Here’s Why Trump is So Obsessed with the FED and Doesn’t Care if the Economy Tanks

For much of his presidency, Donald Trump has been railing against the Federal Reserve Board (FED) for not being a mindless functionary that obeys his every command (like his incompetent Cabinet and the GOP jellyfish in Congress). What he obviously doesn’t understand is that there is a reason that the FED was designed as an independent agency that is insulated from pressure by the White House. Their objectives are often not aligned.

Donald Trump, Stock Market Crash

Trump would very much like to see the FED cut rates because all he is looking for is the short-term stimulative effect that a rate cut has on the stock market. That’s partly because he wants to artificially boost the market in advance of the 2020 presidential election. He often uses the market as a gauge for the health of the economy. That’s a viewpoint that only someone utterly ignorant about these matters could hold. The performance of the stock market only tells you what institutional investors think about the valuation of equities, which fluctuate independent of the broader economy. The economy, on the other hand, is comprised of many other factors such as consumption, employment, wages, trade, and inflation.

Trump has very likely been advised that there are flashing warning signs that the stock market is heading for a significant decline. It is currently in the midst of the longest bull market in history. That isn’t something to brag about. It means we are overdue for a correction. Homes sales, wage stagnation, depressed treasuries, illiquid credit, and the exploding debt, are all indicators that generally forecast a recession or worse.

But Trump doesn’t care about that. He has another motivation for cutting interest rates that is entirely personal. Contrary to his thoroughly bogus branding, Trump is failed businessman who has racked up hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, much of it with variable-rate loans. When he took office in 2017 he was the most indebted president in history, owing more than $350 million to Deutsche Bank alone. That debt is expensive to service. But when interest rates go down, so do the costs of servicing debt. Bloomberg reports that prior rate increases “may raise President Donald Trump’s cumulative cost from the U.S. central bank’s hikes since his inauguration to $6 million per year.”

So Trump has a distinct personal benefit when interests rates decline. That, and the political benefit of artificially (and temporarily) goosing the stock market, makes it wholly inappropriate for him to be battering the FED to lower rates with such ferocity and hostility. Were the FED to buckle to his demands it would leave the nation with no tools to respond when a real economic crisis occurs. That would result in what might have been a mild and manageable correction turning into a full blown recession.

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

As usual, the people who would be hurt most by that would be the lower and middle income families whose savings would deplete and whose jobs would disappear. The rich would suffer a decline in their net worth, but would remain rich and well positioned to profit when the economy turns around. That is a built-in inequity in our economic system that advantages the wealthy by design. And Trump is purposefully exploiting it for personal gain, without the least bit of consideration for the harm it will cause to millions of working Americans.

Thanks Fox News, for Exposing Trump as a Failure at Nearly Everything He Promised

Following the first round of the second set of Democratic presidential primary debates, Fox News thought they had found a way to advance their mission of disparaging the Democratic Party and it’s candidates. They didn’t go quite as far as Donald Trump did (who tweeted that “Democrats are the true enemies of America”), but it was still pretty damn awful.

Donald Trump, Fox News

The only problem with Fox’s anti-Democratic post-debate banter was that they ended up inadvertently slamming their own guy. In a segment on Fox and Friends, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes were especially enamored of 1% candidate John Delaney, mainly because he was criticizing other Democratic candidates who actually have a chance of winning and facing Trump in the general election.

Ainsley Earhardt of Fox and Friends interviewed Delaney (video below) and effusively praised him for countering Elizabeth Warren’s proposal for Medicare for All. They played a clip of Warren righteously blasting the allegedly “pragmatic” Delaney. “I don’t understand,” Warren asked, “why anybody goes through all the trouble of running for the President of the United States, just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.” Earhardt then went on to say…

“I thought it was very practical what you were saying last night. I thought you did a good job with that because we all knew that kid in school that beat you when you were running for student body president because they promised to put snack machines in all the classes. You know that’s not gonna happen. But the kids hear that and they vote for that person. […] I don’t understand why people run and then they promise stuff and then it never happens.”

First of all, if Earhardt doesn’t understand why candidates make campaign promises, she needs to go back to doing local news in South Carolina and writing children’s books. Secondly, she has no basis for asserting that Democrats will not fulfill their promises to expand healthcare, particularly since President Obama already proved that they can do it.

