Trump Can’t Be Shamed. So Why Did He Re-Lower the White House Flag for John McCain?

A rare occurrence took place on Monday that is entirely out of character for Donald Trump and his notoriously petty and obstinate administration. The President reversed himself on his prior decision not to honor the memory of Sen. John McCain by flying the White House flag at half mast. The flag had been lowered on Sunday, but was raised to full staff again on Monday in a breach of protocol that requires it to remain lowered until after the burial of the honoree.

Donald Trump

Trump is not known for having an open mind or for changing his position once he’s figured out (or been told) what it is. Sure, he’ll frequently contradict himself or engage in rank hypocrisy, but that’s different than staking a position and then backtracking. So what might have caused this deviation from his “normal” behavior?

Firstly, it needs to be recognized that Trump is not susceptible to shame. The fact that there was near universal condemnation of his childish dissing of McCain could not have triggered his flip-flop. Even with criticisms from his pals at Fox News and the American Legion. After all, Trump took even more heat after his policy of breaking apart immigrant families became known. The inhumanity of that made most Americans sick as they watched babies being ripped from the arms of their parents. But Trump never backed down from it until he was forced to by the courts.

Likewise, Trump was hammered for his bigoted ban on Muslims entering the country. Majorities of Americans opposed the policy and several federal courts overturned it. But Trump stayed the course without regard for the repudiation of the American people. He continues his crusade to build a wall on the southern border even though polls show that most voters don’t want it. His attacks on the media are rejected by the people who still have more trust in the press than they do in Trump after two years of his anti-constitutional abuse.

So what’s the difference when it comes to this incident with the lowering of the flag? Surely it has nothing to do with Trump’s opinion of McCain. He is openly disdainful of him. He declined to offer any kind of praise following the news of the Senator’s death. And even now that he has acquiesced and re-lowered the flag, he accompanied the action with a pissy statement that still failed to pay McCain any tribute:

“Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment.”

That statement made no gesture to honor McCain’s integrity, patriotism, or any other observance of a positive, personal nature. But he did lead off with the pointless and, under the circumstance, inappropriate mention of their disagreements. Who cares?

There is only thing that marks this affair as unique to the other situations wherein Trump had no problem weathering the storms of criticism. This time many of the attacks are coming from Republicans in Congress who still revere their deceased colleague. Trump desperately needs the support of his congressional confederates to push forward with his abhorrent agenda. He also needs them to shield him from the slings and arrows of investigations and impeachment. The fear of becoming a lame duck or being cast adrift in a rocky political sea must have caused Trump to grudgingly lower the flag and issue a weak proclamation about McCain’s passing.

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

The good news in that is that in November there will be an opportunity to turn Congress into exactly the body that Trump fears most. The much-anticipated “Blue Wave” would subject him to hearings chaired by Democrats who have been chained up too long by unethical Republican leaders. And the prospect of impeachment would become plausible as more and more of Trump’s associates (aka accomplices) are indicted or granted immunity. And that’s not even taking into consideration the looming visage of special counsel Robert Mueller. So stay tuned and have plenty of popcorn at hand.

Guilty Conscience? Trump Rattles Off Four Times ‘This Has Nothing to do with Russian Collusion’

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and personal attorney/fixer are both officially felons. And now that there are verdicts in two of the most closely watched criminal cases of the year, Everyone was anxious to hear what the Unindicted Co-Conspirator-in-Chief would have to say about it. And if you were expecting a message of respect for the judicial process and the rule of law, you are going to be bitterly disappointed.

Donald Trump

Trump spoke briefly after the convictions of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen as he deplaned for a rally in West Virginia. His comments were a mix of sympathy, defiance, and self-serving bluster that demonstrated his contempt for the legal system that is still closing in around him:

After briefly expressing how sad he is about Manafort, who he said is “good man,” Trump launched into a defense of himself that no one asked him about. He had a desperate need to make sure that everyone knew that “It doesn’t involve me” and that “This has nothing to do with Russian collusion.” In fact, he mentioned the Russia affair four times in less than one minute. He closed by repeating that Manafort’s conviction had nothing to with Russian collusion, and then called it a “witch hunt” for the second time in this short clip.

