Trump Agrees with Nancy Pelosi, Inadvertently Making the Case for His Own Impeachment

The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, created a bit of stir this week when she weighed in on the question of impeaching Donald Trump. It’s a question that has been asked by many in political circles, as well as millions of Americans troubled by the President’s unsavory associations with Russia, obstruction of justice, financial corruption, and other pending crimes.

Donald Trump Impeach

Pelosi made a fairly conclusive statement in a response to an inquiry by the Washington Post. While many people on both sides of this issue interpreted her remarks differently, they had a distinct tone that couldn’t help but indicate an openness to impeachment under the right circumstances. She said that:

“Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”

So Pelosi explicitly said that impeachment is on the table if there is compelling evidence and bipartisan participation. The latter would come with the disclosure of the former. She also coyly taunted Trump by saying that he isn’t worth the trouble. That could outrage him so much that he will insist on impeachment hearings just to prove that he is worth it. Which is almost what he did with his Wednesday morning tweetstorm:

So Trump appreciates Pelosi’s statement. You have to wonder if he actually read it or if he was only told about the part where she was reticent to “go down that path.” But without his making any distinction, it appears that he’s cool with impeachment given the same criteria that Pelosi outlined. Which is the criteria that almost everyone supports.

Note also that Trump has the absurd opinion that a president cannot be impeached if he is (or thinks he is) popular and/or successful. Of course that has nothing to with whether or not he broke the law. Richard Nixon had real diplomatic achievements with China, and he signed the bill creating the Environmental Protection Agency. But he was still driven from office for committing flagrant crimes against the country.

What’s more, by Trump’s own standards it’s open season for his impeachment. He has not produced any significant successes other than packing the courts with ultra-rightist judges, exploding the national debt, inflaming tensions in North Korea, abandoning the environment, relieving corporations and the wealthy of their tax burdens, sabotaging healthcare, and generally creating more hatred and division. And for all of that he is sitting on the most persistently low approval ratings in modern times.

So according to Trump, it’s full steam ahead with impeachment. After all, he’s the only one who thinks that he’s the most successful president in history. And as for evidence, the vice-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee recently said that there’s plenty of it. So if it’s OK with Trump, it’s OK with me. And it’s certainly OK with the seven million plus Americans who have signed the Need to Impeach petition, and also the forty-two percent (up six points since November) who favor impeachment in recent polling. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

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

Trump is Silent About a Real Domestic Terrorist’s Plot to Kill Democrats and Journalists

Early Wednesday morning Donald Trump posted another tweetstorm that ranted incoherently about the media being “the enemy of the people” and wishing for them to “go bust,” putting thousands of Americans out of work and leaving only State TV outlets like Fox News to provide their lies to the nation. It was the sort of reckless tirade that can (and has) lead to bloodshed.

Trump Charlotsville

Later in the day came news that just such an unthinkable act of mass murder was foiled by law enforcement officers of the FBI and the Coast Guard. According to NBC News:

“A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant working in the nation’s capital lived a secret life as a “domestic terrorist” who aspired to mass murder and compiled a target list of prominent politicians and journalists, federal prosecutors allege in court papers.”

The suspect, Christopher Paul Hasson, was arrested on drug and gun charges, but prosecutors said that he was intent on committing a killing spree against journalists and Democratic politicians. He described himself as a “white nationalist” and searched for pro-Russian and neo-Nazi literature online. The report went on to provide details of Hasson’s proposed victims:

“Prosecutors say the list included designations they believe referred to Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Tim Kaine, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; and House Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Maxine Waters, Ilhan Omar and Sheila Jackson. Also on it was former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

“Media figures on the list included [Joe] Scarborough, MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes and Ari Melber, and CNN’s Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo and Van Jones.”

This is the sort of deadly, crackpot white nationalism that comes from watching too much Fox News and listening Trump’s deranged sermons at his cult rallies. Hasson is without a doubt a domestic terrorist with a determination to carry out the most hostile version of the dystopia advocated by Trump. But Trump has said nothing about his plot or arrest. However, Trump did post a tweet announcing that he gave an order to prohibit Hoda Muthana from reentering the U.S.