However, the biggest blunder of Earhardt’s tantrum was her complaint about people who “promise stuff and then it never happens.” She could not have provided a better description of Donald Trump if she were the chair of the Democratic Party. Let’s explore a few of Trump’s broken vows.

Trump promised his own healthcare plan that he said would cover every American for much less than it costs now. Not only has he not delivered, he hasn’t even offered a draft of a plan. He promised to build a wall on the southern border and make Mexico pay for it. That’s been a running joke for over two years now. He promised infrastructure construction and repair, but came up empty even though Democrats support it. I could go on.

OK, I will. He promised progress on trade, then imposed tariffs that only hurt American consumers. He promised denuclearization, but North Korea, Russia, and Iran are all expanding their programs after his bumbling missteps. He promised to eliminate the budget deficit and the national debt. But the deficit has grown by billions and the debt is now over $22 trillion dollars, thanks mostly to Trump’s tax giveaway to corporations and the wealthy.

The reality is, as noted by PolitiFact, that only 16 percent of Trump’s campaign promises were graded as “Promises Kept.” The other 84 percent are distributed between “Compromised, Broken, Stalled,” or “In the Works.” That is hardly a record that anyone should be proud of. And even by his accounting Trump has been a dismal failure.

Although Trump does deserve credit for some notable successes. For instance, he has succeeded in dividing the nation, emboldening racist hate groups, cozying up to foreign dictators, fouling the planet, appointing corrupt government officials, suppressing voters, and advancing an economy that works only for corporations and the rich, while average Americans struggle. But at least we can all be grateful to Fox News for pointing out how horribly Trump has failed and why no one should even consider voting for him.

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

Sleazy Don: Trump Retweets Meme that Says ‘Democrats Are the True Enemies of America’

It’s been said that when you find yourself in hole, stop digging. That, of course, isn’t Donald Trump’s philosophy. He’s been known to triple-down on the most repulsive and offensive outbursts without regard for decency or respect for the office of the President. And now he’s backing up the bull(shit)dozer to expand his excavation efforts in the wake of his ever worsening racist tirades.

Donald Trump, Democrats

Trump spent Tuesday morning reiterating his baseless insults and charges of malfeasance aimed mainly at African-American critics in Congress. He outrightly, and without evidence, accused Rep. Elijah Cummings of stealing federal funds sent to Baltimore. [Note: As a congressman, Cummings has no access to funds sent to city or state jurisdictions]. And while there is an obvious racial component to Trump’s noxious blather, he was also triggered by the fact that Cummings is the chairman of the House Oversight Committee that is investigating an assortment of crimes committed by Trump and his family of Swamp-dwellers.

Trump has also been spewing lies like a busted fire hydrant. He whined that “the Washington Post is a Russian asset.” He’s been doing a lot of that lately. Then he said that he is “the least racist person there is anywhere in the world.” If that isn’t a psychopathic danger signal, nothing is.

Trump also completely made up another of his fairy tales of Trumpian heroics recalling an invented memory about 9/11, saying that “I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder. But I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.” By “down there” he must mean Mar-a-Lago. That was followed by this gem of deranged fantasy: “The African American people have been calling the White House. They have never been so happy as what a president has done.” Never? So those eight years of the first African-American president were just a mildly pleasant diversion?

But worst of all, Trump allowed his true feelings to show about the Democratic Party, which just happens to be the majority political party in the United States. Trump retweeted a meme that had a single message of blatant fascist authoritarianism: “Democrats Are the True Enemies of America.” [Update: The account of the QAnon supporting, conspiracy crackpot who tweeted the meme has since been suspended by Twitter].

Up until now, this is a diatribe that Trump reserved for the free press, a cherished part of the Constitution’s First Amendment. But now he is applying it to the millions of Americans who align themselves with working people, respect for diversity, access to healthcare and education, tax fairness, the environment, and the sort of diplomacy that promotes peace and prosperity around the world.

Trump has finally admitted that he thinks Democrats are not just a political party that opposes his Republican Nationalist Party, but he believes that they are literally enemies of United States. That view by itself represents a dangerous threat to the very concept of democracy.

