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

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

Donald Trump, Melania Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Donald Trump Delivers a Chilly Mother’s Day Message and Forgets the Mothers in His Life

Happy Mother’s Day everybody. On this annual day of celebration America is honoring the women who bring life into the world and nurture new generations of citizens. It’s day that is generally marked by the happiness that motherhood spreads and the devotion that is the foundation of many families.

Donald Trump, Melania Trump

In keeping with the spirit of this holiday, Donald Trump posted a video on Twitter to express his feelings about the person in his life who helped to shape him as a human being. In other words, he was fingering the culprit who deserves the blame for the suffering we are all going through. See for your self:

Have you ever seen a more joyless Mother’s Day message? It looks like a hostage video with terrorists just off screen forcing him to read a script he clearly doesn’t believe. But there is something missing in this message that a sensitive person with normal human emotions would not have forgotten. Donald Trump makes no mention of the mothers in his life that are closest to him. He doesn’t wish Melania or Ivanka a happy Mother’s Day. What sort of man does that?

The easy answer to that question is: a narcissist who doesn’t care about anyone else and is only reading this statement because an aide warned that it would make him look bad if he didn’t. But his dismally bleak reading actually makes him look worse than if he had said nothing. As for the startling omissions, apparently even his handlers didn’t think to include the mothers in Trump’s family in the address. Which says something about the whole administration.

Not that anyone should be surprised. Trump’s presidency is notable for its insensitivity to women. His policies have made it more difficult for women, especially mothers, to get health care. Reproductive health decisions are being handed over to the state. Employment opportunities and wages are still hampered by Trump’s agenda. And his harassment and abuse of women for decades is hardly the sort of respectful attitude that should prevail on this day.

When Trump tried to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program he put thousands of mothers and their children at risk of separation due to deportation. Also notable is the decision by Trump’s Justice and Homeland Security Departments to separate mothers from their children when seeking asylum at the border. There is no other reason for that than pure sadistic evil.

So happy Mother’s Day America. Try and enjoy this day with your families in the manner it was intended. Spread love to those around you and be grateful for what you have. But keep those less fortunate in your thoughts as our heartless president continues to whittle away the values we hold dear. And in the meantime, here’s a video that all mothers should hear and heed:

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

Leave Melania Alone! Cyberbullying is as Good as Any Project, Considering Her Vile Husband

On Monday afternoon Melania Trump finally announced an official project that will define her role as First Lady. And it only took her fifteen months. The problem of cyberbullying is very real and many children (and adults) have suffered from it’s worst effects. Children’s lives have been shattered and left scarred. Young adults have have actually resorted to suicide from the pressure put on them by peers. It’s not a joke.

Melania Trump

Melania was immediately mocked for her choice of a pet project while serving in the White House. The irony of this particular First Lady taking on the sort of abuse that is often doled out on social media is too rich to ignore. After all, if there were a Cyberbully Olympics Donald Trump would surely win the Gold Medal. He has insulted and assaulted everyone from political opponents to celebrities to even his own cabinet and staff. He seems to delight in the use of infantile name-calling and gets perverse pleasure from throwing around ad hominem insults. That’s quite contrary to the sentiment expressed by Melania at today’s announcement:

So the selection of this issue is a curious one. Is Melania sending a message to her husband to shame him and get him to change his loathsome ways? Are the Trump’s trying to muddy the waters and confuse people as to who the highest profile cyberbully in America is? Or are they actually so dense that they don’e see the glaring paradox they’ve unleashed? Who knows?

However, it may be a little unfair to ridicule Melania for this choice. And it becomes apparent that none of her choices were very good when you take into consideration the abhorrent cretin she’s married to. What was she supposed to do? A brief history of the projects taken on by her predecessors reveals the problem:

Lady Bird Johnson launched a beautification campaign to inspire communities to clean up neighborhoods and highways. But this wouldn’t be any better for Melania than cyberbullying. The President vigorously opposes efforts to to clean up our environment, and his infrastructure proposals have all fallen by the wayside – except for his idiotic border wall.

Pat Nixon promoted civic engagement and volunteerism. But Trump has never done a thing in his life that wasn’t for the benefit of himself and his bank account. Nor has he been a supporter of organizations that perform social welfare activities and rely on volunteers for help. There isn’t even a record of him ever having given blood to the Red Cross.

