Conspiracy-Theorist-in-Chief: Trump Floats Fake MAGABomber ‘Stuff’ as Politically Motivated

Friday morning there was good news out of Florida regarding the MAGABomber. Authorities have confirmed that a suspect, Cesar Sayoc, Jr, is in now custody. He is described as a Florida resident with ties to New York and a criminal past. And while that sounds a little like Donald Trump, it’s actually just a like-minded supporter with pro-trump, anti-media stickers plastered over most of his van. Now who would ever have guessed that?

MAGABomber, Donald Trump

Meanwhile, Trump himself spent the morning whining profusely about the sorry state of America and how everyone in it is out to get him. His latest tweetstorm is a prime example of the narcissism fueled state of rage that he is in virtually all the time. He began with this bit of crybaby bawling:

Apparently Trump is furious that the media can criticize the President “at will.” They didn’t even have to get official permission from the White House. What do they think this is? A democratic republic with a free press, or something? And the only reason that anyone blames him for the “current spate of bombs” is because he’s demonstrably responsible. Trump’s relentless and reckless attacks on his political opponents and the press have created an atmosphere that emboldens fringe characters like Sayoc. Trump complains that he is called “unpresidential” for criticisms. But the reality is that his criticisms are overtly hostile and explicitly advocate violence.

The next tweet shows just how unhinged Trump has become with regard to how the media has been reporting this domestic terrorism. Trump believes that it’s all about him and a plot to damage his presidency and the Republican prospects in the midterm election:

Trump leads off by gaslighting the nation with phony assessments of the state of the Republican campaign. If anything, the early voting is benefiting Democrats, as is the massive fundraising advantages that Democrats are enjoying. So Trump resorts to belittling the domestic terrorism by his supporter as “this ‘Bomb’ stuff.” It’s downright sickening that Trump’s reaction to mail bombs being sent to prominent Americans is to whine about the political ramifications, rather than the threat to human lives.

Furthermore, Trump’s complaint about a news story distracting from the election is absurd and hypocritical. He’s been demagoguing about the Central American refugees for weeks now, in an effort to influence his base of cult voters. Never mind that they are not expected to reach the U.S. border until at least a month after the election. By the way, the news is still talking about politics. Even Fox News.

Finally, Trump posted a laughably conspiratorial tweet about Twitter removing his followers and making it harder for new ones to join:

This is the sort of brilliant, expert analysis you might expect from Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, or Diamond & Silk. Which is almost certainly where he got it. And it isn’t the first time that Trump has ranted – with zero evidence – that he and other rightists were the victims of social media bias. He has even promised to stomp the boot of government down on Twitter, Google, etc., if they didn’t bend to his will.

Trump’s claim that the number of his Twitter followers has declined from a “Rocket Ship” to a “Blimp” is not supported by any documentation. Like almost everything else he says, it’s backed up by his big fat assumptions based on nothing but an overactive imagination. If anything, any declines are more likely attributable to the fact that more than half of his followers are fake (and probably Russian).

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

Throughout all of this blathering idiocy, Trump is failing any test of leadership by focusing the country on unity and a determination to make our politics more civil and our people safer. He hasn’t even reached out to the victims in this matter, which include two former presidents. He only sees these things in terms of how they affect him personally. But that’s been his modus operandi since even before he was President. So don’t expect him change or “pivot” to acting presidential. Any who still thinks that’s a possibility is terminally naive.

Surprised? Donald Trump is 100% Responsible for the Bombs Sent to the Clintons, Obamas and CNN

The news on Wednesday morning is the sort of thing you might expect from a third world country or a war torn region like Afghanistan. Suspicious packages have now been found targeting George Soros, the Clintons, the Obamas and CNN. It’s a concerted attempt to sow fear in order to influence political behavior. That is the textbook definition of terrorism.

