Trump’s Feeble Effort to Reform Policing Validates the Protests He Condemned

Three weeks after the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, America’s streets are still teeming with outraged citizens who are no longer willing to tolerate such injustices. It’s an unprecedented and sustained demand for change that has been fueled by a string of atrocities and populated by a truly diverse cross-section of Americans.

Donald Trump, Police

Conspicuously absent from this nationwide (worldwide) outpouring of grief and determination is the President of the United States, Donald Trump, whose only contribution has been to malign the protesters as “rioters,” “looters,” “thugs,” and even terrorists.” Trump has repeatedly assaulted both the protesters and local governments with noxious threats of deploying the military against the American people. In Trump’s view these concerned citizens are enemies of the state simply because they oppose police brutality and are willing to act on their constitutional rights.

So for three weeks the people have clearly stated their intentions to compel meaningful change. And during that time, despite (or because of) his stubborn and bellicose opposition, Trump has seen his approval ratings decline into record low territory. The American people overwhelmingly support Black Lives Matter and the ongoing protests lobbying for reform.

Consequently, Trump has pivoted in an attempt to stop the hemorrhaging of his 2020 reelection campaign. He has apparently been convinced that he needs to grab onto this whirling tornado of dissent and score some undeserved points for himself. To that end he has hurriedly patched together a pitifully weak policing reform initiative that fails to address many of the core issues and solutions.

Trump’s latest exercise in hypocrisy comes in the form a unilateral move that Republicans regarded as an act of dictatorship when President Obama did it. His new executive order (EO) – the 162nd of his presidency – is an attempt to upstage congressional efforts to legitimately reform police practices by appropriating initiatives proposed by Democrats. However, this EO will be less comprehensive and will not have the force of law behind it. It can also be reversed or watered down by another executive order.

Additionally, Trump’s EO is a blatant contradiction of nearly everything he’s said about “law and order” since the Black Lives Matter demonstrations began. Virtually every public comment he’s made has condemned Americans who have taken to the streets to protest police brutality and unequal justice. He has never acknowledged the systemic racism that permeates many institutions, and this EO doesn’t do so either. But the fact that he felt it necessary to take this step is actually a validation of the demonstrations and proof that they were required to force forward movement on these issues.

Trump’s Rose Garden speech, before a nearly totally white audience, spent far more time praising the police than criticizing the injustice and violence that his EO was supposedly drafted to address. And of course, he politicized the event by applauding himself as the great emancipator. He also heralded imaginary achievements with the economy, the coronavirus, and other matters that have nothing to do with law enforcement reform. And only Trump could say that “We’re fighting for school choice, which really is the civil rights of all time in this country,” during a speech meant to ease concerns about racist cops. It was a painfully obvious screed of propaganda aimed at boosting his floundering reelection prospects and nothing more.

Simultaneously, Trump falsely asserted that President Obama and Joe Biden “never even tried” to do anything about systemic racism. In truth, every time Obama tried to advance those matters he was blocked by Republicans and accused of being racist himself. The Trump administration actually repealed Obama’s reforms by executive fiat, slashed funding for community policing, and refused to enforce consent decrees won in court by Obama’s Justice Department. Obama also impaneled a task force to study the problems plaguing policing in December of 2014. In March of 2015, they issued a detailed report with specific policy recommendations. At the time, Trump was tweeting about how Obama was anti-police:

That tweet was in response to Obama’s remarks criticizing the failure of grand juries to indict police officers for the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York. Five years later Trump is still avoiding the real issues, and still doing nothing to prevent future tragedies because he only cares about how he can further his own personal and political interests. And anyone who fails to recognize that now is a fully indoctrinated disciple of the Cult of Trump and, sadly, beyond help.

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

Trump Threatens to Designate ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization – Again?

