White House Shills Flagrantly Lie About Trump Hobbling the FBI Probe of Kavanaugh

It’s another Pleasant Valley Sunday at the White House as Donald Trump dispatches his surrogates to the Sunday morning news programs to assure America’s Deplorables that everything is fine despite the political fires raging all around them.

Donald Trump

The topic of the day is undoubtedly the pending confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. His recent testimony regarding allegations of sexual assault against Dr. Christine Blasey Ford did nothing to exonerate him. But he did reveal himself to be a hot headed, ultra-partisan who traffics in preposterous conspiracy theories and has no aversion to lying about himself or others.

As a result of that hearing, rogue Republican Sen. Jeff Flake concluded that he could not vote to confirm Kavanaugh unless there was an FBI investigation into the charges. So Trump was reluctantly forced to comply and instructed the FBI to reopen Kavanaugh’s background check. Unfortunately, our relentlessly deceitful president sought to game the system by putting harsh restrictions on what the FBI could look into. After this underhanded tactic was exposed, Trump whined on Twitter that it wasn’t true. He accused NBC News of having “incorrectly reported” the story, even though it was also reported by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

On the Sunday Circus of news shows, Trump’s surrogates are now making the rounds to reinforce his false claims. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News that “The White House is not micromanaging this process,” and that “the Senate is dictating the terms.” And Senior White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway had this exchange with Jake Tapper of CNN:

Conway: The White House is not getting involved in the FBI investigation in that way. The president very much respects the independence of the FBI and feels, as he said last night, that they should be looking at anything they feel is credible within this limited scope.
Tapper: What does that mean, ‘within this limited scope’?
Conway: That’s up to the FBI. In other words, I’m not involved in those specific conversations.

Of course none of those protestations were true. NBC’s follow up reporting on the matter reiterated that:

“The FBI has received no new instructions from the White House about how to proceed with its weeklong investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a senior U.S. official and another source familiar with the matter tell NBC News.

“According to the sources, the president’s Saturday night tweet saying he wants the FBI to interview whoever agents deem appropriate has not changed the limits imposed by the White House counsel’s office on the FBI investigation — including a specific witness list that does not include Julie Swetnick, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in high school.”

And furthermore…

“A White House official made clear that the White House is the client in this process. This is not an FBI criminal investigation — it is a background investigation in which the FBI is acting on behalf of the White House. Procedurally, the White House does not allow the FBI to investigate as it sees fit, the official acknowledged; the White House sets the parameters.”

The conservative, Rupert Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal affirmed NBC’s reporting that:

“it was unlikely that the shape of the investigation would change without official communication from the White House that it wanted the bureau to interview other people beyond the list already provided.”

So that’s confirmation that the White House is calling the shots and that they did provide a list of approved witnesses. Clearly Trump is determined to insure that whatever investigation is conducted will not be thorough or impartial. He’s deliberately stacking the deck against Dr. Ford to protect his tainted nominee. That raises the question of whether this process will satisfy Sen. Flake who initiated it. If it doesn’t, he may vote against confirming Kavanaugh, which could sink the nomination.

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

There is also the possibility that the FBI will consider itself empowered to explore any matter that is raised during their investigation, which could include the other witnesses as well as Kavanaugh’s truthfulness during his congressional testimony. There’s abundant evidence that Kavanaugh did perjure himself. So there are significant speed bumps on the road to Kavanaugh’s seat on the Supreme Court. And with any luck this nomination will crash and burn.

On Kavanaugh: GOP Senator, And Fox News, Now Support an FBI Probe – of Democrats?

On Friday Sen. Jeff Flake monkey wrenched the Republican’s plan to “plow through” the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation and install an accused rapist on the Supreme Court. Donald Trump tried for weeks to forestall any effort to get at the truth by having the FBI supplement their background check with this new information. But Flake’s refusal to vote for Kavanaugh without such a probe forced Trump and the GOP to back down.

Fox News, Brett Kavanaugh

The FBI is likely to conduct a fair and professional investigation into the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford. But they might also report on other matters that reflect on Kavanaugh’s suitability to get this lifetime appointment. That could include shady financial dealings, unsavory personal associations, or lying to the FBI or to Congress.

