Elizabeth Warren Slams the Fox News ‘Echo Chamber’ of ‘Fear and Hate’ in Presidential Campaign Video

On the precipice of a new year, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has released a video (below) announcing that she is forming an exploratory committee to test the waters for a prospective presidential campaign. She is the first of what will likely be a big pool of Democratic hopefuls seeking to cast out Donald Trump in 2020 – if he makes it that far (Mueller?).

Elizabeth Warren, Fox News

Notable in her video was the fact that she didn’t mention Trump’s name once. That will surely drive him nuts. There’s nothing he craves more than hearing his own name in pretty much any context. But she concentrated on bread-and-butter issues of importance to America’s middle class families. For instance, she laid out a platform that directly addresses the threat of corporatism and income inequality:

“I spent my career getting to the bottom of why America’s promise works for some families, but others who work just as hard slip through the cracks into disaster. And what I found was terrifying. These aren’t cracks that families are falling into. They’re traps. America’s middle class is under attack. How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie.”

Warren went on to link the political class to the problems that Americans are experiencing. She noted that the one-percenters “enlisted politicians [and] crippled unions.” to achieve their self-serving goals. And she pointedly stated that “Today corruption is poisoning our democracy.” She may not have said Trump’s name, but he was ever-present in her remarks.

It was also encouraging to see that Warren wasn’t shy about holding Fox News accountable for their contribution to the decline of Western Civilization. She took on the wealthy elites and Fox News saying forthrightly that:

“The whole scam is propped up by an echo chamber of fear and hate designed to distract and divide us.”

While she spoke those words there were images of Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Fox and Friends, and Laura Ingraham prominently displayed. She got in the whole primetime lineup, plus Trump’s favorite Fox News morning show.

This is the kind of fearless honesty that will be needed to beat Trump (or whatever GOP hack runs in his place) in 2020. You can rest assured that Fox News will there to advance the lies and hostility of the Republican agenda and defeat the champions of unfettered democracy who are fighting for the welfare of the majority of American citizens.

The Trump presidency has shown us that the GOP couldn’t care less about ordinary people, honest representation, or the rule of law. But it has also shown us that there are voters who are susceptible to flagrant deception and who are willing – even eager – to be lied to. They are the rubes that Fox News is designed to corral into the GOP camp. And the rest of us need to be alert and engaged in order to preserve our country and the democracy that it pioneered.

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

Donald Trump’s Blatantly Racist Spin About a Poll of Veterans Cites Only the White Veterans

At this point in the Era of Trump, it isn’t exactly breaking news when Donald Trump tells another lie. It’s really just the natural state of his psychosis to casually pervert the truth in all things great and small. He does it daily on his Twitter feed as well as his hostile encounters with the press. And in most cases the obvious falsehoods are easily spotted and debunked.

Donald Trump, Military Parade

However, every now and then Trump engages in a fit of dishonesty that is so outrageous it’s hard to fathom what’s going through his diseased mind – or if anything is going through it at all. And one of those fits occurred during his regularly scheduled Sunday morning tweetstorm. While languishing forlornly in the White House this holiday season, Trump found some rare solace in an Associated Press poll. So he blurted out on his Twitter machine that:

It’s generally understood that the military is more conservative than the population at large. Although some high profile leaders have been notably disgusted by Trump, including his ex-chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, who called Trump an idiot, and his ex-defense secretary Gen. James Mattis, whose letter of resignation made it clear that Trump is reckless and ignorant. Trump appointed both of these senior officers with glowing accolades, but eventually fired with them unseemly disrespect for their service.

But the problem with Trump’s citation of this poll is that he’s read it horribly wrong. The sixty-two percent figure that Trump cited is just related to border security, not his approval by veterans in this poll. That number is fifty-six percent. The number Trump quoted is, more interestingly, also his job approval by just white veterans. That’s a disturbing coincidence for someone who is so often associated with racists and racism. In all likelihood, this was deliberate on Trump’s part to imply that a larger level of support than he really has. After all, the opinions of his white followers are the only ones that mean anything to him. For the record, the poll shows that only twenty-two percent of African-Americans in the military approve of Trump. And of course, Trump got and twisted this info from his favorite Fox News program, Fox and Friends.

