Trump Keeps Whining About Impeachment, So Why Doesn’t He Offer a Defense?

One of Donald Trump’s most frequently articulated complaints is that the impeachment hearings are being conducted in a manner that is unfair to him. He grumbles daily (hourly) about due process and wonders why his attorney isn’t allowed to cross-examine the witnesses. Nevermind that everyone knows that “defendants” are not permitted legal representation during an investigation. That right kicks in at trial.

Donald Trump, Impeach

Apparently Trump believes that police detectives must drag the suspect’s lawyer around with them when they conduct interviews. He has surely been told that that isn’t true, but he clings to this absurdity anyway. He also must know that Congress is in an investigatory phase of impeachment. His perspective is already being presented by the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee. But if he is concerned that fact witnesses who support his positions aren’t being heard, it’s only because he has refused to allow them to testify. What’s more, there is nothing preventing him from testifying himself. He often says that he is his own best spokesman. However, on this matter he is clearly afraid to speak on his own behalf under oath.

Consequently, Trump resorts to his favored mode of communication: his Twitter machine. On Thursday morning he pounded out seventeen (17!) tweets mostly obsessing about impeachment and the raw deal he thinks he’s been dealt. And the one thing they all have in common is that they completely avoid any substantive defense for his actions. Not a single time does he provide any exculpatory evidence or even an argument that contains some rational account of his innocence.

For the most part, Trump’s tweets focus on attacking either the press or his perceived enemies in Congress. Chief among his targets is Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who Trump, in his infantile way, likes to call Adam “Schitt.” But more to the point, his rage-tweeting included this lament that his fantasies aren’t aligned with the real world:

Anyone paying attention has heard Trump’s tiresome and repetitive declarations that his phone calls with Ukrainian President Zelensky were “perfect,” whatever that means. However, the “transcripts” (actually summary memos) explicitly reveal that Trump did link U.S. military aid to Ukraine digging up dirt on Joe Biden (aka quid pro quo/bribery/extortion). And Trump’s hostility and fear of Schiff was just getting warmed up:

It’s important to note that Trump never details what he thinks makes Schiff corrupt. It’s simply an ad hominem attack intended to rile up his base and salve his tender ego. That’s why he lashes out with blanket insults that malign anyone who dares to criticize him as “human scum.” And yet, somehow he he still has the audacity to contend that he’s “winning big” which, were it true, you would expect him to stop crying over it so much. When has an actual winner ever been so obsessed with all the evidence of him being a loser? But Trump’s angst-ridden anxiety was still just getting started. He still needed to parrot something utterly false that he had just seen on Fox News:

First of all, the man who has been documented as having told more than 13,000 lies ought not to be maligning the honesty of anyone else. Particularly when he can’t cite a single falsehood. Furthermore, the comments Trump quoted from Fox News are easily debunked. The Committee rules are public information. There is nothing in them that gives Schiff the power “unilaterally to release edited transcripts.” All transcripts are reviewed for accuracy by both parties and even the witnesses.

As for the Committee jurisdiction, that is entirely the purview of the majority Democrats and the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who also scares the bejesus out of Trump. For the record, Schiff’s committee has been designated as one of several investigating committees. Eventually, the Judiciary Committee will preside over impeachment, if there is one.

The fact that Trump communicates so frequently, and with such vigor, however never bothers to offer a substantive defense, is indicative of one thing: He has no defense. That is affirmed by the questioning by Republicans during the impeachment hearings wherein they completely avoid substance in favor of innuendo, conspiracy theories, and baseless, tabloid-style accusations. If Trump had a coherent defense he would use it. And he would allow those he claims are his supporters to present their case before the committee. That’s the big question. Why would an innocent man prohibit the testimony of those he says would exonerate him? Hmmm?

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

Terrified Trump Lies and Lashes Out at Nancy Pelosi, Calling Her ‘Grossly Incompetent’

The impeachment hearings continue on Capitol Hill with the testimony of Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman and others from the administration. Their depositions already reveal incriminating evidence against Donald Trump and his efforts to extort Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That isn’t expected to change during the live testimony, although Republicans will surely try to assassinate their characters and change the subject.

Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi

As for Trump, he began the morning with his customary hostility toward Democrats and the legal and proper process that is underway. It is the duty of Congress to ascertain the facts about an unlawful bribery conspiracy intended to benefit Trump’s reelection prospects. And since the facts are all aligned against him, he is wholly consumed with defaming his perceived foes, Democrats and the press. That objective was neatly summarized in his remarks during a White House press avail wherein he unleashed a tirade that was completely devoid of any substantive defense of his actions. It was pure venom and wrath (video below). He began…:

“The woman [Nancy Pelosi] is grossly incompetent. All she wants to do is focus on impeachment, which is just a little pipe dream she’s got. And she can keep playing that game.”

