Lie of the Year: Pathological Liar Trump 3-Peats as PolitiFact’s Foremost Fibber for 2019

Donald Trump likes to boast about imaginary achievements that he pretends to have accomplished. No, he has not built any new border wall. Nor has he presided over the best economy ever, or rebuilt a crumbling military, or completed any new trade treaties, or destroyed ISIS, or fulfilled any of the other fallacies he spews to his Deplorables. But there is one thing he can honestly brag about.

Trump Lies

For the third time, Trump has been awarded the un-coveted “Lie of the Year” from PolitiFact. It was a competitive year in which Trump was vying against … well, mostly himself. But he couldn’t possibly find a more formidable opponent. After all, he has the distinction of having been documented for telling more than 15,000 lies since he took office.

Trump previously won PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” in 2015 for his collective campaign “misstatements.” Then again in 2017, for his repeated denials of Russia’s interference in the presidential election. In 2016 PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year went to “Fake News,” so you might say that Trump deserved a share of that as well. But the falsehood that took the dishonors this year was his brazenly untrue and incessantly repeated assertion that “the whistleblower got my phone conversation with Ukraine almost completely wrong.”

As the detailed analysis by PolitiFact shows, the whistleblower actually got Trump’s phone conversation completely right in every respect. Trump never even tried to cite whatever inaccuracies he purported to see. He simply cried “fake news” and relied on the willful blindness of his supporters to believe him.

However, the enormity of this lie is magnified by the fact that Trump himself actually admitted to doing what the whistleblower alleged. Responding to a reporter’s question about what he wanted from Ukrainian President Zelensky during the phone call, Trump said that “It’s a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens.” What’s more, Trump’s chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, also confessed to a quid pro quo from the podium of the White House press office.

And if that isn’t enough, the transcript that Trump is constantly berating everyone to read quotes Trump plainly affirming the whistleblower by conditioning military aid on Zelensky’s help to smear Joe Biden. “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution,” Trump extorted, “So if you can look into it.” Which is the core allegation by the whistleblower.

So the Trump provided “transcript,” his chief of staff, and his own words, attest to the accuracy of the whistleblower’s complaint. Nevertheless, Trump has denied that obvious truth more than 80 times. And his persistence has paid off, at least with the glassy-eyed members of his cult who faithfully attend his rallies. The Daily Show’s Jordan Klepper proved that by asking the StormTrumpers if they had read the “transcript.” Not a single one said that they had. And even with repeated prodding, they couldn’t grasp why that was so hysterically hypocritical.

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

WRONG! Trump Lies that Ukraine President Said He Did Nothing Wrong

On Monday morning Donald Trump whisked off to London for a summit with NATO, the international alliance that he repeatedly disparages. That is, at least, when he isn’t shilling for Vladimir Putin and Russia to be admitted into the group that was formed to counter the hostile intentions of Russia.

Donald Trump Impeach Fearful

Prior to his departure, Trump felt it was necessary to whine some more about the impeachment proceedings in Congress. These are the proceedings that he said were unfair because they weren’t public. Then he complained when they became public. And he was furious that he wasn’t allowed to participate. But he is now refusing to accept an invitation to participate.

Trump is obviously afraid to appear under oath before the Judiciary Committee because he knows that if he tells the truth he is likely to further incriminate himself. But if he lies he’s committing perjury. So his only recourse is to tweet from the safety of his bedroom. And that’s what he did several times, addressing a new interview by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Trump said exonerates him:

It will not surprise most people that Trump is lying. He simply made up this assertion that Zelensky said he “has done nothing wrong.” In fact, Zelensky said quite the opposite:

“Look, I never talked to the president from the position of a quid pro quo,” Zelenskiy told Time and a handful of European publications in an interview published Monday. “That’s not my thing. … I don’t want us to look like beggars. But you have to understand. We’re at war. If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us. I think that’s just about fairness. It’s not about a quid pro quo. It just goes without saying.”

Trump zoned in on Zelensky’s comment that he never talked about a quid pro quo. But it’s clear that his meaning was that he didn’t want to portray his dealings with Trump as subservient. His complete statement in context shows that he was plainly concerned about Trump’s threat to “block” critical military aid, and that it doesn’t matter what you call the arrangement, it “goes without saying” that the aid and Ukraine’s concessions to Trump were inextricably intertwined.

