Senile or Surrender? Trump’s Rambling Tweets Don’t Mention Border Wall Funds to End Shutdown

There has been considerable speculation for the past couple of years about whether Donald Trump is mentally stable or capable of performing his duties as president. His psychological condition has been questioned by mental health professionals and politicians from across the ideological spectrum. And now as the U.S. government is being shutdown over funding for Trump’s vanity border wall, those questions are getting harder to ignore.

Donald Trump

In a series of tweets on Saturday morning, the President predictably ranted about the shutdown that he previously took pride in creating. Even after saying on national television that he would take full responsibility for it, Trump tried to blame the Democrats who had already agreed to a Continuing Resolution with senate Republicans. It was only after wingnut rightist media cranks like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends complained that Trump reversed course and reneged on his word to sign the CR. But his morning’s tweetfest might be revealing some weakness in his resolve:

Setting aside the obvious lie that Trump is “working hard,” it’s notable how he is now tying the debate to only “Border Security.” Didn’t he leave something out there? Trump didn’t mention his wall in that tweet or the others that followed. And border security (minus the wall) has always been a part of the Democratic platform. Of course his omission may just be due to his inability to concentrate on anything for more than half a minute, unless it’s a mirror. But it might also be an indication that he recognizes that Democrats are not going to pacify his ego and allocate funds for a useless wall.

Trump later tweeted that he would having a big lunch with a bunch of people to discuss the matter. It’s comforting to know that he will be well fed while tens of thousands of Americans will not be getting paid this holiday season.

In addition to the border wall issue, Trump also tweeted about his intention to retreat from Syria. His remarks were especially reckless and dangerous:

First of all, ISIS is far from defeated. Estimates by his own administration say there are 30,000 ISIS fighters in Syria. On Friday his press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that Trump had destroyed 99.9 percent of ISIS in Syria. If you do the math, that would mean that they started out with thirty million – which is patently absurd because that’s almost twice the total population of Syria.

However, Trump’s remarks that Turkey “should be able to easily take care of whatever remains,” are even more troubling. He’s right if what he means is that Turkey will take care of (i.e. slaughter) our allies, the Kurds, as soon as we leave. And he doesn’t bother to mention the fact that our retreat will leave the country to Russia and Iran for the foreseeable future. Vladimir Putin even praised Trump’s decision to run away. And it’s among the reasons that Defense Secretary Mattis resigned in protest, along with the U.S. special envoy to the coalition to defeat ISIS.

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

So as usual, Donald Trump is doing everything he can to please our enemies (especially Russia), while working overtime to harm our allies. And his efforts on the domestic front are even worse as he shuts down the government for Christmas and shows no sensitivity for the plight of fellow citizens. With every day Trump demonstrates that he is working against the American people (who don’t want the wall), and solely on his own behalf. Including even more instances of obstruction of justice to escape accountability for his many criminal activities. It’s long past time for him to go.

Fox & Friends Co-Host Brian Kilmeade Leaps Off the Trump Train, Says He ‘Refounded ISIS’

Things are getting really bad for Donald Trump. His secretary of Defense quit with a stinging rebuke of his policies and leadership. He’s heading for a prolonged shutdown that he took credit for in advance, even claiming to be proud of it. And all for a border wall that no one but his Deplorable cult followers want. The economy is in a tailspin with the markets negative for the whole year. And even his pals at Fox News are getting antsy about supporting his inane, reckless, and impulsive outbursts.

Sarah Huckabee-Sanders

Nothing is more representative of the trouble that Trump is in than when his favorite Fox News program, Fox and Friends, gets weak-kneed about backing up his latest idiocy. They have a record of supporting nearly anything he’s done, no matter how ludicrous or destructive or even illegal. But these remarks by co-host Brian Kilmeade during an interview with Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, really hits a low note for Trump at Fox (video below):

Kilmeade: He’s giving Russia a big win. Vladimir Putin praised him. He also is doing exactly what he criticized President Obama for doing. He said President Obama is the founder of ISIS. He just refounded ISIS. They’ve got 30,000 men there, and they’re already striking back.