Consequently, Fox News has sprung into action to try to prophylactically inoculate Kavanaugh from whatever bad news might emerge. They have been furiously campaigning on Kavanaugh’s behalf and viciously maligning his critics, including Dr. Ford. As part of that effort they invited Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy to visit with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends to flood the zone with some obvious distractions. It began with co-host Griff Jenkins asking Cassidy to walk him through what’s coming next. Cassidy replied:

“This is part of a broader Democratic strategy to coordinate in that coordination, seek to delay. How many more charges can be brought out to smear this man? To create legitimate doubts in the minds of some, the American public? It’s a tactic of coordination leading to the delay. There’s other things the FBI should to do, but it should investigate whether there is this intent to coordinate the actual coordination.”

Jenkins was impressed with Cassidy’s blubbering nonsense saying “Well, that’s a great point you bring out.” Which point? The one about Democrats seeking to coordinate their coordination, or the coordinating of the coordinates that the Democrats intended to investigate? That’s not important – or intelligible. Jenkins then tried to expand the discussion by inquiring whether the FBI should investigate who leaked Dr. Ford’s letter? And Cassidy responded:

“There’s at least two senators that challenged Judge Kavanaugh’s assertion that this is part of a coordinated effort. Two. Now if they’re trying to cast doubts upon his judgement, I actually think he showed insight. Let’s actually investigate. Ask Dianne Feinstein, under oath, did she leak it, then ask her aides. By the way, we should also seek to get Dr. Ford’s therapist’s records. […] That should also be looked at to see if it does truly corroborate. Because that’s all that’s been offered by her side. And then look at this pattern of delay, coordination and obfuscation.”

Cassidy is parroting the crackpot conspiracy theories that Kavanaugh tried to foist on the nation via his totally baseless and paranoid accusations that Democrats are conducting is “a calculated and orchestrated political hit” as “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.” All of the questions he asked about Sen. Feinstein have already been answered and proven to be above board and uncontroversial.

However, it’s Cassidy’s insistence that the FBI needs to probe political coordination by Democrats that is truly mind-boggling. And not just because he’s laughably incoherent. But because, even if it’s happening, it isn’t illegal, unethical, or unusual. Cassidy is attempting to criminalize ordinary activities by political parties to advance their objectives. But only as it applies to Democrats.

If Cassidy thinks that Democrats should be investigated for this, would he also agree to investigate Trump and the GOP and Fox News for their coordinated efforts to get Kavanaugh confirmed and smear his accusers? Now THAT would be fun, and probably turn up some real crimes. So bring it on.

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

Trump Caves to Jeff Flake and the ‘Radical Left’ – Orders the ‘Deep State’ FBI to Probe Kavanaugh

Welcome to the continuing saga of Brett Kavanaugh and his quest to be the second Supreme Court justice with a history of alleged sexual harassment and/or assault (and nominated by a president with an even worse history). Today’s episode brings us to the Senate Judiciary Committee where Sen. Jeff Flake has issued an ultimatum demanding that the FBI investigate the charges of Kavanaugh’s accusers before he will consent to an affirmative vote.

Donald Trump

Committee chairman Chuck Grassley actually doesn’t have the authority to call in the FBI or to put the confirmation vote on the calendar. But he essentially agreed to proceed with a promise that Flake’s condition would be honored. Subsequently, Donald Trump issued a statement saying that:

“I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file as the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week.”

This is a significant concession by a White House that has been fervently opposed to reopening Kavanaugh’s FBI background check. Just a couple of days ago Trump was holding a rare press conference where he refused to consider calling the FBI back in because “They don’t do this.” He elaborated saying that:

“The FBI told us they’ve investigated Judge Kavanaugh six times, five times, many times over the years. They know him very well. But here, there was nothing to investigate from at least one standpoint. They didn’t know the location. They didn’t know the time. They didn’t know the year. They didn’t know anything. And it’s like, where do you go? Also, it’s not for the FBI.”

