Trump Hails Stock Market Whose Rise is a Rejection of Him

The manic frenzy that is displayed daily on the Twitter feed of Donald Trump is especially heated this Monday morning. He posted 75 tweets before 3:00pm in what may break his all time record of 123 tweets in single day. It’s impossible to say at this point whether the reason for this crazed output is his acute panic at the prospect of a landslide electoral loss to Joe Biden in three weeks, or the side effects of the drugs he’s been taking to treat his coronavirus. Or maybe a catastrophic combination of both.

Donald Trump, Stock Market Crash

The flurry of frantic and anxious outbursts that make up this tweetstorm run the gamut of Trump’s paranoid psychoses. For instance, Trump tweeted about a “Big spike in the China Plague in Europe,” in an attempt to compare it to the U.S., which he apparently doesn’t know is suffering from a similar or worse spike. He tweeted that New York and California are “going to hell.” Which is an odd campaign strategy of maligning the biggest states in the country that you’re supposedly leading. He tweeted that he is “winning BIG in all of the polls that matter.” Which I guess are the polls of boaters and maskless bar patrons. But he wasn’t through.

Trump also tweeted that “We will have Healthcare which is FAR BETTER than ObamaCare, at a FAR LOWER COST.” Which is documented in the invisible plan that he has been saying for three years that he will release in two weeks. And as an indication of what is most important to him, Trump posted ten tweets in support of Eric Early, who running a laughably futile campaign against Rep. Adam Schiff of California. Schiff may be the member of Congress Trump despises most after Speaker Nancy Pelosi. That’s more tweets than he posted in support of his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.

However, perhaps the most enthusiastic of Trump’s twittery concerned the performance of the stock market. He managed to get something right for once by noting that it was going up. However, he has no idea why it’s doing so. He, of course, thinks he’s responsible for it. And in a way he is, but not in the way he thinks.

Trump has been shouting from the White House rooftop for weeks that a Biden presidency will thrust the nation into a depression. Let’s just set aside the fact that we are already in a recession during the Trump presidency. Trump’s tweets are cheering on the market’s rise along with fear mongering about a collapse if Biden is elected. Never mind that Obama and Biden presided over a much more robust economic recovery and market advance than Trump has. The five tweets he posted on this subject were evidence of nothing more than Trump’s ignorance and ego. For example…

What Trump is missing is that the rise in the market is occurring simultaneously to the rise in Biden’s polling against Trump. The greater the margin of Biden’s lead, the higher the market goes. That’s the market indicating that it is looking forward to a Biden victory. The market is always representative of the future. And this isn’t just a coincidental observation. According to Goldman Sachs, “A Democratic sweep would mean faster economic recovery.”

“…’a blue wave would likely prompt us to upgrade our forecasts,’ Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius wrote in a Monday report.”

Hatzius went on to note that a blue wave would increase the likelihood of a coronavirus relief bill. He also noted the positive impact of Biden’s spending plans on infrastructure, climate, health care and education. But that isn’t all. Moody’s also weighed in saying that…

“Moody’s Analytics found that Biden’s economic proposals, if enacted, would create 7.4 million more jobs than would Trump’s. The economy would return to full employment in the second half of 2022, nearly two years earlier than under Trump’s plan, Moody’s said.”

Of course, none of this is a guarantee that the market will continue going straight up. There are distinct warning signs for a down turn. The market is already over-valued in some analysts opinions. And the overweighting of just a few stocks (more than 20% of the S&P) that uncharacteristically benefit from the current conditions (Apple: 7.3%, Microsoft: 5.9%, Amazon: 5.3%, Google: 2.4%, and Facebook: 2.4%) don’t tell the market’s whole story. And as anyone with the slightest inkling of knowledge is aware (which leaves Trump out), the stock market is not the economy. Most Americans do not own stocks.

There is, however, one thing that can’t be denied. If Trump’s fear mongering were correct, the market would have been on a downward trend for at least the past couple of months. Clearly the financial institutions that drive the market don’t agree with Trump. The fact that it’s strong and rising is a testament to the market’s confidence in, and preference for, a Biden presidency.

So keep that in mind when voting. And tell your friends and family. It is Trump who has proven to be an economic imbecile who declared bankruptcy on six separate occasions, lost billions of dollars during the boom times, and currently owes more than $400 billion to – well, we don’t know who because he refuses to release his tax returns. That by itself is reason enough to remove Trump from office. And also to investigate him for criminal activity and crimes against the state.

