palpable. But the objective for Trump and his pals at Fox News is to conflate this old, non-story with the more relevant allegations of Trump’s collusion with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election. And it’s a talking point that was distributed to all of the network’s programs. Already the subject has been covered by Pirro, Tucker Carlson, Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, and, of course, Sean Hannity. For his part, Hannity helpfully stirred the recollection of the most depraved portions of the Dossier:

“The Democrats, media, they were happy to repeat, for example, that ‘Oh, Donald Trump was at the Ritz in Moscow and he had hookers urinating in his bed.’ […] All of this makes the Clinton campaign and the DNC complicit in spreading Russian propaganda and Russian lies about then-candidate, Donald Trump.

You have to wonder why Hannity thought that would benefit his buddy Trump. He could have simply talked about the Dossier in disparaging terms and left it at that. But no. This genius thought visualizing Russian hookers urinating on Trump had to be a feature of the broadcast. Never mind that the entire story involving who paid for some routine opposition research doesn’t even come close to the scandal of enlisting Russians to tamper with an American election. Clearly they are pretending to be more interest in who paid for it than what’s in it. But all of this just illustrates how desperate they are to deflect from the real news and to attack their perennial foe, Hillary Clinton, who holds no office and says she never will.

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

WTF? Fox News is Now Making (Lie-Riddled) Campaign Ads For Donald Trump (VIDEO)

One of the most neglected observations about Donald Trump’s presidency is that he never wanted to be president. His stage-five narcissism and bloated ego has always found campaigning to be more to his liking. He feeds off of the mindless cheers of his glassy-eyed disciples. In his bubble-bunker he imagines (falsely) that they reflect the views of the whole country.

Fox News Trump Ad

For that reason Trump commenced his reelection campaign moments after completing his poorly attended inauguration address. It was an earlier start than any other president. And it was plain that he did it to justify holding more rallies before screaming Deplorables.

Now, in support of Trump’s reelection efforts, Fox News has stepped forward to do their part. This isn’t the typical Trump-fluffing that goes on everyday on the pro-Trump network. Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes on Fox and Friends, were always expected to slobber over everything Trump does and says. No, this is something else that goes way beyond the mere contemptibility of biased journalism.

Fox News posted a video that can only be described as a campaign ad for Donald Trump. It is filled with positive imagery and clips of the President advocating American labor and goods. It even attributes laudable policies to Trump that have no factual basis. Watch for yourself:

Some of the statements in this brazenly partisan propaganda deserve more detailed analysis. For instance:

  • “President Trump has made Job creation a central focus of his administration.”
  • Where is the evidence of that? He has talked about it from time to time, but has done nothing substantive about it. His bragging about bringing jobs back from other countries has turned out to be a hoax. The companies he touted still laid off Americans and shipped those jobs elsewhere. He hasn’t even managed to get an infrastructure bill off the ground. The border wall is the only project he proposed that might create a few jobs, and the country is opposed to that.

  • “When signing the Buy American, Hire American executive order, Trump said ‘The policy of our government is to aggressively promote and use American made goods.'”
  • This order has no plans attached to it to produce anything at all. It doesn’t require any action on the part of employers or manufacturers. And if Trump were really interested in hiring Americans, he could start by hiring them to staff his luxury golf resorts. He might also consider having his ties, suits, etc. made in the U.S. instead of China, Mexico, and Bangladesh.

  • “We are building our future with American hands, American labor, American iron, aluminum, and steel.”
  • Not in Trump’s world we aren’t. He has illegally employed foreign construction workers on his buildings. He uses steel shipped in from China. And even the furnishings inside are mostly made in other countries.

Revelations about Trump lying have become so commonplace that people are beginning to tune it out. But what’s troubling about this video from Fox News isn’t just the bald-faced lies. It is that Fox News has no business producing campaign videos for any candidate for office. It is blatantly improper for an alleged “news” organization and a breach of journalistic ethics. It should be reported to the Federal Elections Commission as an in-kind contribution to Trump’s campaign. And the network should be fined and explicitly prohibited from further breaches.

