Trump Interrupts His Empty Schedule to Whine About the Mueller Report, Witch Hunt

With Hurricane Dorian closing in on the Atlantic coast, and mass shooting victims still recovering in Texas, and an economy that’s teetering on the brink of recession, any other president would be exceedingly busy on this post-Labor Day Tuesday. But Donald Trump is apparently so idle that he’s spending his day hate-tweeting the mayor of London and threatening to escalate the trade war with China.

Donald Trump, Witch Hunt

Having already played several rounds of golf while pretending to be “monitoring” the hurricane, Trump has little else to do but watch Fox News and post incoherent tweets. It’s not like he’d actually do any presidential work. And among the Twitter tantrums he posted Tuesday was one that seems foolishly unnecessary from his perspective:

Why would Trump want to reignite an issue that has been dormant in the news cycle for several weeks? What he robotically refers to as a “Witch Hunt” has caused significant damage to his polling status. Even his favorite pollster, the ultra-biased Rasmussen, recently put him near his lows for the year. That’s primarily because very few other Americans think that it’s a Witch Hunt. In fact, most polls show that voters favor an impeachment inquiry and hold special counsel Robert Mueller in high esteem. Mueller’s congressional testimony confirmed that Trump had “welcomed and encouraged” Russian help during his campaign, and that he committed numerous acts of obstruction of justice to cover that up. Even the Senior Legal Analyst at Fox News said so.

And yet, Trump is now tweeting about the Mueller Report and a witch Hunt that might otherwise have not been at the forefront of the public’s mind. But for the reminder of his “No Collusion, No Obstruction” mantra, some folks might have forgotten. But now, thanks to Trump it’s top of the news again.

Trump’s tweet appears to have been triggered by the Justice Department’s Inspector General’s report about former FBI Director James Comey. However, Trump has been flagrantly lying about that for weeks. Not only did it not reveal “a giant and illegal SCAM,” it actually found that there was no violation of any law whatsoever.

Trump also used this tweet to the beseech the House of Representatives to “get back to work on drug prices, healthcare, [and] infrastructure.” Which is funny because the Democratically-controlled House has already passed bills on those matters (and many others, 200+ in all), but the Republican-controlled Senate has failed to act on a single one. So it’s Trump’s pal Mitch McConnell who needs the kick in the pants.

In the end, Trump has managed to get everything wrong in this tweet, but still performed a public service. Because while there are always issues competing for the attention of the American mind, the matter of Trump’s unsavory association with Vladimir Putin, and the assault on our democratic election, should never be swept under the rug with all of the other Trump atrocities. That rug is already too lumpy to walk on. And thanks to Trump’s boredom and his inability to keep his mouth shut for two minutes, this important issue is once again in the headlines.

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

Trump is Terrified That He’s Losing the Senate, Paving the Way for Impeachment

The best gauge of what Donald Trump’s paranoid, narcissistic mind is obsessed with at any given moment is his frantic and self-serving Twitter feed. Trump has no ability to give thoughtful consideration to what he tweets. He simply lets his innermost anxieties gush like a busted fire hydrant spewing unrestrained panic.

Donald Trump Impeach

On Saturday morning Trump was at Camp David where he said he was monitoring the approaching Hurricane Dorian as it lumbers toward Florida. Trump had canceled a previously scheduled diplomatic mission to Poland allegedly to manage preparations for the hurricane. However, he has already left Camp David for a golf outing in Virginia. But even prior to that he was paying much more attention to Twitter than to the weather forecast.

Trump’s tweets covered a couple predictable subjects that had to do with his obsession over former FBI Director James Comey, who he fired two years ago, and the firing of his personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, yesterday. Not surprisingly, Trump lied about Comey releasing classified documents, which his own Justice Department’s Inspector General said didn’t happen. And he threatened Westerhout with a lawsuit if she violated an alleged non-disclosure agreement. Of course, Trump cannot enforce any such agreement for White House staff because they don’t work for him. They work for the United States government.

However, Something else was consuming Trump’s pitifully limited attention span, and it exploded all over his Twitter feed. There were twenty-five (25!) tweets or retweets of Senate Republicans, along with Trump’s compliments and vague, insincere flattery. That’s an astonishingly large quantity of tweets by Trump on a subject that isn’t himself. So what might have triggered this uncharacteristic outburst of political angst?