It’s also noteworthy that this poll questioned 115,000 people, of which only 4,000 were veterans. So the numbers reflecting that segment are tiny compared with the overall pool of respondents. And on that matter, Trump didn’t bother to mention the other results in this poll. For instance, overall, 56 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president. And women, the fastest growing demographic group in the military, disapprove of Trump by fifty-eight percent. Only forty-eight percent of vets say that Trump “has the right temperament to serve as president.” Fifty-eight percent of all respondents say he has “tried to impede the Russia investigation.”

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

So as usual, Trump has flagrantly misrepresented reality in order to prop himself up. He has to distort the truth because otherwise there is little he can say that isn’t dreadfully negative about him. But this episode is worse than usual because Trump takes a number that is obviously a specific segment of the veterans community and he tries to pass it off as broader, across the board support. That’s the behavior of a sick and desperate loser who has nothing left but a fantasy world wherein he is universally adored.

Poor Donald Trump is Alone in the Big, Scary White House Tweeting About the ‘Witch Hunt Hoax’

The saddest story of the year has got to be the tear-jerking saga of a lonely president who is desperate and frightened about the monsters under his bed. Donald Trump is once again rage-tweeting on a Saturday morning because he has nothing better to do – no presidential stuff, no holidays with a loving family. It’s enough to make you wanna take him in your arms and throw him into a jail cell where he can weep in the warm embrace of the other members of his crime family.

Donald Trump, Robert Mueller, Freak Out

Trump began his pre-New Year’s weekend digging back in time to when he whined plaintively about a report (that he undoubtedly saw on Fox News) that some texts between a couple of FBI agents were allegedly deleted:

Trump’s assertions that the messages were deleted and lost is totally and provably false. Not that the most lyingest president in history cares. The agency recovered and preserved all the messages after a temporary tech glitch. That, however, didn’t stop Trump from demanding all of the texts that the FBI already has, and insisting that there has been “Total Obstruction of Justice” – which is something he’s very familiar with. This triggered his knee-jerk outcry of “Witch Hunt” and led to more inanity in another tweet:

So Trump is saying that he’s in the White House waiting for Democrats who have already left town. That’s so sad it hurts. Picture him staring out of the window wondering if Chuck and Nancy have forsaken him on Christmas. He misses the “Presidential Harassment” that he soaks up because at least it’s some attention. By the way, the Democrats only left town because the Republicans (who still control both houses of Congress for a few more days) ended the session. Democrats had no say about that.

It’s also curious that Trump complained that Democrats “have little time left for things like stopping crime and our military! Did Trump really mean to say that he supports stopping our military? That would be consistent with his recent decision to abruptly retreat from Syria, leaving ISIS free to regroup and our allies to be slaughtered by Russia and Turkey. And Trump’s position on the shutdown is so incoherent that even Fox News has had to shore it up with extra-thick propaganda. That’s when Trump isn’t using it to evade justice and impeachment.

Next up is Trump’s pathetic and obvious attempt to change the subject away from those that are making him look so foolish and frightened:

Anyone who believes that Trump actually had a phone conversation with President Xi just now is terminally naive. First of all, at the time of the tweet it was midnight in China. Not only is that awfully late for a diplomatic phone summit, but it would be cutting into Trump’s morning appointment with whatever is on Fox News. And without that daily injection of hate mongering and fake news, Trump couldn’t get out of bed and face the ever-worsening fates that are crushing his spirit and producing these deranged tweetstorms.

