Joe Biden Brilliantly Nails Trump’s Descent Into Corruption and Tyranny

From day one of his accidental presidency, Donald Trump has exhibited clear signs of his aspirations to emulate the brutal dictators that he so admires (Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin). His reverence for the trappings of totalitarianism has been thinly disguised as he openly exchanged love letters with his autocratic heroes and behaved in a manner that mimicked their oppressive methods of governing.

Donald Trump, Joe Biden

On Friday evening Trump committed yet another act of obvious abuse of power. Hoping to avoid media scrutiny, he quietly sent a letter to Congress indicating his intention to fire Steve Linick, the State Department’s Inspector General. Linick just happened to been investigating misconduct by Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

The Inspector General’s position is supposed to be an independent watchdog post to protect the integrity of government agencies. That’s why Trump could not fire Linick outright, but had to give Congress a 30 day notice. Unfortunately, due to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s blind obedience to Trump, it is still likely that nothing will be done about this, at least from McConnell’s perch.

This negligence on the part of Republicans in Congress is all the worse considering that this isn’t the first time that Trump has fired an IG who was investigating his administration. Nor is it the second time. Or the the third. Linick’s dismissal follows that of Inspectors General Christi Grimm (Health and Human Services), Glenn Fine (Defense Department), and Michael Atkinson (Intelligence Community). Each of these people were non-partisan career professionals who served administrations of both parties. Each of them were probing misconduct in the Trump administration. And all of this took place within a six week period.

Trump has been executing a slow-motion version of a Saturday Night Massacre, wherein he’s terminating honorable public servants who were doing their jobs on behalf of the American people. His brazen lawlessness seems to be growing unchecked ever since the Senate failed in their duty to remove him from office after his impeachment.

Trump is becoming ever more desperate in recent days as the coronavirus death toll for Americans approaches 90,000. Which is another even more tragic consequence of the GOP’s acquiescence to Dear Leader. Lately Trump has been fixated on a thoroughly imaginary “scandal” that he has been calling “ObamaGate.” There is no rational explanation for what he’s alleging, and given the opportunity, even he couldn’t define it. But he has been tweeting up a storm with links to rabid Obama haters making bizarre and unsupported accusations.

On Saturday morning Trump embarked on a raging Twitter-palooza that included one tweet saying that “Scandal has defined the Obama Administration.” Which is peculiar considering there is not even a hint of any untoward activity by President Obama over the eight years of his presidency. However, there is nothing but scandal and corruption engulfing Trump and his confederacy of criminals, many of whom have already been indicted and convicted.

So Trump’s current obsessive acting out against IGs is just his way of trying to put a lid on the discovery of his raging malfeasance in office. He is writhing in fear of losing in November and being held accountable for his presidential crime spree. He knows that his approval ratings are plummeting and most polls show Joe Biden beating him nationally, as well as in many of the crucial swing states. So it is especially sweet to see Biden excoriating Trump in a succinct yet effective tweet of his own:

Indeed. While there are many former Trump staffers who have left his employ under a cloud, the only person Trump ever fired for wrongdoing was his disgraced National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who got the ax for lying to both the administration and the FBI. But now Trump is praising Flynn after having had his Attorney General, Bill Barr, drop all charges against him. Never mind that Flynn had confessed and pleaded guilty twice.

Trump keeps demonstrating that he will cozy up to those who swear their unflinching allegiance to his White House mob family. Loyalty to him always takes precedence over loyalty to the United States or its Constitution. And he will continue to poison the waters of justice in order to avoid being held accountable for his innumerable crimes. You have to wonder if there is any breach of law or ethics that will provoke Republicans to act with integrity and dignity and patriotism. but don’t hold your breath.

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

HUH? Fox News Implies Barr’s Absolution of Flynn Invalidates the 2018 Election

The criminal administration of Donald Trump is frantically trying to slip through as many political atrocities as it can before it is swept out office next year. And they aren’t shy about hiding behind the tragedies of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic in order to achieve their nefarious goals. In fact, it almost seems like they are deliberately making things worse by prematurely “reopening” the country economically in order to better cloak their activities.