Trump Charlotsville

With this sustained and persistent attack there will be much analysis and speculation as to the perpetrators and their reasons. But there is one cause that is unmistakable to anyone who has been paying attention. Donald Trump has been the source of constant hate speech of the most extreme nature. He repeatedly maligns the media as “the enemy of the people.” And he characterizes his political opponents as not merely Americans with whom he disagrees, but as mortal foes who aim to “destroy” the country. He even did that today in a tweet attacking Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor of Georgia. But that’s just the latest example. Here are a few more:

Let that sink in. Trump is asserting that his “very dangerous & sick” enemies in the media and the Democratic Party are going to cause war. How hard is it is to project from that the sort of violence that we’re witnessing today? Trump casts Democrats as arsonists. He celebrates a GOP congressman who body slammed a reporter. He refuses to condemn the brutal murder of a Washington Post reporter by his Saudi Arabian pals. He idolizes murderous dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un. And he has recently taken to calling Democrats a “mob” – nine times in just the past week.

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

What the hell does he expect? He is inflaming a glassy-eyed cult following that worships him and guns. He just proudly proclaimed that he is a “nationalist,” a term that he acknowledged he is “not supposed to use.” That’s because it is associate with racism and the blind loyalty demanded by Hitler’s regime. But Trump doesn’t care about any of that. Or more accurately, he deeply cares about putting forward the philosophies of the fascists and racists that he has been representing since he first occupied the White House. So anyone who didn’t anticipate these events – including his accomplices at Fox News – as the inevitable result of Trump’s purposefully bloodthirsty and bellicose bombast, are terminally naive and equally responsible.

UPDATE: Add to the list of targets John Brennan, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Eric Holder.

Is Trump ‘Complicit’ in Terrorist Threat By Supporter to ‘Gun Down’ CNN Employees?

Two days ago Donald Trump released a campaign ad that made a remarkable and nauseating accusation. The ad was rife with racist rhetoric and insults aimed at his political foes. The most disturbing part was where it charged that “Democrats who stand in our way will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants.” That is not only flaming bigotry, but it also demonstrates a totalitarian warning to anyone who might stand in the way of the Bully-in-Chief.

Trump Charlotsville

The ominous tones of that ad are reflected in the news that a terrorist threat has just been made against CNN employees. A caller to the CNN office in Atlanta made overtly terroristic threats that were filled with profanities and racial epithets. More than twenty calls were made within a two day period. The caller’s irrational outrage was expressed in terms that are recognizable to anyone who has been following Donald Trump. According to CNN:

“Fake news. I’m coming to gun you all down,” said the caller, who cursed and used an expletive directed at African-Americans, the affidavit said.

“I am on my way right now to gun the f****** CNN cast down …. I am coming to kill you,” the caller said a second call to CNN, according to affidavit.

Sound familiar (more detail here)? These are sentiments that Trump has been disgorging for the past couple of years. His hostility toward the media is well documented. He has maligned them in Stalinist language as “the enemy of the people.” He demeans reporters as “sleazy,” “dishonest,” and “horrible people.” He advocates changing laws to make it easier to sue publishers. He has featured CNN in particular as the victim of his violent abuse in tweets where he body slams them or runs them down with a train.

Trump has even speculated about literally killing reporters. It may have been his idea of a joke, but is the consideration of murdering journalists really funny? At a campaign rally in Virginia he revealed his true feelings about the press to his audience of drooling disciples saying “I hate some of these people, I hate ’em. [But…] I would never kill them. I would never do that. Uh, let’s see, uh…” He eventually concluded that he probably wouldn’t kill them, but he had to think about it.

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

And now one of his devoted minions has taken it to the next level by openly threatening the same news organization that Trump has attacked with unambiguously violent rhetoric and imagery. What did Trump expect? This was as predictable as a sunrise. And just because this crackpot was foiled doesn’t mean there aren’t others waiting for their opportunities. When Trump says that Democrats are complicit for any murders committed by undocumented immigrants he is reaching way too far to make any sense. But his warped logic applies much more accurately to his own incitement to violence against the media. And if one of his twisted troops manages to follow through on his mission, there will most assuredly be blood on Trump’s hands.

Fox News Military ‘Expert’ Blames Egypt Terror Attack On – Wait For It – President Obama

The best indicator of a total collapse of mental stability is when an argument makes so little sense it is both painful and laughable. It’s an affirmation of craziness that is impossible to dismiss. And the crazy at Fox News just keeps getting laid on thicker with every passing day. For example, today we have a doozy courtesy of Fox News contributor Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer.