Clearly Trump’s advisors are warning him of the harsh environment he’s facing in the upcoming election of 2020. His favorite pollster, Rasmussen, recently placed his favorability near his lows for the year. And even a Fox News poll shows him losing to every one of the top Democratic candidates.

The picture isn’t any better for the Republicans in the Senate. Next year they will have twenty-two incumbents on the ballot (including GOP Leader Mitch McConnell), compared with only twelve for the Democrats. And with people like Cory Gardner of Colorado, Susan Collins of Maine, and Martha McSally of Arizona, struggling to stay competitive, the odds of Democrats winning the majority in the Senate are increasingly likely.

Should that happen Mitch McConnell would no longer have the tyrannical hold on the upper body that he has been abusing for years. The 200+ bills passed in the Democratically-controlled House of Representatives would finally get a vote in the Senate. But most foreboding from Trump’s perspective is that there would no longer be any partisan protection from a possible impeachment. And if there is strong Blue Wave sweeping the GOP out of Congress, the remaining members might actually be concerned enough about their own futures to take Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors seriously.

Even before the 2020 election, GOP senators who see the oncoming trainwreck might start to drift away from Trump in order to save themselves. Even if that means throwing him overboard. Consequently, Trump is lavishing attention and praise on the Republican senators he has for the most part ignored or treated as lackeys whose only purpose was to serve him. He now needs to gain their support and demonstrate that he’s willing to work harder for their reelection. Not because he really cares about either their political fate or even their agenda. But because he fears the consequences for himself without the safety net they provide.

Unfortunately for Trump, it’s too late for this selfish strategy to work. Anyone who supports Trump is already planning to vote the Republican line. He has no ability to attract new voters. In fact, he’s so polarizing that his presence will probably scare more voters away. So the desperation he’s showing with this tweetstorm is actually good news for Democrats and other patriotic Americans who are anxious to see Trump impeached. His overt expression of fear shows that he’s truly concerned that there’s a real possibility that he will be removed from office and prosecuted for his wrongdoings and betrayal. And for once, he’s right.

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

With 34 Dead, Fox News Focuses on the Real Problem: Democrats Using Naughty Words

The United States just suffered through an extraordinarily painful week that saw its citizens being slaughtered by gun violence from California to Texas to Ohio. These were the 249th, 250th, and 251st mass shootings in year that is only 217 days old. The nation is sick with grief and fear. And the situation wasn’t helped much by a presidential address wherein Donald Trump promised nothing and shifted blame.

Fox News, Donald Trump Profanity

As the sorrowful stories of the victims and their families flow out, the media is generally engaged in expressions of sympathy and efforts to keep the public informed as details about the incidents and perpetrators continue to unfold. Well, most of the media. But over on the Fox News website Monday afternoon, the headline story was a curious and callous exploration of what Fox apparently thinks deserves top billing during this crisis. The headline reads: “2020 Dems unleash profane attacks on Trump, Republicans over mass shootings.”

That’s right. Fox News is headlining the use of naughty words by Democrats who were reacting to tragedies in a manner that most people would consider human. But to Fox this was more worrisome than anything else related to the horrific events of the past week, or any other news story.

The examples of egregious expletives included Sen. Cory Booker saying that Trump’s White House speech was “Such a bulls—t soup of ineffective words.” And then there was Rep. Tim Ryan saying that “Mitch McConnell needs to get off his a– and do something,” and that “Republicans need to get their s— together and stop pandering to the NRA.” Finally, Fox News caught Beto O’Rourke admonishing the press for not recognizing Trump’s complicity in inciting violence by telling them that “You know the s— he’s been saying. […] Members of the press, what the f—?”

The article does at least note that the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 back in February, but that GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring it up for a vote. Trump also ignored this in his morning speech. However, the article’s obsession with the potty mouthed Democrats failed to criticize Trump, who has distinguished himself as the most vulgar person to ever serve as an American president.

