REALLY? Trump is Afraid that Electing Biden ‘Would Lead To Disaster’

The United States of America is currently undergoing one of the most troubling and turbulent times in its short history. The American people are suffering hardships that have not been imagined for decades. The list of leadership failures under “president” Donald Trump are almost too numerous to mention. But the consequences are far too too painful to ignore.

Trump Fear

An international pandemic has hit the U.S. especially hard, resulting in the deaths of 130,000 people, many of which would have been avoidable if we had competent leadership. The economy is in recession, and 20 million people are unemployed. Our allies are either laughing at us or pitying us, while our adversaries are gladly exploiting opportunities to achieve hostile objectives they have long sought. And in the midst of these calamities, Trump has the unmitigated gall to tweet that the policies of President Joe Biden…

Seriously? This makes you wonder just where Trump thinks his policies have led us. If we are not already in the throes of an epic disaster, then what would one look like? Biden would somehow have to put the Earth in the path of massive asteroid to satisfy Trump’s idea of disaster.

The spark that triggered Trump’s latest tantrum was an article in the ultra-rightist Washington Examiner. The article reported on remarks that Biden made to high-dollar donors at a recent fundraiser:

“In a donor meeting Monday evening, Biden said he was ‘going to to get rid of the bulk of Trump’s $2 trillion tax cut.’ He added about President Trump’s 2017 tax law, enacted with a Republican Senate and a House then under Republican control, ‘A lot of you may not like that, but I’m going to close loopholes like capital gains and stepped-up basis,’ mentioning the numerous wealthy people in attendance virtually.”

Naturally Trump regards this as a disaster since it would adversely affect him and his upper-crust pals in the GOP (Greedy One Percent). But you have to give Biden credit for telling prospective donors – and the very people whose taxes would be raised – that this is what he intends to do. Fortunately, there are some in the high income group who understand the need to raise taxes in order to “promote the general Welfare” (as the Constitution says), and that they are the ones who can best afford it. In the end, the reduction of the deficit, and the benefit to the overall economy, will serve the interests of the wealthy as well. It’s working people who drive economic prosperity. Without consumers the corporations will wither and die.

Trump’s Tax Scam was never a good idea. It was intended to further enrich the already wealthy, and to entice them to contribute to Republican campaigns. The benefits of the tax cuts were distributed overwhelming to the rich. But in the wake of Trump’s catastrophic negligence, incompetence, and even deliberate malfeasance, many of the most reliable right-wingers are abandoning ship.

Biden’s pledge to reverse Trump’s tax cuts include raising the top corporate tax bracket from 21% to 28%. Which is still below the 35% it was at prior to Trump’s cuts. However, it would help to bring the budget closer to balance and, of more immediate concern, raise funds to help the American people, small businesses, and local governments weather the pandemic storm. It’s exactly the sort of progressive agenda that’s needed at this critical juncture.

As for Trump’s priorities, they remain precisely what they’ve been since the day he announced his candidacy by disparaging Latinos as criminals and rapists. His recent Independence Day speeches were littered with racist dog whistles, or more accurately, foghorns. Judging by the content of his speeches, the most pressing national problems are protecting the statues of Confederate traitors and suppressing the First Amendment rights of citizens protesting injustice and systemic racism. On these matters Trump believes that the if the people are allowed to exercise their rights…

It’s unclear who Trump thinks would be “calling the shots” in the Biden administration, but his list would surely include Hillary Clinton, George Soros, and the ghost of Osama Bin Laden. For the record, Kimberley Strassel, a Trump-fluffing Wall Street Journal columnist, misrepresented Biden’s remarks. Biden was not asked if he would “condemn” the protesters, only what he thought should be done about the offensive monuments. And only a seriously deranged mind could interpret Biden’s answer to be the ominous foreshadowing of “the beginning of the end.” Luckily for Trump, that’s exactly the kind of mind he has. And it has led us unarguably to the disaster that he now says he fears.

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

Chicken Trump Flees Fake News Conference For Fear of Being Asked Questions

The character (or lack thereof) of Donald Trump is on display every day, and it isn’t a pretty picture. In addition to his pathological lying, infantile name-calling, flaming racism, and malignant narcissism, Trump also flaunts his unabashed weakness and cowardice. He is the first American “leader” who has actually bragged about being the most fabulous whiner.”

