Trump Backs E-Cigarette Ban After 6th Vaping Death, Still No Gun Reforms After 313 Deaths

On Wednesday morning Trump invited the press – you know, the “enemy of the people” – into the White House to make an announcement about his new initiative to ban flavored e-cigarettes. He is apparently very concerned about a recent report that a sixth person has died from lung disease associated with vaping.

Donald Trump, Yosemite Sam, Guns

This is a legitimate problem that potentially affects millions of people, including children, who have taken up the habit. And there hasn’t been enough research to establish the safety of this relatively new product. However, there is something peculiar about the rapid response with which Trump is moving to limit access to e-cigarettes. If six deaths ever from vaping is a serious enough crisis to push through a virtual prohibition on an otherwise legal product, why isn’t 313 deaths this year alone enough of a crisis to enact common sense gun reforms?

Many conservatives and Trump Republicans make the argument that restrictions on access to assault-style guns won’t prevent people from acquiring them. But they seem to believe that similar restrictions will be effective on e-cigarette smokers. That’s a contradiction they cannot explain away. At the same time, they are driven to action by a half dozen vaping-related deaths, but fight tooth and nail to protect their right to own military weapons intended solely to mutilate the human body, despite being responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people at schools, churches, and malls.

During his brief visit with the press (video below), Trump revealed that he is “looking at vaping strongly” because “it’s very dangerous” and that “children have died.” Of course, all of that is true many times over for guns and mass shootings. He also asserted that “we’re going to have some very strong rules and regulations.” Which he is vigorously obstructing with regard to guns and accessories like large capacity magazines. He elaborated saying that…

“Vaping is becoming a big business as I understand it, like a giant business in a short period of time. We can’t allow people to get sick and we can’t have our youth be so affected. And that’s how the First Lady got involved. She’s got a son — together that is a beautiful young man, and she feels very, very strongly about it. She’s seen it. We’re both reading it. A lot of people are reading it. But people are dying.”

First of all, it’s curious that Trump has noticed that Melania has a son, as if he has nothing to do with it. But more to the point, Trump’s observation that “people are dying” from vaping seems especially callous when he can’t make the same connection to the far more numerous fatalities caused by easy access to killing machines that have no justifiable purpose for anyone other than soldiers and police officers.

It’s hard to dismiss the likelihood that Trump’s reluctance to take any action on guns is due to his alliance with – and/or fear of – the National Rifle Association. He has repeatedly made hollow, insincere gestures toward reform efforts, only to abandon them after talking to his pals at the NRA. And it’s fair to say that Big Tobacco has a firmer grip on Trump and the GOP than Big E-Cig. Since the e-cigarette industry doesn’t have anything comparable to the NRA lobbying on their behalf, they will end up being regulated in short order. And Americans will continue to be mowed down by assault weapons thanks to the self-serving, cold-blooded, depravity of Trump and his Re[publican Nationalist Party.

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

Trump Won’t Condemn White Nationalist Domestic Terrorists for Fear of Offending His Base

The casualties are piling up as gun violence in America continues unabated. And it is impossible to tolerate any longer the right-wing mantra of “thoughts and prayers” while they do absolutely nothing constructive to solve the problem. To the contrary, Republicans in Congress work affirmatively to obstruct common sense solutions that the American people want in unprecedented majorities.

Donald Trump

This isn’t about mental health. It’s not about video games or prayer in school. It’s about easy access to weapons of war and the flagrant racism and hate speech of Donald Trump and his ilk. There have been more mass shootings (250) in 2019 than there have days (219). And while Democrats have passed bills in the House of Representatives, Republicans, and particularly GOP leader Mitch McConnell, have refused to even allow a vote on any of those bills.

For his part, Donald Trump remains aloof and unable to tear himself away from his golf game, or Fox News, long enough to address this crisis with any measure of the seriousness it demands. A real president would deliver an Oval Office speech condemning the white nationalists who are responsible for the majority of fatalities related terrorism in the U.S. That’s a conclusion that even the Trump-appointed FBI director affirmed. It would be nice if we had a real president.

But Trump himself will not even acknowledge that there is a problem with right-wing violence. In fact, he literally downplays any significant occurrence of it. Following the slaughter at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Trump dismissed the growing threat of white nationalism saying that “I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.”

