Trump Hails Stock Market Whose Rise is a Rejection of Him

The manic frenzy that is displayed daily on the Twitter feed of Donald Trump is especially heated this Monday morning. He posted 75 tweets before 3:00pm in what may break his all time record of 123 tweets in single day. It’s impossible to say at this point whether the reason for this crazed output is his acute panic at the prospect of a landslide electoral loss to Joe Biden in three weeks, or the side effects of the drugs he’s been taking to treat his coronavirus. Or maybe a catastrophic combination of both.

Donald Trump, Stock Market Crash

The flurry of frantic and anxious outbursts that make up this tweetstorm run the gamut of Trump’s paranoid psychoses. For instance, Trump tweeted about a “Big spike in the China Plague in Europe,” in an attempt to compare it to the U.S., which he apparently doesn’t know is suffering from a similar or worse spike. He tweeted that New York and California are “going to hell.” Which is an odd campaign strategy of maligning the biggest states in the country that you’re supposedly leading. He tweeted that he is “winning BIG in all of the polls that matter.” Which I guess are the polls of boaters and maskless bar patrons. But he wasn’t through.

Trump also tweeted that “We will have Healthcare which is FAR BETTER than ObamaCare, at a FAR LOWER COST.” Which is documented in the invisible plan that he has been saying for three years that he will release in two weeks. And as an indication of what is most important to him, Trump posted ten tweets in support of Eric Early, who running a laughably futile campaign against Rep. Adam Schiff of California. Schiff may be the member of Congress Trump despises most after Speaker Nancy Pelosi. That’s more tweets than he posted in support of his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.

However, perhaps the most enthusiastic of Trump’s twittery concerned the performance of the stock market. He managed to get something right for once by noting that it was going up. However, he has no idea why it’s doing so. He, of course, thinks he’s responsible for it. And in a way he is, but not in the way he thinks.

Trump has been shouting from the White House rooftop for weeks that a Biden presidency will thrust the nation into a depression. Let’s just set aside the fact that we are already in a recession during the Trump presidency. Trump’s tweets are cheering on the market’s rise along with fear mongering about a collapse if Biden is elected. Never mind that Obama and Biden presided over a much more robust economic recovery and market advance than Trump has. The five tweets he posted on this subject were evidence of nothing more than Trump’s ignorance and ego. For example…

What Trump is missing is that the rise in the market is occurring simultaneously to the rise in Biden’s polling against Trump. The greater the margin of Biden’s lead, the higher the market goes. That’s the market indicating that it is looking forward to a Biden victory. The market is always representative of the future. And this isn’t just a coincidental observation. According to Goldman Sachs, “A Democratic sweep would mean faster economic recovery.”

“…’a blue wave would likely prompt us to upgrade our forecasts,’ Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius wrote in a Monday report.”

Hatzius went on to note that a blue wave would increase the likelihood of a coronavirus relief bill. He also noted the positive impact of Biden’s spending plans on infrastructure, climate, health care and education. But that isn’t all. Moody’s also weighed in saying that…

“Moody’s Analytics found that Biden’s economic proposals, if enacted, would create 7.4 million more jobs than would Trump’s. The economy would return to full employment in the second half of 2022, nearly two years earlier than under Trump’s plan, Moody’s said.”

Of course, none of this is a guarantee that the market will continue going straight up. There are distinct warning signs for a down turn. The market is already over-valued in some analysts opinions. And the overweighting of just a few stocks (more than 20% of the S&P) that uncharacteristically benefit from the current conditions (Apple: 7.3%, Microsoft: 5.9%, Amazon: 5.3%, Google: 2.4%, and Facebook: 2.4%) don’t tell the market’s whole story. And as anyone with the slightest inkling of knowledge is aware (which leaves Trump out), the stock market is not the economy. Most Americans do not own stocks.

There is, however, one thing that can’t be denied. If Trump’s fear mongering were correct, the market would have been on a downward trend for at least the past couple of months. Clearly the financial institutions that drive the market don’t agree with Trump. The fact that it’s strong and rising is a testament to the market’s confidence in, and preference for, a Biden presidency.