The fact that Trump thinks that FBI cannot get involved in matters where “They didn’t know anything” would be hilarious if it weren’t so frightening. It’s exactly when little is known that the FBI is relied on to find out more. It’s called “Investigation” and it’s right there in the name of the Federal Bureau. But Trump is so ignorant of his role as president that he just makes up phony reasons to justify whatever outcome he prefers. Only last week he posted a ludicrous tweet responding to suggestions that the FBI be consulted (Isn’t there always a tweet?):

Everyone except Trump already knows why victims of sexual assault often don’t report the crimes. However, with Kavanaugh’s confirmation in trouble, Trump is now willing to defer to the “radical left lawyers” and the “Deep State” operatives lurking behind the scenes at the agency that he has been vilifying for the past two years as corrupt and out to get him.

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

Will this change the outcome of the confirmation vote? Who knows. It depends on whether the FBI finds corroboration of the charges against Kavanaugh. But they might also find evidence that he lied during his FBI interviews or his congressional testimony (which he did). That would also be disqualifying for an aspiring Supreme Court nominee. Well, under ordinary circumstances it would. But with today’s cravely partisan Republican Party controlling the Congress, pretty much anything goes.

While Defending Kavanaugh, Ted Cruz Inadvertently Defines Trump as a Sexual Predator

You can always count on Ted Cruz, the smarmiest man in Washington, to demonstrate how he has earned his reputation for nausea-inducing callousness. When all around him are being merely grotesque, Cruz manages to up the ante and spin the disgust meter three times around. And Friday morning he reaffirmed his unique talent for obnoxious blather.

Ted Cruz, Donald Trump

The Senate Judiciary Committee was preparing to vote on whether to send the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the full Senate. Each senator was given an opportunity to say a few words on on the positions they are taking prior to the vote. When Cruz’s turn came around he thought he would make an argument for why Kavanaugh could not possibly be a sexual predator (video below):

“Now all of us know from human experience, that if someone is a sexual predator – if someone is committing the kinds of actions that have been alleged – that it is very rare that they are a one-time offender. That if someone is carrying out this kind of conduct, they typically have a pattern of doing so over and over and over again. We have seen powerful men throughout society – in politics, in journalism, in Hollywood – whose careers have rightly been ended, but they’ve been ended for a pattern of harassment or abuse that typically extends decades, because when someone behaves like this they behave like this over and over again.”

First of all, Cruz is apparently not paying very close attention to the allegations made against Kavanaugh. There are at least three women who have come forward with credible statements that they’ve made under penalty of perjury. So Kavanaugh fits Cruz’s definition of a predator. But more troubling is that there is another person in public life that fits the description even better.

Donald Trump has been accused of sexual harassment and/or assault by at least sixteen women over a period many years. These women have provided detailed accounts of their encounters with Trump. And Trump himself has validated the charges by admitting that, because he is famous, he feels that he is allowed to assault (i.e. grab) women any time he wants and get away with it.

This country is currently on the verge of confirming an alleged sexual predator to a seat on the Supreme Court, where he would join Clarence Thomas, another alleged perv. Together they would be ruling on issues of critical importance to women, including Roe v Wade. But as bad as that is, it’s monumentally worse that the President has committed far more crimes over a longer span of time, but has not been held to account in any way. Certainly, if Kavanaugh is unfit to serve on the Supreme Court (for so many reasons) then Trump should be removed from the White House sooner than immediately. What does it say about our nation if it is incapable of preventing monsters like these from becoming powerful leaders?

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

Brett Kavanaugh’s Angry, Partisan, Yelling, and Crying Has Likely Torpedoed His Nomination

The single most damaging witness so far for the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United is without a doubt – Brett Kavanaugh. His opening statement was an extended, foaming at the mouth diatribe filled with invective and grievances against his perceived enemies. Donald Trump made it known that he was unhappy with Kavanaugh’s performance during his pitiful interview on Fox News. But if he thinks this was the way to rehabilitate his tattered reputation, he’s only proving that his faulty judgment makes him unfit to serve on the Supreme Court.

Brett Kavanaugh

The most notable impression left by Kavanaugh will be that he was furious with the women who were making allegations about his behavior, and with the Democrats in Congress who are seeking the truth. But his unhinged harangue will be viewed after the fact as detrimental to his confirmation. The spectacle of a potential justice of the Supreme Court throwing a public tantrum like this only reinforces the opinions of those who believe that he doesn’t have the temperment to do the job.

