Impeachment for Dummies: Trump, the Whistleblower, and Quid Pro Quackery

This week the House Intelligence Committee will begin holding public hearings on the impeachment of Donald Trump. They will interview witnesses who have inside knowledge of the administration’s efforts to extort the government of Ukraine into digging up dirt on Joe Biden. And the pressure this is putting on the President is evident in his frantic and fearful reactions.

Donald Trump Impeach

On Saturday Trump disgorged a record 82 tweets, most of which were self-exalting tributes to himself and his personal perspective of his purity and innocence. And he spent much of last week wallowing in victimhood and delusional outbursts that, for the most part, worked against him in public approval polling. His tantrums are continuing into this week with more tweeted whining about the impeachment hearings and his congressional nemesis, Adam Schiff, about whom he tweeted 104 times last month. His latest attack was dripping with animosity and fictional accusations:

Trump is now boldly calling for Schiff to be “investigared,” despite the fact that Schiff has nothing that even warrants being investigated, much less investigared. Trump is so “investi-scared” he can’t communicate coherently. Which may explain why he thinks that “doctored transcripts” are a thing. All congressional transcripts are signed off on by the witnesses for accuracy. So there is no such thing as Democratic or Republican transcripts. What Trump must be thinking of are doctored summary memos of transcripts, like the ones that he and his Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, have disseminated.

However, Trump’s obsession with the whistleblower is a peculiar diversion. He has been howling about it for weeks. So this might be a good time to school the Resident on whistleblowers in general, and this one in particular.

The whistleblower statute provides for confidentially expressly to prevent the sort of retaliation and witness intimidation that Trump is engaging in. His tactics, and those of right-wing media including Fox News, have a very real possibility of resulting in serious harm to the whistleblower and his/her family. That’s something that Trump and his political and press cohorts don’t appear to care about.

What’s more, the whistleblower’s testimony in this affair entirely irrelevant. Since making the first complaint, Trump released his summary memo of the phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. In it Trump admitted that he had made foreign aid contingent on Ukraine helping him to smear the Bidens. That’s a textbook example of quid pro quo.

Following that, witnesses whose identities are public (National Security Council Russia advisor Fiona Hill, NSC Ukraine expert Alexander Vindman, Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sonderland, Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, and Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch) have all corroborated this attempted extortion. So why would the whistleblower – whose account was second hand – need to testify at all?

In addition to that, there is no requirement that a quid pro quo exist for Trump’s behavior to be impeachable. It is the request itself that breaches the protocol and ethics of the presidency and constitutes an improper abuse of power, as well as conspiracy to solicit foreign interference in an election. So even if there was no promise of any reciprocal action, it would still be improper. And the attempt doesn’t have to be successful either in order to be impeachable.

These simple facts are all that are necessary to understand the current legal jeopardy that Trump finds himself in. But they are apparently still to complex for him to grasp. So he lashes out repeatedly with the same bogus gripes as if repetition will make them true. And his enablers in Congress and the media are either equally as ignorant or deliberately dishonest when they pursue these red herrings as defenses for Trump. But the American people understand and that’s why a majority of them favor Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. And the sooner the better.

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

Why is Trump So Scared? Bill Barr Refused to Lie that He Did Nothing Illegal Re:Ukraine

The spectacle of watching the President of the United States whine like a petulant child never gets any easier to bear. Yet this is what the American people are being forced to contend with on a daily basis. Donald Trump spends much of his day tweeting about how victimized he is by those meanies in the press and even his own administration. This is the person who occupies what is commonly called the most powerful office in the world. But he can’t stop griping like a toddler who wants to stay up past his bedtime.

