Fox News Leads the Trump Charge Against Coronavirus Relief for the American People

As the nation continues to suffer through the worst pandemic in a century, Donald Trump continues to downplay the risks and seeks to force the American people back into unsafe workplaces. His record thus far has resulted in more than 1.4 million people infected and more than 86,000 deaths. But apparently that isn’t enough for Trump and his GOP confederates.

Fox News, Democratic Wish List, Coronavirus, Trump

On Friday morning Trump held a press conference to announce his “plan” for developing a vaccine. True to form, the plan consisted of nothing but happy-talk and bragging about imaginary achievements. He baselessly claimed that there would be a vaccine before the end of the year, contradicting the estimates of every credible immunologist. Even worse, he insisted that people would return to work whether or not there was a vaccine. Trump still fails to grasp that there can be no resolution of this crisis without a vaccine, along with universal testing, tracking, and treatment.

Predictably, State TV (aka Fox News) is backing Trump 100% in two significant ways. First, they are practically ignoring the the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic throughout their broadcast day. In its place they are feverishly flaunting the phony “ObamaGate” conspiracy theory that no one – including Trump – can even define. And secondly, what little coverage of the pandemic they do offer is starkly skewed to a far right perspective that is generally reserved for fringe Internet trolls.

For example, Fox News did a segment on the HEROES Act, a Democratic congressional initiative to provide relief for those impacted by the pandemic. The Fox angle was focused squarely on what they considered to be inappropriate funding programs. According to Fox (and featured in their on-screen graphic above), there were five primary targets of their criticism:

  • $1,200 payments for certain undocumented immigrants.
  • These include adults who were brought here as children and who have been working, paying taxes, and even serving in the military. But even were that not the case, undocumented immigrants are still members of our communities and require assistance in order to mitigate the spread of the virus.

  • $3.6 billion for mail-in voting.
  • This is required in order to insure the safe conduct of the upcoming election in November. That’s something that Trump and Republicans don’t care about since they prefer it when fewer people vote. Trump even said that with higher levels of voting “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” What’s more, recent elections in Wisconsin where mail-in voting was prohibited by the GOP resulted in at least 52 people becoming infected with the coronavirus. Finally, both Trump and Fox News have been trying to bankrupt the Post Office in order to suppress voting access.

  • $20 million for arts and humanities.
  • This is a category of relief that Republicans are fond of disparaging, but which the American people support. Particularly during times of hardship, like those we are now experiencing. It’s also a sector of the economy that employs millions of Americans who are not otherwise covered by previous relief programs. Plus, financially it’s a pittance.

  • $100 million for domestic violence prevention.
  • It’s hard to figure out why they would include this on their hit list. Are they in favor of domestic violence? And there is evidence that quarantining has increased the incidence of such violence.

  • Bank loans/financial services for cannabis businesses.
  • This was clearly added in order to exploit the association to illicit drugs. However, in the real world, cannabis is actually a valid medicine that many Americans rely on.

It’s safe to say that most Americans would approve of the items in this Democratic “Wish List.” But to make matters worse, here are some of the items that Fox News left out:

  • Another $1,200 one-time payment to everyone, up to $6,000 per family,
  • $1 trillion in aid to state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to help offset revenue losses due to the pandemic shutdown and retrain public employees.
  • $200 billion in hazard pay for the essential workers.
  • A 15% increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
  • $75 billion for testing and contact tracing as well as free treatment for coronavirus.
  • An extension of the $600 bump to weekly unemployment insurance payments through January.
  • $175 billion in new money for rent, mortgage, and utility payments.
  • $25 billion in emergency funding for the Postal Service.

