The Petrified President: Trump Lashes Out at Russia Investigators as ‘Thugs’

By all appearances Donald Trump is well aware of the legal peril he is in. He knows that there is ample evidence that he can be charged with serious crimes, including conspiracy, obstruction, money laundering, witness tampering, and more. Consequently he is resorting to the panic of a guilty man who is desperate to avoid being held accountable for his wrongdoing.

Donald Trump

Trump’s behavior gives away his debilitating anxiety and his abject fear of the dismal fate that awaits him. A first-year law student would recognize his ravings as consciousness of guilt. People as diverse as the GOP’s Benghazi inquisitor Trey Gowdy and senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer have wondered why Trump is acting so damn guilty. But Trump cannot help himself. On Monday he, once again, took to Twitter to reveal to the world just how terrified he is.

An innocent man doesn’t malign career law enforcement professionals as “thugs.” He doesn’t repeatedly slander a respected Justice Department official and FBI director and war hero, Robert Mueller, as “disgraced and discredited.” That’s what a mob boss would do in an effort to intimidate those seeking to uphold the law.

Trump is now trying to trivialize Mueller’s interview with the White House counsel, Don McGahn. He waves off the thirty hours of testimony as Mueller “looking for trouble.” Perhaps he is, but he’s also finding it. That’s his job. It’s likely that McGahn provided Mueller with information damaging to the President. No one spends thirty hours over several days talking about nothing. What’s more, Trump’s assertion that Mueller is “enjoying ruining people’s lives” ignores the fact that it’s the people who committed crimes who ruined their own lives. The police officer who arrests the bank robber isn’t responsible for the robber’s sad new life in prison.

Finally, Trump again leans on his robo-rant that the investigation is a “witch hunt” and that there was no collusion, no obstruction.

The truth is that collusion with a foreign government to steal an election is a crime under conspiracy statutes. Not that Trump and company believe that truth is truth. And Trump’s obstruction is evident even in these new tweets.

This president obviously doesn’t know the difference between “fighting back” and obstruction. An innocent man would be satisfied to declare his innocence and show confidence that he will be exonerated. He would welcome the results of an investigation by someone who everyone agreed at the outset is an able and honorable public servant. He would not resort to infantile personal insults and unhinged harangues. That’s how someone frightened out of wits and contemplating his conviction and disgrace fights back.

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

The Metamorphosis: Former GOP House Oversight Chair Fills In for Hannity on Fox News

News Corpse has documented the parade of former Fox News personnel into Donald Trump’s adminsitration. The White House is currently infested with ex-Fox News vermin including National Security Advisor John Bolton, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, HHS Secretary Ben Carson, Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, and chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow. Most recently, at the urging of Sean Hannity, Trump hired former Fox News president Bill Shine, whose experience covering up for liars and sexual predators will come in handy.

Fox News, Jason Chaffetz

However, the door swings both ways. Rejects from the White House have become familiar faces on Fox News. In recent weeks ex-Trump aides landing at Fox include Sebastian Gorka, Anthony Scaramucci, and Sean Spicer. But one of the most prominent new Foxies is the former Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee, Jason Chaffetz. He resigned his seat in Congress and almost immediately signed up with Fox News. And his star at Fox is rising. On Thursday night Chaffetz was the guest host on Fox’s number one program, Sean Hannity.

The Chaffetz debut as a host was jarring to watch. He was the most conspicuously partisan member of Congress who presided over endless inquisitions intended to bring down Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. From Benghazi to emails to Planned Parenthood to Fast and Furious, Chaffetz was the leader of the anti-Hillary crusade. It was a purely political assault that produced no evidence of any wrongdoing whatsoever after years of costly hearings and phony investigations.

On Thursday’s episode of Hannity, Chaffetz interviewed his partner in crime, Trey Gowdy. It was Gowdy who took the gavel of the House Oversight Committee when Chaffetz retired. He was also the chair of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. So this “interview” was really just a televised reunion between two of Congress’ fiercest anti-Democratic partisans. They spent five full minutes just bashing Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff.

Then they segued to trying to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Trump’s collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice. From there Chaffetz led a discussion about the protester who scaled the Statue of Liberty on Independence Day. One subject that never came up was the surprise resignation of the wholly unethical and corrupt Scott Pruitt from the Environmental Protection Agency. Also not discussed were the thousands of immigrant children who are still not reunited with their parents.