So keep that in mind when voting. And tell your friends and family. It is Trump who has proven to be an economic imbecile who declared bankruptcy on six separate occasions, lost billions of dollars during the boom times, and currently owes more than $400 billion to – well, we don’t know who because he refuses to release his tax returns. That by itself is reason enough to remove Trump from office. And also to investigate him for criminal activity and crimes against the state.

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

In Honor of World Mental Health Day, Invoke the 25th Amendment on Trump

This week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives would consider establishing “an independent commission under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to evaluate a president’s health and oversee the transfer of power to the vice president if the president becomes incapacitated while in office.” This is a long overdue measure that protects the interests of the nation under dire circumstances.

Trump Fear

This also happens to be World Mental Health Day, an annual observation of the need to focus attention on mental health issues and their personal and institutional impact on society. It’s sponsor, the World Health Organization (WHO), notes that…

“This year’s World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The past months have brought many challenges: for health-care workers, providing care in difficult circumstances, going to work fearful of bringing COVID-19 home with them; for students, adapting to taking classes from home, with little contact with teachers and friends, and anxious about their futures; for workers whose livelihoods are threatened; for the vast number of people caught in poverty or in fragile humanitarian settings with extremely limited protection from COVID-19; and for people with mental health conditions, many experiencing even greater social isolation than before. And this is to say nothing of managing the grief of losing a loved one, sometimes without being able to say goodbye.”

Unfortunately, Donald Trump withdrew from the WHO after falsely accusing it of being an accomplice to what Trump believes was China’s deliberate spreading of the coronavirus. In fact, that was just Trump’s way of evading his own responsibility for failing to handle the COVID-19 pandemic as it spread across the United States, and even into the White House.

Trump’s delusional attacks on China, the WHO, Democrats, and the media, are all further evidence of the need for Pelosi’s commission. He is an unstable, malignant narcissist and an aspiring dictator. He is the poster child (with an emphasis on “child”) for mental health awareness. He believes the world revolves around him and that he is superior to the other pathetic creatures that inhabit it. Once, when asked who he consults with, he replied that “My primary consultant is myself” because “I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.” That attitude, along with an array of other symptoms of mental impairment, are reason enough to worry.

In the nearly four long years since Trump was sworn in as president, his erratic and impulsive behavior has caused broad based concern. He has continued his bromance with Russia’s dictator Vladimir Putin, and other brutal authoritarians, while alienating longtime allies. His attacks on the media border on obsession and are aimed at delegitimizing any criticism. He has a perverse fixation on polling and crowd size. He repeatedly makes statements that are easily debunked as lies. And his Twitter feed is a scrolling document of mental instability.

Recently, Trump has taken to demanding that his Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, arrest, indict, and prosecute his political adversaries, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden. And after turning the White House into a coronavirus “Hot Zone,” he is holding a rally there and inviting 2,000 people to participate in another Super Spreader event.

What better time to honor World Mental Health Day than while a madman is running rampant in Washington, D.C. and threatening not to leave after he’s voted out? This nation has endured many difficulties, but teetering on the edge of a fascist dictatorship overseen be a certifiably insane cult leader is not one than anyone contemplated. And we must not allow Trump and his army of glassy-eyed disciples to succeed.

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

PROJECTION: Trump and Fox News Attack Nancy Pelosi’s Mental Fitness

The mental state of Donald Trump has been questioned for many years, even in the earliest days of his presidency. More recently, however, the signs of his cognitive lapses are impossible to ignore. His frequent incoherent ramblings, blatant contradictions, and unbridled hostilities are clear symptoms of a severe psychological breakdown. And it isn’t helping matters that, due to his COVID-19 diagnosis, he’s on several medications that are known to produce mood disorders.

Donald Trump

Not surprisingly, Trump is attempting to cast his cerebral decay onto his perceived political foes. It’s form of a psychotic response that seeks to “project” ones own faults onto others. Trump has been doing that for months to Joe Biden, but has utterly failed to make any of it stick. In fact, polls show that a majority of voters regard Trump as the one who doesn’t have the mental soundness to serve.”

