So Trump Thinks That President Biden Will Have Total Authority?

Among the innumerable problems that Donald Trump conjures up on a daily (hourly) basis are his tunnel-blind outbursts that assert bizarre and dangerous authorities. The Chosen One actually seems to believe that he is an omnipotent despot whose decrees cannot be challenged by the riffraff over which he holds divine supremacy.

Donald Trump, Joe Biden

Now Trump is asserting that “When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total.” That’s a view that should scare the bejesus out of every American, regardless of political affiliation. It’s an assumption of power that is reserved for the sort of tyrants that Trump frequently shows admiration (Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un). And it is unequivocally undemocratic and un-American. Unfortunately, It is also an unambiguously Trumpian view that he is unashamed of:

“I’m going to put it very simply: the president of the United States has the authority to do what the president has the authority to do, which is very powerful. The president of the United States calls the shots,”

What Trump seems to have forgotten is that the powers he seeks to lavish on himself would create a precedent for future presidents. If Trump were to succeed in asserting totally authority, then Joe Biden would have it as well. Is that something that Republicans would support? Would Fox News accept a Biden presidency that exercised the same authoritarian power that Trump is advocating? For the time being we’d have to assume that they would, because everyone from Lindsey Graham to Sean Hannity have applauded Trump’s ascension to dictator. None of them have said anything to renounce it. Well, except for this guy:

Trump’s foreboding declaration of dictatorial aspirations was uttered during another of the Coronavirus Task Force briefings that he has hijacked to replace his cult rallies and transformed into de facto campaign events for his 2020 reelection. During Monday’s briefing Trump spent the better part of an hour defending himself from accurate media reports of his negligence and incompetence, when he was supposed to be providing the nation with vital information and updates. He even ran a blatantly political campaign ad that was illegally produced by White House staff and comprised of Fox News propaganda.

Trump’s embrace of total authority was referring specifically to his baseless claim that he has the decision making power with regard to when to “reopen” the country for business. He refused to say where he got that preposterous idea, but constitutional scholars agree that he’s wrong. The 10th Amendment states that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Trump also said that the governors would do what he told them to do because they need things from the federal government. So he is overtly threatening them with withholding vital goods if they don’t obey his commands. That’s Trump invoking the same kind of mob-style extortion that he used on the president of Ukraine, which resulted in his impeachment. In fact, Trump has already started putting that pressure on state governors, beginning with Andrew Cuomo of New York:

That tweet packs a lot of bull. It seeks to shift the blame for Trump’s failures to the states. It implies that the states must show gratitude to Trump for doing what any other president would regard as a federal – and humanitarian – duty. And it threatens the constitutionally protected independence of the states. What’s more, it demonstrates the severity of Trump’s malignant narcissism with allusions to people “begging” for his grace. He has a long history of imagining people begging him. And following that, Trump posted a tweet wherein he chillingly compared himself to the brutal, maniacal, Captain Bligh from Mutiny on the Bounty:

Trump’s identification with Bligh perfectly illustrates his own callousness, delusions of grandeur, and desperate need for unflinching loyalty. The fact that he thinks a mutiny against him would be “exciting and invigorating” reveals the sadistic nature of his derangement. And once again, he implies that he can control people through the disbursement of necessary supplies. That’s the perspective of a perverse and cruel overlord, not a president of a free republic. And it’s all the more reason that Trump needs to be replaced by Joe Biden, someone who understands the Constitution and its principles.

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 Drives His Need to Curse John Kelly, Hug Hope Hicks, and More

It seems like this needs to be said nearly every day, but…Donald Trump is getting worse! The obvious mental decline that he is suffering continues to manifest itself in his daily duties. And that doesn’t mean tweeting, golfing, and watching Fox News. Trump is descending into a state of severe confusion and manic desperation.

Hope Hicks

On the heels of the Republican Senate’s reckless and partisan “absolution” of Trump’s many impeachable crimes, he has, as expected, become emboldened to breach every standard of law and ethics that a president ought to be bound by. In particular, he has embarked on a campaign of retribution and vengeance aimed at those he perceives to be enemies. And, as he recently said himself, I View Everybody as a Threat.” That distinct symptom of paranoia is clearly what has triggered his latest tweetstorm.

