Bipartisan and Unity? Trump’s State of the Union Speech Was Neither, But It Was Filled With Lies

Donald Trump’s first (and hopefully last) State of the Union address was sold as an attempt to embrace bipartisanship and unity. That was just another promise that Trump failed to deliver on. The actual speech turned out to be more partisan than any SOTU in memory, and seemed to be utterly hostile to unity.

Donald Trump

You have to wonder what part of this address the Trump people thought was bipartisan. Was it Trump’s boasting about sabotaging ObamaCare by eliminating the individual mandate? Or was it his immigration rhetoric that focused more on gangs than Dreamers? Or was it the cheers he elicited from Republicans for directing his Secretary of Defense to keep Guantanamo Bay open? Or maybe it was when he ordered his cabinet secretaries to be his accomplices to obstruction of justice by firing anyone who gets in his way (i.e. Rosenstein, Mueller, etc.). It couldn’t have been his concession to cooperate with the special counsel’s probe of Russian interference in the election, because he never mentioned any of that.

What Trump did succeed in doing was to lie repeatedly about what state he imagined the union to be in. PolitiFact was live-tweeting the speech and posted these comments as they occurred:

That should do for a start. After all, no one really expected Trump to do anything but continue telling more of the same lies he’s been telling for the past couple of years. And that was one expectation that he was able to live up to.

If Trump thinks this speech is going to create a new era of political harmony, he’s sicker than his phony doctor let on. You know that he will shortly return to insulting Democrats and complaining that “Crying” Chuck Schumer is trying to block him from wasting billions of dollars on a wall that will solve nothing. He’ll be tweeting about how his opponents won’t agree to everything this wannabe dictator demands. He’ll be shaking his tiny fists at the “fake” news media that has the audacity to report what he actually does and says.

However, in the spirit of unity, I would like to take a moment to agree with something that Trump said. It’s an observation that is difficult for anyone to dispute. It just may not have been timed very well:

Well said, Donnie. Now that’s something that millions of Americans who have rejected your leadership can get behind. We do need new leadership fast. Having a president with historically low approval ratings, who majorities of citizens say is embarrassing and lacks the intelligence or character to do the job, is not going to make America great.

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

UH-OH: There’s a Second Dossier Alleging that Russia has Compromising Materials on Trump

Republicans have been working furiously to discredit a dossier produced by Christopher Steele, a former British spy. The dossier contains information tying Donald Trump and his associates to the Russian government. Some of the material involves salacious activities placing Trump in a Moscow hotel room with Russian prostitutes.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

The Steele dossier has been examined thoroughly and some, but not all, of the data has been confirmed. Despite that, Republicans rant incessantly on Fox News and other right-wing media that the dossier is unverified. That is flatly untrue. Which makes their attempt to discredit it all the more difficult. And it isn’t going to get any easier now that, as the Guardian reports, another document that corroborates much of the dossier is currently in the hands of the FBI. According to the Guardian:

The FBI inquiry into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 US presidential election has been given a second memo that independently set out some of the same allegations made in a dossier by Christopher Steele, the British former spy.

The second memo was written by Cody Shearer, a controversial political activist and former journalist who was close to the Clinton White House in the 1990s.

Unlike Steele, Shearer does not have a background in espionage, and his memo was initially viewed with scepticism, not least because he had shared it with select media organisations before the election.

However, the Guardian has been told the FBI investigation is still assessing details in the ‘Shearer memo’ and is pursuing intriguing leads.

One source with knowledge of the inquiry said the fact the FBI was still working on it suggested investigators had taken an aspect of it seriously.

It raises the possibility that parts of the Steele dossier, which has been derided by Trump’s supporters, may have been corroborated by Shearer’s research, or could still be.

There is still much to uncover with regard to this new document. And the partisan associations of its author need to be taken into consideration. But the gravity with which it has been received by the FBI is sufficient to give Trump and his Republican defenders migraines. They can’t continue to swing so wildly at Steele if his data is backed up by an independent investigation.

What’s more, the Trump brigades’ campaign to smear special counsel Robert Mueller is going to be hampered by new evidence that Trump colluded with Russia and that Vladimir Putin might have damning evidence of it. This new information will compound the allegations against Trump and could lead to serious legal jeopardy for him and others in his administration. And while the GOP will surely try to leap out in front of this news and dismiss it, Mueller is not going to be so easily distracted.

