Trump Has ‘No Confidence’ in the Intelligence Chiefs He Appointed, But Relies Heavily on Fox News

The United States is undergoing a unique adventure in surreal governance. Its president has assembled a team of advisors and cabinet department heads that he is publicly assailing as ignorant and lacking the knowledge and abilities to perform the jobs to which he appointed them. Donald Trump is literally calling his own Intelligence chiefs incompetent.

Donald Trump

This is the sort of breakdown that would be laughably unbelievable in political fiction. If Trump has such little respect for the people he appointed, why does he keep them in their jobs? Wouldn’t a sane president remove people who he thought were getting everything wrong so that they wouldn’t continue to put the country at risk? Would a mentally stable leader tweet that his “Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive,” and then follow that up with another tweet saying that they “should go back to school,” and then allow them to keep their highly sensitive jobs in national security?

Trump was long ago proven to be a malignant narcissist who regards himself as the most brilliant expert at whatever he happens to be talking about at the moment. Despite having evaded military service with five phony deferments, he said that he knows more about military affairs than “his” generals. And on Thursday morning when he was asked a question about his Intelligence team, it resulted in this bizarre exchange (video below):

Reporter: Do you have confidence with [CIA Director] Gina Haspel and [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats to give you good advice?
Trump: No, I disagree with certain things that they said. I think I’m right, but time will prove that. Time will prove me right, probably.

So Trump has no confidence in his CIA director or his director of National Intelligence. And he followed that up with a rambling array of nonsense regarding Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, and North Korea. Literally none of it had any resemblance to reality. Trump has cloaked himself in a shroud of fantastical fiction that he either has convinced himself is true, or is deliberately lying about in order to advance some perverse narrative that is contrary to the interests of the nation. When John Brennan, a former CIA director who had the confidence of his boss, heard about Trump’s remarks, he tweeted that it “shows the extent of [his] intellectual bankruptcy” and that “All Americans, especially members of Congress, need to understand the danger [Trump] poses to our national security.”

So if Trump isn’t getting his advice on these critical issues from the experts he appointed, where is he getting it? Is it coming from his pal Vladimir Putin, with whom he’s been meeting in secret without any other Americans present to record their conversation or refer it to professionals for analysis? Or is he getting it from his shadow cabinet at Fox News: Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Steve Doocy, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, etc.? Could there be a more pathetic batch of know-nothings in such positions of power?

Thursday afternoon Trump returned to his Twittering to announce that he had a meeting and that everything was now copacetic with his intelligence team. He said that the media “mischaracterized” what they said during the Senate hearing on Wednesday. But it was Trump who said that he had “no confidence” in his team, not the press. And he’s been saying it for quite a while. These tweets are obviously an attempt to repair the damage his big mouth got him into. But anyone who’s buying it is terminally naive.

In the end, it’s America that is losing out by Trump’s reliance on foreign adversaries and propaganda shills at State TV (aka Fox News). Trump is selling out the nation for reasons that are not fully known yet, but probably have something to do with his indebtedness to Russian oligarchs, his clandestine conspiracy with Kremlin operatives to steal the election, or some other means by which he has been compromised and forced to serve as a puppet to our foes. And at this point, the only reason that the Intelligence community hasn’t resigned en masse is that they feel a patriotic duty to shield the country from the potential harm that Trump represents as its most virulent national security threat.

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

Rachel Maddow Leads MSNBC to a January Freeze-Out of Sean Hannity and State TV (aka Fox News)

The new year has started off with big bang for MSNBC and its star anchor Rachel Maddow. For the past couple months her program has been smothering her Fox News competition, Sean Hannity. It began immediately after the midterm election on November 6th and hasn’t slowed down since. And January’s results confirm that it was no fluke. Maddow has definitely caught fire and her sharp analysis and engaging manner of unfolding complex subjects is clearly winning over viewers.

Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity

Some of the highlights from the January Nielsen ratings include that Maddow was the number one non-sports show on all of cable, not just just news programming. She dominated in both total audience and the advertiser friendly 25-54 demographic. Her success helped drive up the performance of her primetime colleagues Lawrence O’Donnell and Brian Williams. In fact, that bloc of programming won every hour for the entire month.

Maddow’s show contributed to MSNBC’s impressive audience growth. It gained fourteen percent in total day, and six percent in prime time versus January 2018. During the same time period Fox News declined significantly. It’s total day viewership was down eleven percent. In primetime Fox News lost ten percent. And those numbers were even worse for in the 25-54 demo: down twenty-one percent total day, and twenty percent in the demo.

Almost as satisfying as Maddow’s success is the failure of Fox’s Sean Hannity. Once the unchallenged cable news champ, Hannity’s total ratings crashed nineteen percent since the midterms in November. His fall in the demo was a massive thirty percent. His Fox News lead-in, Tucker Carlson, didn’t fare any better. He was Fox’s top program, but he trailed Maddow by seventeen percent in total audience, and by nineteen percent in the demo. It’s a relief to know that America’s television viewers are recognizing the hatred and racism that emanates from the likes of Carlson and Hannity and are changing the channel.

What’s more, Carlson and Laura Ingraham are suffering from an advertiser exodus due to their offensive positions. Carlson mainly for his open advocacy of white nationalism. And Ingraham for her attacks on the kids from Parkland, Florida, who survived the school shooting last year. So their shows are not only losing viewers, but they aren’t making any money either.

In addition to the solid wins by Maddow, there was good news in January’s numbers for the rest of the MSNBC roster. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and The 11th Hour with Brian Williams were both number one in both total audience and the demo. Morning Joe rose fourteen percent while its competition, Fox and Friends, sunk ten percent. Hardball was number one in total viewers. And the programs hosted by Chris Hayes, Ari Melber, Stephanie Ruhle, Hallie Jackson, Craig Melvin, Andrea Mitchell, Ali Velshi, and Katy Tur all posted record numbers. One particular standout was Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace, which was number one in total viewers, beating perennial Fox News host Neil Cavuto.

The days of Fox News dominating the cable news ratings are definitely over. And thanks for that should go to Rachel Maddow for redefining how a successful news program can be produced. She does not follow the daily tweetstorming of the President, and never hosts panels of belligerent partisans yelling over each other. She presents detailed examinations of serious issues in an honest and accessible way, and respects her audience.

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

But some thanks should also go to Donald Trump for behaving like a loathsome cretin whose flagrant lies are driving away whatever few rational thinkers are still left watching Fox News. Those who remain are the barrel-bottom crud who enjoy wallowing in ignorance and will never be pried loose from their cult worship.

Trump Freaks Out Over Cliff Sims: Nothing Screams ‘GUILTY’ Like Threatening a ‘Low Level Gofer’

The walls are closing in around Donald Trump. And they aren’t the walls that he is obsessed with building on the southern border. More of the criminal associates that comprise Trump’s inner circle are being swept up by the long arm of justice every day. And with each new arrest and indictment the evidence of Trump’s culpability becomes more apparent.

Donald Trump, Cliff Sims

The latest accomplice to Trump’s treason to face the music is Roger Stone. He has been a close friend and associate of Trump’s for decades. Now he has been charged with lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. Trump’s defenders celebrate the fact that the word “collusion” isn’t spelled out in the indictment. But what do they think Stone was lying about? What do think he was threatening other witnesses about? What unlawful activity do they think he was endeavoring to obstruct?

As a result of this devastating blow to Trump World, the President is behaving typically frightened by another event that puts him at great risk. And consistent with his pattern of behavior, he is lashing out in desperation and hoping it takes some of the heat off. But his actions expose his abject fear.