Fox News Alert

Shaffer is a well established wingnut who jumps at every opportunity to bash liberals and Democrats. That, of course, is how he got hired by Fox News to provide military commentaries. But following the awful terrorist attack in Egypt, Shaffer crossed a line of decency that has become far too common for Fox News. In his strained attempt to explain the tragedy he said this (video below):

“The things we’re seeing right now, Jesse, are the result of the complete failure of leadership by the Obama White House and by the Obama Congress.”

That’s right. Somehow, after leaving office ten months ago, President Obama is still to blame for a terrorist attack that occurred in another country that is 6,000 miles away. And the Congress, that has been under GOP control for seven years in the House and three years in the Senate, is still the “Obama Congress.” According to Shaffer it’s because of a lack of aid to help Egypt fight terrorism. Never mind that it was Obama who actually restored aid that was previously cut off by the Republican congress.

What’s more, Donald Trump has been bragging incessantly about how he has personally reformed the military which, he says, is now winning every battle and defeating ISIS. He even gave thanks – to himself – this Thanksgiving for the alleged improvements. It’s difficult to figure out how Trump could have defeated ISIS while it is still conducting terrorist operations and killing hundreds of innocent people. It’s a cognitive dysfunction that can only exist in his diseased mind.

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

Trump Echoes Fox News to Politicize Terrorist Attack in New York and Falsely Blame Democrats

Sadly, another terrorist attack has taken place in New York City. This tragedy has taken the lives of eight innocent victims and injured a dozen more. At times like these Americans are called upon to unite against such senseless brutality and to come together in support of those affected. It’s a manifestation of the strength and resolve that we have to endure and prevail.

Donald Trump Fox News

However, it is also sad that Donald Trump doesn’t share these principles. The President’s first reactions to the carnage were blathering assertions that what had just happened in America can’t happen in America. But what he later sought to convey, after having slept on it, was even more repulsive. In a series of brazenly political tweets, he declined to criticize the terrorist or the extremist views that inspired him. Instead, Trump lashed out at fellow Americans in Congress. Specifically, Senate Minority Leader (and the representative of the state that was attacked) Chuck Schumer and Democrats in general:

It’s nauseating that Trump appears to be more upset with Sen. Schumer than with the terrorist. What’s more, he is predictably misrepresenting the truth. The Diversity Visa Lottery program was supported by Schumer as an amendment to the Immigration Act of 1990. That bill passed in the Senate by a whopping 89 to 8 vote and was signed into law by George H.W. Bush. It was also supported by some notable Republicans including Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, and current Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Funny, Trump didn’t attack any of them.

Something else Trump left out was that in 2013 a bipartisan group of senators, including Schumer, proposed to eliminate the Diversity Visa program. Known as the “Gang of Eight,” they offered a compromise immigration reform bill that would have ended the lottery. The bill was killed by conservative Republicans in the House.

Trump’s comments fly in the face of his response to last month’s terrorist attack in Las Vegas. After that horrific mass murder Trump and the GOP were aghast that anyone would talk about solutions to gun violence. And after the murder in Charlottesville, Virginia, by neo Nazis, Trump declared that he couldn’t talk about it until he had the facts. But just a few hours after the attack in New York, while the investigation was still in progress, Trump was already pushing his partisan agenda and lying about his political foes.

Not surprisingly, it’s easy to figure out where Trump got these talking points. He was obviously watching Fox News. In the hours following the attack, Fox News hosts and pundits were pushing their biases out onto the airwaves. And their stridently anti-Muslim bigotry was on full display. Here are some examples:

  • Tucker Carlson: It seems obviously tied to immigration, why is the country unwilling to have that conversation, to face that?
  • Pamela Geller on Hannity: The fact is Muslim immigration means more Islamic terrorism. It’s just that simple.
  • Laura Ingraham: Why must we take the risk, knowing that we can’t tell if an Islamic individual is going to be radicalized?
  • Zuhdi Jasser on Tucker Carlson Tonight: [Americans] are in denial if we don’t believe that nonviolent Islamism is a precursor to militant Islamism.