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

Stock Market Down Over 300 Points in Advance of Trump’s State of the Union Speech

For some reason Donald Trump hasn’t tweeted about the stock market this week. That’s peculiar because Trump has made it a sacrament of his presidency that the performance of the stock market is an indicator of his success. That has always been a downright stupid idea. Firstly because he has had nothing to do with it. We have been in the second longest bull market in history, and it started in 2009, at the beginning of President Obama’s first term. And despite Trump’s wild and unsupported claims that the market would have tanked if Democrats were in charge, the market actually performed better during Obama’s last year than it has during Trump’s first.

Donald Trump

But that isn’t the only reason Trump is foolish to stake his presidency on the market. Investors will notice that the Dow Industrials are down about 300 points today, and nearly 500 points this week. This may be a temporary blip, or a sign of a coming correction. But it reveals the ignorance of the President tying himself to the whims of the market. As News Corpse noted just two weeks ago:

“Trump is going to regret his shameless boasting if he continues to insist that he is the primary driver of the market’s success. And it’ll be an epic backfire that puts real teeth into Trump’s backside. It’s always dangerous to rely on stock market performance to validate the economy. There are too many factors that can shift investor sentiment. It is a fluid indicator that could reverse course tomorrow. Indeed, many stock analysts regard the market’s current position as overvalued. These analysts are predicting a “correction” that could send the markets down significantly. Furthermore, the market does not reflect the economic realities of most Americans. Other economic indicators (i.e. wages) are showing only small advances. The beneficiaries of stock gains are predominantly the usual suspects of the GOP (Greedy One Percent).”

Trump’s obsession with market performance is recorded for posterity in his Twitter feed. Just this month he has bragged about the “Record Stock Market,” the “Most explosive Stock Market rally that we’ve seen in modern times,” that “The stock market has gained an incredible 7.8 Trillion dollars,” and “another big day for jobs and the Stock Market.” And there have been dozens of similar boasts since his inauguration.

However, Trump is silent today about the stock market that has commanded so much of his attention. If he really thinks that he deserves credit when the market goes up, then shouldn’t he be accepting the blame when it goes down? Of course not. In Trump’s world only greatness and glory are recognized. He will never admit fault or apologize for whatever disaster he causes. But he will take great pains to find someone else to blame. Probably President Obama, Hillary Clinton, the “fake” news, or the Deep State. And without a scapegoat, Trump will ignore the whole thing. So don’t expect him to mention this market decline tonight during his lie-filled SOTU. He has too many other lies, and his Russia collusion, to worry about.

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

Fox News Host Whines That ‘It’s Just So Anti-American’ to Criticize Trump

Last week the news broke that Donald Trump had ordered his White House counsel, Don McGahn, to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. That attempted obstruction of justice was foiled when McGahn threatened Trump that he would quit if required to carry out the order. The incident occurred in June of 2017. Since then Trump and all of his surrogates have denied that he ever entertained the notion of firing Mueller. That, apparently, was a lie.

Fox News Friends

Also last June, Sean Hannity was ranting on his program that Mueller was corrupt and should be terminated. He had only been appointed a month prior, so Hannity’s obsession was difficult to understand until we learned what we know now about Trump’s demand to McGahn. Hannity appears to have been doing Trump’s dirty work. And now Fox News thinks the reporting of this affair is part of a clandestine conspiracy.

In a segment of Trump’s favorite show, Fox and Friends, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes ventured down a delusional trail of speculation that the story was deliberately held for seven months so it could be dropped strategically following Trump’s allegedly triumphant visit to Davos, Switzerland. What a devious cabal of “deep state” villains. During an interview with former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer, the hosts engaged in this paranoid exchange:

Kilmeade: Isn’t it amazing, the timing, something comes up about the Russia investigation, like for example, a story that could have broken in June comes out in January after the president goes to Davos and is treated like a rock star.
Spicer: Somebody will dig something up from when he was, like, 8 years old about how he didn’t clean his tray and try to take away the momentum from another great speech.
Doocy: Well, that’s what they’ve done in the past. It’s a formula that worked.
Earhardt: It’s just so anti-American. Where is the unity?

Anti-American? Suddenly it’s no longer sufficient to merely attribute the diabolical left’s motives to partisan politics or libtardiness. Now it’s anti-American to offer any criticism of the President. There’s a reason Fox and Friends is Trump’s favorite show. The one that he watches religiously and tweets live almost every morning. They are the most driven, sycophantic Trump-fluffers on television. Where else could he be defended by flunkies who will describe factual news stories as anti-American? And you’ll notice that at no time during this segment did any of the Fox crew dispute the substance of the report.

The plaintive cry for “unity” is also somewhat mind-boggling considering that it was these same Fox News cretins who sought to portray President Obama as a threat to America. When they weren’t questioning his birthright to even serve in the presidency, they were manufacturing “scandals” to get him thrown out of the White House and into prison. Which makes one want to ask “Where was the unity?”