Donald Trump Sweating

It’s usually pretty easy to determine what is most offending Trump by the frequency of his exasperated tweets. And on Thursday morning the irritation that chafed the paper-thin skin of the President was typical of his snowflakey sensitivities. He fired of a multi-tweet tirade aimed at a frequent foe: the Washington Post. They published an article that revealed that Trump had asked his Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, to hold a press conference and announce that Trump had done nothing illegal in his dealings with Ukrainian President Zelensky. Trump’s tweetery groused plaintively that…

Years ago, when Media was legitimate, people known as ‘Fact Checkers’ would always call to check and see if a story was accurate. Nowadays they don’t use ‘Fact Checkers’ anymore, they just write whatever they want!”
[Just because fact-checkers find that you’re lying doesn’t mean they don’t exist]

The story in the Amazon Washington Post, of course picked up by Fake News CNN, saying ‘President Trump asked for AG Barr to host a news conference clearing him on Ukraine,’ is totally untrue and just another FAKE NEWS story with anonymous sources that don’t exist….”
[Just because you don’t like what they say doesn’t mean sources don’t exist either]

….The LameStream Media, which is The Enemy of the People, is working overtime with made up stories in order to drive dissension and distrust!
[Just because Stalin used to decry the media as “the enemy of the people” doesn’t mean Trump is a fascist – oh, wait…]

Bill Barr did not decline my request to talk about Ukraine. The story was a Fake Washington Post con job with an ‘anonymous’ source that doesn’t exist. Just read the Transcript. The Justice Department already ruled that the call was good. We don’t have freedom of the press!
[Just because the “transcript” affirmed your guilt doesn’t mean you can continue to lie about the Justice Department ruling that your call was “good.” They didn’t. And WaPo is exercising freedom of the press. You are threatening it]

The degenerate Washington Post MADE UP the story about me asking Bill Barr to hold a news conference. Never happened, and there were no sources!
[Just because you are a well-documented degenerate doesn’t mean everyone else is]

The Amazon Washington Post and three lowlife reporters, Matt Zapotosky, Josh Dawsey, and Carol Leonnig, wrote another Fake News story, without any sources (pure fiction), about Bill Barr & myself. We both deny this story, which they knew before they wrote it. A garbage newspaper!
[Just because you have been a low life grifter and charlatan your whole life doesn’t mean you can malign respected journalists you don’t even know]

Of course, Trump’s documented extortion of Zelensky has been confirmed by the testimony of several witnesses, including Trump himself, who admitted on national television that he asked Zelensky to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. So what could have rattled Trump so much that he unleashed this tweetstorm attacking the Washington Post over an issue that goes back several weeks?

WaPo’s story touches several nerves that are famously tender for Trump. He is triggered by anything brushing up against him in these areas. Consequently, his fear impulse goes off because…

  • …he can’t allow any allegation of his guilt to persist.
  • …he can’t let stand the assertion that Barr refused a direct order to defend him.
  • …he must crush any impression that he isn’t the master of everything and everyone around him.
  • …by attacking the story he can imply that Barr actually did declare that he’s innocent.
  • …to him, Barr’s refusal would be the same as a conviction.
  • …any suggestion of his guilt gnaws at him like a flesh-eating virus.
  • …everyone in the Trump regime must have the same criminal intent – and exposure to legal jeopardy – as he does.

However, Trump’s obsession is absurdly misplaced. He really has nothing to gain by pretending that his request of Barr didn’t occur. As for Barr, by complying he would have only cemented his reputation as a bootlicking Trump-fluffer. After all, no one outside of Trump’s cadre of Deplorables would have believed him anyway. Barr is just another of Trump’s sycophantic minions who the world recognizes as wholly biased and untrustworthy.

Take for example, Sen. Lindsey Graham (video below), whose latest glassy-eyed defense of Trump has devolved into the claim that Trump couldn’t have engaged in an illegal quid pro quo because he’s too incompetent. And therefore Graham commits to remaining ignorant by refusing to read the transcripts of testimony. WOW! With friends like these, who needs enemas?

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

Trump’s Dementia Kicks In, Whining that the Whistleblower Must and Must Not Testify

This is the latest chapter of the Trump Impeachment Saga: The Walls are Closing In. And as they do Trump becomes ever more deranged and incoherent. He knows that his support, even among Republicans, is rapidly deteriorating. He knows that he has no comprehensible response to the charges against him. He’s scared witless of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. And he’s reduced to behaving like a cowardly victim of the gathering hordes of enemies his paranoia imagines are surrounding him.

Trump Fear

It’s a pathetic spectacle that is plain to see by most Americans (who favor his impeachment and removal from office), as well as our allies and foes around the world. And he’s getting noticeably worse as more evidence and witnesses become available to the public. Trump is on a downward spiral that is manifesting in everything he does and says.