The entire hour was nothing more than an extended session of the House committees they sat on in Congress. It was like watching CSPAN with better graphics and catheter commercials. And of course, only one side of every issue was offered through most of the show. It’s one thing to see Sean Hannity do the same thing every night. But when a former congressman is sitting in the anchor’s chair it just cements the impression that Fox News is not in any way differentiated from the political partisans they hype 24/7.

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

And what makes this even worse is that Chaffetz is probably a temporary pundit on Fox. He is widely expected to run for governor of Utah in 2020. So he’s using this platform to advance his candidacy. Which means that Fox is both paying him a healthy salary, and giving him millions of dollars of free promotion. It’s the merging of media with at least two branches of government, the legislative and the executive. And Trump is working furiously to add the judicial to the mix. That’s what is known in most other countries as a totalitarian dictatorship.

Trump Zings AG Sessions with Quote by GOP Chairman that Ignores His Debunking of ‘Spygate’

Republican House Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy attended a classified Department of Justice briefing last week with the congressional “Gang of Eight” (top members of both parties). The meeting was arranged by Donald Trump to improperly disclose information about an informant used by the FBI during its investigation of suspicious contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. This is the core of the controversy that Trump has been railing against for months as he tries to discredit the FBI and the inquiry by special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump refers to it as a hoax and calls it the “Collusion Witch Hunt.” Never mind that there have already been dozens of indictments and five guilty pleas. That’s a lot of witches, and it’s a long way from being over.

Donald Trump Jeff Sessions

Shortly after the meeting Democrat Adam Schiff told the press that there was nothing in the presentation that confirmed Trump’s wild accusations that the FBI planted a “spy” in his campaign. But Republicans said nothing at all, fueling speculation that what Schiff said was accurate. Now Gowdy has come forward and corroborated Schiff’s account. He said that:

“I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump.”

So Gowdy disagrees completely with Trump’s baseless “spygate” malarkey. However, on Tuesday evening Trump held a rally in Nashville where he brought up the matter and stated as a fact that the FBI had infiltrated his campaign. He offered no further proof of the allegation, but he got the response he expected from the glassy-eyed disciples in his audience. Which is what he was going for on Wednesday morning when he tweeted some remarks from Gowdy that left out entirely the sharp rebuking above. Trump focused on whether or not he should have selected Jeff Sessions to be his Attorney General:

The problem with that version of events is that Sessions could not have known at the time of his appointment that he would have to recuse himself. For one thing, there was no “most important case” in progress at the time of Sessions’ appointment. For another, the reason for the recusal included Sessions’ testimony at his confirmation hearings where he denied having any contact with Russians. That was false. Consequently, he made himself a potential witness in the investigation which required his recusal. So Trump is criticizing Sessions for not having “shared these reasons for recusal before he took the job,” which would have been impossible without being able to see into the future.

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

All of this points to additional evidence of Trump’s guilt and subsequent efforts to obstruct justice. Add to this the new report that Trump tried to get Sessions to reverse his recusal, which would have been a clear violation of legal ethics. Not that ethics ever had anything to do with what Trump does or says. But that attempt has now become another plank in Mueller’s probe.

The Desperate Fox News Effort to Spin the Nunes Memo is a Pretty Bogus ‘Bombshell’

The Republican chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, Devin Nunes, spent the last couple of weeks alleging that he had proof of an all-consuming, “deep state” conspiracy to destroy Donald Trump. He didn’t. But that didn’t stop him from beating the drum for partisan drivel that was giddily embraced by many of his GOP colleagues, as well as the conservative media echo chamber.

Not surprisingly, Fox News was the first, and most enthusiastic, torch carrier for the overblown hype that Nunes was peddling. Take a look at how they presented the “news” announcing the memo’s release:

Fox News

Okay, that last one in the bottom-right was from Saturday Night Live, but even they have better journalistic ethics than Fox News does. The others are from Fox’s primetime Trump-fluffers Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, and Saturday’s pitiful wannabe propagandist, Jesse Watters. And what they all have in common is the compulsion to characterize the super-dud Nunes memo as a “Bombshell.”