Naturally the first inclination of Trump is to throw insults at his enemies. And of course they are completely lacking in any factual basis. Trump is well known for spewing whatever vile nonsense comes into his hollow head at any given moment, so his attack on Pelosi as “grossly incompetent” is just an empty slur. In fact, he had a very different opinion of her when Democrats won control of the House in 2018:

However, Trump was far from finished with his morning malice. He continued by introducing an imaginary scenario that he pulled straight from his asinine fantasies of how he thinks the world should be:

“I’ve been told – who knows if this is so, but I think it’s so. I have pretty good authority on it – that she’s using USMCA (United States, Mexico, and Canada Trade Agreement) because she doesn’t have the impeachment votes, so she’s using USMCA to get the impeachment vote. And it doesn’t matter because right now you have a kangaroo court headed by little shifty Schiff, where we don’t have lawyers, we don’t have witnesses, we don’t have anything.”

To be clear, Trump was told this by the voices in his head. There is absolutely no evidence of Pelosi associating the USMCA with the impeachment vote. What’s more, it’s already been established that she has the votes of a significant majority of Democrats for impeachment. But Trump couldn’t help himself and had to pound out another insult aimed at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. Trump has previously displayed his rank childishness by insulting the Chairman as Adam “Schitt.”

And still Trump wasn’t through. His whining about not having his lawyers or witnesses at the hearing could be resolved by him agreeing to testify. He tweeted that he would consider that, but anyone holding their breath waiting for it to happen better have a soft place to fall when they pass out. Also, not having Rudy Giuliani there can only be seen as a positive.

Finally, Trump exhibited the depth of his delusion by claiming that “The Republicans are absolutely killing it” at the hearing. He apparently hasn’t heard any of the incriminating testimony. Then he rattled off his routing ranting about the whole thing being a hoax and how the Founders, who deliberately wrote impeachment into the Constitution, would have nevertheless opposed it. And he has the bizarre impression that he’s a beloved leader who is doing well in the polls. Perhaps so, if he thinks that having a majority of Americans favor his impeachment and removal from office is “doing well.” In his diseased mind the Democrats are are simply out to get him, but…

“It’s had the opposite effect, because you’ve seen the polls and I’m the highest I’ve ever been in the polls. You don’t hear that on television because the news and the Democrats are one and the same.”

The reason you don’t hear that Trump is high in the polls is because it isn’t true. But that’s just another of the fallacies that Trump is disseminating. On Monday he tweeted with shock that Nancy Pelosi said “It is dangerous to let the voters decide Trump’s fate.” Which would be shocking if she actually said that. In reality, Pelosi only said that not conducting the impeachment inquiry would be dangerous “because the President is jeopardizing the integrity of the 2020 elections.” That’s very, very different, and true. Trump’s “quote” actually came, not from Pelosi, but from Mike Emanuel of Fox News. Is anyone surprised?

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

BULL SCHITT! Trump Resorts to Infantile Profanities to Sell His Lies About the Economy

Remember when Donald Trump was elected and pundits speculated about when his raw and rancid campaign persona would transition into something more presidential? Yeah, that was great. The naivete of the media persisted for months, and some stubborn holdouts are still expecting Trump to pivot from his bombastic bullying to something closer to a statesman. Good luck with that.


On Saturday morning’s regularly scheduled Trump Tweetstorm, the Crybaby-in-Chief unleashed a typically dishonest tirade. It was plainly intended to thrust the nation into fear of the Democrats’ efforts to hold Trump accountable for his cornucopia of impeachable crimes. Nevermind that a majority of the nation favor his impeachment and removal from office, even according to polling by Fox News. The recent impeachment hearings in Congress have clearly flustered the President, as members of his own administration are testifying to his illegal conduct. Consequently, he is reaching for far flung fantasies to frighten his glassy-eyed disciples into propping up his rapidly deflating ego. He tweeted that…

“Pelosi & Schitt”? Is anyone else concerned that our president has the emotional maturity of six year old who was dropped on his head ten or twenty times? And for those who might try to excuse this as an unfortunate typo, be aware that this isn’t the first time that the Trumplet has sunk to this level of asininity. He is merely expressing himself at the level that is natural for him. And coincidentally, it’s the same level as his cult worshiping followers.

