Fox News Helps GOP Congresswoman Spread Debunked Lies that Obama Paid Iran $1.5 Billion

Just in case you were looking for another example of Fox News casting off all pretense of being an honest news enterprise, they provided an excellent one Thursday morning. Donald Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox and Friends, invited Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney to discuss matters related to the Trump administration’s diplomatic agenda for Iran since Trump broke the agreement the United States made previously. And yes, that’s Dick Cheney’s daughter.

Fox News Friends

The segment began with Ainsley Earhardt reminding viewers that Donald Trump recently posted a deranged, all caps tweet that warned Iran to “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.” It cannot be overstated that this was the President threatening the nuclear annihilation of men, women, and children, of a foreign adversary over mere words.

Much of the conversation centered on Cheney’s impressions of Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, and his efforts to prevent Iran from advancing their nuclear ambitions. Of course, President Obama had already put an end to that prior to Trump blowing it up in his obsessive fetish to undo all things Obama. But Cheney was then asked specifically how the current administration’s approach to Iran differed from their predecessor. Which seems like a planted question that really had no purpose other than to bash Obama’s achievements. Cheney took full advantage of that saying:

“Oh it’s hugely different. If you look at the fact that Barack Obama paid $1.5 billion – U.S. taxpayer money – paid the Iranians to get them to enter into the nuclear agreement.”

The only problem with that response is that is utterly and provably false. PolitiFact, and every other fact-checker, has documented that the monies disbursed to Iran when the deal with the Obama administration (and by the way, six other nations) was executed, was Iran’s money to begin with. The U.S. was merely releasing funds that it had sequestered as part of the sanctions that were imposed on Iran in order to bring them to the negotiating table.

After Cheney made her wholly dishonest claim about these funds, Earhardt failed to challenge her or to let Fox’s viewers know that she was lying. So that false information was disseminated once again to Fox’s already ignorant and ill-informed viewers. And as if that weren’t enough, Fox News later posted a video clip of the segment on Twitter that featured Cheney’s remarks, but still didn’t point out that they were false. This is typical of Fox’s practice of mangling the news so that it misrepresents reality and feeds disinformation to an audience that can’t distinguish truth from fiction anyway.

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

Heartsick: Trump Breaks His Date With Putin Until 2019, After the ‘Witch Hunt’ is Over (Huh?)

The first date went so tremendously that Donald Trump almost immediately asked dreamy Vladimir Putin out again for a rendezvous in romantic Washington, D.C. in the fall. But Trump was dissed by his crush when Putin wavered as to whether he would accept the invitation. A crestfallen Trump is now saying that he has other plans as well.

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

Trump’s National Security Advisor, and mustache ride attendant, John Bolton, made the announcement that “The President believes that the next bilateral meeting with President Putin should take place after the Russia witch hunt is over, so we’ve agreed that it will be after the first of the year.” A dejected Trump is now employing the famous “You can’t fire me, I quit,” method of diplomatic courtship.

However, this statement has some peculiarities that warrant additional scrutiny. First of all, this is the first use of the phrase “witch hunt” by Mr. Bolton, and maybe by any senior White House staffer other than Trump himself. Apparently they are trying to cement its use as an acceptable descriptor of legal processes.

Secondly, Trump is assuming that Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation will be ongoing at least through the end of this year. That’s a long ways from the predictions of his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who has been saying that the probe would be over in a couple of weeks ever since he joined Trump’s legal team.

Finally, it is very likely that the real reason for the delay has something to do with the upcoming midterm elections. It could be embarrassing if Trump were to repeat his disastrous performance in a rematch with Putin just prior to those contests. Republicans are already considered to be in dire shape as a massive blue wave of Democratic victory is forming. Putin may have been aware of that and was subtly nudging his politically naive American stooge into rescheduling until after election day. Not that things will be any better for Trump if the GOP takes the beating that is being forecast. But they could simply pretend to forget about the summit entirely should that happen.

What’s more, if Mueller completes his investigation anytime between now and year’s end, that will throw a huge Russian boot into plans for the two authoritarian aficionados to convene. Unless, of course, wherever they wind up incarcerating Trump allows for conjugal visits.