No one would hold it against him that he cried during his testimony. Well, no one except the President of the United States, Donald Trump. On more than a few occasions Trump has mocked others for showing such emotion. He routinely referred to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer as “Cryin’ Chuck.” Should we expect a similarly disrespectful tweet from the President about “Cryin’ Brett”? And if Trump was disappointed with Kavanaugh’s appearance on the friendly Fox News network, what must he be thinking now after this extended display of shouting and weeping? If anything, it makes the charges that he is a belligerent drunk more believable.

Perhaps the most harmful part of Kavanaugh’s rant was his ferocious condemnation of Democrats. He implied that they had “laid in wait” and plotted to “blow me up and take me down.” His repetitious attacks made it clear that he regards the party as a political foe. He accused Democrats of conducting a campaign against him that was “well financed” by some unnamed and evil benefactor (George Soros?). He described their opposition to him in conspiratorial terms resembling Trump’s references to a “Deep State” cabal. Specifically, Kavanaugh said that his critics were deploying a “political hit” as “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.” Seriously?

With that sort of brazen and vile partisanship, how can Kavanaugh be relied upon to be a neutral arbiter of the law? His extreme prejudice is starkly apparent. And whether or not one believes he has justification to feel this way, it disqualifies him to be a justice whose impartiality is mandatory. No judicial authority can be allowed to harbor such obvious biases. He could certainly withdraw and run for the senate, where his partisanship would be expected. But he has morally resigned as any kind of judge and now needs to recognize that fact and resign in reality.

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

The Grossness of Lindsey Graham’s Defense of Judge Kavanaugh and Attack on His Accusers

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from both Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford today in an attempt to resolve the controversy over whether Kavanaugh had engaged in sexual assault. Unfortunately, this Senate process is woefully insufficient to actually resolve such a question, but it’s the only thing the Republicans will allow.

Fox News, Lindsey Graham

Prior to the hearing, Fox News was setting it up in a manner that blatantly advantaged Kavanaugh. In a segment on Fox and Friends with Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Senator is heard laughing during a discussion of parties where women were allegedly drugged and raped. That’s an unambiguously inappropriate response under the circumstances. But he doesn’t behave any better as the interview proceeds, as observed in this exchange about the declaration provided by another accuser, Julie Swetnick (video below):

Anna Kooiman: Here’s the problem Senator. We’re not saying that nothing happened to her. It’s serious allegations. Something might have happened to her. We are all just questioning why she didn’t go to police. She says that she was raped at one of these parties. Not by Kavanaugh. Someone else. So people are wondering why didn’t she go to police when that happened. Or why isn’t she going to police now? [She’s asking for an FBI investigation]
Graham: Well here’s what I would say. Y’all are very nice people. I don’t buy this. I don’t believe that any reasonable person would go to a party where people are being drugged and raped and not tell anybody about it, but keep going for ten times over a two year period. Brett Kavanaugh’s life – there’s no indication that that’s the kind of person he is. This lady, Brett Kavanaugh says ‘I never met her’. Avenatti is her attorney. If you can’t figure this out, then there’s something wrong with you.

Graham went on to repeat his surprise that Ms. Swetnick continued going to parties while in college. And he summed up by stating flatly that “Brett Kavanaugh is not a serial rapist,” revealing that his mind was already made up before anyone has testified.

However, Graham’s characterization of Swetnick’s declaration is patently false and even absurd. He’s implying that she willfully attended regularly scheduled rape parties. But she never said anything of the sort. Her testimony is that she attended ten parties, in two years, where she observed this repulsive behavior. Graham is asserting by assumption that those were the only parties she attended. It’s more likely that she attended many more.

If we estimate that she attended one party a week during these two years of college (a conservative estimate), that’s 104 parties total. She wasn’t deliberating attending parties where such activity was advertised and tolerated. So at ten of these parties – out of more than a hundred – she happened to encounter some disgusting individuals like, allegedly, Kavanaugh.

Graham’s attempt to portray Swetnick as someone who regularly and deliberately attends rape parties is just plain nauseating. And it’s proof of his intent to malign her character. Furthermore, his snide reference to to her attorney, Michael Avenatti, was also meant to disparage her and dismiss her testimony. Never mind that Avenatti has provided remarkably precise and accurate commentaries on everything from Kavanaugh to Michael Cohen, and of course, Stormy Daniels. Graham, on the other hand, has proven to be a sleaze ball who sucks up to Donald Trump and abandons every speck of integrity or dignity he might have ever had. Just sayin’.

