Trump’s Manic Twitter Tantrum Displays Contempt for the Constitution and Democracy

The United States is currently being tested in a manner that no one could ever have anticipated. During a global pandemic that has been most devastating for the U.S. (100,000+ now dead), the nation is burdened with a “president” who not only couldn’t care less, but is certifiably insane. His malignant narcissism, vicious hostility, infantile conduct, moral depravity, and cringe-worthy ignorance, make him uniquely unfit and dangerous.

Donald Trump

In recent days Trump has upped his crazy with nauseating and morbid attacks, including accusations of murder directed at Joe Scarborough of MSNBC, and sick meme postings of a coffin with Joe Biden’s name on it. Trump’s psychotic behavior has resulted in rapidly declining approval ratings, along with plummeting electoral prospects. Politico’s Morning Consult poll has Trump at 40% approval. Fox News has him at 44%. Even his favorite pollster, the notoriously biased Rasmussen, has his approval at 42%, the lowest in that poll since January of 2018, two and a half years ago. And Trump is trailing Biden in every recent national poll at RealClearPolitics, as well as in most of the crucial swing states.

Reality has taken its toll on Trump’s emotional state. He is becoming more unhinged and uninhibited in his rabid lunacies. That’s precisely what psychological professionals would predict for someone with Trump’s acute mental malfunctions who is trapped in a downward spiral over which he has no control. And naturally, Trump’s derangement is getting flushed out on his Twitter feed. For instance…

This is pure hallucination on Trump’s part. There is no evidence – none – of the election fraud he is asserting. It reads more like his strategy for the his own campaign (“Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed”). Furthermore, California is not sending ballots to “anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there.” Only registered voters will receive them. Trump appears to be laying the groundwork for disputing the election results in November when he loses.

The lies embedded in these tweets were so abhorrent that Twitter was finally moved to act, albeit in baby steps. They attached a link to the tweets that says “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” and directs the reader to some of the sources debunking Trump’s disinformation. But even this wrist-slapping was too much criticism for the Snowflake-in-Chief. He embarked on a multi-tweet rant whining about Twitter’s fact-checking and making bizarre and frightening threats:

And as if that weren’t enough, Trump continued his threatening outbursts on Wednesday:

Trump still wasn’t satisfied. He followed up these schizoid remarks in another tweet by promising that there would be “Big action to follow!”

UPDATE:What that “big action” turned out to be was a vengeful, retaliatory Executive Order that would make it impossible for sites like Twitter and Facebook to operate. The EO is plainly unconstitutional and will not pass legal muster, but it further reveals Trump’s contempt for the Constitution and his intention to suppress free speech. He also said about Twitter that “If it were legal, if it could be legally shut down, I would do it.” And if that brazenly tyrannical remark doesn’t frighten you, you are so deeply indoctrinated into the Cult of Trump that you no longer value what America stands for.

What all of this bombastry has in common is a distinct contempt for the Constitution. Trump’s assertion that Twitter is “stifling FREE SPEECH” fails to recognize that the First Amendment only applies to governmental censorship. You know, like what Trump is trying to do to Twitter with threats of regulating them or even shutting them down. As a private company, Twitter has the right to moderate the content on their platform. What’s more, Twitter hasn’t censored Trump at all. His tweets are still available and unedited. What Trump is whining about is that actual facts are being place adjacent to his lies. That’s something that someone with more than 18,000 documented falsehoods will surely object to.

Nevertheless, Trump believes that he has the totalitarian authority to command Twitter, and other social media, to obey his orders. When he says that “I, as President, will not allow” Twitter to provide access to truthful information, and that there is “Big action to follow,” Trump is staking a claim to dictatorship. He doesn’t have any such authority and he knows it. When asked to cite this authority on Tuesday, he dissembled and dodged the question.

That, of course, is Trump’s customary method of answering almost any question. But the mere suggestion that he could exert that sort of tyrannical control is an insult to the freedom and democracy that is enshrined in the American ethic. And therein lies the problem. Trump is as utterly devoid of ethics as he is ignorant of, and averse to, American principles. And the American people have had enough!

