Fox News Affirms Its State TV Status with Slobbering Interview of Trump Campaign Shill

It’s getting more difficult with every passing day to differentiate between Fox News and the Republican Nationalist Party. And even though the network was created to serve as a propaganda vehicle for right-wing politics, the degree to which it has become the communications office of Donald Trump’s cult movement still manages to be surprising.

Donald Trump Fox News

On Sunday morning Fox and Friends co-host Ed Henry “interviewed” Kayleigh McEnany, the press secretary for the Trump 2020 campaign. It was another in a frequent series of Trump campaign and administration officials appearing regularly on Fox News. They know they have an open door at Fox where they can deliver their disinformation at any time without interruption or dispute. And this booking was no exception. Henry asked a total of four question, and each one seems like it was written by some Trump PR hack, complete with hostile allusions to Democrats. The first exchange went like this:

Henry: Well, Democrats in the media are not taking time out over Thanksgiving, going after the President over his Thanksgiving visit to see troops in Afghanistan. […] What in the world is going on here when you can’t visit men and women in uniform and thank them for their service?
McEnany: It’s amazing. This is the Trump obsessed media. Anything and everything will always be wrong. They can’t tolerate when he does something good.”

Henry offered no evidence of any plot to “go after” Trump for visiting Afghanistan. It was just a way to frame his question with a built in bias against Democrats. And it was a softball thrown at McEnany who went on to say that whenever the press criticizes Trump they are delegitimizing themselves. For the record, Democrats would have no problem tolerating Trump doing something good, and they’re still waiting for the first time. The next question from Henry was no better:

Henry: What about the fact the House Democrats are now moving forward on impeachment as the President is doing another part of his job as commander-in-chief, which is heading to London to work at a NATO summit and tackle some big national security issues?
McEnany: It’s shameful. As you noted there has been a precedent that we don’t criticize presidents when they are overseas, much less pursue a coup against a sitting president. And that’s what this is. This was never about the facts. […] This is a coup against a sitting president of the United States without evidence, without facts, and that is why the polling is going south on this. It’s despicable that they’re doing this, particularly when the President is overseas.

Once again, Henry’s question was loaded with anti-Democratic bias, portraying them as unpatriotic. Does he think that Democrats should halt the impeachment hearings, which were already in progress before Trump’s junket to London? And holding impeachment hearings isn’t exactly analogous to criticizing the President. It is a constitutional proceeding that members of Congress are obligated to conduct when warranted by the legal and/or ethical misbehavior of the President. It doesn’t cease if the President decides to take a trip.

What’s more, it is certainly not a coup. Republicans have been floating that canard for months, despite the fact that the Founders included impeachment in the Constitution for a reason. And there is an avalanche of facts that affirm that it is warranted in this case. Look no further than the assessment of Andrew Napolitano, the Senior Legal Analyst at Fox News, who says that the evidence of impeachable behavior is overwhelming.” But still, Henry marches on with his lambasting of Democrats disguised as questions:

Henry: I can’t have you leave without asking you about the “No Malarkey” tour that the former Vice-President is launching. He says there are a lot of lies out there. I don’t know if he’s pointing at his fellow Democrats and/or the President. What’s your reaction to Joe Biden, who’s struggling in Iowa right now, going out on a bus for eight days?”

Really? Henry doesn’t know whether Biden is calling Trump or his fellow Democrats liars? That’s some pretty stark ignorance he’s admitting to if that’s true. McEnany, of course, took the opportunity to disparage Biden’s campaign as “fledgling” and “desperate.” What on Earth did Henry expect to her say? It was a preposterous question to ask the Trump campaign’s press secretary. McEnany further claimed that Biden’s campaign, which is still leading in national polls, is “just about over.” A bizarre assessment that Henry didn’t bother to challenge.

Henry’s final question was a muddle of negativity about the Democratic debates and candidates who are lower in the polls. Which gave McEnany another opening to bash her opponents as “failing” and to brag that the GOP has “only one candidate that we love and have kept at the top.” Indeed, the Cult of Trump is strong within the tiny community of Deplorables. They do love him and regard him as their savior who is infallible. That’s to be expected from a political party that has given up any pretense of integrity or patriotism. But it’s still somewhat jarring to see an alleged “news” network worshiping at the same alter.