To be clear, Trump is calling the Democratic majority of the House of Representative enemies of America. He’s calling Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer enemies of America. He’s calling the governors and mayors of the nation’s most populous and prosperous states and cities enemies of America. And he’s calling every citizen who identifies as a Democrat, an enemy of America. That’s a whole lot of enemies that Trump is declaring from his perch in the White House. It is, in fact, the majority of the country.

It’s notable that Trump retweeted this nauseating meme a few hours after tweeting about an infrastructure bill that he hoped would be passed in Congress. He praised the “[strong interest] from Republicans and Democrats. Do I hear the beautiful word, BIPARTISAN? Get it done. I am with you!” Really? He’s with the people that he thinks are the enemies of America?

A better question is should any Democrat – or even patriotic Republican – be with Trump? And the answer to that is “Hell No!” And that also goes for any Republican who is too frightened or compromised to denounce what Trump is saying now about the citizens and politicians and journalists that don’t kneel down obediently to Trump’s imaginary divine authority.

There have been way too many times that it’s been said that Trump has “crossed a line” It’s been said about his racism, his collusion with Russia, his obstruction of justice, his financial corruption, his moral depravity, etc. But this time it should be plain to everyone who loves this country that he is utterly unfit to serve as president, or any other position of public trust.

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

Fox News and Trump Shill Kellyanne Conway Equate U.S. Media to Russian Election Tampering

The 2020 presidential election is approaching rapidly. And despite the problems with the 2016 election, Republicans are doing nothing to prevent Russia – or any other hostile foreign entity – from repeating efforts to interfere with America’s democracy. To the contrary, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell just blocked two bipartisan bills intended to protect the election. They are actually aiding and abetting the nefarious efforts of our enemies.

Kellyanne Conway, Fox News

It’s no wonder that the GOP is working on behalf of Russia. The Kremlin helped secure the victory of Donald Trump in 2016, and Republicans are well aware that they are unlikely to win in 2020 without more of that help. So the campaign is on by the Trump administration to pave the way for continued hacking and tampering in the upcoming election. He has decimated the Justice Department’s counterintelligence operations. He has installed hyper-loyal allies in critical White House posts. And, as usual, he is attacking the free press in order to keep the American people from learning the truth about his conspiracies with his BFF Vladimir Putin.

On Monday morning, Trump’s Senior Counselor and Chief Alternative Facts Dispenser, Kellyanne Conway, appeared on Trump’s favorite Fox News program, Fox and Friends. And she wasted no time in declaring that the American media is no different than Russian spies when it comes to to meddling in U.S. elections (video below):

“This President is very concerned about foreign interference in elections. We don’t want Russia to interfere. We don’t want China. But you know what? We also don’t want the mainstream media to interfere in the elections this time either, like they tried to do last time. Get your thumb off the electoral scale. Let people fight it out fairly and squarely.”

Conway’s message was clear: American journalists are unpatriotic agents of evil who are intent on destroying democracy. They are to be feared and, if necessary, silenced to prevent them from engaging in their anti-American plots. Conway regards the collection and dissemination of news to be a dangerous pursuit that must be shut down.

And why wouldn’t she think that? The more we find out about Trump and his unlawful activities throughout his campaign and presidency, as well as his efforts to obstruct justice with lies and failures to cooperate, the closer he is to impeachment and possible incarceration. So while Trump is repeatedly referring to the free press in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people,” his designated mouthpieces are equating reporters with Russian spies.

What Conway and her boss are really afraid of is that the American people will discover the depths of criminality to which Trump and company have sunk. They aren’t concerned about the media putting their thumb on the electoral scale. They are concerned that their own thumbs aren’t pushing down hard enough. What does she think Fox News is doing all day and night with their obsequious fawning over Trump and disparaging of anyone who offers the slightest criticism.

Trump was exposed in the recent congressional hearings with Robert Mueller for “welcoming and encouraging” election help from Russia, as well as lying to cover it up. And he’s getting ready to do it again. Why not? There have, as yet, been no consequences for his prior crimes. He’s even so brazen about it that he told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News that he would not refuse help from Russia in future campaigns. How is that not treason?