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

Dear Leader Trump Proposes ‘Forcing’ the Press to Reveal Sources

Apparently Donald Trump isn’t satisfied with having utterly bungled the nation’s response the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Now he is moving on to advocate breaching the Constitution’s First Amendment right to a free press. That’s the same press that Trump routinely refers to in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.”

Donald Trump, Constitution

In his regularly scheduled Saturday Morning Tweetstorm, Trump was consumed by a fit of anxiety and animosity aimed at the media. It’s hard to know for certain what triggered this outburst, but it’s safe to say that it was probably something he saw on Fox News. The result was this Twitter tantrum that lashes out at some vague disturbance of Trump’s already unsettled psyche:

It’s typical of Trump to baselessly accuse the press of making up sources and stories. It’s equally typical that he never provides any documentation of his allegations, and he often doesn’t even cite the story he’s babbling about, as is the case this time. His charges are not simply venting. He specifically insists that the journalists (whom he declines to name) have deliberately invented fictional sources whose accounts are not merely untrue, they are “knowingly” non-existent. This is Trump’s way of defending himself from whatever criticism might happen to be floating around. It’s a defense that relies on the wispiest of innuendo because Trump can’t defend himself on substance.

It’s fair to say that whatever Trump is whining about is actually true. And since the facts would affirm that, he resorts to a blanket condemnation of the media in its entirety. He’s like a murderer setting an entire apartment building on fire to keep people from finding the body in #407.

It’s ironic that Trump is also complaining that the media is “dangerous and corrupt” and would “do anything to win.” That’s a darn good description of Trump himself. And anyone who has observed him for any length of time knows that projection is a key weapon in his arsenal of character assassination. But he wasn’t through bashing the press:

Trump’s problem with sources goes back many years. Never mind that unidentified sources are a valid staple of professional journalism. Trump’s White House communications staff even uses them regularly during “background briefings” where reporters are only permitted to attribute these official statements to “senior administration officials.” What’s more, as a private businessman Trump was known for acting as his own PR agent, using false names like “John Barron” to plant false stories in gossip columns to convince people that he was a rich playboy. And Trump is no stranger to exploiting the press for his own personal benefit, as he is doing by hijacking the Coronavirus Task Force briefings and turning them into Trump 2020 campaign events.

However, the worst part of this tweetfest was Trump’s suggestion that the media “should be forced to reveal sources.” That is a wholly unconstitutional abuse of power. The First Amendment clearly states the prohibition against “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” That includes any attempt by the government to dictate to journalists how to source their reporting. The ability of the press to gather information from people with inside knowledge is essential to a functioning democracy. And often those people need confidentiality in order to come forward without fear of reprisal. Especially while Trump is in the White House. He is already threatening to revoke the broadcast licenses of TV stations that air ads critical of him.

Furthermore, Trump’s claim that forced disclosure of sources was something that happened “in the long ago past” is downright delusional. Unless he’s talking about the past practices of the sort of tyrants and czars that he so admires (Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un, etc.). In which case, it’s no wonder that he yearns for the power to emulate his heroes. That is just so Trumpian. But it isn’t American. And any effort to go forward with what he’s proposing in these tweets needs to be fervently resisted by congress, the press, and all of the American people.

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

Trump’s Lawsuits Against the Media Could Produce an Avalanche of Evidence – Against Him

This election year has seen norms in political activity be swept away by Donald Trump’s continued rejection of decency and honesty as he tweets his way through a failing presidency. The observations that Trump is either pitifully ignorant and/or severely demented are impossible to dismiss. His symptoms range from bizarre assertions about windmill cancer and toilet flushing, to intense paranoia, delusions of grandeur, and authoritarian aspirations.