Thursday morning saw Trump lashing out in many directions at once. He tweeted a complaint about the conviction of his longtime accomplice in crime, Roger Stone, as “not looking good for the “Justice” Department.” To be clear, that’s the Justice Department that has been under his control for three years now. He also insulted Mike Bloomberg again for being short, like millions of other Americans who vote. He went after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo with an apparently illegal demand that the state drop lawsuits against him in order to prevent retaliatory actions by the federal government. And in addition to those psychotic outbursts, Trump went after his former Chief of Staff, Gen. John Kelly:

Trump’s anger at Kelly was stirred by remarks the General made during a speech at Drew University in New Jersey. Kelly candidly revealed that he disagreed with Trump on several significant issues including Trump’s vilification of key impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Kelly stated that Vindman had done precisely the right thing when heard about Trump’s attempted extortion of Ukrainian President Zelensky.

In addition, Kelly expressed his differences with Trump on immigration, specifically renouncing Trump’s comments that immigrants were murderers and rapists. Kelly also distanced himself from Trump’s dalliances with his BFF Kim Jong Un of North Korea. Kelly tried to convince Trump, to no avail, that Kim was playing him and would never give up his nuclear weapons. Kelly was no angel and was complicit in many of Trump’s most heinous policies. But he was right to criticize Trump on these matters.

Trump’s attack on Kelly is another example of how he flips 180 degrees on people he once praised effusively. But whenever someone falls out of favor with Trump, he becomes a pariah who was never worth a damn in the first place. You have to wonder why Trump – who knows all the best people – hired so many future worthless pariahs.

Throughout Kelly’s tenure in the Trump administration, Trump held him in high regard. He promoted the Marine general from Homeland Security Secretary to Chief of Staff. And a year into that job job Trump thanked him for “doing a fantastic job.” When he left the White House Trump gushed that Kelly “has served our Country with distinction.” But now Trump is maligning him and breaching a private conversation he allegedly (but unlikely) had with Kelly’s wife.

As further evidence of Trump’s advancing mental infirmities, he just announced that his nurse/security blanket, Hope Hicks, is returning to the White House as counselor to the president and senior adviser reporting to Jared Kushner. She left two years ago to become a communications executive at the parent corporation of Fox News. Now that revolving door is spinning furiously again. Hicks has been part of Trump’s inner circle longer than any non-family member. And Trump has been said to lean on her for emotional support. In addition to that hand-holding and covering up his brain glitches, Hicks admitted that she would tell “white lies” in the performance of her official duties.

The fact that Hicks was suddenly called back to duty is a significant signal that Trump’s mental condition is deteriorating and he needs her to maintain some semblance of balance. And the tweets he’s been pounding out are further proof that he’s on a downward spiral. However, it’s unlikely that any of this is going to be effective in stabilizing Trump. He is already too far gone and his Republican enablers seem to have no interest in righting this sinking ship of state. Let’s just hope we can tread water until November.

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

Trump Brags ‘I Am The Most Fabulous Whiner’ – Obama Says ‘Stop Whining’

Reality is beginning to set in for Donald Trump. No matter how hard he tries to deny it, he’s a loser and deep down he knows it. And it can’t make him feel any better that he’s losing to a mere woman. The proof is in the desperation he’s exhibiting with his nearly complete transformation into a ranting, delusional, incoherent, conspiracy theorist.

Donald Trump Whiner

Even more telling is Trump’s descension into an abyss of relentless whining. His campaign is now wholly focused on complaints that everyone and everything is against him. The media is rigged against him. Polling places will be rigged to defeat him. Even the GOP establishment is rigging the election in Hillary Clinton’s favor for some reason. It’s a massive conspiracy aimed at destroying both Trump and America.

There is something pathetic and childish about Trump’s emotional meltdown. And many others are beginning to recognize and comment on it. Responding to questions about Trump’s taped admission of sexual assault, his own wife, Melania, characterized him as a juvenile. She confessed to CNN’s Anderson Cooper that “I have two boys at home. I have my young son and I have my husband.” Her son Barron is ten years old. If Melania thinks her husband has the emotional maturity of a pre-teen, we may want to respect her opinion.

Last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Bill O’Reilly offered his advice to his good friend Donald. He strongly urged him to “Stop whining.” O’Reilly said that Trump “should have a little buzzer for whenever he whines.” “Like one of those shock collars you get for your dog,” Colbert added.

