WTF? Fox News Hack Says Ukraine Isn’t a ‘Sexy’ Enough Scandal to Impeach Trump

Just when you thought that The Onion had not really taken over Fox News and replaced their vile Trump-fluffing with biting satire, a segment is aired that is so mind-numbingly idiotic that it could only be regarded as comedy. Except that it isn’t.

Donald Trump, Pervert

On Friday’s episode of “The Five” (a title that seems to be derived from the combined IQ of it’s right-wing panelists), co-host Jesse Watters delivered a commentary (video below) that purported to be his defense of Donald Trump’s extortion of Ukrainian President Zelensky. To be sure, there are few coherent arguments that excuse Trump for unlawfully withholding military aid unless Zelensky dug up dirt on Joe Biden. Especially after Trump admitted it. But Watters went above and beyond his everyday bootlicking duty to unload a laughably idiotic tirade that not only utterly failed to exonerate Trump, it also insulted every American in the process. He began…

“Leave it to the Democrats to make impeachment boring. This is about a transcript of a phone call with a country no one cares about. These are about transcripts from a deposition that we can’t even watch on television. And what do the transcripts say? It’s from the Under-Secretary of Affairs for Energy Policy at the EU. These aren’t household names. They aren’t heavy hitters. Wake me up when the big dogs testify in public.”

So right off the bat Watters reveals that in order for an impeachment inquiry to be credible, it has to stimulate him. Because “boring” (to him) violations of the Constitution should be ignored and those committing such crimes should be given a free pass. And his assertion that Ukraine is “a country no one cares about” exposes just how dysfunctional his puny little mind is.

What’s more, Watters seems to think that only TV-worthy crimes, committed by “household names,” should be prosecuted. For the record, none of the witnesses was an “Under-Secretary of Affairs for Energy Policy at the EU.” And most objective persons would regard the actual witnesses (National Security Council Russia advisor Fiona Hill, NSC Ukraine expert Alexander Vindman, Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sonderland, Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, and Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch) as pretty heavy hitters. So maybe Watters should wake the f**k up. He continued…

“The other thing is, no one can find Ukraine on the map. If you ask the American people anything about Ukraine they don’t know a thing about it. Americans care about a few countries. They care about Saudi Arabia. They care about Israel. They care about Russia, China and Mexico. That’s it. Ukraine doesn’t rise to the level of a country that people care about.”

Here Watters is making the argument that Americans are so stupid that they can’t be bothered with all of the trivialities about which he claims they are ignorant. That should endear him to the nation. However, it’s a safe bet that Trump couldn’t find Ukraine (or the U.S.) on map either, unless he marked it with a sharpie beforehand. And Watters’ list of the countries that Americans care about depicts them all as slack-jawed yokels. Perhaps Watters is just referring to himself and the Trump voters he knows best. And he continued…

“We’re talking about a military aid package to a country that, I guess needs help, but that a lot of people don’t care that much about. If you turn on television you see a reporter standing in Congress saying someone was hearing something from someone else who was concerned about a military aid package. It’s obsolutely (sic) not registering in the American people’s frame because it’s not a sexy scandal.”

Watters must not regard the members of Congress as “a lot of people,” since they cared enough about Ukraine to allocate $390 million for their defense against the aggressions of Russia. As to whether or not this scandal is registering with the American people, most polls show that they favor impeaching Trump and removing him from office.

Worst of all is Watters bizarre assertion that a scandal must be “sexy” in order for the American people to have any interest in it. That probably exposes the perversions of Watters himself, rather than any insight into the American populace. Watters must think that if it doesn’t involve a Democrat getting a blow job it doesn’t qualify as a scandal. It is also another insult to Americans that he already said are stupid.

But if it’s a sexy scandal that Watters wants, he need look no further than Trump’s predatory sexual harassment and assault of more than forty women. But for some reason, and contrary to Watters’ premise, this nauseating “sex” scandal isn’t getting all that much attention – yet. Maybe Watters should bring it up on his program, if he can stop drooling long enough.

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

CHOPPER TALK: Corrupt Donald Trump Tells Flagrant Lies About Pretty Much Everything

Our Reality TV president just released the latest episode of his long-running soap opera “Chopper Talk” (or more accurately “Whopper Talk”) wherein Donald Trump swaggers pompously before an assemblage of reporters as he ostensibly responds to questions with “answers” that, more often than not, ignore the reporter’s inquiry. His strained and frequently incoherent responses range from awkward deflections to outright lies. It’s a circus of self-serving propaganda that has no journalistic value whatsoever.