All of this has been excused by State TV (aka Fox News), who seem to have no issues with the President revealing in advance his intention to commit crimes. This makes Fox News complicit with those crimes. This flagrantly biased Trump-fluffing by Fox should be considered in-kind contributions to the Trump campaign and monitored by the Federal Elections Commission. And Conway, who has her own legal problems for repeatedly campaigning in the course of her official duties (a violation of the Hatch Act), should be serving in the Big House, not the White House.

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

Under Fire for Racism and Facing Impeachment, Trump is Sucking Harder on His Fox News Pacifier

Let’s get this out of the way from the start: Donald Trump is a straight up racist who is fomenting hatred in America by stoking the bigotry of his white nationalists supporters. That is evident in his ever increasing rhetoric that attacks almost exclusively people of color in Congress and in American cities. But Trump isn’t parading down that heinous path alone.

Donald Trump Pacifier Fox

As the well deserved tsunami of criticism crests over Trump’s Crusade of Deplorables, he’s finding refuge in a familiar fox hole. Literally. Trump is leaning more heavily on Fox News for validation than ever. Which is astonishing since for years he has been leaning at angle that defies gravity. Trump began sucking on his Fox News pacifier long before he was a candidate for president. He had a weekly segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump.” And after entering the White House he has circled the Fox wagons around him by appointing Fox alum to high posts in his administration. Likewise, former Trump associates quickly scurried over to Fox for work after leaving the White House.

The latest tantrum thrown by our Kindergarten President featured what most objective analysts recognize as flagrant racism. Trump’s attack on Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland was littered with the language of fascists who stir up their stormtroopers by dehumanizing those they despise and portraying them as vermin. But Trump didn’t just wake up and decide to viciously malign the chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Although that wouldn’t have been surprising since the committee is currently holding hearings to pull the sheets off of his numerous criminal activities.

Nope. Trump was triggered by a segment on Fox News that was deliberately laying the groundwork for his racist tirade. But Fox’s role in this is not limited to field research for the Grand Wizard of the White House. They play a much larger part in the wingnut fog that surrounds the President. So now when Trump’s moral depravity is being punished by decent Americans, Big Baby Trump is hiding behind the petticoats of Fox News.

This weekend alone Trump has posted videos or other references to Fox News nine times. It’s a parade of the usual suspects. Trump tweeted Jeanine Pirro three times, Mike Levin, twice, along with Louis Gohmert, Jesse Watters, and Pete Hegseth of Fox and Friends. There weren’t any posts by Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham because they aren’t on the air on the weekend. But rest assured, they are in Trump’s so-called heart.

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

This happens every time Trump finds himself in trouble. He can’t articulate a coherent thought, so he relies on the simple-minded blather from his confederates on State TV. Even when he tweets some sort of self-defense, it is usually purloined from the ravings of someone he just saw on Fox. Trump would not be president today were it not for Fox News. And he could not survive another week if they went off the air. Fox News is Trump’s respirator. He is already brain dead, but being kept alive politically by the propaganda machine to which he is attached.

Trump’s Racist Obama Envy Skids Off the Rails with Vindictive and Deranged Threats

It has long been said of Donald Trump that he is behaving like a cornered criminal who shoots wildly in all directions out of fear and desperation. That characterization has never been more true than now. With the congressional Mueller hearings concluded, Trump seems to recognize the legal jeopardy he faces. Mueller’s testimony, while not particularly dramatic, did establish that Trump and his associates welcomed and encouraged Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, and then lied in order to cover it up (aka obstruction of justice).

Donald Trump Zombie

Now Trump is lashing out with some of the most nauseating assaults on anyone he perceives to be his enemy – which is not just his political opponents, but at least half of the American people. In a White House press avail on Friday, Trump did what he does best: Whine! Then he focused his attention on his archenemy, President Barack Obama. This was a bizarre rant that could only have been triggered by his personal hatred and racism. He said:

“All they want to do is impede, they want to investigate. They want to go fishing. And I watched Bob Mueller – and they have nothing – There’s no collusion, no obstruction. They have nothing. It’s a disgrace.

“We want to find out what happened with the last Democrat president. Let’s look into Obama the way they’ve looked at me. From day one they’ve looked into everything that we’ve done. They could look into the book deal that President Obama made. Let’s subpoena all of his records. Let’s subpoena all of the records having to do with Hillary Clinton and all of the nonsense that went on with Clinton and her foundation and everything else.