Trump’s TV was typically tuned in to Fox and Friends. That’s where he got the Schumer connection, which was not even confirmed at the time. Co-host Steve Doocy said so when he stated that:

“According to Mark Levin, and I looked online, and there are a bunch of websites that say that Chuck Schumer was one of the sponsors. We have not independently confirmed that through our brain room yet.”

Let’s just set aside the dubious assertion that Fox News has a “Brain Room.” The network was admittedly disseminating rumors in order to blame political adversaries for a terrorist attack. And that was enough for Trump to regurgitate it and give Fox News credit. Doocy’s colleague, Brian Kilmeade, contributed to this deliberate disinformation. Undoubtedly, this is the first time Trump had connected the visa lottery to the attack:

“All right, let’s talk about how he got here. He applied to a lottery system, the diversity visa program […] And congratulations, you win the lottery and then eight people are run over in this case eventually down the line because of this.”

For the record, the Diversity Visa Lottery program was not a free pass to American citizenship. Recipients had to be vetted by all of the same criteria as any other immigrant applying for entry. They are also subject to the same requirements and waiting periods. Kilmeade’s description was patently dishonest and purposefully misleading.

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

The fact that Trump relies on the disinformation and lies of Fox News is appalling and dangerous. They clearly don’t have the credibility to be the foundation for government policy. But Trump puts more faith in them than he does in the intelligence agencies he oversees. This morning he called his own Justice Department “a joke and a laughingstock.” The result is ignorant policies that are infused with noxious racism and bigotry. Not to mention the corrosive division that is sown by a President who regards his political opponents, and the media, as worse than our nation’s real enemies.

Trump Confidant Alex Jones Spins INSANE Conspiracy Theory About the Las Vegas Massacre

The news yesterday of the massacre in Las Vegas was both horrific and predictable. It is unbearably sad that Americans are still being slaughtered by madmen with weapons that should only be available to soldiers at war. And yet, too many of our national leaders continue to resist common sense methods to keep such deadly artillery off the streets. So once again we are mourning the dead and sending out thoughts and prayers to their loved ones.

Alex Jones

Just as predictable is the fantastical fiction of conspiracy theorists and others seeking to exploit tragedy. Chief among them is Alex Jones, a devoted supporter of Donald Trump whom, he claims, he’s in frequent contact with. Trump has has appeared on Jones’ Infowars program praising his “amazing” reputation. And an Infowars “correspondent” was actually granted a White House press pass.

Consequently, you have to wonder whether the President thinks the latest hallucinatory ramblings of Jones are also amazing. Within hours of the Las Vegas shooting, Jones was disgorging his deranged analysis. It consisted entirely of invented “facts” and lunatic outbursts. The wild ride begins here (video below):

“Now here’s the big news. Islamic State has taken responsibility, and the man known by the police for issues, I guess for mental illness, reportedly converted to Islam in the last two months. And even though that’s being reported by Reuters and others, you’re not seeing on it on CNN or MSNBC.”

Perhaps the reason other news outlets are reluctant to report it is because there’e no proof that it’s true. The report by the Associated Press includes the disclaimer that ISIS “has a history of exaggerated or false claims.” Even so, Jones’s media bashing was wrong. A tweet by CNN’s Brian Stelter explained that CNN and others ought not to cover the claim by ISIS because there isn’t “a shred of evidence” to support it. And NBC’s Pete Williams did discuss the claim on MSNBC, also noting that it wasn’t believable.

Jones then preposterously asserted that Al Gore was allied with ISIS and Al Qaeda. He connected that to a thoroughly made up claim that two months ago Gore and former CIA Director John Brennan had predicted a terrorist attack and the overthrow of Donald Trump within two months (i.e. now). Jones said that this was because October 1st was the 100 year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. As nutty as that conspiracy theory is, it was also historically wrong. The Russian uprising against the tsarist regime actually began in February of 1917 and concluded in late October with the Bolsheviks assuming control of Parliament. There was no significant event on the first of October that would have warranted an anniversary remembrance. But then Jones really flew off the rails:

“Here’s the other big news. On Saturday night, Sunday morning, they released O.J. [Simpson] just twenty hours before the attack took place. So all the media would come and be in place to cover this event. The whole thing has the hallmarks of being scripted by ‘deep state’ Democrats and their Islamic allies using mental patient cutouts.”