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

However, it may be too much to expect the FEC to act on this. It is a notoriously toothless agency. So Fox may get away with their electioneering for now. But the more the public knows about this violation of trust, the more they will shun the network and its cast of Trump shills. That’s already happening as MSNBC, on the strength of Rachel Maddow’s superb investigative reporting, has surpassed Fox in the ratings. Rupert Murdoch recently took his own Fox News off the air in the U.K. citing lack of viewers. Let’s make him do the same here at home.

Trump is Soliciting Donations for His Campaign, But Hasn’t Asked for Hurricane Harvey Relief

Republicans already have a reputation for callousness and insensitivity toward Americans in need. Much of that is coming out in the manner in which they are responding to Hurricane Harvey. Of Texas’ twenty-six members of congress, twenty-five of them voted against aid for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. That includes their two GOP senators. Now they they are begging Trump for assistance from the federal government.

Donald Trump

As for Donald Trump, he’s begging for assistance as well. Not for the suffering people of Texas, but for himself. In the midst of an historic natural disaster, organizations like the American Red Cross and the Greater Houston Communities Association are in dire need of funding. [For a list of organizations taking donations, click here]. And the American people, as usual, are demonstrating their generosity and compassion.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, has yet to make an appeal to the nation to help out. He has tweeted about everything from his pardon for Joe Arpaio, to his imaginary border wall, to the size of his rally crowd. He even posted a pitch for a book by a corrupt crony. But he hasn’t posted a single link to the Red Cross or any other aid provider.

However, Trump is on the money trail. He just sent out another of his relentless appeals for donations for his reelection. That campaign is still three years away, if he manages to avoid impeachment. The campaign letter pleaded with supporters to cough up cash because:

“All I ever want is the support and love from the AMERICAN PEOPLE who’ve been betrayed by a weak and self-serving political class.” […]

“[T]he media will be waiting to see if the American people have walked away from our movement.” […]

“I didn’t run for president to be a puppet for the political class. I ran to be a champion for the people.”

If the only thing Trump wants is the love of the American people he must be sorely disappointed. He is still languishing at the bottom of the polls, and doing worse than any president before him. The majority of the people were never part of his movement. And as we all know, Vladimir Putin is the puppeteer who holds his strings.

The letter also hit on common Trumpisms like his bragging about economic gains that he had nothing to with with. And he seemed so proud of his alleged disassociation from lobbyists, corporations and politicians. Never mind that his cabinet is cram-packed with those very same swamp-dwellers. And what could be more political than soliciting campaign donations three years before an election?

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

It’s amazing that no one on Trump’s staff has advised him to stop watching Fox and Friends long enough to tweet a link to hurricane relief. It’s a cost-free way to drive up donations to something that can actually help people. But the only thing Trump is concerned about is his own PR. That’s why when he showed up in Texas on Tuesday he marveled at his reception saying “What a crowd. What a turnout!” This was his way of acknowledging the citizens of a state in turmoil. You almost wonder if he knows that thousands of people didn’t turnout because they are stranded in raging flood waters.

Modern Day Presidential? Trump Attacks American Institutions and Leaders While on Foreign Soil

Donald Trump’s first trip overseas last May was widely viewed as a diplomatic failure. When he wasn’t embarrassing the United States with his ignorance and bluster, he was insulting its closest allies. So the world is holding its collective breath as Trump once again ventures beyond the shores of America. And if his first day in Poland is any guide, this trip signals an even worse outcome.

Donald Trump

There is a long-held canon of international diplomacy meant to encourage national unity and continuity of purpose. It asserts that all domestic political quibbles and criticisms should end at the ocean’s edge. American leaders representing the country ought not to be bad-mouthing it on foreign soil. It’s a simple rule, and one that is easy and wise to follow. Unless, of course, you’re Donald Trump.