This morning President Obama joined in at a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. When asked a question about Trump’s wildly factless allegations of “rigged elections” and “voter fraud,” Obama defended the American tradition of “vigorous, sometimes bitter political contests,” that result in a peaceful transition of power. Then he added this:

“It doesn’t really show the kind of leadership and toughness that you’d want out of a president. You start whining before the game is even over? Then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job. So I’d advise Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.”

Good luck with that. Trump is a candidate who whines on auto-pilot. He whines about what he regards as mistreatment by the GOP. And he whines when voters reject him and belittles them for not recognizing his awesomeness. He whines about how awful America is. Then he whines about the media that aired his ranting stump speeches uninterrupted more than any other candidate.

Virtually everything about Trump screams infantile. He calls his rivals liars and cheaters and pussies. He calls critics dummies and losers. Then he points fingers at others saying that they started it. He brags about his alleged (and unlikely) phallic endowment. It’s just a matter of time before he rails against his enemies as poopyheads who smell funny. He doesn’t seem to have matured past the third-grade level (literally with regard to his speeches).

But most telling is what Trump actually says about himself. In an interview in August of 2015, Trump was asked about his tendency to whine. His response was to brag about it and declare himself to be “the most fabulous whiner.” He told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that:

“I am the most fabulous whiner. I do whine, because I want to win. I am a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win.”

Now, isn’t that what you want in a president? Just imagine how effective that will be with Vladimir Putin. And ISIS will surely surrender under the threat of a sustained whine offensive. It might work best on Congress where many of Trump’s fellow Republicans have endorsed him and his tactics. So look for more whining from The Donald as Election Day nears, and especially in the days after. But be prepared for a nuclear blast of whine when he realizes that he lost.

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

Watch Trump boast about what an awesome whiner he is.

Watch: Bernie Sanders Nails Clueless Media On Their Donald Trump Obsession

In an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Bernie Sanders made some salient points with regard to the unprecedented amount of coverage that the media has given to Donald Trump since he announced his campaign for the GOP nomination for president.

Bernie Sanders

Cuomo set up the issue by asking Sanders about the media role in the campaign and Donald Trump’s success saying “His popularity is inarguable. How he is becoming popular is the source of a lot of argument and criticism. […] Why is it working so well for him?” That’s an odd question for Cuomo to ask Sanders, but it resulted in this exchange (video below) with Sanders placing the onus where it belongs:

Sanders: Well Chris, You’re gonna have to ask the media precisely why. Trump is a smart guy. He’s a media guy. He had a TV show. I’ll give you one example. A recent study showed on ABC evening news, Trump over a period of time got 81 minutes of time. Bernie Sanders got 20 seconds. Now you tell me why. And I think it has to do with the fact that Trump is very smart. He knows that media is not so interested in the serious issues facing this country. They love bombastic remarks. They love silly remarks […] I think this is more of an indictment of the media actually than it is of Trump.
Cuomo: I don’t see it. Do we cover him more? Yes. Why? He’s number one in the polls. He’s highly relevant. He drives the discussion.
Sanders: But Chris, explain to me how he becomes number one. He boasts of the fact…He says, ‘I don’t even have to pay for commercials. The media’s going to put me on all of the time.'”

Cuomo continues to insist that the media plays no role in Trump’s dominance of the media. Clearly that’s an unsupportable position. The press was covering every Trump event from beginning to end from the day he entered the race. They would interrupt programming to broadcast his stump speeches live. And they weren’t doing it because of his popularity. They were doing it because of his proclivity for disgorging shocking and offensive rhetoric that would drive, not the discussion, but ratings. If it were solely because he was leading in the polls, then why weren’t they doing the same thing for Hillary Clinton, who has also been leading in the polls? Or for Sanders who has been breaking fundraising records set by President Obama in 2008?

Sanders was correct in stating that Trump boasts about the media putting him on all the time. Last August Trump even made it a key point in his speech to a crowd in Alabama saying sarcastically…

“Every time I go on television it’s gotta be live. It’s live. I said ‘Oh, can I have a rest please?’ […] How come it always has to be live? Why don’t they just cover me like anybody else where they go the next day and they show little clips? Every time I speak it has to be live. It’s ridiculous, but it’s OK. Right? We have to suffer with it.”