Donald Trump, Chopper Talk

There are many reasons that the press needs to stop covering these slack-jawed sideshows live. They provide almost nothing useful for viewers. Even worse, as Media Matters reports, is that Fox news continues to air all of Trump’s cult rallies live. CNN has cut back almost entirely, airing only ten minutes this year. MSNBC aired none of them.

However, there is one thing that comes from these loopy press avails. They allow a pathological liar to disgorge uninterrupted rants that sound very much like the schizophrenic on the street corner shouting epithets at passing cars. And in Friday’s instalment (video below) Trump was in rare form, excreting nonsense like a haywire word-salad shooter. Just a few of Trump’s fact-challenged falsehoods include…

“Adam Schiff is a corrupt politician. He’s corrupt. He made up a speech, and he put my voice in it.”

FALSE: Schiff merely paraphrased Trump and prefaced his remarks by saying explicitly that they were the “essence” of what Trump said, not a verbatim quote.

“Everyone of those people testified absolutely fine for me. […] You know I don’t even know most of these people. Many of these people I’ve never even heard of.”

FALSE: Most of the people Trump is talking about were appointed by him or by those he appointed. This is a common tactic that he uses to pretend he doesn’t know anyone who criticizes him. What Trump wants you to believe is that he never heard of his National Security Council Russia advisor Fiona Hill, his NSC Ukraine expert Alexander Vindman, his Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sonderland, his Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker, his Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, and his Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. If he really doesn’t know these high-level White House staffers, that’s just more proof that he’s unfit to serve.

“We are winning so big. My polls are the highest they’ve ever been. I’m leading in all of the swing states.”

FALSE: Trump’s poll numbers are as low as ever. They have hovered around 40 percent since his inauguration, and still do. And he is notably losing in many of the swing states.

And then there’s this: Trump unleashes a bizarre and incoherent rant that meanders from one subject to another without ever approaching reality. But he does manage to threaten to sue the whistleblower’s attorney of treason (which is ludicrous because you can’t sue for treason).

“The whistleblower, I call him the fake whistleblower. He gave a fake report of my phone call. And when I released that call, all of a sudden everybody disappeared. The whistleblower disappeared. What ever happened to the second whistleblower? Why isn’t the first whistleblower gonna testify anymore? You know why? Because everything he wrote in that report almost was a lie. Because he made a phony phone call. My phone call was perfect. He made it sound bad. That’s why I had to release. So the whistleblower is a disgrace to our country. And the whistleblower because of that should be revealed. And his lawyer, who said the worst things possible two years ago, he should be sued. And maybe for treason.

HUH? The whistleblower hasn’t disappeared. His/her identity is still under wraps, despite the efforts of right-wing media, including Fox News, who have offered up a name of someone they can’t confirm is really the whistleblower. And Trump’s “transcript” of his phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky actually confirms the account by the whistleblower, making him/her irrelevant. But Trump’s reckless charges of treason demonstrate why truth tellers in government need the protection of whistleblower status.

The only benefit that can be derived from these demented outbursts is that they are further evidence that Trump is a severely disturbed psychotic who presents a clear and present danger to the nation. The media has a responsibility to refrain from airing his ravings live. They have nothing to lose by reviewing the video and airing it twenty minutes later with added context and fact-checking. And if they don’t take that simple step they are aiding and abetting Trump’s deranged campaign of propaganda and lies. That is dangerous and contrary to the mission of the free press and ethical journalism.

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

Why is Trump So Scared? Bill Barr Refused to Lie that He Did Nothing Illegal Re:Ukraine

The spectacle of watching the President of the United States whine like a petulant child never gets any easier to bear. Yet this is what the American people are being forced to contend with on a daily basis. Donald Trump spends much of his day tweeting about how victimized he is by those meanies in the press and even his own administration. This is the person who occupies what is commonly called the most powerful office in the world. But he can’t stop griping like a toddler who wants to stay up past his bedtime.