Really? Simpson was released in the dead of night specifically to avoid any media coverage. And it worked. There was a single fixed camera at the prison that caught Simpson’s release. Jones also alleged that Democrats and communists were planning to “go violent and start shooting and killing police, conservatives, whites, you name it. And that white genocide needs to be carried out.” According to Jones, this was reported by national news organizations. It wasn’t. And even Saturday Night Live was accused of being a part of the plot to “cause a civil war in this country.” And before he was done, Jones regurgitated the debunked story that Democrats or unions refused to deliver emergency supplies to the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

This is the level of depravity that Alex Jones sinks to on a regular basis. He previously said that 9//11 was an inside job. He charged that the mass murder of the children at Sandy Hook was a hoax staged by actors. And he still doesn’t believe that Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen. Nevertheless, he has the respect of Donald Trump who promised that “I will not let you down.” And given the quantity and quality of his lies, Trump is surely keeping that promise.

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

In the Wake of Terror in Barcelona, Trump Repeats 6 Month Old Pants on Fire Lie

Thursday afternoon the world was stunned by another terrorist attack on innocent civilians. This one took place on a popular street in the heart of Barcelona, Spain. Authorities are still investigating the circumstances and possible suspects. At this time there appear to be twelve fatalities and dozens more injured.

Donald Trump

Compounding this tragedy is the callousness of America’s pathologically dishonest president, Donald Trump. Shortly after the news broke, Trump rushed to the situation room – scratch that – to his cell phone to comment on Twitter:

This tweet was posted without the slightest bit of irony in recognition of the events of the past week. It took him only a couple of hours to publicly declare this unfolding incident a terror attack. Contrast that with the two days it took for him to condemn the white supremacist perpetrators of terrorism in Charlottesville. Does he care more about the victims in Spain than does about those in the United States? Or do white terrorists get a pass from Trump? And what about his insistence that “Before I make a statement, I need the facts. So I don’t want to rush into a statement.” That was his excuse for not speaking out sooner about the murder of Heather Heyer. But today facts seem to have gone out of favor in this White House.

To make matters worse, Trump’s cell phone fingers were still twitchy. Only forty-five minutes later he posted another tweet:

Trump is offering good advice by encouraging people to study. He ought to take that advice himself. Because the incident he’s alluding to never happened. It concerns a hoax that General Pershing had dissuaded Muslim opponents in the Philippines by executing them and burying their bodies with dead pigs. This is a lie that Trump has told before. In fact, in February of 2016 he was awarded one of his many “Pants-on-Fire” ratings from PolitiFact. At that time PolitiFact consulted actual historians and concluded that the incident Trump describe never took place:

“Of the eight historians we checked with, all were at least skeptical that what Trump said actually happened, and some expressed disbelief even more forcefully than that. The only evidence of something approximating what Trump said stems from one letter documenting a different scenario written by a veteran more than a half century after the fact.

“Perhaps more important, the historians took issue with Trump’s suggestion that the tactic — if it was even used at all — actually worked to end tensions, noting that unrest persisted for years. In all, Trump’s claim is ridiculous, so we rate it Pants on Fire.”

This is typical of Trump’s deliberate perversion of the truth to suit his own propaganda needs. He seems to have no shame in repeating falsehoods that have been unambiguously debunked by experts. The only thing he cares about is the promotion of his own interests. He is very likely only exploiting the tragedy in Spain to distract from the mess he created here at home. And if keeping his glassy-eyed disciples neck deep in lies is the result, that’s their tough luck. Remember, he loves the poorly educated, and this is one reason why.

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

John McCain Says Trump Admin’s Rhetoric Was ‘Partially to Blame” for Chemical Attack in Syria

Donald Trump’s demonstration of impotent machismo last week is beginning to get the scrutiny it deserves. The national press initially fawned over his missile attacks on Syria, suggesting that he had finally become “presidential.” It was an embarrassing display of the media’s war fetishism.