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

Trump Flagrantly Lies About the 4 Women (It’s 16) Who Allege Sexual Misconduct By Him

On Wednesday afternoon, Donald Trump gave his first news conference in over a year and a half. It was a predictably hostile affair where Trump rarely allowed a reporter to complete a question before interrupting and talking over them before he even knew what the question was. And invariably his answer had little to do with the actual substance of the inquiry.

Donald Trump

While the event covered subjects as varied as the economy, the fate of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, trade with China and elsewhere, and Judge Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court debacle, there was one subject that stood out. Stemming from questions about the controversy over sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh, Trump was asked about his own problems concerning the mistreatment of women. After having called on several male reporters, Trump, at the urging of CNN’s Jim Acosta, called on Weijia Jiang of CBS News. She jumped right in with what would have been a piercing inquiry had Trump allowed her to finish:

Jiang: Have your personal experiences, being accused by more than a dozen women of sexual misconduct…
Trump: I’ve been accused. (Interrupting) Excuse me. And I was accused by, I believe it was four women. You can check with Sean Hannity. You can check with Fox. Cause they covered it very strongly. Excuse me. I was accused by four or five women who got paid a lot of money to make up stories about me. We caught them and the mainstream media refused to put it on television. They refused to even write about it. There were four women, and maybe even more – I think the number’s four or five.”

First of all, anyone who bothers to check with Sean Hannity to corroborate Trump’s account is seriously in need of professional help. This is reminiscent of the time Trump went into a crazed rant during a debate because “everybody refuses to call Sean Hannity.”

Trump then rattled off some vague, unsubstantiated accounts of women who he said were paid to make false allegations against him. He offered zero evidence that there were any women whose stories were deliberately fabricated for money. However, he did say that one of the women reported her story after refusing to take $750,000. Which actually validates the allegations against him and sanitizes her motives. Is he listening to himself?

Trump went on to complain about some stories he heard about a few women who were included in an article in the New York Times who later disputed the portrayal of them in the article. Trump falsely stated that the Times never reported on those women’s disputes. But the Times did cover that, along with standing by the accounts of many more women in the article. Trump’s conclusion from that was that “a lot of the news is fake. And a lot of the people sitting here are fake.” REally? There are fake people now?

Jiang then tried to ask her question which Trump had repeatedly interrupted. He told Jiang that “you’ve been asking a question for ten minutes.” Then he rudely told her to sit down. Nevertheless, she persisted. And she managed to get out her question which was whether the charges against him has impacted his opinion on charges against Kavanaugh. He said that:

“Well it does impact my opinion. You know why? Because I’ve had a lot of false charges made against me. I’m a very famous person, unfortunately. […] So when I see it I view it differently than someone sitting home watching television where they say ‘Judge Kavanaugh this or that.’ It’s happened to me many times.”

So Trump is admitting that it “absolutely” affects his opinion with regard to Kavanaugh. And he was angry that only Fox News reported any of this in a way that made him look innocent. He also made a point of praising the network saying “Well, Fox. I like Fox. I really do.” Then, of course, he lied about his relationship with Hannity, whom he talks to almost every night, telling reporters that “I don’t talk to him very much.”

In the end, Trump dishonestly portrayed himself as being open minded about the allegations against Kavanaugh. He said that he could be persuaded by his accusers when they testify before Congress on Thursday (note: only one of them is being permitted to do so). But that’s not possible if he’s already convinced that Kavanaugh is telling the truth. Plus, he has repeatedly accused the Democrats pursuing more info of engaging in a “con job.” And his admitted prejudice due to his own experiences makes it even harder to believe that his mind isn’t made up.

Finally, he must not be allowed to get away with lying about the extent of the charges against him. It isn’t four or five women. It’s at least sixteen. And that alone should be sufficient cause to remove him from office. Even if special counsel Robert Mueller doesn’t make the case for collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice, Trump is simply unfit to serve.