This is a positive agenda of support for the American people that Trump is already threatening to veto. One of his treasured initiatives that he is holding the bill hostage over is a payroll tax cut. That’s a deliberate attack on Social Security which is funded by that tax. Furthermore, with 36 million people out of work, that’s not even a tax cut that would provide much benefit. Those unemployed Americans already have zero payroll tax deductions. And another of Trump’s sticking points is his proposal to prohibit lawsuits against corporations where employees are harmed by lax safety precautions related to the coronavirus. So Trump wants to force people back to work and then indemnify the companies if those people get sick or die.

But none of this has to make any sense. It only has to be played over and over again on Fox News to keep their glassy-eyed cult followers in line. They are not an especially cerebral crowd and can be easily trained to obey the edicts of Dear Leader as manifested by his media machine. The good news is they are a small cadre of crackpots who will ultimately have little impact on the direction of the nation. And November can’t come too soon.

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

While America Hunkers Down, Trump Exploits the Crisis to Campaign for Reelection

Remember back in the olden times when there were Democratic primaries that dominated the news? There was a “Super” Tuesday and people were anxiously and excitedly exercising their civic duties to vote for the candidates of their choice. That all seems like so long ago. And now they are anxious for a completely different reason.

Donald Trump Virus

The remaining candidates in the Democratic presidential race – Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders – have purposefully put the brakes on their official campaign activities. That’s the responsible thing to do when a global pandemic has erupted and is spreading rapidly throughout the nation and the world. However, while the Democrats are acting responsibly, Donald Trump has chosen to behave in a manner that is consistent with his narcissistic psychoses. Even while the entire country is focusing on how to survive during these challenging times, Trump is focusing on himself and his own best political interests.

Let’s face it, Trump’s presence is utterly irrelevant at the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings. He has no useful knowledge or experience to offer. To the contrary, he most often unleashes blatantly false “information” that his own advisers have to later refute. He wastes valuable time either attacking legitimate journalists who are asking pertinent question, or embracing propagandists whose questions are nothing more than overt suck ups. Much of his comments are simply boasting about what he asserts are unprecedented accomplishments and victories that exist only in his self-serving imagination. And he insists on presenting an absurdly rosy scenario that ignores reality and dangerously understates the risk we all face. It’s one thing to offer hope, but another to deliberately mislead.

There is only one reason that Trump is showing up at these briefings, and that is to advance his reelection prospects. He has turned what should be a vital information channel into a crass campaign PR affair. That’s why he avoids any discussion of the hardships that the American people are enduring. and it’s why he so brazenly exalts himself and his phony achievements. These are nothing but extended political ads for Trump. They are also Trump’s replacement for the cult rallies that he can no longer have.

In addition to Trump’s cynical commandeering of the press briefings, he has likewise devoted his Twitter account to his reelection effort. In the past week Trump has tweeted hundreds of times. The vast majority of those have been retweets of two varieties: Fox News bootlickers lavishing undue praise on him. And messages from his Republican Senate comrades (more than 50 in three days). It is impossible to miss the fact that Trump incessantly retweets only GOP members of Congress bragging about legislation to address the health – physically and financially – of the American people. It’s as if there aren’t any Democrats working on these bills, despite the fact that they authored most of them.

The lengths that Trump is going to to make Democrats invisible is further evidence of his politicization of this crisis. He will need a Republican majority in congress if (gawd forbid) he is reelected in November. So these retweets are another thinly veiled campaign tactic on Trump’s part. Virtually every reference to Democrats on his Twitter feed is negative. That is not how a conscientious leader would work to bring the nation together in turbulent times.

The bottom line is that Trump isn’t interest in bringing people together. He’s only interested in extending his power and disparaging his perceived enemies. He may think he’s clever by trying to disguise his political ambitions in staged press briefings and innocuous tweets, but the only people he’s fooling are his glassy-eyed cult disciples and – unfortunately – some members of the press.

If the media were living up to the principles that govern a free press, they would cease to cover his briefings live. There would be nothing lost by taping the events and spending a few minutes fact-checking before putting them on the air. But it would prevent more disinformation from being disseminated to the public. And it would stop Trump from unscrupulously hijacking otherwise vital communications to get free ad time.