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

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Where in the World is Donald Trump? The Tweeter-in-Chief Has Been AWOL for 4 Days

This Thanksgiving holiday weekend Donald Trump has been mysteriously missing from the platform that has been his primary communications medium for years. The president has long insisted that Twitter is the “Only way for me to get the truth out!” without what he says is the bias of the mainstream media. But lately he has been conspicuously absent from his social media megaphone.

Donald Trump

On Wednesday Trump tweeted a grand total of four tweets. On Thursday there only three tweets by Trump. On Friday his tweeting dropped down to a single tweet all day. And, so far, on Saturday there have been no tweets by Trump at all. (Note: these numbers are counting only Trump tweets, not retweets).

Update: Trump finally showed up late Saturday for some tweet action. He posted ten of his own, plus some retweets. That’s still far below his 20 tweet per day average.

Trump has an alibi of sorts for Thursday that could be seen as marginally plausible. He turned up in Afghanistan for a surprise visit with American troops stationed there. The White House claimed that Trump had tasked members of his staff to post some tweets while he was traveling to hide the fact that he was on a secret mission. But that doesn’t really explain the dearth of tweets. For one thing, Trump could tweet from Air Force One. For another, why were there still so few tweets? That hardly serves the purpose of making Trump’s Twitter activity appear normal. And Trump was back in the U.S. the next day, but his tweeting was still way below his average activity.

The average number of tweets by Trump for 2019 to date is about 20 tweets per day. Earlier this month Trump achieved a milestone by blasting out a record 82 tweets in a single day. Most of them were frantic responses to the impeachment inquiry in Congress. The majority of the remainder were clips of his favorite Fox News bootlickers. But the peculiarity of fewer than four tweets per day for the past four days is hard to ignore.

Trump has had nothing else on his schedule that would account for this silence. He isn’t on the road for one of his cult rallies. There’s no evidence that he’s meeting with staff on matters of import. He isn’t attending an international summit. If he’s lounging around in the White House residence with his family, he isn’t sharing any of the tender moments that other American families share on social media. There hasn’t been a single picture posted of Trump with Melania and her son, Barron.

The speculation as to Trump’s whereabouts, therefore, has to include his health. A couple of weeks ago he was suddenly whisked off to Walter Reed Hospital without prior notice to the press or even to the hospital. The explanation given for the trip was hardly credible. The White House said he was having routine tests in advance of his annual physical – which isn’t until next February. And those tests could easily have been done in the well-equipped medical office at the White House. What’s more, there have been observations that Trump’s speech and movement have been hampered since that hospital visit.

To be sure, there are other reasons why Trump could be laying low. The impeachment hearings revealed abundant evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors. Career diplomats and national security professionals testified that he did extort the president of Ukraine by threatening to withhold critical military aid unless they help Trump dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Even the senior legal analyst of Fox News weighed in on the likelihood of Trump’s guilt.

Consequently, Trump may just be nervous about making any public comments for fear of making things worse and getting into even more trouble. That, of course, has been the result of much of his previous public comments. During the testimony of Marie Yovanovitch Trump’s tweeting might have put him in legal jeopardy for witness intimidation. Trump may even have been counseled to keep his mouth shut by his lawyers as the House Judiciary Committee prepares to take up the formal impeachment hearings. Committee Chairman Jerold Nadler has invited Trump and his attorneys to participate, but it appears that he’s going to decline.

On the one hand, Trump’s refusal to participate is odd considering that he has been whining about not being able to participate thus far. But on the other hand, it makes perfect sense. After all, Trump would be facing a difficult choice were he to testify under oath. If he tells the truth he likely incriminates himself further. If he lies he’s committing perjury. These options may also be on his mind as he decides whether or not to tweet. Or maybe he’s on secret mission to Ukraine, North Korea, or Moscow.

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


The Cult of Trump: A Majority of Republicans Prefer Trump Over Abraham Lincoln

For the past three years Donald Trump has presided over a bizarre movement that is unprecedented in American politics. While there have been a few presidents who have attracted strong and loyal followings, there has never been anything remotely similar to the worshipful devotion of Trump’s Deplorables.