Donald Trump, Constitution

In recent weeks Trump has also been escalating his war against the media that he repeatedly refers to in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people,” which he did once again Sunday morning. Now Trump has set out on a path of litigation that is rooted in hostility and vengeance against the constitutional protections of a free press. This is behavior that reeks of fear, desperation, and the all-consuming mania of an unbridled persecution complex. It began with the announcement a week and a half ago that his campaign is suing his perennial nemesis (in his diseased mind), the New York Times for defamation. And in the short time since then, Trump has announced additional lawsuits against a couple of other perceived foes, the Washington Post and CNN.

Virtually every legal analyst who has commented on these lawsuits considers them not only frivolous, but dangerous. They are intended to inhibit free expression and punish those who dare to criticize Dear Leader. It’s a pure dictatorship play by a president who has repeatedly expressed his admiration for tyrants like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Xi Jinping. Each of these suits explicitly attack published opinions articles, not hard news. For instance, these are the specific citation in Trump’s legal complaints that he is alleging are defamatory:

New York Times
“There was no need for detailed electoral collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy because they had an overarching deal: the quid of help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from the Obama administration’s burdensome economic sanctions. The Trumpites knew about the quid and held out the prospect of the quo.”

Washington Post
The lawsuit cites a June 13 opinion piece by Greg Sargent that said Trump “tried to conspire with” a “sweeping and systematic” attack by Russia against the 2016 U.S. presidential election. It also cites a June 20 opinion piece by Paul Waldman that asked “who knows what sort of aid Russia and North Korea will give to the Trump campaign, now that he has invited them to offer their assistance?”

CNN
“The Trump campaign assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russia’s help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table.”

All of these articles are expressing opinions that are rational, fact-based, and affirmed by authoritative sources. Some are even affirmed by Trump himself. After all, he did ask Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails on national television. What’s more, an extensive investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller found that “Trump and his campaign welcomed & encouraged Russian interference.”

To this day, Trump continues to openly solicit political assistance from hostile foreign countries. And his actions prove that he is working in concert with our adversaries to boost his reelection prospects.

While Trump’s wrathful litigiousness is an assault on press freedom, and has an unambiguous chilling effect on journalists, there is a silver lining to his abhorrent conduct. Should any of these lawsuits ever see a courtroom, Trump will be obligated to comply with discovery orders to turn over documents relevant to his complaint. So the defendants can require him to produce materials that he has been refusing to provide to prosecutors and investigators in Congress. And should he do so, he will almost certainly reveal incriminating evidence that could subject him to criminal indictments.

Consequently, it is highly unlikely that Trump will pursue these lawsuits. He may try to use them for publicity for awhile, and to run up the legal fees for the defendants. But in the end he will probably run away (or try to), as he has done throughout his life. However, he may not be able to escape if the defendants countersue and seek a declarative judgment asserting their rights under the First Amendment. In which case, he might still be required to submit to discovery and even testimony. So even though his intentions are loathsome and anti-American, this could still wind up being kinda fun.

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

HUH? Fox News Trump-Fluffers Float Bizarre Theory that Trump Hasn’t Been Impeached

The capacity for total delusion on the part of Donald Trump and his Fox News defenders has never been, and can never be, overstated. However, there are times when they exhibit such utterly ludicrous behaviors that it astonishes even the most jaded media observers. And on Thursday evening we passed that threshold once again.

Fox News, Laura Ingraham

On an episode of Laura Ingraham’s White Nationalist Hour, our intrepid host attempted to impart her version of wingnut intellectualism by presenting a theory so devoid of reason that it sucked all the remaining grey matter from her already nearly vacant skull. It’s a theory that Trump’s White House is also entertaining.

Ingraham delivered a monologue (video below) that began with the absurd contention that “I think one can make a decent argument that the President wasn’t really impeached.” Her explanation sprung from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to delay sending the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate until Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer finalized the rules under which they would be debated. Ingraham thinks that an impeachment hasn’t really taken place until the House transmits it to the Senate.

To support her silliness, Ingraham mocks Pelosi’s grasp of the Constitution and attempts to cite it saying that “the Senate has the sole power of impeachment.” That, however, is not what the Constitution says. What it actually says is that “The House of Representatives…shall have the sole power of impeachment.” So Ingraham got it completely wrong. It later says that “The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.” Which is something else entirely. Pelosi, therefore, was right and Ingraham was making a fool of herself.