In his ongoing attempts to inflame tensions, incite violence, and shift blame for his own failings onto others, Donald Trump took to his Twitter machine to once again divide the nation at a time when it most needs healing. The dystopian nightmare vision of Trump’s MAGA Night at the White House is fueling his latest outbursts of unbridled rage. And he seems oblivious to the fact that there have been more than 102,000 deaths from COVID-19 (coronavirus), 40,000,000 Americans out of work, and an economy that is floundering in depression territory.

Donald Trump, MAGA

With everything else that’s going on, Trump is desperately trying to deflect from his negligence and incompetence by exploiting the nationwide protests against the sort of systemic racism that killed George Floyd. He is purposefully politicizing it by attacking Democratic leaders and making wholly unsupported allegations against liberal activists. His Twitter feed on Sunday morning looked like a screed from a typical white supremacist website.

Trump began by offering Congratulations to our National Guard” for “shutting down” the mythical “Antifa anarchists.” Although it’s hard to shut down something for which there is zero proof of existing in the first place. That was followed by by his taking a bitterly partisan swipe at Democrat run Cities and States”And naturally he went after his arch nemesis, the “Lamestream Media” that he accused of doing everything within their power to foment hatred and anarchy.” Because the giant, multinational, billion dollar corporations that control the media just love anarchy. But perhaps the most bizarre twitticism was this:

There is so much wrong with that that it will require some extended analysis. First of all, there is no Antifa organization. At best it is a loose assembly of unaffiliated activists who are opposed to fascism, as are most patriotic Americans. That alone would rattle Trump whose fascistic tendencies are well documented. Secondly, Trump has no legal authority designate any domestic group as “terrorist.” The law only permits such designations for foreign entities. Thirdly, Trump’s Department of Homeland Security already designated whatever it thinks Antifa is as having engaged in terrorist acts way back in September of 2017:

“Federal authorities have been warning state and local officials since early 2016 that leftist extremists known as ‘antifa’ had become increasingly confrontational and dangerous, so much so that the Department of Homeland Security formally classified their activities as ‘domestic terrorist violence,’ according to interviews and confidential law enforcement documents obtained by POLITICO.”

However, Politico also noted that the rise of so-called “extremist” left-wing protests was actually incited by Trump:

“In interviews, law enforcement authorities made clear that Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric and policies — first as a candidate and then as president — helped to create a situation that has escalated so quickly and extensively that they do not have a handle on it.”

That’s true as well with regard to the current protests going on around the country. Contrary to the heated blather of Trump and his Attorney General Bill Barr, it is right-wing extremists who appear to be responsible for the violence that has marred the protests in recent days. Facts on the ground have shown that…

“…the demonstrations that caused so much damage included provocateurs, likely from outside the area. State officials said around 80 percent of those arrested in the Twin Cities on Friday were from outside Minnesota. Former FBI agent and CNN commentator, Josh Campbell wrote, that Minnesota ‘authorities have been monitoring alleged criminals online, including postings by suspected white supremacists trying to incite violence.'”

That’s consistent with studies on domestic terrorism conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security:

“There is empirical and anecdotal evidence that far-right hate groups pose a significant threat to public safety. Far-right extremists commit many violent attacks, and some scholars conclude that far-right extremists, especially groups motivated by religious ideology, are strong candidates to commit future acts using weapons of mass destruction”

It is also consistent with studies conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL):

“From 2009 through 2018, right-wing extremists accounted for 73 percent of such killings, according to the ADL, compared with 23 percent for Islamists and 3 percent for left-wing extremists. In other words, most terrorist attacks in the United States, and most deaths from terrorist attacks, are caused by white extremists.”

So all the evidence points to right-wing extremists being responsible for domestic terrorism both generally over many years, and specifically with regard to the Floyd protests. Yet Trump and his confederates are spreading baseless lies to smear the protesters, Democrats, and liberals across the board. It’s a despicable act of disinformation and slander. But it is precisely what we would expect from Donald Trump as he swirls ever lower in the downward spiral of his failed presidency.