Donald Trump Messiah

There is only one way to describe the pious assemblage of Trump supporters: IT’S A CULT! It is a small group of idolaters who see only virtue in a man whose base immorality could not possibly be more evident. He is known for serial infidelity, including an affair with a porn star while his third wife and newborn were at home. His penchant for lying has produced documentation of more than 13,000 false or misleading statements since taking office. He employs rhetoric that is rife with hostility, bigotry, and infantile insults. He wallows in undeserved pridefulness, turning every public comment into self-exaltation and taking credit for achievements he had no part in, or that don’t even exist.

Nevertheless, his believers remain convinced that he speaks only the truth and that, to them, his brutish bullying is a testament to strength. No matter what he does or says, they view him with a glowing halo hovering above his head. They live in a world of deception and willful obedience to a false god. Trump has even referred to himself as “The Chosen One.”

In light of that, it is disturbing that a new poll (posted below) finds that a majority of Republicans (53%) say that Trump is a better president than Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, of course, was the president who faced down the slave-owning states of the South as they sought to preserve their culture of human bondage by seceding from the union. He was also the first Republican to be elected president. His accomplishments have made him an icon of American politics.

Meanwhile, Trump has tried (and failed) to build a border wall, caged immigrant babies, exploded the national debt, freed corporations to pollute, conspired with foreign tyrants against the U.S., and maligned the free press as “the enemy of the people.” Trump has distinguished himself as the most unpopular president in history, never registering 50% favorability. And yet his fellow Republicans continue to see him as a king, or a god, whos is all-knowing and infallible.

This delusional mindset among Republicans exceeds mere political partisanship. When Republicans sought to impeach Bill Clinton for extramarital sex, many Democrats condemned his behavior and even voted to censure him. But there is no such open-mindedness among today’s GOP. They march in lock-step reverence for their Dear Leader. Another recent poll found that 57% of those opposed to impeaching Trump say that no new evidence would change their minds. Last month a poll revealed that a majority (55%) of Republicans for whom Fox News is their primary news source say there is nothing Trump could do to lose their approval. If this isn’t a cult, then nothing is.

As for Trump, he is as convinced of his sainthood as his disciples. He frequently posts tweets that celebrate his standing among Republicans. And while it is undoubtedly high, it isn’t nearly the 95% that he repeatedly claims. It’s hard to tell if Trump is propagating falsehoods about his party popularity, or if he actually believes his own PR. Either way, it’s poisoning the public pool of knowledge with flagrant lies. And it is surely keeping his followers in line as they bow down to what they perceive as his holiness.

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


Tucker Carlson of Fox News Admits that Trump is ‘A Full-Blown BS Artist’

Occasionally Fox News let’s its guard down and airs something that has the distinct ring of truth. There has been very little of that in the past few weeks as the impeachment of Donald Trump has been producing an avalanche of evidence against him. A parade of career diplomats and national security professionals testified under oath before Congress that he abused his power by extorting the president of Ukraine in an effort to smear Joe Biden. And despite his denials, the resulting public opinion of Trump has suffered.

Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump

However, on Thanksgiving eve, one of Trump’s most devoted Fox News bootlickers, Tucker Carlson, delivered a monologue (video below) that exposed Fox’s viewers to a portrait of Trump that they rarely see. Carlson began the segment by correctly noting that…

“One of the reasons progressives say they hate Donald Trump is because he lies a lot. Trump, they’ll tell you, is a committed liar.”

Indeed. That is surely one of the many reasons that progressives oppose Trump. Of course, there’s also his bigotry, dictator worship, ignorance, and infantile behavior. These should be reasons that anyone oppose Trump, but Carlson didn’t go that far. In fact, he slammed rapidly into reverse.

Apparently unfamiliar with the concept of truthful reporting, Carlson belittled journalists who document Trump’s dishonesty as being like “obsessed baseball fans.” Carlson noted that the Washington Post has already collected more than 13,000 false or misleading statements by Trump. He singled a particularly memorable lie that Trump told at the very beginning of his term about the size of his inauguration audience being “the largest ever.” But even Carlson couldn’t pretend to believe that:

“We’re not going to lie to you. That was untrue. The crowd at the 2017 inauguration was not the largest ever measured on the National Mall. Sorry, it wasn’t. Why did the president claim it was? Well, because that’s who he is. Donald Trump is a salesman. He’s a talker, a boaster, a booster, a compulsive self-promoter. At times, he’s a full-blown BS artist. If Trump hadn’t gotten rich in real estate, he could have made a fortune selling cars.”