That gets pretty much everything in there but an apology to Hillary Clinton for all the Benghazi and email bashing. Kilmeade noted that Putin is on Trump’s side regarding the Syria withdrawal. He compared Trump to his nemsis, Barack Obama. And he hung the founding of ISIS around Trump’s turkey neck.

For her part, Sanders acted like a deer already run down by the bus with the headlights in her face. She “respectfully, but vehemently” disagreed with Kilmeade’s analysis. But her defense of Trump was pitifully weak and devoid of any factual basis. She tried to turn the whole ISIS fight into a personal one between them and Trump saying that “If ISIS wants to pick a fight with somebody, they sure as hell don’t want to pick one with Donald Trump.” Something tells me that they really do. He’s a coward who can’t concentrate on anything for more than half a minute, unless it’s a mirror.

Then Sanders emulated her boss by making up numbers to glorify him. “We’ve wiped out 99.9% of ISIS in Syria,” she blurted out nonsensically. Where she got that figure from is – well it’s dark and ugly. Since there are estimated to be 30,000 ISIS fighters in Syria today, that means that before having allegedly wiped out 99.9% of them there were 30,000,000. That’s nearly twice the population of Syria.

Sanders also parroted Trump’s own assertions that he has done more damage to ISIS than anyone. She insisted that he surely never did anything to help them. To which Kilmeade replied “Leaving is helping.” And he actually called her out for lying saying that “The word on the ground is different from what you just said.” That may be the first time that Sanders has been called a liar by a Fox News host on the air. And if it’s any indicator of what’s to come, Trump might as well start packing his bags for Mar-A-Lago – or prison.

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

Shepard Smith Slaps the ‘Defenders’ of Flynn on Fox News, While Trump is Witness Tampering

Tuesday morning saw a particularly voluminous tweetstorm from Donald Trump for a weekday. And naturally, it was mainly lying about about how innocent he is. But it was also a morning for finding out what penalty former Trump advisor, and confessed felon, Michael Flynn, would pay for his crimes. For some time now the Trump-fluffers on Fox News were belittling the charges and maligning law enforcement for what they alleged was persecution and entrapment. But on Tuesday Flynn’s sentencing was postponed after the judge told him that he might face prison time for “selling out his country.”

Fox News, Shepard Smith, Donald Trump

The amen chorus on Fox News has been relentlessly attacking special counsel Robert Mueller and the prosecutors in New York as corrupt, conflicted, and biased against the President. They had nothing to prove any of these claims, but when has that ever mattered to Fox News? Everyone from Sean Hannity to Laura Ingraham to the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends have belted out in unison that Flynn was a victim of overzealous prosecution and was entrapped by unscrupulous defilers of the law. Flynn hinted at the same complaints briefly, which may be what angered the judge, who regarded that as a potential withdrawal of his guilty plea.

However, in court on Tuesday Flynn backtracked and fully accepted responsibility for his criminal activities. That unambiguous affirmation of his guilt contradicts everything that Fox News has been saying for weeks. And at least one person at Fox noticed:

Shepard Smith: “You heard the theory floated by the White House and its defenders here and elsewhere. That all blew up today.

“Michael Flynn himself said that he is not challenging the circumstances of the interview. That he knew lying to the feds was a crime when he lied to the feds. That he was not entrapped. That he was guilty.”

That’s a pretty sharp criticism of the Trump shills on Fox News. Smith explicitly calls out the “White House and its defenders here (i.e. on Fox) and elsewhere.” You have to wonder how Hannity is gonna take that. Never mind the rest of the story that proves Hannity’s sycophancy has been for naught. Flynn himself effectively threw Hannity et al under the Trump Train. Can they continue to advance the “Deep State” conspiracy theory that Flynn was “ambushed” (as Sarah Huckabee Sanders said today) if even Flynn doesn’t believe it?