In his first stop, Trump held a joint press conference with Poland’s President Duda. [For the record, Trump has not held a solo press conference since February] The President took only two questions from American reporters. The first came from David Martosko of the Daily Mail. He asked about both North Korea and Trump’s WWE-themed tweet wherein he body-slammed a CNN character. Trump chose to respond to the CNN question at length, with an afterthought about North Korea. He said:

“I think what CNN did was unfortunate for them. As you know now, they have some pretty serious problems. They have been fake news for a long time. They have been covering me in a very, very dishonest way. NBC is equally as bad, despite the fact that I made them a fortune with The Apprentice. But they forgot that”

So while standing next to one of Europe’s worst media suppressors, Trump bashed the American media and the concept of free press. It was an unprecedented assault by a traveling president. Trump seems to think that generating income for an entertainment division of a media company entitles him to positive coverage by the news division. But the larger problem is that his rhetoric can only encourage other countries to demean and dismiss their local journalists.

The next question came from Hallie Jackson of MSNBC. She asked if he would “once and for all, yes or no, definitively say that Russia interfered in the 2016 election?” He would not. Trump gave a rambling response that avoided directly acknowledging Russia’s complicity in the election tampering:

“Well, I think it was Russia, but it could’ve been other people and other countries. It could have been a lot of people interfered. I’ve said it very simply. It could very well have been Russia, but I think it could well have been other countries. I won’t be specific. But I think a lot of people interfere. I think it’s been happening for a long time. It’s been happening for many, many years.”

Jackson’s follow up asked Trump why he could not just agree with his intelligence agencies who have definitively identified Russia as the culprit. He proceeded to ramble some more:

“Let me just start off by saying, I heard it was seventeen agencies. I said, “boy, that’s a lot. Do we even have that many intelligence agencies?” Right? Let’s check it. And we did some heavy research. It turned out to be three or four. It wasn’t seventeen. […] With that being said, mistakes have been made, I agree. I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries. And I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows for sure.”

And with that, Trump commenced maligning his own intelligence operations. He brought up the issue of weapons of mass destruction as an example of an intelligence failure. However, that was a failure of the Bush White House. The intelligence community did not support their WMD allegations.

What’s more, Trump’s assertion that seventeen agencies were not in agreement about Russia is just plain false. While only three agencies (the CIA, FBI, and NSA) were involved in making the assessment, none of the others dissented after the report was published. And by questioning whether there are seventeen agencies he is publicly exposing his ignorance of the intelligence community he is supposed to be leading. Trump’s dismissal of these agencies is another example of improperly criticizing the country while he’s abroad. What sort of confidence does that give to other countries when we ask for their support based on our intelligence?

Finally, in response to the questions about Russia’s election tampering, Trump felt the need for a diversion. He awkwardly shifted the conversation away from both himself and Russia with this nearly incoherent rant:

“Now the thing I have to mention is that Barack Obama, when he was president, found out about this – in terms of if it were Russia – found out about it in August. Now, the election was in November. That’s a lot of time. He did nothing about it. Why did he do nothing about it? He was told it was Russia by the CIA, as I understand it. it was well reported. And he did nothing about it. […] My big question is ‘Why did Obama do nothing about it from August all the way to November.'”

That’s his big question? Not what the hell is Russia doing interfering with our elections? First of all, Trump is once again wrong on the facts. President Obama took swift and decisive action when informed of the Russian hacking. He opened an investigation and encouraged state election officials to tighten their digital security. He was especially cautious before election day because he didn’t want to be seen as interfering with the election himself. And immediately following the election he imposed new sanctions, threw out 35 Russian officials, and closed down two diplomatic compounds.

So after bashing American media and intelligence, Trump has now moved on to American leaders. By showing such open disdain for the just-past president, Trump is giving permission for our allies and enemies to do the same for any national leader. They are now free to disregard the words and deeds of any representative of the United States, including Trump.