However, that didn’t stop Trump from lying about Zelensky’s comments. He has been saying for months that there was no quid pro quo. Which is odd considering that his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said there was. Even more damning, Trump actually admitted that there was indeed a quid pro quo on national television:

REPORTER: Mr. President, what exactly did you hope Zelensky would do about the Bidens after your phone call? Exactly.

TRUMP: I would think that if they’re honest about it they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens. It’s a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens.

It is truly mind boggling that there is anyone who still believes anything that Trump says. He lies with the reckless abandon of sociopathic con man. He even lies about the lies he told a few days, or even hours, before. Even one of his staunchest defenders on Fox News, Tucker Carlson, recently called Trump a full-blown BS artist.” And that’s coming from someone who knows Trump well, and whose job relies on intimate knowledge of bullshitting.

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

Trump’s Retreat on Hosting the G7 at Doral Exposes His Inherent Corruption and Weakness

One of the key characteristics that Donald Trump has tried hard to impress on the public is that he is a strong man (a strongman?) who will not bend to pressure. To that end he doubles and triples down on his most ludicrous rhetoric and policies, he refuses to ever concede that he’s wrong, and he hails is own wisdom and superiority over virtually everyone. But that conceit often ends up with Trump drowning in his own flop sweat.

Donald Trump Sweating

Returning to reality, Trump’s actual record paints a picture of a much weaker man with barely any observable conviction to anything. He reverses himself regularly, sometimes in the space of a single sentence, denying something he just finished saying. And the controversy over his recent decision to line his own pockets by hosting the 2020 G7 summit at his own bedbug infested Doral golf resort is another example of the fallacies embedded in his wholly manufactured persona.

Less than a week ago, Trump sent his Chief of Shill, Mick Mulvaney, out to announce and defend Trump’s intention to violate the Constitution by directing business to his own property and collect payments from foreign governments. It didn’t go well. Mulvaney was grilled by reporters who understood that what he was proposing was illegal. And the pushback from both politicians and the press was immediate and brutal. Consequently, Trump flip-flopped and declared that Doral would not be the site for the next G7 meeting.

Trump made this U-turn on Twitter (of course) in an historic 3-tweet retreat. And what it told us about him is significant and troubling.

First of all, while Trump will gladly take credit for anything he regards as positive, even when he’s had nothing to do with it, he is notably unable to take responsibility for any of his own failures. So he cast this G7/Doral debacle as being the fault of “Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility.” If you take him at his word (never a smart move), there’s a notable confession in that blame-letting. He is ostensibly admitting that he had to back down because the media and the Democrats are stronger than he is. That’s not the image that he generally pretends to put forward.

In reality, Trump caved because his nannies were able to convince him that openly breaching constitutional law isn’t a good idea, especially when you’re being impeached. Trump didn’t bow to the media or the Democrats. He bowed to Fox News, his motley crue of lawyers, and his fellow Republicans, who were in open revolt on this as well as Trump’s disasters in Syria and Ukraine. They all surely told him that he’d lose this battle so he abruptly surrendered. But he impotently threw little pebbles at his perceived enemies as he ran away.

In addition to his about-face on the hosting, Trump’s tweets managed to include a blatantly crass infomercial for his Miami golf club. He described it as “big [and] grand,” and with “tremendous ballrooms.” And he maligned virtually every other American hotel and conference center by bragging that his is “better than other alternatives.” You have to wonder what the rest of the hospitality industry must have been thinking. But leave it to Trump to use his defeat as a wholly inappropriate opportunity to promote his business. And Mulvaney even told Chris Wallace of Fox News that Trump “still considers himself to be in the hospitality business.”

Trump also exploited this affair to promote himself (surprise). He tweeted that he thought he was “doing something very good for our Country” by unlawfully enriching himself. And he praised his selfless sense of charity for offering up his resort “at NO PROFIT or, if legally permissible, at ZERO COST to the USA.” Of course, this deal would have brought Doral millions of dollars that would have rescued the failing resort, particularly during the summer months when no one is visiting Florida and his club is mostly vacant. And that isn’t even counting the promotional benefit.

