PRIORITIES: Trump’s Rage-Tweets Focus on Bashing Democrats, Ignore Coronavirus

The importance of the Super Tuesday primaries cannot be overstated. It’s results have reshaped the Democratic race to be the party’s nominee for president. But that is surely not the only story with national significance. The nation – and the world – continues to be threatened by an emerging health crisis that has the potential to be become a pandemic.

Donald Trump, Toilet, Bathrobe

These situations require the thoughtful and forthright attention of our leaders, from local medical facilities right up to the White House. So this would be a good time to see how Donald Trump is spending his precious time at this hour of need.

While news reports confirm that both infections and fatalities in the U.S. are increasing, Trump seems unperturbed by these developments. His Twitter feed on Wednesday morning consists of fourteen tweets, and not a single one addresses the coronavirus. Instead, Trump appears to be fully consumed by the drama in the Democratic presidential primary. Fully half of his tweets were attacks of one sort or another on the Democrats vying to oust him in November. And the majority of those were missives aimed Mike Bloomberg, who Trump derisively refers to as “Mini.” For instance…

It’s pretty hysterical that a pretend billionaire like Trump, whose bankruptcies and other business failures are legendary, attacks Bloomberg for not “having what it takes.” Bloomberg is worth over $58 billion. Also, Trump is lying about what Bloomberg spent on his campaign. But even if it were true, it would be less than 2% of of his wealth. And Bloomberg has promised to spend “whatever it takes” to defeat Trump.

That’s why Trump is so scared. He knows that Bloomberg has the resources to bury him politically. And whether Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders is the beneficiary of those funds, and Bloomberg’s digital operations, they will create the sort of “wall” that Trump can only dream about.

Trump fired off three other tweets about Bloomberg that were equally as insulting and devoid of substance. But he also went after Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. He continues to spin a deranged conspiracy theory that everyone in the Democratic Party is plotting to “crush Bernie Sanders.” And Trump is positioning himself as an advocate for Sanders, who he claims is the victim of a rigged system. Obviously Trump loathes everything about Sanders. So this dishonest expression of concern is rooted in something more sinister. As Trump tells it…

So what’s Trump’s game? He wants us to believe that he considers Sanders an easier opponent to beat. However, he didn’t come to that conclusion on his own. It also happens to be the view of his pal, Vladimir Putin. The Russian campaign to sow discord and chaos within the Democratic Party has been in operation for months. Sanders was notified of it earlier this year. And virtually everything Trump is doing and saying is aligned with the Russian agenda. It is no coincidence that Putin’s perspective and Trump’s are so tightly bound.

In addition to those anti-Democratic tweets, Trump also posted what amounts to a confession that he intended to obstruct justice when he appointed Jeff Sessions to be his Attorney General:

It’s hard to be any clearer that Trump expected Sessions to terminate the Mueller investigation. And when that didn’t happen, he fired Sessions and installed a more obedient lackey, Bill Barr. Now Trump is celebrating Sessions’ difficulties in winning back his old senate seat. And the reason that Trump believes Sessions is getting what he deserves is that Sessions wasn’t sufficiently loyal. Of course, that isn’t in the job description of the Attorney General. What Trump is looking for is a bootlicking sycophant, which is also not in the job description of the Attorney General, or any other cabinet position.

The larger problem that all of this represents is that, while America is worried about the emergence of a potential pandemic, Trump is obsessed only with his prospects for retaining power. That may not be news to anyone who has been paying attention to our Narcissist-in-Chief, but it is nevertheless troubling. The United States is presently burdened with a self-absorbed, wannabe dictator who is content to allow millions of Americans to suffer rather than fulfill the obligations of his job. And therein lies the most urgent reason to make sure that Trump’s presidency ends as soon as possible.

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

With a Global Pandemic Looming, Trump Becomes Putin’s Political Pundit

The reports of coronavirus infections continues to grow both in the United States and internationally. Six deaths have now been confirmed in the U.S. And most epidemiological experts are warning that it is impossible to know how many Americans are affected because tests have not been been conducted. Those tests number in the tens of thousands in China and South Korea, but only about 500 in the U.S.

Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump

So what is our Commander-in-Chief doing to mitigate the harm and protect the American people? He’s politicking, of course. That behavior is taking the form of bragging about himself and what he asserts is a perfect response to the crisis. He is also whining about criticism he has drawn from Democrats and public health professionals. Of course, none of that is helping to get the nation through this budding pandemic. But to Trump the only thing that matters is how it affects him personally.

For instance, on Monday morning Trump posted about three dozens tweets. Two dozen of those were promotions to elect Republican members of Congress. By contrast, he posted only two tweets wherein he directly addressed the coronavirus. In one he announced that he was meeting with pharmaceutical companies to discuss the development of a vaccine, which is something they were doing anyway without his interruption. The other complained that he was was criticized by Democrats for his ineffective response. Once again, none of that advanced the fight against the coronavirus.