Donald Trump Chicken

On Thursday morning Trump held something that he called a “news” conference to announce the details of the latest jobs report. However, it was nothing but a self-serving public statement wherein he spoke for a few minutes, then left without taking a single question. The reasons for that were obvious after a quick analysis of his remarks.

First of all, the jobs report had some surface level good news that 4.8 million people had returned to work in June. But looking just slightly below the surface reveals that this report is not at all encouraging. None of those jobs were newly created. They were all just a small fraction of workers being called back from furloughs. More troubling is the fact that there are still more than 30 million people unemployed. The unemployment rate of 11.1% is still higher than at the peak of the Great Recession. And there were 1.4 million new unemployment filings. That’s likely to increase significantly next month reflecting that more than half the country has reinstated lockdown rules due the surging coronavirus pandemic.

Trump’s phony fifteen minute press conference may be the shortest of his presidency. And no wonder. He was clearly afraid to face questions from the free press that he maligns in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.”. He was afraid he would be asked about coronavirus deaths nearing 130,000, and cases exceeding 50,000 in a single day for the first time. He was afraid he would be challenged on his lies about Russia paying bounties to Taliban militants to kill American soldiers. And Trump was surely scared about having to field specific questions about this jobs report. He’d rather just unload his spin, waddle off the stage, and get back to satisfying his Twitter and Fox News addictions.

Consequently, Trump said nothing about the Russian bounty story that is, without a doubt, the most flagrantly treasonous conduct ever alleged against a U.S. president. As for the pandemic that is reaching new and tragic heights of cases and fatalities, Trump dismissively referred to them as “hotspots,” continuing to downplay the peril that he still thinks will “disappear” by magic. “Now we’re opening it up,” Trump boasted, “and it’s opening up far faster than anyone even thought possible. And more successfully.” If this is his idea of “success,” let’s hope we never see what he would call failure.

It would be an understatement to say that things are going badly for Trump lately. His standing in the polls is lower than any incumbent president in modern times. Speculation is growing that he might choose to drop out of the race, even on Fox News. His cherished cult rallies aren’t drawing the throngs of adoring disciples that he requires to satiate his ravenous ego. So it’s likely that he will continue to be ducking out of the public eye for the foreseeable future. If there’s one thing that we can rely on, it’s that Trump is a coward who would rather skulk in his bunker than face the prospect of accountability for his failures and crimes.

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

Fox News Forced to Apologize for Grossly Racist Graphic

This is one of those days when you need to check the weather report in Hell. If it hasn’t frozen over, there is at least a severe polar vortex bearing down on Satan’s lair. The storm warning came in the form of an announcement by Fox News that they were sorry about having aired a graphic so drenched in bigotry that even they couldn’t tolerate it.

Fox News Sad

On the Friday episode of Fox’s signature evening “news” program, Special Report, (not an opinion show like Sean Hannity), they did a segment on the economy and the recent gains in the stock market. Seeking to contextualize these gains, Fox produced a graphic that compared past market increases with particular events in history.

The problem was that each of the historical events they selected was the murder of an African-American. The only feasible conclusion to draw from this presentation was that Fox News regards the killing of black men in America as a positive factor in economic growth. They seem to be saying “Just think how much higher the market would be if more black men were murdered.”

It is not coincidental that they did this the same day that the Racist-in-Chief, Donald Trump, tried to conflate the stock market with what he said is “a great day” for George Floyd. But in a rare gesture of journalistic remorse (only after an avalanche of crushing criticism) Fox News later issued a tepid apology:

That’s a big concession for the network that has never apologized for backing conspiracy theories like Barack Obama being born in Kenya. Or that a Democratic aide was murdered by Hillary Clinton associates. Or that Russia didn’t interfere with the 2016 presidential election. Or that the fictional Antifa(scist) “organization” is orchestrating civil unrest at protests over the killing of George Floyd by police. Or that Joe Biden is mentally unfit. Or that Donald Trump IS mentally fit.