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

Trump Reveals to Fox News His Plan to Get the Supreme Court to Declare Him President

This year appears to have a rather sadistic bent as it relentlessly piles on melodramas and anxieties. It’s not bad enough that we are suffering through a deadly pandemic that is being dreadfully mismanaged by Donald Trump. We are also having to deal with an economy in recession and civil unrest triggered by systemic racism. And all in an especially contentious election year.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

Adding to those national migraines is the tragic passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Not only has America lost an iconic figure who has made innumerable contributions to civil liberties and equal justice, but it thrusts the nation into a bitterly partisan battle to replace her. Republicans are shamelessly contradicting their previous insistence that the president shouldn’t nominate a Justice during an election year. Apparently that principle only applies to Democratic presidents. The GOP is perfectly OK with nominations by an impeached president who still has multiple criminal and civil indictments hanging over his head.

Making matters worse is Trump himself (as usual), who was “interviewed” twice in two days by Fox News. In a sit-down with Fox’s Mark Levin on Sunday night Trump whined that Fox News wasn’t sufficiently worshipful, and that they catered too much to Democrats. Are we sure that Trump even knows what channel he’s watching?

On Monday Trump visited the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. This is apparently his new regular gig that he leaked last week. It was there that he unleashed some wild speculations and disturbing revelations. When the subject to Ginsburg’s replacement came up, Trump led off with a thoroughly disgraceful allegation maligning the integrity of Ginsburg and her family:

Ainsley Earhardt: Then you have Ruth Bader Ginsburg who told her granddaughter on her death bed, allegedly, that her dying wish was to have the next president choose her successor. How do you think all this plays out?
Trump: I don’t know that she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff and Schumer and Pelosi. I would be more inclined to the second. Okay, it came out of the wind. It sounds so beautiful. But that sounds like a Schumer deal or maybe a Pelosi or Shifty Schiff. So that came out of the wind. Let’s see. I mean maybe she did and maybe she didn’t.”

Trump’s assertion is entirely without foundation – or decency. He is of such weak character that he can’t help politicizing this tragedy by invoking the names of his favorite foils in Congress. Rep. Schiff replied on Twitter, telling Trump that “This is low. Even for you.” But how difficult would it be to believe that Ginsburg had such feelings. She said so many times before. Unfortunately, Trump has an insatiable need to drag everything down to his loathsome level, even if it means desecrating the memory of a universally respected and honorable American. Even if it means despicably disparaging Ginsburg’s last wishes as a Democratic hoax.

Perhaps Trump can’t believe that Ginsburg would make what he curiously concedes is a “beautiful” statement (that “came out of the wind,” whatever that means) because it so far outside anything he is capable of. But he went on to expose his true agenda that reeks of the totalitarian aspirations for which he is well known:

“The bottom line is that we won the election. We have an obligation to do what’s right and act as quickly as possible. We should act quickly because we’re gonna have, probably, election things involved here, you know, because of the fake ballots they’ll be sending out. A terrible situation.”

Oh My! Our infamously inarticulate president is recognizing the threat of “election things” involved here. Never mind that those “things” are manufactured lies about mail-in voting that Trump has been telling for months without ever bothering to provide a scrap of evidence.

More importantly, Trump is confessing that his obsession with confirming a new Supreme Court Justice is rooted in his determination to steal the election. He is anticipating a legal battle for which he wants to make sure that he has a majority on the Court to rule in his favor and, if necessary, declare him the winner. This is the sort of court manipulation that is more common under dictators who pack their courts with subservients and sycophants.

What’s more, this is not an aberration or careless misstatement. Trump made similar remarks on Saturday at his latest cult rally and Super Spreader event in North Carolina. Worried about the prospect of there not being a declared winner on election night, Trump expressed his nefarious desire to put the decision in the hands of a court system that he has packed with allies:

“Now we’re counting on the federal court system to make it so that we can actually have an evening where we know who wins. Not where the votes are going to be counted a week later or two weeks later.”

This is Trump’s way of disenfranchising citizens who vote by mail. If their ballots are postmarked on or before election day, but the ballot processing and counting is not completed until some time after, Trump wants all of those votes to be invalidated. He is literally calling for the suppression of voter’s rights. And since more Democrats vote by mail, it’s easy to see why Trump is pursuing this. It is just the logical progression of his yearning for unchecked tyrannical power. And it must be vigorously challenged if America is to remain a free democratic republic.

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

Hannity Freaks Out Over Holding Trump Accountable for His Coronavirus Death Toll

Donald Trump is without question the most reckless, ignorant, and incompetent president in America’s short history. Nevertheless, he is renowned for failing to take responsibility for any of his calamitous failures. Trump will vainly shift blame to others, employ awkward deflections, and lie shamelessly to avoid being held accountable. With Trump, the buck is always handed off to an innocent political foe or some hapless flunky.