Donald Trump, Bill Barr

On Thursday Trump’s Justice Department led by Attorney General, Bill Barr, announced that they were asking a federal judge to drop the charges against Michael Flynn, Trump’s disgraced former National Security Advisor. Flynn had pleaded guilty to an array of charges including lying to the FBI. He also promised to cooperate with federal prosecutors until he abruptly reneged and hired a new team of lawyers. The charges against him were pretty airtight, which is why he originally admitted his guilt. But more recently he concluded that by hanging tough he would be able to secure a presidential pardon or a dismissal, which is what has now occurred.

Flynn was the poster boy for the corruption that infects every cell of the Trump regime’s body. He had unsavory relations with the governments of Russia and Turkey. He was considered dirty even before Trump was inaugurated. President Obama fired him and warned Trump to steer clear. Naturally, that probably had the effect of endearing Flynn to Trump. Birds of a feather, and all that. Just last week Trump unleashed a tweetstorm of 27 tweets supporting Flynn.

The news that Barr was dropping the charges broke pretty quickly as every news network interrupted their programming with special coverage. However, the coverage on Fox News stood out for its predictably biased slant, including bizarre opinions by their “straight” news anchors, Bill Hemmer and Bret Baier. They joined to imply that Barr’s dismissal of Flynn’s charges somehow reflected on the validity of the 2018 election (video below):

Hemmer: It begs the question, what was Bob Mueller doing all this time? And were they out there looking for something that never existed? Were they trying to find a crime were they could not find one?
Baier: We’re in the middle of dealing with COVID and all of the health crisis and the economic crisis, but if you look back and you realize when Bob Mueller and his team knew that there was nothing there there, it was before the midterm election. And that raises its own questions about where that investigation went and how it proceeded.

WTF? If these guys don’t know what Mueller was doing at this point, they are either too stupid to be allowed to function outside of an asylum, or they are brazenly lying in support of their extreme right-wing agenda. Hemmer’s “questions” as to whether a crime occurred is deliberate disinformation. Mueller’s report explicitly stated that he was not able to exonerate Trump. It also enumerated several instances of felony perjury. Plus, there were several indictments and convictions in addition to Flynn’s guilty plea. All of this has been on the record for years now.

As for Baier, his preposterous speculations expose him as a bitterly partisan political hack. He asserts that Mueller at some point “knew that there was nothing there there.” That’s a flagrant lie. When Mueller testified before Congress he said that “Trump and his campaign welcomed and encouraged Russian interference,” and that they “lied about it to cover it up.” Does that sound like he knew there was no there there?

What’s more, the contention that Flynn being let off the hook now has some bearing on the 2018 election cannot be squared with reality. First of all, how can a decision to allow an admitted felon to go free by a dishonest and devotedly loyal Trump Attorney General have any such effect? Barr’s decision doesn’t make Flynn innocent and it doesn’t alter the voters’ choices to sweep corrupt Republicans out of office. Flynn’s get-out-of-jail-free card only serves as a further indictment of the corruption in Trump’s criminal syndicate. If anything, it validates what voters did in 2018.

More importantly, Barr’s Trumpist puppetry will likely spark a new level of outrage among the majority of Americans who already want Trump, and his GOP confederates, gone in November. If they think that coddling traitors is going to translate into Republican votes, they are dumber than Trump looks. Flynn’s freedom will remind every American voter that Republicans are on the side of those who betray our country. The likelihood of a Democratic tsunami at the polls in November became greater today.

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

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.

The REAL Criminal: Roger Stone Was Prosecuted for Covering Up for Trump

On Thursday morning the media was glued to a federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. That’s where Judge Amy Berman Jackson would be handing down the sentence for Donald Trump’s longtime political fixer, Roger Stone, who was convicted on all seven counts of lying to Congress and witness intimidation.