Still, Fox is only apologizing for not having put the data in context. Although, it’s hard to imagine a context that wouldn’t have made this flagrantly racist. There is no framing for which this information would have been useful. The stock market rises and falls on a variety of triggering factors that include corporate earnings, international trade, employment statistics, federal legislation, and even gut feelings about speculative future economic environments. But nowhere is there any evidence of violence against African-Americans being the cause of any market activity.

In fact, it’s easy to make the case for virtually any activity producing some market movement based on one week’s worth of data. For instance, the market rose 1.5% in the week following Trump’s impeachment. Is that an indication that Wall Street was celebrating Trump’s political demise? The week after racist GOP icon George Wallace died the market rose 2.4%. And of particular interest to Fox News, the week following the death of their founder and CEO Roger Ailes, the market leapt 3.2%. Is that telling us something about bigoted, sexual predators who run propaganda machines?

With all of the naked racial prejudice that airs on Fox news on a daily basis, it is not nearly sufficient that they put out a perfunctory “apology” for this sort of behavior that is so consistent with their noxious conduct in their past. They need to demonstrate that they have a grasp of the consequences of their broadcasts by censuring their repeat racist offenders: Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, for starters. Absent that, they can take their apology and shove it.

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

Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Trump-tanic: Sinking Hopes for 2020

It is abundantly clear that Donald Trump, America’s first reality TV game show host to serve as president, learned everything he knows about communications from his shallow experience in the world of television. Everything he says – whether good news or bad – has the stench of a sleazy infomercial. And Trump pumps out his propaganda as if he’s peddling Sham-Wow rags to the trailer park crowd.

Donald Trump, Republican, GOP

On Friday morning Trump held what he called a press conference, although he left after making a statement and took no questions at all. He greeted the press corps with strange praise saying that “I noticed you’re starting to get much closer together. Looks much better.” What Trump failed to mention was that the chairs were originally arranged in compliance with social distancing guidance, but before the press arrived Trump’s staff rearranged them to put everyone closer together, and more at risk. Talk about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Trump only crawled out from his bunker to crow about a new set of jobs numbers indicating that some of the millions of Americans who became unemployed due his negligent and incompetent mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic had returned to work. Trump presented this data as a “Mission Accomplished” moment, despite the fact that the unemployment rate is still at historic highs (13.1%) and more than 20 million Americans are still not working. And in a bizarre conflation of concepts, Trump praised the economic news as somehow being beneficial to George Floyd, the African-American man who was murdered by police last week. Trump beamed that

“Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. This is a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality.”

Really? Even if the jobs numbers are accurate (and with the Trump administration that’s a risky assumption), the unemployment rate for whites declined from 14.2% to 12.4%. But for African-Americans it rose from 16.7% to 16.8%. What a great day for George.

UPDATE: As it turns out, there was a huge miscalculation in the unemployment rate. The real number is closer to 20%, which is near a record high and is what analysts predicted.

Earlier in the day, Trump displayed a measure of anxiety in his standard way: by firing off a frantic tweetstorm. This is how he lets the world know when he’s scared, planting himself on his Twitter throne and blasting out an incoherent stream of invective and flagrant distortions of reality (aka lies). And on Friday morning Trump was busy not being president as he rattled off a record 131 posts on Twitter. Most of them (115) were retweets of Republican senators. And most of those were promoting 13 of the senators running for reelection in competitive races. Some of the most at-risk GOP senators who got shout-outs from Trump were Martha McSally (AZ), Tom Cotton (AR), Cory Gardner (CO), and Thom Tillis (NC). Eighteen others were either in close races or held safe Republican seats. Democrats only need four seats to flip to take control of the Senate.

For some reason Trump didn’t bother to help out his pals Mitch McConnell (KY) or Lindsey Graham (SC), who are both facing strong Democratic challengers. He also left out Susan Collins (ME), who is struggling survive, and Kelly Loeffler (GA), who is embroiled in an insider trading scandal.

The bottom line is that Trump wouldn’t cough up more than a hundred tweets featuring senators running for reelection five months before election day – and during an ongoing pandemic – and while there is nationwide civil unrest – unless he was worried about losing both the presidency and the Republican majority in the Senate. If he is worried, it may be the first thing he’s gotten right in three and a half years. The likelihood of Democratic victories for the Senate and the White House increase every day as Trump’s failures drive his approval ratings ever lower. and his toxicity is rubbing off on his party confederates. At some point they are going to flee like the proverbial rats that they are. And that will leave Trump all alone and trembling in his bunker.