Apparently uncensored expressions of outrage and pain when Americans are massacred in the streets is intolerable to the folks at Fox News. But it’s fine with them if the President lashes out with profanities mainly intended as childish insults aimed at his critics and opponents. For the record, this segment from MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber contains a brief video compilation of Trump’s X-rated rhetoric:

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

Stuperbowl Interview: Dotard Trump Talking About ‘Intelligence’ is Downright Frightening

It’s Superbowl Sunday and the annual tradition of having the president give an interview to the network broadcasting the game is one of the few that Trump isn’t scrapping. Never mind that he recently told his press secretary “not to bother” with holding daily press briefings anymore. Trump agreed to sit down with Margaret Brennan of CBS News for a few minutes of lying and casting insults.

Donald Trump, Padded Cell

Among the atrocious outbursts in this interview were Trump’s remarks about what he had learned from negotiating with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. His unresponsive reply was that she “doesn’t mind human trafficking,” and that “people [are] dying all over the country because of” her. Apparently he learned nothing as he stuck to his routinely hostile behavior of slandering his perceived enemies. But his childish acting out is evidence that he learned what he feels like to get beat to a pulp by a smarter, more experienced political opponent.

Trump also made some ludicrous assertions like claiming that the report by special counsel Robert Mueller exonerated him (Mueller has not published any report). And he admitted that stories about Secretary of State Pompeo talking to Mitch McConnell about running the Senate were true just seconds after calling them “fake news.” Then he characterized the fact that much of his cabinet consists of people serving in an “acting” capacity as a good thing because it gives him more flexibility. It also gives the nation a bunch of hacks who have never been vetted or confirmed by the Senate as the law requires. And he said that his indicted pal Roger Stone never worked for his campaign except for the time that he did.

There were a great many more examples of Trump’s deranged take on a variety of subjects. But perhaps the most disconcerting were those related to national security and his relationship with his own Intelligence team. When asked if reads the reports they prepare for him, Trump said that he did. But his responses revealed that that wasn’t true. Brennan asked him what he found wrong with those reports, and Trump gave this disjointed word salad of a reply: “I think- let me just say it wasn’t so much a report. It was the questions and answers as the report was submitted and they were asked questions and answers.”

HUH? They were asked questions AND answers in this report that wasn’t a report? He went on to provide provably false information about the presence of ISIS in Syria, saying they were ninety-nine percent gone. When Brennan pointed out that Republicans in Congress had just voted to repudiate his positions on abruptly withdrawing from Syria, Trump’s answer reached back to the GOP primary in 2016, where he bragged about beating the Republicans who ran against him. That, of course, had nothing to do with the question.

Shortly thereafter Brennan asked Trump if he is “going to trust the intelligence that you receive?” He gave a qualified “yes,” adding that “if they said in fact that Iran is a wonderful kindergarten, I disagree with them 100 percent.” No one ever said anything remotely like that. And in a direct rebuke of his Intelligence team, Trump said that:

“I have intel people, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree. President Bush had intel people that said Saddam Hussein in Iraq had nuclear weapons – had all sorts of weapons of mass destruction. Guess what? Those intel people didn’t know what the hell they were doing.”

Bush’s intel people told Bush exactly what he told them to say. They didn’t get it wrong. They lied at Bush’s direction. However, Trump is correct that he doesn’t have to agree with this Intel staff. But you have to wonder what the basis is for his disagreement. If he isn’t getting advice from them, from whom is he getting it? All we know is what he said next: “When my intelligence people tell me how wonderful Iran is – if you don’t mind, I’m going to just go by my own counsel.” So far as anyone can tell, Trump’s counsel is either Vladimir Putin or Fox News – or both.

Finally, Trump also dismissed the advice of his Intel team when they told him that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is unlikely to give up his nuclear capabilities. Trump disagreed on the basis of their personal relationship:

“I like him. I get along with him great. We have a fantastic chemistry. We have had tremendous correspondence that some people have seen and can’t even believe it. They think it’s historic. And we’ll see what happens.”

Seriously? Kim is a brutal dictator who murders his foes – even family members – and oppresses his people. But Trump gleefully brags about having “fantastic chemistry” with this tyrant? And this opinion comes long after their summit wherein Kim totally played Trump and has failed to deliver on anything they discussed at the time. In fact, Kim has actually expanded his nuclear facilities and arsenal.