OK, then. We can now all agree that Trump is a “full-blown BS artist.” That much Carlson got right. Although, to be accurate, Trump did not get rich selling real estate. He inherited a fortune from his father that he mishandled so badly he had to declare multiple bankruptcies and take a humiliating job as the host of a reality TV game show. However, Carlson’s conjecture that Trump might have had more success as a shady car salesman hits closer to home.

As to Trump’s penchant for lying, Carlson’s casual admission that it’s just “because that’s who he is,” should be more troubling than he made it sound. That is not a personality trait that is sought in any leader. And Carlson’s attempt to downplay Trump’s lying simply because “most people know this,” and that “It’s obvious,” is downright bizarre. He’s implying that the knowledge that someone is a pathological liar makes it acceptable.

Carlson spent the next ten minutes making excuses for what he portrays as Trump’s truth telling. For the most part that consists of his maligning immigrants, smearing minorities, insulting Democrats, and expressing unfettered adoration for murderous foreign tyrants. And this, as it turns out, was the whole impetus for the entire segment. Carlson believes that Trump’s overt racism is what makes him so honest. And the social “benefit” of that unmasked hatred makes up for all of the blatant lying. So in Carlson’s world – and Trump’s – you can lie all you want so long as you remain faithful to an agenda of white supremacy and hatred. And being a “full-blown BS artist” doesn’t exempt you from leading the Republican Nationalist Party.

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


Fox News Ratings Continue to Sink During Month of Trump’s Impeachment Hearings

One of the most nauseating things about Donald Trump is how deliberately he has decimated the standards of honesty for the U.S. presidency. And while there is nothing he won’t lie about, his falsehoods are frequently employed to boost his own fragile ego. This is a man who began his term by lying about the size of his inauguration audience. He lies about his popularity among Republicans. He routinely lies about the attendance at his cult rallies. And lately he has been obsessed with lies about the impeachment hearings hurting Democrats.

Fox News, Titanic

Contrary to Trump’s plaintive whining, polls show that it’s his own approval rating that has suffered throughout the impeachment hearings. A majority of Americans still favor his impeachment and removal from office. But that isn’t the only downside for Trump World. His state TV propaganda network, Fox News, is also being dragged down by the loathing he has cultivated for himself and his Republican Nationalist Party.

The numbers for the month of November tell a tale of woe for Trump’s media minions. Year to year, Fox News viewership for the total day in the all-important 25-54 year old demographic declined 11%. That compared to MSNBC’s rise of 5%. Fox’s daytime ratings in the demo declined 5% (MSNBC was up 19%). And Fox’s primetime schedule featuring Trump-fluffers Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity, dropped 12% (MSNBC was up 8%).

MSNBC’s strong performance was once again driven by Rachel Maddow. Her program handily beat Hannity with an average audience of 572,000 a night. Hannity, Fox’s top rated program, trailed with only 554,000. But she wasn’t alone. Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Brian Williams all notched highs for the year in their time periods. Williams ranked No. 1 in his timeslot among adults 25-54. On the dayside, Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace was the most-watched cable news show at 4:00pm for the third straight month.

This is the second straight month where MSNBC’s growth outpaced Fox News. And it’s the third straight month that Maddow has topped Hannity. During most of this time the news has been consumed by contentious issues like impeachment and the 2020 election. Fox News has juiced its programming with live, interrupted coverage of Trump’s rallies (19 so far this year). But even that Trumpioid-fix for addicted Trump cultists didn’t keep viewers from fleeing.

Democrats should learn from this that they need to keep up the pressure on Trump. It’s not only educating the public about his criminal activities, it’s having a positive impact on impeachment in the polls, and on ratings for programs that aren’t afraid to tell the truth about Trump. Democrats need to ignore Trump’s impotent wailing about “witch hunts” and lies about how adored he is. He isn’t. And the more we point that out, the lower he sinks into the abyss of his own lies.