Muthana is an American citizen who traveled to Syria allegedly to join ISIS. She now regrets her decision and expresses remorse for her “naive, angry, and arrogant” behavior. Whatever you may think of her, or her desire to return to her family and birthplace, Trump’s participation in the matter is absurd. This is a decision that is generally made way below the presidency. So the only imaginable purpose for Trump’s involvement is the publicity.

Nevertheless, Trump doesn’t seem the least bit interested in publicizing the arrest of a straight-up domestic terrorist whose views are aligned with his own. And he doesn’t seem to think that it might be useful to condemn such actions in order to deter others like Hasson from concocting their own plots. Trump’s banning of Muthana will have negligible impact on anything. But his silence on Hasson will be viewed as greenlighting the revolution that his Deplorables dream about.

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

On Orders from Sean Hannity (His Fox News Boss) Trump Will Sign Border Bill, Declare Emergency

After the unmitigated disaster of the Trump Shutdown last month, Donald Trump is taking steps to avoid another embarrassing loss to his nemesis, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Under Pelosi’s guidance, the bipartisan committee in Congress tasked with drafting a new funding bill has arrived at a consensus that does not include any money for Trump’s idiotic vanity wall. So the President is responding in the most ignorant and undemocratic way possible.

Fox News, Sean Hannity, White House

The Constitution of the United States makes clear that the Congress is responsible for all spending allocations by the federal government. Ordinarly, the president would be bound by the decisions of the Congress that is made up of the people’s representatives. But Donald Trump is in no way ordinary. It appears to be his intention to ignore – and even insult – the people (who polls show are overwhelmingly opposed to the wall) and do an unconstitutional end run around Congress to get funding for his precious wall.

Of course, Trump didn’t come to this decision on his own. That would require reading a bill that is over 1,000 pages and being able to grasp what it means. Instead, Trump is merely following orders from his superiors at Fox News who are accustomed to telling him what to do, and having him obey. It was only one day ago that Sean Hannity delivered his command to Trump in the form of commentary on his program. Hannity’s segment was built around this premise: “How Trump can take Congress’ garbage deal, and stick the wall down their throats.” That’s a particularly fascist tone to take with regard to presidential powers (something they are familiar with). What Hannity actually proposed was this:

“Step one: The president signs the deal, and uses the $1.375 billion as a downpayment for the wall. Step two: President Trump has identified some $900 million for additional construction that is already available for the administration’s discretion. That would bring the pot to about $2.3 billion. Step three: This needs to happen simultaneously, and it has the president declaring a national emergency. This is the time.”

So how did the White House respond to the bill that Congress is about to send him?

Gee. That’s exactly what Hannity told him to do. And this isn’t the first time. In fact, the Trump Shutdown was largely the result of Hannity’s insistence that Trump not agree to any deal that didn’t include wall funding. This time, however, they knew that a shutdown would only make matters worse for Trump, so they decided to try to turn the presidency into a dictatorship. But that’s isn’t going to work out any better them.

The emergency declaration will surely be challenged in court, where Trump will likely fail because there isn’t any emergency. And Trump’s own words and actions are the proof of that. He has repeatedly claimed that his administration has reduced illegal border crossings. He said that he already stopped two “caravans” of refugees at the border without any wall. And he has been putting off any executive actions on this for months. All of this affirms that no emergency condition exists.

Trump is engaging in pure theatricality in order to get his way, not to secure the nation, but to be able to say that he fulfilled a dumb campaign promise (that included Mexico paying for the wall, but now that’s been forgotten). No court in the nation will rule that Trump saving face over a campaign promise constitutes a national emergency. So Trump will lose in the end. But in the meantime he will have degraded democracy and divided the country even more than he already has. And that’s the Trump legacy that will endure long after he’s gone.

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

Tucker Carlson of Fox News Parrots Trump’s ‘No Collusion’ Mantra in the Stupidest Way Imaginable

The competition for “The Stupidest Person on Fox News” is always a heated affair with way too many deserving candidates. With people like like Sean Hannity (a perennial leader, but ratings loser), Laura Ingraham, Steve Doocy, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, etc., in the running, it’s may be impossible to name a single winner. But if anyone holds the inside track it’s usually Tucker Carlson.