As for his stock market prognostications, Trump could not be farther from reality. Consistent with his recent relentless lying about the economy, his fear mongering that the market would crash and thrust the nation into a depression if he were impeached has no factual basis. Particularly because all the evidence shows that the stock markets have performed better during Democratic administrations than when Republicans were in charge.

What’s more, Trump’s motivations with regard to the economy are uniquely personal. All he is looking for is a short-term stimulative effect on the stock market. That’s partly because he wants to artificially boost the market in advance of the 2020 presidential election to enhance his own reelection prospects. But Trump is also a 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, as he has been prodding the Fed to do, so do the costs of servicing that debt, and he saves literally millions of dollars.

To be sure, there is a recession on the horizon. It is unarguably the Trump Recession that is the result of his reckless policies. Among them, there was the tax scam reform bill that cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy while throwing crumbs to everyone else. That has produced the biggest annual deficit in the nation’s history, reaching into the trillions for the first time. That, in turn, has resulted in the highest federal debt ever, exceeding $22 trillion. Other signs of the recession include…

  • Equity outflows into the relative safety of bonds
  • Interest rate cuts that are generally done when the economy is weak
  • Trump’s tariffs causing bankruptcies and job losses
  • Tepid GDP growth of 1.9% (well short of the 4% to 6% Trump promised)
  • Manufacturing declines
  • Weak wage growth
  • The highest income inequality ever

So Trump’s boasting of the Dow hitting 28,000 doesn’t really mean much. In fact, it’s really just a Wall Street head fake that occurs prior to almost every downturn. Institutions are buying equities to drive prices up so that they can sell high into the rising market. When they do the rest of the market – and most citizen investors – will be stuck holding stocks worth half as much. Smart investors are getting out now, as indicated by the inflows into bonds noted above.

No one can predict with precision when the recession will hit. But when it does you can rest assured that Trump will blame it on Democrats. That’s true whether he’s impeached or not. His story changes to fit the circumstances. In recent weeks Trump has tweeted that his impeachment is a drag on the stock market:

However, now that the impeachment hearings have gone public and are much bigger news than ever, he’s celebrating new highs in the market. So that must mean that impeachment is boosting the markets. Right? Well, only if you expect Trump’s babbling to be honest or consistent or logical. And if you do, you’re probably already headed for a severe depression.

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

It’s a Crime! Fox News Anchors Tell the Truth About Trump’s Witness Intimidation

On Friday the Congressional hearing on Donald Trump’s impeachment continued with the testimony of Marie Yovanovitch, the former Ambassador of the United States to Ukraine. Most observers have noted that Yovanovitch is a respected diplomat whose decades of service to the country reflect her honor and honesty. That opinion, however, is not shared by the President, whose nasty animosity is starkly contrary to the consensus of those who know her and her work.

Fox News, Impeach Trump

While the hearing was in progress, Trump demonstrated his deep-seated fear of the consequences of Yovanovitch’s truthful and credible testimony. True to form, Trump grabbed his Twitter machine and lashed out savagely at her in a loathsome attempt to discredit an honorable public servant. Trump tweeted that…

First of all, the fact that Yovanovitch voluntarily served in “hardship” posts (or what Trump might call shithole countries) is evidence of her patriotism and commitment to the advancement of our national interests. She was not responsible for the adversity in those countries. To the contrary, she could be credited with mitigating the chaos and suffering they endured over many years prior to her tenure.

Trump’s tweets can only be interpreted as intending to intimidate this witness and discourage other witnesses from coming forward. It is a corrupt and potentially illegal act that exposes his consciousness of guilt and further incriminates him. That view is surprisingly shared by the principle “news” anchors at Fox News. Bret Baier was asked for his assessment immediately following the first session on the hearing. He said that…

“This whole hearing turned on a dime when the President tweeted about her real time. And during the questioning Adam Schiff stopped the Democratic questioning to read the President’s tweet to her and get her response. That enabled Schiff to then characterize that tweet as intimidating the witness, or tampering with the witness, which is a crime. Adding, essentially, an article of impeachment real time as this hearing is going on.