UPDATE: Today Trump hit a new record of a staggering 195 tweets (including 161 retweets) in a single day. That’s About one tweet every four minutes for 13.5 hours.

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

Even Trump Doesn’t Believe His Lies that the Economy Will Rebound Quickly

The strongest argument that Donald Trump had for reelection was his contention that the economy was booming and that he was the reason why. Of course, neither of those things are true. Before the emergence of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the economy was a house of cards being propped up by artificially low interest rates, a federal Reserve Board that was printing money, and Trump’s disastrous tax cuts for corporations and the rich that benefited the stock market, but not the overall economy.

Donald Trump Apocalypse

Trump was and is desperate to push off an inevitable recession (or worse) until after the election in November. So he’s employing shady tactics to disguise how shaky the economy actually is. The pandemic isn’t helping him except as a convenient excuse to blame for the declining GDP and rising unemployment. And he’s pretending that those metrics wouldn’t be in place but for the health crisis. Even more disturbing, Trump is pushing to “reopen” the nation far too soon to ensure the safety of the American people. Make no mistake, the only reason Trump is advocating this perilous course is to juice the economy and his reelection prospects.

The truth is that the U.S. economy has been teetering for the past 12 to 18 months. Credit is stretched beyond sustainable limits. Trade is at record lows, partly due to Trump’s idiotic tariffs. Markets for real estate, oil, transportation, and banking have been noticeably fragile. So even when the effects of the pandemic are removed, prosperity will not magically return. And you’ll never guess who knows that.

Despite his daily (hourly) tirades directed at the press, wherein he insists that he’s done everything perfectly and there’s nothing to worry about, Trump is well aware of the economic trouble that is lying in wait. He has repeatedly said that there will be a rapid rebound and that the country will soar to heights greater than ever before this year is out. However, that optimism is not present in the management of his own businesses. The Miami Herald is now reporting that…

“Trump National Doral Miami, President Donald J. Trump’s Miami-Dade resort hotel and golf course, has announced 250 workers who were originally furloughed indefinitely will now be permanently laid off. […] ‘Unfortunately, it now appears that the adverse effects of the COVID-19 outbreak upon our business will be longer and more substantial than previously was foreseeable.'”

So while Trump is telling the press that there is going to be a historic booming economy in the coming months, he is drastically cutting his work force at one of his signature properties. In other words, while he’s lying to the people about their economic future, he is making sure that he won’t be overextended during the downturn that he knows will be severe and enduring. And he is forcing the hardships onto working folks who are already struggling to survive.

This is typical of Trump’s self-serving approach to governing. It’s the reason he pressured the Fed to lower interests rates that resulted in him saving millions of dollars on his outstanding debts. It’s the reason he’s so anxious to get businesses open again, like his own that have reportedly cost him about 30% of his net worth

And it is now the reason that Trump is terminating hundreds of workers that he previously promised to rehire, due to what he openly recognizes will be a prolonged economic recession or depression. But while he is taking these steps to preserve his own wealth, he continues to deceive the American people with happy-talk of the imaginary economic utopia that only he can produce. Anyone who believes that drivel deserves what they get. The sad thing is, the rest of us will suffer along side them. Which makes it all the more important to make certain that you, and everyone you know, vote Trump out in November.

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

Trump Whines that ‘Rich Guys’ Profit From the Stock Market that He’s Manipulating

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is a human tragedy of epic proportions. And due to Donald Trump’s negligence, incompetence, and sometimes deliberate mishandling of the federal government’s response, more than 83,000 Americans have lost their their lives. Current estimates indicate that the number of fatalities is going to increase to 147,000 by August.

Donald Trump, Stock Market

However, this isn’t just a public health crisis. The nation’s economy has taken a historic hit as the country is virtually shutdown in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. More than 20 million people have lost their jobs, and small businesses are struggling to remain viable. The stock market is currently in bear market territory, down about 23% from its recent highs.