Let’s be clear, the memo fell as flat as the Earth that Fox’s science deniers are perpetually squawking about. It failed utterly to prove any of the allegations its authors and promoters had put forward. In fact, it literally proved the case made by Democrats that the FISA court’s granting of a surveillance warrant for Trump flunky Carter Page had nothing to do with the Russia investigation or the work of special counsel Robert Mueller. If anything, that was the “bombshell” produced by the memo. And even several Republicans who sit on the Intelligence Committee agree. As reported by Talking Points Memo:

  • Trey Gowdy (R-TN): “I actually don’t think it is has any impact on the Russia probe.”
  • Brad Wenstrup (R-OH): “I don’t think it really has anything to do with” Mueller’s probe.
  • Chris Stewart (R-UT): “This memo has frankly nothing at all to do with a special counsel.”
  • Will Hurd (R-TX): “I don’t believe this is an attack on Bob Mueller.”

None of these Republican members of Nunes’ committee agree with Nunes. Nor do they agree with Trump’s deranged tweet that the Nunes Memo “totally vindicates” him. The measure of psychosis that Trump displays by his narcissistic self-delusion is off the scale. And therefore, so is the hyperbolic, pro-Trump editorializing of the well-orchestrated Fox News “bombshell” amen chorus. They can’t even tell the truth when their own side is dismissing the vacuous memorandum (with an emphasis on the “dumb”).

And don’t expect the designated media expert of Fox News, Howard Kurtz, to set the record straight. He is currently promoting his new book, Media Madness, that is a right-wing take on how much the media allegedly hates Donald Trump. (To be accurate, it isn’t just the media. It’s the vast majority of Americans, but that’s another subject). One of the reasons that Kurtz’s book has rocketed up to #710 on Amazon is that he is undoubtedly the worst media analyst in the business. In one of his recent book tour appearances on Fox News (of course) he said that…

“There is something about Donald Trump, the candidate and now the president, where many journalists and commentators believe they have some kind of mission to save the country from an erratic president. And that’s not journalism.”

Actually, that absolutely is journalism. Kurtz apparently thinks that the mission of the media is to be an obedient lap dog that serves no purpose other than presidential stenography. But the Founding Fathers put a unique protection in the Constitution for freedom of the press specifically because it is sometimes required to take positions that will offend the powerful. It is the duty of the press to alert citizens when their leaders are corrupt, lying, treasonous, ignorant, and even erratic. And it’s all the more critical when we have a president who is all of the above. That is, without a doubt, a real bombshell that is ready to blow bigly.

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

Fox News Business Network Has Fully Transitioned From Financial Reporting to Trump Shilling

When Fox News began in 1996, the intention was to develop an overtly partisan, right-wing network that would skew the news to the ultra-conservative views of Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes. After achieving that goal they set their sights on a business network that would eventually do the same thing.

Fox News Bartiromo

The Fox Business Network was never aimed at providing useful financial information. When it launched they put Neil Cavuto at the helm, a move that can only be interpreted as advancing the same conservative biases that infest his daily program on Fox News. And the execrable Lou Dobbs has long been a fixture on the channel. Three years ago they hired Maria Bartiromo who had been a financial correspondent on CNBC for twenty years. But it’s obvious now that Bartiromo has been inducted into the Fox mindset as she shamelessly disgorges wingnut propaganda.

On her Sunday program, Sunday Morning Futures, Bartiromo interviewed Republican inquisitioner Trey Gowdy on a subject that Fox News and the GOP have been desperately trying to revive: Hillary Clinton’s crime-riddled past (video below). Never mind that she has been the target of blatantly prejudiced investigations for twenty years that haven’t turned up a hint of wrongdoing. With all of Donald Trump’s illegal entanglements, the GOP needs to find ways to muddy the public discourse.

The questions that Bartiromo asked Gowdy are all that is needed to observe how hopelessly biased she is. Each one was a leading question that implied criminal intent to Clinton. As if Gowdy needed any help in turning his partisan innuendo into outrageous allegations. Here are the severely slanted questions Bartiromo asked verbatim:

“Do you now have the documents that you have been requesting to best assess whether or not there was a massive abuse of power by the FBI around the election last year?”