On Friday morning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a press conference to announce that she is sponsoring legislation that would codify the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, a key provision of which addresses how Congress can respond if “the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Despite the fact that Pelosi explicitly stated that this bill would not go into effect until after Trump’s term is over, he nevertheless took it personally and lashed out predictably on Twitter:

Trump managed to demean both Biden and Pelosi in that childishly retaliatory tweet. Although he might not have understood exactly what he was he was saying because he’s actually conceding that Biden will be the president to whom the legislation will apply. But that didn’t stop Fox News from quickly agreeing and posting an article on their website with the headline, “Trump and others question Pelosi’s mental fitness after she suggested pres. may not be fit for office.”

Indeed, Pelosi has questioned Trump’s mental fitness, as have many others. However, the “others” mentioned in Fox’s headline as questioning Pelosi’s fitness consist of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and … well, that’s it. No one else is mentioned at all. Trump, however, has worked overtime to disparage Pelosi with another of his infantile nicknames, “Crazy Nancy.” He has used that derogatory label at least 33 times on Twitter just this year. That’s about once a week. But Trump has called many others on his enemies list crazy as well, including Robert Mueller, Bernie Sanders, etc.

Trump’s behavior bespeaks an inherent weakness of character. He is incapable of forming an intelligible argument to reply to his critics, so he resorts to these impotent and immature tactics out of frustration and fear. And these emotional anchors are only going to weigh on him more in the coming weeks as the election, and his impending loss, draws closer. Which might explain behavior like that he demonstrated while co-hosting Rush Limbaugh’s radio show on Friday. While discussing his foreign policy conflicts with Iran, Trump dropped an F BOMB on the national broadcast. And if that aint crazy…

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

Business as Usual? Trump Returns Home to Spread Lies Along with the Coronavirus

The more that Trump sinks into electoral oblivion, the more desperate and bizarre he becomes. He’s like the wounded mama bear whose psychotic irrationality is triggered and acts out with sociopathic malice and jealous rage. Or something like that.

Donald Trump, White House

Trump’s behavior is further evidence that he should never have been discharged from the Walter Reed Medical Center. Despite his manic and lie-riddled propaganda video on Monday, Trump has learned nothing from his coronavirus adventure. Not only is he still a potentially deadly COVID-19 Super Spreader, he is mentally distancing from reality. A review of his Tuesday morning Twitter rant is all the proof that any competent psychiatrist would need to involuntarily commit to Trump to an institution for his own safety and that of others. For example…

No will be surprised that Trump is lashing out at the press that he so frequently maligns in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.” But in this instance he is also insulting the American citizens participating in the NBC town hall with Joe Biden. After all, the people in the audience were undecided voters who were asking their own questions. And contrary to Trump’s whining, they were hardly “softballs.” The topics ranged from everything from Biden’s plans for reopening the country and schools to his age and mental health. He was also asked about defunding the police, domestic terrorism, abortion, and accusations that he’s a secret socialist.

What’s more, it’s hysterical that Trump would criticize this independent town hall as a disgraceful use of the “FREE public airwaves” when his own Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News) unloads rabidly biased and partisan commentaries 24 hours a day. And for much of those hours Trump himself is on their air to disseminate his lies. That time should be paid for by the RNC. But Trump was just getting started. He also tweeted that…

First of all, fatalities due to common influenza have averaged about 37,000 a year for the past decade. And the ten year high was 61,000. When asked about this tweet, Dr. Anthony Fauci contradicted Trump’s nonsense rambling, saying that COVID-19 is far more lethal than the flu.

It’s insane for Trump to suggest that we “learn to live with” COVID-19. Doesn’t he realize that the families and friends of the 211,000 Americans who have already died can hear him? And while he’s pretending that he has conquered the virus (it’s way to soon for him to say that), and that we shouldn’t be afraid, he also doesn’t get that he has access to medical care that far exceeds that of anyone else in the country.

Trump also tweeted an outright lie about Biden’s position on reproductive rights and Roe v. Wade. Trump falsely claimed that Biden supports late-term abortions. Then he tweeted that he’s looking forward to the next debate with Biden on October 15. Although Trump should not even be allowed in the studio. He and his entourage should be considered highly contagious and a risk to Biden, the press, and everyone else involved in producing the debate. He complained that the media “refuses to discuss how good the Economy” is doing. But the media only refuses to discuss that because the economy is in recession, more than 10 million people are still unemployed, thousands of businesses have gone bankrupt, and tens of thousands of Americans have been evicted or foreclosed on.