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

And then there’s this…..

With a Global Pandemic Looming, Trump Becomes Putin’s Political Pundit

The reports of coronavirus infections continues to grow both in the United States and internationally. Six deaths have now been confirmed in the U.S. And most epidemiological experts are warning that it is impossible to know how many Americans are affected because tests have not been been conducted. Those tests number in the tens of thousands in China and South Korea, but only about 500 in the U.S.

Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump

So what is our Commander-in-Chief doing to mitigate the harm and protect the American people? He’s politicking, of course. That behavior is taking the form of bragging about himself and what he asserts is a perfect response to the crisis. He is also whining about criticism he has drawn from Democrats and public health professionals. Of course, none of that is helping to get the nation through this budding pandemic. But to Trump the only thing that matters is how it affects him personally.

For instance, on Monday morning Trump posted about three dozens tweets. Two dozen of those were promotions to elect Republican members of Congress. By contrast, he posted only two tweets wherein he directly addressed the coronavirus. In one he announced that he was meeting with pharmaceutical companies to discuss the development of a vaccine, which is something they were doing anyway without his interruption. The other complained that he was was criticized by Democrats for his ineffective response. Once again, none of that advanced the fight against the coronavirus.

Aside from hyping GOP candidates and whining about being a victim, Trump has also been tweeting up a storm about the Democratic presidential primary. And virtually every comment he has made has been taken straight out of the Vladimir Putin playbook to sow discord and create chaos. More than anything else, Trump has been pushing the conspiracy theory that the Democratic Party is trying to rig the election against Bernie Sanders. Does anyone really believe that Trump cares about Sanders and whether or not he is treated fairly by the party that Trump maligns as all “do nothing, radical socialists”? Of course not.

What’s interesting is that this is precisely the tactic that Putin is pursuing to get Democrats to fight among themselves. It could not be more obvious that Trump is acting on behalf of Russia to advance his own reelection prospects. It’s so conspicuous that when Trump was asked directly what his comment to Putin would be about interfering with the election, he replied completely off-topic that “They ought to investigate Adam Schiff,” and then he pretty much denied that any interference was taking place.

So what’s the point of Trump’s malicious and intellectually vacant attempts at punditry? Clearly no one is taking his analysis of the Democratic primary seriously. Why should they? He has only hostile intentions. It would be like asking a snake the best way to avoid getting eaten by it. Trump should be literally the last person whose opinions of the Democrats would be sought.

The only purpose for Trump is to try to stir up trouble and distrust in democracy. Which, not coincidentally, is Putin’s purpose. And the American people – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – must not allow them to succeed. We must all rise up in unity to renounce Trump’s cynical and un-American ploy. We must respect one another and remain loyal to the the principles that actually do make this country great. And we must come together to make sure that the traitor in the White House is evicted. That means vigorously supporting whoever the eventual Democratic nominee is and working for their victory.

We don’t have the luxury of holding out for whoever is your favorite candidate. If Biden is the nominee, then Bernie bros need to get behind him. If Bernie is the nominee, then those with irrational fears of “socialism” need to set that aside. Whatever one perceives as the negatives of one candidate or another, they are not nearly as destructive or catastrophic as another four years of Trump. So suck it up, America. We have one job to do now. And that’s the complete, unambiguous ouster and humiliation of Donald Trump. For America’s sake.

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

PROOF: The Russian Plot to ‘Help’ Bernie Sanders is Being Led By Donald Trump

This week there were a couple of bombshell reports that revealed how alarmed the intelligence community is about Russia’s intentions to undermine this year’s presidential election. One report disclosed that the Acting Director of National Intelligence, Joe Maguire, a Donald Trump appointee, had briefed Congress on Russia’s campaign to repeat it’s 2016 mission to elect Trump. The other report disclosed that Russia has expanded their efforts in 2020 to include the promotion of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

These are perilous times for American democracy. Particularly since Trump has done nothing to protect the nation from Russia’s assault. To the contrary, he continues to deny that there was even any attack by Russia, and he supports the efforts of Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell, to block bipartisan legislation to fortify our defenses. Nothing could be received with more gratitude by Vladimir Putin than Trump’s combination of calculated self-interest and willful negligence. And the differences between the responses to these news events by Trump and Sanders tell the whole story.