The mitigation efforts have been working, but because Trump is worried more about the economy and his floundering reelection prospects than he is about human lives, he is pushing to force people back into dangerous workplaces far too soon. And in the midst of all of this, Trump took time away from his Fox News viewing on Wednesday morning to post a tweet whining about people who are making money trading on the volatile swings in the stock market:

Seriously? There is so much wrong in that brief twantrum that it demands further analysis. First of all, who are these “so-called ‘rich guys'” Trump is complaining about? Wouldn’t they actually be the sort of people that he associates with on a regular basis? And what’s wrong with traders placing bets on the market, which is exactly what they always do, pandemic or not?

What’s more, Trump’s complaint is glaringly incoherent. He begins by implying that there’s something wrong with people trying to drive stock prices down in order to make a profit. This is his way of attempting to make excuses for the recent declines. But then he immediately reverses course, noting that the same people are also driving prices up. That would make their efforts a wash. So what the heck is his problem? He is, as usual, not making any sense. But he thinks this blather will persuade the dimwits who follow him that there’s nothing wrong with the economy.

This sort of trading is common on Wall Street. And there isn’t anything illegal about it. Every stock transaction is a “bet” and experienced traders know that. If Trump were truly interested in unlawful activities, he might have said something about the Trump-fluffing GOP senators – Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler – who sold off millions of dollars of stocks that were plainly at risk before the markets collapsed. Those sales were also after they both had attended hearings that outlined the coming pandemic risks, but turned around and told their constituents that everything was fine. They are currently being investigated by the Senate ethics committee.

In addition to that, Trump and his family were also invested in pharmaceutical companies that stood to gain from the pandemic’s turmoil. Among those investments was the company that manufactures hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug that Trump was irresponsibly promoting as a treatment for the coronavirus.

Trump’s interest in the markets has been ongoing throughout this crisis. He has taken a personal interest in seeking to prop up the markets artificially by pressuring the Federal Reserve Board to lower interests rates. But for some reason he failed to mention that in doing so, he would save millions of dollars on the outstanding variable interest rate loans he owes to foreign banks. Trump was also surely concerned about the fact that revenues for his own real estate holdings were down 30% since the pandemic began. That may explain in part why he’s so anxious to get everyone back to work.

So if anyone was trying to manipulate the markets, it was Trump. His coercion of the Fed and his relentless and misguided happy-talk were all designed to increase his own wealth and to juice his reelection campaign. In light of that, his question as to whether the actions of traders was “barely legal” takes on a whole new meaning. Most likely, Barely Legal was the just the name of the last magazine the Trump subscribed to.

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

PITY PARTY? Trump Clown Show Mocks Americans Suffering in Coronavirus Depression

As if it weren’t enough that Donald Trump neglected to act for two months as COVID-19 (coronavirus) spread throughout the nation – or that he trivialized it’s impact as being “totally under control” and that cases were “going down to zero” very soon, or that he blamed Democrats, China, and anyone but himself for the tragedies resulting from his incompetence – it’s agonizing to watch him continue to put the lives of more Americans at risk because his ego won’t permit him to take responsibility and act responsibly. Even worse, he actually brags about his flagrant failures.

Donald Trump, Pennywise

Trump’s rush to send Americans back into a still dangerous workplace has the stench of hypocrisy. He can’t even keep the coronavirus out of the White House with daily testing, but he expects average folks to become the “warriors” in his battle to save corporations and the stock market. And they won’t have the testing, protective gear, or medical care that he and his comrades have.

In this environment of blatant privilege for the wealthy and the politically connected elite, Trump has proven that he just doesn’t care about the hardships of others. So he sent Peter Navarro, his advisor on trade and manufacturing, out to mingle with the Trump-fluffers at Fox News. Navarro’s visit with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends (video below) was jam-packed with the sort of happy-talk propaganda that totalitarian regimes are so fond of.