Aside from hyping GOP candidates and whining about being a victim, Trump has also been tweeting up a storm about the Democratic presidential primary. And virtually every comment he has made has been taken straight out of the Vladimir Putin playbook to sow discord and create chaos. More than anything else, Trump has been pushing the conspiracy theory that the Democratic Party is trying to rig the election against Bernie Sanders. Does anyone really believe that Trump cares about Sanders and whether or not he is treated fairly by the party that Trump maligns as all “do nothing, radical socialists”? Of course not.

What’s interesting is that this is precisely the tactic that Putin is pursuing to get Democrats to fight among themselves. It could not be more obvious that Trump is acting on behalf of Russia to advance his own reelection prospects. It’s so conspicuous that when Trump was asked directly what his comment to Putin would be about interfering with the election, he replied completely off-topic that “They ought to investigate Adam Schiff,” and then he pretty much denied that any interference was taking place.

So what’s the point of Trump’s malicious and intellectually vacant attempts at punditry? Clearly no one is taking his analysis of the Democratic primary seriously. Why should they? He has only hostile intentions. It would be like asking a snake the best way to avoid getting eaten by it. Trump should be literally the last person whose opinions of the Democrats would be sought.

The only purpose for Trump is to try to stir up trouble and distrust in democracy. Which, not coincidentally, is Putin’s purpose. And the American people – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – must not allow them to succeed. We must all rise up in unity to renounce Trump’s cynical and un-American ploy. We must respect one another and remain loyal to the the principles that actually do make this country great. And we must come together to make sure that the traitor in the White House is evicted. That means vigorously supporting whoever the eventual Democratic nominee is and working for their victory.

We don’t have the luxury of holding out for whoever is your favorite candidate. If Biden is the nominee, then Bernie bros need to get behind him. If Bernie is the nominee, then those with irrational fears of “socialism” need to set that aside. Whatever one perceives as the negatives of one candidate or another, they are not nearly as destructive or catastrophic as another four years of Trump. So suck it up, America. We have one job to do now. And that’s the complete, unambiguous ouster and humiliation of Donald Trump. For America’s sake.

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

Trump Chokes When Asked ‘What’s Your Message to Putin’ on Election Interference

Democrats are currently engaged in heated primary season with multiple candidates still jockeying for position. And the media attention on this is having a severe effect on Donald Trump. Narcissists don’t like it when they are not the center of attention. Consequently, Trump is ratcheting up his psychotic outbursts in order to seduce the press to stay focused on him.

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

Trump’s latest plea for attention is a desperate and bizarre appeal for what he portrays as fairness for Bernie Sanders in the primaries. Of course, Trump couldn’t care less about how the Democratic primaries are conducted, other than to slather them with mud and lies. His phony concern for Sanders is actually a play straight from the Russian playbook and intended to sow discord and chaos. And running his defense is Fox News who are making ludicrous assertions that the media and Democrats are the “Agents of Russia.”

Recent reports revealed that American intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia is, once again, interfering with the presidential election. The reports detailed Russia’s efforts to tip the scales in favor of Trump and Sanders. Trump’s own Office of the Director of National Intelligence, led by Joe Maguire, sent a deputy to brief Congress about this a couple of weeks ago. This news made Trump irate. Not the news that Russia was attacking our democracy, but the news that Congress was told about it. So Trump fired Maguire and replaced him with Rick Grennel, a Trump toady who has no experience whatsoever in intelligence.

So with an impending national crisis involving a hostile foreign enemy attempting to subvert our election, Trump was confronted by a reporter who asked a simple, but significant question:

“Have you been briefed that Russia is trying to help Bernie Sanders and, if so, what’s your message to Putin?”

Pay close attention to that question, and then consider Trump’s reply (video below):

“Nobody said it. I read where Russia’s helping Bernie Sanders. Nobody said it to me at all. Nobody briefed me about that at all […] They leaked it. Adam Schiff and his group, they leaked it to the papers. And, as usual, they ought to investigate Adam Schiff for leaking that information. He should not be leaking information out of intelligence. They ought to investigate Adam Schiff.”

So Trump’s response to a question on what message he has for his pal Vladimir Putin, who is trying to foul our election is “They ought to investigate Adam Schiff.” Really? Trump had absolutely nothing to say to Putin. His only interest is in persecuting an elected member of Congress who is complying with his oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Putin, on the hand, is held harmless as he continues to attack this country. As long as Putin’s anti-American plots are designed to benefit Trump, Trump is content to allow them to proceed.