RELATED: Trump-Fluffers at Fox News Say the Media and Democrats are the ‘Agents of Russia’

Trump was very upset. Not because Russia was caught interfering in our election again, but because this information was given to the people’s representatives in Congress. He tweeted that “Another misinformation campaign is being launched by Democrats in Congress saying that Russia prefers me … Hoax number 7!” Never mind that this wasn’t launched by Democrats, but by his own intelligence chief. And it is neither misinformation nor a hoax, but the fully considered research of intelligence professionals.

Sanders, on the other hand, more appropriately directed his anger at our enemies saying that “I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president. My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do.” Trump has never made a such a declarative statement admonishing his pal Vlad to stop interfering.

To be clear, Russia doesn’t really care who the Democratic nominee is. They only care about manufacturing chaos and discord. They are exploiting divisions among Democrats by pretending to support Sanders. Perhaps they believe that he would be easier to beat, or they just think he’s a better source for stirring up division. But none of that really matters. Russia will adjust their cyber-attack campaign to focus on whoever the eventual nominee happens to be.

In the meantime, Trump is executing the Russian playbook without much of an effort to disguise it. Sanders told reporters that he was briefed on the Russian plans to favor him about a month ago. And it was right around that time (January 17) that Trump began tweeting his “support” for Sanders. For instance:


LATE ADDITIONS:

Does anyone believe that it’s just a coincidence that Trump began this Twitter campaign seeking “fairness” from the Democratic Party at precisely the same time that U.S. intelligence reached out to the candidate? Trump had not posted any tweets about the Democrats “rigging” the primary against Sanders for two years prior.

The very idea that Trump would care about the Democratic primary’s fairness is ludicrous. Since when has Trump been an advocate of election integrity? That certainly hasn’t been an issue in his own party. He and the GOP have been canceling Republican primaries across the country, despite (or because of) the fact that he has a credible challenger in former two-term Massachusetts governor, William Weld. Let that sink in. They haven’t been rigging their primaries. They have outright refused to conduct them.

Nevertheless, Trump has found the time and inclination to try to clean up the Democratic Party. But his efforts to do so have a distinct flavor that doesn’t really taste like concern for Democrats. In fact, his tweets look exactly like what you would expect from Russian agents tasked with creating a false promotion campaign for Sanders. If you didn’t know better (and even if you did), it would appear that Trump is the chief operative in Russia’s election corruption plot. Again!

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

Trump-Fluffers at Fox News Say the Media and Democrats are the ‘Agents of Russia’

A new report has revealed that Russia is, as expected, interfering in U.S. elections on behalf of Donald Trump. The report discloses that congressional intelligence committees were briefed on this threat within the past couple of weeks.

Fox News Friends

Upon learning about this, Trump became irate. Not because Russia was trying to subvert America’s democracy again, but because Democrats in congress were among those who were told about it. Obviously Trump is very concerned that Russia’s efforts on his behalf be concealed from the people and their representatives. And as a consequence of this “betrayal” of unflinching loyalty to Dear Leader, Trump fired Joe Maguire, the Director of National Intelligence, and installed a sycophantic bootlicker with zero experience, Rick Grenell, in his place as acting director. Then, of course, Trump took to Twitter to lie about the whole thing:

First of all, this wasn’t launched by Democrats. It was Trump’s own DNI chief who compiled the intelligence and informed Congress, as he was required to do by law. But more troubling is the fact that Trump is, once again, absolving Russia of any responsibility for their blatant acts of cyber-espionage. Just as he did after the 2016 election, Trump is taking Vladimir Putin’s side and declaring that the charges of election interference are a hoax. And on top of that, he falsely accuses Democrats of manufacturing the charges for political gain.