“So where does this lead? I mean, you’ve been stonewalled since August. You’re finally getting documents last week and this week week that you’ve been asking for since August. We know for example when you look at the Hillary Clinton side of things, her IT manager, Brian Tagliano, initially said he never deleted anything to the FBI. He told the FBI ‘I didn’t delete anything.’ Then apparently has an ‘aha’ moment and says ‘Oh wait, yes. I did delete emails.’ After we know that those were actually recovered. And he gets immunity. So he gets immunity despite the fact that he lied to the FBI, deleted emails, and didn’t tell anybody that there were these emails that existed.”

“Peter Strzok, when he was texting his girlfriend, Lisa Page, said that we need an insurance policy in place. Now Congressman, we have been hearing bits and pieces of this so-called Russia probe, so-called collusion between Trump and the Russians, with absolutely zero evidence. Was that the insurance policy? Peter Strzok essentially saying to his mistress, ‘Look, we’re just gonna keep on investigating Donald Trump should he win.'”

“Americans want to see the rule of law. If we cannot trust the FBI, the CIA – by the way, the IRS. We know what the IRS did a year ago, or two years ago. Then what is the point of the freedoms of America?”

“Let me ask you this because we’ve been watching this Russia probe. How long is this gonna go on? Because we still haven’t had any evidence of any collusion. When is it appropriate for Bob Mueller to come out and say ‘Yes, definitively there is no collusion here. But what I have uncovered is collusion at the top of the FBI between the FBI leadership and Hillary Cliinton.”

“We can’t have confidence if nothing is ever being done and there isn’t any accountability here. Obviously you have been searching for the truth. Devin Nunes is searching for the truth. But people are questioning the head law enforcement individual.

These are the sort of questions that hardly require answers. The response is built into the inquiry. Particularly notable is the question that seeks to put words into special counsel Mueller’s mouth implying collusion on Clinton’s part. And asserting that Gowdy and Nunes are truth-seekers is painfully delusional. They are among the most acutely biased Republicans in the country. But Bartiromo regards them as more credible than the nation’s top law enforcement professionals. Yet this is the unethical posture that Bartiromo has taken in order to serve her masters at Fox News and in the Trump administration. It’s downright embarrassing and more than a little nauseating.

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

How Fox News Proved That Hillary Clinton Won The Benghazi Games

The long awaited battle between Hillary Clinton and the Republican’s Committee to Politicize Benghazi is now in the history books. It was a marathon eleven hour affair that featured the top names in partisan propaganda as they tried in vain to wear down Clinton and force an error.

Trey Gowdy Hillary Clinton

The details are hardly relevant because even the committee’s chairman, Trey Gowdy, admitted that nothing new was learned from the inquisition. When asked by reporters what the hearing had achieved, he said that “In terms of her testimony? I don’t know that she testified that much differently today than she has the previous times she testified.”

In other words, this committee has been just as incapable of manufacturing a scandal as the seven other committees before it. And even though Gowdy, in his opening statement, vilified his fellow Republicans on prior committees by repeatedly maligning their efforts as not being “serious and thorough,” he was unable to achieve anything more than they did, by his own admission.

Meanwhile, Clinton held up impressively well for the entire hearing, even though she was the only person involved who had to be aware and engaged throughout. The committee members all got to rest between each of their five minute question periods, but Clinton had no such relief. Kinda puts into perspective Donald Trump’s wimpy whining about standing for a three hour debate where he would only be required to speak for about fifteen minutes.

But the real indication that this hearing was a total bust for the Republican scandal machine was that Fox News cut out long before it was over. Both CNN and MSNBC covered the eleven hour hearing wall-to-wall, but Fox News bailed after only seven hours, when they flipped back to their regularly scheduled programming (The Five). So they left out fully one-third of the proceedings. Do you think they would have done that if they thought that Clinton was bombing? Of course not. They were more worried that she looked strong, confident, knowledgeable, and (gasp) presidential. That was something they didn’t want their viewers exposed to, so the decision was made to ditch the live hearings and return to their panel of wingnut pundits on whom they could rely for continued Clinton bashing.

To underscore the significance of this editorial cowardice, we must remember that Fox News has always been the network most obsessed with Benghazi. They even celebrated their own reporting, and particularly their CEO Roger Ailes, for being the “driving force” pushing to “keep Benghazi alive.” After devoting that much effort to turn a tragedy into political theater, Fox wouldn’t even stick with the live broadcast of the headlining act.