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

MAGA Night at the White House: A Dystopian Fan Fiction Fantasy By Donald Trump

There is one thing that the American people can rely upon when it comes to Donald Trump. Any problem he encounters, he will make worse. He hasn’t the foggiest notion how to be a healing force during times of hardship and distress. That’s because he has no capacity for empathy. To the contrary, he is fueled by hatred, vengeance, and self-interest.

Flaming Trump

The nation is enduring historic challenges. In the midst of a global pandemic that has already taken more than 100,000 American lives, and thrust the country into an economic collapse that recalls the Great Depression, we are also coming to terms with the long-simmering consequences of systemic racism.

This is a time that cries out for strong, compassionate leadership. Unfortunately, we are stuck with a former reality TV game show host who hasn’t the experience, knowledge, common sense, or human decency, to lead us out of danger, much of which is the result of his own negligence, incompetence, and even deliberate malfeasance.

Rather than trying to bring the nation together and resolve the escalating tensions, Trump spent Saturday morning inciting more anxiety and violence. He is not the least bit interested in resolution. His only goal to exacerbate the animosity that he has worked so hard to incite. His Twitter tirade was bursting with a egomaniacal glee at the prospect of hurting his perceived enemies. It reads like a bizarre, bombastic melodrama that could only have emanated from a malevolent mind. It hardly needs commentary. So here it is unabridged:

Great job last night at the White House by the U.S. @SecretService. They were not only totally professional, but very cool. I was inside, watched every move, and couldn’t have felt more safe. They let the “protesters” scream & rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone….

….got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard – didn’t know what hit them. The front line was replaced with fresh agents, like magic. Big crowd, professionally organized, but nobody came close to breaching the fence. If they had they would….

….have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least. Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action. “We put the young ones on the front line, sir, they love it, and….

….good practice.” As you saw last night, they were very cool & very professional. Never let it get out of hand. Thank you! On the bad side, the D.C. Mayor, @MurielBowser, who is always looking for money & help, wouldn’t let the D.C. Police get involved. “Not their job.” Nice!

The professionally managed so-called “protesters” at the White House had little to do with the memory of George Floyd. They were just there to cause trouble.The @SecretService handled them easily. Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???

These are “Organized Groups” that have nothing to do with George Floyd. Sad!

Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis will never be mistaken for the late, great General Douglas McArthur or great fighter General George Patton. How come all of these places that defend so poorly are run by Liberal Democrats? Get tough and fight (and arrest the bad ones). STRENGTH!

It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left. Don’t lay the blame on others!

Trump’s prose is reminiscent of the sort of bad fan fiction that reeks of pretentious, incoherent blather. He describes how he “watched every move” from his White House window as if it were a horror marathon on Netflix. He cheers his “heroes” as they “quickly come down on” the bad guys, who are, in fact, protesting citizens. And he is thrilled by how his protectors are “replaced with fresh agents, like magic.” He is virtually drooling at the thought of “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons” being brought to bear on protesters so that they would be “really badly hurt, at least.” It’s a measure of sadism that is frightening in any world “leader.”

It’s hard to even fathom why Trump is perversely titillated by “the young ones” being “on the front line” and loving it. But it isn’t surprising that he would make it political by attacking the Democratic Mayor of Washington, D.C. He also went after the mayor of Minneapolis for not being like a couple of wartime army generals, as if that is that is what mayors are supposed to be like. Everything to Trump is combat.

Trump repeatedly maligned the protesters as being “professionally managed,” “organized groups.” That may be true. Except that it looks like they were managed by right-wing, white supremacists who were present in abundance as agents provocateur. And Trump closed his diatribe with allusions to Antifa, a loose assembly of mostly imaginary anti-fascist activists that Trump opposes, presumably due to his affinity for fascism. That affinity is borne out by his intentions to deploy the military against American citizens. Which is an abomination generally reserved for brutal dictators, like the ones Trump so admires. It’s a nauseating notion that was righteously slapped down by Walter Shaub, former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics:

Trump is scared and desperate as his polling declines along with his prospects for reelection. He’s even losing many former Republican supporters. He knows his time up and he’s frantically scrambling to preserve whatever sliver of power he can by pandering to his most repugnant cult followers. These tweets are more examples of Trump “glorifying violence,” which led to Twitter tagging previous tweets as violations of Twitter’s standards. And more of the same – or worse – can be expected as he continues to spiral ever more downward into the abyss of his dementia.