Meanwhile, Trump took another stab at witness tampering. He tweeted his best wishes to Flynn, a confessed felon, because what president doesn’t have friends who are admonished in court as being disloyal to their country? But Trump’s tweet had another purpose as well:

Trump saying that it “Will be interesting to see what he has to say,” is his way of sending a message to Flynn. Just clam up and shield Trump from any possible legal accountability and there might be something in it for you. Like maybe a pardon? This message could hardly be more clear without attaching a “Get Out of Prison Free” coupon to it. The President is dangling favors in front of Flynn that Michael Cohen (the RAT, according to Trump) isn’t getting. It’s just another example of his self-incriminating behavior. Trump knows that Mueller can see these tweets, doesn’t he?

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

The combination of Trump throwing out a life preserver to Flynn, while Flynn is admitting all of the dastardly charges against him is cringeworthy. But it provides a small measure of comfort to see Shep lay some truth on these cretins. Not that it will do any lasting good. Hannity and his ilk blithely ignore any facts that get in the way of their propaganda.

Donald Trump Issues a Flagrantly Authoritarian Decree for ‘Governing the Conduct of Journalists’

The transformation of the United States presidency into the sort of dictatorship presided over by the likes of Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un has taken a frightening leap forward. Donald Trump’s manifestly autocratic tendencies are rapidly being implemented by his administration with the willing complicity of the Republican Nationalist Party and right-wing media like Fox News.

Donald Trump, Censorship

Earlier this month Trump was so rattled by the questions of CNN’s Jim Acosta that he took the unprecedented step of banning Acosta from further press conferences. That overtly unconstitutional boot-stomping of the free press was quickly repudiated by most of the press corps, including the executive class at Fox News. Although most of the on-air Trump-fluffers at Fox continued to lambaste Acosta and his audacity for exercising freedom of the press. CNN took the White House to court and a judge appointed by Trump ordered the restoration of Acosta’s press pass.

Subsequently, the White House has now drafted a set of rules of behavior that they are imposing on the journalists covering the President. It’s an egregious breach of the American principles that have long been held by a nation that reveres the role that journalism plays in sustaining democracy. But it fits nicely into the oppressive schemes of the Trump regime. Here are the salient portions of what Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff (and former president of Fox News), Bill shine, and Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, have cooked up for those disobedient reporters who refuse to kowtow to Dear Leader:

“We would have greatly preferred to continue hosting White House press conferences in reliance on a set of understood professional norms, and we believe the overwhelming majority of journalists covering the White House share that preference. But, given your insistence that shared practices be replaced by ‘explicit…standards,’ this letter attempts to convert into rules the widely understood practices described in our prior letter.

  1. (1) A journalist called upon to ask a question will ask a single question and then will yield the floor to other journalists;
  2. (2) At the discretion of the President or other White House official taking questions, a follow-up question or questions may be permitted; and where a follow up has been allowed and asked, the questioner will then yield the floor;
  3. (3) “Yielding the floor” includes, when applicable, physically surrendering the microphone to White House staff for use by the next questioner.
  4. (4) Failure to abide by any of rules (1)-(3) may result in suspension or revocation of the journalist’s hard pass.

“We are mindful that a more elaborate and comprehensive set of rules might need to be devised, including, for example, for journalist conduct in the open (non-press room) areas inside and outside the White House and for Air Force One.”

“The White House’s interaction with the press is, and generally should be, subject to a natural give-and-take. President Trump believes strongly in the First Amendment, and interacts with the press in just such a way. It would be a great loss for all if, instead of relying on the professionalism of White House journalists, we were compelled to devise a lengthy and detailed code of conduct for White House events.”

It is abundantly clear that the White House intends to bully reporters so that they can force them into submission. Trump is obviously scared of having an open dialog wherein reporters can ask tough questions and challenge him when he evades answering or outright lies – as he is known to do. So he is acting out with the weakness of his character to suppress the media. And it is worth noting that there are no rules for Trump or his supplicants. He can still call reporters “stupid,” “racist,” “fake,” “enemies,” etc. He can still abuse them and threaten them and interrupt them and ultimately silence them. When he claims to want “decorum” in the White House it couldn’t be more hysterically hypocritical.

