Serial Adulterer Donald Trump Threatens To Attack Hillary Clinton’s Family Values

Last week Donald Trump’s mouth erupted in yet another outburst of hate and misogyny. While attempting to disparage Hillary Clinton for losing to President Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary, Trump said that “she got schlonged.” He was immediately, and deservedly, repudiated by decent people from all points on the political spectrum.

Donald Trump

However, consistent with his tendency to burrow in deeper after making an ass of himself, Trump refused to concede that his language was sexist or vulgar. He insisted that the word simply meant “beaten badly,” a definition that exists nowhere in reality. This is a favorite tactic of his. A few weeks ago he insulted Carly Fiorina by pointing at her on TV and saying “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?” He responded to the criticism that resulted with the desperate and dishonest explanation that he was talking about her “persona.” Yeah, right.

Trump just likes to redefine words after they get him into trouble. And he doesn’t even do it very well, because everyone knows he’s lying. Since this most recent vulgarity Trump has defended his use of the word by saying that it is “often used” in politics. And he helpfully provided an example from an NPR reporter over thirty years ago. He must also have his own definition of the word “often.”

There is also the matter of Trump’s hypocrisy. In September, following a GOP debate, National Review editor and Fox News contributor Rich Lowry said that Carly Fiorina had schlonged Trump in the debate (actually he said that Fiorina cut his balls off,” but the message is the same). This shocked Trump’s tender sensitivities and he demanded an apology and called for Lowry to be taken off the air and fined by the FCC. That’s just more evidence that he can dish it out, but crybaby Trump simply can’t take it.

For her part, Clinton gave a composed but forthright response to Trump’s offensive remarks, including his surprise and disgust that she, like all other humans, occasionally visits the restroom. She said that…

“I really deplore the tone of his campaign, the inflammatory rhetoric that he is using to divide people, and his going after groups of people with hateful, incendiary rhetoric. Nothing really surprises me anymore. I don’t know that he has any boundaries at all. His bigotry, his bluster, his bullying have become his campaign. And he has to keep sort of upping the stakes and going even further.”

Not wanting to be “vagina’ed,” Trump shot back at Clinton in a couple of threatening tweets. The first warned her to “Be careful Hillary as you play the war on women or women being degraded card.” The second similarly snarled “Hillary, when you complain about ‘a penchant for sexism,’ who are you referring to. I have great respect for women. BE CAREFUL!”

Or what? Trump’s threat, as affirmed later by his campaign spokesperson, was aimed at Clinton’s relationship with her husband, Bill. Apparently Trump thinks that by recalling the infidelities of the former President, it will reflect badly on her. However, there are a few problems with that strategy. First, the public doesn’t blame Hillary for the transgressions of her husband and raising the issue is more likely to inspire sympathy than wrath. Secondly, the Clintons managed to restore and maintain their marriage during one of the most difficult periods that any marriage could suffer. That ought to be regarded as a real demonstration of family values and respect for the commitments of matrimony.

Finally, if it’s a war on family values that Trump is itching for, he may be leaving his rear flank exposed (sorry for that inadvertent visual). After all, Trump is a serial adulterer. He is on his third marriage and the public record of his cheating ways is well documented. Here is a man who has broken two marriage vows (so far) while flaunting his flings in the faces of his then-wives. Hillary Clinton, of course, has done none of that.

Trump is demonstrating that he has no friggin’ idea what constitutes women’s issues. He is reducing it to the bad behavior of an individual. However, it must be noted that Bill Clinton supports a woman’s right to choose, equal pay, prohibiting discrimination based on gender, support for victims of abuse, and family leave and child care. Those are actual women’s issues, not some guy being a horndog, and Donald Trump opposes them all – and is also a horndog.

Trump’s values are written as he goes along to allow him whatever perverted privileges he desires. And despite his recent and transparently phony piety, he holds nothing sacred. When asked directly if he had ever asked God for forgiveness, he said “Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if you’re not making mistakes?” [See The Immaculate Birther]

It’s that sort of pathological narcissism that produces Trump’s raging hate-speech. He has already viciously demeaned Latinos, African-American, Muslims, veterans, and the disabled. And through it all his blatant misogyny has never been far from the surface. As Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly noted, Trump has called women “fat pigs,” “slobs,” and “disgusting animals.” For that Kelly herself became the victim of Trump’s tweets, attacking her personally, professionally, and even calling her a “bimbo.”