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

WTF? Nikki Haley Slams the Grammys Because She ‘Loves Music Without the Politics’

The 60th Annual Grammy Awards show aired Sunday night with the customary pomp and circumstance that accompanies these galas. New stars and legends took the stage to celebrate the music industry’s creative achievements of the last year. It will certainly be viewed by millions of fans for whom music is as necessary as air.

Hillary Clinton

One viewer out there, however, is no longer a fan. Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, was not pleased by a humorous sketch (video below) that featured a number of big stars reading from Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury. The book caused a stir by revealing some of the inside dirt at Donald Trump’s White House. That political comedy was too much for Haley who tweeted:

Is she friggin’ kidding? Music and politics are hardly a new combination. In fact, the social condition has been the subject of music compositions for centuries. And particularly with regard to contemporary music, political themes have inspired some of the greatest music and artists of all time. If Haley were to have her way, the artists whose music was fiercely political that she would do away with would include:

  • Rage Against the Machine
  • Eminem
  • The Clash
  • James Brown
  • U2
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash
  • Neil Young
  • Public Enemy
  • Dead Kennedys
  • Green Day
  • Frank Zappa
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • The Beatles
  • Bob Marley
  • The Sex Pistols
  • Bob Dylan
  • Kendrick Lamar

And that’s not nearly a complete list. Haley’s ignorance of the importance of expressing real life issues in the musical arts is really just her own aversion to free thought and creativity. She never complained when her idiot boss, Donald Trump, attacked Jay-Z, John Legend, Cher, Neil Young, Snoop Dogg, or the cast of Hamilton.

But read a few lines from a book critical of Trump for a comedy sketch and Haley is outraged. And another thing that makes her whining absurd is that the bit didn’t have any music in it. So how could any music have been “ruined” by this brief segment? The truth is that Trump’s night was ruined by some some artists making fun of him, which he richly deserves. And Haley had to defend her crybaby master’s ego. It’s just plain pathetic, but so very typical.

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

Severely Delusional Fox News Guest Declares That Donald Trump Has Never Incited Violence

Last week the CNN offices in Atlanta received a barrage of threatening phone calls by a man who claimed he was on his way over to “gun down” everyone at what he called the “fake news” network. His language was straight out of Donald Trump’s playbook for intimidating the media that he despises so much. Any objective person would recognize that the deranged caller was inspired by what he heard Trump saying for the past two years.

Fox News Kurtz

That said, it might be unreasonable to expect to find many objective persons at Fox News. And Sunday Morning on MediaBuzz proved that point. The program hosted by Fox’s media correspondent, and right-wing tool, Howard Kurtz, raised the subject of the threats against CNN with his panel of analysts (video below). Among them was Emily Jashinsky of the ultra-rightist Washington Examiner. When asked whether she thought Trump bore any responsibility for the threats, Jashinsky said that…

“I don’t think there’s anything specific that you can point to that Donald Trump himself has said or done that is directly inciting violence.”

SRSLY? Has Jashinsky been held in captivity in underground Idaho bunkers by Apocalyptic cultists for the past couple of years? If not, her ignorance exposes a profound cognitive fracture. There are too many examples of Trump’s overtly hostile rhetoric to list here. But a few of the more heinous ones include:

  • Calling the media “the enemy of the American people.”
  • Praising neo-Nazis as very fine people after a march where a counter-protester was murdered.
  • Posting a tweet of him body-slamming a CNN character in a video.
  • Posting a tweet of a train running over a CNN character in a video.
  • Speculating about whether he might kill reporters covering his campaign.
  • Asking his supporters at a rally to “knock the crap out of” protesters, and promising to pay their legal fees.
  • Yearning for the days when a protester would be carried out in a stretcher,” and saying that he’d “like to punch him in the face.”
  • When speculating about the possibility of Hillary Clinton nominating Supreme Court justices, Trump was comforted by the the thought that “the Second Amendment people” could stop her.

What’s more, Trump regularly refers to the press as “sleazy,” “dishonest,” and “the most horrible people.” He portrays the media, individually and as an institution, as corrupt and committed to destroying his presidency and the country. It isn’t hard to imagine that an unstable Trump supporter (are there any other kind?) might take those verbal attacks to the next level and be convinced that he’s carrying out Trump’s wishes.

As for Kurtz, he is a dyed-in-the-wool Trump sycophant who is no less culpable for this violent rhetoric. During the campaign Kurtz was aghast at what he incorrectly thought was negative treatment of Trump by the press. Kurtz said it was “almost like the press put out a mob hit on Donald Trump.” See? Nothing remotely violent in that kind of language. And nothing that would spur a Trump-worshiping nutcase to take matters into his own hands and “make America great again.”