Cliff Sims was Trump’s White House Communications Director for Message Strategy. That’s a post within the White House Press Office where Sims worked closely with Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, and Bill Shine. He held the position for about a year and a half, which is a lifetime in the Trump Administration. Sims just published a book about his experience (Team of Vipers) that is not sufficiently adoring of Trump. Consequently, on Tuesday morning Trump posted a tweet attacking and threatening Sims, who Trump now pretends he hardly knew:

This raises a couple of obvious questions. First, precisely how many gofers and “coffee boys” work for Trump? It seems like everyone who has written a tell-all book has turned out to be a nobody who Trump never met, despite all the photos of them together. And second, how does Trump know the book is boring since he surely hasn’t read it. He hasn’t even read the three dozen books he endorsed in his Book Club for Dummies.

More importantly, Trump’s tweet contains an overt threat. His reference to a “non-disclosure agreement” can only be interpreted as Trump’s intention of filing a lawsuit against Sims for speaking out. And that isn’t an idle threat. There is already a notice posted by Michael Glassner, the Chief Operating Officer of Donald J. Trump for President, announcing that “The Trump campaign is preparing to file suit against Cliff Sims for violating our NDA.”

There are some obvious flaws to that legal strategy. First of all, how can they sue for a violation of a non-disclosure agreement if the the President himself is asserting that the book consists of “made up stories and fiction”? There is no violation if no truthful information is revealed. So either what’s in the book is actually true, or the lawsuit is null and void.

What’s more, non-disclosure agreements are not permitted for White House staff. That’s because they do not work for the President. They work for the United States government. So the government would have to be the plaintiff in the lawsuit. But the First Amendment prohibits the government from “abridging the freedom of speech.” The government can’t sue someone for exercising their constitutional rights.

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

So Trump is acting out in precisely the manner you might expect from anyone who is flagrantly guilty of serious crimes. He is trying to deflect blame to other less powerful subordinates. He is hoping that the public and the press can be distracted by his frantic gesturing toward some other shiny object. And he is pretending that he has no relationship with those who are implicating him, despite the fact that that relationship is public knowledge and well documented. It’s a sad and pathetic display of desperation that only makes Trump look more guilty. However, Sims should send Trump a “Thank You” note for helping to sell a few thousand more of his books.

Trump Snubs Howard Schultz Because America Already Has ‘Not the Smartest Person’ as President

As the 2020 presidential campaign season begins to unfold, there is one prospective candidate who has never stopped running for four straight years: Donald Trump. He announced his reelection campaign before he was even inaugurated. And for the entirety of his first two years in office Trump has postured as only a candidate would by attacking his past and future opponents and boasting interminably about his imagined accomplishments.

Donald Trump

Enter former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz. The billionaire baron of a premium coffee chain told Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes that he is seriously considering an independent campaign for president. Should he decide to run he will present Trump with the kind of political gift that can’t be bought with money. He would have zero chance of winning. However, he could dilute the anti-Trump vote sufficiently to allow Trump to prevail in a close race. The likelihood of that scenario is already earning Schultz the contempt of every American who is devoted to returning the nation to sane, responsible leadership. But it has also earned predictable whining from the notoriously infantile current occupant of the White House:

First of all, due to Trump’s childish simplicity it is way too easy to observe his pedantic attempts at psychological manipulation. He is essentially calling Schultz a “chicken” in order to bait him into running. Trump might was well stick his tiny hands in his armpits, flap his flabby elbows and start squawking. Clearly he needs Schultz to run and he’s doing what he can to encourage him.

Nevertheless, Trump has provided a pretty darn good reason why Schultz should pass up this opportunity. In maligning the intelligence of Schultz, Trump reminded everybody that America already has “not the smartest person” as President. That’s a hill that Trump can confidently be the king of. So what would be the incentive to replace him with someone who couldn’t claim that high level of stupidity? There is only room for one Village Idiot and Trump’s got that pegged.