Naturally, Fox News was right there to prop up Trump’s anti-American babbling. On Friday morning’s episode of Fox and Friends, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes went even further than Trump to malign Democrats and the press as “Agents of Russia” (video below). “Alright let’s be clear about what this really all is,” co-host Pete Hegseth began. “This is all an attempt to discredit President Trump. That’s it. Delegitimize him all the way.” Then he elaborated saying that…

“Every single Democrat that parrots what they’re saying, they’re working together, they are the agents of Russia. This is what Russia wants! They want to sow discord and misinformation and delegitimize our republic, destabilize it because they’re not our friends and they know that when we’re strong they’re in a worse position – which they’ve done for years before President Trump. This is what they do.

“The Democrats, the media, fell for it. And the keep falling for it because they hate Trump so much they’re willing to parrot what the Kremlin is saying. They are the agents of Russia. Not Donald Trump, not this White House. It is the people that are spinning this.and continuing to drive this narrative.”

There’s a lot of derp to unpack in those two paragraphs. To begin with, Hegseth is asserting that talking about the Russian campaign to help Trump win reelection is “what Russia wants.” That’s clearly the opposite of reality. Russia’s intentions were to covertly disrupt the election, while benefiting Trump’s candidacy. What Russia wants is for people to talk about Russia’s innocence and how corrupt and dishonest American intelligence agencies are. Which is exactly what Trump and Fox News are so helpfully doing.

Hegseth also contends that Democrats and the media “fell for” Russia’s plot to get them to uncover the Russian plot. How insidious! And idiotic. It goes without saying that Russia did not intend to get caught and have their spying be broadcast around the world. That notion is almost as stupid as Hegseth’s next comment that Trump haters – Democrats and the media – are parroting “what the Kremlin is saying.” That could only be true if the Kremlin were saying that Russia is meddling in U.S. elections and that their actions are illegal and intolerable. That’s what Democrats are saying, but it is plainly not what the Kremlin is saying.

If anything, it is Trump and Fox News who are parroting the Kremlin. They are all saying that Russia isn’t doing anything wrong and any claim to the contrary is misinformation. Trump and his Reich-Wing confederates are unified in disputing what even his own intelligence agencies have proven to be true.

The purpose of this deceit is to pacify Trump’s ego. He thinks any validation of Russia’s attempts to steal the election, no matter how accurate, are personal attacks on him. Consequently, Trump will insult America’s intelligence professionals and he will take Putin’s side in denying the reality that Russia is aggressively trying to undermine U.S. democracy. And Fox News, as always, will obediently march along in lock-step with Trump’s reckless and treasonous lies.

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

Trump’s Phony Fits of Sympathy for Bernie Sanders Are Just What Putin Ordered

The Democratic Party primary is beginning to roll out in earnest as the first states have completed their voting. And no one is more captivated by the process than the reality TV game show host currently occupying the White House. Donald Trump apparently fancies himself a political pundit now, and he has much to say about the electoral prospects of the party that he has literally and grossly disparaged the true enemies of America.”

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

Since early January Trump has been spreading a baseless conspiracy theory that the Democratic Party is rigging the primaries against Bernie Sanders. If that were true it would be one of the least effective attempts at rigging an election considering the remarkable success that Sanders has enjoyed. That success was even acknowledged by Trump just a few days before he launched his conspiracy ranting.