Not only did Baier identify the potential criminality embedded in Trump’s disparaging and threatening tweet, but he recognized that having tweeted while the hearing was still in progress was an unusual interruption that had a profound and improper impact. And he wasn’t alone. Fox’s Chris Wallace also commented on Yovanovitch’s testimony saying that “if you are not moved… by the testimony of Marie Yovanovich, you don’t have a pulse.” He went on to deliver a brief history of her sterling career with the State Department. And then he added that…

“I agree with Bret here that the really dramatic moment is that this wasn’t just testimony about the past. This played out in real time with the president attacking her and saying that every place that she served went bad. And she was asked by Adam Schiff, ‘Do you see that as an effort to intimidate you and other witnesses?’ And she said that ‘I feel that is quite intimidating.’ And that does raise the possibility of witness intimidation and witness tampering as a new charge here.”

It was not, however, all hearts and flowers at Fox News. Yovanovitch has been bitterly attacked by the usual suspects during Fox’s primetime (Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham) and their morning propaganda block (Fox and Friends, Outnumbered). Wallace alluded to this when he spoke of the “smear campaign that came from Rudy Giuliani and some of his cohorts and was repeated in some of the outlets in right-wing media.” What Wallace didn’t acknowledge is that Fox News is the most prominent of those right-wing media outlets that smeared her. And we can expect that to continue despite these rare and candid comments from Baier and Wallace.

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

UPDATE: As Fox took a break from the hearing, their senior Capitol Hill producer made the utterly irrelevant observation that “When we look at the U.S. Constitution and look at Article 2, Section 4, it doesn’t say anything about witness intimidation.” Of course it doesn’t. It also doesn’t say anything about murder, rape, bank fraud, perjury (see Bill Clinton), tax evasion, child pornography, cannibalism, etc. The Constitution never intended to itemize every possible illegal act that would warrant impeachment.

Impeachment for Dummies: Trump, the Whistleblower, and Quid Pro Quackery

This week the House Intelligence Committee will begin holding public hearings on the impeachment of Donald Trump. They will interview witnesses who have inside knowledge of the administration’s efforts to extort the government of Ukraine into digging up dirt on Joe Biden. And the pressure this is putting on the President is evident in his frantic and fearful reactions.

Donald Trump Impeach

On Saturday Trump disgorged a record 82 tweets, most of which were self-exalting tributes to himself and his personal perspective of his purity and innocence. And he spent much of last week wallowing in victimhood and delusional outbursts that, for the most part, worked against him in public approval polling. His tantrums are continuing into this week with more tweeted whining about the impeachment hearings and his congressional nemesis, Adam Schiff, about whom he tweeted 104 times last month. His latest attack was dripping with animosity and fictional accusations:

Trump is now boldly calling for Schiff to be “investigared,” despite the fact that Schiff has nothing that even warrants being investigated, much less investigared. Trump is so “investi-scared” he can’t communicate coherently. Which may explain why he thinks that “doctored transcripts” are a thing. All congressional transcripts are signed off on by the witnesses for accuracy. So there is no such thing as Democratic or Republican transcripts. What Trump must be thinking of are doctored summary memos of transcripts, like the ones that he and his Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, have disseminated.

However, Trump’s obsession with the whistleblower is a peculiar diversion. He has been howling about it for weeks. So this might be a good time to school the Resident on whistleblowers in general, and this one in particular.

The whistleblower statute provides for confidentiality expressly to prevent the sort of retaliation and witness intimidation that Trump is engaging in. His tactics, and those of right-wing media including Fox News, have a very real possibility of resulting in serious harm to the whistleblower and his/her family. That’s something that Trump and his political and press cohorts don’t appear to care about.

What’s more, the whistleblower’s testimony in this affair has become entirely irrelevant. Since making the first complaint, Trump released his summary memo of the phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. In it Trump admitted that he had made foreign aid contingent on Ukraine helping him to smear the Bidens. That’s a textbook example of quid pro quo. He also admitted this on national television, as did his Chief-of-Staff, Mick Mulvaney.

Following that, witnesses whose identities are public (National Security Council Russia advisor Fiona Hill, NSC Ukraine expert Alexander Vindman, Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sonderland, Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, and Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch) have all corroborated this attempted extortion. So why would the whistleblower – whose account was second hand – need to testify at all?

In addition to that, there is no requirement that a quid pro quo exist for Trump’s behavior to be impeachable. It is the request itself that breaches the protocol and ethics of the presidency and constitutes an improper abuse of power, as well as conspiracy to solicit foreign interference in an election. So even if there was no promise of any reciprocal action, it would still be improper. And the attempt doesn’t have to be successful either in order to be impeachable.