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

Is Trump More Scared of Putin or CNN? Cadet Bonespurs Cancels Bolton’s Interview on CNN

On Monday Donald Trump is going to sit down with his – Friend? Boss? Russian counterpart? – Vladimir Putin for a meeting that has no agenda or even a stated purpose. The Helsinki tryst comes just a few days after his own Justice Department announced indictments of twelve Russians for interfering with the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump’s only reaction to this was to say that he would “ask” Putin about it. Well, that should put the brutal dictator on notice.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

In advance of this meeting, Trump’s National Security advisor, John Bolton was scheduled to appear on CNN’s State of the Union. But on Saturday SOTU host, Jake Tapper, tweeted that the White House has canceled that booking. So Trump won’t cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin, whose spy network was just indicted for election tampering, but he will cancel a Sunday morning interview with Bolton. Who does this tell you that Trump is more afraid of?

This cancellation comes on the heels of Trump’s anti-free press harangue on Friday when he refused to take a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta, saying that he doesn’t take questions from “fake news” CNN. He then called on John Roberts of Fox News, which he said was a “real network.” Now Trump has, without explanation, pulled his NSA chief from a CNN program.

In a tweet on Saturday morning Trump bragged about his “takedown” of Acosta, as if suppressing the free press was something to be proud of. He also falsely claimed that CNN was “dying in the ratings” (they aren’t), and that they didn’t report on the exchange (they did). What Trump neglected to mention was that Fox’s Roberts later called out Trump and defended the fairness and honesty of NBC and CNN.

Clearly Trump is scared witless. The only question is: Who is he afraid of more? There’s no doubt that Trump is horribly frightened at the prospect of having to answer any questions that aren’t pre-screened, criticism-free, and/or dripping with adoration. That’s why he doesn’t allow interviews with anyone but friendly “reporters” that he knows will not challenge him. And it’s why he snubbed Acosta and canceled Bolton’s interview.

But he’s also obviously fearful of Putin. Which is why he won’t risk offending him by not turning up for their get-together on Monday. People as politically diverse as senators Chuck Schumer and John McCain have been urging Trump to stay away. But Trump, as usual, isn’t listening to good advice. And his State TV affiliate (aka Fox News) is continuing to prove that they are on his side by booking Brother Vlad for an interview immediately following his tete-a-tete with Trump. Where else would Putin go other than the network that his biggest supporter outside of RT (Russian Television)?

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

UPDATE: Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, responded to the Bolton cancellation saying that it was due to a CNN reporter being “disrespectful” to Trump. So they “decided to reprioritize the TV appearances.” For the record, Trump called CNN’s Acosta “fake news.” He replied that CNN is a real network. That’s it. No discernible hint disrespect. But even if there were, she canceled an interview with Jake Tapper for something Acosta did? This whole excuse is bullshit – no disrespect intended.

CNN President Blisters State-Run TV (aka Fox News) as ‘a Pure Propaganda Machine’

Two decades ago a conservative media mogul (Rupert Murdoch) and a right-ring political operative (Roger Ailes) colluded to form America’s first overtly partisan news network devoted to advancing a regressive agenda that favored corporations and the wealthy. And ever since Fox News has faithfully served it’s masters, all the while pretending to be “fair and balanced” journalists.

Donald Trump Fox News

For most of that time the rest of the media sheepishly approached Fox News as just another competitor. They rarely spoke honestly about how Fox was deliberately staining the one profession explicitly cited in the Constitution. Consequently, Fox got away with a lot of brazenly biased propaganda and managed to corral America’s Deplorables into a media pen where they felt safe and secure.