Donald Trump Sean Hannity

Fortunately for Trump, he has a cadre of glassy-eyed disciples in right-wing media who will cover for him no matter how ludicrous the circumstances. Most of them reside at State TV (aka Fox News), such as his shadow chief-of-staff-infection, Sean Hannity. Trump relies on Hannity as a defensive shield against uncomfortable facts, propaganda dissemination, and contorted political strategy. And on Saturday Hannity fulfilled all three of those roles in a brief blog post.

The headline on Hannity’s harrangue was “A NEW LOW: Schiff Says ’50,000 Americans Are Dead’ Because Trump Wasn’t Impeached and Removed.” He lashed out at Rep. Adam Schiff for what he said were “Schiff’s vicious comments.” Elaborating, Hannity charged that…

“Congressman Adam Schiff escalated his war-of-words with the Trump administration Saturday; saying “50,000 Americans are dead” because the President was not impeached and removed from the Oval Office.”

What Hannity was referencing was a portion of a Schiff interview on Friday with Chris Hayes on MSNBC (video below). Schiff accurately observed about Trump that “A man with no moral compass will never find his way, and this president certainly hasn’t.” The subject of the segment was Trump’s tragically negligent response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Hayes asked Schiff about comments he made at the conclusion of Trump’s impeachment that speculated about the grave necessity of removing Trump from office to avert future catastrophes. Schiff’s response speculated about the degree of damage Trump would still be capable of if he remained:

“How much damage could he really do? We posed that question to the Senate and we answered it by saying that he could do an awful lot of damage. But frankly, Chris, I don’t think we had any idea how much damage he would go on to do in the months ahead.

There are 50,000 Americans now who are dead in significant part because of his incompetence. Because of his inability to think beyond himself and put the country first. I don’t think we would have ever anticipated that his brand of narcissism and his brand of incompetence, sometimes his brand of malevolence, would be so fatal to the American people.

To be clear, Hannity’s assertion that Schiff said 50,000 Americans are dead because Trump wasn’t removed from office is inaccurate. What Schiff is that the deaths were because of Trump’s incompetence. Of course, those deaths would not have occurred had he been removed, but neither would they have occurred had he not been incompetent. What’s more, the severity of the coronavirus casualties is being under reported. The death toll is now over 65,000 with more than 1,100,000 infected.

A month ago Trump said that he would consider a total of 65,000 deaths to be a “victory.” That was an estimate for August that we reached in April. A few days ago his son-in-law (and senior advisor), Jared Kushner, called it a great success story.” But yesterday Trump was busy tearing down and reconstructing the goal posts at 100,000 fatalities. Expect those posts to be pushed back further in a few weeks.

As for Hannity, his concern about not holding Trump accountable for the death toll isn’t surprising. But he is also failing to hold himself accountable. He spent the past couple of months dismissing the coronavirus as an insignificant form of the flu. As a result, a recent study revealed that watching Hannity actually increased one’s likelihood of dying from the disease. So it would be wise to practice social distancing from Hannity as well as all other Fox News viewers and Trump supporters. You can’t be too careful these days.

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

Trump Chokes When Asked ‘What’s Your Message to Putin’ on Election Interference

Democrats are currently engaged in heated primary season with multiple candidates still jockeying for position. And the media attention on this is having a severe effect on Donald Trump. Narcissists don’t like it when they are not the center of attention. Consequently, Trump is ratcheting up his psychotic outbursts in order to seduce the press to stay focused on him.

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

Trump’s latest plea for attention is a desperate and bizarre appeal for what he portrays as fairness for Bernie Sanders in the primaries. Of course, Trump couldn’t care less about how the Democratic primaries are conducted, other than to slather them with mud and lies. His phony concern for Sanders is actually a play straight from the Russian playbook and intended to sow discord and chaos. And running his defense is Fox News who are making ludicrous assertions that the media and Democrats are the “Agents of Russia.”

Recent reports revealed that American intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia is, once again, interfering with the presidential election. The reports detailed Russia’s efforts to tip the scales in favor of Trump and Sanders. Trump’s own Office of the Director of National Intelligence, led by Joe Maguire, sent a deputy to brief Congress about this a couple of weeks ago. This news made Trump irate. Not the news that Russia was attacking our democracy, but the news that Congress was told about it. So Trump fired Maguire and replaced him with Rick Grennel, a Trump toady who has no experience whatsoever in intelligence.

So with an impending national crisis involving a hostile foreign enemy attempting to subvert our election, Trump was confronted by a reporter who asked a simple, but significant question:

“Have you been briefed that Russia is trying to help Bernie Sanders and, if so, what’s your message to Putin?”