Finally, Trump tweeted that he’s terminating discussions with Nancy Pelosi and Congress for a pandemic relief bill until after the election. He claims that Pelosi is negotiating in bad faith, despite the fact that she has already lowered her proposal by a trillion dollars in a compromise with Republicans who want it to go down a trillion more. Trump says that he’ll resume negotiations after he wins the election. So that, presumably, will be never. Those tweets resulted in the stock market taking a nose dive in the last hour of trading.

Unfortunately, we can expect to see more of this aberrant behavior from Trump as election day draws near and his prospects for reelection continue to dwindle. It may even get worse after he loses. The American people and the press are going to have to be vigilant in order prevent further deterioration of our democracy. Trump is dangerously unstable and would like nothing better than to take the country down with him.

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

PATHETIC: Attack Dog Trump Snarls at Dr. Birx for Daring to Tell the Truth

You have to wonder how anyone can lower themselves to working for Donald Trump. The rancid patterns of his perverse and egomaniacal behavior are so reliably steeped in punishing vengeance that it’s impossible to ignore the certainty that eventually you will become his victim. What measure of denial prevents people from seeing that?

Donald Trump Angry

On Monday morning Trump provided yet another example of his steaming wrath, this time directed at an otherwise loyal member of his sycophantic Coronavirus Task Force. In a tweet that began by insult House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Trump stumbled into a bitterly insulting stab at Dr. Deborah Birx:

First of all, Trump’s sniveling whinery about Pelosi is ramped up to at least eleven. What he describes as “horrible” was actually pretty tame. Pelosi was asked if she had confidence in Dr.Birx. To which she calmly replied “I don’t have confidence in anyone who stands there while the President says ‘swallow Lysol and it’s going to cure your virus.'” No rational person could argue with that.

Secondly, Trump indicates that his anger is rooted in criticism of Dr. Birx being “too positive on the very good job we are doing” on combating the TrumpVirus. But that’s precisely why she has lost the confidence of Pelosi and every other knowledgeable person. Only the most heartless and uncaring cretins could celebrate 157,000 dead Americans and nearly five million sickened as a “positive” outcome.

Finally, Trump got to the point by making the accusation that Birx “took the bait & hit us.” He then called her “pathetic.” And what was so pathetic about Birx’s remarks? She simply said that “What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It’s into the rural as equal urban areas.”

Birx was absolutely correct. Despite her generally embarrassing performances as Trump’s dancing puppet, Birx had a rare moment of honesty that corresponded to the facts. And Trump wasn’t having it. So while Pelosi gently conveyed that she lacked confidence in Birx, Trump viciously disparaged her as pathetic. And then he accused Pelosi of saying “horrible things.”

What’s more, Trump’s White House Director of Strategic Communications, Alyssa Farah, went even further saying that “It is deeply irresponsible of Speaker Pelosi to repeatedly try to undermine & create public distrust in Dr Birx.” What does Farah think that Trump is doing when he castigates Birx, Dr. Fauci, and other members of his task force whenever they have the audacity to place their expertise above his flabby gut feelings?

No one has done more to undermine his own team than Trump. He doesn’t even allow them to attend the briefings anymore. Which may be for the best since they are usually just photo-ops for his reelection campaign.

In addition to his tweet attack on Birx, Trump also praised himself for his tragic mishandling of the Coronavirus pandemic, lied again about cases being created by testing, ranted about the “fake” news, indulged in his obsession with TV ratings, and bragged about the puny crowds who attended his event in “Frorida.” In other words, business as usual in the Dark Circus of Trump’s Dystopian World.

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

GOP Fascists Float Resolution to Ban the Democratic Party

The devolution of the Republican Party continues to accelerate headlong toward the rocky cliffs of ultimate oblivion. Its leader, the aspiring tyrant and sociopath Donald Trump, is the key propellant of this political disintegration. The Party’s worshipful devotion to Trump makes every member complicit in his heinous crimes against America and humanity.

Donald Trump

The latest testament to the downward spiral of the GOP (Greedy One Percent) is a resolution introduced by Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert. Gohmert’s resolution instructs the Speaker of the House to “remove any item that names, symbolizes or mentions any political organization or party that has ever held a public position that supported slavery or the Confederacy.” It further directs that any such party “be barred from participation in the House of Representatives.”