Donald Trump Sweating

It’s usually pretty easy to determine what is most offending Trump by the frequency of his exasperated tweets. And on Thursday morning the irritation that chafed the paper-thin skin of the President was typical of his snowflakey sensitivities. He fired of a multi-tweet tirade aimed at a frequent foe: the Washington Post. They published an article that revealed that Trump had asked his Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, to hold a press conference and announce that Trump had done nothing illegal in his dealings with Ukrainian President Zelensky. Trump’s tweetery groused plaintively that…

Years ago, when Media was legitimate, people known as ‘Fact Checkers’ would always call to check and see if a story was accurate. Nowadays they don’t use ‘Fact Checkers’ anymore, they just write whatever they want!”
[Just because fact-checkers find that you’re lying doesn’t mean they don’t exist]

The story in the Amazon Washington Post, of course picked up by Fake News CNN, saying ‘President Trump asked for AG Barr to host a news conference clearing him on Ukraine,’ is totally untrue and just another FAKE NEWS story with anonymous sources that don’t exist….”
[Just because you don’t like what they say doesn’t mean sources don’t exist either]

….The LameStream Media, which is The Enemy of the People, is working overtime with made up stories in order to drive dissension and distrust!
[Just because Stalin used to decry the media as “the enemy of the people” doesn’t mean Trump is a fascist – oh, wait…]

Bill Barr did not decline my request to talk about Ukraine. The story was a Fake Washington Post con job with an ‘anonymous’ source that doesn’t exist. Just read the Transcript. The Justice Department already ruled that the call was good. We don’t have freedom of the press!
[Just because the “transcript” affirmed your guilt doesn’t mean you can continue to lie about the Justice Department ruling that your call was “good.” They didn’t. And WaPo is exercising freedom of the press. You are threatening it]

The degenerate Washington Post MADE UP the story about me asking Bill Barr to hold a news conference. Never happened, and there were no sources!
[Just because you are a well-documented degenerate doesn’t mean everyone else is]

The Amazon Washington Post and three lowlife reporters, Matt Zapotosky, Josh Dawsey, and Carol Leonnig, wrote another Fake News story, without any sources (pure fiction), about Bill Barr & myself. We both deny this story, which they knew before they wrote it. A garbage newspaper!
[Just because you have been a low life grifter and charlatan your whole life doesn’t mean you can malign respected journalists you don’t even know]

Of course, Trump’s documented extortion of Zelensky has been confirmed by the testimony of several witnesses, including Trump himself, who admitted on national television that he asked Zelensky to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. So what could have rattled Trump so much that he unleashed this tweetstorm attacking the Washington Post over an issue that goes back several weeks?

WaPo’s story touches several nerves that are famously tender for Trump. He is triggered by anything brushing up against him in these areas. Consequently, his fear impulse goes off because…

  • …he can’t allow any allegation of his guilt to persist.
  • …he can’t let stand the assertion that Barr refused a direct order to defend him.
  • …he must crush any impression that he isn’t the master of everything and everyone around him.
  • …by attacking the story he can imply that Barr actually did declare that he’s innocent.
  • …to him, Barr’s refusal would be the same as a conviction.
  • …any suggestion of his guilt gnaws at him like a flesh-eating virus.
  • …everyone in the Trump regime must have the same criminal intent – and exposure to legal jeopardy – as he does.

However, Trump’s obsession is absurdly misplaced. He really has nothing to gain by pretending that his request of Barr didn’t occur. As for Barr, by complying he would have only cemented his reputation as a bootlicking Trump-fluffer. After all, no one outside of Trump’s cadre of Deplorables would have believed him anyway. Barr is just another of Trump’s sycophantic minions who the world recognizes as wholly biased and untrustworthy.

Take for example, Sen. Lindsey Graham (video below), whose latest glassy-eyed defense of Trump has devolved into the claim that Trump couldn’t have engaged in an illegal quid pro quo because he’s too incompetent. And therefore Graham commits to remaining ignorant by refusing to read the transcripts of testimony. WOW! With friends like these, who needs enemas?

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

Trump’s Dementia Kicks In, Whining that the Whistleblower Must and Must Not Testify

This is the latest chapter of the Trump Impeachment Saga: The Walls are Closing In. And as they do Trump becomes ever more deranged and incoherent. He knows that his support, even among Republicans, is rapidly deteriorating. He knows that he has no comprehensible response to the charges against him. He’s scared witless of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. And he’s reduced to behaving like a cowardly victim of the gathering hordes of enemies his paranoia imagines are surrounding him.

Trump Fear

It’s a pathetic spectacle that is plain to see by most Americans (who favor his impeachment and removal from office), as well as our allies and foes around the world. And he’s getting noticeably worse as more evidence and witnesses become available to the public. Trump is on a downward spiral that is manifesting in everything he does and says.