And finally (as if there is ever a final tweet from this wacko-bird), Trump makes one the most ludicrous, blame shifting comments of his wretched presidency:

This is so absurdly far-fetched that it hardly needs a response. Other than to say that it is despicable that Trump would exploit these tragic deaths for such a brazenly partisan political purpose. But then again, that’s Trump. And his reasoning is ridiculous. People who are fleeing poverty and violence aren’t going to remain someplace where their lives are at risk because they might have to climb a ladder to get over a wall. Is he really that callous and stupid? (You don’t have to answer that).

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

Fox News Badgers Trump’s Chief of Staff Mulvaney to Take Even More Extreme Positions on the Wall

It’s day seven of the Trump Shutdown, and Fox News is determined to hold Trump’s feet to the fire. Not for his responsibility for creating this havoc and hurting hundreds of thousands of Americans. But to insure that he doesn’t bend on the radical principles that Fox News holds dear.

Fox News, Donald Trump Baby

On Friday morning Fox and Friends interviewed Trump’s Acting (one of many) Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney (video below). For the most part it was a friendly get together among like-minded Trump shills. However, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes were fired up over the possibility that the President might commit the unforgivable crime of compromising with Democrats in Congress.

Mulvaney tried repeatedly to characterize the Democrats as having “left Washington” to avoid the debate on Trump’s idiotic and useless vanity wall. But this Congress is still run by Republicans. They control whether the Congress stays in session or not. And it is Republicans who made the decision to stop working until next year. Democrats had no say in the matter.

Yet Mulvaney still accused Nancy Pelosi of orchestrating the shutdown and leaving town because she doesn’t want to appear weak. That’s a classic case of projection when it’s Trump who is transparently afraid of looking weak in the eyes of Fox News. Both houses of Congress had previously agreed on funding bills to keep the government of open. But then Trump was triggered by Fox News reports that he was breaking his promise to build a wall. And even though he also promised that Mexico would pay for it, he still felt it necessary to punish American taxpayers by shutting down the government.

What stood out in the interview was the ferocity of the Foxies in pushing Mulvaney to take ever more extreme positions on the wall and the shutdown created to force it down the nation’s throat. Here are the questions that Mulvaney was hectored with by the Fox crew::

Pete Hegseth: He says he’ll close it all down because of these ridiculous immigration laws. Is he willing to go that far?

Mulvaney replied that Trump is willing to go all the way. We’ll see. But it was predictable that the first question was so full of anti-immigrant bias.

Hegseth: It was $25 billion dollars was possibly on the table. Now it’s five […] Mr. Mulvaney, a lot of Trump supporters feel like five is already a compromise, $5 billion. So to now float out there $2.5, $2.7, wouldn’t that look like a cave on this key issue.

Mulvaney surprisingly admitted that the $25 billion figure was “smoke and mirrors.” And the only real “cave” here is Trump to Fox News.

Griff Jenkins: Hold on. The American people wanted a wall. What deal then now is President Trump willing to accept that is anything short of that wall?

According to Mulvaney, nothing. “That’s why the government is closed.” As for what the American people want, a new poll by Reuters/Ipsos shows that only thirty-five percent said they backed including money for the wall in a congressional spending bill. And only twenty-five percent said they supported Trump shutting down the government for it.

Rachel Campos-Duffy: But let me ask this. We’re talking about money – $5 billion, $1.5 billion, $2.7 billion. Why isn’t there other things on the table? DACA for example. Is that being negotiated?

Mulvaney said that it is, but there’s no evidence of that from the White House. Plus it would be atrocious for Trump to exploit DACA applicants as bargaining chips for a wall nobody wants (even though he’s done that before).

Hegseth: Mr. Director, Nancy Pelosi calls the wall immoral ineffective, and expensive. We know it’s effective. We know $5 billion is not expensive in Washington dollars. In taxpayer real dollars we know it is. But the morality of it. Tell that to the family of Corporal Singh. Tell that to the family of Kate Steinle. The moral thing to do is to keep it shut down until you get a wall. Trump supporters are going to expect that. How attuned are you to the reality that a compromise that makes it look like Republicans are cavin’ again – Here we go. Democrats always … No. That is a real thing that has to be factored in.