These simple facts are all that are necessary to understand the current legal jeopardy that Trump finds himself in. But they are apparently still to complex for him to grasp. So he lashes out repeatedly with the same bogus gripes as if repetition will make them true. And his enablers in Congress and the media are either equally as ignorant or deliberately dishonest when they pursue these red herrings as defenses for Trump. But the American people understand and that’s why a majority of them favor Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. And the sooner the better.

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

CHOPPER TALK: Corrupt Donald Trump Tells Flagrant Lies About Pretty Much Everything

Our Reality TV president just released the latest episode of his long-running soap opera “Chopper Talk” (or more accurately “Whopper Talk”) wherein Donald Trump swaggers pompously before an assemblage of reporters as he ostensibly responds to questions with “answers” that, more often than not, ignore the reporter’s inquiry. His strained and frequently incoherent responses range from awkward deflections to outright lies. It’s a circus of self-serving propaganda that has no journalistic value whatsoever.

Donald Trump, Chopper Talk

There are many reasons that the press needs to stop covering these slack-jawed sideshows live. They provide almost nothing useful for viewers. Even worse, as Media Matters reports, is that Fox news continues to air all of Trump’s cult rallies live. CNN has cut back almost entirely, airing only ten minutes this year. MSNBC aired none of them.

However, there is one thing that comes from these loopy press avails. They allow a pathological liar to disgorge uninterrupted rants that sound very much like the schizophrenic on the street corner shouting epithets at passing cars. And in Friday’s instalment (video below) Trump was in rare form, excreting nonsense like a haywire word-salad shooter. Just a few of Trump’s fact-challenged falsehoods include…

“Adam Schiff is a corrupt politician. He’s corrupt. He made up a speech, and he put my voice in it.”

FALSE: Schiff merely paraphrased Trump and prefaced his remarks by saying explicitly that they were the “essence” of what Trump said, not a verbatim quote.

“Everyone of those people testified absolutely fine for me. […] You know I don’t even know most of these people. Many of these people I’ve never even heard of.”

FALSE: Most of the people Trump is talking about were appointed by him or by those he appointed. This is a common tactic that he uses to pretend he doesn’t know anyone who criticizes him. What Trump wants you to believe is that he never heard of his National Security Council Russia advisor Fiona Hill, his NSC Ukraine expert Alexander Vindman, his Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sonderland, his Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker, his Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, and his Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. If he really doesn’t know these high-level White House staffers, that’s just more proof that he’s unfit to serve.

“We are winning so big. My polls are the highest they’ve ever been. I’m leading in all of the swing states.”

FALSE: Trump’s poll numbers are as low as ever. They have hovered around 40 percent since his inauguration, and still do. And he is notably losing in many of the swing states.

And then there’s this: Trump unleashes a bizarre and incoherent rant that meanders from one subject to another without ever approaching reality. But he does manage to threaten to sue the whistleblower’s attorney of treason (which is ludicrous because you can’t sue for treason).

“The whistleblower, I call him the fake whistleblower. He gave a fake report of my phone call. And when I released that call, all of a sudden everybody disappeared. The whistleblower disappeared. What ever happened to the second whistleblower? Why isn’t the first whistleblower gonna testify anymore? You know why? Because everything he wrote in that report almost was a lie. Because he made a phony phone call. My phone call was perfect. He made it sound bad. That’s why I had to release. So the whistleblower is a disgrace to our country. And the whistleblower because of that should be revealed. And his lawyer, who said the worst things possible two years ago, he should be sued. And maybe for treason.

HUH? The whistleblower hasn’t disappeared. His/her identity is still under wraps, despite the efforts of right-wing media, including Fox News, who have offered up a name of someone they can’t confirm is really the whistleblower. And Trump’s “transcript” of his phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky actually confirms the account by the whistleblower, making him/her irrelevant. But Trump’s reckless charges of treason demonstrate why truth tellers in government need the protection of whistleblower status.

The only benefit that can be derived from these demented outbursts is that they are further evidence that Trump is a severely disturbed psychotic who presents a clear and present danger to the nation. The media has a responsibility to refrain from airing his ravings live. They have nothing to lose by reviewing the video and airing it twenty minutes later with added context and fact-checking. And if they don’t take that simple step they are aiding and abetting Trump’s deranged campaign of propaganda and lies. That is dangerous and contrary to the mission of the free press and ethical journalism.

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

Trump’s Dementia Kicks In, Whining that the Whistleblower Must and Must Not Testify

This is the latest chapter of the Trump Impeachment Saga: The Walls are Closing In. And as they do Trump becomes ever more deranged and incoherent. He knows that his support, even among Republicans, is rapidly deteriorating. He knows that he has no comprehensible response to the charges against him. He’s scared witless of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. And he’s reduced to behaving like a cowardly victim of the gathering hordes of enemies his paranoia imagines are surrounding him.