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

Who Was Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Why Would Donald Trump Have Hated Her?

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Parkland, Florida school, where fourteen kids and three adults were murdered by a maniac with an AR-15 assault weapon, has become a flash point in the debate for gun safety. That debate has been driven mainly by the student survivors themselves. Their passionate and articulate commitment to finally making change happen is one of the few signs of hope in the aftermath of yet another massacre.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas

However, little has been reported about the namesake of the school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. As it turns out, she was an inspiring woman who was a fierce advocate for speaking out on matters of importance. During a life of activism and personal sacrifice she was quoted as saying “You have to stand up for some things in this world.” She lived those words throughout her life and inspired others to do the same. In 1993 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton. And while in the White House that day she was invited to witness the signing of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (the Brady Bill).

But that isn’t the only eerie coincidence about Douglas and the specific focus of her activism. According to a biography on the National Park Service website:

Marjory Stoneman Douglas, born April 7, 1890 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, graduated from Wellesley with straight A’s with the elected honor of “Class Orator.” That title proved to be prophetic.

In 1915, following a brief and calamitous marriage, she arrived in Miami, working for her father at the Miami Herald. She worked first as a society reporter, then as an editorial page columnist, and later established herself as a writer of note. Here she took on the fight for feminism, racial justice, and conservation long before these causes became popular.

So Douglas began her professional career as a journalist. Or as Donald Trump would say “an enemy of the American people.” She went on to champion women’s rights, something Trump has ridiculed and whose personal history of sexual harassment and assault demonstrates extreme disrespect and misogyny. Douglas was also a proponent of civil rights and racial justice. That contrasts with Trump’s overt bigotry and that of his base, which includes KKK and Nazi leaders and organizations. And finally, Douglas was best known for her environmental activism and her work to conserve the Florida Everglades. She wrote a landmark book on the subject titled, The Everglades: River of Grass.

Trump surely doesn’t know anything about Douglas or her lifelong dedication to service and social change. But if he did he would certainly despise her and attack her with a flurry of furious and derogatory tweets. He would insult her and make up stupid nicknames. And he would express his opposition to everything she stood for. All of this adds a rather somber poignancy to the tragedy in Parkland. But it may explain the stirring and righteous reaction from the students who probably do know Douglas and her work. They are likely inspired by quotes like this one: “I believe that life should be lived so vividly and so intensely that thoughts of another life, or of a longer life, are not necessary.”” And it may explain the heartrending intensity of their oratory as exemplified in this speech by student Emma Gonzalez:

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

Mr. Trump, Can We Put An End to the ‘Rights Come From Our Creator’ Nonsense?

Donald Trump made an appearance at the annual National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday to deliver a typically wooden, TelePrompted speech (video below). Most notable from a style perspective was his awkward, overly coached pauses for applause after nearly every sentence. But just his presence is peculiar. As a thrice-married, confessed sexual abuser, who doesn’t think he needs to ask God for forgiveness, he becomes emblematic of this evangelical organization’s hypocrisy.

Donald Trump Messiah

The President’s speech was a basket of pseudo-spiritual cliches that represent the whole of what he has learned about religion. But if he can’t read a ten page document from the Intelligence Committee, he surely has never read through the bible. So he mechanically recites platitudes about “the Lord’s grace,” about faith being “central to American life,” and about how “blessed we are to be Americans” then he unloads one of the oldest tropes about what our Founding Fathers intended for this nation at its birth:

“Our founders invoked our Creator four times in the Declaration of Independence. Our currency declares ‘IN GOD WE TRUST.’ And we place our hands on our hearts as we recite the Pledge of Allegiance and proclaim that we are ‘One Nation Under God.'”