In closing, if Trump really thinks that he can threaten Clinton on the basis of family values, he better be ready to respond to the numerous accounts of his carnal lust for his own daughter, Ivanka. This grotesque revelation, that he has made repeatedly and publicly, should put to rest the question of which candidate is more respectful of women and morality. So bring it on Donny. But don’t be surprised to keep seeing this video from the Daily Show popping up:

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

The Hate Of The Union Address: Right-Wing Nutjobs Want To Ban Obama From Congress

You may have thought that you’ve seen it all, but when it comes to overt expressions of rancid hatred today’s Republican politicians and pundits are just getting started. It’s apparently not enough that they have spent the last six years breaking all records for partisan obstructionism and openly displayed racist attitudes toward President Obama. Now there is talk of implementing a Jim Crow style admittance policy on Capitol Hill.

Obama Refused

President Obama has recently taken legal measures to make some progress on the immigration reforms that Congress is too inept to address. His executive actions are both constitutionally sound and overwhelmingly popular. Those facts must have driven the Republican Party into an acute psychosis that has them panting feverishly as they struggle to respond. To date they have proposed such over-the-top remedies as rejecting every administration nominee for cabinet or judgeship posts, shutting down the federal government, suing the President, and even launching impeachment proceedings.

Now, however, they have lit on a new tactic that is stretching the limits of sanity. There is boomlet of commentary on the right that thinks it would be a good idea to prohibit President Obama from delivering the annual State of the Union address to members of Congress. This is a proposal that reeks of personal animosity and is wholly inconsistent with the mission of Congress. What’s more, it certainly doesn’t advance the spirit of cooperation that the GOP pretended to embrace following the midterm election. The very words used by the advocates of this plan illustrate their divisive intent. For instance…

Joel Pollak, Breitbart News: Congress should indicate to President Obama that his presence is not welcome on Capitol Hill as long as his “executive amnesty” remains in place. The gesture would, no doubt, be perceived as rude, but it is appropriate.

Rich Lowry, National Review: If I were John Boehner I’d say to the president: “Send us your State of the Union in writing. You’re not welcome in our chamber.”

“Our chamber?” Are these miscreants suffering from the delusion that the houses of Congress belong to them and they have the tyrannical authority to deny admittance to anyone they choose, including the Commander in Chief? This would be an unprecedented rebuke aimed at the nation’s first African-American president. There is a stink of bigotry that is reminiscent of the segregationist South where blacks were not permitted into establishments reserved for whites only. These suggestions are shameless in their open disrespect for both the President and the presidency. No other White House occupant has suffered this sort of indignity. Even President Clinton’s State of the Union speeches went on as scheduled while Congress was trying at the time to impeach him.

Obama’s crime is that he is actually trying to get things done despite a congressional body that holds the title for being the least productive congress in history. They have demonstrated their obsession with opposing anything this President advocates, even legislation that their own GOP colleagues drafted. Once Obama signs on they turn and run, pretending not to have ever had anything to do with it. The most important thing to this Republican caucus is to do as much harm to the President as possible without consideration to the harm they are doing to the country.

But with all of the flagrantly hostile behavior directed at Obama from the right, there is something far more repugnant in this exclusionary gimmick that treats the President as if he were untouchable and unclean and unfit for keeping company with the oh-so-distinguished members of Congress.

Calmer heads may ultimately prevail in the weeks before the State of the Union. But if the GOP wants to proceed with this lunatic plan they do so at their own peril. It would surely be seen by the American people as vindictive and childish. It would be repudiated by a broad majority of clear thinking citizens. The Republican Party would bear the brunt of the backlash that would almost certainly ensue.