On Monday morning Trump provided a profoundly disturbing example of his mental decline. Within his regularly scheduled tweetstorm, he ranted about what he’s now calling a “Witch Hunt Hoax.” That used to be the investigation into his unsavory connections to Russia, but has now been rebranded for the Ukraine affair. Among the tweets he posted were these bizarre comments:

…all you have to do is read the transcript of the call, you do not need Never Trumpers or other witnesses to say what it means or says. It is plainly and very well stated for all to see.

There is no reason to call witnesses to analyze my words and meaning.”

The Whistleblower gave false information & dealt with corrupt politician Schiff. He must be brought forward to testify.”

So Trump is adamant that there need not be any testimony by anyone regarding his extortion of Ukrainian President Zelensky while seeking dirt on Joe Biden. But he’s just as adamant that the testimony take place. How his diseased brain synchronizes those contradictions is a mystery. He has been repeatedly insisting that people “read the transcript.” Of course, many people have already done this and were thus persuaded that Trump is obviously guilty of pressuring Zelensky and demanding a quid pro quo. The “transcript” (which was really just a memo summarizing the phone call) explicitly referenced Trump’s request for “a favor” that he directly associated with an improper probe of the Biden’s.

Furthermore, Trump doesn’t feel that it’s necessary for others to analyze his words. Well, except for his GOP defenders and Fox News. He posts endless videos from those “analysts” on Twitter. And he maligns anyone who dares to find any critical messaging as “Never-Trumpers,” despite having no evidence whatsoever that they were political opponents. What’s more, Trump declared that the whistleblower should not be permitted to provide written answers to the investigators. Although that was perfectly permissible for himself when he answered questions for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump’s tweetery about the “transcripts” has also recently swerved into lunatic territory with allegations that Rep. Schiff (to whom Trump has applied the anti-Semitic nickname, “Shifty”) would “change the words that were said to suit the Dems purposes.” Nevermind that they were all prepared by committee staff that included Republican members, and their accuracy would be easy to confirm. Trump also tweeted a confession that his actions constituted a quid pro quo, but which he falsely claimed wasn’t impeachable.

Don’t hurt yourself trying to figure out how any of Trump’s tirades make sense. They don’t. They are blatant machinations designed to confuse and frustrate those delving into his criminal activities. And they have been constructed by a mind that has lost all connections to reality. His comments on Twitter and his “Chopper Talk” press avails are increasingly incomprehensible. We are watching a developing paranoid psychosis in real time and on public platforms. And it isn’t pretty.

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

The Trump Sycophant ‘Softball Question of the Year’ Award Goes to Fox News – Again

Donald Trump is turkey-neck deep in an impeachment inquiry that is accumulating evidence faster than it can be processed. At any other time in history, this much proof of criminal behavior and obstruction of justice would have been more than sufficient to shame the president from ever showing his face in public. He would have been humiliated as well prosecuted, and would have jumped ship long ago.

Donald Trump Fox News

However, in these peculiar times we have a president who is buttressed by a propaganda network that lavishes him with undying praise, defends him from any and all criticism, and maligns his political foes as schemers, liars, and even traitors. The worshipful devotion of Fox News to Trump and his regime is unprecedented. Many of their former employees are now on the White House payroll. Likewise, many former White House staff are now working for Fox.

Making matters worse, Trump’s current Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham (who is a certified “Deep State” conspiracy kook), has never held a single press conference. She has literally moved the media functions of the White House into the Fox News studio, which is the only place she ever appears before the public. This, of course, is fine with Fox because it gives them exclusive coverage of the Trump administration’s official disinformation. They are also the only network that still airs Trump’s lie and hate filled cult rallies in full and uninterrupted as they happen.

In an especially slobbering segment on Friday (video below), Grisham was “interviewed” by Fox’s Bill Hemmer. Naturally, the subject of impeachment came up and Hemmer forged valiantly into the fray with what is undoubtedly the softest ball thrown at a presidential spokesperson this year – maybe ever. It is truly impressive how Grisham managed to muddle through this wet kiss interrogation that began with Hemmer asking…

It seems as if you have concluded [impeachment] is a foregone conclusion. And if the president believes that as well, how has he described his feelings to you about that potential reality?