The words “white nationalist terrorism” have never passed through Trump’s lips. And this is despite his being one of the most vocal critics of President Obama for not using the inaccurate and inflammatory phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.” Trump even called for Obama to resign on Twitter asking…

Trump has made it a hallmark of his presidency to maliciously portray refugees as criminals and terrorists “invading” our country. Never mind that his exclusionary view of “our” country ignores the fact that it is populated, and was built, by refugees. Yet he demands that they “go back where they came from,” even they happen to be U.S. citizens and elected representatives in Congress. The rhetoric of “invasion,” and “criminal,” and “go back,” is exactly the same language that appears in the manifestos of these racist murderers.

It’s also the same language that is used by Fox News. Tucker Carlson’s White Nationalist Hour frequently bemoans the “darkening” of America. He has said that immigration “makes our own country poorer, and dirtier.” His colleague Laura Ingraham worries that “the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore [due to] massive demographic changes … that most of us don’t like.” And in the wake of two tragic massacres, Fox sought to blame ISIS or video games rather than the clearly guilty movement of alt-right bigotry.

There’s a reason that Trump won’t go after these domestic terrorists. He is scared. He’s a shivering wisp of a man who is afraid of offending his base. He’s afraid that the attendance at his cult rallies will decline. He’s terrified of losing support from the neo-Nazis who comprise the most activist faction of his hateful crusade. And Republicans in Congress won’t act either because they are afraid of offending Trump.

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

Trump is so unashamedly beholden to his cretinous disciples that he recently joked about shooting migrants. And considering the clarity that Trump gives to his hate speech, no one should be surprised when his followers take up the call. When they do, don’t expect Trump to denounce them. But the rest of the nation needs to come together and condemn Trump’s hatred and incitement to violence. We need to hold him accountable for the pain and grief he purposefully encourages. And if he can’t “finally mention the words [white nationalist terrorism], he should immediately resign in disgrace!”

GOP Approval for Trump Rises AFTER Racist Tweets – Tells You Something About the GOP

From the very first day Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president, he established his credentials as the Republican Party’s foremost spokesman for white nationalism and the racist hate groups who rallied to his campaign. And trump hasn’t been shy about his gratitude for their support. This week he even told a Fox News reporter that he isn’t concerned that white nationalists are “finding common cause” with his racist remarks.

Donald Trump, MAGA

Following Trump’s brazenly bigoted Twitter rants against Democratic women of color, there has been a deafening silence from his GOP colleagues. They are either too scared to take the ethical road and condemn Trump’s racism, or they agree with it. And now there is a new Reuters poll that really tells us all we need to know about today’s Republican Nationalist Party:

“Support for U.S. President Donald Trump increased slightly among Republicans after he lashed out on Twitter over the weekend in a racially charged attack on four minority Democratic congresswomen, a Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll shows. […] his net approval among members of his Republican Party rose by 5 percentage points.”

There you have it. Trump may be an avowed white supremacist, but his public utterances affirming that are clearly a deliberate strategy to appeal the members of his party who are lapping it up. They like him even more when he’s articulating overtly racist messages. That can only serve to incite ever more repugnant hate speech from the President and his Klannish confederates.

For contrast, approval from Democrats and independents both declined in the poll. And a separate poll from USA Today confirmed these findings. It showed that overall large majorities of 59 percent of voters called Trump’s tweets “un-American.” And 68 percent said they were “offensive.” But a majority of 57 percent of Republicans said they agreed with Trump’s racist tweets.

Contrary to the disgust by most Americans for Trump’s racism, he continues to dig himself deeper into the abyss of blatant bigotry. On Wednesday morning he quote-tweeted a Fox News commentary by GOP Sen. John Kennedy, who said that “the four horsewomen of the apocalypse” are “Wack Jobs.” And somehow Trump thought that would help his argument that he isn’t a racist scumbucket. He also tweeted a poll of his own to bolster his lagging defense:

First of all, let’s not ignore that Trump is once again maligning four women of color, who were elected to represent their districts, with his obviously sarcastic thanks to “the vicious young Socialist Congresswomen.” It’s part of his reelection strategy to fire up his Deplorable base by dehumanizing his critics.