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

What viewers who watched the whole session would come away with is that GOP inquisitors were mainly concerned with emails from Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal (whose transcripts the GOP committee members voted not to release), and the administration’s references to an anti-Muslim video following the attacks in Benghazi. Both of those were purely political subjects and neither could possibly shed any light on how the attacks occurred or what could be done to prevent similar attacks in the future.

So Gowdy and his cohorts can cite at least one thing that this hearing succeeded in achieving: That Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was correct when he said that the committee’s purpose was to bring down Hillary Clinton. And they even failed on that score. Congratulations.

Three Degrees Of GOP Crazy: From Benghazi To Planned Parenthood To ACORN

The Republican Party is showing signs of desperation after virtually every attempt to manufacture scandals that they can blame on Democrats has failed. Rather than developing some policy initiatives that might find favor with the American people, or conducting outreach to voter groups, the GOP is diving deeper into unfounded allegations and conspiracy theories. Just yesterday three of their top players engaged in some Olympian nuttiness that produced nothing but embarrassment for their floundering team.

GOP Crazy

Let’s begin this three degrees of separation journey with an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program (video below) by the man projected to be the next GOP Speaker of the House of Representatives. Kevin McCarthy may have thought that he would have a genteel Tea Party with the GOP-friendly host, but he wasn’t prepared for the level of animosity that wingnuts like Hannity have for establishment conservatives. Hannity took McCarthy to task for not having done more to monkey wrench the Obama administration’s agenda. He assailed McCarthy and the House GOP for presiding over budget deficits, funding ObamaCare, amnesty for immigrants, and not shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood. Having been caught off guard, McCarthy carelessly revealed the real, not-so-secret purpose of the House Select Committee to Politicize Benghazi as he tried to defend his record.

“Everybody thought that Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that happened had we not fought to make that happen.”

So McCarthy admitted on TV that the true aim of the Benghazi hearings was to damage Clinton’s reputation and electability. To which Hannity graciously replied “I agree, that’s something good. I give you credit for that.” McCarthy later let slip that he intends to form another pointless select committee on Planned Parenthood. Under Republican control, this congress has held an unprecedented number of flagrantly partisan hearings that have produced nothing of value to their party, much less the nation. The Benghazi investigation has now officially lasted longer than any previous congressional investigation, including the JFK assassination, the Nixon Watergate affair, and 9/11, yet has not found a single bit of evidence of any wrongdoing.

The Benghazi Committee is chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-Tea Party), which brings us to the second degree of separation. Gowdy is also a member of the committee investigating Planned Parenthood for misconduct alleged by an anti-abortion group’s videos that have been proven to be edited in a deliberately deceptive fashion. When it was Gowdy’s turn to question Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards he asked whether she had an understanding of those who oppose abortion. Richards said that she appreciates that “people have a lot of different views on the issue of abortion,” then dismissed the condescending premise saying that Planned Parenthood “trusts women” to make decisions about their own bodies.

That provoked Gowdy to accuse Richards of wanting to “frame the issue” to say that she is “the reasonable one, and those of us who have a contrary position are not reasonable.” Which, of course, she did not say. Gowdy actually conceded that she didn’t say that, but then, using his supernatural power to read minds, told her that “It’s not always what you say, sometimes it’s just what you mean.” But he still could not explain how anything she said could be interpreted to mean what he asserted. It’s plain that he was intent on mischaracterizing her remarks no matter what she actually said.

The chairman of the Planned Parenthood committee was Rep. Jason Chaffetz, which conveniently moves us to the third and final degree of separation. During the same hearing, Chaffetz made some glaring blunders. For instance, he displayed a highly distorted and prejudicial chart that Richards had to tell him was provided by Americans United for Life, a virulently anti-abortion group. But his worst gaffe may have been uttered after the hearing when he went on Fox News to spin the event for the media. In an effort to drive home his slanderous perception of events, he said that “Planned Parenthood is the new ACORN. That’s who they are. Remember when we talked about ACORN? That is Planned Parenthood as far as I can see it.”

You know, he’s actually right. ACORN was an organization that helped people, but was smeared by liars who produced false videos that eventually led to Congress defunding them. Sound familiar? There was never any evidence that ACORN did anything wrong. To the contrary, James O’Keefe, the producer of the videos, lost a lawsuit and was ordered to pay a former ACORN staffer $100,000. But, unfortunately, that was after ACORN lost their funding and had to close up shop. Now the same sort of liars are trying to do the same thing to Planned Parenthood despite several state investigations that have already cleared them of any wrongdoing.