If Trump recognizes that it’s ridiculous, why doesn’t the media? And even after he taunts them about how tightly they are wound around his fat finger, they persist in following him around like lovesick puppies, even though there is nothing in his speeches that makes them the least bit newsworthy. Trump sees it but Cuomo doesn’t? He would have to be pasting quarters to his eyes and wrapping his head with duct tape.

This exchange is emblematic of the problem that the media has assessing its own shortcomings. Sanders spells out the blatant bias, provides a specific example of it, and CNN’s anchor remains oblivious and defensive. It’s also notable that the example was for ABC News rather than Fox News where Trump’s partisan omnipresence is expected.

Cuomo never responds directly to the example Sanders gave about the 81:1 coverage ratio that was documented by the respected television analyst, the Tyndall Report. Then the discussion just drifted off into other subjects, insuring that the disparity will very likely continue for the remainder of the campaign. And the media will continue to be blind to their failures.

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

Fox News Worse Than Cuomo: Promoted ‘No Liberals Allowed’ Community

NOT BREAKING NEWS: No one is going to have to interrupt regular programming to announce that Fox News is overflowing with hypocrisy, but their latest example of it is a delicious foray into obliviousness on a grand scale.

This week New York governor Andrew Cuomo told a radio interviewer that “extreme” conservatives have “no place in the state of New York.” The statement was immediately picked up by every right-wing media outlet and reported with the typical context-extracted zeal for which the wingnut media is so well known. Cuomo’s full remarks reveal that he was referring only to politicians and candidates who embrace far-right fringe opinions, not mainstream Republican citizens of New York. Here is what he said:

“Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

The gist of his commentary is plainly true. New York is not, in general, a state that will welcome politicos who advocate assault weapons and hate homosexuals. And with regard to reproductive choice, even conservative New Yorkers do not sway so far left that they would favor indicting doctors and mothers for murder.

Nevertheless, conservatives nationwide took Cuomo’s words to heart and feverishly sought to imply that he was referring to, and insulting, all Republicans. It’s interesting that they would all classify themselves as extremists in order to be included in Cuomo’s criticism. This includes Sean Hannity who threatened to leave New York. Of course, most New Yorkers would volunteer to help him pack. Glenn Beck also chimed in with his standard Nazi-inflected rhetoric, saying that Cuomo’s remarks were similar to those that led to the Holocaust. Then he went further than Hannity, who merely threatened to leave the state. Beck actually threatened to renounce his American citizenship (video below).

Not surprisingly, Fox News was all over this phony controversy. The have run numerous segments portraying Cuomo as intolerant of diversity and berating him for offending his conservative constituents, about whom he was not talking. Beck himself made a rare appearance on Fox with Megyn Kelly where the two of them joined to misinterpret Cuomo’s remarks. But it was only one year ago that Fox News promoted a right-wing group’s plan to build a conservative utopia somewhere in Idaho that explicitly forbade liberals. The Fox Nation headline blared “No Liberals Allowed.”

Fox Nation

Get your copy of Fox Nation vs. Reality today at Amazon

It’s almost too easy to mock this. Notice that on the same graphic as their prohibition against liberals they say “Live And Let Live.” I guess they mean unless you’re a liberal. And contrary to Cuomo, this cult conclave was specifically referring to ordinary citizens with progressive views. The graphic also has icons indicating that there will be no anarchy or peace tolerated in their Randian haven. The website formally discourages prospective liberal applicants saying that they “will likely find that life in our community is incompatible with their existing ideology and preferred lifestyles.”

Glenn Beck, by the way, is also in the utopia business. His Armageddon getaway will be called Independence, USA. Always the entertainer, he is positioning it as a hybrid conservative village/theme park with shops, rides, media studios, and residential tracts. However, like most projects initiated by Beck, this one will also never see the light of day.

The rampant public displays of outrage that emanate from Fox News always have at least a hint of hypocrisy. But when they venture this far into the hypocritical swamp it becomes more comic relief than anything else. The acrimony they hope to incite by deliberately misrepresenting Cuomo’s comments is only made more absurd by the fact that their own advocacy of intolerance is even worse. Lucky for them, their audience is populated by imbeciles who will never put this all together. Their business model works because it requires low-intellect consumers and Fox just keeps making more of them everyday.