What’s more, Trump’s remarks are wholly unfounded and reckless. He has no evidence that Schiff leaked anything. It’s more likely that it was a Republican congressman (Devin Nunes?) who spilled to the press. And Trump doesn’t specify who he thinks should be investigating Schiff. Russia? Attorney Genuflect Bill Barr? Rudy Giuliani? Fox News? And if that’s not enough, Trump is also admitting his ignorance of Russian activity that everyone else already knows. Either his national security team is serving him poorly, or he’s lying (or both).

Trump followed up those remarks with a tweet that made things even worse:

Once again, Trump is baselessly accusing Schiff of leaking classified information. However, Trump also suggests that the “information” that Schiff allegedly leaked was made up. In which case, it wouldn’t be classified. But worst of all, Trump overtly threatens Schiff with being “caught” and suffering “a very unpleasant experience!” All without a hint of evidence that Schiff did anything wrong.

This is part and parcel of Trump’s psychopathy that drives him to seek vengeance and to persecute his perceived enemies. It’s a frightening descent into fascistic totalitarianism. And with each passing day Trump is less and less worried about exposing those tendencies and acting on them. This is precisely the behavior that many warned Trump would engage in if Senate Republicans didn’t have the guts to expel him from office. And as it worsens, the blame needs to be evenly spread around from Trump to the GOP to Fox News and the rest of the Reich-wing media.

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

PROOF: The Russian Plot to ‘Help’ Bernie Sanders is Being Led By Donald Trump

This week there were a couple of bombshell reports that revealed how alarmed the intelligence community is about Russia’s intentions to undermine this year’s presidential election. One report disclosed that the Acting Director of National Intelligence, Joe Maguire, a Donald Trump appointee, had briefed Congress on Russia’s campaign to repeat it’s 2016 mission to elect Trump. The other report disclosed that Russia has expanded their efforts in 2020 to include the promotion of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

These are perilous times for American democracy. Particularly since Trump has done nothing to protect the nation from Russia’s assault. To the contrary, he continues to deny that there was even any attack by Russia, and he supports the efforts of Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell, to block bipartisan legislation to fortify our defenses. Nothing could be received with more gratitude by Vladimir Putin than Trump’s combination of calculated self-interest and willful negligence. And the differences between the responses to these news events by Trump and Sanders tell the whole story.

RELATED: Trump-Fluffers at Fox News Say the Media and Democrats are the ‘Agents of Russia’

Trump was very upset. Not because Russia was caught interfering in our election again, but because this information was given to the people’s representatives in Congress. He tweeted that “Another misinformation campaign is being launched by Democrats in Congress saying that Russia prefers me … Hoax number 7!” Never mind that this wasn’t launched by Democrats, but by his own intelligence chief. And it is neither misinformation nor a hoax, but the fully considered research of intelligence professionals.

Sanders, on the other hand, more appropriately directed his anger at our enemies saying that “I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president. My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do.” Trump has never made a such a declarative statement admonishing his pal Vlad to stop interfering.

To be clear, Russia doesn’t really care who the Democratic nominee is. They only care about manufacturing chaos and discord. They are exploiting divisions among Democrats by pretending to support Sanders. Perhaps they believe that he would be easier to beat, or they just think he’s a better source for stirring up division. But none of that really matters. Russia will adjust their cyber-attack campaign to focus on whoever the eventual nominee happens to be.

In the meantime, Trump is executing the Russian playbook without much of an effort to disguise it. Sanders told reporters that he was briefed on the Russian plans to favor him about a month ago. And it was right around that time (January 17) that Trump began tweeting his “support” for Sanders. For instance:


LATE ADDITIONS:

Does anyone believe that it’s just a coincidence that Trump began this Twitter campaign seeking “fairness” from the Democratic Party at precisely the same time that U.S. intelligence reached out to the candidate? Trump had not posted any tweets about the Democrats “rigging” the primary against Sanders for two years prior.

The very idea that Trump would care about the Democratic primary’s fairness is ludicrous. Since when has Trump been an advocate of election integrity? That certainly hasn’t been an issue in his own party. He and the GOP have been canceling Republican primaries across the country, despite (or because of) the fact that he has a credible challenger in former two-term Massachusetts governor, William Weld. Let that sink in. They haven’t been rigging their primaries. They have outright refused to conduct them.

Nevertheless, Trump has found the time and inclination to try to clean up the Democratic Party. But his efforts to do so have a distinct flavor that doesn’t really taste like concern for Democrats. In fact, his tweets look exactly like what you would expect from Russian agents tasked with creating a false promotion campaign for Sanders. If you didn’t know better (and even if you did), it would appear that Trump is the chief operative in Russia’s election corruption plot. Again!