Any first-year psychology student would recognize Trump’s anxiety and repetitious dialogue as the ravings of someone consumed by fear and knowledge of guilt. He continuously yowled his self defense more than he did any support for his former campaign chairman, Manafort. What’s more he didn’t mention Cohen’s name at all. That could signal his preference for Manafort, who some speculate will get a pardon. As for Cohen, he explicitly incriminated Trump in the Stormy Daniels hush money affair, so his prospects are much gloomier. That may explain why Trump couldn’t even say his name.

For the record, this does involve Trump. Cohen’s plea deal references him as the “candidate” with whom he conspired to suppress the Daniels story. And it surely has something to do with Russian collusion from the standpoint that Manafort convictions might persuade him to be more cooperative with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

It will be interesting to see what the Republicans in Congress have to say about Cohen’s pleading guilty to eight felony counts. During the Clinton administration they thought it justifiable to impeach the President for having lied about an extramarital affair. But Trump has now been implicated in both an affair and an illegal conspiracy to cover it up. Shouldn’t that warrant at least one of the Articles of Impeachment to be brought against him?

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

Trump is Admitting Guilt if He Pardons Himself, Requiring Impeachment for Confessed Crimes

For the past several weeks Donald Trump’s TV lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has assumed the role of saying idiotic things that put the President in deeper legal peril. Now it appears that Trump was not sufficiently satisfied with Giuliani’s efforts, so he has taken over that role himself.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

In a series of tweets that mainly demonstrate his fear and guilty conscience, Trump has explicitly made the case for his inevitable prosecution and impeachment. Of course, he doesn’t have any idea what he actually said or what the consequences will be, but he’s typically adamant about what he’s painfully ignorant of. In a tweet that blows up his whole claim of innocence, Trump said this:

Trump could not be more wrong. Most legal scholars agree that there is nothing in the Constitution or case law that permits a president to pardon himself. In fact, it flies in the face of the Founders insistence that the United States is a government of laws, not men (John Adams, 1780), and that no one is above the law. The ability to self-pardon would empower a president to evade accountability for any criminal act. It’s the doctrine of dictators and tyrants.

More importantly with regard to Trump, the acceptance of a pardon is, under the law, an admission of guilt. In the Supreme Court’s decision of Burdick v. U S, the Court said unambiguously that “…a pardon […] carries an imputation of guilt; acceptance a confession of it.” Therefore, if Trump were to issue a pardon to himself it would also serve as his confession to the underlying crimes.

No matter what one’s opinion of the validity of the pardon, it would be unarguable that the President was accepting as truthful the charges against him. And by doing so he would be making himself subject to impeachment. The severity of a legal breach that warranted a pardon could not be excused under the “high crimes and misdemeanors” standard for removing a president from office. And a responsible Congress that respects the Constitution would have no choice but to impeach. Unfortunately, that may not describe the present make up of the Republican suck-ups currently holding the congressional majority.

In addition to Trump’s tweet assuming presidential authority to evade the law, he also tweeted something that illustrates how poorly he understands the law:

It would be interesting if someone could ask Trump exactly what constitutional clause he is citing. Because there isn’t actually any language in the Constitution that supports his claim. And if there were it would just raise additional questions. For instance, if he believes that the appointment of a special counsel is unconstitutional, then why did he himself ask for the appointment of one to investigate Hillary Clinton? And why did he ask that Robert Mueller’s team expand their jurisdiction to include Democrats?

Even more curious is that Trump would allow his Justice Department to proceed with a process he now asserts is against the law? That, in itself, would be grounds for impeachment as a violation of his oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” And his characterization of this being merely a game he is playing is a disgraceful insult to American principles of justice.

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

Trump clearly has no respect for the law or the Constitution he so cavalierly references. He doesn’t bother to educate himself about the legal matters he puts into the public debate. He is oblivious to his hypocrisy in how he would enforce the laws that he doesn’t understand. And all of that is wrapped in his brazenly ego-driven self-interest. It’s the perspective of a wannabe dictator who is frustrated by the constraints on absolute power articulated in the Constitution that he plainly despises.

Fox News ‘Judge’ Pirro: If I Were in Charge the President Would Be Playing Golf Right Now

Never let it be said that Fox News doesn’t have its priorities in the right place. They know their mission is to advance the interests of Donald Trump and his perversion of Republican Party politics. They dutifully pursue that mission with enthusiasm for the propaganda they espouse throughout their broadcast day.