Mulvaney insists that “We’re not compromising.” But this question was loaded with bigotry and lies. There are no credible experts that believe the wall would be effective. Most undocumented immigrants came legally through border checkpoints. And by raising the Singh and Steinle issues, Hegseth is once again implying that all immigrants are potentially murderers. The facts show that immigrants commit crimes a lower rates than American-born citizens. So Hegseth shouldn’t be talking about “the moral thing to do,” especially since he opposes all reasonable gun reforms to prevent the massacres of American citizens by American citizens.

Hegseth: The President’s floated the nuclear option. Is that a possibility in the Senate?

“I wish all options were open,” said Mulvaney. But even Mitch McConnell has ruled this out.

Campos-Duffy: If he’s there, why doesn’t he do an Oval Office address? […] Why isn’t he using all the tools at his disposal?

On this Mulvaney fired back saying that Trump knows what he’s doing, and how to do it, better than they do. Because Dear Leader is infallible and only wants to protect his weak and frightened children.

And that’s what passes for a fair and balanced interview on Fox News. The program’s hosts badger their guest with opinionated viewpoints aimed at pushing him toward their radical perspectives. And the guest complies with answers that feed right into the craziness of their right-wing agenda. But in the end none of this matters because Trump will only tweet something that contradicts them and himself and makes no sense. And his glassy-eyed cult followers will lap it up like gruel and be grateful for whatever morsels he tosses to them.

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

Trump Uses the Shutdown He Created to Evade Legal Liability and Possible Impeachment

The United States federal government has now been shut down for five days during the holiday season. While Donald Trump initially said that he would proudly take responsibility for the shutdown, he has lately been frantically trying to shift blame to the Democrats, even though he explicitly promised not to do that. It’s an act of such brazen duplicity that it should serve as a warning to anyone considering putting any trust in anything that Trump says.

Donald Trump Impeach

However, Trump’s exploitative nature had not yet begun to peak. It is now being reported that he has his government lawyers citing the shutdown that he is wholly responsible for as an excuse to delay a civil trial into his financial corruption. According to Politico:

“Justice Department attorneys representing Trump asked a federal appeals court on Wednesday to postpone indefinitely all further filings in an appeal related to a suit that the governments of Maryland and Washington, D.C., filed over Trump’s alleged violation of the Constitution’s ban on foreign emoluments.

“The government’s brief is not due until Jan. 22, but DOJ lawyers asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Richmond, Va., to put the appeal on ice until the shutdown ends.”

Trump’s lawyers are arguing that the shutdown could result in the furlough of some federal employees whose services might be required for the lawsuit. Of course, anyone whose work is deemed critical would still be required to report for work. And a case involving unlawful activity by the President that could lead to impeachment would surely meet that criteria.

The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution prohibits gifts to the President from foreign and state governments. The lawsuit filed by Maryland and the District of Columbia alleges that Trump is profiting from such expenditures at his Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Many representatives of foreign governments have admitted that they are booking rooms at the hotel in order to curry favor from Trump. And the self-dealing also extends to other Trump properties and other organizations patronizing them, including the Republican National Committee.

For Trump be exploiting the shutdown this way is further evidence of his arrogance, entitlement, and disrespect for the law. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will be out of work – or working for no pay – during the holidays. They will be struggling to buy groceries and pay mortgages while Trump exploits their hardship to avoid accountability for his criminal behavior. On Thursday morning he even tweeted a veiled threat to hold Democrats hostage if he doesn’t get his way:

First of all, how did he determine that “most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?” And what if they are? Is he implying that it’s his intention to bring hardship to federal employees based on their political party? Perhaps what’s more important is that most of the people harmed by the shutdown are likely Trump supporters in red states who are reliant on government services. Not that he actually cares about any of them.