Donald Trump

It didn’t take but a few hours for reality to set in regarding the wisdom (or lack thereof) of Trump’s pointless aggression. The bombed airstrips were back in use the next day, and there was no perceptible impact on Assad’s barbarism.

On Face the Nation (video below), host John Dickerson asked Sen. John McCain about the strike. McCain indicated his general support for military action and the “message” it would deliver to Assad and other brutal tyrants. However he also noted that the failure to do any sustained damage rendered the mission ineffective. But McCain went on to express an even more startling opinion regarding Trump’s first act as Commander-in-Chief:

Dickerson: Do you think the administration did anything to encourage this behavior by the Syrians by saying that the Syrian people would determine Assad’s fate? And that removing him is not a priority? Things that were said before the use of chemical weapons?

McCain: I think it probably was partially to blame. And Secretary Tillerson basically is saying the same thing. After kind of contradicting himself and then saying the same thing, argues vigorously for a plan and a strategy.

That’s a rather damning assertion coming from a senior Republican and chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services. It’s the sort of blame that Republicans usually reserve to malign President Obama. But it isn’t the first time that a Republican has observed the potential harm of weak leadership. Former Vice-President Dick Cheney, seeking to ramp up the fear quotient during George W. Bush’s reelection, said this:

“Terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness.”

The unintended implication of that is that the 9/11 terrorists perceived weakness on the part of Bush which invited them to attack. The same could be attributed now to Assad perceiving such weakness in Trump. After all, after Obama forced Assad to relinquish the chemical weapons he had at the time, Assad never tried to use them again during Obama’s tenure. It wasn’t until Trump came into office that he felt he could risk it.

It’s more than a little curious that both Bush and Trump had a foreign policy crisis early in their terms. In Bush’s case, he was suffering from low poll numbers and much of the nation didn’t consider him legitimate due to the Florida election controversies and the Supreme Court eventually deciding the presidency. His invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq bolstered his public image. Similarly, Trump has the worst poll numbers ever for a new president. And now he has an excuse to start another war. Does this prove anything conclusively? Nope. I’m just sayin. Particularly in light of this tweet by Trump in 2012:

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

Trump vs. ISIS? Wingnut Video On Fox News That Mocks Harvard Students Backfires Terribly

One of the favorite stunts that conservatives use to try to shame liberals is the “man on the street” interview. Generally they purposefully skew the presentation to reflect their preconceived prejudices. Any responses that fail to advance their point of view are left on the editing room floor. Then they release a video with six people who agree with them, but never tell viewers that there were sixteen others who disagreed but were cut out.

fox news trump

This week on Fox and Friends they featured a “reporter,” Cabot Phillips, from the ultra right-wing organization Campus Reform. He visited Harvard University in an effort to expose the alleged liberalism of the students and faculty. The question he asked was “Who is more dangerous to Americans, Donald Trump or ISIS?” Of course, he fully expected to find students who selected Trump, whom he would then try to make look foolish.

Surprise! He found just what he expected. Then, after showing the video (posted below) on Fox News, Phillips sought to explain what could possibly cause these students to have such radical and shocking opinions. He said that:

“It’s from President Obama, who they all look up to. Who for so many years said, “Well, ISIS is the J.V. team. They’re not this real threat. And also it’s from professors and the media who are again constantly saying “Look, Donald Trump is the real threat here,” and trying to shield their eyes from actual threats.”

That analysis was wholly constructed from his over-active imagination. Nowhere in the video did any student attribute their views to either Obama or their professors. And Phillips didn’t bother to interview any of the faculty to ascertain their views. What’s more, while Obama did once try to marginalize ISIS as a J.V. team, he also spent years outlining precisely the peril they pose. More importantly, he attacked them relentlessly, killing thousands of their operatives, including many of their leaders.

However, what was most conspicuous about the video was the fact that the students who said Trump was more dangerous had good reasons for thinking so. One of the students spelled it out saying that:

“Do I think ISIS is going to cause a threat to me living my everyday life? Not really. Do I think the rhetoric that Donald Trump is using and empowering these folks hidden in a corner for a long time with hateful views … do I think that’s more of a threat than ISIS? Yes.”