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

Republican Cult’s Devotion to Trump and Fox News Revealed in ‘Most Polarizing Brands’ Survey

The success that Fox News has had in fulling their conservative propaganda mission is indisputable. They have corralled a committed congregation of faithful adherents to the far-right messaging and Trump-fluffing that is their hallmark. With sycophantic proponents like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Donald Trump’s favorite Fox News program, Fox and Friends, the network is a non-stop peddler of GOP swill and Trump’s snake oil.

Donald Trump Messiah

A new survey sheds additional light on the totality of devotion that Republicans have for their right-wing idols and “news” sources. Morning Consult’s “Most Polarizing Brands in America” survey conducted over 300,000 interviews to determine which brands divide Democrats and Republicans the most:

“From award shows to soda commercials, politics is increasingly seeping into most facets of American culture. As a result, brands that were once dutifully neutral have taken bold stands, and others have been involuntarily dragged into controversy. Morning Consult used a wealth of consumer tracking data – 336,370 survey interviews in the last three months – to determine which brands are the most politically divisive.”

Seizing the top spot in the survey, as most divisive, is Trump Hotels. As a brand, the President’s core business bitterly divides the nation with Democrats being particularly averse to the elitist lodging. More surprising is that Republicans, while positive, were not very enthusiastically so. Perhaps there’s a faction within the GOP’s working class constituents who recognize that they aren’t welcome at places like Mar-A-Lago.

The remainder of the survey results affirm positions most observers already know. With regard to the media, the partisan lines were predictably drawn between conventional news outlets and the stridently biased Fox News variety. But what’s interesting is how narrowly focused Republicans are. Among the top twenty most divisive brands, the GOP held more favorable views of only five of them: Trump Hotels, Fox News, Fox Business Network, Chik-Fil-A, and Breitbart News. For everything else, whether news, entertainment, or sports, Republicans held a more negative view. Although in the extended list of thirty brands, Exxon/Mobil, Koch Industries, and Halliburton found favor with Republicans. They are an unambiguous confederacy of wingnuts.

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

That Republicans are so religiously bound to Fox News and other right wing media is a troubling development. It means that they care little about anything other than the conservative agenda which they cling to like a mantra. It is the definition of a cult wherein you are directed to believe only that which the cult has certified as true. Everything and everyone else is lying to you. Hence the carpet bombing of “fake news” allegations coming from Trump and his rightist comrades. It’s a closed-loop clan of prescribed beliefs from which any deviation is considered blasphemy.

Hannity Repeatedly Called for Mueller to Be Fired in June 2017 When Trump Tried to Fire Him (Video)

Thursday night the New York Times released a disturbing story about Donald Trump’s ongoing malfeasance in office. The news that Trump ordered his White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller was another confirmation of the President’s attempt to obstruct justice and punish anyone he perceived to be a threat. The fact that the firing was only averted because McGahn refused to comply and threatened to quit doesn’t lessen the breach of law and ethics.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

Not surprisingly, Fox News was contemporaneously backing Trump at the time without disclosing their collusion with the White House. Media Matters looked back and found video of the biggest Trump-fluffer on Fox News, Sean Hannity, advocating for the resignation, recusal, or termination of the special counsel.

Was it a coincidence that Hannity was speed-ranting about firing Mueller at exactly the same time that Trump was trying to do that? The tally per Media Matters was that Hannity pressed these attacks at least 111 times last June.

Trump was asked about the New York Times report while in Davos for the World Economic Forum. He casually sneered at the camera with his customary and tedious complaint that it’s “Fake news, folks. Fake news. Typical New York Times fake stories.” However Trump is ignoring that the story was confirmed by NBC, Politico, the Washington Post, CNN, and even Fox News. So is Fox now fake news to Trump as well? He didn’t say.

And don’t expect Fox News to bring it up. They barely covered the story when it broke on Thursday, or the following morning. And when they did cover it they dismissed it as the media being anti-Trump and using unreliable anonymous sources. However, the best presentation of Fox’s determination to defend Trump at all costs came with Hannity (of course), who was in the middle of his program when the news broke. At first Hannity predictably rejected the story as the media attacking his perfect president. But shortly thereafter Fox’s Ed Henry reported that his own source confirmed what the Times reported. Hannity’s reaction was priceless. He quickly went from “Fake news,” to “OK, it’s real news,” to “Oh look, a car crash.”