This is what Gohmert likely believes is a crafty way of disparaging the Democratic Party which, as the party of the South during the Civil War era, advocated for slavery and secession. He is proposing this resolution in response to Nancy Pelosi’s order to remove statues, and other tributes to Confederate traitors, from the Capitol building. The bill approving the order passed the House this week, 301 to 113.

Gohmert and a couple of his GOP colleagues were unable to constrain their dismay over this initiative to finally put an end to the official honorary treatment of treasonous confederate politicians and generals. “The time has come,” Gohmert ranted, “for Democrats to acknowledge their party’s loathsome and bigoted past.”

Of course, the Democratic Party long ago acknowledged – and renounced – the tangential past association with the doctrine of southern racism. Historians agree that it was just southern Democrats, not the Party, that trafficked in such bigotry. What Gohmert isn’t saying (but surely knows) is that there was a realignment in the mid-20th century wherein Democrats embraced civil rights, resulting in the flight of southern bigots to the Republican Party. And that’s where they remain today with the fervent support of white nationalists and neo-Nazis.

So Gohmert’s snarky resolution is just another thinly disguised shout out to the GOP’s racist base. It calls on a party that for decades has demonstrated its support for civil rights to be banned, while ignoring the fact that Republicans continue to work for suppression of civil rights and equal justice. There is a reason that the Democratic Party today has the support of 92% of African-Americans.

If Gohmert were sincere about his proposal it would call, instead, for the banning of Republicans and acknowledge their “loathsome and bigoted” present. His resolution’s call to ban any political party that has ever supported the Confederacy seems tailor-made for the GOP. That is made all the more clear with the vote on the bill to remove Confederate statues. All 113 votes opposing the bill (including Gohmert), and thus supporting the confederacy, were Republicans. And not to be left out, Donald Trump weighed in on the matter in his typically deranged way. Trump tweeted that…

First of all, this isn’t up to Sen. Inhofe. The bill has now passed both the House and the Senate by veto-proof margins and will shortly be on Trump’s desk. Should he live down to his racist standards and veto it, his veto is unlikely to be sustained. What’s more, Trump’s assertion that he’s “not a believer in ‘Cancel Culture'” is contradicted by all of the times he has personally “canceled” people and businesses that he disapproved of.

What Trump is a believer in is the same thing that Gohmert and the rest of the GOP believes: That they should have unchallenged, dictatorial, single-party rule over America. Unfortunately for them, the American people have a different perspective and will fight for the democracy and liberty that the Constitution guarantees. And the next battle in that fight is November 3rd.

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

IT’S CALLED PROJECTION:Trump Obsessively Accuses Others of Treason

It’s always painfully obvious when Donald Trump is fuming over events he can’t control. He lashes out wildly in all directions seeking to land blows on the vast armies of enemies that he imagines, in his paranoid stupor, are conspiring against him. This is especially evident after some humiliating experience such as his Fiasco in Tulsa or his floundering reelection campaign.

Donald Trump, Deep State

On Monday Trump exhibited one of the most profoundly disturbing meltdowns of his presidency. He elaborated on recent comments he made that vaguely insinuated that President Obama was guilty of some unnamed criminal acts. Now Trump revealed to the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) that the crime he believed that Obama had committed was treason.

Trump’s justification for that charge was the already debunked conspiracy theories that his 2016 presidential campaign had been spied on by Obama and others in the mythical “Deep State.” And he went on to muse wistfully about executing his political foes like “they” did 50 or 100 years ago. Apparently Trump still regards Joseph Stalin as a role model.

Trump’s fixation on maligning political opponents as treasonous is neither new nor limited to prominent figures like Obama. In fact, the Washington Post has compiled a list of people or entities for whom Trump is advocating the death penalty (video below). According to the Post…

“Trump suggested five times in the month of May alone that individuals and entities may have committed treason against the United States. It’s a theme he has pushed over four dozen times in his term. […] Trump has accused no fewer than 11 people and entities of treason over the past three years, even though fewer than 30 have been charged with the crime in U.S. history.”

