Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Trump-tanic: Sinking Hopes for 2020

It is abundantly clear that Donald Trump, America’s first reality TV game show host to serve as president, learned everything he knows about communications from his shallow experience in the world of television. Everything he says – whether good news or bad – has the stench of a sleazy infomercial. And Trump pumps out his propaganda as if he’s peddling Sham-Wow rags to the trailer park crowd.

Donald Trump, Republican, GOP

On Friday morning Trump held what he called a press conference, although he left after making a statement and took no questions at all. He greeted the press corps with strange praise saying that “I noticed you’re starting to get much closer together. Looks much better.” What Trump failed to mention was that the chairs were originally arranged in compliance with social distancing guidance, but before the press arrived Trump’s staff rearranged them to put everyone closer together, and more at risk. Talk about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Trump only crawled out from his bunker to crow about a new set of jobs numbers indicating that some of the millions of Americans who became unemployed due his negligent and incompetent mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic had returned to work. Trump presented this data as a “Mission Accomplished” moment, despite the fact that the unemployment rate is still at historic highs (13.1%) and more than 20 million Americans are still not working. And in a bizarre conflation of concepts, Trump praised the economic news as somehow being beneficial to George Floyd, the African-American man who was murdered by police last week. Trump beamed that

“Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. This is a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality.”

Really? Even if the jobs numbers are accurate (and with the Trump administration that’s a risky assumption), the unemployment rate for whites declined from 14.2% to 12.4%. But for African-Americans it rose from 16.7% to 16.8%. What a great day for George.

UPDATE: As it turns out, there was a huge miscalculation in the unemployment rate. The real number is closer to 20%, which is near a record high and is what analysts predicted.

Earlier in the day, Trump displayed a measure of anxiety in his standard way: by firing off a frantic tweetstorm. This is how he lets the world know when he’s scared, planting himself on his Twitter throne and blasting out an incoherent stream of invective and flagrant distortions of reality (aka lies). And on Friday morning Trump was busy not being president as he rattled off a record 131 posts on Twitter. Most of them (115) were retweets of Republican senators. And most of those were promoting 13 of the senators running for reelection in competitive races. Some of the most at-risk GOP senators who got shout-outs from Trump were Martha McSally (AZ), Tom Cotton (AR), Cory Gardner (CO), and Thom Tillis (NC). Eighteen others were either in close races or held safe Republican seats. Democrats only need four seats to flip to take control of the Senate.

For some reason Trump didn’t bother to help out his pals Mitch McConnell (KY) or Lindsey Graham (SC), who are both facing strong Democratic challengers. He also left out Susan Collins (ME), who is struggling survive, and Kelly Loeffler (GA), who is embroiled in an insider trading scandal.

The bottom line is that Trump wouldn’t cough up more than a hundred tweets featuring senators running for reelection five months before election day – and during an ongoing pandemic – and while there is nationwide civil unrest – unless he was worried about losing both the presidency and the Republican majority in the Senate. If he is worried, it may be the first thing he’s gotten right in three and a half years. The likelihood of Democratic victories for the Senate and the White House increase every day as Trump’s failures drive his approval ratings ever lower. and his toxicity is rubbing off on his party confederates. At some point they are going to flee like the proverbial rats that they are. And that will leave Trump all alone and trembling in his bunker.

UPDATE: Today Trump hit a new record of a staggering 195 tweets (including 161 retweets) in a single day. That’s About one tweet every four minutes for 13.5 hours.

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

‘I Won’t Vote for Him Again,’ Say Republicans Disgusted With Trump

The downward spiral that is the reelection campaign of Donald Trump is swirling the dregs of the political sewer. His approval ratings are near their all time lows. He is losing in every recent poll (including Fox News) to his Democratic nemesis, Joe Biden. His Republican confederates are increasingly worried more about their own declining prospects than about maintaining the cult-like obedience that Trump demands of them.