This disinformation then spread to other Fox News programs. On Friday morning it was regurgitated by anchor David Asman who said that “We may not have an impeachment if it hasn’t been passed to the Senate.” But as we now know, that isn’t true. It’s just part of an ongoing campaign by Fox News to keep their viewers mired in ignorance and falsehoods.

Additionally, this baseless theory relies on the assumption that the House will never transmit the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. Nobody is betting on that. Pelosi is wisely insisting that the Senate trial be conducted fairly and that relevant witnesses to presented. That’s a critical demand considering that McConnell has already publicly stated that he has no intention of being impartial and that he will “take his cues” from White House lawyers. Eventually McConnell will have to concede because Trump doesn’t want the impeachment hanging over his head without at least an attempt to exonerate him by the Senate. Although, exoneration is not something that is actually achievable.

Like or not, Fox News, and Trump’s congressional bootlickers, have to accept that Trump has indeed been impeached. They cannot pretend otherwise. It is a disgrace that will follow him and the GOP throughout history. And clinging to these nonsense notions and wishful thinking only makes them look desperate and dumb. Well, more desperate and dumber.

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

Holy Kowtow: Trump-Fluffers on Fox News Come Out in Favor of ‘Abuse of Power’

As more evidence of Donald Trump’s betrayal of American principles and laws is revealed, he is sinking further into an abyss of fear, paranoia, and desperation. His language is becoming more maniacal and his attacks are losing any semblance of sanity. It’s a painful spectacle to watch for patriotic citizens.

Fox News, Donald Trump

Likewise, Trump’s defenders at State TV (aka Fox News) are similarly abandoning logic and reason, and are foregoing any effort to employ facts in their pursuit of excusing Trump’s rancid dishonesty and criminality. Their arguments have devolved into denying objective reality – including Trump’s own statements – or insisting that his public pronouncements were merely jokes (which would be appalling by itself). They swing wildly from “Trump didn’t do that” to “Okay, he did it, but everybody does it” to “So what, it isn’t illegal” to frantic howls of “Witch Hunt!”

Now the Fox News defensive line has taken up a brand new and wholly repulsive approach to Trump’s misdeeds. Fox and Friends legal and political analyst, Gregg Jarrett, offered his predictably sycophantic exaltation of Trump. The segment sought to ignore Trump’s blatantly unlawful attempts to extort Ukraine’s President Zelensky into digging up dirt on Joe Biden. And Jarrett’s glassy-eyed apologia was ludicrous on its face (video below).

“The fact of the matter is the President’s conversation was not a crime, it’s not an impeachable offense. In the beginning Democrats and the media said ‘Oh, the conversation is a crime.’ Until the Department of Justice Criminal Division said ‘We looked at the transcript. It’s not a crime. It’s not a campaign violation.'”

Of course it is a crime to seek anything of value from a foreign government to benefit a U.S. political campaign. And it’s even worse when the pressure applied is the withholding of military aid that was allocated by Congress. What’s more, Jarrett’s suggestion that the decision of Trump’s lackey, Attorney General William Barr, has any legal merit is preposterous. But he wasn’t finished:

“So now Democrats have embraced this amorphous concept known as ‘abuse of power’ which is nowhere in the Constitution. And the trouble with that is that it’s this sort of shifting sands of subjective interpretation that can be abused for political reasons. Exactly what the framers did not want.”

Jarrett is actually arguing that abuse of power is not prohibited by the Constitution and that the Founders never intended for it be grounds for impeachment. That goes against every principle that America was founded upon. The impeachment language in the Constitution was specifically included as a remedy for abuse of power. Alexander Hamilton explicitly regarded it as a guard against “the abuse or violation of some public trust.” It is exactly what the Framers DID want.

The fact that the phrase “abuse of power” isn’t in the Constitution is irrelevant and, really, silly. A lot of things are not in the Constitution, including abortion, separation of church and state, executive orders, right to privacy, homosexuality, freedom of expression, and lots more. But there is abundant case law that defines constitutional rights that weren’t in the original document. That is, in fact, what the Founders intended. It’s why the Constitution was so short and had provisions for amendments.

