Holy $@!&: Are Fox News – and Melania – Taking Over National Security for the Trump Admin?

A pair of stories are burning up the wires this Tuesday afternoon. And they have nothing to do with the California fires or the still cresting Democratic “Blue Wave” that washed over the midterm elections. Nope. These stories have to do with the perpetual state of chaos in Donald Trump’s National Security operations.

Donald Trump, Melania Trump

First of all, it is being reported that Trump is expected to fire his secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, after less than a year on the job. But staff shake ups in and of themselves are not uncommon in the Trump administration. He’s already had far greater turnover than any other president.

What’s of interest here is who Trump is considering to replace Nielsen. And the top name being mentioned is the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Thomas Homan. He is a rabidly pro-Trump partisan who defends the administration’s horrific policy of separating migrant children from their parents. But the reason cited for Trump’s interest in Homan is that Trump likes his appearances on Fox News where he fiercely defends and praises the President. And that’s the most important criteria for a leader in protecting the United States from terrorists, isn’t it?

The other story making the rounds is that Trump is about to fire his deputy national security advisor, Mira Ricardel. She’s also a fierce Trump supporter, but lately she has gotten into trouble with the First Lady. And now Melania is asserting herself in these staffing decisions:

“The first lady’s office released a statement calling for Ricardel’s ouster as reports surfaced that President Donald Trump would fire the official, deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel.

“‘It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that (Ricardel) no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,’ the first lady’s communications director Stephanie Grisham said in a statement on Tuesday.”

Some reports say that Melania’s problem with Ricardel stems from a seating scuffle on Air Force One. Ricardel, for the time being, reports to national security advisor John Bolton. But she has reportedly also raised the hackles of Trump’s chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly. Making matters even more confusing, Kelly has been an advocate of Nielsen, and her imminent departure might result in Kelly joining her in the White House exodus.

If all of this sounds like the melodrama whipped up by a reality TV show, well guess why. Donald Trump was an incompetent boor from the start and never had the experience to run an enterprise as large and complex as the White House. So he relies on his TV Shadow Cabinet (Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, etc.) to make decisions for him. That is, when he isn’t hiring people (Bolton, Heather Nauert, Bill Shine, etc.) directly from Fox News. And while this might be entertaining if it were a Hallmark Movie of the Week, it’s downright frightening when it’s real life.

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

Be Aware: After Trump is Forced to Reverse His Child Abuse Policy, He’ll Take All the Credit

There is uncommon agreement across the political spectrum that Donald Trump’s arbitrary and abhorrent policy of ripping children from the arms of their mothers and fathers is unconscionable and unsustainable. At least outside of Congress, where Republicans continue to support this madness. Even former First Lady Laura Bush has condemned the practice, calling it “cruel,” “immoral,” and “heartbreaking.”

Donald Trump, Immigrant Children

But the Trump administration has been twisting itself into ninth level Mobius strips trying to deny, obfuscate, or otherwise absolve themselves of responsibility for the horror they have wrought. Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, had the gall to say flatly that “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.” And that’s after Trump himself admitted to the policy saying that “We have to break up families. The Democrats gave us that law.” Never mind that it has been well documented that there is no such law and that this is wholly a policy of the Trump administration, and the Democrats had nothing to do with it. It could be reversed by the stroke of a pen by Trump alone. Or even by legislation passed by the Republican controlled Congress. Trump doesn’t need the Democratic votes he keeps whining about.

Trump’s own senior staff admit that this is their doing. “If you don’t want your child separated,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “then don’t bring them across the border illegally.” Of course, these asylum seekers are not breaking any laws. And speaking about family separation, Trump’s Chief of Staff, John Kelly, said “A big name of the game is deterrence [and] it could be a tough deterrent.” In both cases they are advocating cruelty and human rights abuse as a deterrent for a civil border violation.

Trump is still lying about his responsibility. He tweeted Monday morning that “It is the Democrats fault for being weak and ineffective with Boarder Security.” Although he isn’t even effective enough to spell “border” correctly. He also tweeted that “Children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country.” Actually, he’s close. Children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth (Trump and the GOP) as a means to hold them hostage to Republican demands for an idiotic and useless wall along the nation’s southern border.

With the near unanimous revulsion for Trump’s policy, it is inevitable that it will be rescinded. It may come from Congress or the White House, but it seems unthinkable that it would be permitted to continue, even by Republicans who, so far, have shown zero compassion. And with a rescission there will also likely be an attempt on Trump’s part to take credit for it. That’s what he does. He is genetically incapable of taking responsibility for any of his failures, but he is psychotically obsessed with taking credit for everyone else’s achievements (ask Obama).