As for Rasmussen, it is a thoroughly disgraced, right-wing purveyor of deliberately slanted surveys. Nevertheless, Trump posts a similar tweet every time Rasmussen puts Trump at 50 percent. Never mind that the same poll also shows Trump with a negative “approval index” wherein his strong disapproval always exceeds his strong approval. What’s more, whenever Rasmussen hits 50 percent for Trump, it only lasts a few days before he is once again in negative territory. And this is with the most Trump-friendly pollster on the planet.

So Trump is caught in an endless loop where Rasmussen puts him at around 47 percent, then he pops to 50 and Trump squeezes out a tweet. Then he drops to the mid forties again. Then he spikes back to 50 triggering another tweet. This has happened at least fourteen times just this year. You have to wonder if this is a strategy on Rasmussen’s part to give Trump some phony survey data to brag about.

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

Although, it hardly seems worthy af bragging when Trump can’t even manage to get half the nation to approve of him for more than a day or two in a notoriously pro-Trump poll (most polls have him in the low forties). And it is downright disastrous when Trump’s Republican Party support goes up after he spends several days ranting like the Klan’s Grand Wizard. But that should inform America’s voters that the problem isn’t just Trump. It’s the entire GOP. And in 2020, all of them need to be exorcised from our local and national governments.

Awww: Fox News Worries that Democrats Might Be ‘Blowing Their Chance to Beat Trump’

There’s nothing like an election to get conservative blowhards to shed some crocodile tears over what they see as the declining fortunes of the Democratic Party. Never mind that the last election in 2018 saw a “blue wave” that swept Democrats into the majority in the House of Representatives and made Nancy Pelosi Speaker. Republicans are never more sympathetic to the threat of Democrats losing voters than when the Democrats are actively and effectively beating up on the GOP. So naturally, right-wing politicos and pundits need to come out with their heartfelt advice to stop the Democrats from hurting themselves. How thoughtful.

Fox News, Donkey

On Tuesday morning, Fox News media analyst, Howard Kurtz, was interviewed by anchor Bill Hemmer about how dreadfully naive Democrats are for appealing to their own constituents, rather than kowtowing to Donald Trump and his cadre of Deplorables. The segment featured a chyron that read “2020 Dems Taking Extreme Positions on Key Issues.” And their examples of how the party is “lurching left” and “blowing their chance to defeat Trump,” were positions in favor of humanitarian treatment of refugees and support of Medicare for All – two issues that resonate with progressives and are wildly popular among Democrats and even many Republicans and independents.

This is a bold demonstration of political altruism on the part of Kurtz and company. Because who would know more about what’s best for Democrats than the staunchly Republican partisans on Fox News who spend most of their time viciously maligning and lying about the party? They nevertheless believe that they are perfectly positioned to give counsel to Democrats who might otherwise destroy their own electoral prospects by advocating for higher wages for workers, higher taxes for corporations and the wealthy, greater access to education, and addressing the imminent risks of the climate crisis. You know, the very issues that define the positive values of the Democratic Party, as well as the majority of Americans. But Kurtz is concerned because…

“What we can say is that some of these positions, way out on the left wing, things that nobody in the party would have said even in 2016, could be a vulnerability next year.”

Really? It’s funny that Kurtz is worried about what are actually mainstream positions that he ridiculously tags as “left wing.” But he doesn’t have a word to say about the radical right positions being taken by Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party. Doesn’t he think that incarcerating children in cages will blow Trump’s chances of being reelected? And what about Trump’s bizarre affinity for murderous dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un? And his hostility toward agreements that made America safer by curtailing the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea?

Isn’t the GOP lurching to the right by repeatedly cutting taxes for the rich? Aren’t they pandering to GOP fanatics by rejecting the Paris accords on climate change? Won’t Trump’s sabotage of ObamaCare and determination to end popular protections for preexisting conditions drive voters away? And then there’s his relentless pursuit of a useless, idiotic, vanity wall along the southern border that most Americans oppose.

Why is it that wingnuts like Kurtz always pretend to be concerned about where Democrats are on the ideological spectrum? They would never countenance Democrats offering such advice to Republicans. You’ll never see Kurtz, or anyone on Fox News asking if Trump is blowing it by pandering so obsessively to his dwindling, cultist base.