On Monday morning Trump provided a profoundly disturbing example of his mental decline. Within his regularly scheduled tweetstorm, he ranted about what he’s now calling a “Witch Hunt Hoax.” That used to be the investigation into his unsavory connections to Russia, but has now been rebranded for the Ukraine affair. Among the tweets he posted were these bizarre comments:

…all you have to do is read the transcript of the call, you do not need Never Trumpers or other witnesses to say what it means or says. It is plainly and very well stated for all to see.

There is no reason to call witnesses to analyze my words and meaning.”

The Whistleblower gave false information & dealt with corrupt politician Schiff. He must be brought forward to testify.”

So Trump is adamant that there need not be any testimony by anyone regarding his extortion of Ukrainian President Zelensky while seeking dirt on Joe Biden. But he’s just as adamant that the testimony take place. How his diseased brain synchronizes those contradictions is a mystery. He has been repeatedly insisting that people “read the transcript.” Of course, many people have already done this and were thus persuaded that Trump is obviously guilty of pressuring Zelensky and demanding a quid pro quo. The “transcript” (which was really just a memo summarizing the phone call) explicitly referenced Trump’s request for “a favor” that he directly associated with an improper probe of the Biden’s.

Furthermore, Trump doesn’t feel that it’s necessary for others to analyze his words. Well, except for his GOP defenders and Fox News. He posts endless videos from those “analysts” on Twitter. And he maligns anyone who dares to find any critical messaging as “Never-Trumpers,” despite having no evidence whatsoever that they were political opponents. What’s more, Trump declared that the whistleblower should not be permitted to provide written answers to the investigators. Although that was perfectly permissible for himself when he answered questions for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump’s tweetery about the “transcripts” has also recently swerved into lunatic territory with allegations that Rep. Schiff (to whom Trump has applied the anti-Semitic nickname, “Shifty”) would “change the words that were said to suit the Dems purposes.” Nevermind that they were all prepared by committee staff that included Republican members, and their accuracy would be easy to confirm. Trump also tweeted a confession that his actions constituted a quid pro quo, but which he falsely claimed wasn’t impeachable.

Don’t hurt yourself trying to figure out how any of Trump’s tirades make sense. They don’t. They are blatant machinations designed to confuse and frustrate those delving into his criminal activities. And they have been constructed by a mind that has lost all connections to reality. His comments on Twitter and his “Chopper Talk” press avails are increasingly incomprehensible. We are watching a developing paranoid psychosis in real time and on public platforms. And it isn’t pretty.

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

The Trump Sycophant ‘Softball Question of the Year’ Award Goes to Fox News – Again

Donald Trump is turkey-neck deep in an impeachment inquiry that is accumulating evidence faster than it can be processed. At any other time in history, this much proof of criminal behavior and obstruction of justice would have been more than sufficient to shame the president from ever showing his face in public. He would have been humiliated as well prosecuted, and would have jumped ship long ago.

Donald Trump Fox News

However, in these peculiar times we have a president who is buttressed by a propaganda network that lavishes him with undying praise, defends him from any and all criticism, and maligns his political foes as schemers, liars, and even traitors. The worshipful devotion of Fox News to Trump and his regime is unprecedented. Many of their former employees are now on the White House payroll. Likewise, many former White House staff are now working for Fox.

Making matters worse, Trump’s current Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham (who is a certified “Deep State” conspiracy kook), has never held a single press conference. She has literally moved the media functions of the White House into the Fox News studio, which is the only place she ever appears before the public. This, of course, is fine with Fox because it gives them exclusive coverage of the Trump administration’s official disinformation. They are also the only network that still airs Trump’s lie and hate filled cult rallies in full and uninterrupted as they happen.

In an especially slobbering segment on Friday (video below), Grisham was “interviewed” by Fox’s Bill Hemmer. Naturally, the subject of impeachment came up and Hemmer forged valiantly into the fray with what is undoubtedly the softest ball thrown at a presidential spokesperson this year – maybe ever. It is truly impressive how Grisham managed to muddle through this wet kiss interrogation that began with Hemmer asking…

It seems as if you have concluded [impeachment] is a foregone conclusion. And if the president believes that as well, how has he described his feelings to you about that potential reality?

