Even Fox News Can’t Avoid How Badly the Trump Shutdown is Going Over with the American People

It’s day 24 of the Trump Shutdown, and no end is currently in sight. The ill effects of that are even being felt in the White House, where Donald Trump had to serve Big Macs and pizzas to the NCAA champion Clemson Tigers because much of the staff is furloughed. Trump says that he paid for the “feast,” but that really isn’t something to brag about. It’s a pretty lame “celebration” that’s catered by McDonalds.

Fox News Trump

In the meantime, millions of American families are struggling to make ends meet due to the furloughs of hundreds of thousands of federal workers. Who’s paying for their meals, or healthcare, or mortgages? The hardship that Trump has imposed on the nation is getting worse with each new day. And the American people know exactly who is at fault.

Despite Trump’s promise not to blame Democrats, he has been doing just that for the past couple of weeks. However, his broken promise isn’t being received well by the public. And even Fox News is unable to pretend that Trump’s shutdown strategy is working out very well. An article on the Fox website carries the headline “Trump doubles down on border wall, as polls show voters turning against his shutdown strategy.” And the article explains unambiguously how badly the polling on this issue is going for Trump and his Republican Nationalist Party:

“As the partial shutdown enters its fourth week and hundreds of thousands of federal workers miss their first paychecks, fresh polling suggests the president is losing the battle of public opinion.

“A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday found that 63 percent of voters agree with the Democratic proposal to reopen parts of the government that do not involve border security, with 30 percent opposed. The same poll found 63 percent also oppose using the shutdown to force wall funding, with just 32 percent supporting.

“The poll found that 56 percent of American voters blame Trump and Republicans in Congress for the partial shutdown, compared with 36 percent who say Democrats are responsible.

“An earlier Washington Post-ABC News poll also found more Americans blame Trump and the Republicans than the Democrats over the stalemate.”

This bad news is just a portion of what Trump is having to endure as this new year is barely getting started. Bloomberg reports that at least six polls show that America blames Trump for the shutdown and opposes his exploitation of it for a stupid vanity wall that nobody wants. Trump is also fielding questions about whether he is a Russian asset. If your president has to deny that he’s working for Russia, you need a new president. And it’s been discovered that he has been suppressing information about his private meetings with Vladimir Putin.

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

If Trump isn’t a Russian asset, he’s doing an awfully good imitation of one. That’s a far bigger problem than his poor showing in polls about the shutdown. But the nation’s mood isn’t going to be particularly forgiving to a president who is generally despised while also being suspected of selling out his country. This is the kind of political environment that lends itself to impeachment. Hopefully.

What’s the Real Reason Trump Gave that Yawner from the Oval Office? (Hint: Think Russia)

On Tuesday night Donald Trump gave a much anticipated address from the Oval Office, his first as President. There was rampant speculation about what he might say. Some pundits wondered if he might take the opportunity to declare a national emergency in order to reallocate federal funds to his idiotic and useless vanity wall. Others just considered it a ploy to get the public to pressure Congress to pay his ransom for reopening the government.

Donald Trump, Subway

As it turns out the speech was a tiresome affair that featured Trump solemnly reciting from his TelePrompTer and sniffling as he has been known to do after snorting Adderall. There was nothing that could be called newsworthy. Trump offered no solutions to the shutdown impasse. He made no overtures to Democrats on border security legislation. There wasn’t anything different about this speech than what he’s been saying for the past three weeks on this subject. And of course, that means he was repeating the same old lies that he and his surrogates (including Surrogate-in-Chief Mike Pence) have been foisting on the public since the Trump Shutdown began.

So there was no reason for this speech to be carried live by the news networks. No news value would have been lost by delaying it for half an hour so that it could be fact checked – a practice that should be in effect for everything Trump says or does. What the speech did contain was Trump’s now tedious routine of fear mongering and blame shifting to Democrats.