Donald Trump, Prison

Stone’s sentencing was thrown into a whirlwind of controversy after Trump and his Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, interfered with the ordinary procedures for prosecutors to recommend the sentence. Barr overruled the prosecutors’ recommendation for seven to nine years as being “too harsh,” despite the fact that they were within the established guidelines. And Trump unleashed a frantic flurry of tweets condemning the courts, the Justice Department, and congratulating Barr for “taking charge of a case that was totally out of control.”

Trump considered the prosecution of Stone a “miscarriage of justice.” But the twelve Americans on the jury unanimously disagreed. Now Judge Jackson has sentenced Stone to forty months in prison. He’ll be joining several other Trump associates who ran afoul of the law, such as his personal attorney Michael Cohen and his campaign chairman Paul Manafort. It really doesn’t pay to do business with Trump.

While Stone’s sentence caps the latest chapter in his melodrama, it does not accurately reflect what should be the main story line. Stone is a supporting cast member. Trump is the star. And what people should be paying attention to was noted in Judge Jackson’s remarks:

[Stone] was not prosecuted, as some have claimed, for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president.”

Exactly! The real crimes here were committed by Trump. His lackeys merely helped him to carry out his nefarious schemes. If, as the Judge said, Stone was covering up for Trump, then there was, by definition, a criminal conspiracy that required Stone’s efforts to keep it secret.

Now that Stone has been convicted and sentenced, there needs to be a full investigation of what Stone was covering up on Trump’s behalf. And if Trump is found to have broken the law, he needs to be indicted and tried. Contrary to some Republican legal hacks, it is permissible to indict a sitting president. The only alleged obstacle is a memo from the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department that has no force of law.

Stone’s case isn’t the only one that implicates Trump in the commission of broader crimes. Michael Cohen is currently serving three years for his role in Trump’s hush money payoff to Stormy Daniels. In that affair Trump was identified in court documents as “Individual-1,” an unindicted co-conspirator.

The fact that Donald Trump is so often on the periphery of criminal activity, but only his minions are swept up in the legal snare, is something that needs to be examined and corrected. It’s clear that he has criminal intentions, but continues to get off scot free. And many of his cohorts will as well via presidential pardons. That would represent an even deeper level of corruption and abuse of power. And for someone who has already been impeached for those very things, it is imperative that Trump be held accountable and forced to pay his own price for his criminal behavior.

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

Aspiring Dictator Trump is Still Tweeting Orders to AG Barr to Prosecute Political Rivals

In the weeks since Donald Trump was let off the impeachment hook by the bootlicking Senate Republicans, Trump has demonstrated that he has learned an important lesson: He can commit any crime he likes and get away with it. He has tested this lesson by implementing an authoritarian style purge of perceived enemies in his administration and handing out pardons and other executive favors to elite criminals and corrupt colleagues.

Donald Trump, Toilet, Bathrobe

In addition to granting clemency to well-connected crooks, Trump has also put pressure on his Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, on matters involving his political associates. Most notably, Trump made it clear that he believes his longtime political guru, Roger Stone, was treated too harshly after having been convicted of multiple felonies. Shortly thereafter, Barr announced that he was contradicting the sentencing recommendations by the frontline prosecutors and seeking leniency for Stone.

The subsequent controversy resulted in Barr pretending to be troubled by Trump’s interference. He even opined that Trump should refrain from tweeting about legal matters before the Department of Justice. And there was talk that Barr could resign if further interference by Trump occurred. Of course, he didn’t mean it. That was an obviously staged performance to mitigate the criticism that was Barr was getting from within and without the DOJ.

The proof that Barr’s concerns were phony came on Wednesday morning when he failed to resign after Trump threw some more blatant interferences in his face. Trump posted a couple of tweets asserting wholly unsubstantiated criminal behavior by Democratic opponents. While Trump is fond of whining about his misunderstanding of “due process,” he has no problem charging others with crimes, despite a total absence of evidence. On this occasion he led off with wild accusations against former Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. Chris Murphy that he saw in a segment on Fox News:

Notice that Trump didn’t suggest that a violation might have occurred and should be investigated. He stated as fact that there was a breach of the law and that the perpetrators “Must be dealt with strongly!” He’s apparently designated himself the judge and jury. That’s a reckless state of affairs coming from a reckless president who has also “convicted” Hillary Clinton for some unspecified crimes and led his cult followers in chants to “Lock her up.”