Donald Trump, Jeanine Pirro

One of the most devoted disciples of Fox’s Trump Cult is “Judge” Jeanine Pirro. Her spittle-inflected ravings are a unique spectacle on cable news. Even Sean Hannity’s fawning adoration of Dear Leader doesn’t reach the passionate infatuation expressed by Pirro on every episode of her relentless Trump-fluffing program. After all, she recently declared that Trump had “fulfilled the biblical prophecy of the gods.” And on Friday morning she proved why she is viewed as the Fox “personality” who has the most direct line to Trump’s brain.

Pirro was interviewed Friday on Trump’s favorite Fox News program, Fox and Friends (video below). The segment began with a discussion of whether Trump should sit for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller. Co-host Brian Kilmeade asked Pirro what she would do if she were in charge. “If I were in charge,” she began, “the President would be playing golf right now. There is no way the President should appear before Bob Mueller.”

OK then. Not only is Pirro against Trump talking to Mueller, she apparently isn’t keen on him doing any presidential work either. She wants Trump to be doing what he does more than anything else: visiting his luxury resorts and playing golf. That’s something he has already done more than 100 times since taking office. And to tell the truth, most Americans would also probably prefer that Trump camp out at Mar-A-Lago rather than do more damage to the nation. But Pirro wasn’t finished giving her view of Trump’s responsibility to the people. But her reasons for having the President avoid a sit-down with Mueller are sorely lacking in reason:

“Think about it. If a sitting president cannot be indicted, and this president were to be questioned, it would only be for the purpose of an indictment. The legislative branch is not gonna be in a position – which is what Mueller would like – to get the testimony of the President so that they can then use it to impeach him. That’s the problem.”

What’s the problem? Pirro isn’t making sense. First of all, there is no law prohibiting the indictment of a sitting President. It’s a rule within the Justice Department that can be changed at any time and has never been tested in court. Trump’s TV lawyer Rudy Giuliani has tried miserably to make the same argument. More to the point, Pirro says that Mueller only wants Trump’s testimony so that Congress can impeach him. Which implies that Trump has something to say that would warrant impeachment. Yes, Jeanine, that is a problem. And it’s also a problem when a president is afraid to talk with a law enforcement investigator. Is there any better indicator of guilt?

Pirro’s opposition to impeachment, however, is limited to its use against Trump. Later in this interview she insisted that Justice Department investigators, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, should be impeached. Never mind that she offered no justification other than her rabid hostility to anyone who is even tangentially critical of her White House boyfriend. The whole strategy of the White House and its PR division (aka Fox News) is to demean the nation’s institutions of law in order to convince their base that there is massive conspiracy against Trump. But the truth is that it’s reality that is conspiring against the President and his frantic and irrational behavior is proof that he knows it.

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

Fox and Friends Guest Blasts Adam Schiff in a Painfully Stupid Rant About Impeaching Trump

There is only way place to go these days if you’re looking for unrelenting, mind-numbing idiocy on television. The Fox News morning show, Fox and Friends, isn’t Donald Trump’s favorite for nothing. It features a cast of “Curvy Couch” potatoes who seem to enjoy presenting themselves as unabashed morons. And naturally, their guest line up is just as feeble-minded as they (and their audience) are.

Fox News, Dan Bongino

Fox contributor and NRA shill Dan Bongino visited Fox and Friends to whimper about an op-ed published by Rep. Adam Schiff in the New York Times. The headline reads “Democrats: Don’t Take the Bait on Impeachment.” Schiff’s position is that impeachment should not be a political goal in and of itself, independent of legal basis supported by facts. He’s concerned that Democrats might get too far in front of the issue and create a backlash:

“…if impeachment is seen by a substantial part of the country as merely an effort to nullify an election by other means, there will be no impeachment, no matter how high the crime or serious the misdemeanor.”

And he continues…

“Given the evidence that is already public, I can well understand why the president fears impeachment [but] Democrats should not take the bait.”

So Schiff unequivocally calls for a tempered approach that doesn’t politicize the very real legal matters that are being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller. However, this reasonable attitude became a target of derision by Bongino. In a feverish tirade Bongino lashed out at Schiff for being fair-minded and rational – and for agreeing with him (video below):

“Adam Schiff is a fraud. I’m sorry, he’s a fraud. And I say it and I mean it. I know those are harsh words, but Adam Schiff is not a stupid man. This is a smart guy. Adam Schiff has access to information on his Intel Committee that you and I don’t. He has known for at least a year now, if not longer, that this collusion story with the Russians is a hoax.”