He amped up the emotionally charged fears of violence allegedly committed by undocumented immigrants with examples that included murders, rapes, and even beheadings. Never mind that this immigrant population is far less likely to commit these or any crimes than are native born citizens. The purpose of this overtly racist argument, as employed by Trump and his shills on Fox News, is to demonize people who are largely peaceful and law abiding.

So why did Trump take the extraordinary step of demanding primetime television access to the nation in order to bore them with rote repetitions of his commonplace cult rally ravings? He must have known that there was nothing in his remarks that would change anyone’s mind. Nor would it move the needle on resolving the shutdown problem. The only thing that it would be certain to do is dominate the news cycle for a short period of time. And therein lies a clue to what might have been his true intention.

Absent this speech, the most prominent stories that came out the same day concerned the ongoing investigations into Trump’s collusion and conspiracy with Russia. One of those stories featured the chairman of his presidential campaign, Paul Manafort, who was found to have been sharing proprietary polling data with a suspected Russian intelligence operative. That information corresponds with the sort of data used by Russia to interfere with the election, and links Trump’s campaign to the Russian conspiracy more closely than ever before.

The other story concerned the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who famously met with Manafort, Don Jr, Jared Kushner, and others, in Trump Tower. That was the meeting where they discussed acquiring “dirt” in the form of stolen emails from Hillary Clinton and her associates. Veselnitskaya was indicted yesterday for obstruction of justice in a case that revealed her close ties to the Kremlin.

Given the bombshell quality of these stories, it would have been a fortunate coincidence if something else arose that might distract the media and the public from focusing on them. Could Trump have been tipped off about these impending legal disclosures? Perhaps by Manafort or his lawyers who have already been discovered to have secretly briefed Trump’s legal team And might Trump have had an incentive to schedule a rare Oval Office address that was completely devoid of substance in order to execute that distraction? Can anyone supply another reason why the President would embarrass himself with that empty televised spectacle that was the oratorical equivalence of dropping his pants on the subway to draw attention away from a worse crime?

Who knows with this president? This might be a step too deep into conspiracy theory. But it is well within the bounds of plausibility for a president who is openly considering a declaration of a national emergency – which does not exist – just so he can build a wall that most Americans don’t want. It is not far-fetched for someone who lies with such ease about things as easily verifiable as whether past presidents told him that they should have built a wall; or that 4,000 suspected terrorists were caught crossing the southern border; or that Democrats request that Trump change his wall construction from concrete to steel.

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

None of those things were true. And that tendency for flagrant falsification is what makes anything possible with this president. Including a plot to wave a shiny Oval Office speech in front of the press to get them to ignore the fact that he’s pantless. But fortunately, it doesn’t seem to have worked. The other stories are still being sell covered (less so on Fox News) and are likely to make headlines on Wednesday and beyond. So Trump embarrassed himself, and wasted the nation’s time, in vain. The only problem with that is that it might make him more likely to actually declare a national emergency, out of anger and/or vengeance, in order to distract from the failure of this distraction. Stay tuned.

The GOP Outrage Over Rashida Tlaib is Overflowing with Hypocrisy – Trump has Said Much Worse

The new Congress has been gaveled into session by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and it is already making progress on the issues that the American people have wanted addressed, but were suppressed by the Republican Nationalist supplicants to Donald Trump. First up is ending the Trump Shutdown. But also on the list of priorities is election reform, restoring fairness to taxes, infrastructure funding, and the long overdue oversight of Trump’s criminal campaign and administration.

Donald Trump

So what is the biggest issue for the GOP? A new congresswoman said a naughty word. Rep. Rashida Tlaib was speaking to group of supporters Thursday evening and dropped an F-bomb when referencing her intention to seek the impeachment of Trump for his many crimes. Her language was raw and, by conventional standards, inappropriate for a public servant. And that sentiment was expressed by nearly every leader on the Democratic side of the aisle. But that didn’t stop Republicans from gasping in horror and fainting from the sheer shock of such insolence.