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

Trump-Fluffers at Fox News Say the Media and Democrats are the ‘Agents of Russia’

A new report has revealed that Russia is, as expected, interfering in U.S. elections on behalf of Donald Trump. The report discloses that congressional intelligence committees were briefed on this threat within the past couple of weeks.

Fox News Friends

Upon learning about this, Trump became irate. Not because Russia was trying to subvert America’s democracy again, but because Democrats in congress were among those who were told about it. Obviously Trump is very concerned that Russia’s efforts on his behalf be concealed from the people and their representatives. And as a consequence of this “betrayal” of unflinching loyalty to Dear Leader, Trump fired Joe Maguire, the Director of National Intelligence, and installed a sycophantic bootlicker with zero experience, Rick Grenell, in his place as acting director. Then, of course, Trump took to Twitter to lie about the whole thing:

First of all, this wasn’t launched by Democrats. It was Trump’s own DNI chief who compiled the intelligence and informed Congress, as he was required to do by law. But more troubling is the fact that Trump is, once again, absolving Russia of any responsibility for their blatant acts of cyber-espionage. Just as he did after the 2016 election, Trump is taking Vladimir Putin’s side and declaring that the charges of election interference are a hoax. And on top of that, he falsely accuses Democrats of manufacturing the charges for political gain.

Naturally, Fox News was right there to prop up Trump’s anti-American babbling. On Friday morning’s episode of Fox and Friends, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes went even further than Trump to malign Democrats and the press as “Agents of Russia” (video below). “Alright let’s be clear about what this really all is,” co-host Pete Hegseth began. “This is all an attempt to discredit President Trump. That’s it. Delegitimize him all the way.” Then he elaborated saying that…

“Every single Democrat that parrots what they’re saying, they’re working together, they are the agents of Russia. This is what Russia wants! They want to sow discord and misinformation and delegitimize our republic, destabilize it because they’re not our friends and they know that when we’re strong they’re in a worse position – which they’ve done for years before President Trump. This is what they do.

“The Democrats, the media, fell for it. And the keep falling for it because they hate Trump so much they’re willing to parrot what the Kremlin is saying. They are the agents of Russia. Not Donald Trump, not this White House. It is the people that are spinning this.and continuing to drive this narrative.”

There’s a lot of derp to unpack in those two paragraphs. To begin with, Hegseth is asserting that talking about the Russian campaign to help Trump win reelection is “what Russia wants.” That’s clearly the opposite of reality. Russia’s intentions were to covertly disrupt the election, while benefiting Trump’s candidacy. What Russia wants is for people to talk about Russia’s innocence and how corrupt and dishonest American intelligence agencies are. Which is exactly what Trump and Fox News are so helpfully doing.

Hegseth also contends that Democrats and the media “fell for” Russia’s plot to get them to uncover the Russian plot. How insidious! And idiotic. It goes without saying that Russia did not intend to get caught and have their spying be broadcast around the world. That notion is almost as stupid as Hegseth’s next comment that Trump haters – Democrats and the media – are parroting “what the Kremlin is saying.” That could only be true if the Kremlin were saying that Russia is meddling in U.S. elections and that their actions are illegal and intolerable. That’s what Democrats are saying, but it is plainly not what the Kremlin is saying.

If anything, it is Trump and Fox News who are parroting the Kremlin. They are all saying that Russia isn’t doing anything wrong and any claim to the contrary is misinformation. Trump and his Reich-Wing confederates are unified in disputing what even his own intelligence agencies have proven to be true.

The purpose of this deceit is to pacify Trump’s ego. He thinks any validation of Russia’s attempts to steal the election, no matter how accurate, are personal attacks on him. Consequently, Trump will insult America’s intelligence professionals and he will take Putin’s side in denying the reality that Russia is aggressively trying to undermine U.S. democracy. And Fox News, as always, will obediently march along in lock-step with Trump’s reckless and treasonous lies.

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

Trump’s Phony Fits of Sympathy for Bernie Sanders Are Just What Putin Ordered

The Democratic Party primary is beginning to roll out in earnest as the first states have completed their voting. And no one is more captivated by the process than the reality TV game show host currently occupying the White House. Donald Trump apparently fancies himself a political pundit now, and he has much to say about the electoral prospects of the party that he has literally and grossly disparaged the true enemies of America.”

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

Since early January Trump has been spreading a baseless conspiracy theory that the Democratic Party is rigging the primaries against Bernie Sanders. If that were true it would be one of the least effective attempts at rigging an election considering the remarkable success that Sanders has enjoyed. That success was even acknowledged by Trump just a few days before he launched his conspiracy ranting.