If Trump had any idea what the Logan Act was, he wouldn’t make a fool of himself by raising it in this context. And if Trump thinks that Murphy’s meeting is why Iran isn’t negotiating with him, he is more mentally disturbed than previously thought. Trump is simply trying to blame his own bungling of affairs with Iran on this otherwise routine encounter. After all, it was Trump who unilaterally, and without reason, withdrew from a nuclear agreement that was made between Iran, the U.S., and six other nations. Following that, Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran, who by all accounts were abiding by the agreement. Maybe that had something to do with Iran’s unwillingness to negotiate with him.

Trump’s other tweet went after Mike Bloomberg, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, and someone who Trump despises and fears:

Once again, Trump is asserting a criminal act as fact without evidence or even a specific charge of what Bloomberg did that was allegedly illegal. The “sinister” payoffs that Trump is babbling about have not been shown to have occurred or, if they did, were in any way improper. They surely were nothing like paying $130,000 to a porn star, lying to cover it up, and seeing your personal attorney go to prison for acting on your behalf. And they were nothing like asking Russia to hack your opponent’s emails or extorting Ukraine’s president to get dirt on a political rival.

The fact is that Trump is continuing to tweet orders to his puppet Attorney General. Trump still wants to see his political foes persecuted by a corrupt Justice Department. And Barr has shown that is all too willing to obey whatever commands he is given by Dear Leader. Barr believes in a monarchical theory of government that gives the president nearly unlimited powers. And Trump’s narcissistic delusions of grandeur make him fully capable of assuming the role of a tyrant. So unless the American people rise up to preserve the republic that the Founders provided, it will surely be lost. Don’t let this moment pass you by, America.

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

REALLY? Trump Quotes Pro-Impeachment Fox News Judge to Defend Roger Stone

Last week Donald Trump fired off a flurry of tweets in defense of his longtime political guru, and now convicted felon, Roger Stone. Trump’s Attorney Genuflect Bill Barr heard and obeyed the commands to seek leniency for Stone. Although Barr also made an obviously staged attempt to reclaim some of the independence that the Department of Justice is supposed to maintain.

Donald Trump, Roger Stone

Barr whined that Trump’s tweets made his job harder. By which he meant that it’s harder to conspire to cover up crimes if Trump keeps confessing to them in public. And it’s harder to pretend to be impartial when Trump is exposing your sleazy collaboration. But Barr’s entreaties to get Trump to clam up were apparently a huge failure. On Tuesday morning Trump, once again, lashed out at the rule of law on behalf of Stone:

Trump’s pigheadedness shouldn’t surprise anyone. He is infamous for blazing his own path no matter how ignorant or destructive. What’s peculiar about these tweets is that they are quoting someone who Trump has viciously maligned in the past.

Judge Andrew Napolitano is the Senior Legal Analyst of Fox News. And in that position he has provided commentary regarding Trump’s legal tribulations with impeachment. In Napolitano’s opinion, the evidence of Trump’s guilt was “overwhelming.” He also stated that there is “undisputed evidence that he abused his power,” and he elaborated saying that

“Everyone who believes in the rule of law should be terrified of a president who thinks and behaves as if it does not apply to him. As the DOJ has stated repeatedly, impeachment is the proper constitutional remedy for that.”

Napolitano was unceremoniously benched by Fox News throughout the Senate impeachment hearings, likely due to his legal assessments that conflict with the rest of the Trump-fluffers on the State TV Network. But now Trump is embracing the views of Napolitano that were expressed during an appearance on Fox and Friends (video below).