Donald Trump, Presidenty

Insiders in the Trump camp are well aware of these warning signs. They are frantically trying to rein in Trump’s worst impulses. But that’s a lost cause. Trump cannot be coached on the intricacies of civility or leadership because they are foreign concepts to him. He has lived his whole life with just one objective, which is to pursue only that which benefits him or harms his perceived enemies.

In light of that, Trump has been engaging in conduct that is increasingly bizarre and repulsive. He is accusing MSNBC host Joe Scarborough of murder. He is advocating prison for President Obama. He continues to brag about his response to the coronavirus that has now taken the lives of more than 100,000 Americans. And while a pandemic is still spreading, Trump is obsessed with Twitter having the audacity to fact-check his flagrant lies.

This is the sort of behavior that one would expect from an acutely disturbed individual with malignant narcissistic tendencies. In other words, someone exactly like Trump. And it is why he is losing support among his natural base of Republican voters. That partisan weakness is now being mined on behalf of Americans who have had enough of Trump’s embarrassing and dangerous antics:

“A new project to encourage Republicans to support former Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald Trump has launched a $10 million ad campaign targeting GOP-leaning voters in top swing states. The initiative, called Republican Voters Against Trump, has produced multiple ads featuring disaffected GOP voters who say they are not voting for Trump. […]

“I voted for Donald Trump in 2016, but I won’t vote for him again,” says Jay, a Pennsylvania voter who recorded one of nearly 100 videos featured on the project’s website.”

These disaffected voters are the tip of the iceberg. Many polls show that Republicans have unfavorable opinions of Trump’s demeanor, his tweeting, his border wall, his economic mismanagement, his bigotry, his foreign policies, and his tragically negligent and incompetent response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To name a few.

Republican Voters Against Trump is planning to put their ads on in the swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Arizona. Their stories can have a particular resonance with those voters who tipped the 2016 electoral college to Trump. Folks like “Sarah” from Pennsylvania articulate a relatable narrative saying that Trump “says he puts America first, but it’s clear he only knows how to put Trump first.” And then there’s Jack from Michigan:

These messages, along with at least 100 others, are available on the Republican Voters Against Trump website. Let’s hope Trump doesn’t find out about it or he will launch a Twitter tirade blasting every one of them as “radical liberals, “haters,” “fake news plants,” and “enemies of the people.” Then again, that will only inspire hundreds more to join. So feel free to tweet this to Trump.

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

Trump Threatens to Ditch GOP Convention in North Carolina, the Only State that Wanted It.

The United States is witnessing the unprecedented spectacle of a president devolving into total mental collapse right before our eyes. Donald Trump seems to know that America is literally sick to death of him. His prospects for reelection have been squandered by his tragically inept mishandling of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. And his most desperate attempts to recover are sinking in a turbulent sea of his own making.

Donald Trump Walking the Plank

If Trump happens to check his favorite pollster, the disgraced and ultra-biased Rasmussen, he will see his approval at 43%, matching his low point going back two and a half years. Other polls such as Reuters (42%) and even Fox News (44%) affirm that rating. He is losing to Joe Biden in every head to head match up nationally, as well as in most of the crucial swing states.

This grim reality has apparently driven Trump off the deep end. His Twitter feed is dripping with psychotic distress. He’s accusing MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough of murder. He’s feuding with his former Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. He’s insulting critics (mostly women) as being skanks (Hillary Clinton), overweight (Stacy Abrams), and stupid (Michigan AG Dana Nessel). He even retweeted Jesse Watters of Fox News saying that President Obama will be in prison soon. And speaking of Fox News, Trump is alternately lashing out at it and embracing it with schizophrenic fury.

On Monday morning, Trump hammered out four tweets that are further evidence of his mental infirmity. He is extremely upset with with the Democratic governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, for not guaranteeing that the state will be fully open for business by the time the Republican National Convention is scheduled to be there. Due to the coronavirus, there may still be restrictions of certain activities and crowd sizes. But Trump is insistent that the convention be permitted to operate at full capacity no matter how many lives could be lost.