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


Desperate Trump Deceives His Disciples With Ludicrous Claims Re: Impeachment Polls

The House Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry hearings produced abundant evidence that Donald Trump improperly abused his power and the office of the presidency. His blatant extortion of the president of Ukraine in order to smear Joe Biden was unarguably affirmed by credible testimony from non-partisan career diplomats and national security professionals. It was a devastating week for Trump that even the senior legal analyst at Fox News recognized, saying that “the evidence of impeachable behavior is overwhelming.”

Donald Trump Crazy

This consensus among honest pundits and politicians has weighed heavily on Trump. His fear of the consequences of his acts shows with every new public outburst. And his determination to keep his cult followers blissfully unaware of the legal jeopardy that he and his cohorts face is producing ever more bizarre commentaries and tweets.

Trump has embarked on a mission to gaslight his Deplorables into believing that the impeachment hearings were a negative for Democrats. In the few days since last weeks testimony, Trump has unleashed a barrage of tweets falsely proclaiming that that the hearings have hurt Democrats and that polls are swinging strongly in his direction. For example, these are some of Trump’s unabashed falsehoods regarding his poll numbers:

  • The Tide Is Turning Against Democrats On Impeachment.”
  • Poll shows Dems losing interest in Impeachment inquiry all across the board.”
  • The Democrats are getting hit and slammed on Impeachment. It is getting less and less popular by the day.”
  • Support for Impeachment is dropping like a rock, down into the 20’s in some Polls.”
  • Democrats going back to their Districts for Thanksgiving are getting absolutely hammered by their constituents over the phony Impeachment Scam.”
  • The Impeachment Scam is driving Republican Poll Numbers UP, UP, UP! Thank you Shifty.”
  • The first phase of impeachment did not go well for Democrats.”
  • Polls have now turned very strongly against Impeachment, especially in swing states. 75% to 25%. Thank you!”
  • Polls have now turned very strongly against Impeachment!”
  • The support for Impeachment is not there. I think the Democrats will have to come up with a new game plan.”

Unfortunately for Trump, none of that is true. What’s more, much of it is just made up from thin air. Notice that he does not link to a single poll that supports his claims. That’s because they often do not exist. There is no poll that has support for impeachment “down into the 20’s.” There is also no poll showing “Republican Poll Numbers UP, UP, UP!” And his claim that Democrats returning to their districts for Thanksgiving are “getting absolutely hammered by their constituents,” was posted before most of them even left Washington.

The truth is, not surprisingly, diametrically opposed to Trump’s fantastical warping of reality. A new CNN poll taken after the hearings shows that 50% of voters support Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. Only 43% oppose his impeachment. That is just about the same as polling prior to the hearings. So contrary to Trump’s relentless raving, there has been no decline in support to ditch the President.

The CNN poll is in line with others, as well as polling that breaks the numbers down by political affiliation. What’s more, 53% say that Trump used the presidency improperly. And 56% say Trump’s pressure on Ukraine was about benefiting himself politically, not uprooting corruption.

A week ago Trump posted a tweet that bragged about 50% favorability in a poll by the utterly disreputable Rasmussen Reports. That number quickly dropped to only 44% favoring Trump during the week of the impeachment hearings. So not only did Support for Democrats not go down, it was support for Trump thank tanked. And that’s Trump’s favorite poll that he cites more than any other. For some reason he never cites it when it reports that he’s underwater, which is most of the time.

While it isn’t unusual that a politician would seek to accentuate the positive as often as possible, it’s troubling that Trump is so insistent on constantly – and grossly – misrepresenting his popularity. It’s just more proof that he is a stark raving narcissist, intent on creating his own fairy tale world. And the only thing worse than that is how hungrily his glassy-eyed disciples eat up his lies.

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

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IMPEACH NOW! Why Trump Cannot Be Allowed to Stay in Office Until the 2020 Election

The impeachment inquiry hearings held last week by the House Intelligence Committee revealed a case for the impeachment of Donald Trump that is – in the words of the Senior Legal Analyst at Fox News“OVERWHELMING!” Career diplomats and national security professionals provided first-hand testimony affirming Trump’s efforts to extort the president of Ukraine in order to help him smear a potential political rival.