“We could do that all day long. Frankly, the Republicans were gentlemen and women when we had the majority in the House. They didn’t do subpoenas all day long. They didn’t do what these people have done. What they’ve done is a disgrace.”

So now Trump wants to look into Obama’s presidency? And what clandestine criminal acts does he think might be uncovered? Well, Obama wrote a book. Quick, someone alert the FBI!

Trump’s portrayal of Republicans as polite politicos is among his most deranged observations. The GOP controlled House of Representatives – led by ultra-partisan hacks like Trey Gowdy and Jason Chaffetz (both now Fox News contributors) – was relentless in their baseless persecution of both Obama and Hillary Clinton. Contrary to Trump’s dishonest recollection, they did issue numerous subpoenas regarding everything from Hillary’s emails to Benghazi to Fast and Furious to the alleged targeting by the IRS. And let’s not forget their years long assault on Obama as a gay Muslim born in Kenya. Despite these endless and partisan probes, the GOP found no evidence of anything untoward by anyone.

There is a big difference between Trump’s hysterical outbursts alleging crimes by Obama, and his own legal woes. For one thing, There is no evidence whatsoever that Obama ever violated any law. Certainly not with his book deal. However, the investigations into Trump’s criminality were all based on his own behavior and documented proof of wrongdoing. Trump and his team had over 127 secret meetings with Russians that they all lied about when asked.

What’s more, Trump’s complaint that he has been subjected to inquiries that Obama never had to endure is true, but not for the reasons he thinks. Both political and legal probes into Trump’s finances have resulted in requests for his tax returns, which he once promised to release. Instead, he has used every legal trick in the book to avoid any such disclosure. Obama, however, didn’t have this problem because he voluntarily released his taxes during his campaign. Obama also didn’t have problems with corruption in his businesses because he didn’t seek to exploit his presidency for profit, or to sell out his country to Russians and other foreign entities.

To make matters worse, Trump went on a Saturday tweet-spree attacking Maryland congressman Elijah Cummings. Trump called Cummings’ Baltimore district a “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess [where] no human being would want to live.” He went on to compare Cummings’ district unfavorably with his concentration camps on the border saying it is the “Worst in the USA [but that the] Border is clean, efficient & well run.” Then Trump baselessly alleged some sort of corruption by Cummings asking “Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!”

Make no mistake, This is a forthrightly racist attack on an African-American congressman and his black and brown constituents. Trump has also been attacking four congresswomen of color for the past few weeks. His mantra that they should “go back” where they came from was not only insulting (they are all citizens), but un-American. And this new attack on Baltimore – three days shy of its 290th birthday – is further evidence that Trump truly hates America, particularly major cities with proud histories and diverse populations. And it is no coincidence that Trump’s use of this sort of rhetoric is always reserved for people of color. This was expressed with great passion and moral integrity by CNN’s Victor Blackwell, who is from Baltimore.

It also cannot be ignored that Rep. Cummings is the chairman of the House Oversight Committee which is investigating several of Trump’s unsavory activities. Just this week Cummings received the authority to subpoena Ivanka and Jared’s email. And if that weren’t enough to trigger Trump’s wrath, consider that his source for this assault on Baltimore was very likely a segment on the subject he had just seen on Fox News.

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

So Trump’s animus toward a venerable American city, it’s residents, and all Americans who cherish the principles our nation was founded on, is an expression of both his bigotry and his political hostilities. It is more proof (as if it were needed) that he is unfit to serve as president and is an embarrassment to the nation.

REALLY? Trump Says Fox News Polls ‘Have Always Been Terrible to Me’ – Let’s Go to the Tweets

It’s only been one day since Donald Trump was gleefully bragging about the results of a Fox News poll that said his approval on the economy was 52 percent. Never mind that the same poll showed him in negative territory on almost everything else, including overall favorability and most of his signature issues. Trump, like all narcissists, only sees what he wants to see.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

Today Trump is whining about additional results released from the Fox poll that show him getting crushed by Joe Biden. The poll also has him getting beat by Bernie Sanders and in statistical ties with Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. Naturally, this insult to his bloated ego incited a tantrum on Twitter aimed at maligning his own State TV network:

First of all, Trump’s reference to Fox News when he says they were supportive of him as “Proud Warriors” is an unabashed confession that he regards them as being the propaganda battalion of his political army. And their betrayal is an unforgivable sin that cannot be ignored. Consequently, he is now lambasting them as traitors who are part of the “Lamestream Media in Collusion with Crooked and the Democrat Party.” Proving, once again, that all it takes is one less than flattering remark for Trump to explode with outrage and accuse you of treason.