That’s no surprise coming from the president who has presided over nearly 100,000 American deaths to date that are directly attributable to his negligence, incompetence, and even deliberate malfeasance. Trump’s twitter opus whined that…

I love the Great State of North Carolina, so much so that I insisted on having the Republican National Convention in Charlotte at the end of August. Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed…

full attendance in the Arena. In other words, we would be spending millions of dollars building the Arena to a very high standard without even knowing if the Democrat Governor would allow the Republican Party to fully occupy the space. Plans are being….

made by many thousands of enthusiastic Republicans, and others, to head to beautiful North Carolina in August. They must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied. If not, we will be reluctantly forced…

to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site. This is not something I want to do. Thank you, and I LOVE the people of North Carolina!

True to form, Trump is demonstrating that he is more concerned about his own welfare than that of the American people, even his own supporters. If he is set on cramming thousands of people into an arena-sized petri dish, then they should be quarantined there for 14 days following the convention to prevent them from spreading the coronavirus as they fan out across the nation to their homes. There have already been numerous reports of spiking infection and death rates in states that have loosened restrictions.

What Trump isn’t addressing in his threat to ditch North Carolina is that there may mot be any alternatives available. When the RNC originally put out the call for cities to host the convention, they ended up with with only Charlotte, North Carolina submitting a bid. That’s unheard of in the convention business. And it wasn’t because of economics, logistics, or security. The Democrats got eight bids to host their convention. So obviously the problem was Trump.

Consequently, there has been some speculation that Trump might move the event to his Doral golf resort in Miami, although he denies it. However, in his denial he accused the New York Times of engaging in that speculation, which the Times didn’t do. This is just Trump’s routine practice of disinformation to muddy the waters around whatever scandalous hole he’s trying to dig himself out of at the time.

Being as it is only about 13 weeks until the convention is to be held, there isn’t nearly enough time to find another host city that could ramp up quickly enough to pull off this large of an event. That’s even if there is a city that wants to, which was not the case when the original opportunity presented itself.

What’s more, the GOP has already invested heavily in the North Carolina site and would have to forfeit those expenditures if they cancel. So the likelihood is that the convention will proceed in Charlotte under whatever conditions the state mandates, and Trump will have to suck it up. Of course that means he will just blame the Democrats in North Carolina for his failures and elevate the hysteria in his tweets.

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

Joe Biden Brilliantly Nails Trump’s Descent Into Corruption and Tyranny

From day one of his accidental presidency, Donald Trump has exhibited clear signs of his aspirations to emulate the brutal dictators that he so admires (Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin). His reverence for the trappings of totalitarianism has been thinly disguised as he openly exchanged love letters with his autocratic heroes and behaved in a manner that mimicked their oppressive methods of governing.

Donald Trump, Joe Biden

On Friday evening Trump committed yet another act of obvious abuse of power. Hoping to avoid media scrutiny, he quietly sent a letter to Congress indicating his intention to fire Steve Linick, the State Department’s Inspector General. Linick just happened to been investigating misconduct by Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

The Inspector General’s position is supposed to be an independent watchdog post to protect the integrity of government agencies. That’s why Trump could not fire Linick outright, but had to give Congress a 30 day notice. Unfortunately, due to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s blind obedience to Trump, it is still likely that nothing will be done about this, at least from McConnell’s perch.

This negligence on the part of Republicans in Congress is all the worse considering that this isn’t the first time that Trump has fired an IG who was investigating his administration. Nor is it the second time. Or the the third. Linick’s dismissal follows that of Inspectors General Christi Grimm (Health and Human Services), Glenn Fine (Defense Department), and Michael Atkinson (Intelligence Community). Each of these people were non-partisan career professionals who served administrations of both parties. Each of them were probing misconduct in the Trump administration. And all of this took place within a six week period.

Trump has been executing a slow-motion version of a Saturday Night Massacre, wherein he’s terminating honorable public servants who were doing their jobs on behalf of the American people. His brazen lawlessness seems to be growing unchecked ever since the Senate failed in their duty to remove him from office after his impeachment.