No matter how you slice it, Trump is guilty of improper financial self-dealing. He was guilty before this, and he’s guilty now. Just because this deal didn’t go through doesn’t mean Trump didn’t set out to break the law. If you plot to rob a bank, but when you get there the security guard stops you, you’re still a bank robber. So despite his walk-back, Trump’s actions are still condemnable and impeachable. And he must be held accountable to the full extent of the law for this as well as the multitude of other impeachable crimes he’s committed.

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.

Fox News Politics Editor on Trump Holding the G7 at Doral: It’s Beyond My Imagination

As if there weren’t enough going on in the world today, Donald Trump had his Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, hold a press conference to make a couple of important announcements. One turned out to be an admission that Trump did engage in a quid pro quo with the Ukrainian president. The other was an announcement that the G7 Meeting for 2020 will be held at his own Trump National Doral Golf Club in Miami.

Trump Baby on Cash Pile

Apparently Trump has stopped caring about even the appearance of impropriety as he mocks the Congress and the American people with his shamelessly self-dealing and contempt for the Constitution.

Trump originally suggested his bedbug infested Doral resort at the close of the last G7. And that didn’t go well. But Trump’s disrespect for even the most basic expressions of ethics is painfully obvious. It’s as if he wants you to know that he’s a barefaced grifter and is daring you to do something about it. He’s rubbing his depraved corruption in our faces and laughing as he believes that he’ll get away with this, or any other immoral misconduct he might conceive.

But Trump may be in for a surprise. The first take on this by Fox News was by their digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt (video below). When he was asked about the decision to use Doral he replied with a sense of amazement…

“I got to tell you, the idea that this administration, dealing with what this administration is dealing with, right? A lot. You’ve got the unraveling in Syria. You’ve got the march toward Trump impeachment here at home. A breaking news story every day. The world is on fire.

“Why? It is beyond my imagination […] That is an unnecessary problem to create for himself. But then the next step, today. To do it now and do it in this way. I just wish I could think of a good reason for it.”

From Trump’s perspective, there may be more than one good reason for it. First, it makes him richer. Second, it promotes his brand worldwide. Third, it kicks sand in the face of his critics, including the media. And fourth, it serves as a distraction from the other atrocities he’s currently involved with.

The other countries in the G7 should seriously consider declining to attend this fraud. They should all agree to meet somewhere else, like maybe Greenland, the country Trump thought he could buy. And the hospitality industry should protest loudly. By selecting his own failing property, Trump is effectively saying that there is no other hotel or convention facility in all of America that is suitable to host this event. That, of course, isn’t true. But Trump’s putrid greed is sending that message to the nation and the world.

What will be truly unbelievable is if Congress let’s Trump get away with this. They have the right and the duty to review this decision and impose some measure ethical standards on this president whose morality has gone rogue. They need to take action and rein in contemptuous behavior. If not just because it is so flagrantly wrong, but to also make it clear that he can not run roughshod over the law and the American people who he plainly despises.

UPDATE: Trump’s “handlers” apparently managed to convince him that violating the Constitution by directing business to his own property was a bad idea. So Trump has withdrawn his intention to hold the 2020 G7 summit at Doral. Naturally, he blamed his backtracking on the “Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility because he’s too big a wimp to take responsibility. And the recidivist grifter turned his 3-tweet retreat into an infomercial for his bedbug infested golf dump and exalted his would-be – and imaginary – charitableness.

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

Self-Abuse? Trump Promised to Release His Taxes, Now Calls Requests ‘An Abuse of Power’

The still simmering controversy over whether or not Donald Trump should release his tax returns is emblematic of the march toward Idiocracy by the Trump administration, his cult following, and his State TV affiliate, Fox News. The arguments made by the tax suppressors are an affront to logic and democracy. In other words, quintessentially Trumpian.

Donald Trump

The first and foremost point to be made is that Trump himself promised to release his tax returns prior to the election saying that “I’ll produce my tax returns, absolutely. And I would love to do that.” He never delivered on that promise of transparency that every presidential candidate for the past forty years has complied with.