As for Fox News always being terrible for Trump, that is not an opinion that he has held with much consistency. To the contrary, he has often praised the Fox News polls and thank the network for their obedient adulation. For instance:

For each of these tweets Trump had to either misrepresent the actual poll results, or cherry pick them to feature only the parts that he liked. The one lauding 40 percent approval by African-Americans was an outright lie. The one about the FBI breaking the law was deceitfully manipulated by Trump. He combined several different responses into one to arrive at 58 percent. If the responses were split into fair groupings the result would be 38-51 against the assertion that any intelligence agency had broken the law. And the one bragging about a Fox News poll putting his approval at 50 percent was actually Fox News reporting on a poll by the notoriously biased Rasmussen.

What is abundantly clear is that Trump has been more than pleased with the results of Fox News polls in the past. But when one is less than adoring he flips out and insists that they have always had it in for him. That’s a sign of a severe mental infirmity consistent with narcissism, paranoia, and sociopathic disengagement from reality.

There is nothing about this latest Fox poll that is out of line with most other polls. Even Trump’s surveying savior, Rasmussen, shows Trump with a majority 51 percent disapproval. Notably, Rasmussen had Trump at 50 percent approval the day before the congressional testimony of Robert Mueller. And he has declined every day since. In Rasmussen’s poll!

So the public perception of Trump was not helped by Mueller’s damning affirmation of Trump’s criminal behavior. Trump wasn’t helped by the testimony that he welcomed and encouraged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Nor was Trump’s reputation aided by Mueller’s explicit description of his actions as constituting obstruction of justice.

The fact that Fox News pollsters managed to produce a relatively accurate representation of the public mood has sent Trump into a fit of acrimony. He is flagrantly in denial of reality and flailing wildly in a attempt to reshape the world into one that loves him unconditionally. And to the extent that he fails at that, his critics, even friendly ones, become his bitterest foes. Every Trump supporter needs to remember that, no matter who you are or how worshipful you’ve been in the past, if you backslide for even a moment you become the enemy of the people. That’s life in the Cult of Trump.

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

Trump is Plunging Into a Desperate Dependence on Fox News that’s Downright Creepy

In the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony, Donald Trump has rushed to buttress the barricades of his propaganda crusade. In practical terms that means hyping the crap out of every Trump-fluffing shill he sees on Fox News. And he may have set a record for posting tweets that are flagrantly fawning by the bootlickers at his favorite cable “news” network.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Hate Again

In the few hours since the Mueller hearings concluded, Trump posted sixteen (16!) tweets referencing – and even explicitly thanking – Fox News and their stable of pro-Trump PR toadies. They included disseminating White House talking points about the hearings being “a disaster.” And there were the obligatory lies about “no obstruction, no collusion,” even though Mueller said precisely the opposite. He posted eight videos of segments from Fox that were nothing more than drooling sycophancy, and quotes from the devoutly anti-intellectual “Curvy Couch” potatoes on Fox and Friends.

There were also a couple of prideful postings of a new Fox News poll. Trump celebrated that the poll gave him a 52 percent approval rating on the economy. Never mind that the economy has been in the midst of the longest bull market in history that began ten years ago during the Obama administration. And it performed better in the last two years of Obama’s term than in the first two years of Trump’s.

More importantly, the same poll showed that Trump was severely underwater on almost everything else, including most of his signature issues. For instance, favorability (45 approve – 51 disapprove), border security (44-52), immigration (41-54), trade (40-49), Iran (39-46), North Korea (39-49), and health care (38-51). But Trump was never very good at figuring out stuff as complicated as polls. Our “stable genius” in the White House can only comprehend surveys that are unflinchingly adoring.

The relationship between Trump and Fox News has always been an unethical convergence of media and politics. Fox News is the de facto State TV division of the Trump regime. At any given moment, Fox is either promoting Trump as the new Messiah, or attacking his critics as spawns of Satan. Although, Fox will sometimes complain that they are miscast as biased, and there are even some rare examples of independent thought.