Indeed, Trump has done more for hate groups in America who espouse prejudice and violence than any President before him. It is not coincidental that the KKK and white supremacists uniformly endorsed Trump and worked to get him elected. Trump’s rhetoric during his campaign and presidency has encouraged America’s bigots and increased the number of hate crimes. African-Americans, gays, Muslims, Latinos, and Jews have all been victimized in greater numbers in the Era of Trump.

The harassment and assaults that Trump has inspired have a much more direct impact on the safety of Americans. That doesn’t diminish the horror of terrorist activity by ISIS. It’s just a fact. It is not, therefore, the least bit surprising that people consider Trump more to be dangerous with respect to their personal lives.

A study by the CATO Institute last year revealed the relative dangers of common occurrences. Death by foreign terrorists came in 34th out of forty-eight items. Activities more likely than terrorism to be fatal included walking, choking on food, and police encounters. You are 260 times more likely to be struck and killed by lightning than by terrorists. You’re 129,000 times more likely to die in a gun assault.

Not mentioned in this video were risks posed by Trump’s actual policies. The president’s erratic behavior makes him a poor choice to be in charge of the nuclear codes. And his anti-environment stance could result in millions of lives lost due to famine, drought, extreme weather events and war.

Taking a logical approach to the question, it’s clear that Trump is potentially far more dangerous to America and the world than ISIS. He commands a much bigger military with far greater resources. The video is a blatantly partisan sham by conservative activists. Campus Reform is a project of the uber-rightist Leadership Institute that receives much of their funding from the Koch brothers. Their alumni includes hacks like Mitch McConnell, James O’Keefe, Ralph Reed, Karl Rove, and even Vice-President Mike Pence. That’s a fraternal order that speaks volumes as to their political and ideological mission. And it’s why Fox News devotes segments to their lies on a regular basis.

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

TBT: Trump’s Twitter Rants on Syria are a Steaming Heap of Hypocrisy

The videos of Syrian children suffering and dying from chemical bombings are almost too awful to watch. But even as Donald Trump castigates Assad, he pivots to blame President Obama for the atrocity. Trump’s public comments so far manage to produce nothing but bluster and impotent finger-pointing. He chastises Obama for not having done enough, but over the past couple of years Trump has repeatedly argued for doing nothing at all.

Donald Trump

Now CNN is reporting that:

“President Donald Trump has told some members of Congress that he is considering military action in Syria in retaliation for this week’s chemical attack, and recognizes the seriousness of the situation, a source familiar with the calls tells CNN.”

In light of that news, let’s revisit his Twitter posts for the past three years:

Those last two tweets have particular significance. Any military action has the potential of going awry. Civilians are too often the victims, even in well-intentioned missions. And already Trump has presided over more than 1,400 civilian casualties in Syria and Iraq, according to some reports. More than 200 in one incident alone. And he’s been in office less than three months. Is this what he meant during the campaign when he said that he would “bomb the hell” out of ISIS?

Also, it will be interesting to see if Trump will comply with his demand to get congressional approval before taking any military action. Needless to say, Trump has not exactly been a bastion of consistency. But on this matter he will be challenged by his Republican colleagues on Capital Hill. Sen. Rand Paul has already said publicly that he will oppose any military moves on Syria without authorization from Congress.

There really are no good solutions to this problem. Surface level analyses that advocate sending in the Marines will almost certainly result in painful losses. That includes both innocent Syrians and American troops. But more complex combinations of diplomacy and international cooperation are seemingly beyond Trump’s mental capacity to comprehend. And none of these routes guarantee a desirable outcome.

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

Unfortunately, America is now burdened with a leader who has no experience addressing these kinds of problems. Nor does he have any relationships with other world leaders. And he has recruited a staff that is just as unfit as he is. Does anyone really think that Jared Kushner or Rex Tillerson will find a path to peace? That leaves us with little more than crossed fingers and anxious hopes that the Pentagon will muster up some common sense and be able to exert some influence over our incompetent president. It isn’t much to hang onto, but it’s all we’ve got.