Apparently Bongino has the gift of clairvoyance since he is able to discern from Schiff’s thoughts that he has knowledge that he is withholding. However, another explanation might be that Schiff does indeed have access to information that supports his position regarding Trump and Russian collusion. As he pointed out in the op-ed, the evidence that is already public is pretty damn incriminating. But Bongino prefers to rely on what he picks up telepathically while watching Schiff on TV:

“He has gone on every media channel he can – puts his make up on, does his thing – and has said that Trump has colluded with the Russians. The only reason he’s writing this op-ed now, I believe, is because he’s starting to see that the American public, based on polling data, is catching on that this is a hoax and it’s getting frustrating. Schiff is a fraud. He’s not doing the right thing. He’s doing the easy thing.”

For the record, every poll on the subject shows that the American people believe that Trump worked with Russia to help him get elected. They also overwhelmingly support Mueller’s investigation and want it to continue. These survey results were even affirmed by a poll conducted by Fox News. Bongino doesn’t bother to disclose the polling data he allegedly has, but it’s ironic that he’s making these ridiculous claims on the network whose own poll contradicts him.

Finally, Bongino is obviously too dense to grasp that his bitching about Schiff is an assault on logic. He’s complaining that Schiff wrote an article that argues against focusing on impeaching Trump, which is an opinion that Bongino shares. So does Bongino think that Schiff should have written an article advocating impeachment instead? Perhaps then Bongino would not be calling Schiff a fraud, but he would certainly be condemning him for advocating impeachment.

Bongino really needs to make up his mind. But you would need to have one that’s functioning to do so. On the plus side, by lacking critical thinking skills and having a rabid animosity toward all things Democratic, Bongino has secured himself a safe spot on Fox News for many years to come. And he’ll fit right in with Fox’s hosts and guests who share similar mental defects and biases.

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

John Dowd’s Exit Proves That Trump Can’t Be Trusted When He Says He Won’t Fire Mueller

The legal team representing Donald Trump took a major hit on Thursday. His lead attorney, John Dowd, has reportedly resigned. This was the part of Trump’s defense that is focused on matters related to the special counsel investigation into his campaign’s connections to Russia. So along with the chaos that is rampant in the Trump White House, his personal legal affairs are similarly falling apart.

Donald Trump Robert Mueller

What makes this news especially significant is that less than two weeks ago Trump declared that he was happy with his legal team and any reports to the contrary were fake news. Naturally, he committed to that via his Official Presidential Announcement Office, Twitter:

In what may be a personal best for Trump, he only lied four times in that tweet. First, the New York Times is not failing. It is enjoying record high subscriptions and revenue. Second, the story is obviously not false, purposely or otherwise. Third, Trump did add a new lawyer – Fox News shill, Joseph DiGenova. And fourth, he apparently wasn’t all that happy with his lawyers, hence the Dowd departure. And that unhappiness was not a recent occurrence. As reported by the Times:

“Mr. Dowd, who took over the president’s legal team last summer, had considered leaving several times in recent months and ultimately concluded that Mr. Trump was increasingly ignoring his advice.”

What this tells us is that Trump cannot be trusted when he says that everything is hunky dory and there is no reason to suspect that there will be any changes in his administration. In fact, a Trump claim that someone on his staff has his complete confidence and isn’t going anywhere is the best indicator that he is about to be canned. Just ask former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. If they are smart, Jeff Sessions, H.R. McMaster and John Kelly better have their bags packed.

By the same token, special counsel Robert Mueller should be keenly aware that Trump is aiming for his hide. Never mind the implausible statements from the White House that firing Mueller “is not being considered.” Of course it is. It is very likely the most prominent subject consuming Trump’s limited brain capacity. And as noted above, claims by Trump that somebody’s job is safe are merely precursors to their eventual and humiliating termination.

Democrats in Congress have been trying to pass legislation that will protect Mueller from Trump’s seething wrath. Acting on behalf of the majority of Americans, they have introduced bills that would either require such a termination to be affirmed by a panel of independent judges, or otherwise allow the special counsel to appeal the firing. Republicans have been forthrightly opposing these efforts. Their excuse is always that there is no risk of Mueller being fired because the President says so. But it’s clear that Trump’s word is worthless. And beyond these political concerns, there is the likelihood that firing Mueller would set off a constitutional crisis leading to impeachment.