The fact that Hannity was so adamant about Mueller’s termination last June cannot be disregarded as an accident. Mueller had only been appointed in May, so there was hardly time for Hannity to get worked up about his investigation. There had to have been some incentive for him to go ballistic in so short a period of time. And since we know that Trump and Hannity talk often, it is likely that Trump encouraged Hannity to go after Mueller to justify him getting axed by Trump. In fact, Hannity’s smear campaign of Mueller last June is just further affirmation of the New York Times’ reporting that Trump was (and is) after Mueller’s scalp.

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

A Graphic Lesson in How Fox News Perverts Even Their Own Skewed Polls

The recent shutdown of the government was the subject of controversy in the media for a couple of weeks. Both sides were spinning furiously to place the blame on the other. It should have been a simple task to figure out who was most responsible for the leadership vacuum considering that Republicans are in control of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House. But when you’re dealing with a Republican Party that isn’t interested in the truth, and is led by a world-class liar, nothing is as easy as it seems.

Fox News Trump

Following the agreement to keep the government open for another three weeks, the press set about to determine where the American people stood. They conducted polls asking which party was most responsible for the shutdown. Fox News was among those media outlets conducting such surveys. And when they were ready to release the results, they made sure that their preferred political prejudices were front and center.

Rather than disclose the most relevant information, the crack Fox News creative department prepared a graphic that they immediately put on the air. The image contained partial results from the poll that put Republicans in an undeservedly positive light. Here is the tweet Fox News posted of the story that they broadcast:

Wow. So the American people think that Democrats were most responsible for the government shutdown? Not exactly. The survey question actually gave respondents another option. Donald Trump received thirteen percent of the poll’s votes. That means that the combined total for the GOP and Trump was thirty-seven percent, which exceeds that of the Democrats. Never mind that the built in biases of Fox’s poll likely undercounts the Trump votes. It was a deliberate tactic to divide the right-wing options and then only report one of them to insure that the number would be lower. Notice that they didn’t ask whether Democrats or Chuck Schumer were responsible, just the Democrats. And that’s after Republicans made a full court press to cast the blame on the so-called SchumerShutdown.

Remember, this is a Fox News poll that Fox News is distorting. It demonstrates the lengths they will go to in order to protect their lord and overseer, Donald Trump. For the record, every other poll decisively reports that Trump and Republicans were to blame for the shutdown (see this, and this, and this). There isn’t any real dispute on that question. So Fox News had only two options. They could report the news honestly (OK, stop laughing), or they could whip up a phony graphic that distorts the truth and makes their side look like winners. Guess which option they chose.

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

Trump Asked to Borrow a Van Gogh From the Guggenheim, They Offered a Gold Toilet Instead

Once again it is the art world that contributes the most poignant insights into human culture and condition. The state of the American and world economy is teetering on the brink of collapse due to the inequality and massive differential in wealth. The gap between the rich and the poor is at a historically wide level. It was recently reported that the richest one percent in the world possess eighty-two percent of the world’s wealth.

Donald Trump Toilet

Emblematic of that disparity, the United States elected an alleged billionaire to its highest office. Donald Trump represents the worst of this elitist class by his gross worship of materialism and his pandering to his upper crusty friends of the penthouse society. He exudes a sense of entitlement and undeserved reverence, despite his failure to display any knowledge or experience that would warrant even a modicum of respect.

The Washington Post is now reporting that Donald and Melania Trump asked the Guggenheim Museum in New York to loan them a Van Gogh painting for their private residence in the White House. It reeks of the selfishness you’d expect from the Trump family that they would want to remove such a treasure from public view for their exclusive pleasure. But fortunately, the Guggenheim declined the loan and offered something else far more appropriate: An 18K gold toilet. According to WaPo, the museum said that…

“We are sorry not to be able to accommodate your original request, but remain hopeful that this special offer may be of interest.”

This unique extravagance is the work of Maurizio Cattelan, and is a fully functioning bathroom appliance that was installed at the Guggenheim for nearly a year before the exhibit closed last September. The museum described it as a “sculptural performance of interactive art.” Their website further states that:

“The gold toilet – a cipher for the excesses of affluence – was available for all to use in the privacy of one of the Guggenheim’s single-stall, gender-neutral bathrooms. More than one hundred thousand people waited patiently in line for the opportunity to commune with art and with nature.”

Trump’s notorious opulence has been on display in his nauseatingly gold-plated Manhattan apartment. And now, if he accepts this offer, he can enjoy the same gauche tastelessness in his White House quarters. Plus, it will give him a place of luxury to pound out his morning tweets (a golden Tweet Seat), which have pretty much the same value and stench of whatever else he pounds out.

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