Indeed. Trump has been pursuing this slanderous narrative for most of his term. His first tweet on the matter was the single word, all-caps, quizzical outburst, “TREASON?” in September 2018. More recently, in May he rage-tweeted “The Russia Hoax is the biggest political scandal in American history. Treason!!!” He even said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is every bit as guilty of treason. And that’s just for starters. Here are the myriad berserk accusations of treason that he’s made as documented by the Post:

  • President Barack Obama
  • Congressional Democrats
  • The news media
  • The author of an anonymous op-ed
  • Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page
  • Former FBI director James Comey
  • Former top FBI official Andrew McCabe
  • Rep. Adam Schiff (4 times)
  • The attorney for the Ukraine whistleblower
  • Obama’s Justice Department

Experienced Trump watchers are well aware that nearly every criticism he lobs at others is what psychologists refer to as “projection:” a defense mechanism in which one denies the existence of unpleasant characteristics in themselves, while attributing them to others. Consequently, Trump’s plaintive whines of treason are evidence of his true self-appraisal. Deep down he knows that his words and actions are un-American and anti-democratic. But since his mental state is too fragile to process those feelings, he projects them unto his perceived adversaries.

This mental trickery is totally contrary to the tough guy image that Trump is so desperate to present. In fact, it is the behavior of weaklings and cowards who are unable to face their own shortcomings, or the strengths of those that challenge them. It’s a way of running away from one’s problems and reality. Trump is the textbook example of this psychological defect. And while it’s fascinating to see this unfold in such a public manner, it’s frightening to know that the one stricken with it is ostensibly running the country. But hopefully not for too much longer.

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

CHOPPER TALK: Trump Whines About ‘Haters’ in Congress – Because He Hates Democracy

For the past six weeks Donald Trump has been unable to wallow in the glow of the glassy-eyed disciples who clamor to his cult rallies. Nor has he been able to hold his impromptu “Chopper Talk” sessions prior to jaunting off to some self-serving campaign junket. And he had to quit his Coronavirus Task Force briefings (aka Trump 2020 Reelection Campaign Infomercials) because even his friends recognized that they were deep sixing his approval ratings.

Donald Trump, Chopper Talk

But now, as Trump rushes to “reopen” the nation to ever more misery, exposing people to rapidly rising incidents of coronavirus infection and death, he is happy once again. He’s happy because he couldn’t care less about the suffering of the American people. The only thing Trump cares about is Trump. And the priority of our reality TV game show host president is that he has been sorely missing the feverish adulation from his deplorable fanatics and his rancid, lie-riddled verbal jousts with reporters.

On Tuesday morning, however, Trump got his groove back as he strutted in front of a waiting helicopter to harangue the assembled press. Why they still show up is mystery considering Trump’s open hostility to them. Among the questions he awkwardly avoided by dodging and deceiving was one relating to his recent and strikingly totalitarian command barring members of the Task Force from testifying before Congress.

It’s unclear whether Trump has the legal authority to issue such a prohibition, but it is unarguably an insult to the American people who rely on their representatives in Congress to conduct oversight of the Executive branch. Trump’s explanation for why he dictated this ban was an overt admission of his disrespect for the pursuit of truth and for democracy itself (video below). He ranted that…

“The House is a set up. The House is a bunch of Trump haters. They put every Trump hater on the committee. The same old stuff. They, frankly, want our situation to be unsuccessful, which means death. Which means death. And our situation is gonna be very successful. The House has put on an Oversight Committee of Maxine Waters and Maloney and the same people and it’s just a setup.”

So Trump is confessing that he is withholding the testimony of experts who work for the people because he’s afraid they might tell Congress the truth. The members he calls “haters” were overwhelming elected in 2018, when Democrats took control of the House of Representatives. So that would imply that it’s the people who hate Trump. Which, according to most polls, is correct. He’s also forgetting that there are Republicans on the Oversight Committee in the House, and Democrats on the Senate committee where Trump is allowing the Task Force members to testify.

More troubling is Trump’s aversion to democracy. Congress needs the testimony of experts and government officials in order to carry out their constitutional duties. But Trump seems to think he only needs to answer to the bootlicking sycophants who enable his criminal behavior. His obstructionism is more evidence of his cowardice. And that applies in particular to the women in Congress. We know that Trump is scared to death of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But the only members of the committee whose names he mentioned were Maxine Waters and Carolyn Maloney. The men on the committee are surely feeling left out this morning.