Feelings? Seriously? Hemmer is hammering Grisham by demanding that she dig deep and reveal Li’l Donnie’s unspoken feelings about becoming just the third president ever to be impeached. As if Trump has any “unspoken” feelings. And if he does, the last person to disclose them honestly is his designated disseminator of deception. Grisham responded with a flurry of robo-talking points:

He has described his feelings to the American people. You just have to look at his Twitter feed to show. This is a sham and a kangaroo court. This has been unjust and unfair. The president did absolutely nothing wrong. We released the transcript weeks ago for everybody to see. There was no quid pro quo. The Ukrainian government themselves has said they felt absolutely no pressure. Aid was eventually released to the Ukraine.

Someone needs to reprogram Grisham. She is stuck on auto-spew, and even so, is digging Trump into a deeper abyss of political and legal jeopardy. Her reference to the “transcript” (which was really just a summary memo of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky) works against Trump’s interests. Although Trump has also been obsessed with what he is lately saying is an exact, verbatim transcription of the phone call. It isn’t, and it says so on the first page. Nevertheless, Trump has repeatedly tweeted exhortations to “READ THE TRANSCRIPT!” One has to wonder if he has read it, because it indisputably incriminates him. For instance, after Zelensky raises the issue of U.S. military aid, Trump replies…

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.”

That’s a textbook quid pro quo. Trump talks about getting some information related to a debunked conspiracy theory about a computer server that belonged to the Democratic National Committee. But he quickly segues from that to explicit requests for dirt on Joe Biden:

“There’s a lot talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with [Rudy Giuliani and] the Attorney General [William barr] would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.”

That sounds horrible to a lot of people, but not for the reasons Trump is thinking. Trump recently suggested that he would like to have a nationally televised “fireside chat” wherein he would read the “transcript” to the American people. That’s a great idea, because we would then have him saying in his own voice the words that warrant his impeachment. Then Grisham could return to Fox News where they could ask her how he feels about making an ass of himself and being booted from the White House.

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

Victim-in-Chief: Trump is the most Cowardly, Whining, Crybaby to Ever Be President

The national embarrassment that Americans are suffering due to the illegitimate occupant of the White House is excruciating. Donald Trump has managed to instill a sense of shame in so many citizens that they now overwhelmingly support his impeachment and removal from office. Of course, it isn’t just embarrassment that drives that desire. It’s also his rampant lawlessness and disrespect for the Constitution and it’s principles.

Donald Trump Pacifier Fox

The United States is enduring perhaps its most divisive era since the Civil War. Trump has his glassy-eyed base of Deplorables who will stand by him even if, as he said, he shoots someone on 5th Avenue. But the rest of the country is experiencing severe nausea and anxiety. Even Trump’s favorite pollster, Rasmussen, currently has his approval rating near his low for the year (44%).

Throughout this turmoil, Trump himself has remained steadfast and courageous. Um, just kidding. Actually, Trump has displayed his utter lack of character and notorious absence of maturity and morality. The one constant in Trump’s noxious persona is his narcissistic arrogance. And when the chips are down – as they are now – that manifests itself as fear and a desperate embrace of martyrdom.

There has never been a president of the United States – the most powerful office on the planet – who has exhibited greater cowardice and suffering. It is astonishing how a person who holds these reins of power can regard himself as being a victim. Trump has, from birth, lived a life of privilege and luxury. And now he also has immeasurable political clout. But still he whines. Although we should not be surprised since in 2016 he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo (video below) that…

“I am the most fabulous whiner. I do whine, because I want to win. I am a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win.”

That strategy has proven to be a huge failure. Trump has failed to achieve anything of significance in the past three years. No deals with China, North, Korea, Iran, or Mexico. Likewise no domestic deals on healthcare, infrastructure, deficit reduction, immigration, trade, or climate change.

And yet, Trump continues to wail about being a victim. He recently compared his political tribulations to being lynched. That grossly insensitive remark caused an uproar even within his own party. He also has been whining about what he calls a “witch hunt.” While he originally applied that phrase to investigations of his unsavory connections to Russia, he has now adapted it to his more recent unsavory connections to Ukraine. Which witch hunt is which? He considers any and all criticism of him to be a hoax and manufactured by the “fake news””

Trump tries to deflect from his problems by whining about Democrats in Congress. He now refers to them routinely as the “Do Nothing Democrats,” despite the fact that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic majority have passed more than 300 bills that GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to allow the upper body to vote on. Trump has employed the “do nothing” label 32 times just in the past month.