Trump is becoming ever more desperate in recent days as the coronavirus death toll for Americans approaches 90,000. Which is another even more tragic consequence of the GOP’s acquiescence to Dear Leader. Lately Trump has been fixated on a thoroughly imaginary “scandal” that he has been calling “ObamaGate.” There is no rational explanation for what he’s alleging, and given the opportunity, even he couldn’t define it. But he has been tweeting up a storm with links to rabid Obama haters making bizarre and unsupported accusations.

On Saturday morning Trump embarked on a raging Twitter-palooza that included one tweet saying that “Scandal has defined the Obama Administration.” Which is peculiar considering there is not even a hint of any untoward activity by President Obama over the eight years of his presidency. However, there is nothing but scandal and corruption engulfing Trump and his confederacy of criminals, many of whom have already been indicted and convicted.

So Trump’s current obsessive acting out against IGs is just his way of trying to put a lid on the discovery of his raging malfeasance in office. He is writhing in fear of losing in November and being held accountable for his presidential crime spree. He knows that his approval ratings are plummeting and most polls show Joe Biden beating him nationally, as well as in many of the crucial swing states. So it is especially sweet to see Biden excoriating Trump in a succinct yet effective tweet of his own:

Indeed. While there are many former Trump staffers who have left his employ under a cloud, the only person Trump ever fired for wrongdoing was his disgraced National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who got the ax for lying to both the administration and the FBI. But now Trump is praising Flynn after having had his Attorney General, Bill Barr, drop all charges against him. Never mind that Flynn had confessed and pleaded guilty twice.

Trump keeps demonstrating that he will cozy up to those who swear their unflinching allegiance to his White House mob family. Loyalty to him always takes precedence over loyalty to the United States or its Constitution. And he will continue to poison the waters of justice in order to avoid being held accountable for his innumerable crimes. You have to wonder if there is any breach of law or ethics that will provoke Republicans to act with integrity and dignity and patriotism. but don’t hold your breath.

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

In Deranged Tweets Trump Says that All California Votes ‘Must Not Count’

The evidence of Donald Trump’s mental infirmity continues to pile up. On a daily basis he openly exhibits an unbridled rage at those he fears. He proclaims that he has the “total authority” of the tyrants he admires. With paranoid fervor he regards every critic as a “hater” who is out to get him. He ignores the suffering and death caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus) while focusing furiously on his abysmal polling. And he refuses to accept responsibility for any of his actions, while vainly shifting blame to others.

Donald Trump, Constitution

The psychoses of Trump could fill a textbook on sociopaths and narcissists. The latest example of the severity of his psychological degradation was displayed in another Twitter outburst on Saturday morning. This one was boiling over with fear and desperation as he lashed out incoherently at Americans who happen to live in California.

Seriously, what on Earth is he ranting about? Californians have had access to mail-in voting for years. The only new twist is that Gov. Gavin Newsom just signed an executive order sending ballots to all registered voters in the state. They are not obligated to use them, but they have the choice. And that freedom, that makes voting easier for everyone, is what Trump believes is a “SCAM!” Consequently, in his diseased mind, all the votes of American citizens in California “must not count.” What sort of madness produces this disgustingly undemocratic – and un-American – idiocy?

Trump’s tweet also makes the bizarre assertion that a voting booth was just opened “in the most Democrat area in the State.” Does anyone know what he’s even talking about anymore? There are voting booths in every district. Does he think that predominantly Democratic districts shouldn’t have them? Is the prospect of Democrats voting the basis for his complaint that “It’s all rigged out there”?

UPDATE: In another tweet, Trump elaborated on his curious remarks about new voting booths. Apparently he thinks that voting in California is “supposed to be mail in ballots only.” He is wrong, of course. And he’s demonstrating how pitiful he is at comprehending what’s going on around him.