Trump confirmed his misogyny at another morning affair when he complained that two female reporters, Weijia Jiang and Paula Reid, were not behaving like 1950’s TV housewives. “It wasn’t Donna Reed, I can tell you that,” Trump said in a throwback to an archaic era of television. Trump also went on to say that “Democrats should be ashamed,” because “they want us to fail so they can win an election.” That’s another example of how Trump employs pure projection of his own motivations onto others. Trump provided an example of his own interest in “success” when he replied to a question about whether he was concerned about increasing virus infections and death if states relaxed their guidelines too early by saying “No. They have to do it.”

So there you have it. You are commanded to return to work now, despite the risks, because Dear Leader says so. And it must be so comforting that he isn’t concerned about the heightened potential that you and your family might die. That’s not his problem. He needs to get the economy back on track before November or he’ll have no chance of being reelected (not to mention it’s costing him a small fortune). Although causing more Americans to get sick and die might also be drag on his get-out-the-vote effort.

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

Talk About Desperate: Trump Celebrates an OANN Poll that Doesn’t Exist

On Wednesday Donald Trump unleashed one of his most bizarrely unhinged performances at the Coronavirus Task Force briefing (aka Trump Campaign Rally). He produced a fictional list of corporate executives he said were members of a new economic task force. He reiterated his delusional view that he has “total authority” and threatened to shut down Congress. And of course, he bragged about imaginary achievements and yelled petulantly at reporters. Then he stomped out in huff when he didn’t like the questions.

Donald Trump Pacifier Fox

Trump’s presence at these briefings has been a waste of time from the start. He contributes nothing of substance, but distracts from the experts who actually have some relevant knowledge to impart to the public. Trump has proved that the only things he cares about are those things that advance his personal self-interest and assuaging his voracious ego. That was affirmed on Thursday as he took to Twitter with bitterly partisan posts and flagrant lies.

The first of Trump’s tweets was his celebration of a poll by the ultra right-wing Fox News wannabe One America News Network (OANN). This is the network that doesn’t have a big enough audience to be rated by Nielsen. It’s the network whose reporter was recently booted out of the White House briefings for violating social distancing guidelines, but who got a personal reprieve to stand in the back of the room by Trump’s press secretary (since fired), Stephanie Grisham. It’s a network that has even less credibility than viewers. But Trump promotes them because he can always count on them to kiss his – let’s say ring. He also uses them to needle Fox News when he doesn’t think they are being sufficiently flattering. So Trump tweeted this Thursday morning:

The first thing that makes this tweet significant is that no such OANN poll exists. This is another example of Trump mangling the facts to disseminate whatever “news” he believes will put him the best light, even if it’s fictional. It’s similar to his repeated – and false – claims that he has a 95% approval rating among Republicans. Trump often makes things up on the fly.

There does appear to be a poll that has numbers aligned to Trump’s tweet. It was conducted by the Civitas Institute, a conservative think tank in North Carolina. So even if Trump had gotten the reference correct, it is still not a reputable, non-partisan survey. The notoriously biased Rasmussen poll only has Trump with a 46% approval, 53% disapproval. What’s more, the Civitas results are hardly worth bragging about. The alleged seven point lead over Joe Biden still has Trump below 50% (49-42%). Nationally, Trump has taken a nosedive with the most recent Gallup poll showing a six point drop in approval and a nine point leap in disapproval.

To add another level of irrelevance, the poll was conducted from April 5-7, so it’s a week and a half old. A more recent poll of this North Carolina race by Public Policy Polling shows Biden with a small lead in the state (48-47%), and the Democratic candidate for the Senate, Cal Cunningham, well ahead of the GOP incumbent, Thom Tillis (47-40%).

Trump has also been obsessed with maligning his perceived foes, including, and especially, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of whom he has a mortal fear. He posted two tweets piling on as many derogatory adjectives as he could think of. He called her “crazy,” “weak,” “a poor leader,” “incompetent,” “a pathetic puppet,” and “third-rate.” The first tweet quoted the insults of Sean Hannity of Fox News. The second tweet accused Pelosi of being “responsible for many deaths.” It also accused her of deleting a tweet that she never actually posted.