In this case Napolitano argues in favor of Stone getting a new trial. However, a new trial would not be warranted simply because a juror had an opinion about elements of the case. Every juror is likely to have opinions if they are conscious human beings. Jurors are routinely asked if their opinions would prevent them from being impartial. If not, they can serve. A juror would have to allow their opinions to bias their deliberations in order to declare a mistrial. So far there is no evidence of that.

It remains to be seen what the judge will decide with regard to the verdicts in this case. It’s hard to believe that a new trial would produce a different result considering all the available evidence against Stone. Remember, all eleven of the other jurors agreed that Stone is guilty on all counts.

But if Trump is adamant that Napolitano’s advice be adhered to with regard to Stone, then let’s be consistent. Trump should immediately resign due to the ample evidence of his own guilt that Napolitano so painstakingly laid out. I would have no problem with accepting both of Napolitano’s assessments. So how about we grant Stone a new trial, and escort Trump out of the White House? That seems fair.

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

Scandal Starved Fox News Devours Moldy Story on Clinton and AG Lynch

Ever since Donald Trump delivered his Dystopian State of the Union address a couple of weeks ago, he has demonstrated his failure to grasp the consequences of having been impeached. He has embarked on a campaign of paranoid expulsions of perceived enemies from his own administration. And he has exposed a diseased and frightened mindset that makes it plain that he hasn’t learned a thing, as some terminally naive Republican senators presumed he would.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

Among the Trumpian atrocities that have occurred in recent weeks is the brazenly biased interference of Trump’s Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, in the case of convicted felon, and longtime Trump political guru, Roger Stone. This was an ethical breach so egregious that more than 2,000 former Justice Department officials from both parties have called for Barr’s resignation.

The Trump playbook on responding to charges against him is as predictable as it is shallow. He merely seeks to manufacture similar charges against his opponents. However, there isn’t anything that could be plausibly be asserted with regard to the administration of justice by Democrats that is remotely comparable. So Trump World is stretching completely out of shape to fight back on this one.

What they have apparently settled on is a revisitation of a meeting between Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch at an Arizona airport four years ago. There was never any evidence of anything improper in that meeting, although Republicans latched unto it like a pack of rabid hounds hoping to uncover some wrongdoing. Despite their best efforts, they failed utterly. Clinton, after all, was not the President, and Hillary was no longer in government, so neither had any influence to wield. Therefore, any comparison of that event to Trump putting pressure on Barr is ludicrous.

But that didn’t stop Fox News from interviewing an author whose new book promises “explosive new information” about the “Secret on the Tarmac.” Christopher Sign joined the “Curvy Couch” potatoes on Fox and Friends to discuss what was introduced as “the tarmac meeting that rocked 2016.” Co-host Steve Doocy began by asking Sign a flagrantly leading question (video below):

Doocy: From the get go, this just didn’t add up, did it?
Sigh: Not at all. When I broke this story we knew something had occurred here that was a bit unusual. It was a planned meeting. It was not a coincidence. It was planned. And this details everything that they don’t want you to know and everything they think you forgot. But Bill Clinton was on that plane for 20 minutes and it wasn’t just about golf, grandkids, Brexit.

And that’s the entirety of this “explosive new information.” Sign did not reveal anything else about what took place or what was said. When asked how he knew that something was going on, he replied that “I have a source that walks me through it from point A to point b to point Z. And my source saw it all unfold.” Once again, Sign provides no details about what his alleged source told him. Only that Clinton arrived at the airport and waited briefly until he could board Lynch’s plane, where they spoke for about twenty minutes.

Shocking, isn’t it? There is no evidence of any plot or any even any potential benefit from this allegedly clandestine rendezvous. There is no indication that Sign’s source was on the plane or witnessed any of the discussions. The confirmation that the meeting lasted only twenty minutes suggests that there couldn’t have been anything of importance taking place, and certainly nothing that couldn’t have been discussed on the telephone.

So how does their scenario explain why Clinton and Lynch would have needed to meet at an airport in Arizona? Neither Sign, nor anyone at Fox News, can explain what might have been so controversial about this. And the reliance on an unidentified source should make the whole thing invalid according to Trump, who has frequently insisted that such sources don’t actually exist.