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

Trump’s transparent prejudices and political vengefulness is not only improper, it’s callous and sickening. But his attempt to profit from the suffering of others by asking the court to delay judgment on his malfeasance is cynical and self-serving. He must not be permitted to tarnish justice by turning his shutdown policy into a legal excuse to evade the punishment he so richly deserves.

Fox ‘News’ Fluffs Trump in the ‘Bone Spurs’ Debate with Ultra-Biased Headline and Story

From the earliest days of Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions he has transparently tried to exploit the men and women of the military for his electoral advantage. Never mind that his actual actions were disrespectful, and even illegal (his charities withheld promised funds) as he insulted veterans like John McCain, Gold Star families, and the fallen who he refused to pay tribute to. And until today, Trump had never even visited the troops in a war zone, and only conceded to take the trip after being shamed into it for months.

Donald Trump, Saving Cadet Bone Spurs

Trump’s visit to Iraq today was a blatantly self-serving affair that appears to have been done for the sole purpose of producing a propaganda video of him cavorting with real life soldiers. The video was just a montage of Trump smiling and shaking hands set to a soundtrack of the right’s favorite syrupy paean to patriotism, “God Bless the U.S.A.”

But perhaps the most notable hypocrisy of the Trump era has been his own evasion of military service via a series of academic deferrals and a highly suspicious medical exemption for “bone spurs” in his heel that never prevented him from playing baseball or golf. On Wednesday the New York Times published a story that examined the bone spurs controversy. They interviewed the daughters of the doctor who is reported to have given Trump his medical excuse to deploy to Manhattan’s Studio 54 instead of Vietnam. The story said in part that the daughters of the doctor…

“…say their father often told the story of coming to the aid of a young Mr. Trump during the Vietnam War as a favor to his father.

“‘I know it was a favor,’ said one daughter, Dr. Elysa Braunstein, 56, who along with her sister, Sharon Kessel, 53, shared the family’s account for the first time publicly when contacted by The New York Times.”

The Times found that Dr. Braunstein rented an office in the Edgerton Apartments in Jamaica, Queens, which was owned by Trump’s father Fred in the 1960s. The daughter’s claimed that their father received special treatment from the Trumps following his “favor” for young Donald.

So naturally, Fox News rushed in to shield Trump from any of the criticism resulting from the article in the Times. On the Fox News website they published a story with an unfair and unbalanced headline stating that: “New York Times tracks down anti-Trump children of deceased doctor to run uncorroborated Vietnam allegations.”

Wow. That really packs in the pro-Trump bias by the shovel full. First, the story attempts to dismiss what the women said by casting them as anti-Trump, implying they did this to deliberately harm the President. However, they have said nothing about this for decades and only spoke after the Times found them and asked for their account of what happened.

Secondly, the story is not uncorroborated. It originated from an anonymous tip that didn’t include any details or names. The Times then did the legwork to fill in the blanks. So what the daughters told them was, in fact, the corroboration of the original tip.

The Fox News article noted that Trump himself has never provided any details of his alleged infirmity because he said that he didn’t recall them. This from the man who says he has the world’s greatest memory (which he later didn’t remember saying). And Fox wasn’t at all curious as to why there was no evidence that the doctor had ever examined Trump before disqualifying him from military service.

Finally, the Fox News article only solicited two other persons for comments on the story. One was Dan Gainor, of the uber-rightist Media Research Center, who said “I’m surprised the paper didn’t arrange a séance and quiz the late doctor, too.” The other was conservative strategist Chris Barron, whose comment attacked the Times saying that “The New York Times is essentially indistinguishable from a gossip rag you’d find in the super market checkout line.” That’s it. No other quotes were provided from any left of center or neutral sources.

Trump’s recent treatment of Secretary of Defense James Mattis is proof of his disrespect for the military. And an interview he did last month on Fox News (wherein he bashed Adm. William McRaven, a former Navy Seal who helped dispose of both Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden) shows that he only supports the military when they bow down to him. But on Fox News Trump is still a hero whose evasion of the draft was a trivial matter that shouldn’t be explored by the real news media. And any attempts to do so will be met with biased retorts that offer zero substance to support their claims, but fit nicely in the Trumpian era theme of fake news.