Pay close attention to that question, and then consider Trump’s reply (video below):

“Nobody said it. I read where Russia’s helping Bernie Sanders. Nobody said it to me at all. Nobody briefed me about that at all […] They leaked it. Adam Schiff and his group, they leaked it to the papers. And, as usual, they ought to investigate Adam Schiff for leaking that information. He should not be leaking information out of intelligence. They ought to investigate Adam Schiff.”

So Trump’s response to a question on what message he has for his pal Vladimir Putin, who is trying to foul our election is “They ought to investigate Adam Schiff.” Really? Trump had absolutely nothing to say to Putin. His only interest is in persecuting an elected member of Congress who is complying with his oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Putin, on the hand, is held harmless as he continues to attack this country. As long as Putin’s anti-American plots are designed to benefit Trump, Trump is content to allow them to proceed.

What’s more, Trump’s remarks are wholly unfounded and reckless. He has no evidence that Schiff leaked anything. It’s more likely that it was a Republican congressman (Devin Nunes?) who spilled to the press. And Trump doesn’t specify who he thinks should be investigating Schiff. Russia? Attorney Genuflect Bill Barr? Rudy Giuliani? Fox News? And if that’s not enough, Trump is also admitting his ignorance of Russian activity that everyone else already knows. Either his national security team is serving him poorly, or he’s lying (or both).

Trump followed up those remarks with a tweet that made things even worse:

Once again, Trump is baselessly accusing Schiff of leaking classified information. However, Trump also suggests that the “information” that Schiff allegedly leaked was made up. In which case, it wouldn’t be classified. But worst of all, Trump overtly threatens Schiff with being “caught” and suffering “a very unpleasant experience!” All without a hint of evidence that Schiff did anything wrong.

This is part and parcel of Trump’s psychopathy that drives him to seek vengeance and to persecute his perceived enemies. It’s a frightening descent into fascistic totalitarianism. And with each passing day Trump is less and less worried about exposing those tendencies and acting on them. This is precisely the behavior that many warned Trump would engage in if Senate Republicans didn’t have the guts to expel him from office. And as it worsens, the blame needs to be evenly spread around from Trump to the GOP to Fox News and the rest of the Reich-wing media.

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

Trump Orders Justice Dept to Persecute His Critics and Pamper His Accomplices

There really is no bottom. Now Wannabe Dictator Donald Trump is bringing fascism to America. He is directing his corrupt Justice Department to investigate and prosecute (persecute) his critics. Meanwhile, he lobbies for light sentences and dangles pardons for his bootlicking sycophantic criminal accomplices. This is not normal. And it demonstrates that Republicans who thought Trump might learn from his impeachment were frighteningly mistaken and/or deluded.

Donald Trump

Trump’s Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, announced that he will be revising the sentencing recommendations for convicted felon Roger Stone. The prosecutors who tried the case recommended seven to nine years based on established legal guidelines. But Barr’s intervention is based on nothing more than Trump’s angry tweets. And if that’s not bad enough, Barr is assuming control of virtually everything that comes into the Justice Department that involves Trump. And Trump is obviously pleased…

The spectacle of seeing a president congratulate his toady AG for letting a convicted criminal off the hook should send shivers up the spines of the American people. Stone was found guilty of five counts of lying to Congress, and one count each of witness intimidation and obstruction. But his friend in the White House is pulling strings so that he doesn’t have to pay the price for his crimes. As a result of Barr’s interference, all four of the federal prosecutors who tried the case have quit.

What’s more, Trump’s tweet also makes a dangerously reckless and baseless accusation that former special counsel Robert Mueller “lied to Congress.” Trump doesn’t bother to cite any alleged falsehood, probably because he just made it up to slander Mueller. In a subsequent tweet Trump asserted, also without any foundation, that the career DOJ lawyers who tried Stone are “Rogue prosecutors.”

Trump has frequently weighed in on the criminal prosecutions of his associates. Just the fact that he has so many associates who have been prosecuted and found guilty is horrifying. But his reaction has been to lobby for lighter sentences or to issue pardons himself. Some of this confederacy of felons include his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, his deputy campaign manager, Rick Gates, his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and more.

On the other side of that legal coin, Trump has accused many of his political adversaries of crimes without any evidence whatsoever. In addition to Robert Mueller, Trump charged that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff “is a corrupt politician and a criminal;” that “Nancy [Pelosi] is every bit as guilty;” that “Hillary Clinton lied to the FBI;” and that “The Biden family was PAID OFF.” None of these allegations have an iota of evidence for support. They are purely driven by the animosity and vengeance of a wrathful president.

It has been widely known for years (decades?) that Trump is a vile and vindictive person who relishes punishing his perceived enemies. And he perceives enemies virtually everywhere, as he himself recently confessed. But the fact that he has an administration full of glassy-eyed cult followers who will obediently serve his will makes him all the more dangerous. And the Department of Justice is at the top of that list.