Trump Fear

It’s a pathetic spectacle that is plain to see by most Americans (who favor his impeachment and removal from office), as well as our allies and foes around the world. And he’s getting noticeably worse as more evidence and witnesses become available to the public. Trump is on a downward spiral that is manifesting in everything he does and says.

On Monday morning Trump provided a profoundly disturbing example of his mental decline. Within his regularly scheduled tweetstorm, he ranted about what he’s now calling a “Witch Hunt Hoax.” That used to be the investigation into his unsavory connections to Russia, but has now been rebranded for the Ukraine affair. Among the tweets he posted were these bizarre comments:

…all you have to do is read the transcript of the call, you do not need Never Trumpers or other witnesses to say what it means or says. It is plainly and very well stated for all to see.

There is no reason to call witnesses to analyze my words and meaning.”

The Whistleblower gave false information & dealt with corrupt politician Schiff. He must be brought forward to testify.”

So Trump is adamant that there need not be any testimony by anyone regarding his extortion of Ukrainian President Zelensky while seeking dirt on Joe Biden. But he’s just as adamant that the testimony take place. How his diseased brain synchronizes those contradictions is a mystery. He has been repeatedly insisting that people “read the transcript.” Of course, many people have already done this and were thus persuaded that Trump is obviously guilty of pressuring Zelensky and demanding a quid pro quo. The “transcript” (which was really just a memo summarizing the phone call) explicitly referenced Trump’s request for “a favor” that he directly associated with an improper probe of the Biden’s.

Furthermore, Trump doesn’t feel that it’s necessary for others to analyze his words. Well, except for his GOP defenders and Fox News. He posts endless videos from those “analysts” on Twitter. And he maligns anyone who dares to find any critical messaging as “Never-Trumpers,” despite having no evidence whatsoever that they were political opponents. What’s more, Trump declared that the whistleblower should not be permitted to provide written answers to the investigators. Although that was perfectly permissible for himself when he answered questions for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump’s tweetery about the “transcripts” has also recently swerved into lunatic territory with allegations that Rep. Schiff (to whom Trump has applied the anti-Semitic nickname, “Shifty”) would “change the words that were said to suit the Dems purposes.” Nevermind that they were all prepared by committee staff that included Republican members, and their accuracy would be easy to confirm. Trump also tweeted a confession that his actions constituted a quid pro quo, but which he falsely claimed wasn’t impeachable.

Don’t hurt yourself trying to figure out how any of Trump’s tirades make sense. They don’t. They are blatant machinations designed to confuse and frustrate those delving into his criminal activities. And they have been constructed by a mind that has lost all connections to reality. His comments on Twitter and his “Chopper Talk” press avails are increasingly incomprehensible. We are watching a developing paranoid psychosis in real time and on public platforms. And it isn’t pretty.

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

Trump’s Impotent Response to Impeachment Vote is Flagrantly Delusional and Dishonest

On Thursday morning the House of Representatives did what Donald Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party has been asking for. They voted to proceed with the impeachment inquiry in an open, accessible manner that permits the GOP to review all documents and transcripts, issue subpoenas, and cross-examine witnesses. So naturally Trump and Republicans are still whining.

Donald Trump, Impeach

The spectacle of a president whining like a petulant child seems unthinkable, but for Trump it is business as usual. During his campaign he actually bragged that he is the most fabulous whiner.” And he has spent his presidency proving it. Now, with the walls closing in around him, Trump is lashing out incoherently in a panicked effort to escape accountability for his treasonous misconduct. In an official statement from the White House, Trump laid out an impotent case for his acquittal. Let’s take a closer look at the full statement with some explanatory annotations:

“The President has done nothing wrong, and the Democrats know it.”

The President has done a great many things wrong and, unfortunately for him, the Democrats and a majority of Americans know it. Among his criminal and impeachable offenses are extortion, campaign finance violations, witness intimidation, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy against the United States.

“Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats’ unhinged obsession with this illegitimate impeachment proceeding does not hurt President Trump; it hurts the American people.”

The right calls everything Democrats do unhinged and partisan, so those labels have lost any meaning or relevance. As for the impeachment hurting the American people, that’s impossible considering that fact that a majority of them are in favor of it.