Donald Trump

Nevertheless, Trump continues to insist that he’s done nothing wrong. And Republicans in Congress, along with Trump cultists in the press, refuse to give any ground or to acknowledge the piles of evidence against the President. In fact, in their zeal to defend Trump, they are brazenly advancing conspiracy theories concocted by Russia intended to harm the U.S.

When their reserve of talking points and slander against Trump critics run out, the Trumpian brigades resort to the pitifully weak backup argument that efforts to impeach Trump should be abandoned because there is an election next year. However, when that proposal is explored in detail it makes no sense whatsoever. So in the interest of providing a concise and logical rebuttal, what follows are three principle reasons for why it would be unthinkable to allow Trump to remain in office until the election of 2020:

REASON NUMBER 1: Cheaters Gonna Cheat
The offenses that Trump is being charged with are specifically related to his attempts to undermine a fair election. By abusing his power of the presidency in a plot to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, with the forced assistance of a foreign country, Trump has shown that he cannot be trusted to run an honest campaign. No one would play a round of golf for money with someone who has been proven to cheat at golf (as Trump has also done). And no one should expect Trump to conduct a fair campaign in 2020. What’s more, with what we know about his unsavory connections to Russia and Wikileaks, it’s clear that he cheated in 2016 as well. That’s not someone to whom you give the benefit of a doubt for an upcoming election.

REASON NUMBER 2: No Free Pass
Were we wait until 2020 for Trump to be voted out of office, that would not suffice as punishment. Any president who runs for reelection is subject to voters choosing someone else for the next four years. It might be due to dissatisfaction with his performance in his first term, or rejection of political policies, or even a personal dislike. Or it could be be simply because voters liked the other candidate better. But there is nothing associated with an electoral loss that can be strictly designated as punishment. However, when a president commits offenses that warrant impeachment, it is imperative that a historical record show what happened and why. Impeachment is the only way way to insure that the president is punished and that a deterrent is established for future presidents.

REASON NUMBER 3: You Can’t Trust a Con Man
The argument that we should all just a wait patiently because the next election is only a year away is an argument to be blindfolded for a year. In this context a year is quite a long time. A president inclined to breach ethical and legal standards can do a lot of damage in a year. He can issue executive orders, appoint judges and other powerful political allies, and engage in vengeful retaliation against critics. Someone under the kind of cloud that impeachment presents – particularly when it’s related to unlawful or corrupt acts – cannot be trusted to behave honorably for another twelve months in an office that they shouldn’t occupy to begin with. That time could be spent obstructing justice, maligning opponents, or just feathering his nest financially.

CONCLUSION
Those who say we should wait and let the voters decide are forgetting that the voters already decided. In 2016 they chose Hillary Clinton by a 3,000,000 vote margin. In 2018 they handed the power of the majority to Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in the House of Representatives. And all of the polling today indicates that most Americans favor impeaching Trump and removing him from office. Given that endorsement, and the reasons stated above, there really is no other path forward than impeachment. The arguments to the contrary are impotent, devoid of logic, and steeped in the cult worship of glassy-eyed disciples whose only interest is in appeasing Dear Leader.

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


Fox News Senior Legal Analyst: Evidence of Impeachable Behavior is Overwhelming

The consensus opinion following last week’s marathon impeachment hearings is that Donald Trump was badly hurt by the testimony from credible career diplomats and national security professionals. He was shown to have committed something on the order of bribery or extortion by withholding congressionally appropriated military aid from Ukraine unless they agreed to help him smear Joe Biden.

Donald Trump, Andrew Napolitano

That consensus was manifest in much of the media, including among some Republican pundits and expert analysts. The one outpost that stubbornly refused to see reality was, not surprisingly, Fox News. They obediently carried out their mission to protect and defend Dear Leader Donald Trump, and to dismiss and malign his critics. Along with misrepresenting what witnesses like Dr. Fiona Hill and Alexander Vindman told the House Intelligence Committee, Fox News shills gleefully propagated ludicrous conspiracy theories that were concocted by Russia and intended to harm the United States.

It’s one thing for Fox News – the Ministry of Propaganda for the Trump regime – to advance conservative political positions and promote Republican officeholders and candidates. It’s another thing entirely for them to help a hostile foreign country to undermine the interests and welfare of America. But that is precisely what they and many GOP politicians have been doing.