Navarro lead off with a callous characterization of the hard times that most Americans are struggling to cope with. He referred to the criticism of Trump’s dreadful mishandling of the deadly coronavirus pandemic with this tone-deaf phrasing: “That was a pity party yesterday on the Sunday shows.” Of course. Because what’s a more self-indulgent demonstration of whiners feeling sorry for themselves than a population ravaged by a fatal and infectious virus? Particularly one that has resulted in the deaths of more than 80,000 people, many of which were preventable had there been competent leadership. Navarro elaborated saying that…

“This is not the Great Depression. Anybody that thinks this is the Great Depression doesn’t understand either history or economics. […] Here’s what we have here. We have President Donald J. Trump who built up the strongest and most beautiful economy in three and half years. And then the Chinese communist party dropped a virus on the world that, within sixty days, has temporarily shut us down. And all we need to do here is focus on the mission, the original mission of Donald J. Trump […]

Now it’s gonna be a long process because of the structural adjustments that are gonna take place as we adapt to the virus socially, culturally, and economically. But this Great Depression pity party stuff I saw yesterday, this aint that..”

For an economic advisor, Navarro sure sounds a lot like a PR shill. He begins by failing to grasp that the economic decline, the collapse of markets in equities and bonds, and the 20+ million Americans who are now unemployed, actually fit the definition of a depression with painful precision. And he dresses up his fan fiction in tributes to Dear Leader Trump, who he believes has that divine gift of being able to do no wrong. Naturally, he adopts his master’s habit of shoveling any and all blame unto others, in this case China. And while China shares it’s measure of blame, it was Trump who praised President Xi saying that “I think he’s handled it really well,” and that his management of the budding pandemic was “strong, sharp and powerfully focused.” Trump effusively complimented Xi well into February.

Now, suddenly, it’s all China’s fault, Trump’s lazy and lethal disregard is being ignored, and the White House rhetoric is simultaneously insisting that our tribulations are both temporary and “a long process.” The confusion emanating from the Trump administration is indicative of their utter lack of any idea of what to do. They are paralyzed by ignorance and their desperation to avoid any political fallout, especially with regard to the presidential election in November, which currently has Joe Biden beating Trump nationally, as well as in many of the crucial swing states.

Nevertheless, Navarro thought it would be a good idea to go on Fox News and demean Trump’s critics – which includes the majority of American voters – as a pity party. It’s a pity that these cretins don’t have more sympathy for the sick and the scared and the families of the deceased. But then heartless narcissism has been the Trump brand from the very beginning of his occupation of the white House. And there’s no reason to expect that to change.

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

Trump’s Heartless Take on Dreadful Jobs Report: It’s Fully Expected and I’m Not to Blame

When the history of Donald Trump’s presidency is written, it will be difficult to find documentation of any genuine expressions of sympathy for the American people, whether those whose lives were upended by hurricanes, refugees from poverty and oppression, or the victims of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Trump appears utterly incapable of having a human feeling for people who have suffered misfortune. Although he always seems to be pretty charitable toward corporations and the wealthy.

Donald Trump

On Friday morning the latest jobs report was released and it revealed a historic decline for the month of April. More than 20.5 million jobs were lost, a number not seen since the Great Depression. The unemployment rate tripled to 14.7%, which is likely an undercount because it doesn’t include those who are not currently looking for work due to the Stay-At–Home policies currently in effect.

Trump was being interviewed on Fox News by the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends when the report became public. The program interrupted their predictable Trump-fluffing to announce the new data and get a response from Trump. So in keeping with his callously uncaring demeanor, Trump’s initial message to the nation was this:

“It’s fully expected. There’s no surprise. Everybody knows that. Somebody said, ‘Oh, look at this.’ Well, even the Democrats aren’t blaming me for that.”

That’s typical Trump. No compassion for the people who are now unemployed. No concern for how they will pay for rent, groceries, medicine, etc. No acknowledgement of the stress and anxiety that millions of people are enduring. Nope. Trump can be relied on to always put his own interests above those of the nation or any of its citizens. And that is openly in play as he seeks to stem his personal financial losses by rushing to allow hotels and golf courses to resume operations. So naturally, Trump’s first thoughts upon hearing the jobs report were both egocentric and dishonest.