What this means is that there is nothing left to separate America from the totalitarian regimes and their tyrants that Trump so admires. This was articulated well by Sen. Chuck Schumer Wednesday on the floor of the Senate. It cannot be overstated how unusual it is for a speech like this to take place. but his words should be taken seriously if this country is to restore justice and preserve democracy:

“The President is claiming that rigging the rules is perfectly legitimate. He claims an absolute right to order the Justice Department to do anything he wants. And the President has as his Attorney General an enabler. And that’s a kind word. Does anyone think it’s out of the question that Pres. Trump might order the FBI to investigate Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden or anybody else without any evidence that supports such an arbitrary violation of individual rights?

“Oh, I know. Some far-right conspiratorial writer, who has no credibility and who just makes things up, writes it, Fox News puts it on, Sean Hannity or someone talks about it, and then the president says ‘Investigate.’ That is third world behavior – not American behavior.”

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

STFU: Why Did the Media Cover Every Word of Trump’s Post-Impeachment Gloating?

Here we go again. In 2016 the press disgraced itself by falling victim to the reality TV campaign of Donald Trump. They broadcast every rally and public address live and uninterrupted as if it had some news value. It didn’t. They were just providing Trump with millions of dollars of free air time.

Donald Trump Not Exonerated

The press utterly failed in its journalistic obligations during the 2016 campaign with their fixation on a candidate that stuffed his speeches full of lies, insults, and self-exaltation. Their preference for featuring Trump’s cult rallies was blatantly unfair. They were not giving the same amount of time or exposure to any of his opponents during the Republican primary or the general election. Some of the media recognized their profoundly biased and unprofessional conduct after the election and even apologized to the nation for letting them down.

Well, they seem not to learned a damn thing. On Thursday morning Trump gave an address from the White House that he previously tweeted would be “to discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!” That preview was bad enough, serving as a warning that the speech would be a feast of falsehoods and a celebration of having escaped accountability for his obvious crimes.

Why would the press rush to cover something that Trump himself falsely described as the “country’s victory” and a “hoax”? He telegraphed his intention to exploit the event for his own selfish purposes. And that’s exactly what he did.

The hour plus speech was a rambling disgorgement of a bloated ego combined with back-slapping of the sycophantic, Republican bootlickers in the audience. Trump rattled off the names of every Trump-fluffing apologist who ran his defense in Congress. and he told brief stories about how brilliant they were for adoring him.

Of course, Trump also used this time to lash out at his perceived enemies. He repeated his tiresome charge that he was the victim of a “witch hunt.” He revived his obsession with President Obama, baselessly alleging that “a lot of people would have been in jail” if he had his way. He rehashed the Mueller probe, calling it “bullshit” despite the fact that it affirmed numerous breaches of the law and blatant obstruction of justice. He went off, again, on America’s intelligence community, complaining about “dirty cops” and other evil people. He singled out former FBI Director James Comey for special condemnation, calling him a “sleazebag.” This is the behavior of a “president” whose cult followers are currently denouncing the “decorum” of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for tearing up a copy of his Dystopian State of the Union speech.

But he wasn’t nearly through. He slandered House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff as “corrupt” and a “vicious, horrible person.” Trump unwound his frequent lie that Schiff had misrepresented his remarks in the phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. He continues to insist that people read the memo that he calls a “transcript” of the call, even though it clearly indicates that he extorted Zelensky to get dirt on Joe Biden.

Naturally, Trump didn’t forget to attack Pelosi. He called her a horrible person also. But he went on to make reprehensible remarks about her faith, asserting that he “I doubts she prays at all.” Earlier in morning he made similar remarks the National Prayer Breakfast, where he attacked Mitt Romney’s faith as well, saying that he “used religion as a crutch.” and that “I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong.” This, coming from someone who pretends to be a devout Christian but can’t cite a single passage from the bible and brags that he has never asked god for forgiveness because he’s never done anything wrong.

The entire address was nothing but a propaganda filled campaign rally with an audience of StormTrumpers engaged in idol worship. It allowed Trump to lie about being exonerated (he wasn’t) and to malign his critics for a solid hour without any pushback, fact-checking, or concessions to reality. And the media chose to air the whole thing live and without interruption.

For what purpose? There was nothing remotely newsworthy about it. They could have have easily recorded it and aired it later if they found anything that served the public interest. And then they would also have been able to provide context and corrections of his numerous untruths. If this is any indication of how they are going to cover the election between now and November, America is big trouble.