If anyone should be worried about blowing 2020, it’s Donald Trump. His approval ratings are in the basement. He is the first president in history who has never cracked 50 percent. His positions are unpopular. He is regarded as a lying loudmouth who doesn’t know what he’s talking about on any subject. Meanwhile, the motivation of Democrats to vote next year forecasts a historically high turnout. That isn’t exactly good news for Trump and his paid shills at Fox News. But not to worry. They will never see those danger signals as warnings to moderate their regressive fanaticism.

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

Dumba** Rumor Monger Trump Says Democrats are Changing Name to the Socialist Party

One of the only true records that Donald Trump has achieved as president is his Olympic-class achievement of having told more than 10,000 lies. It’s hard to imagine anyone taking that trophy from him. He is a leader in both quantity and sheer audaciousness, considering his unflinching ability to utter absurd, known falsehoods and to repeat his flagrant dishonesties ad nauseum.

Fox News, Socialism

However, having reached the pinnacle of prevarication, Trump is now broadening his horizons with a new form of deceit – Rumors! In an interview on Thursday, Trump thought he found an opportunity to take a jab at those he considers to be America’s most vicious adversaries. No, it wasn’t Russia or North Korea or ISIS or even Central American refugees. It’s just the plain old Democrats for whom his hatred is unbound. The Rumor-Monger-in-Chief told the interviewer that…

“I heard there’s a rumor the Democrats are going to change the name of the party from the Democratic Party to the Socialist Party.”

Let’s set aside the fact that there isn’t anything wrong with being a socialist. In fact, most Americans are socialists, whether they know it or not. Everything from Medicare to fire stations to interstate highways to public schools and libraries are societal benefits born of socialism. But Trump and his ignoramus Deplorables have no idea what the word means. They just use it as a handy pejorative because they don’t have vocabularies that allow them to converse above a third grade level.

And just to intercept the likely excuse that Trump and his defenders will probably serve up, you’ll notice that there isn’t a hint of a smile, or any indication that Trump was trying, in his pitiful way, to be funny. He’s simply casting out an asinine insult that has no basis in reality in order to malign his sworn enemies and to incite others to join him in his hate fest.

Not surprisingly, Fox News has already joined Trump’s Contempt Choir. On Trump’s favorite Fox News morning show, Fox and Friends, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes reveled in a segment bashing the Democratic primary debate (which they also did the day before) that featured a full screen graphic that blared “Socialism Takes the Stage.” Once again, these clods couldn’t provide a definition of socialism if an immigrant child’s life depended on it. (OK, that’s a bad example because they would give a damn about an immigrant child’s life).

This is more support for the argument that Democrats should pay any attention to what Trump or Republicans say about them. The have been calling Democrats socialists for decades, even when they advocated for the same policies. They would call the most conservative Democrats socialists just to keep the phony narrative intact. Presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg was asked a question about this by Joy Behar on The View and had a pretty darn good response (video below):

“Literally anything we do they’re going to call socialist. If it’s conservative they’ll call it socialist because it’s coming from Democrats. If it’s further left they’ll call it socialist. So let’s not worry about what they’re calling it. Let’s worry about whether it’s a good idea … Call it whatever you like, but let’s get it done if it’s a good idea. And the others can argue about what label to slap on it.”

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

Sean Hannity Faceplants with Ludicrous Charge that Anti-Trump Protesters are Racist

One of the favorite pastimes of right-wing propagandists is to try to deflect the well documented history of their racism by flipping the narrative and falsely accusing liberals of being prejudiced. It’s a futile exercise in deception considering that liberals are the champions of equality for all, while conservatives put up obstacles at every opportunity. It’s liberals who fight for civil rights, and Republicans who suppress everything from voting to jobs to education and more.

Sean Hannity, Fox News

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the primetime block on Fox News is a virtual White Power Broadcasting service. It’s triumvirate of Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity are beloved by America’s confederacy of white nationalists and neo-Nazis. The fact that that doesn’t make them (or Fox) nervous tells you all you need to know about them.

Leading this pack of weasels is Sean Hannity. He is also one of those who most frequently accuses Democrats of the abhorrent behavior that conservatives are known for. And that occurred again on Monday night’s episode of his program. In order to disrupt some anti-Trump rallies, Hannity sent Fox contributor Lawrence Jones to see if he could goad some innocent people into saying things that Hannity could take out of context. But he failed miserably, so he had to bend some comments into absurd misrepresentations of reality (video below). He began by saying that…

“There were some moments, vile, racist, vicious, horrible. Two men actually approached our own Lawrence Jones and one told him to go back to Fox News where there’s ‘more cotton for you to pick.’ [and another said] ‘He’ll tell you to go back to Kenya next.'”