Betty Ford was well known for helping reduce the stigma of alcoholism. Donald Trump is known to be a teetotaler who was influenced by the death of his older brother to never touch liquor. But even with that potentially heart-tugging backstory, when has he ever spoken publicly about helping people who suffer from alcoholism? His most recent remarks on the subject were to insult via Twitter a “drunk/drugged up loser” in a critical news story.

Rosalynn Carter worked on a council on mental health. The only mentions of mental health by this President have been to divert attention away from the effects of easy access to guns.

Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign was directed at reducing drug abuse. And once again, this is an issue that Trump pays only lip service to. Despite his frequent references to the opioid crisis, he has done nothing to help resolve the problem.

Hillary Clinton worked tirelessly to develop a better health care system. This hardly needs elaboration. Trump has spent much of his first year in office deliberately sabotaging health care for millions of Americans. He’s proven to be a callous, heartless opponent of average Americans who need access to quality, affordable care.

Laura Bush launched a literacy program called “Ready to Read, Ready to Learn,” in an effort to encourage children to enjoy literature. But Trump is a notorious non-reader. Not only doesn’t he read books, he won’t read his national security briefings or other information critical to performing his duties. He can’t even take care to spell correctly or use the proper punctuation or letter case.

Michelle Obama famously worked to fight childhood obesity and to promote health and diet. OK, this is just too easy. Our rotund President is hardly an example of good health. He is overweight and addicted to junk food and Diet Pepsi. And if that weren’t bad enough, his personal health plan is to make his doctors lie about the results of his physicals.

With Donald Trump’s past, that is rife with self-interest, it’s impossible to find anything that might suggest some measure of human charity. So what was Melania supposed to do. Any of the other projects that typically consume the time and efforts of Fist Ladies would bring just as much ridicule as cyberbullying due to the President’s total lack of concern for his fellow citizens. So it’s just as well that she picks one and proceeds with the hope that, if she accomplishes something, no one will notice how absurd it is to be associated with that nasty orange creature who keeps trying to grab her hand.

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

Hannity vs Kimmel: Fox News Host’s Obsession with Other People’s Sexual Lives is Creepy

For the past couple of days Twitter has been the stage of an epic battle between the top dog at Fox News, Sean Hannity, and a formidable political intellectual and social scientist – oops – I mean comedian Jimmy Kimmel. And even a late night jokester has proven to be too much of challenge for Hannity’s severely limited cognitive abilities. Kimmel took the whole thing as good, not-so-clean fun. But Hannity had a cerebral spasm that threatened to burst a blood vessel in his ample forehead.

Fox News, Sean Hannity, Jimmy Kimmel

The feud began when Kimmel made a lighthearted joke about First Lady Melania Trump’s accent when reading to kids at a White House Easter event. Kimmel merely repeated her pronunciation of “dis and dat.” Dat’s it. It was hardly a sharp elbowed political jab. But it drove Hannity to distraction wherein he literally couldn’t think of anything else. Much of his day on Friday was consumed with manic tweets attacking Kimmel as a “despicable,” “perverted,” “racist asshole.” He took to calling Kimmel “Harvey Weinstein, Jr.” in a callous trivialization of a real perpetrator of sexual assault. Most of the Twitter battle can be seen here.

Later that evening, Hannity spent most of his Friday program ranting about Kimmel and vowing to destroy him. Hannity criticizes Kimmel for “losing his mind for five minutes on his show,” just before devoting almost the whole hour of his own show to Kimmel bashing. And after getting so freaked out over Kimmel’s joke directed at a First Lady, Hannity attacks Michelle Obama. His tantrum also included baseless accusations that Kimmel relentlessly bashed all Republicans 24/7 and “kissed Obama’s ass.” Actually, Kimmel has been fairly apolitical until the recent difficulties he had with his sick newborn. It was after his advocacy of healthcare reforms that the right started attacking him. And Hannity promises to escalate this one-sided war. On his program he said that…

“I am going after Jimmy Kimmel tonight. We’re gonna pound him with his own words. […] I’m throwing down the gauntlet. I’m not gonna stop. They are gonna stop by the time it’s done. […] For me this is it. I’ll just stay on this, and I’ll roll tape of Jimmy Kimmel every night for the rest of my career.”