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

While it’s important to point out that this mess is all Trump’s doing, and that he is lying when he blames Democrats for his own heinous policy, it will be equally important to make sure that he doesn’t exalt himself as the savior of the children once he is forced to reverse his policy. What he’s doing is a moral atrocity. It will have been a moral atrocity after it’s stopped. Some of the damage to these kids will be permanent, and the perpetrators deserve permanent scorn for what they’ve done. We must never forget or forgive this sort of noxious government activity. #BlameTrump

HUH? DHS Secretary Says She’s ‘Not Aware’ of Intelligence that Russia Tried to Help Trump

The United States was the victim of a concerted cyber attack by Russia throughout the 2016 presidential campaign. That fact is undisputed by every U.S. intelligence agency with jurisdiction over the subject. Even the Republican-run Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that Putin preferred Donald Trump and was deliberately aiding his candidacy while working against Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

So it comes as some surprise that Trump’s Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, responded to reporter’s inquiries at a House briefing on election security by saying that she wasn’t aware of any such assessment (video below):

“I don’t believe I have seen that conclusion – that the specific intent was to help President Trump win. I’m not aware of that,” said Nielsen. She said that, in her opinion, Russia was only trying to “disrupt our belief and our own understanding of what’s happening.”

Seriously? This is the top domestic security official in the U.S. government. She is responsible for maintaining the safety and integrity of the nation’s voting systems and the confidence of the American people that their votes count. But she claims not be aware of established facts that expose severe flaws in our electoral processes and pose an existential threat to our democracy.

The conclusion that Russia sought to aid Trump is not in dispute. It was confirmed as far back as January 2017 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in a report that unambiguously stated that:

“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.”

If Nielsen is actually unaware of these undisputed facts regarding Russia’s election interference, then she is either lazy or incompetent. There is no excuse for her not knowing about this fundamental report or the serious threats to Homeland Security that are enumerated in it.

If Nielsen is merely feigning ignorance on behalf of her boss, then she is complicit with his propaganda and criminal negligence. Trump has repeatedly denied the reality that Putin was helping his campaign. He surely doesn’t want members of his cabinet contradicting him. That could lead to further erosion of his denials regarding his collusion with Russia and financial improprieties by himself and his family.

But Nielsen, like all federal officials, took an oath to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” She works for the American people. She did not swear allegiance to a wannabe dictator who insists that all of his minions kowtow to him and protect him from bad publicity or criminal liability. And if she doesn’t understand that she should resign and stop helping Trump to soft-pedal Russia’s hostilities against the United States.

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

Right Wing Radicals Resist Recognition

The Department of Homeland Security has issued an interesting report titled, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” An excerpt:

“The consequences of a prolonged economic downturn-including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit-could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities.”

Despite the fact that the DHS has previously published a report on left-wing extremists, rightists are outraged, and convinced that they are being targeted for harassment by government spooks. Michele Malkin got so fired up that she let loose this tirade:

“…the piece of crap report issued on April 7 is a sweeping indictment of conservatives. And the intent is clear.”

She then seemed to suggest that the intent was to sabotage her precious tea bagging parties. Really? Does she honestly believe that the DHS is so fearful of Fox News viewers congregating to wave tea bags and whine about Socialism that they produced this report to protect themselves? It is also notable that nowhere in the report were “conservatives” even mentioned. The report went into some detail describing the potential risks associated with groups that traffic in hate, racism, and antisemitism (maybe it did mention conservatives after all – implicitly). It warned of violent militias that oppose immigrants, abortion, and any manner of regulation of guns. To anyone with a fourth-grade comprehension it is clear that the report refers exclusively to extremists and militants that pose a threat to other law-abiding citizens.

So why is Malkin, and the rest of the conservative cabal, defending these dangerous malcontents? Is it because they support criminality in pursuit of a radical conservative agenda? Or is it because they see themselves in the descriptions in the report? Either way it is clear that that they are acting as advocates for these repugnant cranks. They are apparently offended that the government would seek to protect citizens from domestic terrorists like Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph.

If anything, the complaints about this report demonstrate that the likes of Malkin, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, etc., are indeed aligned with the radical extremists the report warns of. They just really don’t like having that spotlight shone on them.