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

Trump’s Press Secretary Has Replaced ‘Daily’ Press Briefings with Softball Interviews on Fox News

On Monday evening Donald Trump’s White House took the extraordinary step of parading its Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, out on State TV (aka Fox News), to whitewash the charges against him for sexual assault. That spectacle only exacerbated his problems by revealing him as awkward and over-coached in his own defense. And it doesn’t help that he was defending himself on the network best known for political partisanship and employing sexual predators.

Fox News, Sarah Huckabee Sanders

However, this tactic on the part of the administration further illustrates just how reliant they are on disseminating propaganda via Fox News. It’s their go-to media fixer when Trump is in trouble or they have some new unpopular initiative to foist on the nation. And in a totally unprecedented course of action, the White House has virtually eliminated the Daily Press Briefing as a means of informing the public about administration activities. They have replaced it with Fox News.

Trump’s Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has held only one briefing so far in the month of September. She held only five briefings in June, three in July, and five in August. That’s one hundred and seventeen days with only fourteen “daily” briefings. This makes it far more difficult for reporters to gather information that the public deserves and is entitled to in a working democracy. Clearly Trump prefers to operate like the dictatorships he so admires in Russia and North Korea.

So the day following Trump sending off his Supreme Court nominee to the happy place for rightist news, he sets up a playdate for Sanders with his Fox and Friends. Sanders joined the “Curvy Couch” potatoes for an extended discussion on how splendidly everything is going in the White House and in America (video below). She stuck up for Kavanaugh, dismissed the controversy over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, effusively praised her boss, and promoted the upcoming cookbook by Fox co-host Steve Doocy that contains a recipe by Sanders.

This performance is a poor substitute for briefings attended by diverse and independent journalists. Rather, it is an extension of Trump’s determination to turn the White House into a Reality TV melodrama with all the nonsense and artifice that implies. They aspire to lull the American people into a stupor that will be thrilled by the circus-like antics of a Big Brother presidency.

Unfortunately for Trump, just because his cult followers are foolish enough to fall for that, doesn’t mean that the rest of the country will. And even with his reincarnation of Goebbels (former Fox News president, and current White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communication, Bill Shine), Trump isn’t going to find success in dumbing down America’s democracy. He’s only going to make sure that his Deplorables remain utterly and painfully clueless. Just the way he likes them.

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

Kavanaugh to Be Interviewed On Fox News, the Network that Employed Multiple Sexual Predators

If you were looking for a sign that the Donald Trump White House is getting desperate with regard to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, they just showed their cards. Fox News has announced – and Trump tweeted a promo for – Kavanaugh’s appearance Monday night on Fox News with Martha MacCallum.

Fox News Alert

There could not be a clearer indicator of Trump’s worrying that his nominee is floundering and is at risk for an embarrassing failure. It is unprecedented for a Supreme Court nominee to go on television to advance his nomination and defend himself against allegations that haven’t even been raised in Congress or investigated by the FBI.

What’s worse is that the television platform chosen by Kavanaugh (or was it the White House?) is Fox News. That’s the network whose founder and CEO, Roger Ailes, was fired due to multiple complaints of sexual harassment and assault. It’s the network whose biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, was fired for the same reasons, after paying out tens of millions of dollars in hush money to his victims. It’s the network whose president, Bill Shine, was fired for his shoddy handling of those affairs and his enabling of the wrongdoers. Shine is now Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications.

With a history of such tawdry behavior by Fox News, it seems to be a highly inappropriate media outlet to try to whitewash Kavanaugh’s history of alleged abuses. And the choice of Martha MacCallum to interview Kavanaugh is also troubling. Obviously they didn’t want a man like Sean Hannity to do it. So they picked a woman who was one of Ailes’ first and most vigorous defenders. And it needs to be noted also that, while Kavanaugh is swatting softballs from MacCallum on Fox News, his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford has more respectfully declined any television offers:

“As I am not a lawyer or a Senator, I am relying on them and you to ensure that the committee will agree to conditions that allow me to testify in a fair setting that won’t disrupt families and become a media tv show. […] I have received an inordinate number of requests to appear on major TV shows to elucidate further information, to which I have not responded. My goal is to return soon to my workplace, once it is deemed safe for me and importantly, my students.”