For Jarrett to bemoan the “shifting sands of subjective interpretation” is ironic since that’s precisely what he’s engaging in. Except his interpretation is at odds with the Framers – and reality. He’s literally arguing that abuse of power – which was the impetus for the revolution against the British monarchy – should be permitted. It’s an advocacy of tyranny. And he wants to bestow that limitless authority unto his Dear Leader Trump. Which is especially troubling since Trump is a wannabe dictator who is already acting as if he has it.

Addendum: On Tuesday, Trump shill Joe DiGenova appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show and called the whistleblower a “suicide bomber.” He also referred to the impeachment as “regicide” (killing a king). Which, of course, means he thinks that Trump is a king. Which, of course, means that he is an un-American idiot.

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

Trump’s Reasoning for Citizenship Question on Census Could Also Prohibit Most Citizens From Voting

Among the hallmarks of Donald Trump’s presidency is his brazen disrespect for, and ignorance of, the Constitution of the United States. When he isn’t flagrantly misstating its meaning, he is fiercely striving to subvert its purpose. To him it is an inconvenient sheet of parchment that gets in the way of him doing whatever the heck he wants.

Donald Trump, Constitution

Case in point, Trump’s current dispute with the Supreme Court over whether to include a question about citizenship on the decennial census. The Court recently ruled against Trump on the matter, but he is refusing to let it rest. Never mind that the Constitution clearly states that the census is an enumeration of “persons,” not citizens.

At first, Trump’s own Justice and Commerce Departments acceded to the Court’s decision and stated that the Census would be printed without the citizenship question. But this must have angered Trump, or more likely his “Shadow Cabinet” on Fox News. Because Trump later tweeted that he was still seeking ways of going forward with the question despite the Supreme Court’s ruling. He even called his own cabinet secretaries fake news:

On Friday morning Trump elaborated on this “quest” when a reporter asked him about it (video below). His response was a startling display of arrogance and ignorance. After babbling about his his many alleged options, Trump revealed his absurd justification for including a question that has been independently assessed to be discriminatory:

“I just spoke with the Attorney General. We have a number of different avenues. We could use all of them or just one. […] If you look at the history of our country, it’s almost always been asked.”

Let’s set aside the fact that Attorney General William Barr is once again acting as Trump’s personal lawyer, rather than the chief law enforcement official for the American people.

More to the point, Trump is arguing that because there was a citizenship question on the census in the past, there should be one now. But If you take Trump’s advice and look at the history of our country, what you’ll find is that African-Americans and women have almost always been prohibited from voting. So by the same ludicrous logic, it would be justifiable to restore those prohibitions. And that would literally prohibit most citizens from voting.

For the record, a citizenship question was not asked for most of the first fifty years the U.S. existed. Then it began to be asked just after the civil war, until around 1950. That’s curious timing, don’t you think? Thereafter it has been asked of only a small sample of the population. But now Trump wants to ask everybody. In his morning media scrum, he was also asked why the question was so important. And here he said aloud what his aides surely meant for him to keep secret:

“You need it for many reasons. Number one, you need it for Congress. You need it for Congress for districting. You need it for appropriations. Where are the funds going?”

So Trump is now calling his own Justice Department liars. Their original reason had something to do with needing the question to help enforce the Voting Rights Act. That, of course, makes no sense at all. And it’s one of the reasons they lost in the Supreme Court. Even worse, a few weeks ago Trump’s Solicitor General explicitly told the Supreme Court that redistricting was not the reason for the question. So much for that transparently dishonest excuse.

Worst of all, trump is now admitting that his reason for the question is to impact redistricting in a manner that would suppress the votes of a largely Democratic electorate, while helping Republicans to hang on to their white nationalist power base. What we have here is Trump getting caught in a complex web of lies in order to justify a partisan and racist policy that violates the Constitution. In other, business as usual in the Era of Trump.

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