Consequently, I say “Go for it, Republicans.” Hang a big, bright “Whites Only” sign over the front door of the Congress. It will serve as a truth-in-advertising notice for the GOP. Then the President can move the speech to an auditorium where he invites all Americans (with the exception of Republican members of Congress) to hear his address. Let the media cover the speech without the predictable and orchestrated jeers and cheers that come from a legislative body that is bitterly divided by partisanship.

Come to think of it, having the State of the Union delivered outside of Congress may be such a good idea that Obama should consider taking the lead. He could preempt the GOP’s rebuke by rebuking them first with a notice that he will not be attending their soiree. There is nothing preventing a president from delivering the speech at a venue of his choosing. And if it results in a more respectful environment where he doesn’t have to deal with petulant hecklers shouting “You lie,” in the middle of his remarks, it may be worth it.

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The Real Post-Wisconsin Right-Wing Agenda: Kill The Unions

During the long and bitter recall campaign against Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, the Republicans insisted that their sole purpose was to cut wasteful spending and bring down government deficits. Most of the working families of Wisconsin knew that wasn’t true. Walker’s agenda was aimed squarely at collective bargaining rights that had been won over decades of hard fought negotiations. The result was a better quality of life for workers in the state, both in and out of unions.

In the past week, however, the veil has been lifted, and the anti-worker conservative’s motives are now being expressed openly and without the deceptive pretenses that characterized the pro-Walker campaign.

Kill The Unions

Immediately following the election results, the National Review’s Rich Lowry published an article with the provocative title, “All That’s ‘Left’ Is to Sound the Death Knell for Unions.” Lowry gleefully wrote of the defeat of the recall, disparagingly portraying the 1.16 million pro-recall voters as “hippie leftovers and lefty college students.” But the unadulterated focus of the article was on his notion that public sector unions were on the decline and should be abolished.

Today on Fox News Sunday, that sentiment was affirmed by Indiana mayor (and prospective Romney running mate) Mitch Daniels, who said that “I think, really, government works better without them.” That’s a little like having the CEO of General Motors express his preference for not having to deal with auto worker’s unions. Of course not. They would both prefer to be able to exploit workers and deny them reasonable benefits and working conditions without the interference of worker’s advocates.

The fact that the right is now openly declaring their intention to abolish unions indicates the confidence with which they believe they can pursue that goal. They have always wanted to go back to the days when corporations could set the rules and employees had to take it or leave it. But after the success of the movement for worker’s rights and union representation they pretended to moderate their stance and accommodate the unions. Now that facade has apparently been demolished and management factions of business and government are re-mobilizing to roll back the gains won through prior negotiations.

Lowry and Daniels, and the right-wing media that support them, had better be careful. The results of the recall in Wisconsin were not an affirmation of some general opposition to unions. And with 1.16 million voters supporting the recall (vs. 1.33 million for Walker), there is still abundant support for the rights of workers. And there is no evidence that anti-recall voters were anti-union.

Not discussed much since the election is the fact that the recall of another Republican state senator was successful, which flips the majority control of the senate to the Democrats. So clearly the hooting on behalf of giddy Republicans is premature. They are not as popular as they think they are. And now, Walker’s regressive policies will not be rubber-stamped by a GOP legislature.

But Democrats must not be complacent. The right has overtly declared war on unions. It is no longer a secret agenda hidden behind a disingenuously expressed sympathy for workers. It is out in the open and it must be countered effectively and vigorously. They have thrown down the gauntlet and it is up to the left to step up and challenge them. This is a battle we can win because, while they may have millions of dollars from vested special interests, we have the people on our side.

Media Milestones And Millstones For 2008

At the conclusion of a year that few people will miss, it is time once again to indulge in the hackneyed cliche of annual list-making. While some events are already etched into our collective memories (i.e. the election of our nation’s incoming, first-ever, African-American president; the shoe attack on our nation’s out-going, worst-ever, remedial president), other events may be more subject to fading recollection as a new year of stimuli compete for a place in America’s short attention span.

It is in this spirit that I submit the following collection of awards in the hopes of preserving these moments for history, if not for comedy.