This is what Hannity thinks is vile and racist? Anyone with an elementary grasp of the English language can see that neither of those comments were directed at Jones. Telling someone to “go back to Fox News where there’s more cotton for you to pick,” is a criticism of Fox News as a figurative plantation where African-Americans are exploited. That is, when they aren’t being disrespected, insulted, and belittled. And the comment about going back to Kenya was obviously a sarcastic reference to the Birther movement that Hannity and Fox participated in, wherein they maligned President Obama as an un-American, illegitimate president. The protester who said it was clearly referring to Trump as the person who would tell Jones to go back to Kenya.

So the first comment was directed at the racism of Fox News, and the second was directed at the racism of Trump. How any of that could be construed as racism aimed at Jones is beyond imagination. But departures from reality are what Hannity specializes in.

Hannity further demonstrated that by rattling off a list of phony “accomplishments” that he said Trump had achieved for African-Americans. Then he asks why, with all of that, the black community doesn’t support him. To which Jones had a pretty good response. He said that Republicans haven’t been articulating their message and that “the President can make a turn if he goes into the community.” Which, of course, Trump has never done. Every one of his dozens of cult rallies have been in snow white communities and attended by overwhelmingly white devotees.

Hannity is suggesting that African-Americans who don’t support Trump are stupid and don’t understand what’s in their own best interests. He thinks that they should submit to the nearly all-white GOP to be their paternal caretakers. It’s a condescending attitude that is racist at its core. The reason African-Americans almost universally support Democrats is because they can see that it’s a party that embraces diversity, including in the ranks of their representatives and leadership. But conservatives are devoted to oppressing anyone that doesn’t look and think like them. And these stunts by Hannity only drive home that point with greater emphasis.

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

GOP Rep. Justin Amash Butchers Trump’s Disgraced AG Barr in a Brutal Twitter Truthstorm

Two months ago special counsel Robert Mueller completed his report on Donald Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia during his campaign, and his obstruction of justice as President. He delivered the report to Trump’s handpicked flunky at the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr. And ever since, Barr’s brazenly prejudiced mangling the contents has been the subject of harsh criticism and ridicule.

William Barr, Donald Trump

However, most of the critics have predictably been Democrats appalled by the dishonesty and suppression of the facts. One notable exception is the Republican congressman from Michigan, Justin Amash. Last week Amash publicly called for impeachment proceedings of Trump based on what is already known about his criminal behaviors.

For the time being, Amash is the only Republican congressman courageous enough to take this stand for the rule of law and the honor of America’s government. And on Tuesday morning Amash went further with a tweeted essay condemning Barr’s perversion of justice and the integrity of the department he is tainting with partisan lies. The series of twenty-five tweets is a testimony that needs to be seen by every citizen. It is thorough and scathing and truthful and speaks for itself. Therefore it is presented here unedited in its entirety (each paragraph being one tweet):

Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented key aspects of Mueller’s report and decisions in the investigation, which has helped further the president’s false narrative about the investigation.

After receiving Mueller’s report, Barr wrote and released a letter on March 24 describing Barr’s own decision not to indict the president for obstruction of justice. That letter selectively quotes and summarizes points in Mueller’s report in misleading ways.

Mueller’s report says he chose not to decide whether Trump broke the law because there’s an official DoJ opinion that indicting a sitting president is unconstitutional, and because of concerns about impacting the president’s ability to govern and pre-empting possible impeachment.

Barr’s letter doesn’t mention those issues when explaining why Mueller chose not to make a prosecutorial decision. He instead selectively quotes Mueller in a way that makes it sound—falsely—as if Mueller’s decision stemmed from legal/factual issues specific to Trump’s actions.

But, in fact, Mueller finds considerable evidence that several of Trump’s actions detailed in the report meet the elements of obstruction, and Mueller’s constitutional and prudential issues with indicting a sitting president would preclude indictment regardless of what he found.

In noting why Barr thought the president’s intent in impeding the investigation was insufficient to establish obstruction, Barr selectively quotes Mueller to make it sound as if his analysis was much closer to Barr’s analysis than it actually was:

Barr quotes Mueller saying the evidence didn’t establish that Trump was personally involved in crimes related to Russian election interference, and Barr then claims that Mueller found that fact relevant to whether the president had the intent to obstruct justice.