Well, that at least would be more entertaining than having to watch Hannity. But his sanctimonious sermonizing about some Kimmel bits that Hannity dug up from the two decade old Comedy Central program “The Man Show” don’t really help him much. Mainly because it casts Hannity as the sexually obsessed pervert who finds salaciousness in what everyone else sees as just raunchy comedy. And Hannity shouldn’t be throwing stones. He’s the guy who sees secretly placed images of sperm in President Obama’s portrait. He charged CNN president Jeff Zucker with being the “scandal-plagued” “king of porn.” He’s had his own run-in with allegations of sexual harassment. And then there was the time he propositioned a “really hot looking chick in the third row” of his audience and asked if she would “Wanna meet me later?”

Remember, Kimmel’s joke had nothing to do with sex. It was about Melania’s accent. But Hannity turned the whole affair into a sleaze-fest. Because that’s what’s on his diseased mind. Every year he does a week of programs about Spring Break where he castigates America’s youth while running endless footage of bikini-clad girls.

And let’s not forget that he’s on a network that has a distinct problem with misogyny. The network’s CEO, Roger Ailes, was fired for multiple incidents of sexual harassment. Then their biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, was tossed out after the discovery of tens millions of dollars paid to secure the silence of his victims. Fox also jettisoned its president, Bill Shine; host Eric Bolling; Fox Sports President, Jamie Horowitz; and VP of Fox News Latino, Francisco Cortes, all for similarly abhorrent misconduct. Most recently the wives of Fox hosts Jesse Watters and Pete Hegseth filed for divorce due to their public infidelities.

One thing is clear: Sean Hannity is working at just the right network for his brand of perversion. It’s a network that has canonized serial predator Donald Trump and supported the senate candidacy of pedophile Roy Moore. Fox News is a breeding ground for perverts. They hire and promote men who blatantly demean and abuse women. The environment was described accurately by former Fox News host and victim Andrea Tantaros in her lawsuit as “a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.” Hannity must be loving it. But he probably isn’t too happy about being beaten regularly by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. And that may be the real reason he is jumping on Kimmel. It’s a desperate and lame attempt to goose his ratings. And it isn’t going to work any better than his Pizza-Gate episodes.

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

Trump Brags ‘I Am The Most Fabulous Whiner’ – Obama Says ‘Stop Whining’

Reality is beginning to set in for Donald Trump. No matter how hard he tries to deny it, he’s a loser and deep down he knows it. And it can’t make him feel any better that he’s losing to a mere woman. The proof is in the desperation he’s exhibiting with his nearly complete transformation into a ranting, delusional, incoherent, conspiracy theorist.

Donald Trump Whiner

Even more telling is Trump’s descension into an abyss of relentless whining. His campaign is now wholly focused on complaints that everyone and everything is against him. The media is rigged against him. Polling places will be rigged to defeat him. Even the GOP establishment is rigging the election in Hillary Clinton’s favor for some reason. It’s a massive conspiracy aimed at destroying both Trump and America.

There is something pathetic and childish about Trump’s emotional meltdown. And many others are beginning to recognize and comment on it. Responding to questions about Trump’s taped admission of sexual assault, his own wife, Melania, characterized him as a juvenile. She confessed to CNN’s Anderson Cooper that “I have two boys at home. I have my young son and I have my husband.” Her son Barron is ten years old. If Melania thinks her husband has the emotional maturity of a pre-teen, we may want to respect her opinion.

Last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Bill O’Reilly offered his advice to his good friend Donald. He strongly urged him to “Stop whining.” O’Reilly said that Trump “should have a little buzzer for whenever he whines.” “Like one of those shock collars you get for your dog,” Colbert added.

This morning President Obama joined in at a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. When asked a question about Trump’s wildly factless allegations of “rigged elections” and “voter fraud,” Obama defended the American tradition of “vigorous, sometimes bitter political contests,” that result in a peaceful transition of power. Then he added this:

“It doesn’t really show the kind of leadership and toughness that you’d want out of a president. You start whining before the game is even over? Then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job. So I’d advise Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.”