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

Adam Schiff’s Closing Arguments on Trump’s Impeachment Dare the Senate to Be Decent

As the impeachment trial of Donald Trump enters into its final phase, the litigants on both sides are presenting their best arguments to persuade senators to vote for or against conviction. The President’s counsel are sticking to their complaints about the process and the partisanship of the Democrats. The Democrats, on the other hand, are pleading with members to act on the facts that many of them have publicly conceded have been proved.

Donald Trump, Adam Schiff

Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman and lead manager for the Democrats, delivered a powerful closing argument that is certain to have a place in history. He distills much of what has been revealed in testimony and documentation into a concise indictment of Trump and the justification for removing him from office. In short, Schiff warns that Trump “has betrayed our national security and he will do so again. He has compromised our elections and he will do so again. You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. He is who he is. Truth matters to you. Right matters to you. You are decent. He is not who you are.”

Well, that last bit may be debatable as Republican senators fall in line behind Trump despite conceding that what he did was wrong. Some – for example Joni Ernst and Lamar Alexander – even said they believe that Trump won’t repeat his crimes now that he’s been impeached. However, there is no evidence that Trump has ever been chastened by attempts to hold him accountable.

The six minute oratory (video below) is profoundly moving and worth listening to in its entirety. The passages quoted below are from the very beginning and the very end of Schiff’s remarks. They serve as elegant bookends to the information contained in between.

“History will not be kind to Donald Trump. I think we all know that. Not because it will be written by never-Trumpers, but because whenever we have separated from the values of our nation we have come to regret it. And that regret is written all over the pages of our history. If you find that the House has proved its case and still vote to acquit, your name will be tied to his with a cord of steel and for all of history. But if you find the courage to stand up to him, to speak the awful truth to his rank falsehood, your place will be among the Davids who took on Goliath. If only you will say ‘enough.'”

“I put my faith in the optimism of the founders. You should too. They gave us the tools to do the job. A remedy as powerful as the evil it was meant to constrain. They meant for it to be used rarely, but they put it in the Constitution for a reason. For a man who would sell out his country for a political favor. For a man who would threaten the integrity of our elections. For a man who would invite foreign interference in our affairs. For a man who would undermine our national security and that of our allies. For a man like Donald J. Trump. They gave you a remedy and they meant for you to use it. They gave you an oath and they meant for you to observe it. We have proved Donald Trump guilty. Now do impartial justice and convict him.”

Unfortunately, Republicans in the Senate are going to vote against the Articles of Impeachment regardless of the facts. They are only interested in preserving their power and demonstrating loyalty to the Cult of Trump. But thanks to Schiff and others on the House Managers team, the historical record will outlast their cowardice, complicity, and deceit. And the consequences for their weakness may be dealt out as soon as this November.

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

Trump’s Inner Mob Boss Emerges with Alarming New Threats to Politicians and the Press

One of the most prominent and disturbing elements of Donald Trump’s character (or lack thereof) is his tendency to embrace the language and behavior of mafia dons. He regards himself as an infallible and unchallengeable force who demands total obedience and blind loyalty. This weekend Trump displayed that mob boss fixation on several occasions.

Donald Trump

The recording of him telling Lev Parnas to “take out” U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovich was chilling to hear. Trump gave orders to Parnas, a shady figure with ties to Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian politicos, to “Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.”

Trump’s apologists in Congress and on Fox News dismiss this as being within the President’s power to fire an ambassador. That’s true, but then either he fires her or he instructs his Secretary of State to do so. Parnas has no government role or authority to terminate the employment of an American diplomat. So what did Trump mean and why would he assign this mission to such a fringe player who is currently under felony indictment?

Similarly, Trump threatened the whistleblower who reported Trump’s extortion of Ukrainian President Zelensky, as well as the whistleblower’s White House source[s]. Trump alleged that they could be considered spies and warned “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.” That’s an overt death threat aimed at someone who legally protected from such retaliation.

On Sunday morning Trump also aimed a threat at House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff, saying that he “is a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man. He has not paid the price, yet…” Here Trump is baselessly alleging that Schiff is both “corrupt” and “sick,” two traits that are more recognizable in Trump himself. And what “price” does Trump have in mind that he’s implying Schiff will soon be paying?

This is typical behavior from Trump. And it manifested again in another Sunday tweet wherein he implied his interest in sabotaging National Public Radio (NPR) by eliminating their federal funding. This attack was triggered by an NPR reporter’s interview with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mary Louise Kelly asked Pompeo a couple of perfectly fair questions about Ukraine that he wanted to avoid. He became angry and erupted in a profanity laced outburst which she reported.

This led to Fox News host Mark Levin tweeting his disapproval of Kelly and asking “Why does NPR still exist,” and “Why are we paying for this big-government, Democrat Party propaganda operation?” Trump replied that it was “A very good question,” setting the stage for potential budget cuts to the public radio broadcaster.