Feelings? Seriously? Hemmer is hammering Grisham by demanding that she dig deep and reveal Li’l Donnie’s unspoken feelings about becoming just the third president ever to be impeached. As if Trump has any “unspoken” feelings. And if he does, the last person to disclose them honestly is his designated disseminator of deception. Grisham responded with a flurry of robo-talking points:

He has described his feelings to the American people. You just have to look at his Twitter feed to show. This is a sham and a kangaroo court. This has been unjust and unfair. The president did absolutely nothing wrong. We released the transcript weeks ago for everybody to see. There was no quid pro quo. The Ukrainian government themselves has said they felt absolutely no pressure. Aid was eventually released to the Ukraine.

Someone needs to reprogram Grisham. She is stuck on auto-spew, and even so, is digging Trump into a deeper abyss of political and legal jeopardy. Her reference to the “transcript” (which was really just a summary memo of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky) works against Trump’s interests. Although Trump has also been obsessed with what he is lately saying is an exact, verbatim transcription of the phone call. It isn’t, and it says so on the first page. Nevertheless, Trump has repeatedly tweeted exhortations to “READ THE TRANSCRIPT!” One has to wonder if he has read it, because it indisputably incriminates him. For instance, after Zelensky raises the issue of U.S. military aid, Trump replies…

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.”

That’s a textbook quid pro quo. Trump talks about getting some information related to a debunked conspiracy theory about a computer server that belonged to the Democratic National Committee. But he quickly segues from that to explicit requests for dirt on Joe Biden:

“There’s a lot talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with [Rudy Giuliani and] the Attorney General [William barr] would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.”

That sounds horrible to a lot of people, but not for the reasons Trump is thinking. Trump recently suggested that he would like to have a nationally televised “fireside chat” wherein he would read the “transcript” to the American people. That’s a great idea, because we would then have him saying in his own voice the words that warrant his impeachment. Then Grisham could return to Fox News where they could ask her how he feels about making an ass of himself and being booted from the White House.

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

Mulvaney Admits Trump’s Quid Pro Quo: ‘We Do That All the Time – Get Over It’

For the past several weeks Donald Trump has been adamantly denying that there was any quid pro quo in his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Nevermind that the whistleblower’s complaint said there was, and that Trump’s “transcript” (executive summary) of the phone call corroborated that account. Trump insisted that the phone call was “prefect,” which is a bizarre way to describe it, as if it were being graded for criminal content.

Trump Penthouse Phone

On Thursday morning, though, Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, held a press conference to announce the astonishing decision by Trump to host the 2020 G7 summit meeting at his own Doral Miami golf resort. Even a Fox News political editor was shocked by this shameless and purposeful grifting. But more to the point, Mulvaney turned Trump’s denials of a quid pro quo on their head. Mulvaney was asked explicitly whether U.S. foreign aid was withheld from Ukraine pending their agreement to dig up dirt on Trump’s political opponents. And in a roundabout way he confessed that it was. That resulted in this exchange with ABC News Chief White House Correspondent, Jonathan Karl (video below):

Karl: To be clear, what you described is a quid pro quo. It is funding will not flow unless the investigation into the Democratic server happens as well.”
Mulvaney: “We do that all the time with foreign policy.” […]
Mulvaney: Get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.

So there you have it. An outright admission that the Trump White House uses its power to extort foreign leaders in order to get them to perform purely political favors. And not only did Mulvaney admit it, he volunteered that they “do that all the time.” Mulvaney then tried to use another incident when funds were similarly withheld to justify the Ukraine affair. However, he noted that in that case the U.S. demands involved immigration issues, which can reasonably be argued are in our national interest.

The problem with Trump’s extortion of Ukraine was that the demands involved a smear campaign on one of his political opponents. That is most definitely not in the national interest. That’s strictly a personal interest of Trump’s and a violation of every ethical tenet of diplomacy. It’s also a violation of the law. And it does not – or should not – happen all the time.