One exception to the wingnut groupthink on Fox News is Andrew Napolitano. He’s a former judge, a stalwart Republican, and Fox’s senior legal analyst. And after paying close attention to the testimony delivered throughout the past week, he enumerated what he believes the Democrats will put forth in Articles of Impeachment in an interview with ReasonTV:

“One is bribery…The second charge will be high crimes and misdemeanors, election law violation. The third crime will be obstruction of justice. The fourth will be interference with a witness, and the fifth may be lying under oath.

Napolitano was not just speculating as to how Democrats might proceed. He gave his own opinion of Trump’s legal jeopardy going forward saying that “The evidence of his impeachable behavior at this point, in my view, is overwhelming.” He further noted that Trump has failed to offer any coherent defense. The President, in fact, is prohibiting those he claims would exonerate him from testifying. They include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and Vice-President Mike Pence. You can be certain that if those people could help Trump prove his innocence he would drive them to the Capitol himself.

However, before anyone gets the idea that Fox News is cracking the door open to the possibility that Trump is guilty and deserving of impeachment, it needs to be pointed out that Napolitano has not been allowed to offer this assessment on Fox News. He had to go to ReasonTV to present these views. His absence on Fox following the hearings has been profoundly conspicuous. It’s almost as if Fox News doesn’t want their viewers to hear the opinion that Trump’s actions warrant impeachment. Ya think?

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


Terrified that His Taxes Will Become Public, Trump Sics His DOJ on the Supreme Court

Last week’s impeachment hearings revealed overwhelming evidence of the criminal behavior of Donald Trump. The witnesses were largely from his own administration, including Dr. Fiona Hill who was a top aide to Trump’s ultra-conservative National Security Advisor, John Bolton. And every one of them testified that Trump improperly threatened to withhold military funds from Ukraine unless they helped him smear a political rival. In fact, Trump himself admitted it.

Donald Trump

However, in just the few hours since the hearings adjourned, there have been some startling stories of corruption and dirty dealing by Trump and his sycophantic defenders. The ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, has been implicated in a scandal of his own wherein he was seeking foreign assistance to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Which is precisely the crime that the Committee is investigating Trump for. As for Trump, he visited his Friends at Fox News to spread propaganda manufactured by Russia. But These aren’t the only problems Trump faces.

The state of New York has been trying to get Trump’s tax returns as evidence in a case probing alleged campaign finance violations. Trump, of course, has been refusing to cooperate, but having lost in the lower courts, Trump is taking his challenge to the Supreme Court. In advance of any decision, the Department of Justice is now weighing in with their own opinion. And naturally they are siding with Trump. This is just further proof that Attorney Genuflect Bill Barr is a toady for Trump who is breaching his oath to serve the American people.

There is no justification for the DOJ to interfere with this litigation. It is outside of the purview of the Department as it involves Trump personally and is not associated with his duties as president. What’s more, the case that the DOJ is presenting to the Supreme Court is typically biased, shallow, and weak on legal rationale. According to their filing

“The brief, filed by Solicitor General Noel Francisco, says allowing Manhattan prosecutor Cyrus Vance to obtain the tax returns would create a precedent that ‘may subject the president to highly burdensome demands for information’ and ‘raises the risk that prosecutors could use subpoenas to harass the president as a result of opposition to his policies.'”

Literally none of that is is justification for the Justice Department to interfere with this case. The President is not immune to investigations by state prosecutors. And it isn’t the DOJ’s job to define what constitutes a “burden” to the President. Nor is the DOJ permitted to insert itself into what may or may not be a political affair. The President has his personal attorneys for those purposes. The brief went on to say that…

“’The United States has a substantial interest in protecting the office of the president and the powers and duties vested in that office,’ the brief reportedly reads. ‘The United States also has a substantial interest in protecting the autonomy of the federal government from potential interference by the states.'”

To the extent that the DOJ is tasked with “protecting the office of the president,” it is limited to the his official duties, not his personal affairs. Especially those that took place prior to his election. However, the argument that the DOJ has an interest in protecting the President “from potential interference by the states,” is downright ludicrous. It is, in effect, a claim to protect the President from the nation he is sworn to serve. If upheld it would set a precedent that allows any president to violate state laws with impunity. And along with the tax laws that are central to this case, that could include rape and murder.