“Instead of focusing on pressing issues that impact real families, like reducing gun violence, passing the USMCA, improving healthcare, lowering prescription drug costs, securing our southern border, and modernizing our aging infrastructure, the Democrats are choosing every day to waste time on a sham impeachment—a blatantly partisan attempt to destroy the President.”

Democrats in the House of Representatives have passed bills addressing nearly all of those issues, plus more than 300 others. It’s the GOP Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, who is refusing to let them come to a vote in the Senate.

“With today’s vote, Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats have done nothing more than enshrine unacceptable violations of due process into House rules. Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Schiff, and the Democrats conducted secret, behind-closed-door meetings, blocked the Administration from participating, and have now voted to authorize a second round of hearings that still fails to provide any due process whatsoever to the Administration.”

Actually, the rules being followed by the Democrats were written and codified in 2015 by a Republican House majority led by Speaker John Boehner. This was notably pointed out by Judge Andrew Napolitano, the Senior Legal Analyst at Fox News. What’s more, Republicans were participants in every hearing and witness interview that the White House is now falsely portraying as “secret.”

“The Democrats want to render a verdict without giving the Administration a chance to mount a defense. That is unfair, unconstitutional, and fundamentally un-American.”

First of all, there is nothing unconstitutional about a process that is actually in the Constitution. But more to the point, Democrats are conducting an inquiry. In no legal proceeding is the “defendant” permitted to participate in that investigation. When it is concluded it will either be dropped for lack of evidence, or an indictment and trial will take place. And that’s when Trump’s side will have ample opportunity to present their defense. The White House is deliberately trying to deceive the public as to how these matters are conducted.

Of course, the Deceiver-in-Chief is Donald Trump himself. He is mounting a disinformation campaign to attack the process, and by extension, the Constitution. And he’s getting plenty of help from State TV (aka Fox News), which is having problems of its own.

Trump posted a four-tweet quote by Fox’s Laura Ingraham that is nothing more than a GOP pep talk to pressure the right to obediently follow Dear Leader and abandon integrity, honesty, and morality, and to place Trump’s interests above those of the country. And most of the Fox roster is doing the same thing. So once again, it needs to be pointed out that this network is an arm of the Trump regime and should be designated as such for campaign finance purposes.

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

Terrified of Impeachment, Trump Fired Off 104 Tweets About Adam Schiff in October

On Tuesday morning the congressional inquiry into Donald Trump’s impeachment continued with an official from his National Security team providing new and damning testimony. The fear this and other late breaking news triggered in Trump resulted in an avalanche of fevered tweets that exposed both his desperation and the pitiful impotence of his response to this crisis.

Donald Trump, Adam Schiff

Trump is apparently unaware that his Twitter tantrums only serve to make him look more guilty. They reflect the terror of a quivering rabbit as it faces certain doom in the jaws of hungry wolf. And the narrow focus of his gushing panic reveals how distressed he is about the inquiry being conducted by House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff.

In a tsunami of hysterical tweets, Trump has singled out Schiff for his harshest criticism. Trump has repeatedly asserted, without evidence, that Schiff is corrupt. He’s said that Schiff is a liar, a lowlife, a disgrace, and a fraud. Trump has called Schiff a traitor who should resign or be impeached. And he has tagged the congressman with another of his infantile nicknames – Shifty Schiff – that drips with anti-Semitic undertones. This is not the behavior of a calm or confidently innocent man.

In the month of October Trump has tweeted about Schiff 104 times. That’s an average of about 3 1/2 times per day. Those Schiff-focused tweets included references to many of Trump’s other familiar obsessions such as the whistleblower (22 times), Nancy Pelosi (18), the Ukraine phone call transcript (14), and impeachment in general (24). On Tuesday the 29th alone Trump posted 44 unhinged tweets, of which 10 (23%) were about Schiff. For contrast, Trump posted only a single tweet about the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and that was only to complain that Democrats were trying to make people forget about it. But considering the volume and content of Trump’s tweets, you have to ask who is really trying to make people forget.

A few common themes keep popping up in Trump’s Schiff tweets. One is that Trump is deeply concerned about the whereabouts of the Intelligence Community whistleblower. Who cares? The whistleblower’s complaint was fully corroborated by Trump himself on national TV. This is Trump’ss way of trying to belittle the complaint and to intimidate others from coming forward with the truth. But the parade of witnesses coming to Congress prove that this tactic isn’t working.

Another theme concerns Trump’s insistence that people read the transcript of his phone call with Ukraine President Zelensky. Of course, people have already read it and concluded that it validates the whistleblower’s account and incriminates Trump.