For those who bothered to stayed tuned, Trump served up a barrage of tweets that flagrantly contradicted his original premise. For instance, Trump rage-tweeted that…

  • They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously.
  • They are taking the Democrat Nomination away from Crazy Bernie.
  • They are taking the nomination away from Bernie for a second time. Rigged!
  • Crazy Bernie takes the lead in the Democrat Primaries, but it is looking more and more like the Dems will never allow him to win! Will Sleepy Joe be able to stumble across the finish line?
  • Many of the ads you are watching were paid for by Mini Mike Bloomberg. He is going nowhere, just wasting his money, but he is getting the DNC to rig the election against Crazy Bernie, something they wouldn’t do for @CoryBooker and others. They are doing it to Bernie again, 2016.
  • The DNC on Bernie Sanders, “Looks like they’re going to do it to him again, doesn’t it?” @SteveDoocy @foxandfriends
  • It is happening again to Crazy Bernie, just like last time, only far more obvious. They are taking the Democrat Nomination away from him, and there’s very little he can do. A Rigged System!

There’s a lot of absurdity clogging up Trump’s Twitter feed there. First he asserts that the Democratic Party was deliberately disadvantaging Sanders by forcing him to attend the impeachment hearings so that he would not be able to campaign. But that was also true for Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand. So by Trump’s ignorant and perverse logic the Party was rigging the election against every Democratic senator in the race.

Following that, Trump first attributes the Party’s alleged bias to be for the benefit of Joe Biden. But that didn’t last long. He later claims that Mike Bloomberg was the intended beneficiary. As usual, Trump’s inane allegations are flailing out in every direction with his familiar brand of incoherence. Make no mistake. Trump doesn’t give a damn about any of the Democrats or the conduct of their primary. And if he was actually concerned about Sanders he wouldn’t be using the insulting and infantile nickname, “Crazy Bernie.”

None of this, of course, is Sanders’ fault. There are reasons for Trump’s asinine histrionics that go beyond his everyday indecency and immaturity. What is actually behind Trump’s Bernie fetish can be distilled into two rather obvious explanations: Fear and chaos!

EXPLANATION #1: FEAR: Trump sees that Sanders is leading a movement much like the one that Trump regards himself to be leading. Sanders has amassed the largest base of small donors in history. And his supporters have a profound loyalty to his candidacy that his based on common American principles and values. Unlike Trump’s cult following that is wholly comprised of glassy-eyed MAGA disciples who can’t articulate a policy that exceeds the four words of his slogan and who continue their support despite his lies, crimes, and hate mongering.

What’s more, there is a peculiar appeal that crosses over from Trump to Sanders that is linked to the theme of shaking up the establishment. But here there is also a profound difference. Sanders has been doing it with sincerity for decades, while Trump is a dishonest, exploitative newcomer whose credibility is worthless.

EXPLANATION #2: CHAOS: The other explanation for Trump’s obsession with Sanders is that it fulfills the agenda of Trump’s benefactor, Vladimir Putin. The primary Russian objective in interfering with U.S. elections has been to sow division and distrust. By stirring up animosity between the various Democratic candidates, Putin hopes to diminish them all and form opposing camps who work against their common goals and their eventual nominee, whoever it is. Additionally, he hopes to create chaos and an impression that the election is rampant with fraud and the results unreliable.

Trump is purposefully advancing these anti-democratic and anti-American objectives. And he doesn’t need to discuss it with Putin to know what they are or what’s expected of him. Just like he didn’t need to have explicit conversations with Putin to benefit from Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. As was affirmed by special counsel Robert Mueller, “Trump and his campaign welcomed and encouraged Russian interference,” in 2016 and “lied about it to cover it up.” All without (so far as we currently know) any explicit conversations between Trump and Putin.

Anyone who doesn’t think the same thing is happening now is either complicit or terminally naive. It is imperative that the American people be aware of these Russian-initiated tactics that Trump is obediently undertaking like the lapdog he is. We must not allow Putin and Trump to sow the discord they hope will return Trump to the White House. So feel free to vote your hearts in the primaries. But in November we must come together to support the Democratic candidate, whoever he or she is. Failing to do that is failing America.