Starting with the history-making presidential election, Barack Obama wins the Somebody Had To Say It Award for this:

Obama: “I am convinced that if there were no Fox News, I might be two or three points higher in the polls. If I were watching Fox News, I wouldn’t vote for me, right?”

Sticking with the campaign theme, Sarah Palin has repeatedly demonstrated her ignorance of the media’s role in public life. She believes that it is unconstitutional to criticize her, and that she is the one to restore the media’s credibility. That alone would be enough to merit an award, but Palin wins the What Constitution? Award by showing Carl Cameron of Fox News that she has no comprehension of the Constitutional role of the office she sought:

Palin: “The vice president, of course, is not a member – or a part of the legislative branch, except to oversee the Senate. That alone provides a tremendous amount of flexibility and authority if that vice president so chose to use it.”

Of Course, Palin has her fans – like Ann Coulter who along with Human Events Magazine named Palin Conservative of the Year. But that was not enough to pry away the Fatuous Infatuation Award from Rich Lowry of the National Review:

Lowry: “I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, ‘Hey, I think she just winked at me.’ And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America.”

On the plus side, CNN’s Jack Cafferty played a stream of gibberish from Palin’s interview with Katie Couric. After which he said that if you aren’t afraid that she is a 72 year old heartbeat from the presidency, you should be. Then Wolf Blitzer tried to cover for Palin by saying that she was just trying to squeeze a lot into her answer. Cafferty’s reply earns him the Anchor Smackdown Award:

Cafferty: “Don’t make excuses for her. That was pathetic.”

I suppose I should give an award to Palin’s running mate…what was his name? Oh yeah…John McCain certainly deserves a mention for his aggressive attacks on the media. But that’s all he gets. While it takes real guts for a former press darling who hosts barbecues for his reporter pals to turn on them when the next object of media affection pops up, the act for which I will remember McCain is his promotion and exploitation of Samuel Wurlzebacher – aka Joe the Plumber – whose name is not Joe and who is not a plumber. Despite his obvious deficiencies, Plumber Joe became a staple of Fox News, particularly business chief Neil Cavuto. On one notable occasion, Cavuto queried Joe on the subject of Barack Obama’s patriotism. And for his response Joe gets the McCarthyism Reprise Award:

Wurzelbacher: “Oh you know, [Obama’s] ideology is something that is completely different than what democracy stands for, so I had some question there. In my opinion.”

However, Joe will have to be satisfied sharing this award with News Corp Chairman, Rupert Murdoch, who also earned this honor in an interview with Cavuto:

Murdoch: “[Obama’s] policy is really very, very naive, old fashioned, 1960’s socialist.”

Old Rupert was destined to have an over-representation on this awards program. That’s partly because of the expansive nature of his media empire, but mostly because that empire is a repulsive purveyor of smears and propaganda. There is so much of it that I could devote an entire set of awards to News Corp alone. Consequently, I’ll focus here on the more peculiar instances of journalistic abuse. Starting with Amy Chozick of the Wall Street Journal who wins the Biggest Loser award for an article titled, “Too Fit to Be President?” which asks:

Chozick: “…in a nation in which 66% of the voting-age population is overweight and 32% is obese, could Sen. Obama’s skinniness be a liability?”

Then there is Fox News’ own Liz Trotta, winner of the Death To America Award for her public call for assassinating Obama:

Trotta: “…and now we have what some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama …uh… Obama … well, both if we could.”

And don’t think I’ve left out the Grand Wizard of Fox News, Bill O’Reilly. Oh…where to begin? I’m going to skip over O’Reilly’s generous offer not to lynch Michelle Obama, and his assertion that 200,000 documented homeless veterans don’t exist, and even his delicious submersion into lunacy as demonstrated in any of the “Don’t Block the Shot / Dodge Us at Your Peril / We’ll Do It Live” rants. For some reason I get a kick out his delusional conspiracy theory that the TV ratings are fixed and that Nielsen is intent on destroying him. Never mind the fact that he is number one in those ratings and he frequently cites them as evidence of his ego-starved greatness. So for inventing enemies around every corner, O’Reilly gets the Paranoia Strikes Deep Award:

O’Reilly: “The bottom line on this is there may be some big-time cheating going on in the ratings system, and we hope the feds will investigate. Any fraud in the television rating system affects all Americans.”