Trump continued to address the matter of mail-in voting in his very next tweet, which promoted a Republican candidate. Except in that tweet Trump completely reversed himself himself noting that in this special election there is mail-in voting and offering this reminder to his cult followers: “Mail in ballots, & check that they are counted!” Really? So for Republicans mail-in voting isn’t a scam and those votes should be counted? And a couple of tweets later Trump declares that the whole “CA25 is a Rigged Election.”

The question of mail-in voting is a touchy subject for Trump and all Republicans. They have always had a mortal fear of expanding the electorate. Trump recently said the quiet part out loud with a rant about mail-in voting wherein he whined that “They had levels of voting, that if you ever agreed to it you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” Trump is afraid because he knows that the more people who vote, the less likely it is that he will be reelected. Republicans at large have the same fear.

This fear is what is driving Trump’s assault on the U.S. Postal Service. His hostility to this agency, that is explicitly authorized by the Constitution, is rooted in his jealousy of and contempt for Jeff Bezos, a real billionaire and the owner of Amazon and the Washington Post. In a rancid screed last month Trump called the Postal Service “a joke,” and threatened to withhold funding if they didn’t quadruple their rates. That, of course, would put an enormous burden on every business, as well as every American wanting to wish their grandmas a happy birthday.

Trump’s nauseating attack on democracy must not be ignored or normalized. He needs to be called out for this obvious grasping of totalitarian rule. This week Trump appointed a new postmaster general who just happens to be a major Trump ally and donor. That confirms that he is serious about sabotaging the Post Office for his own nefarious political advantage. And we, the people, must not allow him to get away with it.

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

GOING POSTAL: Trump’s USPS Envy Reveals His Egomaniacal Intentions

Never forget that there is always an ulterior motive behind everything Donald Trump does. If there isn’t a tangible personal benefit for Trump he wouldn’t be doing it. That benefit could be political, financial, or just a shot in the arm to his voracious ego. But it’s there, and you don’t usually have to dig too deep to find it.

Donald Trump, Stock Market Crash

Last week Trump reprised his long-running vilification of the U.S. Postal Service. His hostility to this agency, that is explicitly authorized by the Constitution, is rooted in his jealousy of and contempt for Jeff Bezos, a real billionaire and the owner of Amazon and the Washington Post. In a rancid screed on Friday Trump called the Postal Service “a joke” and complained about their management and deficits, saying that…

“The post office, if they raised the price of a package by approximately four times, it would be a whole new ballgame. But they don’t want to raise it because they don’t want to insult Amazon, and they don’t want to insult other companies, perhaps, that they like. The post office should raise the price of the packages to the companies. Not to the people, to the companies. If they did that, it would be a whole different story.”

First of all, if the Post Office raised their prices four times, those costs would be passed on to their customers. So Trump’s ignorant and disingenuous promise not to burden “the people” with the increases is a purposeful lie. This is similar to his ludicrous claim that tariffs imposed on China are paid by the Chinese government directly to the U.S. treasury. In fact, they are paid by American companies who either absorb the decline in their profit margin, or tack the increase on to their products, amounting to a de facto tax on all American consumers. As a failed businessman Trump can’t be expected to understand how these things work.

What’s more, Trump’s assertion that Amazon is getting some kind of a sweetheart deal is false. They are paying bulk rates similar to all other shippers of mass quantities of packages. It’s also false that the Post Office is losing money as result of their relationship with Amazon. Actually, it is Amazon and other large retailers who are the bright spots in the USPS business. Without them the Postal Service would be even further in debt. And Trump’s idiotic proposal to raise rates would likely cause Amazon and others to develop their own delivery operations (which Amazon has already started), resulting in still deeper debt for the USPS.

The aim by many on the right is to fully privatize the USPS and run it like FedEx. That’s preposterous. FedEx and other third-party shippers are profitable because they took only the most profitable type of business from the Postal Service. They do not, and cannot, deliver ordinary first class mail. Nor do they service many rural areas. So unless you want to pay $14.00 to send a letter to grandma, or a birthday card to your sister, you better start supporting the Post Office.