However, one of the big differences between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats will criticize themselves when they deserve it. Republicans will defend the most disgusting behavior rather than condemn a fellow Republican, especially Donald Trump. After all, Trump is the guy who bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy” but still got the GOP nomination for president. And that’s not all. Trump currently has fifteen instances of F-bombs on his Twitter feed, Including this one:

And Trump has not been shy about uttering profanities of all varieties in public. Here is a speech Trump gave that had multiple profanities. Pay particular attention to how he referred to his intention to levy tariffs on China:

In addition, Trump has recently tweeted some raw insults aimed at Democrats he is clearly afraid of. He referred to the new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, as “Adam Schitt.” And that was followed a few weeks later by a tweet where he called Sen. Richard Blumenthal “the dick.”

Of course, there has been almost no criticism of Trump by his GOP colleagues for bellowing out the very same words that Republicans are now in such a tizzy about because a freshly minted Democrat said them in a private gathering. The GOP is less a political party than it is a cult where there leader is incapable of any wrongdoing. But the same behavior by their foes is a capital offense. This is how the GOP wants to start the new year with new leaders in Congress. And it’s an obvious attempt to distract the public from the government shutdown, and other failures, that they are wholly responsible for.

As for the underlying issue of impeachment that inspired Rep. Tlaib’s comments, that is something that is going to unfold in due time no matter what Trump has to say about it. Special counsel Robert Mueller is getting closer to releasing a report with his findings. And prosecutors in New York, Maryland, Washington, D.C., California, and other states are also investigating Trump for potentially impeachable crimes. Which has lead to Trump posting another of his plaintive whines that he’s innocent of everything:

There is so much wrong with that it’s hard to know where to begin. First of all, Trump was elected with only 46.1% of the vote, and with three million fewer votes than his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Secondly, there is abundant evidence of collusion and/or conspiracy with Russia by Trump and his closest associates and family (and no collusion by Democrats).

What’s more, the first two years of Trump’s presidency has been rife with failure. He’s driven up the national debt by more than two trillion dollars. The stock market suffered it’s first negative year in a decade. There has been little or no progress on any foreign policy objective. The Climate crisis is getting perilously close to the point of no return. America’s roads and bridges are crumbling. The nation is more divided than ever. And of course, his idiotic vanity wall is still a figment of his diseased imagination.

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

But by all means, let’s forget about all of that pull out our hair over some cursing by an excited new congressperson. And in the meantime, continue to keep the government shut down, forcing hundreds of thousands of Americans to go without pay for untold weeks or months. All because Trump’s ego is too fragile to cope with the reality that no one wants his stupid, racist wall. Yeah, that’s the ticket. And that’s exactly how the GOP is proceeding. There is no better proof that they couldn’t care less about this nation or its citizens.

Trump Blatantly Lies About Russian ‘Witch Hunt’ According to the Journalist He Misquoted

With each new day Donald Trump demonstrates evermore fear and desperation due to the mounting evidence of his collusion and conspiracy with Russia to undermine an American election. He behaves precisely the way one would expect a guilty man to behave, by distorting facts, distracting from the issues, and maligning his critics. It would be pathetic if it weren’t so troubling and dangerous.

Donald Trump

On Tuesday morning Trump went to new extremes to absolve himself of any liability for his felonious actions. In a series of frantic tweets, Trump presented what he said was a case for his innocence made by journalist Michael Isikoff, co-author with David Corn of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump. Isikoff was interviewed by John Ziegler, however, Trump got his analysis of Isikoff’s remarks from Fox News, as usual. But what Trump tweeted (here, here, and here) was far removed from reality:

“Russia Dossier reporter now doubts dopey Christopher Steele’s claims! “When you get into the details of the Steele Dossier, the specific allegations, we have not seen the evidence to support them. There’s good grounds to think that some of the more sensational allegations…..”

“….WILL NEVER BE PROVEN AND ARE LIKELY FALSE.” Thank you to Michael Isikoff, Yahoo, for honesty. What this means is that the FISA WARRANTS and the whole Russian Witch Hunt is a Fraud and a Hoax which should be ended immediately. Also, it was paid for by Crooked Hillary & DNC!”