The changes in Trump’s legal representation are just the latest example of his doing the opposite of what he said he would do. Almost everyone he has fired to date was forewarned by a “heartfelt” affirmation of confidence. Consequently, the GOP ought not to be calmed by Trump’s denials that he might fire Mueller. Quite the opposite, they should recognize that it’s at the top of his agenda. And the protective legislation that Democrats have offered should be passed as quickly as possible. Anything else would be a demonstration of willful ignorance and neglect of their civic duty.

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

Trump Makes Impeachable Threat to Create ‘a Crime Mess Like You’ve Never Seen in California’

I know I’ve said this before, but this time this really is the most nauseating thing Donald Trump has ever said. During a White House meeting with state and local officials to discuss school safety, the President lurched off the track to unload a disgusting pile of crap on California.

Donald Trump Impeach

This meeting was supposed to be focused on finding solutions to the tragedy that occurred in Parkland, Florida last week. It was supposed to be about saving children’s lives and making it safe for them to attend school. But Trump couldn’t suppress his vile hatred for anything and anyone that he perceives to be against him. So he diverted from the topic at hand to attack his fellow Americans in California (video below). He began by raising the issue of gangs, describing them as not being “human beings, these are animals.” And he made the ludicrous and obviously false claim that he was “literally getting MS-13 out by the thousands.” Then he disgorged this bit of incoherent bullshit into a room that must have wondered WTF he was talking about:

“We’re getting no help from the state of California. I mean frankly, if I want to pull our people from California you would have a crime mess like you’ve never seen in California. All I’d have to say is ‘ICE and border patrol, leave California alone.’ You’d be inundated. You would see crime like nobody’s ever seen crime in this country. And yet we get no help from the state of California. They are doing a lousy management job. They have the highest taxes in the nation. And they don’t know what’s happening out there. Frankly, it’s a disgrace. The sanctuary city situation. The protection of these horrible criminals.”

Well, that was unexpected. Trump lashed out at one of the most prosperous states in the nation for a gang problem that exists nationwide. And for some reason he took a swipe at California’s tax codes that contribute to its prosperity. And surely he wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to yammer about sanctuary cities and make false claims about protecting criminals. But hold on. That wasn’t the worst of it. He continued:

“If we ever pulled our ICE out. If we ever said let California alone, let them figure it out for themselves. In two months they’d be begging for us to come back. They would be begging. And you know what? I’m thinking about doing it.”

Are you freakin’ kidding me? Trump flies off the handle to whine dishonestly about crime and then tells the nation that he’s actually thinking about deliberately creating a “crime mess” just to satisfy his ego and exact vengeance against a state where he has little support? That’s a threat to put Americans in harms way for the petty grievances of a sadistic narcissist. Just the threat of doing that ought to be grounds for impeachment. He took an oath to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” And now he’s saying that he might just decide not to do that.

How could Trump even consider this, much less say it out loud? Where would he get such a disgusting idea? The answer to that is pretty simple. It’s the same place he gets most of his disgusting ideas: Fox News. Just a few hours before this meeting, Fox ran an interview of ICE Director, Tom Homan. In the interview Homan took issue with comments by California’s senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris. They were disturbed by his prior statements threatening to increase immigration enforcement activity and that California had “better hold on tight.” Feinstein and Harris wrote to him saying that “Diverting resources in an effort to punish California and score political points is an abhorrent abuse of power.”

So Trump was obviously watching this unfolding feud on Fox News and decided to weigh in. However his contribution was typically ham-fisted and offensive. His tone of voice when asserting that he was “thinking about doing it,” was dripping with animosity and undisguised hate. But if he ever actually acted on this threat it would just be another count of treason against him. He is the most traitorous, unpatriotic, heathen ever to occupy the White House. And the sooner he is gone, the better for the country.

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

Warning Signs: Is Donald Trump the Next Mass Murderer? (See Something, Say Something)

It is unbelievable that it’s become so redundant and tedious to respond to yet another senseless massacre of children. But that’s where we are now in America. There have been eighteen school shootings so far this year, and it’s only February. And what have our “leaders” done about? Well Republicans have taken millions of dollars from the NRA and passed, with Donald Trump’s signature, a bill making it easier for the mentally ill to buy guns.