The real problem facing the USPS is not package delivery, but a bizarre requirement that they must pre-fund 75 years’ worth of retiree health benefits. Neither the government nor private companies are required to do that. And the prices for their services are in line with their costs. That is actually required by a 2006 law mandating that “each line of business within the postal service set its prices at least high enough to break even.” It is, therefore, literally against the law for the postal service to lose money on package delivery. Again, business moron Trump wouldn’t know this.

So why is Trump fixated on this issue when there are so many other matters (such as a deadly global pandemic) that require the nation’s attention? For two reasons. First, he is bursting with envy of Jeff Bezos. He knows that he will never achieve the sort of success or respect that Bezos has. Consequently, he seeks to illegally abuse the power of the presidency to inflict pain on his nemesis. In addition, Bezos is also the owner of the Washington Post that Trump despises because they aren’t afraid to publish the truth about him. That assault on journalism is another unlawful action on Trump’s part intended to intimidate the free press.

The second motivation behind Trump’s attack on the Postal Service is his fear of the prospect of all Americans having access to their right to vote. Mail-in ballots are permitted in many states and also by the Pentagon for our citizens in the military. And it is especially necessary at this moment in time to protect people from exposure to the coronavirus.

However, Trump has claimed that mail-in voting is only used by cheaters (including himself) and that it is rife with fraud, although there has never been any evidence of that. However, Trump himself revealed the real reason he’s opposed to it when he told Fox News that it “doesn’t work out well for Republicans.” He went on to complain that Democrats were “crazy” for supporting vote-by-mail, saying that “They had levels of voting, that if you ever agreed to it you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

So there you have it. Trump is afraid because he knows that the more people who vote, the less likely it is that Republicans will be elected. And his confederates in the Republican Party agree with him. They are probably right. Consequently, killing initiatives like vote-by-mail that make it easier to vote is part of the GOP platform, along with other assorted means of suppressing votes.

What true patriots should be doing now is contacting their representatives in Congress and demanding that they support the Postal Service by fully funding it and providing emergency funds to help it get through the pandemic. Remember, they are a major American employer, including tens of thousands of veterans. In addition, you can help by buying a sheet of commemorative stamps. I would suggest the Trump tribute stamp that is labeled as “Year of the Rat.”

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

Trump Campaign Unleashes Vile, Racist Attack on Joe Biden

Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency he has demonstrated a profoundly noxious brand of racism. Whether it was hysterical fear mongering about non-existent caravans of Latino refugees, praise for the “fine people” participating in neo-Nazi protests, personal assaults on African-American Democrats, or just his refusal to appoint people of color to high-level posts in his administration, Trump’s bigotry has been consistent and hurtful.

Donald Trump, MS-13 Ad, Team Joe

Now that we are in an election year, it would be expected that Trump would escalate his bigotry and seek to energize the most repulsively hateful segment of his Republican Party. And that’s just what he’s doing. On Thursday the official Trump Campaign Twitter account posted an unambiguously racist meme to attack Joe Biden. It features a photo (above, slightly modified) of stereotypical Latino gang members alongside a message asserting that they are “on Team Joe.”

This is reminiscent of the grotesquely racist “Willie Horton” political ad that George H.W. Bush and the Republicans used in the 1988 presidential campaign. Thirty-two years later their tactics have only gotten worse.

There is no connection whatsoever between the gang members in the photo and Vice-President Biden. He has never advocated for an end to deportations for any foreign nationals who commit crimes. Trump’s campaign outright invented this allegation in order to frighten his dimwitted supporters and motivate them to vote their hate in November. And the ad is not just a slam on Biden, it’s also an insult to all Latinos who Trump is tarring with the broad brush of violent criminality. For the record, the people in the ad aren’t even in the U.S. They are in prison in El Salvador.

This is standard operating procedure for the bigots of the GOP, and especially for Trump, whose racism goes back decades. Trump was caught discriminating against African-American rental applicants in his properties. He mounted a campaign to execute five African-Americans in New York who were wrongly convicted, and maintained his position even after they were proved innocent. And then there was Trump’s long and sordid history as America’s most prominent “birther,” insisting that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and, therefore, an illegitimate president.