“Michael Isikoff was the first to report Dossier allegations and now seriously doubts the Dossier claims. The whole Russian Collusion thing was a HOAX, but who is going to restore the good name of so many people whose reputations have been destroyed?”

There is a whole lot of wrongness in there to unwrap, starting with Trump’s typically childish insult of Steele as “dopey.” More to the point. Trump falsely asserts that the FISA warrants are a fraud even though none of this addresses them. What’s more, the Steele dossier was not a primary source of evidence for granting the warrants. Also, Hillary Clinton didn’t pay for the dossier. Her campaign paid Fusion GPS to do research and they hired Steele.

So Trump is attempting to use Isikoff’s comments as absolution for his crimes. But Trump left out the most critical parts of the interview. Those omissions were pointed out by the interviewer, the interviewee, and his co-author. Isikoff had plenty to say about Trump’s adventures with Russia that the President failed to mention. For instance:

“In broad strokes, Christopher Steele was clearly onto something. That there was a major Kremlin effort to interfere with our elections. That they were trying to help Trump’s campaign. And that there were multiple contacts between various Russian figures close to the government and various people in the Trump campaign. That much, I think, has been established by the public records.”

And also that:

“The Trump campaign and its campaign operatives, Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, were active in ways that was clearly inappropriate and that they shouldn’t have done. And that they concealed this from the voters.

“And the Moscow Tower project going on in June of 2016, with direct conversations between Michael Cohen and an assistant to Dmitri Peskov, a press secretary to Vladimir Putin, was incredibly significant, concealed from the voters, and gives the lie to Donald Trump’s repeated statements during the campaign that he had nothing to do with Russia. That nobody connected to his campaign had any contacts with anybody in Russia.

“I mean, the President during the campaign, as a candidate, seriously mislead the American public about what was a very important issue. And that was the questions about what the Russians were up to and his own dealing with the Russians. So all of that is true.”

What more needs to be said? Isikoff clearly stated that Trump was deeply involved with Russian figures and that he lied about it repeatedly. But Trump ignored all of that and distorted Isikoff’s words to say the opposite, and ironically, thanked him for his honesty. That tells you all you need to know about Trump’s aversion to honesty and his determined intent to mislead and spread falsehoods at every opportunity. It’s in his nature, and we can expect it to continue until he is removed from office. Hopefully in handcuffs.

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

‘Explosive’ Fox News Story on ‘Abnormalities’ of Russia/Trump Probe is a Fizzling Stink Bomb

The controversy over the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has pretty much taken over the media for the past week or so. It’s an important story, but not the only one with profound implications for our nation’s future. For instance, remember that story about Donald Trump colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election and then obstructing justice to cover it up?

Fox News, Donald Trump

Apparently Fox News just recalled that story as well. So they had to find something – anything – to write about it to keep their spin on the matter fresh in the public’s mind. Just in case special counsel Robert Mueller happens to release any reports or new indictments. But the story that Fox came up with is a pitiful pile of nothing that only serves to advance the baseless ranting of a couple of ultra-partisan, extremist, Republican wingnuts.

The article’s provocative headline screams out “Top FBI lawyer Baker offers ‘explosive’ testimony on ‘abnormal’ handling of Russia probe into Trump campaign.” The gist of this yellow journalistic mush concerns testimony given to a closed-door congressional committee by former FBI lawyer, James Baker. Fox News asserts that the testimony revealed “explosive” information about how the Bureau acted in an “abnormal fashion” and engaged in “political bias.” But the sources for this scoop were House Crackpot Caucus leaders Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan. These paragons of rightist propaganda had this to say about the testimony:

“Some of the things that were shared were explosive in nature,” Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told Fox News. […] We found the source to be pretty explosive,” said Rep. Jim Jordan.”