These artificial and unnecessary mandates are intended to intimidate reporters who now must consider whether merely being assertive might result in their getting banished. They will have to think twice about challenging Trump for fear of violating these ludicrous rules that no White House in history has ever required. And Trump will not hesitate to cite these strictures to cast out any journalists that upset him or are less than obedient when he orders them to sit down and shut up.

The letter says that “Trump believes strongly in the First Amendment.” That is, perhaps, the biggest lie of all. Believing in the First Amendment is not demonstrated by calling the media “the enemy of the people” and recklessly labeling any news you don’t like as “fake news.” And it certainly isn’t demonstrated by imposing strict and insulting behavioral rules on what is supposed to be a free press. But this is how Trump’s belief system works. If you aren’t sufficiently adoring of him, then anything you have to say can be suppressed and your ability to question the President – a servant of the people, not a king – can be revoked. Hopefully the remaining members of the free press will refuse to observe this atrocity and demand that Trump submit to the constitutional principles he swore an oath to defend.

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

CNN Files Lawsuit Against Trump & Co. for Violation of the First Amendment

Last week Donald Trump’s administration was especially hostile to the press that they despise so fiercely. Trump addressed a post-election press conference and proceeded to insult several (mostly African-American women) journalists. As News Corpse noted at the time: “It was a disgraceful display of infantile tantrum throwing by our crybaby president who is too weak to face a group of reporters without breaking down into insults and bullying.”

Donald Trump, CNN

Shortly after that press conference, the White House announced that they were suspending the credentials of CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta. They fabricated a story alleging that he “placed his hands” on an intern as she tried to grab the microphone away from him. However, the video of the event proved unambiguously that the White House was lying, as usual. But that didn’t stop them from distributing a “doctored” version of the video that they got from the disreputable conspiracy crackpots at Infowars.

On Tuesday morning CNN announced that they are suing Trump and his band of totalitarian oppressors of free speech. The suit explicitly cites the constitutional breach of the First Amendment’s rights to freedom of the press and Fifth Amendment rights to due process. CNN’s statement reads:

“CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration this morning in DC District Court. It demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process. We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process. While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone. If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”

The lawsuit names several members of the administration who are complicit in the violation. They include Trump, his chief of staff John Kelly, his deputy chief of staff for communications (and former Fox News president) Bill Shine, and his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. It’s a confederacy of Republican Nationalists bent on subverting democracy and squelching free speech.

It would be surprising if this suit made it to court. Crybaby Trump will likely chicken out and restore Acosta’s credentials before that happens. But the damage is already done as this unlawful White House demonstrates that they couldn’t care less about America’s constitutional principles.

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

Fortunately, the next Congress plans to do something about that. Rep. Adam Schiff, the incoming chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has told reporters that he intends to hold hearings on Trump’s reckless assaults on the press which go way beyond mere name calling as “fake news” and “the enemy of the people.” It includes his use of the Justice Department to punish media organizations he doesn’t like. And because elections have consequences, he isn’t going to get away with it for much longer.

Blaming the Victim: Trump is Still Attacking the Media One Day After Mail Bombs Were Sent

There is one notable character trait that Donald Trump displays whenever he is confronted with criticism of any kind. He immediately dismisses it, rejects any responsibility, and points fingers at his critics and victims as the real problems. That holds true whether Trump is accused of fumbling on national security, committing sexual assault, or any other of his numerous failures.

Donald Trump

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Trump is already blaming the media for the mail bombs sent to the media, as well as many other Trump critics. His knee-jerk response to any negative news is to fire back at those who have suffered the most. And under no circumstances apologize or accept fault in any degree. With Donald Trump the buck stops everywhere except with him. And the latest example of that is his tweet Thursday morning:

So one day after mail bombs were sent to at least nine of his critics, Trump lashes out at the victims and blames them for the attacks. What’s more, the tweet contains heinous and unsupported lies. Beginning with his estimation of the cause of the “anger we see today in our society.” There is no one more responsible for that anger than Trump. And there is no one more angry than Trump. He is perpetually enraged and screaming invectives at all the things he hates about America, its people, and its institutions.