Trump himself weighed in on this pathetic excuse for a scandal at the time, tweeting…

Notice that Trump, as he is wont to do, nearly doubled the time Clinton supposedly spent on Lynch’s plane. And it’s surely no surprise that Trump thinks it would be impossible to talk about one’s grandchildren for half an hour, because he probably can’t even name his. Most grandparents can go on for hours about their grandkids. That’s how desperately wretched this attempt at concocting a scandal is. Fox News is really scraping the bottom of the barrel these days.

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

Trump Orders Justice Dept to Persecute His Critics and Pamper His Accomplices

There really is no bottom. Now Wannabe Dictator Donald Trump is bringing fascism to America. He is directing his corrupt Justice Department to investigate and prosecute (persecute) his critics. Meanwhile, he lobbies for light sentences and dangles pardons for his bootlicking sycophantic criminal accomplices. This is not normal. And it demonstrates that Republicans who thought Trump might learn from his impeachment were frighteningly mistaken and/or deluded.

Donald Trump

Trump’s Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, announced that he will be revising the sentencing recommendations for convicted felon Roger Stone. The prosecutors who tried the case recommended seven to nine years based on established legal guidelines. But Barr’s intervention is based on nothing more than Trump’s angry tweets. And if that’s not bad enough, Barr is assuming control of virtually everything that comes into the Justice Department that involves Trump. And Trump is obviously pleased…

The spectacle of seeing a president congratulate his toady AG for letting a convicted criminal off the hook should send shivers up the spines of the American people. Stone was found guilty of five counts of lying to Congress, and one count each of witness intimidation and obstruction. But his friend in the White House is pulling strings so that he doesn’t have to pay the price for his crimes. As a result of Barr’s interference, all four of the federal prosecutors who tried the case have quit.

What’s more, Trump’s tweet also makes a dangerously reckless and baseless accusation that former special counsel Robert Mueller “lied to Congress.” Trump doesn’t bother to cite any alleged falsehood, probably because he just made it up to slander Mueller. In a subsequent tweet Trump asserted, also without any foundation, that the career DOJ lawyers who tried Stone are “Rogue prosecutors.”

Trump has frequently weighed in on the criminal prosecutions of his associates. Just the fact that he has so many associates who have been prosecuted and found guilty is horrifying. But his reaction has been to lobby for lighter sentences or to issue pardons himself. Some of this confederacy of felons include his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, his deputy campaign manager, Rick Gates, his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and more.

On the other side of that legal coin, Trump has accused many of his political adversaries of crimes without any evidence whatsoever. In addition to Robert Mueller, Trump charged that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff “is a corrupt politician and a criminal;” that “Nancy [Pelosi] is every bit as guilty;” that “Hillary Clinton lied to the FBI;” and that “The Biden family was PAID OFF.” None of these allegations have an iota of evidence for support. They are purely driven by the animosity and vengeance of a wrathful president.

It has been widely known for years (decades?) that Trump is a vile and vindictive person who relishes punishing his perceived enemies. And he perceives enemies virtually everywhere, as he himself recently confessed. But the fact that he has an administration full of glassy-eyed cult followers who will obediently serve his will makes him all the more dangerous. And the Department of Justice is at the top of that list.

What this means is that there is nothing left to separate America from the totalitarian regimes and their tyrants that Trump so admires. This was articulated well by Sen. Chuck Schumer Wednesday on the floor of the Senate. It cannot be overstated how unusual it is for a speech like this to take place. but his words should be taken seriously if this country is to restore justice and preserve democracy:

“The President is claiming that rigging the rules is perfectly legitimate. He claims an absolute right to order the Justice Department to do anything he wants. And the President has as his Attorney General an enabler. And that’s a kind word. Does anyone think it’s out of the question that Pres. Trump might order the FBI to investigate Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden or anybody else without any evidence that supports such an arbitrary violation of individual rights?