When O’Reilly isn’t threatening “the folks,” his colleagues in conservative crime are doing it. Rush Limbaugh is this year’s recipient of the Domestic Terrorist Award for exhorting his listeners to attend the Democratic Convention and to “Screw the World! Riot in Denver!”:

Limbaugh: “[T]he dream end of this is that this keeps up to the convention and that we have a replay of Chicago 1968, with burning cars, protests, fires, literal riots, and all of that. That’s the objective here.”

Glenn Beck, not to be outdone, issued his own threats. But in an attempt to boost the degree of difficulty, Beck went off the scale. In November he told a story of how we had been accosted in a diner by a hostile trucker who threatened to run him down. He summarized the experience by saying that, no matter how much he disagreed with someone, he would never say such horrible things – not even to Michael Moore. However, just a few months prior, Beck said this about Moore and, thus, earned his Serial Hypocrite Award:

Beck: “Hang on, let me just tell you what I’m thinking. I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out – is this wrong?”

The Grand Prize for a year of countless media atrocities is reserved for a despicable act of greed and betrayal. Actually, it is a pattern of acts that has persisted for many years, but came to a head during the Bush administration and was courageously uncovered by the New York Times. It has been called the Pentagon Pundits scandal, though I call it SPINCOM. It centers around an initiative to stack the press with analysts who were willing to lie to support an illegal war and to fatten their own wallets. The Times gets the Milestone of the Year Award for revealing the rancid corruption of the media, the military, and the Bush warmongers:

NY Times: “Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance.”

“The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.”

Sadly, the heroic work of the Times was largely ignored by the rest of the press, particularly television. Of course, the TV news networks were the most aggressively abusive employers of the tainted pundits. It would have taken a powerful dose of integrity to criticize behavior that they were in the thick of engaging in. The failure to cover such a controversial issue that impacts so directly on themselves is further evidence of a media community that is untrustworthy and uninterested in serving the public. However, the story in the Times has resulted in an investigation at the FCC and another proposed in the next Congress. So, hopefully, some accountability will be brought to bear.

The fight for honest and independent journalism will continue into the new year. While there are some promising signs accompanying the incoming Obama administration, there will undoubtedly be much work to do. So in the spirit of optimism and renewal, and hopes for better future, I wish everyone a…


John McCain’s Campaign Concedes Fox News Is Biased

In an upcoming article in the National Review, Rich Lowry interviews John McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis. Much of the interview deals with the handling of Sarah Palin, the VP candidate who Lowry says…

“…was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. [Her TV appearance] sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America.”

Wiping the drool from his chin, Lowry asked Davis why he booked Palin on Katie Couric’s CBS News program. Davis replied…

“Our assumption was people would not let us release her on Fox or local TV.”

If McCain’s campaign manager can admit that Fox News is a de facto arm of the Republican Party, and that nobody would take seriously a softball interview conducted on that network, why does Fox still try to peddle the myth that they are “fair and balanced?

After the McCain team nixed Fox for the initial interview, they chose Couric because they were…

“…under the impression the Couric thing was going to be easier than it was. Everyone’s guard was down for the Couric interview.”

Let’s count the stupid: First they presumed that Couric would be easier on Palin because they were both women. Of course, Couric had an incentive to perform at a high level due to her low ratings and expectations. Plus, a woman reporter would actually have more leeway to be aggressive when interviewing a woman candidate. It was political malpractice for McCain and company not to recognize this. And it opens them up to charges of sexism as well because it presumes that a woman reporter would not be as probing or professional as a man.

Secondly, they actually think that the questions Couric asked were too hard for Palin. Their guard was down for such confounding inquiries as, “What newspapers and magazines do you read?” Or, “What does Alaska’s proximity to Russia have to do with foreign policy experience?” If that’s their idea of tough questions, it’s a good thing they kept her under wraps most of the time.

Thank goodness they have Fox News around for the post-election interviews where Greta Van Susteren delved into Palin’s recipe for moose chili.