Well then, that settles it. You can’t argue with hardline, substantive facts like those. And that was literally all this pair of GOP gossips had to report. Yet somehow Fox News expanded it into a an article that even they couldn’t pretend had any meat to it:

“The lawmakers would not provide many specifics about the private transcribed interview, citing a confidentiality agreement with Baker and his attorneys. […] Meadows and Jordan would not elaborate on the source, or answer questions about whether the source was a reporter.”

So the entire body of evidence for this story was the unsubstantiated ravings of two notorious fake news disseminators who are frequent Fox guests. They offered no information that was either “explosive” or “abnormal,” other than in its utter uselessness as a news source. But it was enough to get Fox News to feature it with a boldface headline that advanced its empty premise. And that is exactly how deceitful State TV operations like Fox conduct business in totalitarian regimes like Russia and North Korea. Clearly Fox News is taking lessons from Trump’s pals. Or is it the other way around?

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

Poor Trump: He’s ‘Sad’ that He Doesn’t Have an Attorney General Who Will Help Him Obstruct Justice

For someone who has sold himself as being tough and unbending, Donald Trump sure whines an awful lot. But then again, he actually did say that “I am the most fabulous whiner.” So America should not be all that surprised when he incessantly complains about how he is being treated so unfairly and that everybody is out to get him.

Donald Trump

The latest example of the Crybaby-in-Chief’s infantile carping came during an interview with The Hill on Tuesday. There was little in the way of actual newsworthy revelations in the discourse, but Trump did let it be known that he was a sad puppy. “I don’t have an attorney general,” he said. “It’s very sad.” He went on to whimper that he’s “not happy at the border,” and “not happy with numerous things.” Poor baby.

His problem lies mainly with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who Trump thinks has let him down. He believes that when Sessions recused himself it was unnecessarily hurtful to Trump. He said that Sessions was “mixed up and confused” at his confirmation hearing and that “it turned out he didn’t have to recuse himself.” Of course, that wasn’t the truth. Sessions was required by law to recuse due to his personal relationship with Russian operatives and his involvement in the campaign that was under investigation.

On Wednesday, Trump awkwardly tried to walk back the comments in the interview. The morning press gaggle inquired about his remarks concerning Sessions (video below). “I’m disappointed in the Attorney General for numerous reasons,” he said. “But we have an attorney general.” Well, that clears that up. However, when he was asked if was going to fire Sessions, he gave a clear signal of no confidence saying that “We are looking at lots of different things.” So maybe he will fire Sessions. Or maybe he’ll throw him into an alligator-infested swamp. Or maybe he’ll dress him up like a Barbie doll. You know, lots of different things.

The only thing that is certain is that Trump’s disappointment stems from Sessions not helping him obstruct justice with regard to the special counsel investigation. He wants Sessions to fire Robert Mueller and put an end to those pesky questions about his unsavory connections to Russia. He’s tired of hearing about all of his former associates (Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, etc.) pleading guilty and becoming witnesses for the prosecution. And he’s desperately frightened that he’s going to be held accountable for his treasonous activities.

Trump has good reason to be afraid. The walls are closing in around him and his family. And the potential charges extend beyond the Russia affairs to his personal affairs – both sexual and business related. Trump is a festring legal boil that is ready to burst. So naturally he is lashing out and blaming others for his own failures. Speculation is rampant the Trump will fire Sessions after the midterm election in what may be a much broader purge of anyone he considers less than worshipful. But if he does that he will likely wind up all alone in that big, old drafty White House. So sad.

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

Trump is in a Panic Sweat as He Binge Watches Fox News for Leaked Conspiracy Theories

Monday morning we have been treated to a new episode in the continuing series of Donald Trump’s epic saga “How Can I Make Myself Look Even More Guilty?” It’s the tale of a traitorous president who thinks that by repeatedly lashing out against the valiant guardians of the law he will escape accountability for his treasonous crimes. In this outing we see our lead character colluding with Fox News to weave a narrative that mocks reality.