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

Wishing Donald Trump a Blue Christmas and Many More Blue Waves for the New Year

The current President of the United States has made this holiday season more difficult than it ever needed to be. Donald Trump has shutdown the government over an idiotic and ineffective vanity border wall that most Americans don’t want. He has tried feverishly to sabotage the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) that so many citizens depend upon. He has locked up babies in cages and blocked frightened refugees from seeking asylum in the land of the free. His ignorant policies on taxes and tariffs has resulted in the worst December stock market decline since the Great Depression. And his attacks on the media have endangered the lives of journalists in the U.S. and around the world.

Donald Trump, Christmas, Wonderful Life

So Happy Holidays everyone. And stay strong. This is the season of giving and sharing and peace on Earth (for as long it’s still inhabitable). And there is great hope for the coming new year. The Blue Wave in November that swept Democrats into power in the House of Representatives, and many state houses as well, is continuing to build momentum. The truth is coming out about Trump’s cornucopia of crime, conspiracy, and collusion. The special counsel, Robert Mueller, will release his report, and perhaps throw in some new indictments. So while the dark cloud that Trump has cast over the world has not dissipated, it is beginning to break apart as many of Trump’s former supporters, and even Fox News, are showing cracks in their devotion to Dear Leader.

This Christmas may not be the brightest for the children of the nation. An unlucky few were even subjected to the horror of having to talk to Trump as part of the annual NORAD Santa Tracking project. As might be expected, Trump was wholly inappropriate during the calls to kids when he asked the very first caller this dream-crushing question:

Can we get a restraining order to prohibit Trump from having contact with all children? He’s a menace who seems utterly incapable of interacting in a manner consistent with human decency. A few weeks ago Fox News reported that a teacher who told kids that Santa isn’t real was fired. Can that punishment be imposed on Trump? If it was bad enough to warrant the termination of a local teacher, how much worse is it when it’s done before the entire country by it’s alleged leader?

Behavior like this makes one wonder whether Trump’s dimwitted cult followers are watching the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” and thinking that the evil Mr. Potter is the hero. But despite these examples of presidential cretinism, most American families are enjoying the company of loved ones today. They are opening presents and dining on beautifully prepared feasts. And our best wishes are extended to them all. But let’s not forget the less fortunate, who are still part of our national family.

So in the spirit of the season, News Corpse would like to continue its holiday tradition by presenting a musical gift for the forsaken and forlorn. This is for all of those who are not huddled around a dead tree today, buried in colorfully wrapped packages. It’s for the cynics who won’t accept the notion that the birth of an alleged savior is an excuse to exchange material goods or fruitcakes that nobody likes. It is for outcasts and rebels and non-believers who are puzzled by the greed and commercialism that permeates the season. And yes, it’s for those who still believe that peace and goodwill are morally superior to profit and oppression. Here is Miles Davis and Bob Dorough performing the heartwarming traditional Christmas ballad Blue Xmas:

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

Trump’s Ludicrous Demand to ‘Feel’ the Stock Market Proves He’s an Economic Imbecile

One of Donald Trump’s favorite subjects to brag about is the performance of the stock market since he became president. He has proclaimed himself to be a brilliant economist who knows more than anyone else, despite his six (at least) bankruptcies. And he promised that he would achieve historic gains through the sheer strength of his will. But given the recent turn of events in the markets, Trump is resorting to his customary back-up raving: Blaming anyone and everyone other than himself for the bad news.

Donald Trump, Stock Market

What’s happening in the markets was perfectly predictable. In fact, it was predicted here on News Corpse at the beginning of this year in a warning to Trump not to rest his laurels on the market’s performance:

“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 chose to ignore these warnings. Instead he ventured off on a campaign of idiotic initiatives intended to make cosmetic improvements in the state of the economy. That failed bigly. Trump’s agenda was centered on three actions that informed economists knew wouldn’t work.