Trump’s original breach of his pledge was an invented excuse that he couldn’t release his taxes because he was being audited. Let’s set aside the fact that there is no evidence of any such audit taking place. More to the point, the IRS does not prohibit – or even care – if a taxpayer chooses to release their own tax returns during an audit. And it wouldn’t affect the audit in any way. After all, the IRS already has that data, so there wouldn’t be any surprise disclosure. How could a public release change anything?

Now Trump is whining about efforts by Democrats in Congress to acquire his tax returns as part of their constitutional oversight responsibilities. And his complaint is typically broiled in hyperbole. He is accusing Democrats of “a gross abuse of power.” In fact, they are performing their duties in conjunction with all applicable laws. And there is a glaring need to probe Trump’s finances given all of the evidence of corruption in his businesses and political activities.

What’s more, Trump is exacerbating the suspicions that surround him by being so evasive and adamant that his taxes remain secret. There is a distinct odor of criminality and consciousness of guilt. What is he struggling so hard to conceal? His “acting” chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, was on Fox News Sunday morning and participated in this exchange with anchor Bill Hemmer:

Hemmer: To be clear, you believe Democrats will never see the President’s tax returns?
Mulvaney: Oh no, never. Nor should they. Keep in mind that that’s an issue that was already litigated during the election. Voters knew the President could’ve given his tax returns, they knew that he didn’t, and they elected him anyway.

To be clear, Trump told voters that he would “absolutely” release his taxes, he lied, and a minority of voters elected him anyway via the fatally flawed Electoral College. And it’s the American people, not just the Democrats in Congress, that Trump is most worried about, prompting his obsession with preventing them from seeing the shady dealings in his tax returns.

Trump frequently takes both sides of any issue he addresses. That’s mostly because he doesn’t understand anything and forgets what lies he told previously, or finds a new lie more advantageous at the moment. For instance, his initial assertion that he welcomed the release of the full report by special counsel Robert Mueller, and later dismissing it as an illegal hoax. But for him to call requests for his taxes a “gross abuse of power,” after vowing to release them himself, suggests that he was engaging in a perverse act of self-abuse when he made his initial promise. Democrats now are only asking that he keep his word. Which, based on his prior record, may be way too much to hope for.

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

Fox News Badgers Trump’s Chief of Staff Mulvaney to Take Even More Extreme Positions on the Wall

It’s day seven of the Trump Shutdown, and Fox News is determined to hold Trump’s feet to the fire. Not for his responsibility for creating this havoc and hurting hundreds of thousands of Americans. But to insure that he doesn’t bend on the radical principles that Fox News holds dear.

Fox News, Donald Trump Baby

On Friday morning Fox and Friends interviewed Trump’s Acting (one of many) Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney (video below). For the most part it was a friendly get together among like-minded Trump shills. However, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes were fired up over the possibility that the President might commit the unforgivable crime of compromising with Democrats in Congress.

Mulvaney tried repeatedly to characterize the Democrats as having “left Washington” to avoid the debate on Trump’s idiotic and useless vanity wall. But this Congress is still run by Republicans. They control whether the Congress stays in session or not. And it is Republicans who made the decision to stop working until next year. Democrats had no say in the matter.

Yet Mulvaney still accused Nancy Pelosi of orchestrating the shutdown and leaving town because she doesn’t want to appear weak. That’s a classic case of projection when it’s Trump who is transparently afraid of looking weak in the eyes of Fox News. Both houses of Congress had previously agreed on funding bills to keep the government of open. But then Trump was triggered by Fox News reports that he was breaking his promise to build a wall. And even though he also promised that Mexico would pay for it, he still felt it necessary to punish American taxpayers by shutting down the government.

What stood out in the interview was the ferocity of the Foxies in pushing Mulvaney to take ever more extreme positions on the wall and the shutdown created to force it down the nation’s throat. Here are the questions that Mulvaney was hectored with by the Fox crew::

Pete Hegseth: He says he’ll close it all down because of these ridiculous immigration laws. Is he willing to go that far?

Mulvaney replied that Trump is willing to go all the way. We’ll see. But it was predictable that the first question was so full of anti-immigrant bias.

Hegseth: It was $25 billion dollars was possibly on the table. Now it’s five […] Mr. Mulvaney, a lot of Trump supporters feel like five is already a compromise, $5 billion. So to now float out there $2.5, $2.7, wouldn’t that look like a cave on this key issue.