Fox News, Tucker Carlson

On Tuesday Donald Trump caved in again to his superior, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, over the funding for his idiotic vanity wall along the southern border. The deal that the bipartisan committee in Congress hammered out actually allocates less money to the wall than the deal Trump rejected before his shutdown. So in an effort to draw attention away from yet another example of his pitiful negotiating skills, Trump went back to his whining about the numerous investigations of his criminality that are in progress. He tweeted this on Wednesday:

Of course that tweet, like almost everything Trump says, is totally false. The Senate Intelligence Committee did not make the statement that Trump is attributing to them. It was just the opinion of Sen. Richard Burr, the Republican chair of the committee. The Democrats disputed Burr’s opinion on its face and noted that their probe is not even complete. What’s more, Burr didn’t even say that there is “no evidence of collusion.” He said that he hadn’t seen any “direct” evidence. Which leaves plenty of room for circumstantial evidence or the simple fact that they had not seen the volumes of evidence that special counsel Robert Mueller has.

Naturally, Trump isn’t interested in the complexities of the truth. His mission is to simplify and distort everything to the point where his dimwitted Deplorables can be fooled into thinking he’s winning. He previously tweeted a “Thank You” note to MSNBC for airing a segment that reported Burr’s comments. But Trump cut off the video just before it went into the detail that exposed the very real legal jeopardy that Trump faces.

Enter Tucker Carlson. It won’t surprise anyone that Carlson acted out his sycophantic infatuation with Trump as he always does. He agreed with Trump’s mistaken comments about the Senate committee’s non-conclusion. And he went into great (but malformed) detail to make his point. He insisted that, according to the Senate committee “There is no evidence whatsoever that the Trump campaign conspired in any way with the government of Vladimir Putin during the last presidential election.” As noted above, none of that is true. But what makes Carlson’s suck-up a candidate for awards in stupidity is how he frames his phony argument:

“If you’ve been following the story at all, and of course you have been, you will not be surprised by this. “No Russian collusion” is a lot like the moon landing actually happened, or the abominable snowman was probably a long-haired mountain goat. You knew that already because you are not an idiot.”

So Carlson is arguing that the proof that there was no collusion is that it’s self-evident, that that’s just the way it is and everyone knows it. Never mind all the indictments, convictions, and disclosures of secret meetings with Russians by dozens of Trump associates. You just know it couldn’t be and, therefore, it wasn’t.

And here is where the dumbness becomes Olympic-grade. Carlson later quotes former Navy intelligence officer, Malcolm Nance, saying on MSNBC that there was no direct evidence implicating Benedict Arnold in treason, but that “everyone knew it was treason when they caught the man.” Carlson found this out-of-context soundbite so absurd that he repeated three times. And not once in those repetitions did he realize that he was ridiculing exactly the same reliance on something being self-evident that he relied on himself a few minutes earlier. He apparently has the attention span of brain-damaged gnat.

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

What’s really disturbing is that this is precisely the sort of logical malfunction that works so well among Trump’s cult followers and Fox News viewers. They won’t catch the obvious contradictions or cognitive failures that define the right’s crackpot ideology in the Era of Trump. But they will follow along blindly with whatever their Dear Leader and his State TV surrogates tell them is the truth. Which makes one wonder whether their stupidity is even worse than that of Carlson, Fox News, and Trump.

Fresh Off His ‘Unity’ Themed State of the Union, Trump Smears Democratic Leaders in Congress

On Tuesday night Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. It was delayed for a week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi due to the Trump Shutdown of the government. After capitulating to Pelosi, Trump took to the podium to present what the White House characterized as a message of unity. Which is a pretty audacious stance coming from the most divisive figure on political landscape bar none.

Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi

Trump’s allegedly unifying message contained perhaps the most brazen threat ever to be uttered in the House chambers. He warned Democrats that any efforts to investigate his criminal activities could result in an economic decline or maybe even war. He said that “the only thing that can stop” what he baselessly called an “economic miracle” are “foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations.” That was not received well by House Democrats, and especially Speaker Pelosi who responded by admonishing Trump that “The president should not bring threats to the floor of the House.” They all insisted that they would carry out their constitutional duties as a separate, co-equal branch of government.

Undeterred by reason, diplomacy, or maturity, Trump followed up his threat with a more elaborate assault on those he regards as his persecutors. Chief among them is the new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff (who Trump once called “Adam Schitt” in a display of petulance that would embarrass a seven year old).

Rep. Schiff is keeping his promise to hold the President – and any other public official – accountable for any breaches of the law. One of his first acts was to have the Committee vote to provide transcripts of hearings that were held under the previous chairman (Republican Devin Nunes) forwarded to special counsel Robert Mueller. That’s the sort of accountability that frightens Trump and triggers angry outbursts like the one he unleashed Wednesday morning. He began by falsely stating that Schiff had “no basis” to investigate him. And he continued in a more flagrantly personal vein (video below):

“He’s just a political hack who’s trying to build a name for himself. And I think that’s fine because that’s what they do. But there would be no reason to do that. No other politician has to go through that. It’s called presidential harassment. And it’s unfortunate, and it really does hurt our country.”

So Trump thinks that he’s the only politician who has even been investigated by a congressional committee? Was he in a coma for the dozens of hearings held about Hillary Clinton’s emails, Benghazi, Uranium One, James Comey, the Steele dossier, etc.? The difference between those hearings and the ones that will probe Trump is that the GOP hacks (including former representatives Jason Chaffetz and Trey Gowdy, both of whom now work for Fox News) persecuting Clinton never found a shred of evidence of unlawful activity, but Mueller and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York have both obtained dozens of indictments and guilty pleas.

That should satisfy Trump’s concern about having a basis. What’s more, Trump’s complaint that these investigations would “hurt our country” are bass ackwards. This is precisely what the nation needs to heal and to progress beyond the illegality committed by Trump and Company. Foiling criminal villains helps the country, it doesn’t hurt it.

Trump’s attacks are a pathetic attempt to intimidate Congress from doing its job. They are also intended to continue the process of brainwashing his Deplorables and keeping their fear and anger at a boiling point. But such attacks won’t having any impact on those who are legitimately acting in concert with law enforcement to insure that our government is being run by honest and patriotic individuals, and not weak or compromised puppets of foreign regimes like Russia, or self-interested corporations and billionaires. Which is why Schiff and his House colleagues (Elijah Cummings, Jerrold Nadler, Maxine Waters, etc.) Are doing the right thing and should be commended for their determination and service to the law.

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

Trump: ‘Presidential harassment’ hurts our country from CNBC.

Trump’s ‘Official State of the Union Prep Survey’ is a Laughable Example of Pure Propaganda

The day that nobody was waiting for is finally here. Donald Trump will deliver his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. It was delayed for a week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi until Trump surrendered his demand for an idiotic wall along the southern border. Trump succumbed to Pelosi’s pressure partly because the widespread opposition to his wall depleted any leverage he might have had, and partly due to his ego-driven desire to stand before a joint session of Congress (and the nation’s TV cameras) to exalt himself and lie to the American people.

Donald Trump, SOTU

In advance of his speech, Trump posted what he’s calling an “Official State of the Union Prep Survey” on his website. His plea to the Deplorable respondents that he’s seeking asserts that “Nancy and Chuck don’t want me to speak, Mainstream Media outlets don’t want me to speak, and the Hollywood Elites don’t want me to speak. That’s why I want to hear from the ONLY people who can truly describe the state of our union – YOU, the citizens of this great nation.” All Trump has to do is look at any recent poll to know what the citizens think of him. And it isn’t pretty.

His questionnaire is not really a survey, but instead a marketing gimmick to acquire people’s email address for future spam mailings from his campaign. There is also a pitch for donations after a respondent completes the poll. Those are the real reasons this “survey” exists. A previous version of this scam dubbed the “Official Presidential Job Performance Survey,” asked “How would you rate President Trump’s job performance so far?” And the multiple choice options for your response were “Great,” “Good,” “OK,” and “Other.” Seriously!