As if to underline his profound idiocy, Trump even brought up the fact that Starbucks is a tenant in his Manhattan high rise. This can only only serve to remind people of the scores of financial ethical traps that he is waltzing through. Most are much more problematic than this one, and include potentially unlawful payments from Kremlin-affiliated Russian oligarchs, Saudi potentates, and other conflicted foreign parties. It’s also pretty dumb in that Trump is revealing that he doesn’t know that Schultz is no longer running Starbucks.

In addition to the tweet about Schultz, Trump also lashed out at his own White House propaganda division, Fox News. Apparently a couple of correspondents had the temerity to accurately portray Trump’s caving on the government shutdown without getting funding for his precious vanity wall. And any criticism of Trump results in immediate punishment from the Crybaby Tweetster:

Let’s just set aside Trump’s impression of good poll numbers that are actually the worst ever recorded. What’s interesting here is that he’s surprised because he “Never thought I’d say this” about Fox News. That’s an admission that he has an open bias in favor of of his Fox friends that’s so strong it even shocked him that it could be strained in any way. However, even that is untrue. Trump has said much worse when he felt that Fox News wasn’t being sufficiently deferential to him. For instance:

That’s just more evidence that Trump will praise anyone who sucks up him, and insult anyone who criticizes him. Even if it’s the same person. And his lizard brain is too weak to notice it. All of which firmly cements his position as “not the smartest person.” In fact, they should retire the category because at this point it’s clear that he really doesn’t have any credible competition.

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

Trump Lies About Voter Fraud In Desperate Attempt to Recover from Caving on the Shutdown

If there is one thing that Donald Trump can’t stand, it’s being exposed as the loser that he really is. He refuses to acknowledge his six (at least) bankruptcies. He pretends that he wasn’t played for a fool by Kim Jong Un. And the trail of failures – from his businesses to his marriages to his politics – just gets longer with each passing day.

Donald Trump, Loser

Consequently, getting beat to shreds by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (who he deridingly calls “Nancy”) is surely gnawing at his substantial gut. He was forced to abandon his pledge to decline any deal with Congress that didn’t include his precious vanity wall – a wall that by his own argument isn’t necessary. Nevertheless, he insisted on building it in order to hurt innocent people.

Now, among the lies he’s telling about the imaginary “emergency” on the border, and his blatant scam in statements explaining how it is being paid for, Trump is diverting to an old and utterly fictional narrative on voter fraud to distract the public and the press from his recent embarrassment at the hands of Speaker Pelosi. It’s a pathetic diversionary device considering his previous attempts resulted in the humiliating disbandment of his phony election “integrity” commission because it couldn’t find any evidence of voter fraud. Undeterred by this shame, Trump tweeted this:

This is, to no one’s surprise, a bundle of outright lies, presumably gathered from his obsessive concentration on Fox News. The data was produced by Ken Paxton, the Texas Secretary of State who has been trying furiously to push the unsupportable case for rampant voter fraud. And Trump, of his own accord, tries to drag California into the controversy without the slightest bit of proof.

However, the Texas Tribune quickly came forward with some of those pesky facts that journalists rely on in order to debunk Trump’s dishonest ranting. In their analysis they wrote that:

“In an advisory released Friday afternoon, the office said it was flagging individuals who had provided the Texas Department of Public Safety with some form of documentation — including a work visa or a green card — that showed they were not a citizen when they were obtaining a driver’s license or an ID card. Among the individuals flagged, about 58,000 individuals cast a ballot in one or more elections from 1996 to 2018, the secretary of state’s office said.” […]

“It’s possible that individuals flagged by the state — who provided DPS with documentation that indicated they were authorized to be in the country — could have become naturalized citizens since they obtained their driver’s license or ID card.”

So while Trump is implying that rampant voter fraud took place in recent elections, the information that he’s basing his lies on was actually accumulated over a period of twenty-two years. And during that time anyone who might have not been a citizen could have become naturalized before ever casting a vote. The Texas Secretary of State didn’t bother to check a single voter to see whether or not they were a citizen at the time they voted. But he still released a report that implied that all 58,000 voted illegally.