With regard to the “server” mentioned in this exchange, it’s a reference to a Democratic National Committee computer that was hacked by Russians. Trump has adopted a ludicrous conspiracy theory that claims the server contains some incriminating secrets and was spirited away to Ukraine. Of course, there is no evidence of anything remotely resembling that nonsense. But it seems like Mulvaney was willing to grab onto it in order to avoid the more damaging allegation that Trump was seeking dirt on Joe Biden. In fact, that may be the real motive here.

It will be interesting to hear Trump’s response to this admission of a quid pro quo after all his ranting. Although he is so brazen in his dishonesty he might just continue to deny it. Or he could say Mulvaney never said this. Or, in pinch, he’ll claim that he doesn’t know Mulvaney at all, he was just a coffee boy.

UPDATE: Later in the day Mulvaney walked back his remarks and now says that he never said there was a quid pro quo. Of course, he DID say it, and it’s on video. If he wants to say he misspoke and offer a correction, that’s fine. But he can’t say he didn’t say it.

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

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

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

Fox News, Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UNBELIEVABLE: Is Trump Kidding About Syria Like He Was About China and Biden?

If there is one thing that Donald Trump has demonstrated that he excels at, it’s betraying his friends, associates, and even his family, when it suits his purpose. Anyone doing business with him, personal or otherwise, knows that he is likely to turn on them with bitter aggression should they fail to show sufficient adoration and unqualified loyalty. In short, he simply cannot be trusted.

Donald Trump

On Monday Trump provided a horrifying example of his shameless disloyalty. He announced that he will be abandoning America’s Kurdish allies in Syria after they bravely sacrificed their lives on our behalf in the war against ISIS. It’s a decision so impulsive and reckless that it immediately drew rebukes from some of Trump’s staunchest supporters, including Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, Mike Huckabee, Liz Cheney, even Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell. Even Fox News was torn apart (video below) as Brian Kilmeade argued with his Fox and Friends co-hosts about Trump’s abhorrent betrayal.

Trump’s stated reasoning for throwing our friends under the tank mainly rests on wanting to end a protracted fight on foreign land and handing off that responsibility to Turkey and Europe. It’s a shockingly shallow analysis that completely ignores the security and national interests of the United States. But Trump still foolishly regards himself as a “stable genius” and only heeds his own “great and unmatched wisdom.”

However, Trump’s actual reasons are more likely to involve issues he hasn’t mentioned. For one, there is his personal financial affairs in Turkey. And then there is his affection for and allegiance to authoritarian dictators like Erdogan. And of course he may just be attempting to divert attention from the breaking news related to his impending impeachment. That includes the revelation that there are now multiple new whistleblowers lining up to tell the truth about him. And there was a court ruling that requires him to produce eight years of his tax returns.

Another major problem with Trump’s announcement on abandoning the Kurds is that there is very little reason to believe him. He is a notoriously pathological liar (more than 12,000 lies documented) who often contradicts himself in the space of a single sentence. What’s more, even his supporters are lately excusing his most ridiculous comments as “jokes.” That was the case when he appeared before a media scrum and asked Ukraine and China to investigate Joe Biden. That is literally the crime that is fueling Congress’ impeachment inquiry.

So it didn’t take long for suck-ups like Rubio, Rep. Jim jordan, Sen. Ron Johnson, and a frantic flurry of Fox Newsers to insist that it was just a joke. But if that was just a joke, despite being said without a hint of a smile and reiterating similar prior statements, then which of Trump’s comments are we supposed to take seriously? It seems that every time he says something that is offensive, dangerous, contrary to U.S. policy, or just objectively stupid, he or his defenders say he was only kidding. Here are a few examples:

Consequently, the American people have no reason to believe Trump when he says he will withdraw from Syria. But even worse, Syria, Turkey, the Kurds, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Europe likewise have no reason to believe him. After all, he may just be kidding. His word is about as trustworthy as a snake oil salesman or a Trump press secretary (but I repeat myself). And while it is troubling that Trump makes absurd and dangerous decisions like this one about Syria, it is equally troubling that he can’t be believed about this or anything else.

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

And You Thought Trump Was Nuts? Wait Til You See Giuliani on Fox News!