This new survey was more of the same. It began with a fair question that asked “Do you approve of the job done by President Donald J. Trump?” This time they actually provided a choice that included both a positive and negative reply. But it went downhill from there. The questions were flagrantly biased and intended to produce answers that made the President look good. For instance, there was a question that asked “Do you think the media did a proper job of blaming Democrats for the Shutdown?” Of course, an affirmative answer agrees that Democrats were responsible for the shutdown and were properly blamed. A negative reply also means that Democrats were responsible, but deserved more blame.

Many of the rest of the questions were similarly slanted or loaded with premises that are outright lies. such as:

  • Do you feel the mainstream media is actively working against the Trump Administration?
  • – And have they stopped beating their wives?

  • Are you pleased that under President Trump, the U.S. is no longer shipping pallets of cash to the Iranian regime?
  • – Which is something that the U.S. was not doing.

  • Do you agree that U.S. citizenship is a PRIVILEGE and should only be extended to the best and brightest candidates, after an extremely rigorous screening process?
  • – Contrary to the long-held values expressed on the Statue of Liberty welcoming “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

  • Are you happier with President Trump’s first 2 years than Obama’s?
  • – Trump will never have the guts to reveal the results for this question.

  • Do you agree with President Trump’s emphasis on rebuilding America’s aging infrastructure?
  • – Which he has never emphasised in anything more than empty rhetoric.

  • Do you agree with President Trump’s unwavering commitment to, and respect for, our incredible veterans and TROOPS?
  • – Who he has lied to, robbed from, and betrayed at every turn.

  • Do you believe that President Trump is restoring America’s standing in the world?
  • – Trump should ask the world leaders this question – if he can stand the fierce rejection.

  • In regards to the Shutdown, do you believe Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer care about the safety of you and your family?
  • – Clearly Trump doesn’t, and he said so explicitly in a recent disgusting interview wherein he accused Pelosi of “doing a terrible disservice to the people of our country,” and alleging that she “doesn’t mind human trafficking.”

This is the sort of blathering propaganda that is emblematic of aspiring tyrants and familiar from Donald Trump. It’s purpose is to brainwash the ill-informed, and to keep those already fooled squarely within the embrace of the Trump Cult. The results of this survey will never see the light of day, because it’s a pretty fair bet that they would embarrass the President. Every poll shows that he is treading historic lows in voter approval, and his policies are massively unpopular.

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

None of that, however, stops Trump from pretending that he is well-loved and achieving successes far beyond what any human being ever imagined. That’s the sickness of a malignant narcissist and a wannabe dictator who is as far removed from reality as the Earth is from the Sun. And dumb polls like this only serve to prove that Trump is scared and deceiving both himself and his dimwitted Deplorables.

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.

Will Trump Declare a Fake National Emergency to Avoid the Real One in the White House?

Ever since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi masterfully forced Donald Trump to surrender his government shutdown, the President has been openly hostile to the notion of a negotiated compromise on immigration policy and border security. Within hours of forming a congressional committee to hammer out the details, Trump insisted that it was a waste of time and threatened to use his imagined imperial powers to impose a state of national emergency.

Donald Trump Revolt

Every credible expert on the law quickly pointed out that Trump’s case for a national emergency was virtually nonexistent. And much of the evidence was provided by Trump himself by his failure to act on the matter for more than two years and his willingness to put it off while Congress debates it. The only plausible excuse for such a declaration would be Trump’s desperation to deflect the public’s attention from his troubles associated with his conspiracy with Russia to steal the election.

However, there is a crisis in Washington that isn’t getting the attention it deserves. It’s a crisis of competence and leadership. Under Donald Trump the machinery of government is crumbling. Nearly twenty percent of the cabinet offices in this administration are being run by “acting” secretaries or directors. That’s because Trump is trying to adapt his television playacting role to his new job as president. And it’s painfully obvious that isn’t working. His “skills” are utterly inappropriate for the duties of government management and national leadership. He spends more time watching TV (Fox News) and conducting made-for-the-camera photo-ops, than engaging in the people’s business.