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

Of course, Trump parroted this irresponsible and poorly documented report as if it were valid. Because it fits nicely into his flagrantly racist narrative that nefarious brown-skinned villains are plotting to invade and take over America. And it also serves as convenient distraction from his border wall debacle that is, not coincidentally, aimed at maligning the same group of people. At least Trump is consistent in his raging dishonesty and bigotry.

Donald Trump Just Made a Fantastic Argument Against Building His Idiotic Border Wall

Well, it took thirty-five days and cost about six billion dollars, and incalculable personal suffering, but the Trump Shutdown is now over (temporarily). To say that Donald Trump caved is putting it mildly. He folded like a counterfeit three dollar bill under pressure from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (who he calls “Nancy”). And true to form, he emerged from the White House to declare victory in an impotent display of pathetic groveling and forced bluster.

Donald Trump

During Trump’s concession speech he revealed another repulsive side of himself as he admitted that the purpose of his wall is to hurt already suffering refugees by killing any “glimmer of hope” they might have for safety and freedom. And on Saturday morning he followed that up with a Twitter tantrum that was rife with callousness and delusion. This tweetstorm featured one posting that stood out as being a pretty darn good argument against the vanity wall that Trump has been so obsessed with:

So if we have already turned away two “caravans” of asylum seekers, then why do we need to spend billions of dollars on a wall that most experts say will be useless? The next caravan can be handled exactly the way the previous two were, without the expense or the pain associated with shutting down the government in an infantile rage.

Trump has actually admitted that our current ability to secure the border is perfectly adequate. There can be no credible argument that there is anything resembling an emergency at the border. So his yappy whining has no purpose other than to salve his ego. But he won’t let that stop him:

Let’s set aside Trump’s deranged assertion that he didn’t concede. The larger point he is making here is that he finally recognizes that the shutdown he was proud to impose was actually causing great harm and misery to millions of innocent people. But in the same sentence he callously threatens to do it all over again, unconcerned about inflicting more pain. He’s like the bully who uses his victim’s hand to slap his own face while taunting “Why do you keep shutting down yourself? Why do you keep shutting down yourself?”

This isn’t the first time that Trump’s argument for his wall has backfired on him. While his original campaign promise was that Mexico would pay for wall, he has failed utterly to bring that about. Instead, he has since insisted that the wall is being paid for by several different means in addition to Mexico, including: It would pay for itself, presumably by reducing unspecified expenditures on law enforcement; The new trade deal between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, which has nothing to do with wall funding as all the financial benefits of such a deal go to private industry; And the American taxpayer from whom he is currently demanding payment under threat of shutting down our government or declaring an unconstitutional national emergency.

So that’s four different payments for the same wall. How is that not a con game that would land anyone else in jail? Especially since the wall isn’t needed in the first place as Trump has now conceded on Twitter. And along with that concession, Trump has provided a couple of tweeted endorsements that are as phony as a con man’s paid shills. The first is by Fox News regular Matt Schlapp, who also happens to be married to Mercedes Schlapp, the White House Director of Strategic Communications. And the second is a video produced by the Daily Caller News Foundation, which is run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. So these are hardly independent affirmations of Trump’s wall fetish.

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

The more Trump talks and/or tweets, the less Democrats need to make the case against Trump’s wall. He’s doing a mighty fine job of that all by himself. And the last person who would be surprised by that is special counsel Robert Mueller, who has seen Trump’s public statements as some of the most incriminating pieces of evidence against him, particularly with regard to obstruction of justice. This is just how Trump operates. He is so consumed by his narcissism that he truly believes that everything he says is brilliant and furthers his objectives. By the time he finds out how wrong he is, it will be too late.

Trump Brags that His Wall Will Kill the ‘Glimmer of Hope’ that Refugees Have to Be Safe and Free

After thirty-five long and difficult days, the Trump Shutdown is coming to an inglorious end. Donald Trump vowed that he would not cave, but in the end that’s exactly what he did. He accepted a proposal that Democrats had offered a month ago, before the shutdown began. And it provides zero dollars for his precious vanity wall.