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

The one thing that Kim has that Trump truly envies is the blind adulation of his people. And on that Trump openly expressed his desire for the same sort of cult worship from the American people. He isn’t going to get that. At the moment he is the most unpopular president of all time. And judging from recent events like his government shutdown and the arrest and indictment of his closest associates, that isn’t going to show much improvement any time soon.

Trump Mindlessly Parrots Fox News’ Lies About Democrats ‘Having Fun’ During the Shutdown

The relationship between Donald Trump and his State TV media handlers, Fox News, has been a disturbing component of his presidency since before it even began. Trump, after all, had a regularly scheduled weekly segment on Fox and Friends called “Mondays with Trump” for years before his candidacy. And since his election he has given the vast majority of his interviews (40+ so far) to Fox News. That includes his latest on Saturday night with “Judge” Jeanine Pirro wherein she asked him if he has ever worked for Russia, and he conspicuously failed to deny it.

Donald Trump Fox News

On Sunday morning Trump rose early and immediately began work – or at least what he regards as the work of a Reality TV president. He grabbed his phone, ascended to his porcelain throne, and composed this inspiring message for posterity:

Poor Donnie is once again whining about his lonely confinement to that big, old, drafty, White House. However, his version of events is perversely distorted. This week the Democrats in the House of Representatives passed several bills to fund the government that is currently in the midst of the Trump Shutdown – the longest, bestest shutdown ever. It is Republican Leader Mitch McConnell who refuses to call the Senate into session and allow a vote on those bills.

What’s more, contrary to Trump’s fictional account, most of the Democrats are in Washington working. But Trump, who is obviously paying more attention to Fox News than his presidential duties, found a story he could use to falsely malign Democrats as loafers. The article on Fox’s website is titled “Democrats At Play,” with a lede that says “As shutdown drags on, pols take chartered jet to Caribbean, see ‘Hamilton.'” So in that brief headline Fox crammed in a array of criticisms from their portrayal of this as recreation, to neglect of the shutdown, to elitist travel arrangements, to exotic locales, to exclusive theatrical events. Not bad.

The only problem is that none of that is true. The delegation consisted of members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. They were visiting a part of the United States that has recently suffered a catastrophic natural disaster to assess recovery progress. They were in constant contact with D.C. in the event there was a breakthrough in shutdown talks. And the performances of Hamilton were being staged to raise donations for local Puerto Rican organizations still struggling in wake of Hurricane Maria. Also, that chartered jet was laden with 250 pounds of donated medical supplies.

So that’s what Trump and Fox News are characterizing as a vacation with lobbyists on sun-drenched Caribbean beaches. Meanwhile, Trump continues to refuse to open the government, or to ask McConnell to hold a vote. He continues to threaten to declare a national emergency so that he can act out his tyrannical aspirations. It’s funny that this “emergency” is so lacking in urgency that Trump can posture over it for weeks as he seeks to make political points. It’s also funny that Republicans aren’t aghast at the prospect of setting a precedent that would permit a Democratic president to declare a national emergency to address healthcare or climate change – two very real crisis situations.

What isn’t funny is Trump’s disingenuously referencing that “people await their pay” as this shutdown drags on. He has proven that he couldn’t possibly care less with his comments about them “adjusting” or his administration’s advice that they barter with their landlords, or take up babysitting and dog-walking, to make ends meet. And he pours salt in the wounds by baselessly asserting that the suffering federal workers support his idiotic vanity wall. They don’t.

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

All Trump has to do is sign the funding bills that he previously agreed to sign, and that the GOP Senate passed unanimously. But instead, he chooses to obey the dictates of his masters at Fox News and regurgitate their callousness and lies on his Twitter feed for his Deplorable cult followers who will believe anything, except the actual facts that expose Trump as a narcissistic charlatan and a stooge for Russia.

Paying Tribute: Would Anyone in Trump’s Republican Party Be Remembered Like John McCain?

Saturday saw the passing of one of the most storied and respected members of Congress in this generation. John McCain was an irascible political pugilist who managed to nurture close friendships with almost everyone with whom he did battle. And he did battle with everyone. His maverick status may have been an overwrought marketing scheme, but he did have a tendency to skirt partisan divides more frequently than most of his colleagues.