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

What all of this adds up to is the brazen dishonesty of a desperate Republican Party trying to invent scandals and exploit their congressional power to bring down their political foes. With McCarthy we have an admission that their efforts are partisan. With Gowdy we see how blinded they are by their own biases. And with Chaffetz a clear connection is made to a previous effort to sabotage an honorable public service organization.

Ironically, the GOP is whining about taxpayers having to pay for Planned Parenthood and women’s health care services, but most Americans support Planned Parenthood. So the real question is why are Americans forced to pay millions of dollars for congressional hearings that are nothing more than partisan witch hunts based on proven lies?

Here is the video of McCarthy on Hannity:

Stephen Colbert On The GOP’s Pernicious Scheme To “Fix” ObamaCare (Video)

As 2014 began there was a furious racket emanating from the Republican ranks over the Affordable Care Act and how it would be the all-consuming issue in the midterm election. In fact, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, was so adamant about keeping focused exclusively on ObamaCare that he told the National Review that…

“I think it’s going to be Obamacare all the time between now and November 5. If you ask me what day it is, I’m going to tell you it’s Obamacare. If you want to know what I want in my coffee, I’m going to tell you Obamacare. I’m going to talk about Obamacare all the time because I think it’s the No. 1 issue.”

He barely mentioned again. And as the year wore on, and the program was embraced by millions of Americans whose lives were profoundly improved, those plans evaporated and were replaced with fear mongering over manufactured crises like Ebola and ISIL.

Now that the election is over, the GOP is making noises about “fixing” ObamaCare, but their intentions are, to say the least, suspect. After trying more than fifty times to kill or cripple the program, they are still only interested in fixing ObamaCare in the same manner a Mafioso hitman is interested in fixing a rival mobster. Stephen Colbert took note of this trend (video below) and made it a feature of his program last night. And, as usual, he turned a complex and contentious issue into a hilarious and insightful comedic romp.

Particularly notable was his response to remarks made by “South Carolina congressman and guy who put his wig on backwards,” Trey Gowdy, to Megyn Kelly of Fox News. Gowdy was joining the pile-on against M.I.T. economics professor Jonathan Gruber, who inartfully explained some of the sausage-making that goes on when crafting legislation. [See The Right-Wing Freakout Over An ObamaCare Advisor Is Just More Bullspit]

Gowdy: I would say this to the professor, put down the cognac and the lost writings of J.D. Salinger. You will see how stupid our fellow citizens are. Take a look at last Tuesday night.
Colbert: Yes. If you want to see how stupid Americans are, just look at who they elected last Tuesday.

Stephen Colbert

Indeed. Colbert could have added Joni Ernst, Gordon Klingenschmitt, Jody Hice, Glenn Grothman, Paul LePage, and more to the list of certifiable fruitcakes who emerged victorious. He might also have noted that the claim that the election results represented America are vastly overblown considering that the turnout was only 36%, the lowest turnout since 1942.

Here is the segment from The Colbert Report for you entertainment pleasure:

Benghazi “Bombshell” Dropped Just In Time For The New Committee’s Maiden Hearing

The theatrics that go into the Fox News production of right-wing scandal mongering rival the most ambitious Broadway presentations. There is drama and conflict and complex stage management that grabs the audience and drags them through a narrative that is lurid and mysterious.

Gowdy DoodyThat applies nowhere more fully than to their long-running Benghazi blockbuster. It is what they turn to whenever they need a quick jolt of fabricated controversy. And with the first public hearing of Trey Gowdy’s brand spanking-new “Committee to Politicize Benghazi” scheduled for this week, Fox News has aired a promotional extra to accompany the premiere. Anchor Eric Shawn introduced the segment and correspondent Doug McKelway saying…

“We have a Fox News Alert, a ‘bombshell’ as they say, in the Benghazi terror attacks investigation. Turns out a former State Department employee speaking out in a new report now claims that aides to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, they claim, took part in after-hours sessions to quote ‘separate’ damaging documents before those allegedly damaging documents were handed over to investigators.”