The distasteful decision to parade Kavanaugh and his wife on TV in the hopes of generating some public sympathy is more evidence of how Trump is turning the White House into a Reality TV presidency. It’s all about making impressions and convincing the American people not to vote them off the island. And on that score they are failing miserably. Polls show that a majority of people oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation. And that was before the latest charges were revealed. But if you’re moved by his revelation that he was a virgin until “many years” after high school, than you won’t want to miss this interview (Note: Kavanaugh being a virgin doesn’t make Dr. Ford’s allegations false. She never claimed that there was intercourse):

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

Wannabe Dictator Trump’s New Attack on Kavanaugh Accusers: ‘Look Into the Lawyers’

Trump has made it a priority in his administration to assault the institutions that comprise most of what best defines America. Most notably, the media which he repeatedly refers to in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people” (which has not worked out very well for him). But he is also a devout foe of academia, science, the arts, intelligence, and even religion when it doesn’t serve his purposes. But no institution has taken more of the brunt of Trump’s animus than the law.

Donald Trump

In the past short but unbearable two years, Trump has expressed his disdain for the agencies of the government that draft, maintain, and implement the law. He rages against Congress for not bowing down to his authority and passing his favorite legislative initiatives like funding the border wall. He regards the FBI as beholden to secretive, subversive, “Deep State” forces intent on destroying his presidency. He puts more faith in the words of Vladimir Putin than he does in his own intelligence professionals with regard to whether Russia unlawfully interfered with the 2016 (and 2018) election.

Perhaps the most battered victim in the field of law enforcement is the Department of Justice itself. Trump has relentlessly pummeled his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, with withering insults and open disrespect. He recently stated that “I have no attorney general.” And of course, he fired his director of the FBI, James Comey, and replaced him with Christopher Wray, who then became the new designated butt of Trump’s malice. And Trump’s hatred for the FBI and the DoJ goes even deeper to lower level officials like Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.

Now in the midst of a melodrame involving his morally flawed Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, Trump is becoming more desperate and more disparaging. With the number of accusers coming forward with tales of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh growing, Trump has segued from attacking the accusers themselves to attacking their legal representation (video below):

“These are highly unsubstantiated statements from people represented by lawyers. You should look into the lawyers, their representation.”

That’s a disturbing outburst from a president of what is supposed to be a free democracy. Trump explicitly makes known his suspicion of “people represented by lawyers.” Which is pretty funny considering that he is represented by an army of them. But on the other tiny hand, it’s also understandable in that his long-time personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is now cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, and providing testimony that is likely damaging to Trump. Another factor driving Trump’s dislike of lawyers could be concluded just by looking at who his lawyers are (I’m looking at you Rudy Giuliani).

What’s more, Trump’s admonition to – the media? – that they “should look into the lawyers,” portends the sort of government heavy-handedness that is characteristic of totalitarian regimes. And it may even be a bit of an anti-Semitic dog whistle to his base that automatically assumes an evil undercurrent to their imagined Jewish domination of the law (and banking, and Hollywood, and whatever else their rancid imaginations dream up). That’s especially suspicious since Michael Bromwich (a Jewish lawyer who also represents Andrew McCabe) just joined the legal team representing Christine Blasey Ford.

What exactly does Trump hope to achieve with an examination of the lawyers representing Kavanaugh’s accusers? Does he think they will be exposed as collaborators in the Deep State? Will he discover some cabal of commie subversives? Maybe he thinks they’re all ambulance chasing money grubbers. Does he hope that when “looked at” they will run for cover and leave their clients without a defense?

Trump is obviously afraid of lawyers. He frequently threatens to sue anyone that looks at him funny. But he eventually skulks away in cowardice and disgrace. He has suffered numerous defeats at the hands of lawyers representing those he has harmed in business. For instance, earlier this year he was ordered to pay $25 million to the defrauded students of Trump University.

The most visible legal opponent of Trump, Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti, scares Trump so badly that he has never tweeted about him even once. And Trump still has more than a dozen other women who have made charges of sexual harassment and assault against him, and may file lawsuits of their own. So maybe Trump’s proposal to have the lawyers looked into is just his latest attempt to silence and/or bully them. Yeah, that’ll work.

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