First of all, NPR is not a “big-government, Democrat Party propaganda operation.” In fact, it receives very little federal funding. According to its latest financial report, just one percent of its annual operating budget consists of public monies. By far, most of its funding comes from corporate sponsorships, dues paid by member stations, and listener donations. The greater harm would come to radio stations that air NPR programming, most of which serve rural communities in what Trump would call his base.

What’s more, it’s simply ignorant to accuse NPR of being politically slanted to the left. If anything the opposite is true. After all, the board of its governing agency, the U.S. Global Media Agency (USGMA), is headed by Kenneth Weinstein, a Trump appointee. Also on the board … Mike Pompeo. That’s right. The Secretary of State is an ex officio member of the board of directors of the USGMA. And this is what Trump and Levin believe is a “Democrat Party propaganda operation.” It must be another department within the “Deep State” that is staffed by Trump loyalists.

Trump’s foul and menacing behavior is notable not only for its similarity to that of a mob boss. It represents an imminent danger to innocent people in politics and the press. Past episodes of this rhetoric has resulted in actual bomb threats and other attempted violence. And the scary part is that that is precisely what Trump wants. He is a bully who believes that he can get his way through threats and intimidation. It actually fits the legal definition of terrorism.

If he isn’t stopped he will only get worse. That’s why his impeachment is so urgent. Even if he were to be defeated at the ballot box in November, that would give him 77 days to exact revenge on those he deemed to have betrayed him. That’s a risk that American can’t afford.

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

White House Counsel Regurgitates Trump’s Most Flagrant Lie at Impeachment Hearing

After three years of relentless lying, it’s clear to most Americans the Donald Trump is incapable of telling the truth, particularly about himself. He is the most prolific liar ever recorded, having already racked up more than 16,000 documented falsehoods. Trump has made it plain that he will lie about anything – great or small.

Donald Trump, Adam Schiff

Making matters worse is that Trump’s proclivity for prevarication is apparently contagious. He is a fabrication carrier who infects all those around him. And on the opening day of Trump’s impeachment hearing in the Senate, Trump’s disease of deceit was ravaging through the body of his White House counsel, Pat Cipollone. This is far more troubling than the fantastical fictions of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, or his sycophantic mouthpieces in Congress or the wingnut press. Cipollone is employed by the American people to represent their interests and to protect and defend the Constitution. He is not Trump’s lawyer.

Unfortunately, that didn’t stop Cipollone from delivering a statement (video below) that was riddled with lies, beginning with his ludicrous assertion that “President Trump is a man of his word.” How anyone can say that with a straight face is inconceivable. Cipollone also claimed that House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff, prohibited Republicans from participating in the House hearings. But not only did they participate, they had equal time with the Democrats. This is so egregiously false that it can’t be merely a misstatement.

Yet even that was not the most profoundly dishonest comment by Cipollone. He went on describe a scenario that was such a jumble of inaccuracies and outright nonsense that it makes everything else he might say utterly unbelievable. He began…

“It’s very difficult to sit there and listen to Mr. Schiff tell the tale that he just told. Let’s remember how we all got here. They made false allegations about a telephone call. The president of the United States declassified that telephone call and released it to the public. How’s that for transparency?”

Right from the start Cipollone is getting everything wrong. It wasn’t Schiff who made the original (and verified truthful) allegations revealing Trump’s misconduct during the phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. It was the whistleblower, whose report was deemed credible by the intelligence community’s inspector general. Trump himself affirmed it on national TV. And Trump has still never released a transcript of the phone call, only a partial description in a memo. Now he says he has a tape recording. You’d think he would release that if it exonerated him. Cipollone continued…

“When Mr. Schiff found out that there was nothing to his allegations, he focused on the second telephone call. He and his colleagues made false allegations about that second telephone call that occurred before the one that he demanded. So the President of the United States declassified and released that telephone call. Still nothing.”

Cipollone is badly distorting the whole timeline. The only phone call that had any relevance to this inquiry was the second one that Trump keeps exhorting people to “Read the Transcript!” Indeed they should read it, because it clearly shows that Trump coerced Zelensky to help him smear Joe Biden. The first phone call was merely a congratulatory call after Zelensky won his election. Although Trump lied about that as well, claiming that they spoke about corruption. They didn’t. And Cipollone still wasn’t done lying…

“When Mr. Schiff saw that his allegations were false, and he knew it anyway, what did he do? He went to the House and he manufactured a fraudulent version of that phone call. He read it to the American people, and he didn’t tell them it was a complete fake.”