First there was his Tax Scam, a reform bill that provided most of its benefits to corporations and the wealthy.But it was also an unnecessary stimulus to an economy that was already overheated and it produced new debt in excess of $1.5 trillion, which makes investors nervous about rising inflation and interest rates.

When an economic stimulus is used at a time when it isn’t needed, that means that it won’t be available in the future when it might actually be useful. That led to investors looking forward to a future market correction, or even a bear market, and the government would have no tools to respond or mitigate the damage.

Second, Trump declared a trade war on pretty much the rest of the civilized world. His attacks extended to old foes/competitors like China, but also to friends and trading partners like Mexico and Canada. The result was a weakening of economic alliances and cooperative trade relations. Trump’s revamped NAFTA is a perfect example of a trade agreement that did nothing but alienate our allies. It also harmed the economies of those nations, which made them less able to consume American goods and services.

Finally, Trump’s tariffs accomplished only the price inflation of imported products into the U.S. It means that Americans would have to pay more for the same goods because the tariff penalties would be added to the cost for consumers. That is not the way to boost economic activity domestically, or exports to foreign markets who are responding with retaliatory tariffs of their own.

All of this has resulted in a stock market that is suffering its worst December since the Great Depression. It’s down 2,000 points this week, and 5,000 this quarter. As noted above, this was predictable. But Trump chose to lie to the American people about his divine ability to push the market ever upward. That is already causing some serious harm to the people who were foolish enough to believe him.

In the meantime, Trump is tweeting incoherently about “feeling” the market. In one tweet he literally said to “Feel the market, don’t just go by meaningless numbers,” and in another he said “The only problem our economy has is the Fed. They don’t have a feel for the Market.” Really? The market is one of the most data-driven institutions in the public sphere. And while it can sometimes react emotionally, it always settles into what the numbers tell us.

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

Trump’s childishly simplistic understanding of the market (and everything else) is reminiscent of Stephen Colbert’s admonition to “go by the gut” rather than the brain. Which Trump agreed with saying that “My gut tells me more than anybody’s brain.” No, really, that’s exactly what he said:

Donald Trump’s Reality TV Presidency: Defense Secretary is the Latest ‘Acting’ Cabinet Official

With all of the controversy and melodrama that emanates daily from the historically chaotic White House of Donald Trump, it’s easy to forget his humble beginnings as the host of a reality TV game show. That was not a recreational pastime for a bored billionaire. It was his job for fourteen years. A real billionaire wouldn’t have had the time for that.


As president Trump has transferred his experience in television playacting to his new job in Washington. And it’s painfully obvious that his skills are utterly inappropriate for his new duties. He spends most of time watching TV (Fox News) and conducting made-for-the-camera photo-ops with bill signings and human props. His press conferences are a circus wherein he replaces substantive dialogue with insults and rambling incoherence.

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Trump runs the White House like he would a fictional sitcom about a bumbling chief executive. Many of his senior staffers were actually recruited from television (again, Fox News), and most have little experience for the assignments they’re given. His Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications is the disgraced former president of Fox News, Bill Shine.

On Sunday morning Trump Announced the latest recipient of his “rose” for a critical post in his cabinet. He is making Patrick Shanahan the “Acting” Secretary of Defense. This follows the resignation of Gen. James Mattis, whose departure was motivated by Trump’s recklessness and ignorance. Mattis advised the President that his resignation would be effective February 28, 2019. But now, in a fit of pettiness and ego-pacification, Trump is moving that up to December 31.

What’s more troubling is Trump’s newfound compulsion to replace permanent, senate-confirmed cabinet officials with unqualified “Acting” stand-ins for the real thing. Currently serving in Trump’s pretend regime are an “Acting” Chief of Staff (Mick Mulvaney), Attorney General (Matthew Whitaker), EPA Director (Andrew Wheeler), Interior Secretary (David Bernhardt), and now Shanahan as Acting Secretary of Defense. All to serve our Reality TV Acting “President.”