Donald Trump AR-15

There are actually ways to prevent these killings, but they are being actively suppressed by right-wing politicians and organizations. They say that after heinous shootings it is “not the right time” to discuss taking deadly weapons of war out of the hands of dangerous miscreants. But apparently, it is always time to offer “thoughts and prayers” (which worked so well the last time?). The callousness of people who refuse to seek common sense solutions are escalating the body count. They insist that there is no gun problem in America, only mental health issues.

The risks imposed by psychological deviants are all too real. But there is more to the matter than that. These sick individuals are helped by arming them with ever more destructive methods of killing. But if conservatives, who love their guns more than they love their kids, aren’t willing to do anything about that, than let’s take a look at those who truly present a danger to our society.

The preindicators for mentally disturbed persons who could pose a risk of becoming the next mass murderer are well documented. And, frighteningly, they are all observable in our president, Donald Trump. We have been told by law enforcement authorities that when we “see something, say something.” So in the spirit of community service it is critical that we take note of these warning signs:

Donald Trump:

  • Has amassed a lethal cache of deadly weapons. And he he’s seeking to expand it even more in his current budget proposal.
  • Has spoken casually of committing grievous crimes of mass violence and the use of nuclear arms: “If we have them, why can’t we use them?”
  • Has posted violent images attacking Hillary Clinton, the media and more on social media.
  • Is filled with resentment toward perceived enemies and yearns for revenge.
  • Incites violence among his followers and even offers to pay their legal fees.
  • Displays a near constant, uncontrollable rage.
  • Feels isolated and threatened by a world that he thinks is out to get him.
  • Has delusions of grandeur and imagined respect.
  • Associates with unsavory characters who share his flaws (i.e. Vladimir Putin, Rob Porter, Bill O’Reilly).
  • Dreams of vindication and making his persecutors sorry.

Allowing someone with these troubling psychological deviancies to remain in a position of power is asking for trouble. Trump tells us almost everyday that he is seething with animosity that could boil over into hostility. And the more he feels pressured and under attack, the more likely he is to explode into a tantrum of hatred and vengeance. That’s especially dangerous since he currently has the worst approval ratings of any president on record. Add to that the fact that is being investigated for serious and impeachable crimes. If ever there was someone who might be viewed as a threat to society, it is Donald Trump. And now that we’ve seen this, it would be irresponsible and potentially catastrophic not to do something about it. #Impeach #25thAmendment

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

Desperation in Trump Land: AG Considering a Special Counsel to Investigate Hillary Clinton

There is now definitive proof that Donald Trump is stomping around the Oval Office in a white-hot panic. Whether it is Special Counsel Robert Mueller, a newly energized media, or pressure from his Kremlin handlers, Trump is clearly nervous that the truth is getting closer to daylight. Or at least that someone is getting closer to the truth that Trump wants to conceal.

Jeff Sessions Hillary Clinton

We know that Trump’s anxiety is at fever pitch because of the news just out about what’s going on at the Justice Department. His bootlicking attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has heard the call from his master and is giving consideration to a long sought objective of the President. Specifically the realization of the glassy-eyed rally chant “Lock Her Up.” According to reports:

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions is leaving open the possibility that a special counsel could be appointed to look into Hillary Clinton, Clinton Foundation dealings and a uranium deal during the Obama administration among other matters.”

In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, a Justice Department official says Sessions has directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate concerns raised by Republican lawmakers. The letter says the prosecutors will recommend whether an investigation is merited.”

The whole initiative is the manifestation of delusions harbored by right-wing scam mongers. There have already been numerous investigations into these matters that found no hint of wrongdoing. Despite years of baseless allegations, the Clinton Foundation remains a respected charity that has received the highest scores from philanthropic ratings organizations. The Uranium One matter has been repeatedly debunked by fact checkers.

Trump undoubtedly is buoyed by the ultra-conservatives that dominate the Republican Party and hunger for Clinton’s blood. Many have tried to push the DOJ and Trump to punish the former Secretary of State (and current grandma in Chappaqua). And of course Fox News is contributing to the lynch mob mentality. Sean Hannity has virtually given up his entire show to it. And he isn’t alone. Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends are all in. Fox’s Jeanine Pirro even met with Trump to urge him to proceed with a Clinton prosecution.