Trump also accuses the media of “purposely false and inaccurate reporting.” Of course, he offers no evidence of that. The truth is that any reporting that reflects negatively on him, he rejects as “fake news,” no matter how well documented and verified. Nevertheless, in Trump’s diseased brain it is the media that is “hateful.”

For Trump to continue with this sort of inflammatory rhetoric just one day after the worst attempted mail bombings in American history is both reprehensible and, from him, expected. Some news reports complimented his opening remarks at the Wisconsin cult rally on Wednesday night that called for unity. But thy must have forgotten that it only takes a few hours (sometimes minutes) for Trump to return to his typical thuggery and lash out at anyone who dares to tell the truth about him. Just moments after his wholly disingenuous and call for unity, Trump accused the media of “endless hostility.”

And he isn’t alone in attacking the victims. Naturally, State TV (aka Fox News) rushes to his defense in order to protect him from the onslaught of unbridled truth tellers. For example, the sycophantic Trump-fluffers on Outnumbered made sure to charge Maxine Waters with bringing on the mail bomb attack herself. And Fox contributor Newt Gingrich told reporters that the media has “earned” the label “enemy of the people.” Ultra-Trumpist Lou Dobbs tweeted (then deleted) “Fake News – Fake Bombs.” Even Trump’s press secretary joined in the assault on the media with a particular focus on CNN.

If anyone needs a refresher course on who is most responsible for the uncivil tone and advocacy of political violence in the nation, the video below, courtesy of Mashable, does a pretty good job of compiling the documentation that exposes Trump’s horrific record of hatred and division.

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

White House Shills Flagrantly Lie About Trump Hobbling the FBI Probe of Kavanaugh

It’s another Pleasant Valley Sunday at the White House as Donald Trump dispatches his surrogates to the Sunday morning news programs to assure America’s Deplorables that everything is fine despite the political fires raging all around them.

Donald Trump

The topic of the day is undoubtedly the pending confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. His recent testimony regarding allegations of sexual assault against Dr. Christine Blasey Ford did nothing to exonerate him. But he did reveal himself to be a hot headed, ultra-partisan who traffics in preposterous conspiracy theories and has no aversion to lying about himself or others.

As a result of that hearing, rogue Republican Sen. Jeff Flake concluded that he could not vote to confirm Kavanaugh unless there was an FBI investigation into the charges. So Trump was reluctantly forced to comply and instructed the FBI to reopen Kavanaugh’s background check. Unfortunately, our relentlessly deceitful president sought to game the system by putting harsh restrictions on what the FBI could look into. After this underhanded tactic was exposed, Trump whined on Twitter that it wasn’t true. He accused NBC News of having “incorrectly reported” the story, even though it was also reported by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

On the Sunday Circus of news shows, Trump’s surrogates are now making the rounds to reinforce his false claims. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News that “The White House is not micromanaging this process,” and that “the Senate is dictating the terms.” And Senior White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway had this exchange with Jake Tapper of CNN:

Conway: The White House is not getting involved in the FBI investigation in that way. The president very much respects the independence of the FBI and feels, as he said last night, that they should be looking at anything they feel is credible within this limited scope.
Tapper: What does that mean, ‘within this limited scope’?
Conway: That’s up to the FBI. In other words, I’m not involved in those specific conversations.

Of course none of those protestations were true. NBC’s follow up reporting on the matter reiterated that:

“The FBI has received no new instructions from the White House about how to proceed with its weeklong investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a senior U.S. official and another source familiar with the matter tell NBC News.

“According to the sources, the president’s Saturday night tweet saying he wants the FBI to interview whoever agents deem appropriate has not changed the limits imposed by the White House counsel’s office on the FBI investigation — including a specific witness list that does not include Julie Swetnick, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in high school.”

And furthermore…

“A White House official made clear that the White House is the client in this process. This is not an FBI criminal investigation — it is a background investigation in which the FBI is acting on behalf of the White House. Procedurally, the White House does not allow the FBI to investigate as it sees fit, the official acknowledged; the White House sets the parameters.”