Trump’s stubborn refusal to release his taxes – as every other president in modern times has done – is a pretty good indication that there is something terribly wrong hidden in them. He isn’t even pretending to be audited anymore. Now he claims that just asking to see his returns is an abuse of power. He’s just sending his lackeys out to make absurd arguments in the hopes that he can keep his skeletons in the closet. And while the DOJ’s case is so thin as to be laughable, it is not outside the realm of possibility that it will be received favorably by a Supreme Court that is stacked with right-wingers and Trump appointees. Time will tell if they honor the law and the Constitution more than their misplaced loyalty to a criminal president.

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


Trump Brings His Crowdstrike Conspiracy Theory Clown Show to Fox News

No one is going to be surprised to hear that Donald Trump unleashed another flurry of flagrant lies in a barely coherent attempt to extract himself from the impeachment quandary that is burying him. But the weakness of his latest arguments is a cringeworthy display of intellectual impotence.

Donald Trump, Pennywise

Trump made yet another appearance on his favorite Fox News morning program, Fox and Friends. He called in to chat with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes and to rail against his perceived enemies in Congress and the media. It was a forty-five minute spectacle of deranged babbling that even Fox’s hosts seemed to find excessive and exasperating.

Among the myriad of topics that Trump meandered about as he vainly sought to persuade people that he isn’t criminally insane, was one that he has been obsessed with for three years. It is also one that has been certified as Russian propaganda. The subject concerns his bizarre notion that a computer server belonging to the Democratic National Committee contains some unspecified evidence of wrongdoing by Democrats. And that server has somehow been transported to Ukraine for unknown reasons. It’s all pretty ludicrous, but oh so Trumpian. His wildly careening rant eventually led to this screwball soliloquy (video below):

“They have the server from the DNC, Democratic National Committee. The FBI went in they told them ‘Get outta here. We’re not giving it to you.’ They gave the server to Crowdstrike, or whatever you call it. Which is a country…a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian. And I still wanna see that server. You know the FBI has never gotten that server. That’s a big part of this whole thing. Why did they give it to a Ukrainian company.”

Literally everything in that outburst is false. There is no evidence whatsoever that Ukrainians have any DNC server. Democrats never told the FBI that they couldn’t have it. Infact, the DNC provided the FBI with a mirror copy of it, which is all the FBI ever asked for. Crowdstrike is not owned by a wealthy Ukrainian. It’s actually a publicly owned U.S. technology company based in Sunnyvale, California. It was founded by two American citizens, one of whom was born in Russia. It would be difficult for Trump to have gotten more wrong in this statement. It was so preposterous that even Fox’s co-host Steve Doocy questioned it:

Doocy: Are you sure they did that? Are you sure they gave it to Ukraine?
Trump: Well, that’s what the word is.

So we have now descended to the point that the President of the United States is justifying his ridiculous conspiracy theories by citing “the word” of unnamed rumor mongers. Trump’s former White House Homeland Security Adviser, Tom Bossert, recently addressed this nonsense saying that “It’s not only a conspiracy theory, it is completely debunked.” Bossert was also troubled by the fact that this theory was being propagated by Trump’s personal attorney, and executive tripe wrangler, Rudy Giuliani.

This isn’t the first time Trump has gone haywire over the Case of the Mysterious Server Just last month he seemed to have had a mental malfunction that produced this unholy gibberish:

“I still ask the FBI, where is the server? How come the FBI never got the server from the DNC? Where is the server? I want to see the server. Let’s see what’s on the server. So the server they say is held by a company whose primary ownership individual is from Ukraine. I would like to see the server. I think it’s very important for this country to see the server. Nobody wants to see it. The media never wants to see it. I’ll tell you, Republicans want to see it.”

And if you think the text of that is wacko, you should see the video It is one of the best arguments for the impeachment of Trump as an urgent necessity. But if that isn’t enough, Trump also told the Fox Friends that “If I didn’t fire Comey, I would be in some trouble right now … It turns out to be the best move I ever made, firing Comey, because they were trying to take me down.” And that is as blatant a confession of abuse of power and obstruction of justice as you’re ever likely to see on television. Trump seems to be determined to impeach himself. So let’s help him out and get it done.

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