“Oh, I know. Some far-right conspiratorial writer, who has no credibility and who just makes things up, writes it, Fox News puts it on, Sean Hannity or someone talks about it, and then the president says ‘Investigate.’ That is third world behavior – not American behavior.”

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

CHOPPER TALK: Trump’s Paranoia Unleashed as He Shrieks ‘I View Everybody as a Threat’

It’s time for another episode of Chopper Talk, Donald Trump’s irregularly scheduled alternative venue for disseminating Alternative Facts (aka lies). Since the White House no longer holds press briefings, this is pretty much the media’s only access to the President’s festival of falsehoods (which they should be covering anyway). Of course, it’s an illegitimate platform that he controls by choosing who gets to ask questions and refusing follow-ups.

Donald Trump, Chopper Talk

In this episode (video below) Trump began by pulling some papers out of his coat and declaring another alleged “victory” in his ongoing crime spree. “We just won the big emoluments case,” he lied. “I think it was a unanimous decision. This was brought by Nancy Pelosi and her group…It was a total win. This was brought by 230 Democrats on emoluments.”

First of all, the lawsuit was filed by only 215 members of Congress, and it was not a Pelosi group. There were 29 senators and 186 representatives, led by Senator Richard Blumenthal. But more to the point, it was most certainly not “a total win” for Trump. A three judge panel on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed the suit on a technicality saying that the members of Congress who filed the suit did not have legal standing to do so. But the court noted that they might have standing if they re-file with a majority of members signing on, which you can expect them to do.

What’s more, the dismissal is not a judgment on Trump’s blatant violation the emoluments clause in the Constitution. The suit’s contention that Trump “has a financial interest in vast business holdings around the world that engage in dealings with foreign governments and receive benefits from those governments” still stands and can be tried upon re-filing with a few more members signing on. This technical ruling doesn’t exonerate Trump from his criminal behavior any more than the “acquittal” in the Senate after a phony impeachment hearing that blocked all witnesses and documentary evidence.

Trump also addressed the dramatic moment at the end of his Dystopian State of the Union address when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped her copy of his speech. “I thought it was a terrible thing where she ripped up the speech,” whined Trump. “First of all, it’s an official document. You’re not allowed. It’s illegal what she did. She broke the law.”

None of that is true. It’s merely a copy provided to every member of Congress so they can follow along. Trump is fond of alleging that others have committed crimes despite having no idea what he’s talking about. It’s irresponsible for a president to make such allegations, particularly when he has a puppet Attorney General, Bill Barr, who is willing to pervert justice in order to pacify his wannabe dictator boss. It’s also brazenly hypocritical considering Trump constantly complains that he is being denied due process.

Other topics covered this morning included Trump’s opinion that his impeachment should be expunged, despite all the evidence of his guilt; his rancid insults of Democrats as “evil” and “crazy;” and his ludicrous “proof” of a united America because “All you have to do is look at our crowds.” He really believes that the attendance at his cult rallies is evidence that the whole nation is supporting him. Never mind that his approval ratings are still underwater, and they have been throughout his presidency.

Perhaps the most troubling moment in Trump’s tantrum was when he answered a question about potential political opposition saying that “Everybody is a threat. I view everybody as a threat.” That is undeniably true. Trump is a paranoid, malignant narcissist who trusts no one. He demands complete and unflinching loyalty. Any wavering from that will result in severe punishment, such as your head on a pike, as he was recently reported to have threatened. Just ask Republican Senator Mitt Romney, or former Chief of Staff General John Kelly, or former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, or former National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Trump’s view of everyone as being a threat is something that all Republicans should keep in mind. If they think that sucking up to him will shield them from his wrath after some later disagreement, they will be sorely disappointed. The only measure of safety they have is to abandon their own principles and values and commit fully to the worship of Trump. And it looks like that’s exactly what most of them of done.