Golly willikers, this can’t be good news for Miss Hillary. Even though Fox has, in conjunction with Darrell Issa’s Committee on Overstepping, declared numerous other disclosures to be bombshells that turned out to be nothing but duds, this one is fer-sure a bona fide bombshell. That’s because it was discovered by Sharyl Attkisson, the disgraced former CBS reporter who was fired as a result of her shoddy and biased reporting including about Benghazi. Attkisson’s new story was published by The Daily Signal, an arm of the uber-rightist Heritage Foundation. It contains zero evidence of the alleged activities and relies on a single, and decidedly partial, source. No wonder she was fired by CBS, but found work at the Heritage rag. Attkisson writes that…

“As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to ‘separate’ damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board (ARB) investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.”

There were a couple of notable omissions by Fox News that even Attkisson’s blatantly biased article included. First of all, Alec Gerlach, a State Department spokesman, said that “The range of sources that the ARB’s investigation drew on would have made it impossible for anyone outside of the ARB to control its access to information.” In other words, no documents could have been separated out and withheld because they would have been available elsewhere. Secondly, Attkisson’s sole source, Raymond Maxwell, was not someone who could be plausibly described as neutral. He was a deputy assistant secretary who had responsibility for North Africa. The New York Times reported in December of 2012 that he was one of…

“…four State Department officials [who] were removed from their posts on Wednesday after an independent panel criticized the ‘grossly inadequate’ security at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that was attacked on Sept. 11, leading to the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.”

Maxwell was a disgruntled employee who had filed grievances with the State Department’s Human Resources Bureau and the American Foreign Service Association. Whether or not his allegations are true, he cannot be regarded as impartial due to his obvious personnel entanglement. However, the ARB’s investigation does contain a certain measure of credibility because it was headed by Thomas Pickering, a veteran diplomat who served in the Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations, and Admiral Michael Mullen (Ret), a Navy vet who was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by George W. Bush. These are not Clinton partisans hired to whitewash her record as Secretary of State.

The emergence of this phony bombshell on the eve of the Benghazi committee’s debut is an extraordinary coincidence. And its presentation on Fox News that left out critical details is likewise a convenient happenstance. If nothing else it allowed anchor Shawn to conclude with a smarmy “Some wonder if this could be a smoking gun of a potential cover-up.” So the bombshell is also a smoking gun, and it’s all part of a cover-up. At least to a mysterious “some” who are wondering. This masterpiece of fiction has blockbuster written all over it.

Congress Allocates More Money To Phony Benghazi Investigations Than To Veterans

Two months ago GOP House Speaker John Boehner announced that he would concede to pressure from Fox News and the Tea Party by creating the House Select Committee On Politicizing Benghazi. He then packed the committee on the Republican side with rabidly partisan attack dogs, led by alpha dog Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.

Gowdy Doody

Shameless self-promotion…
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Since that announcement there has been nothing of note to report. There are no scheduled hearings and no estimated timeline for the investigation. Count on it to drag out long enough for Republicans to exploit it during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The one bit of news that has just emerged is that the Speakers office has allocated $3.3 million to the committee for the current year. So after spending untold millions by four other partisan committees who, despite making wild predictions about White House malfeasance and cover ups, never found anything to support their manufactured accusations, they are now proposing to up the ante with no indication that the result will be any different.

To put the budgeting in perspective, the House Veterans Affairs Committee will only be receiving $3 million this year, even though they have more than twice as many members and a legitimate scandal to investigate with legitimate victims who continue to suffer. The Benghazi Circus will spend more in its first year than the Intelligence Committee which deals with numerous international matters that have far-reaching impact on national security.

The financial priority that is demonstrated by these budget choices is evidence that the Republican House is more obsessed with phony scandals and political sabotage than with actually solving real problems for the American people. The tragic events in Benghazi have always been merely a crude weapon for the rightist politicians and pundits who are fixated on destroying all things Obama. And the new committee is just another means of achieving political goals that they couldn’t achieve at the ballot box. This was illustrated with certainty when back in May of 2013, Fox News aired a tribute to their chief, CEO Roger Ailes, for his efforts as “The Driving Force” in “Keeping Benghazi Alive.”

Fox News Ailes Benghazi

This was one of the most brazen admissions of the abandonment of journalistic ethics ever broadcast. The arrogance they display with on-air graphics confessing that they “made terror attack a story” in response to a “push” by their CEO, is unprecedented. Credible news organizations do not permit executives to interfere with editorial decisions. But the operative word there is “credible,” which has never applied to Fox News.