For those who bothered to stayed tuned, Trump served up a barrage of tweets that flagrantly contradicted his original premise. For instance, Trump rage-tweeted that…

  • They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously.
  • They are taking the Democrat Nomination away from Crazy Bernie.
  • They are taking the nomination away from Bernie for a second time. Rigged!
  • Crazy Bernie takes the lead in the Democrat Primaries, but it is looking more and more like the Dems will never allow him to win! Will Sleepy Joe be able to stumble across the finish line?
  • Many of the ads you are watching were paid for by Mini Mike Bloomberg. He is going nowhere, just wasting his money, but he is getting the DNC to rig the election against Crazy Bernie, something they wouldn’t do for @CoryBooker and others. They are doing it to Bernie again, 2016.
  • The DNC on Bernie Sanders, “Looks like they’re going to do it to him again, doesn’t it?” @SteveDoocy @foxandfriends
  • It is happening again to Crazy Bernie, just like last time, only far more obvious. They are taking the Democrat Nomination away from him, and there’s very little he can do. A Rigged System!

There’s a lot of absurdity clogging up Trump’s Twitter feed there. First he asserts that the Democratic Party was deliberately disadvantaging Sanders by forcing him to attend the impeachment hearings so that he would not be able to campaign. But that was also true for Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand. So by Trump’s ignorant and perverse logic the Party was rigging the election against every Democratic senator in the race.

Following that, Trump first attributes the Party’s alleged bias to be for the benefit of Joe Biden. But that didn’t last long. He later claims that Mike Bloomberg was the intended beneficiary. As usual, Trump’s inane allegations are flailing out in every direction with his familiar brand of incoherence. Make no mistake. Trump doesn’t give a damn about any of the Democrats or the conduct of their primary. And if he was actually concerned about Sanders he wouldn’t be using the insulting and infantile nickname, “Crazy Bernie.”

None of this, of course, is Sanders’ fault. There are reasons for Trump’s asinine histrionics that go beyond his everyday indecency and immaturity. What is actually behind Trump’s Bernie fetish can be distilled into two rather obvious explanations: Fear and chaos!

EXPLANATION #1: FEAR: Trump sees that Sanders is leading a movement much like the one that Trump regards himself to be leading. Sanders has amassed the largest base of small donors in history. And his supporters have a profound loyalty to his candidacy that his based on common American principles and values. Unlike Trump’s cult following that is wholly comprised of glassy-eyed MAGA disciples who can’t articulate a policy that exceeds the four words of his slogan and who continue their support despite his lies, crimes, and hate mongering.

What’s more, there is a peculiar appeal that crosses over from Trump to Sanders that is linked to the theme of shaking up the establishment. But here there is also a profound difference. Sanders has been doing it with sincerity for decades, while Trump is a dishonest, exploitative newcomer whose credibility is worthless.

EXPLANATION #2: CHAOS: The other explanation for Trump’s obsession with Sanders is that it fulfills the agenda of Trump’s benefactor, Vladimir Putin. The primary Russian objective in interfering with U.S. elections has been to sow division and distrust. By stirring up animosity between the various Democratic candidates, Putin hopes to diminish them all and form opposing camps who work against their common goals and their eventual nominee, whoever it is. Additionally, he hopes to create chaos and an impression that the election is rampant with fraud and the results unreliable.

Trump is purposefully advancing these anti-democratic and anti-American objectives. And he doesn’t need to discuss it with Putin to know what they are or what’s expected of him. Just like he didn’t need to have explicit conversations with Putin to benefit from Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. As was affirmed by special counsel Robert Mueller, “Trump and his campaign welcomed and encouraged Russian interference,” in 2016 and “lied about it to cover it up.” All without (so far as we currently know) any explicit conversations between Trump and Putin.

Anyone who doesn’t think the same thing is happening now is either complicit or terminally naive. It is imperative that the American people be aware of these Russian-initiated tactics that Trump is obediently undertaking like the lapdog he is. We must not allow Putin and Trump to sow the discord they hope will return Trump to the White House. So feel free to vote your hearts in the primaries. But in November we must come together to support the Democratic candidate, whoever he or she is. Failing to do that is failing America.

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

Vladimir Putin Joins the Trump Impeachment Defense Team

Now that Donald Trump has been impeached and his name goes down in history as only the third president to have achieved that dishonor, the Trump loyalists are assembling en masse to figure out how to scrub that stain from both him and themselves. It’s a vain exercise that is only going to spread the dirt around more.

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

However, Trump does have his defenders. There’s Sen. Mitch McConnell, who has pledged that he will be “taking his cues” from Trump’s lawyers rather than provide a fair trial. There’s Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has already announced that he will not “pretend to be impartial.” There’s Rudy Giuliani, who continues to visit Ukraine to dig up dirt. And there’s Fox News, where Trump-fluffing has become the core principle of their editorial mission.