Mulvaney surprisingly admitted that the $25 billion figure was “smoke and mirrors.” And the only real “cave” here is Trump to Fox News.

Griff Jenkins: Hold on. The American people wanted a wall. What deal then now is President Trump willing to accept that is anything short of that wall?

According to Mulvaney, nothing. “That’s why the government is closed.” As for what the American people want, a new poll by Reuters/Ipsos shows that only thirty-five percent said they backed including money for the wall in a congressional spending bill. And only twenty-five percent said they supported Trump shutting down the government for it.

Rachel Campos-Duffy: But let me ask this. We’re talking about money – $5 billion, $1.5 billion, $2.7 billion. Why isn’t there other things on the table? DACA for example. Is that being negotiated?

Mulvaney said that it is, but there’s no evidence of that from the White House. Plus it would be atrocious for Trump to exploit DACA applicants as bargaining chips for a wall nobody wants (even though he’s done that before).

Hegseth: Mr. Director, Nancy Pelosi calls the wall immoral ineffective, and expensive. We know it’s effective. We know $5 billion is not expensive in Washington dollars. In taxpayer real dollars we know it is. But the morality of it. Tell that to the family of Corporal Singh. Tell that to the family of Kate Steinle. The moral thing to do is to keep it shut down until you get a wall. Trump supporters are going to expect that. How attuned are you to the reality that a compromise that makes it look like Republicans are cavin’ again – Here we go. Democrats always … No. That is a real thing that has to be factored in.

Mulvaney insists that “We’re not compromising.” But this question was loaded with bigotry and lies. There are no credible experts that believe the wall would be effective. Most undocumented immigrants came legally through border checkpoints. And by raising the Singh and Steinle issues, Hegseth is once again implying that all immigrants are potentially murderers. The facts show that immigrants commit crimes a lower rates than American-born citizens. So Hegseth shouldn’t be talking about “the moral thing to do,” especially since he opposes all reasonable gun reforms to prevent the massacres of American citizens by American citizens.

Hegseth: The President’s floated the nuclear option. Is that a possibility in the Senate?

“I wish all options were open,” said Mulvaney. But even Mitch McConnell has ruled this out.

Campos-Duffy: If he’s there, why doesn’t he do an Oval Office address? […] Why isn’t he using all the tools at his disposal?

On this Mulvaney fired back saying that Trump knows what he’s doing, and how to do it, better than they do. Because Dear Leader is infallible and only wants to protect his weak and frightened children.

And that’s what passes for a fair and balanced interview on Fox News. The program’s hosts badger their guest with opinionated viewpoints aimed at pushing him toward their radical perspectives. And the guest complies with answers that feed right into the craziness of their right-wing agenda. But in the end none of this matters because Trump will only tweet something that contradicts them and himself and makes no sense. And his glassy-eyed cult followers will lap it up like gruel and be grateful for whatever morsels he tosses to them.

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

Donald Trump’s Reality TV Presidency: Defense Secretary is the Latest ‘Acting’ Cabinet Official

With all of the controversy and melodrama that emanates daily from the historically chaotic White House of Donald Trump, it’s easy to forget his humble beginnings as the host of a reality TV game show. That was not a recreational pastime for a bored billionaire. It was his job for fourteen years. A real billionaire wouldn’t have had the time for that.


As president Trump has transferred his experience in television playacting to his new job in Washington. And it’s painfully obvious that his skills are utterly inappropriate for his new duties. He spends most of his time watching TV (Fox News) and conducting made-for-the-camera photo-ops with bill signings and human props. His press conferences are a circus wherein he replaces substantive dialogue with insults and rambling incoherence.

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Trump runs the White House like he would a fictional sitcom about a bumbling chief executive. Many of his senior staffers were actually recruited from television (again, Fox News), and most have little experience for the assignments they’re given. His Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications is the disgraced former president of Fox News, Bill Shine.

On Sunday morning Trump Announced the latest recipient of his “rose” for a critical post in his cabinet. He is making Patrick Shanahan the “Acting” Secretary of Defense. This follows the resignation of Gen. James Mattis, whose departure was motivated by Trump’s recklessness and ignorance. Mattis advised the President that his resignation would be effective February 28, 2019. But now, in a fit of pettiness and ego-pacification, Trump is moving that up to December 31.