Along with his infantile sloganeering, Trump has also complained that he is a victim of allegedly anti-American representatives who he says have committed treason and must resign just for conducting investigations that are in compliance with their duties. He has been especially focused on Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who Trump has called “Adam Schitt.”

Previous presidents have not had this problem. President Obama was attacked by nutcases who claimed he wasn’t even a citizen. Bill Clinton was himself impeached for a consensual, albeit improper, sexual relationship. But neither of them spent every day whining about how horribly they were being treated. They did their jobs and dealt with their critics in the background.

But not Trump. He is far too self-centered and fragile. Having a crybaby like Trump in the highest office in the land is a stain that will take a long time to rub off. There is simply no excuse for someone with so much power to be such a pitiable snowflake. It diminishes the office of the presidency. And worse, it depreciates the strength that generations of American leaders have infused into our international reputation. Trump’s puerile whimpering makes us look weak in the eyes of our allies and foes alike. For the sake of the country Trump needs to stiffen his spine and STFU! Unfortunately, he just doesn’t have the will, the guts, or the ability to do that.

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

Mulvaney Admits Trump’s Quid Pro Quo: ‘We Do That All the Time – Get Over It’

For the past several weeks Donald Trump has been adamantly denying that there was any quid pro quo in his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Nevermind that the whistleblower’s complaint said there was, and that Trump’s “transcript” (executive summary) of the phone call corroborated that account. Trump insisted that the phone call was “prefect,” which is a bizarre way to describe it, as if it were being graded for criminal content.

Trump Penthouse Phone

On Thursday morning, though, Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, held a press conference to announce the astonishing decision by Trump to host the 2020 G7 summit meeting at his own Doral Miami golf resort. Even a Fox News political editor was shocked by this shameless and purposeful grifting. But more to the point, Mulvaney turned Trump’s denials of a quid pro quo on their head. Mulvaney was asked explicitly whether U.S. foreign aid was withheld from Ukraine pending their agreement to dig up dirt on Trump’s political opponents. And in a roundabout way he confessed that it was. That resulted in this exchange with ABC News Chief White House Correspondent, Jonathan Karl (video below):

Karl: To be clear, what you described is a quid pro quo. It is funding will not flow unless the investigation into the Democratic server happens as well.”
Mulvaney: “We do that all the time with foreign policy.” […]
Mulvaney: Get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.

So there you have it. An outright admission that the Trump White House uses its power to extort foreign leaders in order to get them to perform purely political favors. And not only did Mulvaney admit it, he volunteered that they “do that all the time.” Mulvaney then tried to use another incident when funds were similarly withheld to justify the Ukraine affair. However, he noted that in that case the U.S. demands involved immigration issues, which can reasonably be argued are in our national interest.

The problem with Trump’s extortion of Ukraine was that the demands involved a smear campaign on one of his political opponents. That is most definitely not in the national interest. That’s strictly a personal interest of Trump’s and a violation of every ethical tenet of diplomacy. It’s also a violation of the law. And it does not – or should not – happen all the time.

With regard to the “server” mentioned in this exchange, it’s a reference to a Democratic National Committee computer that was hacked by Russians. Trump has adopted a ludicrous conspiracy theory that claims the server contains some incriminating secrets and was spirited away to Ukraine. Of course, there is no evidence of anything remotely resembling that nonsense. But it seems like Mulvaney was willing to grab onto it in order to avoid the more damaging allegation that Trump was seeking dirt on Joe Biden. In fact, that may be the real motive here.

It will be interesting to hear Trump’s response to this admission of a quid pro quo after all his ranting. Although he is so brazen in his dishonesty he might just continue to deny it. Or he could say Mulvaney never said this. Or, in pinch, he’ll claim that he doesn’t know Mulvaney at all, he was just a coffee boy.

UPDATE: Later in the day Mulvaney walked back his remarks and now says that he never said there was a quid pro quo. Of course, he DID say it, and it’s on video. If he wants to say he misspoke and offer a correction, that’s fine. But he can’t say he didn’t say it.

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

Holy Kowtow: Trump-Fluffers on Fox News Come Out in Favor of ‘Abuse of Power’

As more evidence of Donald Trump’s betrayal of American principles and laws is revealed, he is sinking further into an abyss of fear, paranoia, and desperation. His language is becoming more maniacal and his attacks are losing any semblance of sanity. It’s a painful spectacle to watch for patriotic citizens.