So it was rather surprising to hear CNN president Jeff Zucker’s criticism of Fox at the Financial Times’ “Future of News” conference on Thursday. He nailed Fox News in a way that few media executives have in the past twenty years. While nothing he said would be a revelation to anyone who has watched the network for more than two minutes, coming from a corporate media honcho it is borderline breathtaking. Here’s a quick summary of the highlights as reported by The Hollywood Reporter:

    Zucker said that…

  • Fox News “is really state-run TV. It is a pure propaganda machine, and I think does incredible disservice to this country.”
  • “The idea that it’s a news channel, I think, is really not the case at all.”
  • Fox News “has nothing on” the Russian government-run TASS Russian News Agency.
  • “I think they are lost in what is a complete propaganda machine.”

In addition, THR reports Zucker saying that “Fox News has changed substantially in the last two years, following the departure of late founder Roger Ailes. He described the change at the network as ‘shocking.'” However the only thing that might have changed is that in the post-Ailes era the executives at Fox were much less skilled at spewing rightist bullshit. Their deceitful machinations are more visible and sleazy. That may be what drove long-time Fox contributor Ralph Peters to quit the network that he now says he is “ashamed” to be associated with. According to THR Fox News was invited to participate in the event but declined.

Fox News continues to be the mouthpiece of the Republican Party and Donald Trump’s most dedicated defender. It serves as the personnel recruiting pool for the Trump administration. Among those tapped by Trump for White House posts were Heather Nauert, K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, Richard Grennell, and Jonathan Wachtel. And just today Trump announced that Fox’s John Bolton will replace H.R. McMaster as his National Security Advisor. And even his legal team is now being stuffed with Fox News personalities, including Joseph DiGenova and, maybe his wife, Victoria Toensing.

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

CNN is not without its share of journalistic failures. They were among the news outlets that plastered the airwaves with Trump’s thoroughly un-newsworthy rallies (rants) during the campaign. And they still host Trump-fluffing flacks who are only there to further disseminate Trump’s lies. However, there has never been a presidential administration that was so rife with media shills from a single source. The only people that Trump recognizes are those he’s seen on TV. And the only TV he watches is Fox News. So after a year in office he still behaves like an intellectually shallow reality TV game show host, rather than the president that our nation needs. Hopefully he will be voted off this island soon by Robert Mueller’s team of Survivors.

Larry Kudlow is the Latest Contestant on Trump’s Reality TV Game Show Presidency

The mayhem at the White House is continuing as Donald Trump’s behavior gets ever more frantic and irrational. in the past few hours he has fired his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, the State Department’s top diplomacy aide, Steve Goldstein, and his personal assistant, John McEntee. There are rumblings from insiders that Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, and Veterans Administration director David Shulkin are also on the chopping block.

Fox News Trump Apprentice

As these vacancies open up, Trump will have the opportunity to name new appointees that will be better supplicants to his will. That has already played out with his nomination of current CIA director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson. And the news on Wednesday is that Trump has picked CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow to succeed the fired Gary Cohn as his chief economic advisor.

By selecting Kudlow, Trump is continuing a pattern of bringing television personalities into his administration. Mostly they have been from Fox News and include K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, Richard Grennell, and Jonathan Wachtel. Former Fox and Friends co-host, Heather Nauert, was also tapped by Trump to be the State Department spokesperson last year. And now she has already been promoted to replace Goldstein. Her entire career has been with Fox News and she has no diplomatic experience whatsoever.

The departure of Trump’s communications director, Hope Hicks, last month has set off a flurry of speculation as to who would fill her shoes. Among those being considered is Fox News co-host of The Five, Kimberly Guilfoyle. She has been on deck for a Trump slot for quite a while. And another Fox and Friends host, Pete Hegseth, is reportedly being wooed to lead the Veterans Administration should Shulkin get tossed. Prior to joining Fox, Hegseth headed up a Koch brothers front group that pretended to advocate for veterans. But he has zero experience running a massive bureaucracy like the VA, nor has he ever worked in the health services field that comprises much of what the VA does.