Donald Trump John McCain

Consequently, he earned the respect, admiration, and affection of his congressional peers. The remembrances expressed in the past twenty-four hours have been uniquely non-partisan, especially by today’s Trumpian standards. Naturally, McCain’s passing brought out kind words and loving thoughts from Republicans who regard him as an elder statesman. But he has also been lauded with effusive praise by President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, and many more from the ranks of Democrats.

The tributes generally include recognition of his valiant and selfless service to the nation as a Navy officer and a public servant for more than thirty years. They cite his courage, integrity, honor, perseverance, collegiality, fairness, and above all, putting his principles and his country before himself or his party. And those saluting him specifically used those words to described his enduring legacy. The only prominent Republican who failed to do so was Donald Trump, whose curt tweet offered only obligatory condolences, but said nothing at all about the man or his life’s work.


Compare that to the more fully realized sentiments of the man who defeated McCain for the presidency:

All of these accolades may seem customary under the circumstances when a notable public figure meets his destiny. But on reflection, it’s hard to imagine the same measure of esteem being shown toward any of McCain’s GOP pals were they to expire. Does anyone think that Mitch McConnell would be eulogized with words like courage, integrity, or honor? What about Paul Ryan? Or Jim Jordan? Or Chuck Grassley? Or Kevin McCarthy? Or John Cornyn? Or Mike Pence? Or (do I have to say it) Donald Trump?

What ever one thinks of McCain’s politics, he actually does represent a bygone era of bipartisanship that the GOP has been chipping away at for years. And with the emergence of Trump, the demolition crew has really stepped up their efforts to shred whatever fragile veil of unity has managed to survive.

As a result, it may be a while before America sees another passing of a Republican who garners such near universal praise. Maybe some of the GOP leaders in Congress and elsewhere should start to think about their own legacies and whether they would like to be remembered as heroes or narrow minded zealots.

This applies especially to those who can look the other way as Trump exacerbates partisan divisions, incites racial hatred and misogyny, puts the wealthy and corporations above everyday citizens, and worst of all, kowtows to foreign dictators and sells out the nation to our enemies. Support for that sort of anti-American agenda is unlikely to win over the hearts and minds of grieving Americans once you cast off your mortal bounds. Something to consider.

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

A Tweet For Everything: What Trump Said About the Stock Market Just Six Months Ago

The current President of the United States has shown repeatedly that he is an unstable and ill-informed custodian of the nation’s resources. Donald Trump has a tenuous grip on the complexities of economics, and reacts out of panic and vengeance more than careful study and reason. As a result the country has been burdened with policies that work against the interests of its citizens.

Donald Trump, Stock Market

About six months ago Trump joined with the Republican Congress to pass a tax reform bill that was widely criticized as a giveaway to the wealthy that would balloon the national debt by trillions of dollars. Trump celebrated the legislative victory at a White House ceremony where he reduced it to flagrantly personal terms saying that “It’s always a lot of fun when you win.” It didn’t get a single vote from Democrats.

Republicans, however, were swelling with pride, despite the unfavorable public response shown in most polls. The Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, said confidently that “When people see their paychecks getting bigger in February […] that’s going to change its popularity, I am convinced.” The GOP Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, gloated that “My view of this is, if we can’t sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work.”

I hope he’s dusted off his resume, because the latest polling shows that the Trump Tax Scam is less popular now than ever. It currently has about thirty-four percent approval from the American people. Which isn’t surprising considering the fact that it was crafted to benefit corporations and the rich. Which makes this Trump tweet from December 14, 2017, all the more ironic and sad:

Well, that rosy scenario has wilted. Trump told reporters when the bill passed that “the results will speak for themselves.” Six months later it’s clear that his prediction is true, in the worst possible way. Workers have not received the benefits they were promised. Businesses are taking their profits and putting them into stock buybacks that benefit the executives. Harley Davidson announced today that is the latest company to be moving some of their operations (and jobs) out of the country.

On top of that, the stock market suffered a serious decline on Monday with the Dow Jones down 328 points (1.33%), and the Nasdaq down 160 points (2.09%). The market is negative by almost two percent year-to-date, and is down over 500 points since the tax bill was signed. Even more troubling is that it is off about 2,300 points from its high in January. You don’t hear Trump talking about any of that.