The conservative, Rupert Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal affirmed NBC’s reporting that:

“it was unlikely that the shape of the investigation would change without official communication from the White House that it wanted the bureau to interview other people beyond the list already provided.”

So that’s confirmation that the White House is calling the shots and that they did provide a list of approved witnesses. Clearly Trump is determined to insure that whatever investigation is conducted will not be thorough or impartial. He’s deliberately stacking the deck against Dr. Ford to protect his tainted nominee. That raises the question of whether this process will satisfy Sen. Flake who initiated it. If it doesn’t, he may vote against confirming Kavanaugh, which could sink the nomination.

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

There is also the possibility that the FBI will consider itself empowered to explore any matter that is raised during their investigation, which could include the other witnesses as well as Kavanaugh’s truthfulness during his congressional testimony. There’s abundant evidence that Kavanaugh did perjure himself. So there are significant speed bumps on the road to Kavanaugh’s seat on the Supreme Court. And with any luck this nomination will crash and burn.

Trump’s Press Secretary Has Replaced ‘Daily’ Press Briefings with Softball Interviews on Fox News

On Monday evening Donald Trump’s White House took the extraordinary step of parading its Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, out on State TV (aka Fox News), to whitewash the charges against him for sexual assault. That spectacle only exacerbated his problems by revealing him as awkward and over-coached in his own defense. And it doesn’t help that he was defending himself on the network best known for political partisanship and employing sexual predators.

Fox News, Sarah Huckabee Sanders

However, this tactic on the part of the administration further illustrates just how reliant they are on disseminating propaganda via Fox News. It’s their go-to media fixer when Trump is in trouble or they have some new unpopular initiative to foist on the nation. And in a totally unprecedented course of action, the White House has virtually eliminated the Daily Press Briefing as a means of informing the public about administration activities. They have replaced it with Fox News.

Trump’s Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has held only one briefing so far in the month of September. She held only five briefings in June, three in July, and five in August. That’s one hundred and seventeen days with only fourteen “daily” briefings. This makes it far more difficult for reporters to gather information that the public deserves and is entitled to in a working democracy. Clearly Trump prefers to operate like the dictatorships he so admires in Russia and North Korea.

So the day following Trump sending off his Supreme Court nominee to the happy place for rightist news, he sets up a playdate for Sanders with his Fox and Friends. Sanders joined the “Curvy Couch” potatoes for an extended discussion on how splendidly everything is going in the White House and in America (video below). She stuck up for Kavanaugh, dismissed the controversy over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, effusively praised her boss, and promoted the upcoming cookbook by Fox co-host Steve Doocy that contains a recipe by Sanders.

This performance is a poor substitute for briefings attended by diverse and independent journalists. Rather, it is an extension of Trump’s determination to turn the White House into a Reality TV melodrama with all the nonsense and artifice that implies. They aspire to lull the American people into a stupor that will be thrilled by the circus-like antics of a Big Brother presidency.

Unfortunately for Trump, just because his cult followers are foolish enough to fall for that, doesn’t mean that the rest of the country will. And even with his reincarnation of Goebbels (former Fox News president, and current White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communication, Bill Shine), Trump isn’t going to find success in dumbing down America’s democracy. He’s only going to make sure that his Deplorables remain utterly and painfully clueless. Just the way he likes them.

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

Wild Outbursts on the Internet: Trump Takes a Swing at John Brennan, Lands the Blow on Himself

At Wednesday’s White House press briefing, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders read a statement from the President announcing that he is revoking the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. This action was obviously taken today because yesterday Brennan tweeted a harsh, and well deserved, criticism of Donald Trump for his childish and racist attack on Omarosa Manigault-Newman. He chastised Trump for “fail[ing] to live up to minimum standards of decency.” Or, in other words, for being Trump.