Watching Donald Trump descend into a steaming abyss of madness is horrifying for Americans who love their country. Although most can’t deny feeling at least a smidgen of satisfaction and relief that a dangerous sociopath is suffering the well deserved consequences of his betrayal. Trump is lost in a toxic fog of rancid anger and fear that threatens to turn every artery in his jellified skull into tiny anueristic IED’s

Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump

Lately Trump’s desperation and paranoia has driven him to furious and false attacks on his perceived enemies including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee chairman, Adam Schiff. He has made incoherent defenses of his obviously illegal entreaties to Ukraine and China. And his own behavior and words are turning out to be the best justifications for his impeachment.

However, as stunningly bizarre as all of his antics have been for the past few weeks, he has some stiff competition in the race for Psycho of the Year. His own personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is challenging the Lunatic-in-Chief with some memorable routines in the Fox News Cirque du So Lame. On Friday Giuliani told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum that his mission is “to disrupt the world.” And on Sunday Giuliani was interviewed by Fox’s MediaBuzz host, Howard Kurtz. To say it was a hot mess would be far too mild. Giuliani was a virtual advertisement for cocaine-infused Red Bull. See for yourself:

WTF is he talking about? After telling Kurtz, a Trump-friendly Foxie, that he should be ashamed of himself, Giuliani took out what he said was “thirty years of articles,” which far pre-date Joe Biden’s term as Vice-President. What this has to do with the four year old Ukraine affair is anyone’s guess. But Giuliani was so hyped up that Kurtz couldn’t stop him to go to commercial.

A second clip in that thread shows Giuliani shushing Kurtz and calling him “pathetic” as the host tries to ask him about the “transcript” of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky and Trump’s own confession to extortion on national TV. Naturally, those questions weren’t answered. And while Giuliani was whining about being interrupted (which he wasn’t), the chyron below him read “Ukrainian says no evidence of Biden Wrongdoing.” That’s a Fox chyron!

A third video clip shows Giuliani responding to Biden’s suggestion that news programs stop booking him due to his constant and flagrant lying. So in the midst of his continued whining about imaginary interruptions, Giuliani raises a brand new issue saying that “We haven’t moved to Romania yet. Wait til we get to Romania.” We’re waiting, Rudy. Then he asserts that “they” are laughing at us. If by “us” he means himself, I’ll have to agree. And once again, Kurtz can’t get him to shut up long enough to end the segment.

With impeachment becoming an inevitability, Trump couldn’t be in more trouble. Well, unless he were saddled with a nutcase like Giuliani as his attorney. Giuliani has been reduced to spewing third-rate conspiracy theories and wailing like a insolent child who was denied a fourth cupcake. He makes no sense whatsoever as he connects dots that only he can see. And this is the legal counsel that Trump is relying on to get him through this debacle. No wonder he’s flipping out.

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

Corruption Fighter or Political Hack? Trump is a Hypocrite Who is Dirty on Both Counts

When the first allegations surfaced that Donald Trump had put pressure on Ukrainian President Zelensky to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Trump vociferously denied it. Then the partial White House summary of a phone call between Trump and Zelensky revealed that Trump did raise the issue of investigating the Bidens and even tied it to Ukraine receiving military aid from the United States. So what began as a hot mess is congealing into the world’s biggest dumpster fire.

Donald Trump

After forceful denials, then vague acknowledgements, then outright admissions on national TV, Trump is now making a new argument in his tattered and incoherent defense. Trump is asserting that he has an absolute right to ask foreign governments to conduct investigations on U.S. citizens, including those who are his political opponents. He doesn’t bother to identify where in the Constitution he derives that right, but he’s determined to exercise it despite it being completely imaginary. And his justification for engaging in a blatant betrayal of the country is that he’s only concerned about corruption, not politics.

That’s an absurdity that requires some further examination. First of all, if Trump believes he has evidence of corruption he should be calling the FBI, not foreign governments, particularly not those with whom we have adversarial relationships. The notion of asking China – whose legal system is itself corrupt – to investigate an American citizen and political foe is ludicrous and is begging for wrongful outcomes. And it’s all the worse considering that Trump is simultaneously seeking trade concessions from China while making these improper requests.