But Mueller’s quote is taken from a section in which he describes other improper motives Trump could have had and notes: “The injury to the integrity of the justice system is the same regardless of whether a person committed an underlying wrong.” None of that is in Barr’s letter.

As a result of Barr’s March 24 letter, the public and Congress were misled. Mueller himself notes this in a March 27 letter to Barr, saying that Barr’s letter “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions.”

Mueller: “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”

To “alleviate the misunderstandings that have arisen,” Mueller urged the release of the report’s introductions and executive summaries, which he had told Barr “accurately summarize [Mueller’s] Office’s work and conclusions.”

Barr declined; he allowed the confusion to fester and only released the materials three weeks later with the full redacted report. In the interim, Barr testified before a House committee and was misleading about his knowledge of Mueller’s concerns:

Barr was asked about reports “that members of [Mueller’s] team are frustrated…with the limited information included in your March 24th letter, that it does not adequately or accurately necessarily portray the report’s findings. Do you know what they’re referencing with that?”

Barr absurdly replied: “No, I don’t…I suspect that they probably wanted more put out.” Yet Mueller had directly raised those concerns to Barr, and Barr says he “suspect[s]” they “probably” wanted more materials put out, as if Mueller hadn’t directly told him that.

In subsequent statements and testimony, Barr used further misrepresentations to help build the president’s false narrative that the investigation was unjustified.

Barr notes that Mueller did not “find any conspiracy to violate U.S. law involving Russia-linked persons and any persons associated with the Trump campaign.” He then declares that Mueller found “no collusion” and implies falsely that the investigation was baseless.

But whether there’s enough evidence for a conviction of a specific crime which Mueller thought was appropriate to charge is a different and much higher standard than whether the people whom Mueller investigated had done anything worthy of investigation.

In truth, Mueller’s report describes concerning contacts between members of Trump’s campaign and people in or connected to the Russian government.

For instance, Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner took a meeting with a Russian lawyer whom Trump Jr. had been told worked for the Russian government and would provide documents to “incriminate Hillary,” as part of the Russian government’s “support for Mr. Trump.”

It’s wrong to suggest that the fact that Mueller did not choose to indict anyone for this means there wasn’t a basis to investigate whether it amounted to a crime or “collusion,” or whether it was in fact part of Russia’s efforts to help Trump’s candidacy.

Barr says the White House “fully cooperated” with the investigation and that Mueller “never sought” or “pushed” to get more from the president, but the report says Mueller unsuccessfully sought an interview with the president for over a year.

The report says the president’s counsel was told that interviewing him was “vital” to Mueller’s investigation and that it would be in the interest of the public and the presidency. Still Trump refused.

The president instead gave written answers to questions submitted by the special counsel. Those answers are often incomplete or unresponsive. Mueller found them “inadequate” and again sought to interview the president.

Ultimately, the special counsel “recogniz[ed] that the President would not be interviewed voluntarily” and chose not to subpoena him because of concerns that the resulting “potentially lengthy constitutional litigation” would delay completion of the investigation.

Barr has so far successfully used his position to sell the president’s false narrative to the American people. This will continue if those who have read the report do not start pushing back on his misrepresentations and share the truth.

Amash pointedly began this rebuke of Barr by chastising him for “deliberately misrepresent[ing] key aspects of Mueller’s report.” He concluded by charging that Barr “used his position to sell the president’s false narrative.” And finally, Amash could not be more on point by calling on his Congressional (mainly Republican) colleagues to “start pushing back … and share the truth.” This has not been articulated better by any Democrat or other Trump critic. And with a few more Republicans joining the crusade for truth and accountability, the American people may finally get justice and Trump’s fate will be sealed.

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

Big Baby Trump Resorts to Whining and Lying When Fellow Republican Says He’s Impeachable

Nothing is more predictable than the response from Donald Trump whenever anyone has the audacity to challenge or criticize him. He lashes out uncontrollably like a petulant child who doesn’t get his way. And his assaults are always slathered in impotent insults and seasoned with the hate of a wounded narcissist.