Trump’s National Security Advisor, McMaster, is also teetering on the brink. His successor is rumored to be another Fox News contributor, John Bolton. He served in George Bush’s state department and as Ambassador to the United Nations. Consequently Bolton played a major role in the fabricated weapons of mass destruction excuses to invade Iraq, as well as in the disastrous administration of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obviously Trump is most comfortable working with TV personalities. It seems like his entire pool of possible job applicants come from the ranks of people he’s seen on Fox or other programs. His experience is so bereft of substance that he can’t possibly know anyone that has actual credentials in the jobs he needs to fill. And he wouldn’t want them anyway because they might not be photogenic. As a result, America will be burdened with shallow, unqualified amateurs running government agencies whose work affects us all. But at least they’ll look good when they sit down for softball interviews with Sean Hannity.

This is what Fox’s Laura Ingraham considers Trump “hitting his stride,” and “getting a really strong team in place.” And coincidentally, that’s exactly how Trump sees it. On Tuesday he explained to reporters that these White House shake-ups were just the normal fine tuning of personnel. “I’m really at a point,” he said, “where we’re getting very close to having the Cabinet, and other things, that I want.” That’s after a year in office where all of his original appointments were also his choices, but apparently not what he wanted. Ironically, not having the leadership one wants is something most Americans can relate to right now.

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

How The F*ck Can Fox News Report On Trump With These Glaring Conflicts

When Donald Trump was running for president he insisted that he knew “all the best people.” He promised that his administration would benefit from his connections in the business community. He argued that the typical government bureaucrats were failing and that fresh blood was needed. So how is that working out?

Donald Trump Fox News

To date, Trump’s appointees have been decidedly unimpressive. Almost none of them have experience in the fields for which they have been nominated. What’s more, they are firmly rooted in the same governmental swamp that he said he would drain. Politicians and billionaires are quickly filling up his cabinet and advisory slots. But there’s something even more troubling that many of his candidates have in common.

Fox News had a singular role in manufacturing the Trump candidacy. They gave him more airtime than any other candidate and broadcast his stump speeches for hours without interruption. And now they are supplying him with a roster of personnel to take prominent positions in his administration. Here are the Fox News candidates for Trump’s White House (so far). All of them have been on the Fox payroll:

  • K.T. McFarland: She has already been named as a Deputy National Security Advisor.
  • Ben Carson: He is reported to have been offered the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • John Bolton: He is up for Secretary of State, although he is lately being eclipsed by Mitt Romney. And you can throw Fox’s Newt Gingrich into this stew as well.
  • Sarah Palin: If you can believe it, she is in line for Secretary of the Interior.
  • Laura Ingraham: This media-hating pundit could be Trump’s next press secretary.
  • Monica Crowley: (See Laura Ingraham).
  • Mike Huckabee: This former Fox host is being considered for Commerce Secretary.
  • Scott Brown: After losing senate races twice he is now looking at the Veterans Administration.
  • Pete Hegseth: This Koch brothers cohort is also rumored for VA head.
  • Anthony Scaramucci: He is a Wall Street fund manager who is already on Trump’s Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee.
  • Eric Bolling: Currently a c co-host of The Five, he is said to be under consideration for something at Commerce.
  • Donald Trump: That’s right. Trump himself had a recurring role on Fox & Friends for years with his “Mondays With Trump” segment.

[Update: Fox correspondents Heather Nauert and Jonathan Wachtel have been hired by Trump’s State Department]
[Update II: Trump nominates Fox contributor Scott Brown to be ambassador to New Zealand]

With so many of their own personnel potentially joining the Trump administration, how can the network fairly cover him? OK, that’s a dumb question. They have never fairly covered him. But still, they would now be in the position of having to critically assess the performance of their own former employees. These are people with whom they have long standing relationships and affinity. They are also people who are likely to return to the network at some point in the future. That fact alone could impact the behavior of both Fox and their alumni. Some have already left Fox and returned when they had brief political conflicts (Carson, Gingrich, and Brown).

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

Never fear. Fox will find a way to cope with this burden. However, that will probably be to continue their mission as Propaganda Ministry for the Republican Party. Only now Fox will be an official arm of the White House under Trump. They will be America’s Pravda serving the interests of a megalomaniac and his team of apple polishers.