Furthermore, Trump’s intentions are unarguably political. He’s totally focused on only the alleged corruption of Joe Biden, for which every credible investigation has found no wrongdoing. He repeatedly mentioned Biden in his communications with both Ukraine and China. If Trump is a corruption fighter, why isn’t he asking Ukraine – a nation rife with corruption – to look into anything other than Biden? And why isn’t he asking China to investigate presidential offspring who are suspiciously getting Chinese trademarks approved (Yes, that’s about Ivanka)? And why is he blocking efforts to probe corruption here in the United States (Yes, that’s about his tax returns)?

Clearly Trump doesn’t give a damn about corruption. He is only concerned with smearing his political opponents and stealing another election with the help of foreign governments. He’s doing almost exactly what he did in 2016 with Russia. The difference is that last time he was a passive beneficiary of the election interference that welcomed and encouraged. But this time he is actively initiating it, and using the power of the presidency to force his criminality on others.

The distinction that Trump is impotently trying to make between corruption and politics is impossible to reconcile (unless your Fox News). The truth is that Trump is both flagrantly corrupt and brazenly political. And all he’s doing by pretending that there is any difference between the two in his immoral behavior is reminding everyone what a slimeball hypocrite he is and always has been.

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

Devotion to the Cult of Trump Risks the GOP Having No Presidential Candidate in 2020

Time is running out. It’s running out for Donald Trump as Congress is on a fast track toward impeachment. And as the walls close in around him, he is becoming ever more unhinged and incoherent. He’s even taken to crying “coup” about the constitutional process for considering the removal of a corrupt leader. It’s a sad spectacle that diminishes the stature of the nation.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

But time also running out for the Republican Party that seems to have no strategy for a post-impeachment electoral landscape. As the prospects for impeachment grow by the hour – mainly due to Trump’s own panicky and desperate outbursts – the GOP continues to fortify their bunker as it is under siege from all directions. Even the Senior Legal Analyst at Fox News, Andrew Napolitano, is now saying that Trump’s “conversation [with Ukrainian President Zelensky] manifested both criminal and impeachable behavior.” Nevertheless, Republicans are all in on Dear Leader Trump and if he goes down, well dammit, they’re all going down with him.

The 2020 election is just a little more than a year away. Deadlines will soon be expiring for challengers to declare their candidacy. So what happens if Trump is impeached and the Republican Party has no one on the ballot running against whoever the Democratic nominee is? Pence will not automatically become the GOP’s candidate. There is a process for determining that which we all know as primaries. But the Republican National Committing has been working to cancel primaries in order to stifle any opposition to Trump. They also recently tightened the rules to “squelch dissent at the Republican National Convention next year.”

Currently there are three Republicans, other than Trump, running for the GOP nomination: Bill Weld, Joe Walsh, and Mark Sanford. The only reasonably qualified candidate among them is Weld, a two-term governor of Massachusetts. But other Republicans with qualifications and national name ID are keep their distance. They include Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and former Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker.

All of this leaves Trump feeling pretty cocky. He tweeted Thursday that he has “95% Approval Rating in the Republican Party.” Which won’t help him in the least if he’s found to be guilty of impeachable crimes. After all, he isn’t President of the GOP. His national approval rating is still mired in the low 40’s (it’s never hit 50). And even his favorite pollster, the utterly disreputable and biased Rasmussen, shows him dropping six points in the last week (to 47) as impeachment heats up.

The Cult of Trump is in full force in the Republican precincts of America. They simply will not stand up for the principles of law and order and patriotism that they once heralded as their party’s brand. Not if that means going against their totalitarian boss. So if Trump is impeached, and there is little or no time to field alternatives in the primaries, the party may wind up invoking some arcane rule and shoving whatever candidate the party elites choose down the throats of their voters.

And Trump isn’t making it any easier for them. On Thursday morning, Trump admitted to a national television audience that he asked Zelensky to interfere in an American election by digging up dirt on Joe Biden. That’s actually one of the anticipated articles of impeachment. And to add fuel to this dumpster fire, he added a request for China to do the same. Let that sink in. Trump wants China – a nation known for its corruption and absence of any ethical legal system – to conduct an investigation/smear campaign on an American citizen and candidate for president. That should go down well with voters. And still the GOP is marching lock-step with Trump, even though he may not even be their candidate next year. The whole party seems to be as confused and incompetent as Trump.

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