UPDATE: As if to drive home his psychotic view that “everybody is a threat,” Trump has begun a totalitarian style purge of his perceived enemies. He’s fired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified during the House impeachment hearings. Also his brother, who didn’t testify. Also Gordon Sondland, who testified, but is also noted for having donated a million dollars to Trump’s inauguration. Trump is punishing those he considers disloyal like a North Korean tyrant. And he didn’t even wait two full days to start fulfilling his dictatorship aspirations. Republicans in Congress who thought Trump had learned his lesson are just as culpable for this horrifying turn of events and those that will surely follow.

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

Trump’s Attorney Genuflect Bill Barr is Turning the DOJ Into an Internet Troll Farm.

The devolution of American politics has been noticeable on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter for some time. The rancid outbursts and shrill animosity is inescapable. Much of what is posted is flagrantly false and rooted in crackpot conspiracy theories concocted by foreign, adversarial governments like Russia. And sadly, Donald Trump is one of the foremost diseminaters of this toxic dialog,

Donald Trump, Bill Barr

This online divisiveness and hatred has also been adopted by official representatives of the Trump regime. The wild assertions that many of them make in public – and particularly on Fox News – are indistinguishable from the trolls that inhabit the darkest recesses of the Intertubes. A perfect example of that occurred in a commentary by Trump’s Attorney General, William Barr, during a recent interview with Martha MacCallum of Fox News. Barr seems to be making a habit of these appearances. On this occasion, MacCallum asked him about remarks he made during a speech that was rife with the stench of political partisanship (video below):

MacCallum: You talked in your piece about “social justice DAs” … What does that mean?
Barr: Well, there’s this recent development where George Soros has been coming in, in largely Democratic primaries where there has not been much voter turnout and putting in a lot of money to elect people who are not very supportive of law enforcement and don’t view the office as bringing to trial and prosecuting criminals but pursuing other social agendas. And they have started to win in a number of cities and they have, in my view, not given the proper support to the police. And they’re following policies that are ultimately gonna lead to an increase in violent crime and more victims.

There’s a lot of ugliness to unpack in that diatribe, beginning with Barr’s reference to George Soros. The right-wing Internet has been attacking Soros for years with vile inferences of evil intent and world domination. The attacks were typically comprised of common anti-Semitic tropes that accuse Jews of seeking to control everything from the banks to the media to the moral fabric of society. And as a self-made billionaire, Soros was used by the right to symbolize the most repulsive lies propagated by conservative hate groups. And now Barr is doing the same thing by asserting that Soros has some otherworldly power to shape society in terrible and frightening ways.

Barr’s accusation naturally springs from Soros’ wealth as the tool of his dastardly deeds. Great wealth, however, is only seen as the Devil’s plaything when it’s held by liberals. According to Barr, Soros is “putting in a lot of money” to install his minions in the upper ranks of law enforcement. And from there, Barr believes, they will implement an agenda that frees up villains to embark on unfettered crime sprees.

What’s more, Barr also says that any effort to hold the police accountable for bad behavior is an expression of disrespect. Of course, the opposite is the truth. Wanting the police to have the best reputations for honorable service is far more respectful than ignoring and excusing their faults. But to Barr, any constructive criticism should be viewed as “not supporting the police” for which the result could be that citizens “may not get the police protection they need.” That’s an overt and irresponsible threat that shouldn’t be tolerated coming from the chief law enforcement officer of the United States.

The assertion that Democrats are hostile to law enforcement is demonstrably false, but it’s been a longstanding plank in the Republican platform. Trump himself has alleged that Democrats actually want more crime. He tweeted earlier this year that “the Radical Democrats are a Party of open borders and crime.” And that’s just one example of many.

What we’re seeing from these officials in Washington today is the sort of extremist garbage that was once reserved for the likes of Glenn Beck and Alex Jones. But now it has been openly taken up by Trump and Barr. It is worse than merely insulting and dishonest. It is insane and dangerous. And yet, it is now routinely a part of the discourse by the White House and its surrogates. This needs to stop ASAP. If not by impeachment and removal from office, than at the ballot box in November.

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