By resorting to this sort of rancid campaign strategy, Trump is admitting that he’s in big trouble. His approval ratings are declining, even as he desperately and vainly attempts to craft an image of leadership during the coronavirus pandemic. He must know that the American people don’t believe a word he says. He’s even taken to citing polls that don’t exist. Every major poll in the real world shows him losing to Biden, even in many of the all-important swing states.

So naturally, Trump stoops to the lowest rung on the scale of political ethics. Given his stunted emotional maturity and his severe case of malignant narcissism, it’s the only way he knows how to respond. And unfortunately, it’s only going to get worse as election day draws nearer. Trump has demonstrated that he has no moral grounding outside of his acute egocentrism. And as the walls close in around him, he will kick and scream like a an over-sized baby throwing a tantrum. Which is pretty much the only thing he has ever done well.

Consequently, it is imperative that Democrats, independents, and even woke Republicans, stay alert, engaged, and committed to making America sane again. It will be tough a slog, but the fate of the nation rests on our endurance and determination to boot Trump and his criminal regime out of the White House and, hopefully, into the Big House. In the meantime, since Trump is so fond of vitriolic attacks, let’s see how he likes it (although this is actually pretty accurate)…

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.

While America Hunkers Down, Trump Exploits the Crisis to Campaign for Reelection

Remember back in the olden times when there were Democratic primaries that dominated the news? There was a “Super” Tuesday and people were anxiously and excitedly exercising their civic duties to vote for the candidates of their choice. That all seems like so long ago. And now they are anxious for a completely different reason.

Donald Trump Virus

The remaining candidates in the Democratic presidential race – Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders – have purposefully put the brakes on their official campaign activities. That’s the responsible thing to do when a global pandemic has erupted and is spreading rapidly throughout the nation and the world. However, while the Democrats are acting responsibly, Donald Trump has chosen to behave in a manner that is consistent with his narcissistic psychoses. Even while the entire country is focusing on how to survive during these challenging times, Trump is focusing on himself and his own best political interests.

Let’s face it, Trump’s presence is utterly irrelevant at the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings. He has no useful knowledge or experience to offer. To the contrary, he most often unleashes blatantly false “information” that his own advisers have to later refute. He wastes valuable time either attacking legitimate journalists who are asking pertinent question, or embracing propagandists whose questions are nothing more than overt suck ups. Much of his comments are simply boasting about what he asserts are unprecedented accomplishments and victories that exist only in his self-serving imagination. And he insists on presenting an absurdly rosy scenario that ignores reality and dangerously understates the risk we all face. It’s one thing to offer hope, but another to deliberately mislead.

There is only one reason that Trump is showing up at these briefings, and that is to advance his reelection prospects. He has turned what should be a vital information channel into a crass campaign PR affair. That’s why he avoids any discussion of the hardships that the American people are enduring. and it’s why he so brazenly exalts himself and his phony achievements. These are nothing but extended political ads for Trump. They are also Trump’s replacement for the cult rallies that he can no longer have.

In addition to Trump’s cynical commandeering of the press briefings, he has likewise devoted his Twitter account to his reelection effort. In the past week Trump has tweeted hundreds of times. The vast majority of those have been retweets of two varieties: Fox News bootlickers lavishing undue praise on him. And messages from his Republican Senate comrades (more than 50 in three days). It is impossible to miss the fact that Trump incessantly retweets only GOP members of Congress bragging about legislation to address the health – physically and financially – of the American people. It’s as if there aren’t any Democrats working on these bills, despite the fact that they authored most of them.

The lengths that Trump is going to to make Democrats invisible is further evidence of his politicization of this crisis. He will need a Republican majority in congress if (gawd forbid) he is reelected in November. So these retweets are another thinly veiled campaign tactic on Trump’s part. Virtually every reference to Democrats on his Twitter feed is negative. That is not how a conscientious leader would work to bring the nation together in turbulent times.