But the biggest impediments to Fox News being perceived as “fair and balanced” (a ludicrous slogan that they abandoned two years ago) are Fox News and Donald Trump. They will always manage to reinforce their conspicuous and disgraceful perversion of the free press. Either Trump will come along to prove that Fox is his personal PR agency with the sort of tweeting frenzy he just unleashed, or Fox will fill their schedule with what can only be described as pro-Trump campaign ads disguised as news programs.

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

The Fox News/Trump Nationalist Party is not only unprecedented, it’s dangerous. It produces a false narrative among the cultists who adhere it that embraces hostility and division, excuses lying, encourages ignorance and willful obliviousness to bona fide national security threats, and turns a sector of the electorate into, essentially, advocates for America’s enemies. And it’s led by a Reality TV game show host who said that he has no time for TV, despite having plenty of time to post tweets of what he is supposedly not viewing.

UPDATE: It only took one day for Trump to figure out that the new Fox Poll was not good news for him. So of course, he lashed out on Twitter against Fox polls which he says “have always been terrible to me.” But don’t worry, the Whiner-in-Chief will return to slobbering over Hannity and Company before you know it.

Exoneration? Collusion? Obstruction? Trump’s Fate is Sealed By 3 Brief Exchanges with Mueller

The day before special counsel Robert Mueller was to testify in Congress, Donald Trump made a point of telling reporters that “No, I’m not going to be watching. [adding that] Maybe I’ll see a little bit of it.” Instead, Trump spent much of the morning on Wednesday live-tweeting the hearings. And his commentaries were pretty much what would be expected of someone fraught with guilt and fear.

Robert Mueller Trump

The Mueller report was 438 pages probing Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia during his campaign and presidency, and his efforts to cover up those crimes. But Mueller was a reluctant witness whose testimony was restricted to merely affirming the contents of the report. Consequently, the hearings were not particularly compelling drama. Democrats read from the report and asked Mueller if their quotations were accurate. Republicans ignored the facts and focused on attempts to discredit Mueller and the investigation in its entirety.

Nevertheless, the contents of the report are damning enough without elaboration. The facts that point to Trump’s guilt with regard to conspiracy and obstruction are apparent in quantity and clarity. And Democrats on the House Justice Committee made great strides in presenting the legal arguments for Trump’s impeachment. Three exchanges in particular form the core of the case against Trump. Beginning with this:

Rep. Nadler: The President has repeatedly claimed that your report found that there was no obstruction and the it completely and totally exonerated him. But that is not what your report said, is it?
Mueller: Correct. That is not what the report said.

So Trump’s repetitive and tedious protestations that the report said there was “no collusion, no obstruction.” have been firmly repudiated by the report’s author, under oath. In another exchange, Mueller made it clear that Trump and his associates blatantly interfered with his investigation:

Rep. Demings: Lies by Trump campaign officials and administration officials impeded your investigation.
Mueller: I would generally agree with that.

Finally, there has been much debate over why Mueller didn’t indict Trump for the crimes that he documented in his report. Rep. Ted Lieu dived straight into that question and got a definitive response from Mueller:

Rep. Lieu: The reason that you did not indict Donald Trump is because of OLC [Office of Legal Counsel] opinion stating that you cannot indict a sitting president. Correct?
Mueller: That is correct.

(Note: Mueller corrected himself later in the day to say that he had misspoken and that his probe did not make a determination as to guilt or innocence. But that isn’t correct either. He explicitly said that Trump was not exonerated and enumerated at least ten instances of obstruction of justice. Also, his report did identify the OLC memo as an impediment to the special counsel issuing indictments of Trump).

These portions of Mueller’s testimony show that Trump is guilty of criminal acts, including his efforts to conceal those crimes. And all of this information was in Mueller’s report. But its delayed release, and misrepresentation by Trump’s shill at the Justice Department, William Barr, muddied the waters and deliberately doused the matter with confusion. That was as much a crime of obstruction of justice as anything that Trump did.

For his part, Trump unleashed a tweetstorm of eleven posts aimed at further distorting the truth that he knew would be revealed in the hearings. And for good measure, they included two predictably biased assessments that he attributed to Fox News. He baselessly accused Democrats of “fabricate a crime” to “try pinning it on a very innocent President.” Which is funny, in a sad and pathetic way.