Donald Trump, Immigrant, Child

This is not, however, a final conclusion to the matter. It merely kicks the can down the block for three weeks when we will be faced with the same debate over Trump’s insistence on a useless wall. Trump even threatened to shut down the government again, or declare an unconstitutional national “emergency” if he doesn’t get his way next month. So no one should get comfortable, particularly if you’re a federal employee.

In his speech announcing the temporary agreement to reopen the government, Trump spent most of his time lauding the imaginary benefits of a border wall. He imbued it with magical powers to eliminate drugs and human trafficking. He said it would reduce crime, even though these immigrants commit fewer crimes than native born citizens. But perhaps the most repulsive part of his statement was one that illustrated just how callous and uncaring he is with regard to real human suffering (video below). Trump asserted that among the benefits of a wall is that…

“They save good people from attempting a very dangerous journey from other countries. Thousands of miles because they think they have a glimmer of hope of coming through. With a wall they don’t have that hope.”

So Trump is actually advancing as a positive argument for his wall that it will extinguish the hope of refugees who are fleeing violence and poverty in their countries of origin. How is that representative of the American Dream that brought generations of people escaping tyranny and torture to the shores of “the land of the free”? Trump declares proudly that his wall will mean that similar asylum seekers won’t have the hope that contributed so much to America’s greatness.

Not only is this attitude noxious and anti-American, but it ignores some obvious facts. If Trump acknowledges that these refugees are braving long and dangerous journeys, does he stop and think for a second about why? Clearly they would not undertake such an arduous task, often with young children, if the need wasn’t crucial to their survival. This isn’t a pleasure cruise they are enjoying. Trump knows that. He knows that these refugees are motivated by fear and hope, but he still thinks it’s appropriate, and even worthwhile, to strangle the hope out of these desperate souls.

Trump admits in his remarks that the refugees are “good people” who are “attempting a very dangerous journey.” And in his next breath he smugly asserts that the “glimmer of hope” to which they cling should be snuffed out with his “big, beautiful wall.” So what does he think they should do after that hope is extinguished? He doesn’t bother to say. Presumably they should just stay put and suffer and die quietly. Because for many of them, that’s the alternative. Do you think Trump cares?

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

Willfully Blind: Fox News Wonders ‘Where is the Russia Collusion?’ in Roger Stone Indictment

The walls continue to close in around Donald Trump and his criminal enterprise. And these aren’t the border walls over which he orchestrated history’s longest government shutdown. On Friday morning one of Trump’s longest known and closest associates, Roger Stone was arrested on seven counts that include lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. Charges that Trump would be wise to study up on.

Donald Trump, Roger Stone

The arrest and indictment of Stone was not unexpected. In fact, Stone himself had predicted it in May of last year. Most observant followers of the Mueller investigation have known for some time that Stone was a target of the probe and that he likely ran afoul of the law. Even Trump acknowledged Stone’s complicity and praised him for clamming up about the case in a tweet that could have been written by an old-school mob boss:

Meanwhile, Fox News immediately went to work fulfilling their mission to shield Trump from any and all criticism. In a series of reports they downplayed any significance of Stone’s indictment, presenting it with exactly the same framing as Trump did in his knee-jerk tweet:

For the record, no one “alerted CNN to be there.” They noticed some unusual activity at the Grand Jury and surmised that an indictment might be imminent, so they sent a crew to Stone’s home in Florida. And you have to wonder which drug dealers Trump was referring to who were treated better than Stone who was released a couple of hours after his arrest. As for the “Greatest Witch Hunt,” it surely is the most successful with dozens of indictments and guilty pleas, some by top officials in Trump’s campaign.

Steve Doocy, co-host of Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox and Friends, was dumbstruck by the charges against Stone. But more importantly, he couldn’t understand how anyone would see any hint of collusion in the charges against Stone:

“When you look at the seven counts from the Grand Jury – obstruction of an official investigation, false statements to Congress, and perhaps witness tampering – once again, where is the Russia collusion?”