Whoever wrote this tripe for Trump was as ill-informed as he is about both religion and history. First of all, the Founders very deliberately referenced a “Creator” to avoid any appearance of favoritism. That’s something our Muslim-banning president couldn’t care less about. Secondly, the references to God on currency and in the pledge of allegiance are relatively recent additions that have little significance in our nation’s traditions.

However, the most annoying rhetorical rubbish in this simpleton sermonette is the hoary affirmation that “our rights are granted to us by God.” Sure. And storks bring babies, and fairies shell out cash for used teeth. These childish notions can only be believed by the sort of incurious and dependent minds that populate cults. Which explains why Trump’s followers applauded this line so enthusiastically.

If our rights were actually granted by God, there would be no use for the Constitution at all. Why bother to write down protections for free speech or privacy or speedy trials if those rights were already assured by an omnipotent power? And did God actually ordain from on high the bearing of arms by well-regulated militias? He must really be a stickler for detail.

It’s a sad testament to human progress that so many people still rely on such intellectually thin concepts. This is not an indictment of religion per se. There are plenty of deep thinkers among the faithful of all flavors. But those who fall for dimwitted drivel like this are not in that group. It is obvious to any thinking person that if we value our rights we must make certain that we grant them to ourselves and document it with specificity. Otherwise, they do actually exist, no matter what any particular God says.

Trump’s Prayer Breakfast speech was just his latest performance art, pretending to be pious before an audience of blind worshipers. And on a side note, that audience also welcomed some of Trump’s Russian pals. In fact, as CNN reported, “As many as 60 representatives from Russia” attended the affair. That’s more than three times the number who attended last year. Now why do you suppose that was?

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

Fox News Fear Mongers Over Fake News Claim That Illegal Immigrants Are Voting

Attorney General Jeff Sessions just announced that he will begin to issue subpoenas to sanctuary cities. It’s an effort to force Donald Trump’s racist federal immigration policies down the throats of local jurisdictions. This obsession by Republicans to dehumanize immigrants has overtaken almost every other item on their agenda. It’s what derailed the budget negotiations last week and led to the shutdown of the government.

Fox News Ann Coulter

Last year Trump’s phony voter fraud commission was disbanded because state election officials refused to participate with the blatantly biased operation that couldn’t find a scintilla of evidence that any voter fraud had occurred. The whole charade was launched because Trump wanted to invalidate the fact that he lost the popular vote by three million votes.

Undaunted, the right’s determination to sow distrust in democracy continues. And Fox News leads the way. They are orchestrating a well coordinated campaign to blame undocumented immigrants for imaginary voting irregularities. The latest salvo in this contrived war was fired on Tuesday night’s episode of the Laura Ingraham Angle (video below). The segment was introduce by Ingraham asserting that:

“Under new California law people will be allowed to vote, and it will happen actually automatically when they obtain old or new drivers licenses regardless of whether they are U.S. citizens. As leftist politicians import voters they still don’t seem to understand that there are actually dangers when this happens.”

Oh No! People will be allowed to vote? What’s next, a representative democracy? Surely that is against the long-held principles of Fox News, Ingraham, and her guest Ann Coulter. But make no mistake, Ingraham’s dismay over improper voting is entirely a figment of her deliberate deception. Democrats are not, and cannot, “import voters.” The law is clear that only U.S. citizens are permitted to vote. The law referencing voter registration through driver’s licenses accounts for that and does not send registration data to the Secretary of State unless the applicant is eligible.