John Bolton’s ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Hypocritical Attack On Obama

This Memorial Day weekend President Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan to thank soldiers there, and everywhere, for their service. As a matter of routine, a list of those meeting with the President was released to the press. Unfortunately, that list mistakenly included the name of the CIA station chief in Kabul.

While this was a serious oversight, its impact is mitigated by the fact that this person’s identity is not strictly secret. It is expressly released to Afghan officials and others in the region. What’s more, the list was prepared by the military, not the White House, so the knee-jerk reaction by conservatives in the media to blame Obama is misplaced and overtly political.

Among those crassly political knee-jerkers is former Bush era ambassador to the United Nation, John Bolton. Bolton appeared on Fox News in an interview with anchor Bill Hemmer. The tone of the exchange was set at the very beginning when Hemmer asked Bolton the fair and balanced question, “What do you think of this bonehead move?” Well, I guess we know what Hemmer thinks of it. Not surprisingly, Bolton unleashed a spittle-inflected harangue that accused the President of “jaw-dropping incompetence.” Hemmer later asks whether it is fair to compare this event to the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame. Bolton, of course says “I don’t think so,” and dismisses the Plame incident as “just a malicious piece of gossip.”

Fox News Bolton

Be Sure To “LIKE” News Corpse On Facebook

For the record, Valerie Plame was a deep-cover agent whose outing had the potential to result in the death of herself and those with whom she associated in some dangerous parts of the world. Her outing was not an accident, as was the Kabul station chief. Her identity was deliberately disclosed in retaliation for her husband’s criticism of the Bush administration’s lies justifying the invasion of Iraq. In other words, it was a petty and personal retribution for which Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, was convicted and jailed.

Any objective analysis of the facts show that there is no reasonable comparison between the two intelligence leaks. For Bolton and Fox News to try to turn this into another manufactured outrage without acknowledging their staunch defense of those involved in outing Plame is jaw-dropping hypocrisy. But what truly makes this rise to epic levels of hypocrisy is that Bolton himself has been implicated in the outing of Plame. Others involved include Cheney, Colin Powell deputy Richard Armitage, New York Times writer Judy Miller, the late Robert Novak, and (surprise) Karl Rove. Note: Miller, Novak, Rove, and Cheney’s daughter Liz, have all been Fox News contributors.

Nevertheless, watch for Fox News to churn up the heat on this editing error and cast all the blame on Obama as if he had personally approved the list for distribution. It is evidence of how little of substance conservatives have to criticize the President for, so they have to resort to fanning the embers of pseudo-scandals for which they have no proof, or even a basis for speculation.

Scandal Fever Is Making Fox News Even More Demented Than Usual

It must be a terrible burden to have to manage as many trumped up scandals as Fox News is currently struggling with. The sheer volume of fabricated nonsense to manufacture and inventory would be a strain on any propaganda outfit. But the pressure is showing now as Fox appears unable to function under the weight of the task. Take a look at these recent schizoid episodes they have belched out:

On the Fox Business Network, their anchor Lou Dobbs hosted a panel to discuss the state of women in the workplace and the results of a new poll that shows more American women are the primary earners in their families. In order to have a balanced debate on this subject, Fox invited only men to participate. But after you hear what one of those men said, you’ll understand why women weren’t necessary:

Fox News Breadwinners

Erick Erickson: I’m so used to liberals telling conservatives that they’re anti-science. But liberals who defend [the increase in women earners] and say it is not a bad thing are very anti-science. When you look at biology — when you look at the natural world — the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role.

Consequently, Fox is committed to having only males weigh in on the subjects of working women, reproductive rights, domestic violence, etc. And remember, Erickson is the miscreant who once called Supreme Court Justice David Souter a “goat-fucking child molester.”

Next up is a story Fox did about the number of times Douglas Shulman, the IRS commissioner, visited the White House. Of Course, there should be nothing suspicious about a critical economic adviser spending time with other administration officials as they seek to restore the nation’s economy. But like everything else they do, Fox is only focused on turning this into a nefarious scheme of some sort. So they tally up the number of visits and imply that the frequency represents something other than devotion to duty:

Fox News White House Visitors

Unfortunately for Fox, their own source, the notoriously disreputable Daily Caller (which is run by Fox contributor Tucker Carlson) contradicts the very premise they sought to prove. After making a federal case out of the visits attributed to Shulman, the Daily Caller correctly notes that…

“The visitor logs do not give a complete picture of White House access. Some high-level officials get cleared for access and do not have to sign in during visits […] it is probable that the vast majority of visits by major Cabinet members do not end up in the public record.”