So much for leaving criticism at the ocean’s edge. Trump is demonstrating that he is incapable of behaving appropriately as president. He is more worried about defending his fragile ego than he is about serving the interests of the nation. His lack of diplomatic skills is likely to produce some unwanted consequences. And he has already proven that he is untrustworthy with confidential information. That’s why so many people are so anxious every time he meets with foreign dignitaries, whether at home or abroad. The country would be a lot better off if he would just stay at his golf resorts and leave governing to the adults.

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

Trump’s Disgraceful ‘Freedom Celebration’ Speech Just Exalts Himself, Whines About the Media

Saturday night Donald Trump took a little time away from lounging at his luxurious golf resort in New Jersey. He flew back to Washington to attend an evangelical concert that supposedly honored veterans in advance of Independence Day.

Donald Trump

As with almost every public appearance he makes, it ends up being entirely about him. He obviously doesn’t care about veterans or the anniversary of America’s founding. If he did, he wouldn’t pollute his speech with self-serving, ego-gratifying bullshit like this (video below):

“The fake media is trying to silence us, but we will not let them. Because the people know the truth. The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House, but I’m president and they’re not. We won and they lost.

The fact is the press has destroyed themselves because they went too far. Instead of being subtle and smart, they used the hatchet and the people saw it right from the beginning. The dishonest media will never keep us from accomplishing our objectives on behalf of the great American people. Will never happen. Their agenda is not your agenda.”

That’s right. In an address intended to celebrate freedom and commemorate the heroes that make it possible, Trump lashed out again at the media. That’s what he considers to be the real “enemy of the American people.” And the context of his attack is, once again, the results of an election that took place eight months ago. His rabid fetish over having lost the popular vote is weighing on him still. And his obsession with blaming the press for all of his own self-destructive behavior persists.

Trump’s preoccupation with these complaints borders on the psychotic. He simply can’t let them go, even at the expense of tributes to heroes. And he wastes time and taxpayer money attending these self-congratulatory rallies because that’s where he gets his validation. These are nothing but political events designed to prop up Trump’s fragile ego.

There has never been a president who was more contemptuous of the press. His words and deeds are explicit incitement to violence. He doesn’t understand the meaning or value of the First Amendment. Otherwise, how could he repeatedly denigrate journalists as “sleazy,” “liars,” and “horrible human beings”? His provocations have resulted in actual physical attacks on reporters. NBC’s Katy Tur had to have security protect her while covering his campaign. Organizations that advance the welfare of journalists have called him “an unprecedented threat” to press freedom. And nothing proves that more than his latest tweet that overtly celebrates violence against the media.

If you thought that Trump had crossed the line before, you underestimated the depth of his hostility and recklessness. This is his juvenile idea of a joke, but it conveys a distinct and abhorrent message. There is no reason to think that he won’t continue to get worse. He wants to discredit and dismantle the media so that he can rule without criticism or accountability. Under his idea of authoritarian leadership there would be only state-run media. All Americans must unite to make sure that he is not successful. It’s a fight that is as consequential as the one for Independence that is being celebrated this week.

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

Stephen Colbert Makes a Mind-Blowing Announcement While Guesting on Russian TV

Fans of Stephen Colbert may have noticed his mysterious disappearance this week. His Thursday and Friday broadcasts of Late Night were replaced with repeats without explanation. The scheduling change was peculiar considering all of the current events that would be ripe for Colbert’s brand of satire. But now it can be told where he was and what he was doing.

Stephen Colbert

A video of Colbert has surfaced (posted below) revealing that he was in Russia. He was making a guest appearance on “Evening Urgant,” a Russian talk show similar to the one Colbert hosts. Ivan Urgant interviewed Colbert and joined him in a round of vodka shots. Colbert graciously toasted his hosts saying:

“To the beautiful and friendly Russian people. I don’t understand why no members of the Trump administration can remember meeting you.”

That toast obviously went out to folks like Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, and Jared Kushner, who all seemed to have trouble recalling the meetings they had with Russian operatives. Colbert was surprised that they would forget such lovely people. Of course, most Americans would have no problem remembering having met with agents of a hostile foreign nation. For some reason, Donald Trump’s associates have no problem forgetting. Repeatedly.