Where is the collusion? It’s everywhere. It’s in each and every one of the charges Doocy just itemized. The obstruction of justice is specifically related to Stone’s efforts to cover his involvement in conspiring with the Russia-affiliated WikiLeaks to acquire and publish emails stolen from Hillary Clinton and her team. The false statements to Congress were specifically related to his denials of such involvement. And the witness tampering was also connected to his attempts to intimidate his co-conspirators into keeping quiet about these crimes committed on behalf of Trump.

The position of Fox News is remarkably tunnel-blind, even for them. Some pundits have even said that these indictments are good news for Stone and Trump. Because it’s always such good news to have one of your closest confidants arrested for multiple felonies. The narrative at Fox is that because the word “collusion” wasn’t spelled out in the text of the indictments, that there wasn’t any. But that is a fool’s interpretation considering that each of the indictments explicitly address the criminal conspiracy in Trump World.

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

No doubt Fox’s cult-bound audience will buy into their narrative, as will Trump. But that is a small minority of the population at large, and the more new revelations about the Russia probe come out, the more the American people are turning against him. He is currently sitting at record lows of approval (37%), and even his favorite pollster, the thoroughly biased Rasmussen, has him at 54% disapproval (46% strongly disapprove). So Fox’s viewers are, once again, living in a manufactured world that bears no resemblance to reality. They are going to be shocked when all the facts are finally revealed. Unless Fox claims that they are “alternative facts” and that it’s all “fake news.” Which you can bet on.

Trump’s Brain Shutdown: He Fails Pitifully to Grasp Pelosi’s Reply to Wilbur Ross on Food Banks

For much of the past two years there has been abundant talk about Donald Trump’s unfitness to serve as president. Professionals in the field of mental health have made shocking observations that suggest that he is suffering from a variety of psychological problems with varying degrees of severity. They include everything from Malignant Narcissism to Senile Dementia.

Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi

However, it doesn’t take a professional to notice some the mental infirmities that virtually scream out whenever Trump makes a public appearance or posts a comment on Twitter. His vocabulary is badly limited to a few “tremendous” words and phrases that he repeats frequently. “That I can tell you.” And his tendency to resort to childish insults and nicknames is evidence of a stunted emotional maturity. On Thursday morning Trump displayed another example of his failing cognitive skills in a furious tweet:

Judging by the context in Trump’s tweet, it would appear that he’s criticizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her inability to understand why he’s fighting so hard for a wall on the southern border. The only problem with that is that the remarks he is referring to had nothing whatsoever to do with that.

What Pelosi was responding to were comments by Trump’s Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross. During an interview on CNBC, Ross was asked about the sad occurrence of federal workers, furloughed by Trump’s government shutdown, having to visit food banks in order to provide for their families. He replied saying that “I don’t really quite understand why,” and suggested that they should just go out and get loans to tide them over. That strikingly insensitive response is what Pelosi was referencing when she said

“What do [Republicans] have? They have Wilbur Ross saying he doesn’t understand why when he was asked about people going to food lines and pantries and the rest. He says that he doesn’t understand why they have to do that. Is this the ‘let them eat cake’ kind of attitude, or ‘call your father for money?'”

So Pelosi was not saying that she didn’t understand the need for the wall. She wasn’t even saying that she didn’t understand anything. She was recounting Ross’ comments that it was he who didn’t understand. How could Trump have gotten that so terribly wrong? It wasn’t the least bit confusing.

The answer may have something to do with the obvious mental defects he is suffering from. Or it might be that he’s just dishonestly twisting Pelosi’s words to fit them into his own narrative. Then again, it could have something to do with Trump’s inability to deal with strong women that just threw him into a psychotic haze. After all, he has already had to bow down in submission to Pelosi with regard to the State of the Union address that she isn’t permitting him to give until the government is reopened. And it’s cute how his tweet says that he “will not Cave,” after just having done so a few hours earlier.