But there are other reasons that consideration of persecuting Clinton is ludicrous and brazenly dishonest. For one thing, if Sessions intends to direct his staff to recommend whether an investigation is merited, he will be violating his statement made under oath to Congress:

“Sessions said he had made comments during the ‘contentious’ campaign about Clinton’s use of the email server and her family’s charitable foundation that could place his objectivity in question.”

“‘I believe the proper thing for me to do would be to recuse myself from any questions involving those kind of investigations that involve Secretary Hillary Clinton,’ the Alabama Republican told senators on the Judiciary Committee.”

That’s an unambiguous promise by Sessions to recuse himself from any Clinton investigations. But his stated consideration of appointing a second special counsel overtly breaches that promise. In addition to Sessions’ prior statements, Trump also expressed his disinterest in pursuing any Clinton queries. this what he said last year on the subject:

However, like pretty much everything Trump says, it will eventually be contradicted by something else that Trump says. More recently he has frantically returned to his obsession with Clinton and has been behaving like the tin-horn dictator he aspires to be. Here he is openly and improperly beseeching his Justice Department to go after Clinton despite not feeling strongly about it.

Legal experts will note that Trump’s pressuring the Justice Department violates long-standing protocol to insure the independence of the department. He has no more business asking for investigations or special counsels than he does firing them. It is a blatant abuse of power and potentially impeachable obstruction of justice.

The fact that Sessions now appears to be caving to Trump’s demands to abuse his legal power and prosecute a former political rival speaks to the fear that must be enveloping the White House. He must feel the warm breath of justice on his neck. And he thinks it’s a proper response to attack his political adversaries with the full force of the government he so incompetently leads. That’s what happens in authoritarian regimes ruled by self-absorbed tyrants. The United States must not allow that to happen here. Donald Trump must be impeached before he’s allowed to inflict more harm on the nation – and the world.

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

Frightened Fox News Pulls ‘Impeach Trump’ Ad After Trump and Viewers Complain

The cable news network that once promised to be “fair and balanced” has demonstrated again that it was never either. Which may be why they ditched that slogan earlier this year. Friday it was revealed that Fox News breached a contract with billionaire activist Tom Steyer to air a commercial advocating the “Need to Impeach” Donald Trump. Steyer had bought airtime on Fox News and the ad did air at least once on Fox and Friends.

Donald Trump Impeach

However, since then Fox News decided to yank the ad despite the fact that the time had already been paid for. They didn’t give Steyer any reason for breaching their contract. They didn’t even tell him they had done so. When Fox News was asked to explain why they pulled they ads they gave a surprisingly inappropriate response:

Jack Abernethy, Fox News co-president: Due to the strong negative reaction to their ad by our viewers, we could not in good conscience take their money.

If that’s true, it is an extraordinary development. It may be the first time that a television network made a programming decision for advertisements based on viewer response. Maybe the TV audience could speak up and get those disgusting cartoon bears that are obsessed with which toilet paper they wipe their cartoon butts with off the air.

More likely, Fox News axed these ads because the content was contrary to their political biases. The propaganda ministry at the network just could not abide an advertisement that made a strong case for removing Trump from office. Add to that the fact that Trump himself had registered his own complaint via Twitter saying:

Steyer appeared on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes on Friday when the subject of the ad came up (video below). He told Hayes about Fox’s action and explicitly called out the network for kowtowing to Trump. Steyer also had his attorneys contact Fox News to seek answers as to why they would unilaterally terminate the contract. The letter they wrote said in part that:

“Fox News abruptly pulled the advertisement without explanation (the ‘Cancellation’). We write to protest this baseless and unethical decision. The Cancellation is not only a breach of your agreement with Mr. Steyer – it is also a profound failure of journalistic integrity, a suppression of constitutionally protected speech, and likely a consequence of inexcusable political pressure.”

There are some good reasons for networks to decline to air certain ads. For instance, if the content is provably false, or if it is deliberately harmful or libelous. Political disagreement is not among the legitimate reasons. That would be censorship. Particularly if the President had a role in the decision.

However, the reasons that Fox News would have are easier to predict. They surely would not want to expose their viewers to this sort of information. And they wouldn’t want to piss off their prime benefactor in the White House. But the excuse that they felt guilty about taking Steyer’s money is patently absurd. That sort of argument would lead to rejecting any ads from Democratic candidates. Their predominantly Republican audience wouldn’t like those either. But maybe that’s precisely the ultra-partisan, spin doctoring that Fox News is aiming for.

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