Donald Trump Zombie

To some degree, Trump is lashing out here as a distraction from the Mueller probe and Omarosa’s book tour. But it could not be more apparent that Trump is also exacting vengeance on Brennan for having the audacity to challenge his omnipotent authority to behave like a cholicky infant. If Trump wants to call his former diversity outreach czar a dog, he should be able to so without mature adults pointing out that he’s an embarrassment to the presidency. However, the statement read by Sanders (and quite obviously not written by Dotard Trump) contained some hysterical hypocrisies and serves as evidence of how blinded Trump is by his conceit and narcissism. It began by alleging, without basis, that Brennan’s “erratic conduct” posed some unspecified risks. It continued:

“Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations – wild outbursts on the internet and television – about this Administration. Mr. Brennan’s lying and recent conduct, characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary, is wholly inconsistent with access to the Nation’s most closely held secrets and facilitates the very aim of our adversaries, which is to sow division and chaos.”

If these remarks weren’t specifically addressed to Mr. Brennan, they could easily be mistaken for Trump’s resignation letter. Everything enumerated above describes Trump to a tee:

  • Unfounded and outrageous allegations.
  • Wild outbursts on the internet and television.
  • Lying.
  • Frenzied commentary.
  • Sow division and chaos.

Trump is finally conceding that such behavior is “wholly inconsistent” with government service. By his own standards he should immediately resign and apologize to the nation. Not only do these characteristics fit Trump perfectly, they do not in any way describe Brennan or any of his recent comments. Neither do they describe the others that Trump’s statement listed as being at risk for having their security clearances removed as well: James Clapper, James Comey, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.

What all of these people have in common is that they have been life-long public servants, and they have honestly spoken out about the perils presented by Trump’s ignorance, ego, and aspirations to tyranny. What Trump’s action today does is to send a threatening message to all current and former government officials that they had better not criticise this president or they will be punished, silenced, and subjected to character assassination. That’s the behavior of a third world dictator who demands unquestioning loyalty. Brennan himself summarized the danger of Trump’s heavy-handedness in a tweet Wednesday afternoon:

Well said. And hopefully Trump will be held to the standards he set in this statement by removing all those in his administration who violate them. Beginning with himself.

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

POLL: Trump’s GOP Favors Giving Fascist Authority to the President to Shut Down Critical Media

The disintegration of American democracy continues as the Republican Party under Donald Trump embraces the politics of totalitarian dictatorships. It’s consistent with their worshipful supplication to everything that Trump does and says. Any dissent is regarded as betrayal and party members are held to strict oaths of unbending loyalty.

Donald Trump Republican, GOP

In addition to rallying behind Trump’s Stalinist rant that the media is “the enemy of the American people,” a new Ipsos poll shows that a plurality of Republicans (43%) believe that he should be able to shut down any media company that he deems is behaving badly. Can you guess which ones those would be? According to Ipsos:

“Some of the limits of public support for freedom of the press are made stark with a quarter of Americans (26%) saying they agree ‘the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior,’ including a plurality of Republicans (43%). Likewise, most Americans (72%) think ‘it should be easier to sue reporters who knowingly publish false information.”

For the record, anyone can already sue a reporter or news outlet that knowingly publishes false information. The problem that Trump and his cult following have is when reporters publish truthful and fact-checked information that exposes their lies and the damage they are doing to the country. Their attacks on the press are not intended to produce either fairness or balance. They are intended to intimidate journalists and to poison the minds of the Deplorables so that they trust no other source than Dear Leader.

This strategy is also seen in Trump’s determined efforts to threaten reporters with banishment from White House events and the revocation of their licenses. And his relentless castigation of the media as “sleazy,” “disgraceful,” “horrendous”, “liars,” is bound to lead to violence. Meanwhile, his communications office has made the daily press briefings irrelevant. For one thing, they are hardly daily. There were five briefings in June and only three in July. And when they are held the press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, spends most the time evading questions, haranguing reporters, and exalting Trump.

The good news is that, despite the worst efforts of Trump and the GOP to denigrate the press, the American people consistently say that they trust the media more than they trust the President. Perhaps the fact that Trump is the most documented pathological liar that’s ever occupied the White House has something to do with that opinion.

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