This fact is even stated in an article on the Fox News website. Although the article also falsely states that a “New California Policy Opens the Door to Illegal Immigrant Voting,” buried near the end is this errant factoid:

“Undocumented immigrants obtain a special driver’s license that notes on it ‘Federal limits apply.’ […] “They’re asked if they’re 18, if they’re U.S. citizens. They don’t move on to the voter registration if they’re not eligible.”

That ought to have settled the debate and eliminated the need to even bring this up. Undocumented immigrants get a different license than U.S. citizens, and they do not get automatically registered to vote. The same is true for legal, non-citizen immigrants. And the same is true for sixteen and seventeen year olds, who are old enough to drive but not to vote.

So Fox News knows that the system is set up to only send registration information for applicants who are eligible. But they are nevertheless hyperventilating over massive illegal voting that isn’t occurring now and never has. Their only objective is to incite fear among their bigoted viewers and exacerbate the hatred and division that has become the primary political strategy of the Trump Republican Party.

But this tactic will surely backfire. That’s because there really are millions of Latino citizens who see this overt prejudice and will be motivated to show up at their polling places and throw the bigots out of office. And although it may be several years away, the legal immigrants who eventually become citizens aren’t going to be any more likely to vote for racist Republicans. So good work, Fox News. And good luck when those Southwest red states like Arizona and Texas turn bright blue.

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

Bill O’Reilly Has Totally Lost His Feeble Mind with this ‘Price of Freedom’ Rant on Guns

Being a notorious sexual predator who has paid out tens of millions of dollars to victimized women is taking its toll on Bill O’Reilly. Now that he’s sequestered to his chintzy weblog since Fox News fired him, O’Reilly is exhibiting signs of acute mental distress. Among other humiliations, he has been making guest appearances on Sean Hannity’s radio show despite having hated him when they were Fox News colleagues.

Bill Reilly

On Tuesday O’Reilly posted a mini-rant on Twitter (video below) to complain about criticism he received for his remarks on gun regulations. Following the Las Vegas massacre, O’Reilly wrote on his website that:

“This is the price of freedom. Violent nuts are allowed to roam free until they do damage, no matter how threatening they are. The Second Amendment is clear that Americans have a right to arm themselves for protection. Even the loons.”

Gee. Why would anyone criticize that? O’Reilly is just quoting from the Constitution’s “Even the Loons” clause of the Second Amendment. Never mind that he is expressing a perverse comfort with potentially violent miscreants obtaining guns at will without any public safety oversight. Even worse, he is justifying the carnage as an acceptable consequence of making sure that every American has unfettered access to assemble a personal armory. And so O’Reilly takes to Twitter to double down on his lunacy, posting this belligerent response to his critics:

“The last time the Vegas thing happened I said this is the price we pay. This is the price of freedom. And all the left – ‘Oh O’Reilly, arrgh – [blubbering sounds].’ Look you pinheads, our freedom dictates that police cannot intervene unless a crime is committed.”

So O’Reilly is cool with dozens of people being slaughtered at a country music concert so long as psychopaths can still buy AR-15s. Then he asserts that “everybody knew this guy was bad news.” He was referring to the shooters in both Las Vegas and Texas. He went on to say that the price of freedom demands that the rights of people like these to buy guns supersedes the rights of the rest of us to live. And while he notes that there is an exception for people with felonies, he apparently forgot that the Texas shooter’s criminal record had not been properly recorded. But here is where O’Reilly slipped off the rails:

“In the Reagan years there was a downgrading in getting people institutionalized. So it used to be a lot easier, in this country, to put people who are misbehaving, or behaving in an aberrant way, under observation and to take them off the street. But then the ACLU stepped in, the civil liberties people, and ‘Ah, no no no.’ So now you’ve got people walking all over the place and the authorities can’t do anything. [Raising his voice} The Price of Freedom!”

First of all, there was no “downgrading” of criteria to institutionalize someone in the Reagan years. What Reagan did was to close institutions in order to cut his budget as governor of California. That meant that thousands of people who were previously being treated for mental illness – voluntarily in many cases – were put on the streets. It was a budgetary decision, not a medical one.