In other words…never mind. We don’t know what the heck we’re talking about. Which is surprising because this isn’t the first time that right-wing media tried to build these logs into a conflagration and failed to ignite any sparks. Back in 2009 there was an effort to tie the President to ACORN by reporting that ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis had visited the White House a few weeks before that phony scandal erupted. As it turned out, it was a different Bertha Lewis, but nobody at Fox or their source (Breitbart News) bothered to verify the information. In fact, we still don’t know if the Douglas Shulman on the logs is the IRS commissioner.

Finally, the most disturbing evidence that Fox is suffering severe symptoms of dementia was demonstrated in this segment of Fox & Friends when the hosts interviewed John Bolton about why National Security Adviser Tom Donilon was AWOL on the night of the attacks in Benghazi. They stated flatly that Donilon was absent for the crisis, even while they showed a photo alongside Bolton of a White House meeting that clearly included Donilon.

Fox News Donilon

This is pretty much what we can expect from Fox News for the duration of this scandal season. They are obviously over their heads and unable to steer a steady course. They either need some extended rest or a significant increase in the dosage of their meds. This should at least provide a lesson to them for the future: Don’t make up more scandals than you are capable of handling.

Benghazi-Gate: The Feverish Fixation Of Fox News On Finishing Off Obama

The compulsive, gnawing yearning is palpable. Fox News is so obsessed with terminating the presidency of Barack Obama that they are veritably bursting at the seams of their shrunken skulls. They are dripping with flop-sweat over the self-manufactured prospect of evicting from the White House the man they failed twice to defeat democratically.

Fox News

It is truly an embarrassing demonstration of puerile covetousness as Fox’s leading mouthpieces gush inane and irrelevant comparisons that only serve to advance their deepest desires for political payback. Having realized that the American people refused to go along with their electoral smear campaigns, Fox is now throwing a tantrum as a desperate tactic to get what they crave so furiously.

The daft predictions served up by Fox are not only ludicrous and unfounded, they are as far removed from the comparable historical associations they are trying to jam into the public mind as is imaginable. The tragedies that took place in Benghazi are not impeachable, and they are not remotely similar to the Watergate scandal that brought down Richard Nixon. Nevertheless, Fox has been pushing this theme, without success, since nearly the day after Benghazi erupted.

Fox Nation

As I wrote last September, after Fox had embarked on a massive campaign of propaganda and lies (something that Fox Nation lives for), there is nothing analogous about Benghazi and Watergate.

Ever since the mid-1970’s scandal that drove Richard Nixon from office, partisans have been attempting to slap a “gate” at the end of any controversy. But it should be remembered that Watergate was not simply some government gaffe. It was an intentionally criminal act that included breaking into Democratic headquarters, paying off accomplices for their silence, and lying to investigators from law enforcement and congress. All of that unlawfulness was in pursuit of personal political benefits to the Nixon White House and reelection effort.

What occurred in Libya was tragic, but it was certainly not the result of someone in the White House pursuing personal gain. Nor was there any hint of corruption or clandestine plots to sabotage a political foe. Nor were there any attempts to covertly mask unlawful activity. In other words, there is nothing in this story that remotely resembles Watergate.

Nothing has changed since then. There has been no new evidence. There have been no new revelations. Even the hearings being held today offer nothing censurable. The affair was exhaustively reviewed by an independent board led by Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Admiral Michael Mullen, career public servants who worked in the administrations of both Republicans and Democrats. And the myths proffered by right-wing pundits and politicians have been repeatedly debunked. Consequently, all of the hubbub produced by Fox and their congressional comrades is a conspicuous waste of time when the country has critical issues to resolve.