And then there’s Vladimir Putin, who just signed on to the Trump Impeachment Team and immediately declared that Democrats have “invented reasons” to impeach Trump and remove him from office. Never mind the abundant evidence proving that Trump extorted the Ukrainian president, withheld congressionally appropriated aid, sought to recruit foreign interference in an election, and obstructed justice in order to cover it all up. The case is so clear cut that even the Senior Legal Analyst on Fox News says that Impeachment “is acutely needed.” Despite all of that, Putin now says he is all-in with the Trump regime’s criminal enterprise:

“It needs to go through the Senate where as far as I know the Republicans have a majority. It’s hardly like they will want to distance themselves from power on account of — in my view— some absolutely invented reasons,” he said. […]

“It is simply a continuation of an internal political battle,” Putin continued. “And the party that lost the elections, the Democrat party is trying to achieve results with other ways, with other means. Bringing accusations against Trump of a conspiracy with Russia, later it becomes clear there was no conspiracy. It cannot lie at the basis of impeachment.”

These remarks could have been taken verbatim from the GOP Talking Points Bulletin. But Putin tacked on the baseless and blatantly self-serving assertion that there was no conspiracy by Russia to interfere with the 2016 election. That is not, however, the conclusion of the GOP-run Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, or Special Counsel Robert Mueller, or the U.S. intelligence agencies.

Trump is fond of saying that he is “much tougher on Russia” than his predecessors. But the facts don’t bear that out. He has been steadily loosening sanctions on Russia that were imposed following their invasion of Crimea. He has advocated on Russia’s before for their inclusion in the G7, the international intergovernmental economic organization. He has harshly criticized NATO, the allied nations formed to counter Russian aggression. He pulled troops out of Syria, leaving Russia to expand their influence. And he has praised Putin effusively as a great leader and friend.

UPDATE: Trump has now re-tweeted Putin’s criticism of Trump’s impeachment. Trump is apparently proud that his co-conspirator is supportive of their joint effort to blame Russia’s crimes on Ukraine. How convenient.

You only have to ask one simple question to understand this support from Putin: Who benefits? Do you think Putin likes Trump because he’s tough on Russia? Or is it more likely because Trump weakens America? And of course, Putin could not have asked for a more deferential and flattering American leader than Trump. What’s more, Trump’s financial interests in Russia (loans, real estate, etc.) add another level of bonding by Trump to his Russian benefactors.

So while Trump is going berserk over his impeachment, Putin is answering the call for backup. And by doing it in such a public way, he is also making Trump look small and dependent, and reminding the world who is really in charge in this relationship. After all, Putin isn’t being impeached. Which is a state of affairs that wannabe dictator Trump openly envies.

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

Wannabe Dictator Trump Proposes Banning Reporters He Doesn’t Like From the White House

The legacy that Donald Trump has said he wants to follow him when his presidency is over is that he exposed the “massive dishonesty in the Fake News.” He’s as likely to be remembered for that farcical delusion as for being the first man to walk on the moon. But history will undoubtedly record him as one of the most antagonistic presidents toward the Constitution’s protection of a free press.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

As if to secure that title for posterity, Trump tweeted on Saturday morning what amounts to threat aimed at a news enterprise that he has long despised – The Washington Post. Trump’s festering hatred for the Post stems from his paranoid aversion to any media that has the audacity to tell the truth about him because he knows what that will lead to. He said that…

In that missive Trump achieved an impressively manic Level Four Fury by packing the adjectives “nasty, lightweight, disgusting,” and “fake,” all into one tweet. But worst of all, he proposed that the Post reporters be banned from White House grounds simply for doing their job. That’s typical of Trump’s raging authoritarian tendencies, wherein he believes that he has the right to pick and choose who is allowed to be a journalist.

He’s tried this twice before in recent weeks when he attempted to revoke the White House credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta and Playboy columnist Brian Karem. In both cases Trump lost in court and the journalists’ credentials where restored. This obviously gnaws at Trump who has openly yearned for the sort of tyrannical control of the press that his pal Vladimir Putin enjoys.

What Trump was reacting to was a Washington Post article by Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker that accurately described Trump’s wasted summer of embarrassment and failure. The headline read “Trump’s lost summer: Aides claim victory, but others see incompetence and intolerance.” The article was well sourced throughout and painted a clear picture of…

“…what some Trump advisers and allies characterize as a lost summer defined by self-inflicted controversies and squandered opportunities. […] The two months between Independence Day and Labor Day offered a fresh and vivid portrait of the president as seen by Trump’s critics — incompetent, indecisive, intolerant and ineffective.”