Fox News, Donald Trump

Likewise, Trump’s defenders at State TV (aka Fox News) are similarly abandoning logic and reason, and are foregoing any effort to employ facts in their pursuit of excusing Trump’s rancid dishonesty and criminality. Their arguments have devolved into denying objective reality – including Trump’s own statements – or insisting that his public pronouncements were merely jokes (which would be appalling by itself). They swing wildly from “Trump didn’t do that” to “Okay, he did it, but everybody does it” to “So what, it isn’t illegal” to frantic howls of “Witch Hunt!”

Now the Fox News defensive line has taken up a brand new and wholly repulsive approach to Trump’s misdeeds. Fox and Friends legal and political analyst, Gregg Jarrett, offered his predictably sycophantic exaltation of Trump. The segment sought to ignore Trump’s blatantly unlawful attempts to extort Ukraine’s President Zelensky into digging up dirt on Joe Biden. And Jarrett’s glassy-eyed apologia was ludicrous on its face (video below).

“The fact of the matter is the President’s conversation was not a crime, it’s not an impeachable offense. In the beginning Democrats and the media said ‘Oh, the conversation is a crime.’ Until the Department of Justice Criminal Division said ‘We looked at the transcript. It’s not a crime. It’s not a campaign violation.'”

Of course it is a crime to seek anything of value from a foreign government to benefit a U.S. political campaign. And it’s even worse when the pressure applied is the withholding of military aid that was allocated by Congress. What’s more, Jarrett’s suggestion that the decision of Trump’s lackey, Attorney General William Barr, has any legal merit is preposterous. But he wasn’t finished:

“So now Democrats have embraced this amorphous concept known as ‘abuse of power’ which is nowhere in the Constitution. And the trouble with that is that it’s this sort of shifting sands of subjective interpretation that can be abused for political reasons. Exactly what the framers did not want.”

Jarrett is actually arguing that abuse of power is not prohibited by the Constitution and that the Founders never intended for it be grounds for impeachment. That goes against every principle that America was founded upon. The impeachment language in the Constitution was specifically included as a remedy for abuse of power. Alexander Hamilton explicitly regarded it as a guard against “the abuse or violation of some public trust.” It is exactly what the Framers DID want.

The fact that the phrase “abuse of power” isn’t in the Constitution is irrelevant and, really, silly. A lot of things are not in the Constitution, including abortion, separation of church and state, executive orders, right to privacy, homosexuality, freedom of expression, and lots more. But there is abundant case law that defines constitutional rights that weren’t in the original document. That is, in fact, what the Founders intended. It’s why the Constitution was so short and had provisions for amendments.

For Jarrett to bemoan the “shifting sands of subjective interpretation” is ironic since that’s precisely what he’s engaging in. Except his interpretation is at odds with the Framers – and reality. He’s literally arguing that abuse of power – which was the impetus for the revolution against the British monarchy – should be permitted. It’s an advocacy of tyranny. And he wants to bestow that limitless authority unto his Dear Leader Trump. Which is especially troubling since Trump is a wannabe dictator who is already acting as if he has it.

Addendum: On Tuesday, Trump shill Joe DiGenova appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show and called the whistleblower a “suicide bomber.” He also referred to the impeachment as “regicide” (killing a king). Which, of course, means he thinks that Trump is a king. Which, of course, means that he is an un-American idiot.

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

And You Thought Trump Was Nuts? Wait Til You See Giuliani on Fox News!

Watching Donald Trump descend into a steaming abyss of madness is horrifying for Americans who love their country. Although most can’t deny feeling at least a smidgen of satisfaction and relief that a dangerous sociopath is suffering the well deserved consequences of his betrayal. Trump is lost in a toxic fog of rancid anger and fear that threatens to turn every artery in his jellified skull into tiny anueristic IED’s

Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump

Lately Trump’s desperation and paranoia has driven him to furious and false attacks on his perceived enemies including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee chairman, Adam Schiff. He has made incoherent defenses of his obviously illegal entreaties to Ukraine and China. And his own behavior and words are turning out to be the best justifications for his impeachment.