And then there’s Trump’s frequent whining about a brief segment of Schiff’s opening remarks in a hearing where Schiff paraphrased part of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky. Trump keeps lying that Schiff presented that as Trump’s own words. However, Schiff prefaced those remarks by saying explicitly that it was just “the essence” of what Trump said to Zelensky.

None of Trump’s demented tirades contain any substance that is based in reality. It’s all the ravings of a madman consumed by fear who will do anything to avoid accountability for his crimes. And the tighter the walls close in around him, the more bizarre and numerous his outbursts become. It’s a pathetic display of victimhood that is especially absurd coming from someone whose office has been called the most powerful on Earth. But that’s just another symbol of American pride that Trump has unraveled as he stumbles toward prosecution, humiliation and irrelevance.

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

All Foxed Up: Trump is Relying on Ludicrous Legal Gibberish to Fight His Impeachment

It often seems like Donald Trump is his own worst enemy. He confesses to impeachable crimes on national TV. He actually commits new crimes the same way. He attacks his GOP Senate colleagues who will be deciding his fate. And he rambles endlessly in a manner that only provides more evidence of his guilt and unfitness for office.

Donald Trump, Constitution

So it wouldn’t be off base If you thought that Trump is digging his own political grave. And in the process he seems to be getting the worst possible legal advice. That shouldn’t surprise anyone who has followed the antics of Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who, when he isn’t flipping out on Fox News, he’s butt dialing reporters. And his Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, isn’t any better. However, Trump’s most trusted legal advisors appear to be an even worse source for someone in such desperate legal jeopardy. He seems to be leaning heavily on the bootlicking sycophants of Fox News. Gee, what could go wrong?

The muttonheads at Fox are the source for some of Trump’s most preposterous ideas. They include suing Nancy Pelosi for conducting the impeachment inquiry. He has also proposed his own impeachment of Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff (which can’t be done). And he’s also threatening to sue CNN for – get this – false advertising. Now, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends are offering their interpretation of the Constitution’s impeachment language. And it’s just as ridiculous as you would think. Here is the bizarre advice Trump is getting from Fox contributor Dan Bongino, who is not a lawyer (video below):

“First off, this isn’t a real impeachment, okay? President Trump should ignore the proceeds. I don’t mean politically ignore it. He has to respond. I mean he should treat it as what it is, which is a non-impeachment impeachment.”

Huh? Where Bongino gets the idea that there is such a thing as a “non-impeachment impeachment,” or that Trump has the ability to legally ignore it, is a mystery. But Bongino continues by insulting the constitutional knowledge and reading comprehension of Democrats in Congress – who ARE lawyers and have studied constitutional law. Bongino correctly points out that the Constitution grants the House of Representatives “the sole power to impeach,” but then adds this Olympic-grade nonsense:

[The Constitution] doesn’t say the House of Representative. Again, for the liberals who have a tough time with that, that’s plural. That means the House of Representatives, meaning they would take a vote, which they haven’t. So this is not an impeachment. It’s a political stunt. It should be politically responded to, but tactically speaking it is a fake non-impeachment. And the Republicans should treat it as such.”

First off, a “fake non-impeachment” would be a real impeachment. But setting that blunder aside, Bongino’s logic is hopelessly warped. The fact that the Constitution uses “House of Representatives” in the plural doesn’t mean that there is a requirement for a vote, and it certainly doesn’t say anything of of the sort. That is a wholly manufactured conclusion by Bongino. It just means that the House proceeds under its own authority and rules. Those rules, by the way, were written by the House when it was controlled by a Republican majority.

What’s more, Bongino’s absurd notion that representatives (plural) means a vote by the full House is required doesn’t make any sense at all. He seems to think that there is only one Democrat in Congress who is conducting the inquiry and, therefore, it’s illegitimate. Of course, there are dozens of representatives, including Republicans, who are actively involved. So that would meet Bongino’s crackpot criteria for plurality. It’s also notable that his dimwitted views were offered the day after a federal judge ruled that the House impeachment inquiry is legal and valid. Nice timing.

With legal guidance like this it’s no wonder that Trump is floundering and fearful. And his mental state continues to decline as the future looks ever more grim for him and his cohorts. It’s so bad that even his lawyers are having to get lawyers. But the Fox News Legal Aide Society will undoubtedly continue to serve up their terrible advice. Which is great news for Democrats – and all Americans – who will ultimately be the beneficiaries of Trump’s impeachment and removal from office thanks to his own ignorance and that of of his boneheaded legal advisors.

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