Trump included in his tweet a link to an op-ed by his press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, in the wingnut Washington Examiner. She tried to counter the Post’s article with examples of positive news stories about Trump that she said the Post ignored. The only problem with that was that the Post actually did cover those stories at the time. It’s astonishing that an alleged “press secretary” could write such a poorly researched op-ed, or that anyone would publish it. As for the Post, their executive editor, Marty Baron, defended his reporters and blasted Trump saying that:

“The president’s statement fits into a pattern of seeking to denigrate and intimidate the press. It’s unwarranted and dangerous, and it represents a threat to a free press in this country.”

That’s the Trump Media Doctrine in a nutshell. His paranoia and fragile ego drive him to attack the press with unsubstantiated charges of fakery and the infamous Stalinist rhetoric that “the media is the enemy of the people.” His hostility toward unfettered journalism even extends to friendly media like Fox News who Trump recently lambasted as “not working for us anymore,” and ordered his cult followers to “start looking for a new news outlet.” And on Friday he summoned Fox’s White House correspondent, John Roberts, to the Oval Office for an official spanking because he wasn’t worshipful enough.

So there is no one in the media who is safe. Trump will viciously assault his critics. And he will callously abandon his friends. He demands unwavering loyalty and the pure exaltation of Dear Leader. In order to avoid his wrath you must hate those whom he hates. And you must defend him at all times, no matter how foolish or contrary to American principles. And unfortunately, there are those in both the right-wing media and the Republican Nationalist Party who are all too willing to comply with those political terms of enslavement.

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

Big Baby Trump Threatens to Sue MSNBC, O’Donnell Over Report that Russians Co-Signed Loans

Poor Donald Trump. He thought that all of his misdeeds and corruption would remain secret in perpetuity. Unfortunately for him, his methods of deception have been just as incompetent and ineffective as everything else he does. Consequently, each new day brings another revelation of some legal or ethical breach that he hoped would stay buried.

Donald Trump

The latest bit of bad news for Trump comes in the form of a speculative report that aired on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. On Tuesday night the program revealed allegations from a confidential source who said that some of Trump’s loans from the shady Deutsche Bank were co-signed by Russian oligarchs connected to Vladimir Putin. This could be a bombshell story that would explain much of Trump’s affinity for – and coddling of – Russia generally, and Putin in particular.

The public disclosure of this sort of financial arrangement would be devastating for Trump. Consequently, he is punching back with all his impotent might. Trump had his personal attorney, Charles Harder, dash off a letter with a stern warning to O’Donnell and the network that should make them think twice:

“We write concerning the false and defamatory statements published by Lawrence O’Donnell and NBC Universal […] The Program and Tweet make the false and defamatory statements that ‘Russian oligarchs’ cosigned loans provided to Mr. Trump by Deutsche Bank, and described these ‘co-signers’ as ‘Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.'” These statements are false and defamatory, and extremely damaging.”

Demand is hereby made that Mr. O’Donnell and NBCU immediately and prominently retract, correct and apologize for the aforementioned false and defamatory statements. [and that] Failure to do so will leave my clients with no alternative but to consider their legal options which could include immediate legal proceedings against Mr. O’Donnell and NBCU.”

This is an entirely bogus threat that is highly unlikely to ever be carried out. The allegations that O’Donnell reported were presented as speculative from the outset. He presented it that way in a teaser at the beginning of the show where he said that “I want to stress that it is a single source that has not been confirmed by NBC News [and that] it’s going to require a lot more verification before that can be a confirmable fact.” He repeated these disclaimers in the segment that aired later. He could not have been more clear, repeatedly prefacing his remarks by saying “If true…” Therefore, he never presented it as fact, only the assertions of his source, as is evident in the video of the segment:

Trump is well known to engage in legal bullying, wherein he threatens people with lawsuits, but usually chickens out before filing any. In fact, he’s done that before with O’Donnell. In 2011 he threatened to sue O’Donnell for saying that Trump was not really a billionaire. That lawsuit never materialized. And neither will this one. O’Donnell has already taken the high road by tweeting that he “made an error in judgment” by reporting the unconfirmed story.

It’s hard to know if his walking this back was due to his own journalistic standards or pressure from the network which might have been spooked by the threat of litigation. But there are good reasons why they need not worry. This lawsuit, if pursued, could have some unintended consequences for Trump and company. First, it would disseminate to a much larger audience the allegation that he needed Russian oligarchs to co-sign his loans. That would confirm already known facts regarding Trump’s dire financial status and inability to secure loans on his own from reputable institutions. The lawsuit would also result in a discovery process which would require Trump to provide otherwise confidential documents to the legal representatives of O’Donnell and MSNBC. That requirement by itself will likely scare Trump out of ever actually filing any lawsuit.

So no one should be getting out the popcorn to watch this goofy episode of Trump’s reality show. It is almost certainly going to be preempted by some other Trump nonsense like buying Greenland or nuking hurricanes. This will just end up being another infantile tantrum thrown by our Crybaby-in-Chief that will amount to nothing but blather and the pathetic hissing of a wounded weasel.