This is a flagrant, unadulterated, shameless, provable lie. And it’s a lie that Cipollone is parroting from one that Trump has been telling for months:

Let’s settle this once and for all. Trump’s obsession with Schiff stems from a brief portion of remarks made in a congressional hearing that Trump utterly failed to understand. Apparently Trump doesn’t grasp the concept of parody, or paraphrasing with emphasis, to make a point. That’s what Schiff was doing when Trump whined, falsely, that Schiff was quoting him verbatim.

Schiff actually prefaced his remarks by saying that Trump’s phone call with Zelensky “reads like a classic organized crime shakedown. Shorn of its rambling character, and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the President communicates.” So contrary to Trump’s brazen lie, Schiff was not “supposedly reading the exact transcribed version of the call.” He explicitly stated that he was not quoting Trump and he had no intention of misleading anyone. It’s all available for anyone to see and hear for themselves in the video.

The fact that Cipollone would repeat Trump’s nakedly dishonest account of Schiff’s remarks is proof that he is unfit to serve as a White House counsel. He knows that Trump was lying, and he knows that his repetition is also a lie. He is abusing his oath of office, his duty to the American people, and his loyalty to the nation. In a just administration he would be fired, disbarred, and prosecuted for perjury. But in Trump’s administration his disgraceful behavior will be heralded as heroic. Trump’s pseudo-patriotic cult followers are just too mesmerized to tell the difference between good and evil.

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

Does Trump Have Impeachment Dementia Or Are His Lies Just Getting More Bizarre?

There is something grossly disturbing about how extreme Donald Trump has become in his frantic outbursts decrying the fact that he has been impeached. It’s like watching a paranoid schizophrenic sinking deeper into the delusional hallucinations that drive his deviant behavior. Except this one has access to nuclear weapons.

Donald Trump Red Face

On Monday morning, Trump was suffering from an especially severe case of the whines. This was manifested on his Twitter feed where he posted a string of typically narcissistic messages exalting himself, interspersed with vitriolic attacks on his foes. The trigger for this episode may have been the release of his impeachment trial briefing by his Fox News legal team. The document is 110 pages of expanded Twitter rants that fail to even address the substance of the charges against him. Trump’s lawyers are focused solely on their ludicrous theory that whatever Trump did was okay and that he should not be convicted and removed from office even if every allegation is proved true.

Meanwhile, Trump himself is focused on an imaginary universe wherein everything morphs into whatever he wishes it would be at whatever moment he wishes it. That’s the only explanation for a couple of his morning tweets that bear no resemblance to reality. For instance…

Anyone who has paid even peripheral attention to the impeachment proceedings knows that the House wanted John Bolton’s testimony very much. The problem was that Trump invoked the fake privilege of “absolute immunity” in order to prohibit Bolton, and many other White House staffers, from testifying. There is no way that Trump could not know this. So he is either deliberately lying or mentally unhinged. Which would also explain this other tweet…

The House proceedings were always conducted fairly. Every Republican member of the relevant committees was give equal time to question witnesses and provide defensive arguments. Both Democrats and Republicans had counsel who were also afforded equal time to press their case in the hearings. The only diversion from equality was the absence of testimony from Trump’s White House. But again, they were only absent due to Trump’s refusal to allow them to participate. This is another situation that Trump has to be fully aware of, unless he is certifiably insane or flagrantly dishonest.

So it was Trump who was responsible for the absence of witnesses he is complaining about. And it was Trump whose refusal to cooperate produced the unfairness he is whining about. And it was actually people like Rep. Adam Schiff, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, who were advocating for fairness all along. Trump was, and still is, the obstacle. That was articulated concisely in the Democratic response to Trump’s brief:

“Only if the Senate sees and hears all relevant evidence — only if it insists upon the whole truth — can it render impartial justice. That means the Senate should require the President to turn over the documents he is hiding. It should hear from witnesses, as it has done in every impeachment trial in American history; it especially should hear from witnesses the President blocked from testifying in the House. President Trump cannot have it both ways. His Answer directly disputes key facts. He must either surrender all evidence relevant to the facts he has disputed or concede the facts as charged. Otherwise, this impeachment trial will fall far short of the American system of justice.”

The tweets above show that Trump is either suffering from a massively psychotic departure from reality, or that he is shamelessly distorting the truth that everyone else can see as plain as day. That in itself would suggest that Trump is a few fries short of a Happy Meal. But then, what else is one to conclude about someone who has been documented to have told more than 16,000 lies in three years; or who cozies up to murderous dictators; or who compliments himself as “A Very Stable Genius.” It is simply no longer possible to ignore that America’s “president” is out of his friggin’ mind! Which means the same must be true for the cult followers who continue to support him in Congress, the press, and the wingnutty contingent of the public.

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