Trump is having a difficult time dealing with Pelosi. He couldn’t even make up a nasty nickname for her, so he settled for calling her “Nancy.” That’s pretty lame. What’s more, while he has no problem insulting the men in Congress that he doesn’t like, his “insults” directed at Pelosi are often more like compliments. Trump calls Democratic representatives her “puppets.” He even said that Pelosi “dominates” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. Those comments suggest strength on Pelosi’s part.

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

What’s more, when he was unhappy with the former GOP Speaker, Paul Ryan, Trump wasn’t shy about saying that he is a “very weak and ineffective leader.” But he never disparages Pelosi that way. There is clearly something constraining him. And from all of the available evidence, it looks very much like fear. And if so, it’s exactly the right way he should feel.

Fox News Compares Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Hitler and Stalin in Unhinged Rant

It’s always easy to tell who the Republican Nationalist Party is most afraid of. It’s the person they lie about most, and whose character they malign with the most vicious insults. Their obvious defensiveness gives away their fear and betrays their intentions to destroy anyone they think is having a real impact on changing the status quo.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The current ogre under the GOP’s bed is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She has had the audacity to advocate for the common American, the oppressed, and those who have been left out of the nation’s prosperity. Her recent comments regarding raising the marginal tax rate for multi-millionaires to 70% has brought severe anxiety to the rightists in Congress and the media who serve the wealthy. So their response to this common sense proposal, that was in effect for decades prior to the Reagan administration, is to lash out in the most absurd and offensive way imaginable.

On the Fox Business Network program host Trish Regan invited right-wing clown and alleged economist, Ben Stein, to discuss Ocasio-Cortez. The segment was utterly devoid of any substantive discussion of her ideas or her role in Congress. Instead, it was a bitterly personal assault that was nothing but invective and slander. Stein delivered a thoroughly deranged tirade dismissing her impact and insulting everyone who supports her. “She’s seeing success,” Stein began, “because there’s a lot of people just as ignorant as she is out there.” Never mind that he’s disparaging the majority of Americans (59%) who agree with her.

Stein believes that “messages about justice and equality … always turn out to be messages that lead to a dictatorship.” And his extended comments on Fox affirm that opinion, but go even farther into an abyss of slime (video below):

“We have a society in which there are an awful lot of people who have no idea that Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, all came to power promising the same kinds of things that Miss Ocasio-Cortez is promising. And it led to mass murder. It led to dictatorship. It led to genocide. These promises are old promises and they invariably led to bad things.”

Stalin? Hitler? Does Stein really believe that Ocasio-Cortez is an aspiring tyrant who hungers for the blood of the masses? Does he really believe that her agenda, which is squarely in the mainstream of America’s principles and history, will lead to genocide? Or is he merely mouthing off with noxious hyperbole intended to incite the hatred of Fox’s viewers? If Stein is looking for an aspiring tyrant, he might want to look at Donald Trump, who actually kept a book of Hitler’s speeches at his bedside. And Trump’s anti-press chant of “the enemy of the people” was stolen verbatim from Stalin. But Stein wasn’t finished:

“Capitalism is a system that allows people to make something of themselves, instead of suppressing other people. Making money is … what our society is about. It’s not about ordering people around, putting them in concentration camps. What do you do if a person is a richer person or a poorer person? What do you do? Do you take him away and shoot him?”

Where on Earth did Stein get that from? Certainly not from anything Ocasio-Cortez, or any Democrat, has ever said. It’s simply Stein inventing horror stories for the Deplorables watching him on Fox News. And the number one viewer is, of course, Donald Trump, who spends countless hours watching, and live tweeting, what he sees on Fox. And as a result of crackpot diatribes like this one, watch for Stein to be hired by Trump as an economic advisor or, perhaps, his new Billionaire Tax Elimination and Peasant Revenue Collection Czar.

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