What’s more troubling is Trump’s newfound compulsion to replace permanent, senate-confirmed cabinet officials with unqualified “Acting” stand-ins for the real thing. Currently serving in Trump’s pretend regime are an “Acting” Chief of Staff (Mick Mulvaney), Attorney General (Matthew Whitaker), EPA Director (Andrew Wheeler), Interior Secretary (David Bernhardt), and now Shanahan as Acting Secretary of Defense. All to serve our Reality TV Acting “President.”

This means that nearly twenty percent of the President’s cabinet is serving in an “acting” capacity. They have not been vetted or confirmed by the Senate as required by law. The reasons for this include Trump’s lack of knowledge of the sort of qualified people to fill these positions. Also problematic for Trump is the fact that qualified nominees don’t want to get anywhere near this president or his defective, criminally-tainted White House.

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

So now America is stuck with third rate understudies for governing officials who are likely to be merely surrogates for Trump’s dementia. Mulvaney as chief of staff is the perfect example of that. He’s a rabidly partisan Republican Nationalist who slobbers over Trump now even though he called him a terrible human being just two days before the election. We have to wonder when the country will have competent leadership again that is serving in accordance with the law. But that will probably have to wait until the law catches up with Trump and ousts him from the office he stole with the help of his Russian comrades.

Trump Shill: If You Get Your News From Fox News You Probably Like the GOP Tax Scam

Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress are hurtling headlong into passage of tax bill that will materially alter the tax code in ways that harm most Americans. It is flagrantly biased in favor of corporations and the wealthy with toxic provisions that will sabotage healthcare and cripple Social Security and Medicare. The GOP refused to hold hearings on the bill or even allow Democrats to review it prior to voting. Much of it was written by corporate lobbyists. And without any justification for their haste, Republicans are ramming it through before the already strong opposition becomes impossible to ignore.

foxnews-mulvaney

As usual, whenever Republicans require a boost in propaganda they turn to Fox News. They know that they can present whatever bullshit they want and that there will be no one to challenge their lies. They took advantage of that Thursday morning when they sent Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, to the studios of Fox and Friends to pimp the tax bill. He received precisely the welcome that he expected as co-host Steve Doocy offered up a softball for Mulvaney to hit out of the park. Surprisingly, Mulvaney took a wild swing that landed in foul territory (video below):

Doocy: People don’t like to pay taxes so you would think that this would be a good story for you. And yet, Mick, the Quinnipiac poll came out and shows that fifty-five percent of Americans don’t like it, as opposed to twenty-six percent who do. Can you explain to me why people don’t like the idea of a tax cut?
Mulvaney: Sure, because if you turn to any channel besides this one, all you’re going to hear is bad news about this particular bill. […] No one is focusing, as you folks do, on what’s good for people in this bill. So if you get your news here, you probably like it because your focused on what’s good for you. But if not, you don’t.

So the only reason Mulvaney had for people not liking the bill was that they weren’t watching enough Fox News. Or worse, they drifted from their “news” teet at Fox and were exposed to actual facts and honest scrutiny. Doocy was taking a chance by citing the Quinnipiac poll which he correctly quoted as showing a historic disapproval rating, especially for something being pitched as a tax cut. The poll provided an explanation for that which Fox News left out entirely. Nearly seventy percent of those polled said the bill favors the wealthy and only twenty-one percent think that it will help the middle class. In other words, people can see through the GOP spin and recognize a fraud when it’s right in front of their faces.

However, what was most interesting about Mulvaney’s response was that he explicitly admitted that Fox News was a pit of partisan bias where viewers would get only the conservative perspective peddled by the White House. He praised the “Curvy Couch” potatoes for being sycophantic hucksters upon whom he could rely to spew the government line. Just like state-run TV outlets are supposed to do. Heaven forbid that the American people might ever get an unbiased analysis of this bill that contained actual facts derived from independent experts. That isn’t what Fox News was created for, and it surely isn’t what they did this morning. Welcome to the American Pravda, now proudly out of the propaganda closet.

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