Good luck with that. Trump is a candidate who whines on auto-pilot. He whines about what he regards as mistreatment by the GOP. And he whines when voters reject him and belittles them for not recognizing his awesomeness. He whines about how awful America is. Then he whines about the media that aired his ranting stump speeches uninterrupted more than any other candidate.

Virtually everything about Trump screams infantile. He calls his rivals liars and cheaters and pussies. He calls critics dummies and losers. Then he points fingers at others saying that they started it. He brags about his alleged (and unlikely) phallic endowment. It’s just a matter of time before he rails against his enemies as poopyheads who smell funny. He doesn’t seem to have matured past the third-grade level (literally with regard to his speeches).

But most telling is what Trump actually says about himself. In an interview in August of 2015, Trump was asked about his tendency to whine. His response was to brag about it and declare himself to be “the most fabulous whiner.” He told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that:

“I am the most fabulous whiner. I do whine, because I want to win. I am a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win.”

Now, isn’t that what you want in a president? Just imagine how effective that will be with Vladimir Putin. And ISIS will surely surrender under the threat of a sustained whine offensive. It might work best on Congress where many of Trump’s fellow Republicans have endorsed him and his tactics. So look for more whining from The Donald as Election Day nears, and especially in the days after. But be prepared for a nuclear blast of whine when he realizes that he lost.

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

Watch Trump boast about what an awesome whiner he is.

Speechwriter Exposes Trump Camp’s Lies About Melania’s Plagiarized Speech

The controversy over Melania Trump’s plagiarized speech at the Republican National Convention stubbornly refuses to go away. Following the initial revelation that several passages were blatantly lifted from a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama, Donald Trump’s defenders mobilized to deny reality and try to convince America that they could not believe their own eyes and ears.

Michelle Obama/Melania Trump

The Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort, dismissed it as being a coincidental collection of commonly used words. That was after he baselessly blamed it all on Hillary Clinton. Chris Christie excused it because only part of it was plagiarized. Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson complained that Michelle Obama thinks she “invented the English language.” RNC Spokesman Sean Spicer turned it back on Michelle Obama saying that she plagiarized My Little Pony. Trump Communications Director Jason Miller reduced it to “included fragments that reflected her own thinking.” The Trump people simultaneously said that Melania wrote the speech herself (which she told NBC’s Matt Laurer), but that any problems were the fault of her team of writers.

Today the speechwriter came forward with a totally new account of what happened. She released a letter on Trump Organization stationary (image below) taking the fall for the whole affair:

“My name is Meredith McIver and I’m an in-house staff writer at the Trump Organization. I am also a longtime friend and admirer of the Trump family.”

“In working with Melania Trump on her recent First Lady speech, we discussed many people who inspired her and messages she wanted to share with the American people. A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama. Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs. Obama’s speeches. This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant.”

So it turns out that the lines were indeed lifted from Obama’s speech after all. And it was Melania who did it. McIver is taking responsibility for not checking Melania’s work. However, everyone on the Trump team who vociferously denied any remote possibility of plagiarism, even ridiculing the notion, are now exposed as either liars or fools.

McIver went on to say that she offered Trump her resignation, but that he refused to accept it saying that “people make innocent mistakes.” This was an “innocent mistake” that made Melania look awful in her national coming out, and resulted in two days of distractions from the whatever messages Trump was hoping to convey at the convention. (That may be a blessing in disguise considering the fright-fest that Trump put on yesterday). And in the end, Trump thinks it was all a positive development:

Almost as significant as the admission that the speech was plagiarized is the discovery that Michelle Obama is “A person [Melania] has always liked.” That may not sit well with a crowd that regards the Obamas as foreign interlopers bent on destroying America. For the record, Donald Trump was also a big fan of Obama at one time, as he wrote in his book “Think Like A Champion.”

Apparently Melania et al couldn’t find any Republican women who expressed the same values that Michelle did. But stealing lines from a historic speech is a funny way of showing your admiration. And that’s why this episode remains significant. It demonstrates that Trump’s fabled management skills are just another fraudulent PR scam. This speech would have to have been reviewed by numerous people before allowing the candidate’s wife to take it out onto the stage. But they couldn’t handle something as simple as sourcing a speech. And Trump’s want’s us to trust him with the nuclear codes?

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

McIver Letter