Trump’s malignant narcissism was on display in his first remarks when he complained about the prospect of being blamed for the pandemic and its consequences. That’s a key concern for Trump. Never mind that his documented negligence and incompetence has directly resulted in exacerbating the severity of the pandemic’s impact in the U.S. Trump relentlessly rejects any responsibility. He is so afraid of having to accept the blame he so richly deserves that he is pushing for a premature relaxation of business restrictions. That will undoubtedly result in even more illnesses and fatalities. And he keeps moving the goalposts on estimates of the dead. For weeks he “bragged” that it would be under 60,000 by August. Now that we are over 76,000 in May he has upped it to 110,000. Keep in mind that neither estimate is worth bragging about.

Trump lied by saying that he expected this catastrophic jobs market. In truth, he denied that there was any problem at all for the first two months. He insisted that it was fully “under control” and that the handful of cases would quickly “go down to zero.” Instead they went up to 1.3 million with more than 76,000 deaths. And contrary to his current position that he expected this, he literally said that “Nobody ever expected a thing like this” during a Fox News town hall two weeks ago. What’s more, his Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, said this on January 30:

“I don’t want to talk about a victory lap over a very unfortunate, very malignant disease. But the fact is, it does give businesses yet another thing to consider … I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America.”

So not only was the Trump administration not planning for an employment debacle, they were actually looking forward to a jobs boom resulting from a rush by companies to relocate their manufacturing to the U.S. That turned out to be a figment of their overactive and self-serving imaginations. However, Trump did get one thing right during his segment with his Fox friends. “Next year,” he assured, “we’re going to have a phenomenal year. People are ready to go.” Indeed. President Biden will see to that. And the American people are surely “ready to go” to the polls to vote in November to oust Trump and his enablers in the Republican Cult.

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

Why is Trump So Desperate to ‘Reopen’ the Country? His Net Worth Has Dropped 30%

For at least two months Donald Trump negligently ignored the mortal threat that COVID-19 (coronavirus) posed to the people of the United States and the world. He mocked its lethal consequences, dismissed its capacity to spread, and lied to the American people when he said that it was “under control” and would soon go away by itself.

Trump Baby on Cash Pile

Compounding his lies at the outset of the outbreak, Trump later tried to boast that he always took the threat seriously and even called it a pandemic before others were doing so. Not only is that brazenly false, it would actually be even more damning if true. It would mean that he recognized the danger early on, but failed to act.

Eventually it became impossible for Trump to pretend that there wasn’t a severe public health hazard on his hands. So he assembled a Coronavirus Task Force to address the problem, but then decided against letting them do their job. He hijacked the daily briefings and turned them into campaign events for his 2020 reelection. And our reality TV game show president assessed their value by tracking the Nielsen ratings, as if they were an indicator of his popularity. They most definitely are not.

As the fallout from the pandemic escalated, Trump noticed that it was having a negative effect on the economy. And that’s when his concern kicked into high gear. On March 4, just as the stock market began it’s historic slide, Trump floated a proposal to “reopen” the country by Easter, a date that no public health expert would endorse. By March 24, the day after the stock market had completed a decline of 11,000 points from its recent high only a month prior, he began using reckless and callous rhetoric about not allowing “the cure to be worse than the problem.” That suggests that he believes a weak economy is worse than tens of thousands of people dying.

Trump repeatedly insisted that the nation must return to business as usual within a timeline that was grossly unrealistic. The question is: Why was Trump so adamant about this? Did he really have compassion for the working people of the country who were being subjected to such brutal hardship? Was he worried about the future health of the corporations that support much of the economic infrastructure of the nation?

Doubtful. Trump has never expressed any such sympathies during his term as president or his decades in public life prior to that. It’s unlikely he had some sort of personal epiphany that altered his life-long character, or lack thereof. No, the real reason is the one that is the most obvious.

It is now being reported that Trump’s personal net worth has declined by about a billion dollars. That would represent approximately 30% of his fortune as estimated by Forbes. It’s difficult to provide a precise estimate because after three years as President, Trump still refuses to release his taxes. There must be something truly hideous in there.

Trump’s assets are predominantly in commercial and residential real estate, hotel licensing and management, and golf courses. All of these businesses are especially vulnerable to the consumer pullback caused by the “stay at home” orders issued in at least 42 states in order to “flatten the curve” of the pandemic spread. So it isn’t just coincidence that Trump’s concern crept up just as the economy slumped down. As reported

“It’s unusual for Trump to lose money because of his presidency. He’s used his position to promote his hotels and resorts, even going so far as to try to host the next G7 summit at the Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami. The Secret Service often stays on Trump properties when the president is on vacation, paying room and board directly to the president’s private business, sometimes as much as $650 per night for a single room. Of course, the hotel industry has been one of the hardest hit by the global economic downturn—including the Trumps’ DC hotel, which had a steady revenue stream from foreign governments looking to curry favor with the American president, and was up for sale up until the current economic crisis.”