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

GOOD CALL: Political Pundit Trump Predicts America is Getting More Anti-Trump

The daily schedule of alleged president Donald Trump is typically a short list of non-presidential activities such as as golfing, tweeting, watching Fox News, and headlining cult rallies filled with lies and hatred for his perceived political foes. And as of late Trump has taken a keen new interest in election punditry with his unique analyses littering his Twitter feed.

Donald Trump

In recent weeks Trump has posted repeated commentaries on the progress of the Democratic primary season. He is mostly expressing a bizarre and obviously disingenuous concern that Bernie Sanders is being treated poorly by a party that is rigging the primaries against him. In addition to that Trump frequently opines on how his recent tribulations with impeachment have actually benefited him and his Republican cohorts. But on Monday morning, Trump contributed what may be his most accurate prediction for the Democratic campaign yet:

To be clear, the accuracy of this tweet is not that either Sen. Chuck Schumer or Rep. Jerrold Nadler are at risk for being defeated. They are both expected to have overwhelming victories in both their primaries and in the general election. And every poll indicates that Nancy Pelosi will retain her position as House Speaker, and even pick up additional seats. The smart money is betting on Democrats assuming the majority in the Senate as well. So Schumer is well positioned to topple Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader.

However, what Trump may not have noticed about his prediction is that he is asserting that the nation is becoming even more progressive and, therefore, more anti-Trump. That’s the only plausible conclusion from his assertion that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could take Schumer’s Senate seat and win statewide. Likewise, Trump’s opinion that a candidate to Nadler’s left would enjoy a victory in New York’s 10th district suggests that being farther to the left is an asset. So Trump is essentially saying that the farther a candidate is from Trump, the better their prospects for victory. I can’t say that I disagree with that.

To validate that point, Quinnipiac University released a new poll that has decidedly terrible news for Trump. They report that his “favorability rating is underwater, as 42 percent of registered voters have a favorable opinion of him, while 55 percent have an unfavorable view of him.” This doesn’t exactly affirm his delusional belief that being impeached increased his popularity or his chances of being reelected. On the latter point, Trump is shown in this poll to be trailing every one of his top Democratic opponents. According to Quinnipiac:

  • Bloomberg tops Trump 51 – 42 percent;
  • Sanders defeats Trump 51 – 43 percent;
  • Biden beats Trump 50 – 43 percent;
  • Klobuchar defeats Trump 49 – 43 percent;
  • Warren wins narrowly over Trump 48 – 44 percent;
  • Buttigieg is also slightly ahead of Trump 47 – 43 percent.

In addition to his electoral woes, America is convinced that Trump is a criminal who got away with his crimes with the help of his Republican accomplices in the Senate. The poll shows that “Despite the acquittal, voters say 55 – 40 percent that the Senate voting to acquit President Trump does not clear him of any wrongdoing in the Ukraine matter.” What’s more, “Voters say 59 – 35 percent that the Senate impeachment trial was conducted unfairly.”

If this is what Trump means when he says that “My poll numbers look great,” he is as mentally unstable as ever. Perhaps more so. He recently exhibited a severe case of paranoia by lashing out at enemies that he sees everywhere, saying that “I View Everybody as a Threat.” And he has embarked on a totalitarian style purge of his administration, including his own appointees. So it isn’t just America that is more anti-Trump. In his diseased mind, it’s even his own White House.

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

Trump Gloats Over Iowa Caucus Glitches While Covering Up Prior GOP Debacles

There is no point in trying to understate the unfortunate problems delaying results from the Democratic primary in Iowa. It’s the sort of thing that only reflects badly on the party, despite the cause and/or blame still being unknown. However, there are ways to overstate it. And Republicans are doing their best to demonstrate that with wild and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.