However, as stunningly bizarre as all of his antics have been for the past few weeks, he has some stiff competition in the race for Psycho of the Year. His own personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is challenging the Lunatic-in-Chief with some memorable routines in the Fox News Cirque du So Lame. On Friday Giuliani told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum that his mission is “to disrupt the world.” And on Sunday Giuliani was interviewed by Fox’s MediaBuzz host, Howard Kurtz. To say it was a hot mess would be far too mild. Giuliani was a virtual advertisement for cocaine-infused Red Bull. See for yourself:

WTF is he talking about? After telling Kurtz, a Trump-friendly Foxie, that he should be ashamed of himself, Giuliani took out what he said was “thirty years of articles,” which far pre-date Joe Biden’s term as Vice-President. What this has to do with the four year old Ukraine affair is anyone’s guess. But Giuliani was so hyped up that Kurtz couldn’t stop him to go to commercial.

A second clip in that thread shows Giuliani shushing Kurtz and calling him “pathetic” as the host tries to ask him about the “transcript” of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky and Trump’s own confession to extortion on national TV. Naturally, those questions weren’t answered. And while Giuliani was whining about being interrupted (which he wasn’t), the chyron below him read “Ukrainian says no evidence of Biden Wrongdoing.” That’s a Fox chyron!

A third video clip shows Giuliani responding to Biden’s suggestion that news programs stop booking him due to his constant and flagrant lying. So in the midst of his continued whining about imaginary interruptions, Giuliani raises a brand new issue saying that “We haven’t moved to Romania yet. Wait til we get to Romania.” We’re waiting, Rudy. Then he asserts that “they” are laughing at us. If by “us” he means himself, I’ll have to agree. And once again, Kurtz can’t get him to shut up long enough to end the segment.

With impeachment becoming an inevitability, Trump couldn’t be in more trouble. Well, unless he were saddled with a nutcase like Giuliani as his attorney. Giuliani has been reduced to spewing third-rate conspiracy theories and wailing like a insolent child who was denied a fourth cupcake. He makes no sense whatsoever as he connects dots that only he can see. And this is the legal counsel that Trump is relying on to get him through this debacle. No wonder he’s flipping out.

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

Corruption Fighter or Political Hack? Trump is a Hypocrite Who is Dirty on Both Counts

When the first allegations surfaced that Donald Trump had put pressure on Ukrainian President Zelensky to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Trump vociferously denied it. Then the partial White House summary of a phone call between Trump and Zelensky revealed that Trump did raise the issue of investigating the Bidens and even tied it to Ukraine receiving military aid from the United States. So what began as a hot mess is congealing into the world’s biggest dumpster fire.

Donald Trump

After forceful denials, then vague acknowledgements, then outright admissions on national TV, Trump is now making a new argument in his tattered and incoherent defense. Trump is asserting that he has an absolute right to ask foreign governments to conduct investigations on U.S. citizens, including those who are his political opponents. He doesn’t bother to identify where in the Constitution he derives that right, but he’s determined to exercise it despite it being completely imaginary. And his justification for engaging in a blatant betrayal of the country is that he’s only concerned about corruption, not politics.

That’s an absurdity that requires some further examination. First of all, if Trump believes he has evidence of corruption he should be calling the FBI, not foreign governments, particularly not those with whom we have adversarial relationships. The notion of asking China – whose legal system is itself corrupt – to investigate an American citizen and political foe is ludicrous and is begging for wrongful outcomes. And it’s all the worse considering that Trump is simultaneously seeking trade concessions from China while making these improper requests.

Furthermore, Trump’s intentions are unarguably political. He’s totally focused on only the alleged corruption of Joe Biden, for which every credible investigation has found no wrongdoing. He repeatedly mentioned Biden in his communications with both Ukraine and China. If Trump is a corruption fighter, why isn’t he asking Ukraine – a nation rife with corruption – to look into anything other than Biden? And why isn’t he asking China to investigate presidential offspring who are suspiciously getting Chinese trademarks approved (Yes, that’s about Ivanka)? And why is he blocking efforts to probe corruption here in the United States (Yes, that’s about his tax returns)?

Clearly Trump doesn’t give a damn about corruption. He is only concerned with smearing his political opponents and stealing another election with the help of foreign governments. He’s doing almost exactly what he did in 2016 with Russia. The difference is that last time he was a passive beneficiary of the election interference that welcomed and encouraged. But this time he is actively initiating it, and using the power of the presidency to force his criminality on others.

The distinction that Trump is impotently trying to make between corruption and politics is impossible to reconcile (unless your Fox News). The truth is that Trump is both flagrantly corrupt and brazenly political. And all he’s doing by pretending that there is any difference between the two in his immoral behavior is reminding everyone what a slimeball hypocrite he is and always has been.

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