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 Secretary of Defense (Patrick Shanahan). All to serve our Reality TV Acting “President.” None of these department heads have been vetted or confirmed by the Senate as required by law.

It is all the more troubling considering that many of the nation’s most precarious challenges are directly associated with these cabinet offices. For instance, how can Trump’s alleged national emergency be taken seriously when the nation’s top law enforcement officer hasn’t been confirmed? Not to mention the fact that the current director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is also serving in an acting capacity.

Another example of the jeopardy that America faces under the Trump regime is that we have an acting Defense Secretary just as Trump has abandoned the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. At the same time, Trump’s Intelligence team (CIA, FBI, DNI, etc.) have publicly distanced themselves from the President’s positions on the most critical issues facing them, including Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Russia.

This is a terrible time to have a part-time cabinet and intelligence professionals who have no confidence in their boss. But as Washington burns, Trump is fiddling around with pretend declarations of national emergencies that are actually just attempts to bypass a Congress that he is totally incapable of negotiating with. Which is ironic considering the tweet he posted on November 20, 2014:

The outrageous constitutional breach that Trump was ranting about just happened to be related to immigration. Obama had just signed an executive order to “crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay their fair share of taxes as they register to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.” It was an entirely reasonable approach in response to a problem that Republicans in Congress refused to address.

But Obama did not declare a national emergency or overstep his constitutional powers, as Trump is now threatening to do. He simply took responsibility for a solution that would have passed in Congress (had the GOP allowed it to be voted on) and enjoyed widespread popularity with the public.

Trump, on the other hand, is the one subverting the Constitution with a threat to impose a bogus state of emergency because of his own pitiful negotiating skills. This is what Trump supporters got for believing the lie that he is adept at the “Art of the Deal.” And anyone who still believes that phony PR gimmick is terminally naive or firmly embedded in the Trump Cult.

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

Trump Confesses to Violating the Law By Misappropriating Federal Funds for His Vanity Wall

During the Trump Shutdown the President routinely made ludicrous comments about the necessity of building a wall on the southern border that most experts agree would be wasteful and ineffective. But even worse than that, Donald Trump would claim that his idiotic vanity wall would virtually eliminate, not just illegal immigration, but crimes like drug and human trafficking. Never mind that most of these activities take place at legal ports of entry where a wall would be irrelevant.

Donald Trump, Border Wall

On Friday morning, however, Trump went further down the rabid hole to assert that the wall that has become a fetish for him was already being built (video below). “We’re building the wall,” he lied. “People don’t understand that. They’re starting to learn.” This, of course is totally false. There is no new wall being built anywhere. But Trump continued down that path of falsity:

“We’re spending a lot of the money that we have on hand, like in a business. But we have money on hand and we’re building, I would say we will have 115 miles, maybe a little bit more than that, very shortly. It’s being built. Some of it’s already been completed. In San Diego, if you look, it’s completed. It’s really beautiful, brand new. We have other wall that’s under construction and we’re giving out a lot of contracts. So we’re building the wall. It’s getting it built one way or the other.”

The problem with these remarks is that, if they were true, then Trump is actually confessing to a federal crime. There has been no money appropriated by Congress for the construction any new wall along the southern border. And since Congress is the only government body that can allocate such funds, any money spent on a wall would be misappropriation of funds. It would be just as much a violation of the law as it would be for Trump to build a statue of himself at Mar-a-Lago with government money.

Of course, this would be a difficult case to prosecute since Trump is confessing to something that, in reality, he hasn’t actually done. And you can’t convict someone of a crime that they didn’t commit, even if they say they did. He could confess to being Jack the Ripper, but since he wasn’t alive at the time, the London authorities would be unlikely to go after him.

In addition to Trump’s fishy confession, he is also admitting that his obsession with demanding funds from Congress for his wall is a scam. If he is already building hundreds of miles of the wall with “money on hand,” then why did shut down the government, making hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer? Notably, he has also claimed that the wall would be paid for by a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, or that it would pay for itself by reduced law enforcement costs. And don’t forget that Mexico was supposed to pay for it from the start. According to Trump the wall has been paid for at least four times over.