So all of this yammering about driving Obama from office is just the wishful thinking of whiny Republicans who couldn’t get what they wanted at the ballot box. The American people rejected them forthrightly, so now they are whimpering about it and demanding that their cries be heeded. They want an impeachment and, damn it, they will hold their breath until they turn red to get it.

Like so many other things in the GOP run House, their motives are purely political. They will hold the nation hostage to defend tax breaks for billionaires. They will harm the economy, even resulting in a downgrade of the nation’s credit rating, in order to make points with Teabaggers. They will filibuster executive appointments and judges and even bills they previously sponsored, if it will hurt the President. And now they are making irresponsible calls for impeachment that are not based on any credible facts.

This is the sort detachment from reality, and the American public, that has cost them two elections and lost them seats in both houses of congress. And it comes at a time when there are more urgent and pressing matters of importance to the American people. The Republican Party and their PR division at Fox News are betraying the people. It is interesting to note that no one would celebrate the downfall of Obama more than Al Qaeda. Obama is the man who terminated their leader. If it were possible to impeach Obama, which is highly unlikely, the GOP and Al Qaeda could save considerable expense by pooling their resources and throwing a joint party to commemorate the realization of their fondest shared dreams.

Dick Cheney: Human Events’ Conservative Of The Year.

Award season is in full swing, and the latest recipient of a year-end tribute is former Vice-President Dick Cheney. Human Events magazine has named Cheney “Conservative of the Year.”

Dick Cheney - The End Is Near

To be sure, this commendation lacks stature. After all, last year’s winner was Sarah Palin. Chosen to pen Palin’s accolades was the professional conservative controversialist, Ann Coulter. In her attempt to praise Palin, Coulter wrote such back-handed compliments as…

[1] Who cares if Palin was qualified to be President? [2] Palin was a kick in the pants, she energized conservatives, and she made liberal heads explode. [3] Perhaps Palin’s year is 2012, but I would recommend that she take a little more time to become older and wiser.

Pretty much the only positive thing Coulter could find to say about Palin was that she was a “genius at annoying all the right people.” While annoying people is a subject that Coulter has some familiarity with, it still begs the question, with friends like Coulter, who needs enemas?

Cheney fared little better with regard to the selection of his advocate. The honor of fluffing Cheney fell to former United Nations Ambassador, John Bolton. Bolton begins his plaudits by enumerating a list of things Cheney is NOT doing:

He is not running for President or any other office. He has not formed a PAC or a D.C. lobbying firm. He is not dishing on former colleagues, not spreading gossip, not settling scores.

Those, however, all sound like things that last year’s honoree, Palin, IS doing, and about which Bolton apparently disapproves. It’s rather telling that Human Events had to settle for someone they admit is so completely out of the political limelight. It speaks to the absence of credible leaders warming up in the conservative bullpen. The rest of the article makes a case very similar to the one Coulter made for Palin. It is basically an argument that Cheney was an effective thorn in the new administration’s side. To conservatives, that is what constitutes qualification for a prestigious award. Not setting policy, or advancing ideas, or accumulating support, but by being a nuisance. Bolton does end on a positive note by summing up Cheney’s attributes as a loyal public servant, saying he is…

“…a very experienced, very dedicated patriot, giving his fellow citizens his best analysis on how to keep them and their country safe.”

I’m not so sure that having Cheney’s “best analysis” is particularly comforting. I mean, this is the guy under who’s watch the nation suffered its worst act of terrorism ever. It’s the guy who led America into an unnecessary war justified by lies. And it’s the guy who has consistently been the herald of doom and worse, a virtual advance man for Al Qaeda. By repeatedly proclaiming his view that our country is less safe under President Obama, and therefore more vulnerable, Cheney and his cohorts are effectively inviting another terrorist attack. How does announcing to our enemies that he believes our nation is becoming weaker make us safer? Does he even care? Or is he just pasting a big bull’s eye on America and hoping for an “I told you so” moment?

In any case, I give you Richard Bruce Cheney – Human Events’ Conservative of the Year. I suppose it’s the best they could do.