Short term movement in the market is never a good indicator of trends over time. But Trump’s boasting about the market’s performance has blown up in his face because he doesn’t understand it in even the simplest terms. And the trading in the wake of the tax bill, Trump’s punitive tariffs, and associated red flags in bonds and overseas markets are telling us a cautionary tale. At some point the markets are going to reverse course, as they always do, and it may come sooner rather than later. But Trump’s mismanagement of the economy has left us with few and/or weak tools with which to respond. The smart money is taking protective measures, and so should we all.

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

Donald Trump Actually Admitted He’s a Flaming Idiot Four Times Yesterday

The past two years has been a veritable circus as Donald Trump clowned his way through the presidency. He’s proven beyond a shadow of doubt that he is utterly incapable of governing. His pathological lying and relentless boasting are the hallmarks of his oratory. And for some reason he insists demonstrating that he’s a complete imbecile who fails to understand the simplest concepts.

Donald Trump

However, even with that record of buffoonery, Trump outdid himself in his speech yesterday that was supposedly about infrastructure. He spent maybe two minutes out of more than sixty on that topic, squeezed in between embarrassing exaltations of himself and infantile insults of his perceived enemies. But what distinguished this speech more than anything else were his own admissions of stupidity. It was a startling thing to watch. Here are a few of the things that Trump needed to make sure that everyone knew he couldn’t grasp:

He Doesn’t Know What a Community College Is:

“I don’t know what that means, a community college. Call it vocational and technical. People know what that means. They don’t know what a community college means […] and I tell people, call it vocational from now on, it’s a great word, it’s a great word. Call it vocational and technical perhaps, but use vocational, because that’s what it’s all about. People know what that means, we don’t know what a community college means.”

Who doesn’t know what “community college” means? The phrase is its own definition. It’s a college that’s in the community. Is that so hard? What’s more, it is not the same as a vocational or technical school. Vocational schools generally focus on a specific skill such as nursing or mechanics. Community colleges are more like conventional four-year institutions with a broad range of study. They award Associates Degrees and are often starting points to pursue higher education. But Trump is fixated on the word “vocational” most likely because he just learned it. He has done the same thing with other words like “comprehensive” and “reciprocal” when those entered his vocabulary. He doesn’t realize that the rest of America already knows these words, or he assumes they’re as dumb as he is.

He Doesn’t Know That His Wall is Not Being Built:

“We’re getting that sucker built. That’s what I do. I build. I was always very good at building. It was my best thing. I think better than being president, I was always very good at building.”

Somebody showed Trump a picture of a wall under construction and told him it was the border wall that he has been yammering about for two years. It wasn’t. It was a part of a wall in California that was undergoing an upgrade that was approved by the Obama administration. However. Trump’s assessment of being better at building than being president is an easy call. Not because he was ever good at building, but because he’s better at anything than he is at being president.

He Doesn’t Know How Judges are Made:

“You know, when I got in, we had over 100 federal judges that weren’t appointed. I don’t know why Obama left that. It was like a big beautiful present to all of us. Why the hell did he leave that? Maybe he got complacent?”

Why? Because the Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, deliberately refused to hold hearings or confirmations for President Obama’s nominees. This wasn’t a secret tactic that might have eluded Trump’s attention. McConnell did it openly and was criticized harshly for his perversion of democracy. But Trump thinks the vacant seats were the result of that black president being lazy. Cause you know how “those” people are.

Finally, Trump took to Twitter for another display of ignorance wrapped in a critique of one of his favorite foils. His tweet accused Jeff Bezos, owner of both Amazon and the Washington Post, of failing to pay taxes and exploiting the Post Office:

Really? First of all, the Post Office is everyone’s “delivery boy.” It’s their whole purpose for being. And Amazon’s use of their services is actually a source of enormous revenue for them. Secondly, Amazon does collect sales taxes in every state in the country that imposes them. The fact that Trump doesn’t know this just shows that he has never bought anything from Amazon or bothered to ask anyone who has. His real target is Bezos, who he thinks is ordering the Washington Post to write critical stories about him. Also, it’s hypocrisy on a grand scale for Trump to criticize others for not paying taxes. He has bragged about not doing so and insisted that it was evidence of his genius as a businessman. At least Amazon’s tax releases are public information, unlike Trump’s.