In other words, Trump was suffering a severe bout of psychological projection. Because those are all characteristics that have long defined Trump himself. Particularly the one concerning responsibility for tens of thousands of deaths that are directly attributable to Trump’s criminal negligence, and incompetence. And to make matters worse, Trump is still insisting that he wants to “reopen” the country, despite the fact that every health expert says it would be disastrous and deadly to do so at this time. Not that Trump or his GOP confederates care.

For the perfect example of how callous, insensitive, and greedy they are, take a look at this clip of Dr. Oz on Hannity Wednesday evening saying that schools should be reopened now because the deaths of 2 to 3% of American children from the coronavirus would be an acceptable “tradeoff” to get the economy back on track. No, really. He actually said that while Hannity nodded approvingly. This is the so-called “pro-life” right-wing:

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

GOP and Fox News Oppose Coronavirus Oversight Committee

Last week Congress approved a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. It’s the largest congressional appropriation of any kind in United States history. You might think that this sort of government expenditure would produce bipartisan agreement on a means to ensure that these funds are spent effectively with an emphasis on providing the greatest benefit for the people and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Coronavirus

Unfortunately, the political harmony that ought to accompany efforts to allocate these funds never materialized. Almost immediately there was opposition from Republicans in Congress, and their official Ministry of Propaganda, Fox News, to a proposed House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. This committee would just be responsible for oversight going forward. It is not the sort of investigative committee that would seek to understand how the crisis developed and how to avoid similar tragedies in the future (which Reps. Bennie Thompson and Adam Schiff are exploring).

Nevertheless, the featured story on the Fox News website carried a blatantly biased headline reading “Pelosi Power Play: New House coronavirus oversight committee will have ability to subpoena Trump administration.”

The clear intention of that language was to spin the proposed committee as a Democratic effort to harm Trump. It characterizes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a power monger who intends to hector Trump with subpoenas. In fact, the committee will be a bipartisan panel aimed at protecting taxpayer funds and ensuring that the people’s best interests are served. Pelosi’s announce says in part…

“We have no higher priority than making sure the money gets to those working families – struggling to pay rent and put food on the table – who need it most. The panel will root out waste, fraud, and abuse. It will protect against price gouging and profiteering. It will press to ensure that the federal response is based on the best possible science and guided by the nation’s best health experts.

“The House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis will be bipartisan and have an expert staff. The committee will be empowered to examine all aspects of the federal response to the coronavirus to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being wisely and efficiently spent to save lives, deliver relief and benefit our economy.”

That hardly seems controversial. Both parties should be supporting the objectives of this committee. And yet, Republicans in congress are already complaining on partisan grounds. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wasted no time complaining that he thought the committee would be “really redundant,” and expressed his opposition to the appointment of Rep. Jim Clyburn as chairman. Greg Walden, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called the select committee a “mistake,” and “costly.” Apparently he thinks that the potential for waste, fraud, and abuse, would be less costly.

The need for oversight of federal spending shouldn’t be so contentious. However, there are those who are simply averse to being held accountable. Notable among them is the President, who regards any practical supervision as an intrusion on his perceived authority. When asked about the lack of accountability in an early draft of the relief bill, Trump laughably told reporters that “I’ll be the oversight.” No one in their right mind would be comfortable with that. Trump is forbidden from running a charity after a court found that his family foundation was misusing funds. His “university” was shuttered, and he paid out millions in compensation, after it was ruled to be fraudulent. He’s declared bankruptcy at least six times.

When Trump signed the relief bill, he included a signing statement that disputed some of the oversight provisions, including the authority of a new inspector general to notify Congress if the executive branch was not providing requested information. That’s a move explicitly designed to conceal misconduct.

It’s also further evidence that Trump cannot be trusted to spend the relief funds honestly or fairly. This is, after all, the same guy who said that he would not return the calls of governors who he didn’t think treated him right. If anyone ever needed oversight, it’s Trump. But while his Republican comrades and, of course, Fox News, would let him run wild, the American people must not. And that is sufficient justification for this House Select Committee, despite whining from the right.

UPDATE: And, of course, Trump weighs in by calling the proposed oversight committee a “witch hunt,” because he knows that oversight will reveal his corruption.

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