Secondly, WTF is he talking about? He starts off reminiscing about the good old days when it was easier to lock up people for psychological reasons. He even takes a swipe at the ACLU for protecting the rights of the mentally impaired. And he bitches about all the free-roaming nutcases who can’t be involuntarily incarcerated. Apparently, freedom doesn’t mean that people with mental problems should be allowed to actually be free. However, he then reasserts his premise that freedom does mean they should all be able to arm themselves to the teeth.

If O’Reilly got his way, and the “authorities” were allowed to pick up “people who are misbehaving,” O’Reilly would have to be at the top of the list. Anyone with his decades long history of sexually harassing and assaulting women ought not to be “walking all over the place.” And his clear inability to articulate a coherent thought makes his case all the more troubling. He’s obviously a very sick man, in more ways than one. And in the final analysis, his “price of freedom” was $32 million (and more) paid to silence his victims.

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

WTF? Donald Trump Just Used Low Ratings to Justify His Attacks on Kneeling NFL PLayers?

The embarrassing spectacle of Donald Trump’s feud with popular sports figures continues to heat up. It began several days ago with Trump lashing out at NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and NBA star Steph Curry. These and other public figures have been actively expressing themselves regarding civil rights and racism in America. And what they get for exercising their First Amendment rights is ignorant insults from the White House.

Donald Trump NFL

In response to Trump’s Twitter tantrums, many more players are speaking out. What’s more, they have been joined by their coaches and team owners. Among those castigating Trump are friends and political supporters like former Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan, who is “pissed off.” Patriots owner, and Trump donor, Robert Kraft, said he is “disappointed” with Trump. On Sunday morning players for the Jaguars and the Ravens took a knee, joined by coaches and owners. The entire Steelers team will not take the field for the national anthem.

Trump’s ill-advised tirade is producing a backlash that any sensible person could have predicted. He has inspired more people to protest than ever would have had he kept his mouth shut. And the criticism directed at him points out the obvious racist overtones in his outburst. For instance, many observers have noticed that Trump called protesting athletes “sons of bitches,” but praised white supremacists in Charlottesville as “very fine people.” It’s apparent that the President has a case of tunnel blindness that prohibits him from seeing reality. And that may explain his latest tweets on Sunday morning:

First of all, it is unprecedented that a president of the United States would call for a boycott against American enterprises on purely political grounds. He is advocating financial harm and the loss of jobs for businesses and citizens who have done nothing more than employ free speech to lawfully and peacefully express their opinions. Furthermore, he is calling for Americans to be fired for constitutionally protected activities. Clearly Trump has no understanding of American values as he demonstrates his overtly anti-American position. But he wasn’t finished with this juvenile tantrum:

Trump totally skids off the rails with this criticism of the NFL’s ratings. He recently misrepresented the TV ratings as being “massively” lower. That’s a lie. They are modestly lower. And the reasons have more to do with the evolving state of television than with player protests. But what makes this criticism so absurd is that Trump’s own ratings have broken records for descending into an abyss. No president has ever had lower approval ratings at this point in his presidency. And he is bringing the whole Republican Party down with him.

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

By his own standard, therefore, Trump is “disrespecting our flag and country.” The American people “stay away [from him] because they love our country. They should boycott this presidency, and he should be fired. It’s fair to say that given the choice, voters would choose to keep the NFL over this failure of a president. And his most recent abhorrent behavior only solidifies the distaste and distrust they have for him. If there’s one thing that Trump has succeeded in, it’s getting people to join together in their hatred for him.

Fox News Smears Renowned Civil Rights Org With Slanderous Defamation and Lies

The cable “news” network most closely associated with the white supremacism of Donald Trump and the alt-right is living up to its heinous reputation. On Friday the Fox News program “The Five” broadcast a segment attacking one of America’s most honored civil rights organizations. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has been providing legal services to victims of prejudice for decades. So obviously Fox News had to invent some BS to charge them with.