Donald Trump, GOP

Chief among the mudslingers, of course, is the always hysterically hyperbolic master of harangue, Donald Trump. He eagerly embraced the botched returns as a welcome deflection from his impeachment affair. The morning after the Iowa caucuses, Trump took his usual post on the Twitter machine and blasted out missives intended to malign his Democratic rivals who had nothing to do with the glitches.

Trump’s attack began with a tweet calling the caucus “an unmitigated disaster” and declaring “a very big victory” for himself. He followed that up with a bizarre tweet asking “When will the Democrats start blaming RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA?” No Democrat has even hinted at that although, it is not unreasonable to assume that Russia would exploit this event after the fact to cast aspersions on Democrats on behalf of their “useful idiot” in the White House. Then Trump closed with this:

Naturally, Trump had to draw a comparison between himself and the object of his obsession, Barack Obama. And just as predictably, Trump misrepresented the truth. While he did garner more votes, his percentage trailed that of Obama (Obama 98.9% vs. Trump 97.1%). However, Trump’s boast that “The Democrat Party in Iowa really messed up, but the Republican Party did not,” was very short-sighted.

In 2012 the Iowa Republican caucus had its own fiasco. Immediately after the results were tabulated the party declared Mitt Romney the victor. Two weeks later they announced that there was no clear winner. That was followed by another announcement that Rick Santorum had actually won. And even then they said that the real winner might never be known. It took them two weeks to arrive at that non-decision.

And that’s not all. Trump himself was suspicious of the results of the 2016 Iowa GOP caucus. In fact, he regarded it as so tainted by fraud the entire vote should be nullified:

Consequently, it’s ludicrous, hypocritical, and dishonest for Trump and the GOP to be feigning shock and outrage over the comparatively minor problems with this year’s Democratic caucus. At least there was no incorrect result announced, and no fraud alleged. And it will be resolved in less than 24 hours. But “ludicrous, hypocritical, and dishonest” could be the official tagline for the Trump presidency and for today’s Republican Party. So what, other than that, should we have expected?

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

The Real Horror Show: Trump vs Trump on Democrats and the Economy

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report for the month of November on Friday morning. Its top-line numbers looked pretty good, although there are caveats that need to taken into consideration, such as the fact that in November 42,000 striking GM auto workers went back to work at the conclusion of the strike.

Donald Trump Rally Trash

Nevertheless, Donald Trump does what he always does whenever there is some ostensibly good news reported: He takes credit for it. Of course, there is nothing in Trump’s record that can be plausibly cited as having any impact on the labor market. In fact, virtually every initiative that might help American workers has been bottled up in congress by GOP Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, including infrastructure projects and a minimum wage increase. But didn’t stop Trump from tweeting that…

As usual, Trump is speculating about imaginary world that would be a utopia were not for his political foes conspiring against him – and America – at every turn. That is the textbook reaction of a malignant narcissist who has convinced himself of his indisputable supremacy. What it is not, however, is anything recognizable as the truth.

Many studies have been published that prove that the economy almost always does better during Democratic administrations than Republican. Nine of the last 10 recessions have been under Republicans. And since World War II, 24.4 million more jobs created under Democratic presidents. Also, real GDP growth was 44% higher under Democratic presidents. Meanwhile, unemployment has been 18% higher under GOP presidents.

That said, perhaps one of the most relevant voices in this debate is that of Donald Trump who, in 2004, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “I’ve been around for a long time and it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.” Here he is in his own words:

So Trump may have correctly labeled the economic hard times our country has endured as a “horror show,” but he has forgotten who the real monsters are. It isn’t really surprising that Democrats have performed better economically. The Republican agenda is tightly focused on corporations and the wealthy who horde their prosperity. Only when the middle class prospers does the broader economy succeed. The Republican economy is currently running record deficits and running on fumes that will eventually choke the nation into recession. And if the country wants to return to its past healthy economic environment, it had better reject the Republican facade of growth and embrace the real world results of the Democrats.

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

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

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

Donald Trump, Impeach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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