Donald Trump Fox News

Over the weekend there was a dearth of Trump tweets for an extraordinarily long seventeen hour span. The only plausible reason for this was that Fox News was covering Hurricane Florence non-stop and couldn’t engage in their usual advisory role for the President. Since Trump doesn’t have the foggiest notion what he actually believes, he was left dumb by the absence of his brain trust. But now that the hurricane has been demoted to old news by Fox, the pundits are back fulfilling their duties to the White House.

In a tweet dripping with the panic sweat of a caged rat, Trump once again portrays the investigation of his activities as a “totally illegal Witch Hunt.” Proving that he doesn’t know the meaning of the words “witch hunt” or “illegal.” Furthermore, Trump acquired his latest paranoid delusion from his senior White House advisers at Fox News. Here is what he posted:

The Fox News story, as reported by Catherine Herridge (video below), did assert that former FBI attorney Lisa Page testified in a closed-door session of Congress that that there was no evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia. Herridge said that:

“A transcript reviewed by Fox News shows that during her recent closed-door interview on Capital Hill, Page testified that collusion was still unknown nine months into the FBI’s Russia case when the special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed. Quote: ‘I think this represents that even as far as May 2017, we still couldn’t answer the question.'”

Herridge later characterized Page’s testimony as an “admission that there was no evidence of Russian collusion.” But that is not what Page said. According to Herridge’s own reporting Page merely said that it was an open question. If anything she was saying that, while there was evidence, there wasn’t hard proof. What Page actually said was that “it still existed in the scope of possibility that there would be literally nothing.” That means there was a chance nothing happened, not that nothing happened.

Contrary to Trump’s assertion that “the case should never have been allowed to be brought,” this is exactly the sort of scenario that calls for a special counsel to conduct a more in depth and independent investigation. Still, the Justice Department, acting with an abundance of caution, didn’t request a special prosecutor until after Trump fired FBI director James Comey, signalling the possibility of obstruction of justice. And it cannot be reiterated enough that it was a Trump appointee (Rod Rosenstein) who named a life-long Republican (Robert Mueller) for the job.

So Trump is, once again, demonstrating that he spends an inordinate amount of time watching Fox News and regurgitating the nonsense he learns from it. That’s no longer in question. What isn’t being asked is how Fox News got Page’s testimony from a closed session of Congress? Who leaked it and why only parts that help Trump (if they are deliberately misinterpreted)? What about the rest of her testimony? Shouldn’t that be released now to insure that the leaked portions are viewed in their proper context?

Don’t hold your breath waiting for the remainder of Page’s testimony to be made public. The Republicans in charge of that information don’t want a fair reading of what took place. That’s why they cherry-picked some ambiguous comments and delivered them exclusively to Fox News. And it was tailor made for their number one viewer to validate his already preposterous fantasy that there is a nefarious “deep state” cabal working to destroy him. What a coincidence.

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

Guilty Conscience? Trump Rattles Off Four Times ‘This Has Nothing to do with Russian Collusion’

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and personal attorney/fixer are both officially felons. And now that there are verdicts in two of the most closely watched criminal cases of the year, Everyone was anxious to hear what the Unindicted Co-Conspirator-in-Chief would have to say about it. And if you were expecting a message of respect for the judicial process and the rule of law, you are going to be bitterly disappointed.

Donald Trump

Trump spoke briefly after the convictions of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen as he deplaned for a rally in West Virginia. His comments were a mix of sympathy, defiance, and self-serving bluster that demonstrated his contempt for the legal system that is still closing in around him:

After briefly expressing how sad he is about Manafort, who he said is “good man,” Trump launched into a defense of himself that no one asked him about. He had a desperate need to make sure that everyone knew that “It doesn’t involve me” and that “This has nothing to do with Russian collusion.” In fact, he mentioned the Russia affair four times in less than one minute. He closed by repeating that Manafort’s conviction had nothing to with Russian collusion, and then called it a “witch hunt” for the second time in this short clip.