Trump’s fountain of nonsense is overflowing with crackpot assertions and dishonest blathering. Most of it never approaches the fringes of comprehensible commentary. He’s like the schizophrenic homeless guy under the freeway overpass who is yelling gibberish at passing cars.

Among his other flagrant lies in this interview are that El Paso “immediately” became one of the safest cities in the country after a wall was built there (it has been one of the safest cities long before any wall was erected); many Democrats want the wall but are being prohibited by Nancy Pelosi from saying so (because the iron hand of the Speaker is forcing unity among a caucus usually noted for being in disarray); and Trump’s foes take their legal complaints to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that has nothing to do with the case at hand (which, if true, would not be taken up by that court).

This is just the latest display of Trump diving off the plank into the deep end of idiocy. It fits nicely with his declaration of no confidence in his own Intelligence team. Or his freak out over the release of a book (Team of Vipers) by his former communications aide. Or his boasting about a poll that actually showed him failing miserably. If there is one thing that we can be certain of, it’s that Donald Trump is not the stable genius he thinks he is.

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

Trump Lies About Voter Fraud In Desperate Attempt to Recover from Caving on the Shutdown

If there is one thing that Donald Trump can’t stand, it’s being exposed as the loser that he really is. He refuses to acknowledge his six (at least) bankruptcies. He pretends that he wasn’t played for a fool by Kim Jong Un. And the trail of failures – from his businesses to his marriages to his politics – just gets longer with each passing day.

Donald Trump, Loser

Consequently, getting beat to shreds by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (who he deridingly calls “Nancy”) is surely gnawing at his substantial gut. He was forced to abandon his pledge to decline any deal with Congress that didn’t include his precious vanity wall – a wall that by his own argument isn’t necessary. Nevertheless, he insisted on building it in order to hurt innocent people.

Now, among the lies he’s telling about the imaginary “emergency” on the border, and his blatant scam in statements explaining how it is being paid for, Trump is diverting to an old and utterly fictional narrative on voter fraud to distract the public and the press from his recent embarrassment at the hands of Speaker Pelosi. It’s a pathetic diversionary device considering his previous attempts resulted in the humiliating disbandment of his phony election “integrity” commission because it couldn’t find any evidence of voter fraud. Undeterred by this shame, Trump tweeted this:

This is, to no one’s surprise, a bundle of outright lies, presumably gathered from his obsessive concentration on Fox News. The data was produced by Ken Paxton, the Texas Secretary of State who has been trying furiously to push the unsupportable case for rampant voter fraud. And Trump, of his own accord, tries to drag California into the controversy without the slightest bit of proof.

However, the Texas Tribune quickly came forward with some of those pesky facts that journalists rely on in order to debunk Trump’s dishonest ranting. In their analysis they wrote that:

“In an advisory released Friday afternoon, the office said it was flagging individuals who had provided the Texas Department of Public Safety with some form of documentation — including a work visa or a green card — that showed they were not a citizen when they were obtaining a driver’s license or an ID card. Among the individuals flagged, about 58,000 individuals cast a ballot in one or more elections from 1996 to 2018, the secretary of state’s office said.” […]

“It’s possible that individuals flagged by the state — who provided DPS with documentation that indicated they were authorized to be in the country — could have become naturalized citizens since they obtained their driver’s license or ID card.”

So while Trump is implying that rampant voter fraud took place in recent elections, the information that he’s basing his lies on was actually accumulated over a period of twenty-two years. And during that time anyone who might have not been a citizen could have become naturalized before ever casting a vote. The Texas Secretary of State didn’t bother to check a single voter to see whether or not they were a citizen at the time they voted. But he still released a report that implied that all 58,000 voted illegally.

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

Of course, Trump parroted this irresponsible and poorly documented report as if it were valid. Because it fits nicely into his flagrantly racist narrative that nefarious brown-skinned villains are plotting to invade and take over America. And it also serves as convenient distraction from his border wall debacle that is, not coincidentally, aimed at maligning the same group of people. At least Trump is consistent in his raging dishonesty and bigotry.