This means that nearly twenty percent of the President’s cabinet is serving in an “acting” capacity. They have not been vetted or confirmed by the Senate as required by law. The reasons for this include Trump’s lack of knowledge of the sort of qualified people to fill these positions. Also problematic for Trump is the fact that qualified nominees don’t want to get anywhere near this president or his defective, criminally-tainted White House.

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

So now America is stuck with third rate understudies for governing officials who are likely to be merely surrogates for Trump’s dementia. Mulvaney as chief of staff is the perfect example of that. He’s a rabidly partisan Republican Nationalist who slobbers over Trump now even though he called him a terrible human being just two days before the election. We have to wonder when the country will have competent leadership again that is serving in accordance with the law. But that will probably have to wait until the law catches up with Trump and ousts him from the office he stole with the help of his Russian comrades.

Senile or Surrender? Trump’s Rambling Tweets Don’t Mention Border Wall Funds to End Shutdown

There has been considerable speculation for the past couple of years about whether Donald Trump is mentally stable or capable of performing his duties as president. His psychological condition has been questioned by mental health professionals and politicians from across the ideological spectrum. And now as the U.S. government is being shutdown over funding for Trump’s vanity border wall, those questions are getting harder to ignore.

Donald Trump

In a series of tweets on Saturday morning, the President predictably ranted about the shutdown that he previously took pride in creating. Even after saying on national television that he would take full responsibility for it, Trump tried to blame the Democrats who had already agreed to a Continuing Resolution with senate Republicans. It was only after wingnut rightist media cranks like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends complained that Trump reversed course and reneged on his word to sign the CR. But his morning’s tweetfest might be revealing some weakness in his resolve:

Setting aside the obvious lie that Trump is “working hard,” it’s notable how he is now tying the debate to only “Border Security.” Didn’t he leave something out there? Trump didn’t mention his wall in that tweet or the others that followed. And border security (minus the wall) has always been a part of the Democratic platform. Of course his omission may just be due to his inability to concentrate on anything for more than half a minute, unless it’s a mirror. But it might also be an indication that he recognizes that Democrats are not going to pacify his ego and allocate funds for a useless wall.

Trump later tweeted that he would having a big lunch with a bunch of people to discuss the matter. It’s comforting to know that he will be well fed while tens of thousands of Americans will not be getting paid this holiday season.

In addition to the border wall issue, Trump also tweeted about his intention to retreat from Syria. His remarks were especially reckless and dangerous:

First of all, ISIS is far from defeated. Estimates by his own administration say there are 30,000 ISIS fighters in Syria. On Friday his press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that Trump had destroyed 99.9 percent of ISIS in Syria. If you do the math, that would mean that they started out with thirty million – which is patently absurd because that’s almost twice the total population of Syria.

However, Trump’s remarks that Turkey “should be able to easily take care of whatever remains,” are even more troubling. He’s right if what he means is that Turkey will take care of (i.e. slaughter) our allies, the Kurds, as soon as we leave. And he doesn’t bother to mention the fact that our retreat will leave the country to Russia and Iran for the foreseeable future. Vladimir Putin even praised Trump’s decision to run away. And it’s among the reasons that Defense Secretary Mattis resigned in protest, along with the U.S. special envoy to the coalition to defeat ISIS.

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

So as usual, Donald Trump is doing everything he can to please our enemies (especially Russia), while working overtime to harm our allies. And his efforts on the domestic front are even worse as he shuts down the government for Christmas and shows no sensitivity for the plight of fellow citizens. With every day Trump demonstrates that he is working against the American people (who don’t want the wall), and solely on his own behalf. Including even more instances of obstruction of justice to escape accountability for his many criminal activities. It’s long past time for him to go.