Any first-year psychology student would recognize Trump’s anxiety and repetitious dialogue as the ravings of someone consumed by fear and knowledge of guilt. He continuously yowled his self defense more than he did any support for his former campaign chairman, Manafort. What’s more he didn’t mention Cohen’s name at all. That could signal his preference for Manafort, who some speculate will get a pardon. As for Cohen, he explicitly incriminated Trump in the Stormy Daniels hush money affair, so his prospects are much gloomier. That may explain why Trump couldn’t even say his name.

For the record, this does involve Trump. Cohen’s plea deal references him as the “candidate” with whom he conspired to suppress the Daniels story. And it surely has something to do with Russian collusion from the standpoint that Manafort convictions might persuade him to be more cooperative with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

It will be interesting to see what the Republicans in Congress have to say about Cohen’s pleading guilty to eight felony counts. During the Clinton administration they thought it justifiable to impeach the President for having lied about an extramarital affair. But Trump has now been implicated in both an affair and an illegal conspiracy to cover it up. Shouldn’t that warrant at least one of the Articles of Impeachment to be brought against him?

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

HUH? Kellyanne Conway Asks the Press ‘Why is Everybody So Obsessed with the President?’

The key surrogates in Donald Trump’s administration are a notorious confederacy of liars and knee-jerk defenders of the indefensible. People like press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the White House communications office turned obfuscation and deflection into an art form. As result, it is almost impossible to get a straight or truthful answer from this administration on any subject of importance.

Kellyanne Conway

However, they hit a new low with what may be one of the dumbest questions ever asked by a presidential spokesperson. Kellyanne Conway stopped to respond to a few questions from the press gaggle at the White House on Friday morning. Referring to the dictator-style revocation of CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, a reporter asked Conway as she walked away if Trump was “politically targeting his enemies.” That, of course, goes without saying. It’s something he has always done and no one could credibly deny it.

So naturally, Conway turns around and returns to the media scrum to deny it (video below). She began by saying that Brennan is a cable news pundit now who has “no interest in furthering the national security interests of this country.” That’s an absurd charge to make against someone who has spent his whole life in public service and particularly national security. She then complained about Brennan’s assertion that Trump did collude with Russia, saying that he should have told that to Congress when he testified before them. She added “It’s a great question. You oughta noodle it.” Really?

Conway, though, is ignoring two obvious noodlings that could explain it for her. First of all, much of Brennan’s testimony was in closed session and may very well have raised alarms about Trump’s nefarious associations with Russia. That cannot be made public. Secondly, there has been a lot of information uncovered since his congressional testimony more than a year ago that provides additional evidence of Trump’s guilt. Brennan’s conclusion that Trump did indeed conspire with Russian operatives to advance his candidacy is one that is shared by many in the intelligence community.

But when it comes to stupid questions, Conway offered one of the worst in replying to further questions by the press corps:

“Why is everybody so obsessed with the President of the United States that they can’t even begin or finish a sentence without mentioning his name five times. It’s kind of weird. And it’s infecting people on the news now who fancy themselves security experts.”

So Conway just asked a bunch of White House correspondents why they ask so many questions about the person it is their job to ask questions about. Weird. It’s like complaining about a waiter who keeps asking people what they’d like to order. What’s more, no one is has a greater obsession with the President than Donald Trump. He takes every opportunity to make sure that his name and face are plastered across all the media and that the nation’s attention is always focused on him.

So would Conway prefer that the press didn’t pay as much attention to him as they currently do? That would drive him even crazier. And it would surely be a disservice to the American people who rely on the press to keep them informed. But Conway’s question reflects the adversarial position that the Trump administration has with the First Amendment. They would love to deny the media – and the people – the critical information needed to sustain a free democracy. But then a free democracy is not what the wannabe dictator Trump wants.