Donald Trump

So naturally when Republican congressman Justin Amash of Michigan made the courageous decision to put his country before his party. Trump went ballistic. Amash is one of the few Republican members of Congress who read the report by special counsel Robert Mueller with an independent eye. Consequently he came away with the objective realization that Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.” The report is rife with evidence of the unsavory connections to Russia by Trump and his campaign, as well as multiple documented incidents of obstruction of justice.

Trump typically chose Twitter as his preferred presidential communications platform to strike back at Amash. Lately Trump has been spectacularly deranged, even for him. But Trump’s pitiful retort to Amash is just further evidence of his mental infirmity and unfitness for office. He tweeted that he was…

The pattern of Trump’s attack is typified by first maligning his foe as an inferior with ulterior motives. Thus, Amash is a “lightweight” who is just looking for attention. But then Trump made the laughable charge that Amash had not read the Mueller report, which Trump absolutely didn’t read. At best he had one of his nannies summarize it with a few charts and pictures that made him look like a superhero.

In what might ordinarily be considered a hysterical satire, Trump dismissed the Mueller report as the “biased” product of “18 Angry Dems who hated Trump.” (For the record, there are more like 65 million angry Democrats who hate Trump). However, he also said that it found “NO COLLUSION and, ultimately, NO OBSTRUCTION.” But if the report that allegedly exonerated him was biased, doesn’t that mean that it DID find collusion and obstruction? And typical of any Trump tirade, it was overflowing with lies:

  • It’s absurd to suggest that Amash, a conservative Republican, was looking to advance himself by defying his own party and its leader.
  • Amash’s detailed commentary proves that he did read the Mueller report, despite Trump’s implying that he didn’t.
  • The report was produced by a lifelong Republican who was chosen by a Republican acting Attorney General who Trump appointed.
  • It was neither “strong on no collusion” nor “ultimately no obstruction.”
  • You can charge obstruction of justice even if there is no underlying crime. Obstruction is a crime in itself.
  • There no discernible crimes by “the other side” despite repeated attempts by the GOP to find something.

You have to hand to Trump. Not many people could squeeze that many falsehoods into two measly tweets. But he had inspiration. He was driven by the fact that someone chose to be disobedient by criticizing Dear Leader. That is the deadly sin of the Trump Era. And such impudence must be met head on with whining and crying and lying and the throwing of tantrums. Thankfully, those are the only skills that Trump has been shown to have in abundance.

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

Choosing Ignorance: Majority of Republicans (and Trump) Oppose Full Release of Mueller Report

On Thursday a version of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller will be released by Donald Trump’s plant in the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr. It will be heavily redacted by Barr to prevent the American people from seeing all of the facts accumulated during the investigation that they paid for.

Donald Trump

Even before the release of the redacted Mueller report, there has been enough voluminous evidence of Trump’s conspiracy with Russia, WikiLeaks, and other nefarious characters, to warrant impeachment and/or indictment. But the report almost certainly contains new information that likely further incriminates Trump, his family, and associates. Even the senior legal analyst at Fox News said so. Which explains why Trump is so panicked by the impending release. He is exhibiting a palpable fear of what might come out, and he feverishly expresses that fear in his Twitter rampages. But he isn’t the only one who is consumed with the dread of imminent truth.

A poll by Monmouth University asked voters if the Justice Department should “provide the full Mueller report to Congress.” The response overall was a resounding majority (60%) saying that the full report should be made public. That’s in line with every other poll on this subject. What’s more interesting is the breakdown by political affiliation. The poll found that Democrats were overwhelmingly in favor (81%) of an unfettered presentation of the facts. Which speaks to their confidence in Mueller and their appreciation for openness no matter the results. Likewise, a solid majority of Independents (61%) also favor full disclosure.

On the other hand, Republicans were committed to burying their heads in the sand to avoid what they must be assuming will be bad news for their Dear Leader. Only thirty-three percent said they want the full, unredacted Mueller report released to the public. In other words, two-thirds of GOP voters are choosing to remain deliberately ignorant. They have no problem with wanting to see all of Hillary Clinton’s stolen emails, or President Obama’s thirty year old school transcripts, but the sight of the product of a two year investigation of the current president by Republican law enforcement officials is too much for them to bear.