The bottom line is that Trump isn’t interest in bringing people together. He’s only interested in extending his power and disparaging his perceived enemies. He may think he’s clever by trying to disguise his political ambitions in staged press briefings and innocuous tweets, but the only people he’s fooling are his glassy-eyed cult disciples and – unfortunately – some members of the press.

If the media were living up to the principles that govern a free press, they would cease to cover his briefings live. There would be nothing lost by taping the events and spending a few minutes fact-checking before putting them on the air. But it would prevent more disinformation from being disseminated to the public. And it would stop Trump from unscrupulously hijacking otherwise vital communications to get free ad time.

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

And then there’s this…..

GOOD CALL: Political Pundit Trump Predicts America is Getting More Anti-Trump

The daily schedule of alleged president Donald Trump is typically a short list of non-presidential activities such as as golfing, tweeting, watching Fox News, and headlining cult rallies filled with lies and hatred for his perceived political foes. And as of late Trump has taken a keen new interest in election punditry with his unique analyses littering his Twitter feed.

Donald Trump

In recent weeks Trump has posted repeated commentaries on the progress of the Democratic primary season. He is mostly expressing a bizarre and obviously disingenuous concern that Bernie Sanders is being treated poorly by a party that is rigging the primaries against him. In addition to that Trump frequently opines on how his recent tribulations with impeachment have actually benefited him and his Republican cohorts. But on Monday morning, Trump contributed what may be his most accurate prediction for the Democratic campaign yet:

To be clear, the accuracy of this tweet is not that either Sen. Chuck Schumer or Rep. Jerrold Nadler are at risk for being defeated. They are both expected to have overwhelming victories in both their primaries and in the general election. And every poll indicates that Nancy Pelosi will retain her position as House Speaker, and even pick up additional seats. The smart money is betting on Democrats assuming the majority in the Senate as well. So Schumer is well positioned to topple Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader.

However, what Trump may not have noticed about his prediction is that he is asserting that the nation is becoming even more progressive and, therefore, more anti-Trump. That’s the only plausible conclusion from his assertion that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could take Schumer’s Senate seat and win statewide. Likewise, Trump’s opinion that a candidate to Nadler’s left would enjoy a victory in New York’s 10th district suggests that being farther to the left is an asset. So Trump is essentially saying that the farther a candidate is from Trump, the better their prospects for victory. I can’t say that I disagree with that.

To validate that point, Quinnipiac University released a new poll that has decidedly terrible news for Trump. They report that his “favorability rating is underwater, as 42 percent of registered voters have a favorable opinion of him, while 55 percent have an unfavorable view of him.” This doesn’t exactly affirm his delusional belief that being impeached increased his popularity or his chances of being reelected. On the latter point, Trump is shown in this poll to be trailing every one of his top Democratic opponents. According to Quinnipiac:

  • Bloomberg tops Trump 51 – 42 percent;
  • Sanders defeats Trump 51 – 43 percent;
  • Biden beats Trump 50 – 43 percent;
  • Klobuchar defeats Trump 49 – 43 percent;
  • Warren wins narrowly over Trump 48 – 44 percent;
  • Buttigieg is also slightly ahead of Trump 47 – 43 percent.

In addition to his electoral woes, America is convinced that Trump is a criminal who got away with his crimes with the help of his Republican accomplices in the Senate. The poll shows that “Despite the acquittal, voters say 55 – 40 percent that the Senate voting to acquit President Trump does not clear him of any wrongdoing in the Ukraine matter.” What’s more, “Voters say 59 – 35 percent that the Senate impeachment trial was conducted unfairly.”

If this is what Trump means when he says that “My poll numbers look great,” he is as mentally unstable as ever. Perhaps more so. He recently exhibited a severe case of paranoia by lashing out at enemies that he sees everywhere, saying that “I View Everybody as a Threat.” And he has embarked on a totalitarian style purge of his administration, including his own appointees. So it isn’t just America that is more anti-Trump. In his diseased mind, it’s even his own White House.

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