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

Worse Than Omarosa: Trump Quotes Fox News Host Jeanine Pirro’s Insane Rant on Russia and Mueller

This Sunday will likely be remembered as the Omarosa Media Blitzkrieg, with its flurry of newsmaking interviews of the disgraced former Assistant to the President. While Donald Trump has already labeled her a “low life,” he has yet to explain why he gave her such a senior post in his Administration of Dunces in the first place, given how well he knew her.

Donald Trump, Jeanine Pirro

Among Omarosa’s criticisms of Trump are her assertions that he is flagrantly racist and misogynistic, and is suffering from a severe mental decline. Both of those are hardly breaking stories considering Trump’s history as a serial sexual predator and his very public display of dementia. And while the press is eating up Omarosa’s allegations, they are simultaneously casting doubt on her credibility.

However, there are many more players in the Era of Trump with far less credibility than Omarosa, starting with The Donald himself, a well-documented and unrepentant liar. And many of those credibility-challenged losers have their own shows on Fox News. Prominent among them is “Judge” Jeanine Pirro, who recently said that special counsel Robert Mueller is a greater threat to America than Vladimir Putin. And on the latest episode of her program she goes even further into the realm of deranged conspiracy crackpot. Her nine minute opening tirade sets the tone with this goofy introduction (video below):

“I’ve had a change of heart. Unlike everyone on the right, I don’t want the Mueller investigation to end so soon. I want it to keep going on and one and on. Because everyday it gets closer to proving Russian collusion. The collusion, however, with Russia and team Obama. Not Trump.”

Remember that claim that Pirro is supporting the ongoing Mueller probe. It will come into play in her closing. In between she hits on a bevy of previously debunked nonsense that even her colleagues at Fox News have renounced. Notably, the Uranium One story that was so expertly unraveled by Shepard Smith. She also railed against the entirety of the investigation of Trump’s collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice. She falsely claimed that the basis for the probe was the Christopher Steele dossier. She repeatedly called the dossier “discredited” despite the fact that much of it has been affirmed and none of it has been proven untrue. Smith laid these facts out as well.

However, revisiting lies that have already been exposed wasn’t enough for Pirro. She had to create a brand new scandalous allegation to smear the otherwise golden reputation of Bob Mueller. So Pirro goes off on some peculiar and wholly unsubstantiated allegations about a preposterous charge that Mueller took money from a Russian oligarch to finance FBI operations. She never bothered to cite a source for that charge of criminal behavior. But she did have a question for Mueller:

“Bob, my question to you is ‘How could you possibly be investigating Donald Trump when there is no credible basis for your investigation?’ And ‘What the hell have you and your Trump-hating, conflicted team of prosecutors come up with in the last nineteen months other than a tax evasion case that doesn’t involve Trump, Russia or collusion of any sort.'”

Seriously? Of all the question’s that Pirro could ask Mueller she chose one that is patently absurd and answerable by public records? She doesn’t know that Mueller has already indicted dozens of people for election related offenses, and that five have pleaded guilty? And she isn’t aware that Mueller has much more information about Trump and company than he’s disclosed to date? Yet Omarosa is being pilloried (deservedly so) for her credibility, but Pirro has a show on Fox News.

Pirro’s credibility isn’t all that needs to be questioned. We also have to wonder about her cognitive faculties. Because she closed this televised tantrum with a particularly pointed accusation aimed at Mueller:

“Bob, I really thinks it’s time for you to give up your phony investigation and get yourself your own criminal defense attorney.”

Let’s just set aside the reckless and unsupported charges that Mueller is guilty of some unspecified crimes. We know those exist only in the imaginations of wingnuts like Pirro. But recall how she began her monologue saying that she wants the Mueller probe to go on and on and on. And by the end of her rhetorical seizure she’s calling for him to “give up your phony investigation.” Make up your mind Judge. You sound as demented as the president whose – let’s say boots – you’re licking. But at least it got you a mention from the Commander-in-Tweets:

Pirro must be so proud that Trump picked the most easily recognized bullcrap from her interminably boring assault on Mueller and the truth. They really are a cute couple – of liars and traitors.

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