UPDATE: True to his word, O’Donnell opened his program Wednesday night with a statement about the Deutsche Bank story. He reiterated the story had not gone through “the rigorous verification process” at MSNBC. Along with the retraction, he also pointedly noted that “We don’t know whether the information is inaccurate. But the fact is we do know that it wasn’t ready for broadcast. And for that I apologize.”

Interestingly, although O’Donnell provided everything Trump’s lawyer’s asked for (a retraction and an apology), Eric Trump demonstrated why the Trump word is worthless. He tweeted that “Apologies are not enough,” and that “we will be taking legal action.” So there’s still hope that a lawsuit will proceed and the discovery process will force Trump to hand over documents they would otherwise keep secret. It’s still more likely that Trump will chicken out, but given his profound stupidity, he might just be dumb enough to go through with it.

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

New Book Reveals 20 Frightening Examples of How Trump is Following Hitler’s Playbook

Anyone who has been paying attention has observed the distinctly authoritarian tendencies that mark the presidency of Donald Trump. He insists that he alone is the solution to any problem. He claims that he’s empowered to do as pleases, despite the Constitution. He smears politicians and the press as “enemies of the people.” And he has a creepy infatuation with tyrannical dictators like Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong Un.

Donald Trump, Adolf Hitler

Trump’s aspirations to dictatorship have hardly been secret. He has publicly yearned for powers that his heroes in Russia, China, and North Korea enjoy. That includes being president for life and eliminating his foes in the press.

And now a new book – When at Times the Mob Is Swayed – contains a detailed comparison of Trump’s modus operandi to that of Adolf Hitler. The author, Burt Neuborne, is a noted civil rights attorney who has served in the administrations of both Democrats and Republicans. And a portion of his book addresses similarities between Trump and Hitler that should frighten every American.

What follows are the headings for twenty serious points of comparison between the early Hitler and Trump. (See this excellent article for the details that flesh out each of these points):

  1. Neither was elected by a majority.
  2. Both found direct communication channels to their base.
  3. Both blame others and divide on racial lines.
  4. Both relentlessly demonize opponents.
  5. They unceasingly attack objective truth.
  6. They relentlessly attack mainstream media.
  7. Their attacks on truth include science.
  8. Their lies blur reality—and supporters spread them.
  9. Both orchestrated mass rallies to show status.
  10. They embrace extreme nationalism.
  11. Both made closing borders a centerpiece.
  12. They embraced mass detention and deportations.
  13. Both used borders to protect selected industries.
  14. They cemented their rule by enriching elites.
  15. Both rejected international norms.
  16. They attack domestic democratic processes.
  17. Both attack the judiciary and rule of law.
  18. Both glorify the military and demand loyalty oaths.
  19. They proclaim unchecked power.
  20. Both relegate women to subordinate roles.

These parallels between Hitler and Trump are impossible to ignore. And they should stir sufficient fear and resolve among the American people to rise up in opposition to what may be the most ominous threat to this country’s experiment in democracy since its founding. But no one should be surprised that Trump is a fan of one of the 20th century’s most grotesque villains. When he was campaigning for the Republican nomination for president, Trump was asked a question on this subject by George Stephanopoulos of ABC News:

Stephanopoulos: You’re increasingly compared to Hitler. Does that bother you?
Trump: No, what I’m doing is no different from FDR.

And there you have it. Donald Trump said he was not bothered by comparisons to Adolf Hitler. Can you imagine any other decent American answering that question the way Trump did? But then, why should he be bothered? He was running on the platform of the Nazi Party since he announced his candidacy. What’s more, he justifies his comfort with the association by positively referencing the Japanese internment camps built during the FDR administration, which are universally condemned as one of America’s most shameful actions.

The article above notes another comparison that is just as troubling as the one between Hitler and Trump. That’s the comparison between Hitler’s follower’s and the glassy-eyed Deplorables who exalt Dear Leader Trump:

“The Nazis did not overthrow the Weimar Republic. It fell into their hands as the fruit of Hitler’s satanic ability to mesmerize enough Germans to trade their birthright for a pottage of scapegoating, short-term economic gain, xenophobia, and racism. It could happen here.”

Sound familiar? There is a distinct stench of cult worship that allows Trump’s willfully blind disciples to forgive every sin he commits – from serial adultery, to blatant hate speech, to pitiful ignorance, to relentless lying. Their mesmerized adoration of Trump is identical to that of the Nazi generation that permitted otherwise common Germans to look the other way at abhorrent atrocities and crimes against humanity. Could it happen here? Let’s hope we never find out. But with Trump in the White House – and his cronies scattered throughout the administration – we’ll need to be vigilant and determined to insure that it doesn’t.

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