He also threatened Mueller not to deny under oath that he had sought an interview for the job of FBI Director. Of course Mueller was asked about that during his testimony, and he did deny it. And Trump banged out another of his substanceless and impotent rage-tweets:

This is not the behavior of an innocent man. Trump is so obviously and thoroughly consumed with fear that it can’t help but ooze from every orifice in his body. And he has good reason to be afraid. He knows what he did. And knows the consequences when everyone else finds out. And so we can expect him to continue these tirades, and even ratchet them up as the law gets ever closer to holding him accountable.

UPDATE: At the beginning of the House Intelligence Committee’s hearing with Mueller, Chairman Adam Schiff extracted some profound and damning revelations about Trump’s crimes:

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

Trump Misreads Poll on Support for His Impeachment, Posts Absurdly Wrong Numbers

The President of the United States is presently the subject of a rare debate over whether he should be impeached for crimes committed by him and/or his associates. While other presidents have been accused of high crimes and misdemeanors, none have been suspected of treasonous conspiracies in conjunction with foreign enemies. This is a situation unique to Donald Trump.

Donald Trump Impeach

Consequently, public polling on whether Trump should be impeached has emerged as an important gauge of his ability to endure another term in office, or even complete his first. And his historically low approval ratings isn’t helping him any. That may be why he is now disseminating obviously false information that makes his situation appear somewhat less dire. On Tuesday morning Trump tweeted this:

Notice that Trump didn’t bother to provide a link to the poll he referenced. That’s a common tactic he employs to prevent people from discovering that he’s a lying jackal. This tactic works well among his Deplorables who will believe whatever he says, even when there’s proof that he’s lying. But for the rest of us, we have to try harder to find out what the heck he’s talking about.

In this case, there is only one recent poll regarding impeachment with an 11 percent result. It’s the YouGov survey published July 18. This poll asked “Do you think the U.S. House of Representative should or should not try to impeach President Trump?” The overall response was 36 percent YES, and 45 percent NO. So where did Trump get 11 percent? That was the number of Republicans who said that he should be impeached. Democrats favored impeachment by 64 percent. So Trump is trying to pass off the GOP-only number as the number for all Americans.

For a bit of contrast, a Twitter user replied to Trump’s tweet with a Twitter poll of his own. At the time of this writing, 77 percent of more than 22,000 votes favored impeachment, while 22 percent did not. Of course, this is not a scientific poll, but it’s revealing that such a large majority of voters on Trump’s own Twitter feed want to see him impeached.

This isn’t the first time that Trump has gotten poll results horribly wrong. On one occasion, Trump retweeted a Fox News report that put his overall approval at 55 percent. Fox later admitted that they made a mistake and that the real number was 43 percent. In a rare correction Fox took down their story but, three months later, Trump still has not.

On another occasion, Trump bragged about the results of a Fox News poll that doesn’t actually exist. He said that his approval among African-Americans in this imaginary poll among was 40 percent. That’s not even close. It’s actually in single digits. A recent Washington Post poll put the number at three percent.

And then there was the time that Trump boasted about a poll showing him with 52 percent approval. Of course that was also in error. The 52 was really his disapproval. His approval in this case was only 44 percent.

Almost everything else in Trump’s tweets is also wrong. He’s taking credit for economic success that is almost totally attributable to his predecessor, President Obama. Stock market and jobs stats increased more during Obama’s administration than in Trump’s. And his tax cuts, regulatory moves, tariffs, and trade wars, were demonstrably harmful to the economy and particularly working people.

It’s hard to say whether all of this misreporting was the result of his poor comprehension skills or deliberate deception. Neither is a very good option. But we have a very serious problem when the President of the United States can’t grasp the results of a simple survey, and has no interest in ever setting the record straight when he’s wrong.

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, his attempt at mockery by saying “Gee, let’s impeach the President,” forms the core of his argument against impeachment. He thinks that if the economy is strong, there is no justification to impeach. But that’s nonsense. Impeachment is called for if the President is found guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. And if he is, it doesn’t make any difference what the state of the economy is. A president who breaks the law during good times is still a criminal. But that’s just another simple concept that Trump is incapable of understanding.