Prior to the emergence of the coronavirus, Trump frequently tried to pressure the Federal Reserve Board to lower interest rates. His stated intent was that it would give a boost to the economy. The truth is that Trump was only seeking to reduce his own fiscal burden. He is carrying more than $350 million dollars in variable rate loans from Deutsche Bank and other lenders. So he benefits significantly when rates go down. He also hoped that such a move would juice the stock market which would aid his reelection prospects. But when the Fed did cut rates, the market nosedived, recognizing that it was a sign of trouble ahead in the form of a recession or worse. Trump’s flagrantly self-serving pestering of the Fed backfired.

So whenever you hear Trump whine about how “our country wasn’t built to be shut down” – a bizarre comment that implies that other countries were built for that – remember that Trump’s concern was only triggered with a conspicuous connection to his own financial welfare. The American people do need the country to return to its former stability and growth as quickly as possible. But first they need to ensure the health of themselves, their families, and their communities. And Trump’s rush to superficially attend to the economy, at the expense of public health, must be seen for what it is: unvarnished, self-serving greed.

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

The Most Flagrantly Dishonest and Idiotic Trump Tweet of 2020 (So Far)

In recent days Donald Trump has shifted his tone on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) to one that appears more appropriately concerned about the threat that it poses to Americans and the world. But while he seems to be reluctantly recognizing the risks going forward, he is still fixated on assigning blame to others and paying undeserved tribute to himself.

Donald Trump, Toilet, Bathrobe

When asked how he would rate his response to the coronavirus crisis, Trump inconceivably gave himself a “10.” Sure, if that’s out of 100. He also claimed, in an epic feat of gaslighting, and after downplaying the matter for weeks, that “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic” (see video below that documents his lies). But for sheer stupidity and/or rabid dishonesty, Trump has still not surpassed this tweet from February 24:

In that one Twantrum, Trump managed to get two very consequential things horribly wrong. First of all, as noted above, the coronavirus was very much NOT under control. On February 24, there were only 42 confirmed cases and zero fatalities in the U.S. That has now risen to more than 7,300 infected people and 135 deaths. If that’s what Trump considers “control” we are all gonna die.

Trump’s management of this crisis has been an unqualified disaster. He ignored the peril for far too long. He disbanded the pandemic office at the National Security Agency. He refused to use the test kits provided by the World Health Organization. He relied more on his Fox News sycophants than on scientists. He trivialized the matter as a political “hoax” that he imagined was perpetrated by Democrats. And he sought to blame previous administrations (translation: Obama) for burdening him with an archaic and inefficient system. The truth is that he gutted the system himself and did nothing to restore it.

As for his investment advice, it’s hard to image that it could have been worse. The stock market that was “starting to look very good” to Trump on February 24, has dropped more than 7,000 points (30%) since then. And that was after the Federal Reserve gave Trump the ill-advised interest rate cut he lusted after. All of the gains for the past three years – the whole of Trump’s presidency – have been wiped out. Anyone who acted on Trump’s analysis has lost a fortune. But then, it’s hard to sympathize with anyone who would take financial advice from a trust fund baby with six bankruptcies, a long list of defunct companies, a failed, phony “university,” and a charitable foundation that was found to be fraudulent?

There is, however, a bit of relatively good news. The American people aren’t buying Trump’s BS. A recent poll found that only 37% trust what he says about the coronavirus. That’s the predictable result of having lied more than 16,000 times since he was inaugurated.

Unfortunately, that’s a dangerous position for a nation to be in when it faces the sort of hardships that the U.S. faces today. Under the circumstance, we should have someone at the helm that isn’t a malignant narcissistic and a pathological liar. And with any luck (and a lot of hard work) we will have new, respectable leadership by next January. That is, if Trump hasn’t killed us all before then.

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