Trump is also terrified by the prospect of this information becoming public. His comments on it reflect a man who is deeply disturbed and irrational as a result of this publicity. He has tweeted about Mueller nearly every day this month and over three dozen times just this year. He wavers wildly from insisting that he has been “totally exonerated” to hostile assaults on Mueller’s team (who he says exonerated him) as being corrupt and biased. Sometimes in a single tweet:

So Trump thinks that Democrats in Congress – and by extension all of the American people – don’t have the right to see what he himself calls the “No Collusion Mueller Report.” Why wouldn’t he want everyone to see a report that he says proves his innocence? What’s more, he absurdly claims that Democrats have abandoned their respect for Mueller, even though this poll proves that they still look forward to seeing what his report says:

Clearly Trump is lashing out blindly in all directions at once and making no sense at all. Even his complaint about the cost of the probe is completely off-base. It was more than paid for by just the asset forfeitures from convicted Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. But the opposition by Trump and his Republican Nationalist constituents to the release of the full, unredacted report, along with the underlying documents, is proof that they have something to hide.

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

Consequently, they are taking the peculiar position of begging to be kept uninformed. It’s not an unfamiliar state of affairs with the Republican base (remember the Tea Party?). And to an even greater extent, enforced stupidity is a sacrament to the right-wing cult followers of Trump. After all, they still regard him as an honest, faithful, law-abiding, humble, diplomatic, brilliant, successful, family man, despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary.

POLL: The Fox News Audience is a Fanatical, Irredeemably Warped Cult of Right-Wing Extremists

A few weeks ago the Democratic National Committee chair, Tom Perez, announced that there would be no Democratic primary debates hosted by Fox News. There was considerable debate over whether this was a constructive policy, even though Fox News itself virtually validated it by repeatedly demonstrating their abject hatred for Democrats and their all-consuming adoration of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Hate Again

Now a new survey affirms the decision to banish Fox News from the Democratic primary schedule. Navigator Research interviewed 1,000 voters to ascertain the ideological gaps between members of both parties and their viewing of Fox News. The results were published in their paper: “Stepping Inside the Fox Hole, The Media Echo-Chamber of Fox News,” It revealed stark differences that were directly attributable to frequent exposure to the propaganda on Fox. According to Navigator Research:

“There is an alternate reality in American politics, and it plays an outsized role in the way many experience and form opinions on the most important issues facing the country. Progressives should be mindful of the challenge from the Fox News echo-chamber and how it skews public perceptions. […] The influence of Fox News Channel is undeniable: from their audience to their biggest promoter, President Trump.”

The report went on to note that there was “near unanimity” between the Fox News viewing Republicans (what they call the “Fox Hole”) and the Trump world of “alternative facts.” These voters have opinions that are “vastly different from the rest” of the American people, and even from other Republicans who don’t watch Fox. For instance:

  • 90% of the Fox Hole approve of Trump’s job performance. Compared to only 71% of the non-Fox GOP and 10% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
  • 89% of the Fox Hole approve of Trump’s tax reform. Compared to only 62% of the non-Fox GOP and 6% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
  • 84% of the Fox Hole approve of Trump’s national emergency declaration to fund a border wall. Compared to only 50% of the non-Fox GOP and 7% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
  • 89% of the Fox Hole agree with Trump’s claims of “fake news.” Compared to only 76% of the non-Fox GOP and 11% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
  • 78% of the Fox Hole agree that Trump accomplished more than any other president in two years. Compared to only 49% of the non-Fox GOP and 4% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
  • 78% of the Fox Hole that think that Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation should be shut down. Compared to only 60% of the non-Fox GOP and 12% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.

What this tells us is what many of us have already known for years. Fox News viewers are a segment of the electorate who are almost completely unpersuadable on political matters. They are no more open to debate than members of a cult. Democrats appearing on Fox News have practically no opportunity to change the minds of anyone in their audience. It’s a total waste of time and resources.

That’s not to say that there aren’t minds in the country that can be changed, even among Republicans. However, Republicans who are not Fox News viewers can be reached on broadcast networks, local TV, or online news. And Fox News viewers who are not Republicans also watch other cable news sources and can be reached there.

But the Republicans watching Fox News – The Fox Holes – are cemented into their Trumpist mindset and are unavailable to Democratic arguments or ideas. So the DNC was right to reject Fox News as a primary debate host (although the general election debates are another matter). And Democrats should feel no need to accept invitations to be cannon fodder for biased and bigoted Fox News interrogations.

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