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

It’s one thing for Trump’s critics to lay into him whenever he does something foolish. But it’s another when he himself admits his foolishness and seems to revel in it. But what’s really frightening is that there are so many people who hear these admissions and don’t find anything troubling about them. His disciples are members of his cult and blindly believe whatever he tells them, no matter how obvious the truth is.

Trump Thanks Fox News for Helping Him Ignore His Duty to Protect and Defend the Constitution

Once again, Donald Trump is caught convening with his “outhouse” cabinet (too crappy to be in the kitchen) on Fox News rather than knowledgeable professionals. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends delivered another of their “Presidential Daily Briefings” to the only person in their audience that matters to them.

Fox News

The segment (video below) reiterated a White House talking point meant to distract from the reality that Russia invaded the United States with a massive and well-financed attack on our democratic system. They advanced the lie that President Obama didn’t do anything about Russia’s election tampering. In fact, Obama did quite a bit. He expelled thirty-five Russian “diplomats” and imposed new sanctions. These were actions that Trump’s soon-to-be National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, assured Russia would not be carried out if they won the election. Obama also tried to get Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell to sign on to a bipartisan public announcement revealing the Russian operations. McConnell refused, and Obama thought it would appear political if he were to proceed without GOP support. It could be argued that Obama could have done more, but not that he did nothing, as Trump did in this tweet:

Of course, Trump never has an original thought, and he didn’t in this case either. He was reacting to the policy dictates put forth on Fox and Friends. In addition to the tweet above, Trump also tweeted a quote that played on the Fox News program of Obama saying that…

It needs to be noted that Obama was talking about Trump’s campaign hysterics that Obama and Hillary Clinton were conspiring to steal the election. He was not talking about the sort of tampering that we know Russia engaged in. That’s a significant distinction, but one that Fox and Trump are too dimwitted to figure out. Or more accurately, too dishonest to admit. So Trump’s “Friends” merely repeated their well-rehearsed lines:

Brian Kilmeade: If you look at the President’s track record, it’s been anything but strong when it comes to Russia. [Steve Doocy had to interject that Kilmeade meant President Obama]
Steve Doocy: But here’s the thing, ultimately. Barack Obama was the president of the United States when Russia was meddling with our election. Trying to sow discord. So why didn’t he, as the chief executive of the country, stop it? And now, fast forward to now, what’s the narrative become? Forget about the fact that it happened on Obama’s watch, now it is ‘Well you know it looks like the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians.’ Which there is no evidence, absolutely none that that happened. All we found out Friday with the Mueller indictment was there was this place called the troll factory. Spent about a hundred thousand dollars and put out a few Facebook ads. That’s it.”

First of all, there is plenty of evidence of Trump’s collusion, starting with Donnie Jr.’s meetings with Russians (which he initially lied about) in Trump Tower. There are verified connections between Trump, Wikileaks, and Russia, who Trump begged to hack Clinton and release the stolen emails. There are more than a dozen Trump associates who met with Russians and lied about it. And no one knows what further evidence special counsel Robert Mueller has that won’t be disclosed until he concludes the investigation.

What’s more, Doocy’s deliberate disinformation about Mueller’s indictments misstates the facts. It wasn’t a hundred thousands dollars and a few Facebook ads. It was over a million dollars a month and thousands of Facebook and other Internet posts seen by millions of Americans.

More importantly, Trump appears to be conceding now that the election interference did occur. And while he’s obsessing over Obama’s response, he’s ignoring that he has done nothing himself. To the contrary, he is letting his pal Vladimir Putin off the hook. Trump refuses to impose sanctions that were voted on nearly unanimously by Congress. And although he will criticize everyone from Obama to Clinton to Oprah, he has never said a cross word to or about Putin.

No matter what Trump thinks of Obama, he has a responsibility as the current president to protect and defend the country. But he’s never even had a cabinet level meeting on the threat of Russia’s election tampering. Nor has he directed his intelligence and law enforcement agencies to address the matter. If he thinks that Obama was negligent, then what is he saying about himself? It’s almost as if he’s happy with Russia’s political intrusions and wants them to continue. Or maybe that they have something on him that is costly to his financial empire or personally embarrassing. Nah – couldn’t be any of that. Could it?