Fox News Greg Gutfeld

The program’s cast mined the dregs of the ultra-rightist Washington Free Beacon for their material. And they sought the support of the Family Research Council, a notorious hate group, for confirmation. The SPLC responded with a demand for a correction and a detailed itemization of what Fox News got wrong.

The Fox News segment began with a diatribe by co-host Greg Gutfeld. He rattled off some falsehoods that portrayed the SPLC as charlatans and associates of violent nutjobs. His rant began with the charge that the SPLC was “a hard left outfit that loves to label people as extremists.” Then he dived deeper into the barrel of outright lies (video below):

“This poverty center has loads of [money]. A $320 million endowment and chucks almost 20% of it into offshore equities. Cayman Island stuff. I don’t understand it. So this poverty group sits on a pile of offshore dough. That’s like a personal trainer with a gut. Or a priest with a harem.

“The Center paid out $20 million in salaries in 2015 but provided just 61 grand in legal assistance. So the Southern Poverty Law Center appears to have no poverty and do virtually no law. It’s the most misleading name since the Democratic Party.”

The SPLC’s letter to Fox News addressed Gutfeld’s allegations and plainly showed them to false. All of the information was publicly available and posted on the group’s website. For instance, with regard to the charge that they spent only $61,000 on legal assistance, the Center replied that:

“That figure represents the amount that the SPLC spent on its own corporate legal services, not the amount it spent providing legal services for others. The same page of the SPLC tax returns that lists the $61,000 figure for internal legal services, shows that the SPLC spent more than $1.8 million on out-of-pocket case costs for litigation brought on behalf of its clients.”

The letter goes on to point out that they spent more than $15 million on initiatives on behalf of their clients. That’s a far cry from the $61,000 Gutfeld dishonestly reported. The whole segment was a smear job filled with easily disproved assertions. Clearly Fox News didn’t do even the most cursory research before broadcast. Consequently, the SPLC is demanding that Fox “acknowledge on the air its errors in the story.” But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

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

Here are 11+ Reasons Trump Should Never Have Pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio

On Friday night, Donald Trump used the weekend, as well as Hurricane Harvey’s tragedies, to bury his latest despicable act. In seeking to satiate his racist base, Trump awarded the notorious birther and disgraced former sheriff, Joe Arpaio, a pardon for his federal crimes. Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt for violating a federal court order to stop racially profiling Latinos. He was found to have deliberately breached the constitutional rights of American citizens.

Joe Arpaio Donald Trump

The fact that Trump thinks these are pardonable offenses is definitive proof of his bigotry and support for fellow bigots. The white supremacists who make up much of his support were elated at the whitewashing of Arpaio’s vile criminality. (With an emphasis on “white”) But Trump’s exacerbation of the racial division for which he is largely responsible has not gone over well with everyone. Patriotic Americans who value equality and justice will not forget this affront to the rule of law.

One critic, a professor at Harvard University, makes a credible case that Trump’s pardon could itself be an impeachable offense. Add it to the list: Russia, obstruction of justice, financial corruption, the Emoluments Clause, cover ups and perjury, sexual harassment and assault.

As for Arpaio, he also has a list offenses. And his acceptance of Trump’s pardon carries with it an implicit confession of guilt. That can be used in civil cases against him going forward. The Phoenix New Times has been on the front lines of the Arpaio assault on humanity for twenty years. They posted a series of tweets linking to the horrific record of Arpaio’s unlawful regime. Here is just a taste of what they have been reporting for years:

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

The Phoenix New Times has many more examples of this official misconduct and heinous brutality. And by pardoning a cretin like Arpaio, Trump is effectively making himself complicit with those crimes. He is intentionally aligning himself with Arpaio’s disdain for the rule of law. And it is very likely he is also setting the stage for future pardons of his family, his partners in crime, and perhaps himself. Based on on his behavior to date, you can’t put anything past him.