During the course of the interview, Colbert interrupted Urgant and asked if he could make an announcement. His host courteously consented. So Colbert turned to the camera and, with a dead serious expression, said:

“I am here to announce that I am considering a run for president in 2020. And I thought it would be better to cut out the middle man and just tell the Russians myself. If anyone would like to work on my campaign, in an unofficial capacity, please just let me know.”

Colbert demonstrated his deft political sophistication by not bothering to wait until Russian spies captured and leaked this information. Why not just tell them personally? Although, for all we know Trump did the very same thing. With all of the contacts between Russians and his top advisers, they might have been working together to sink Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The only difference is that they collaborated in secret and lied about, while Colbert did it on live TV.

Urgant was happy to receive Colbert’s news. And he subtly noted that the Russian political machine that aided Trump would be at his disposal when the campaign began:

“It’s a pleasure to drink with the future U.S. President. To you, Stephen. I wish you luck. We will do everything we can so you become president.”

So there you have it. The fix is in. In three short years the United States may inaugurate its first Comedic-American president. The crass ceiling will be broken. Given the historically low approval ratings for Trump, Colbert’s ascendancy to the White House can only be an improvement. After all, his approval ratings, as measured by the Nielsen Company, place him at number one.

It’s too soon to know just when the next opening for a new president will occur. Trump is facing imminent peril for impeachment and prosecution for obstruction of justice and financial misconduct. But at the very latest, the next presidential election cycle for 2020 just might result in the inauguration of President Stephen Colbert. I can hardly wait.

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

Trump Was So Rattled By the Tax Day Marches He Posted Some Dumb Crap on Twitter

Saturday, April 15, saw tens of thousands of Americans taking to the streets in more than 150 cities. And it had nothing to do with it being the deadline to pay their federal income taxes. The occasion was to protest Donald Trump continuing to renege on his repeated promises to release his tax returns.

Donald Trump Chicken

True to form, Trump was noticeably upset by the outpouring of criticism from across a broad spectrum of the public. Not surprisingly, he expressed his dismay in fewer than 140 characters on Twitter. And as usual he made very little sense:

First of all, Trump once again demonstrates his grammatical incompetence. We should expect better from a president than “…what was an almost an impossible thing…” Especially a president who brags that he “has the best words.” And despite his ego-driven blindness, his tax returns are not just now being brought up. They have been a continuing issue since his campaign began.

More to the point, Trump’s ignorance of electoral history is appalling, but in line with his ignorance generally. Not only is it not impossible for a Republican to win the Electoral College, every Republican president has done it. And most have done it more easily than Trump. In fact, he lands at 46th out of 58 elections. As PolitiFact notes in rating his previous bragging false:

“Trump’s percentage doesn’t rank near the top. In fact, it ranks near the bottom, belonging somewhere between the lowest one-fourth and the lowest one-fifth of all Electoral College victories in history.”

Undeterred by reality, Trump goes on to question whether the protesters were paid to turn out. That would require quite a bankroll considering the massive attendance at these hardly “small” rallies. The assertion is absurd on its face. However, it isn’t the first time that Trump has proposed it. He leveled this charge during the campaign and was revealed to have been disseminating fake news. The only documented incident of payments being made to phony rally goers was when Trump himself did it.

In both of these tweets Trump returns to obsessing over an election that he lost by over three million in the popular vote count. That’s a record he is unlikely to brag about. He still seems to think that the election results have any bearing on the public’s interest in his tax returns. If anything, the public is more interested now than ever. Polls show that an overwhelming seventy-four percent of the people want him to release his returns. That includes forty-nine percent of his own supporters.

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

So contrary to his whining that only the media cares about this issue, it’s clear that the American people are not going to let it slip away. Whatever he is trying to hide is going to come out one way or another. Whether it be corruption, his true net worth, or unsavory connections to Russia. His impotent excuses for withholding this information will not protect him from his responsibility to the people.