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

Trump Echoes Fox News to Politicize Terrorist Attack in New York and Falsely Blame Democrats

Sadly, another terrorist attack has taken place in New York City. This tragedy has taken the lives of eight innocent victims and injured a dozen more. At times like these Americans are called upon to unite against such senseless brutality and to come together in support of those affected. It’s a manifestation of the strength and resolve that we have to endure and prevail.

Donald Trump Fox News

However, it is also sad that Donald Trump doesn’t share these principles. The President’s first reactions to the carnage were blathering assertions that what had just happened in America can’t happen in America. But what he later sought to convey, after having slept on it, was even more repulsive. In a series of brazenly political tweets, he declined to criticize the terrorist or the extremist views that inspired him. Instead, Trump lashed out at fellow Americans in Congress. Specifically, Senate Minority Leader (and the representative of the state that was attacked) Chuck Schumer and Democrats in general:

It’s nauseating that Trump appears to be more upset with Sen. Schumer than with the terrorist. What’s more, he is predictably misrepresenting the truth. The Diversity Visa Lottery program was supported by Schumer as an amendment to the Immigration Act of 1990. That bill passed in the Senate by a whopping 89 to 8 vote and was signed into law by George H.W. Bush. It was also supported by some notable Republicans including Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, and current Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Funny, Trump didn’t attack any of them.

Something else Trump left out was that in 2013 a bipartisan group of senators, including Schumer, proposed to eliminate the Diversity Visa program. Known as the “Gang of Eight,” they offered a compromise immigration reform bill that would have ended the lottery. The bill was killed by conservative Republicans in the House.

Trump’s comments fly in the face of his response to last month’s terrorist attack in Las Vegas. After that horrific mass murder Trump and the GOP were aghast that anyone would talk about solutions to gun violence. And after the murder in Charlottesville, Virginia, by neo Nazis, Trump declared that he couldn’t talk about it until he had the facts. But just a few hours after the attack in New York, while the investigation was still in progress, Trump was already pushing his partisan agenda and lying about his political foes.

Not surprisingly, it’s easy to figure out where Trump got these talking points. He was obviously watching Fox News. In the hours following the attack, Fox News hosts and pundits were pushing their biases out onto the airwaves. And their stridently anti-Muslim bigotry was on full display. Here are some examples:

  • Tucker Carlson: It seems obviously tied to immigration, why is the country unwilling to have that conversation, to face that?
  • Pamela Geller on Hannity: The fact is Muslim immigration means more Islamic terrorism. It’s just that simple.
  • Laura Ingraham: Why must we take the risk, knowing that we can’t tell if an Islamic individual is going to be radicalized?
  • Zuhdi Jasser on Tucker Carlson Tonight: [Americans] are in denial if we don’t believe that nonviolent Islamism is a precursor to militant Islamism.

Trump’s TV was typically tuned in to Fox and Friends. That’s where he got the Schumer connection, which was not even confirmed at the time. Co-host Steve Doocy said so when he stated that:

“According to Mark Levin, and I looked online, and there are a bunch of websites that say that Chuck Schumer was one of the sponsors. We have not independently confirmed that through our brain room yet.”

Let’s just set aside the dubious assertion that Fox News has a “Brain Room.” The network was admittedly disseminating rumors in order to blame political adversaries for a terrorist attack. And that was enough for Trump to regurgitate it and give Fox News credit. Doocy’s colleague, Brian Kilmeade, contributed to this deliberate disinformation. Undoubtedly, this is the first time Trump had connected the visa lottery to the attack:

“All right, let’s talk about how he got here. He applied to a lottery system, the diversity visa program […] And congratulations, you win the lottery and then eight people are run over in this case eventually down the line because of this.”

For the record, the Diversity Visa Lottery program was not a free pass to American citizenship. Recipients had to be vetted by all of the same criteria as any other immigrant applying for entry. They are also subject to the same requirements and waiting periods. Kilmeade’s description was patently dishonest and purposefully misleading.

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

The fact that Trump relies on the disinformation and lies of Fox News is appalling and dangerous. They clearly don’t have the credibility to be the foundation for government policy. But Trump puts more faith in them than he does in the intelligence agencies he oversees. This morning he called his own Justice Department “a joke and a laughingstock.” The result is ignorant policies that are infused with noxious racism and bigotry. Not to mention the corrosive division that is sown by a President who regards his political opponents, and the media, as worse than our nation’s real enemies.