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

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

Donald Trump Sweating

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All Foxed Up: Trump is Relying on Ludicrous Legal Gibberish to Fight His Impeachment

It often seems like Donald Trump is his own worst enemy. He confesses to impeachable crimes on national TV. He actually commits new crimes the same way. He attacks his GOP Senate colleagues who will be deciding his fate. And he rambles endlessly in a manner that only provides more evidence of his guilt and unfitness for office.

Donald Trump, Constitution

So it wouldn’t be off base If you thought that Trump is digging his own political grave. And in the process he seems to be getting the worst possible legal advice. That shouldn’t surprise anyone who has followed the antics of Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who, when he isn’t flipping out on Fox News, he’s butt dialing reporters. And his Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, isn’t any better. However, Trump’s most trusted legal advisors appear to be an even worse source for someone in such desperate legal jeopardy. He seems to be leaning heavily on the bootlicking sycophants of Fox News. Gee, what could go wrong?

The muttonheads at Fox are the source for some of Trump’s most preposterous ideas. They include suing Nancy Pelosi for conducting the impeachment inquiry. He has also proposed his own impeachment of Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff (which can’t be done). And he’s also threatening to sue CNN for – get this – false advertising. Now, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends are offering their interpretation of the Constitution’s impeachment language. And it’s just as ridiculous as you would think. Here is the bizarre advice Trump is getting from Fox contributor Dan Bongino, who is not a lawyer (video below):

“First off, this isn’t a real impeachment, okay? President Trump should ignore the proceeds. I don’t mean politically ignore it. He has to respond. I mean he should treat it as what it is, which is a non-impeachment impeachment.”

Huh? Where Bongino gets the idea that there is such a thing as a “non-impeachment impeachment,” or that Trump has the ability to legally ignore it, is a mystery. But Bongino continues by insulting the constitutional knowledge and reading comprehension of Democrats in Congress – who ARE lawyers and have studied constitutional law. Bongino correctly points out that the Constitution grants the House of Representatives “the sole power to impeach,” but then adds this Olympic-grade nonsense:

[The Constitution] doesn’t say the House of Representative. Again, for the liberals who have a tough time with that, that’s plural. That means the House of Representatives, meaning they would take a vote, which they haven’t. So this is not an impeachment. It’s a political stunt. It should be politically responded to, but tactically speaking it is a fake non-impeachment. And the Republicans should treat it as such.”

First off, a “fake non-impeachment” would be a real impeachment. But setting that blunder aside, Bongino’s logic is hopelessly warped. The fact that the Constitution uses “House of Representatives” in the plural doesn’t mean that there is a requirement for a vote, and it certainly doesn’t say anything of of the sort. That is a wholly manufactured conclusion by Bongino. It just means that the House proceeds under its own authority and rules. Those rules, by the way, were written by the House when it was controlled by a Republican majority.

What’s more, Bongino’s absurd notion that representatives (plural) means a vote by the full House is required doesn’t make any sense at all. He seems to think that there is only one Democrat in Congress who is conducting the inquiry and, therefore, it’s illegitimate. Of course, there are dozens of representatives, including Republicans, who are actively involved. So that would meet Bongino’s crackpot criteria for plurality. It’s also notable that his dimwitted views were offered the day after a federal judge ruled that the House impeachment inquiry is legal and valid. Nice timing.

With legal guidance like this it’s no wonder that Trump is floundering and fearful. And his mental state continues to decline as the future looks ever more grim for him and his cohorts. It’s so bad that even his lawyers are having to get lawyers. But the Fox News Legal Aide Society will undoubtedly continue to serve up their terrible advice. Which is great news for Democrats – and all Americans – who will ultimately be the beneficiaries of Trump’s impeachment and removal from office thanks to his own ignorance and that of of his boneheaded legal advisors.

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

GOP Hypocrites Silent on Trump’s Attorney Genuflect Bill Barr Conducting Russia Probe in Secret

The march of the Donald Trump regime to a fully dysfunctional totalitarian state is picking up steam as the Crybaby-in-Chief plots to take down his perceived enemies. The latest warning that Trump is whittling away at America’s principles and freedom came in a news report that his plant at the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr, is expanding his already bogus “review” of the FBI’s probe of Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia during the 2016 election. This is how Banana Republican dictatorships operate.

William Barr, Donald Trump

Barr agreed to conduct his Russia review because a desperate and fearful Trump demanded it. He is convinced that he needs a way to discredit the Mueller investigation and the congressional inquiry into his impeachment. But now, according to reports, Barr has upgraded the review to a criminal inquiry:

“The US justice department has reportedly opened a criminal inquiry into the origins of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, a move that would raise concerns that Donald Trump and his allies may be using the powers of the government to go after their opponents.”

This escalation of Trump’s war on democracy is emblematic of his aspirations to emulate his heroes Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Xi Jinping. He believes that he holds omnipotent power as president and any opposition to him is tantamount to treason. He has literally accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff of such betrayal and called for them to be prosecuted and removed from office.

The investigation that Barr’s Justice Department is conducting is being run by John Durham, the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut. It’s operations are shrouded in secrecy as he accumulates potential evidence and interviews witnesses. And that’s exactly as it should be. Investigations are always done behind closed doors to avoid premature disclosures that might impede the investigation or tip off suspects, and to prevent witnesses from coordinating their testimony. So even in an investigation like this one, that has no legal predicate to justify it – other than Internet rumors and conspiracy theories – Durham is following the proper procedures. Consequently, Republicans ought not be too confident that Durham will find any wrongdoing. In the meantime, the rights granted by due process that include equal access to evidence and witnesses will come into play during a trial, if there is one.

These are legal concepts that many Republicans are seemingly unable to grasp. They are clamoring for access and transparency that is never permitted during an investigation. And they are outraged that their inane demands are not being met. Their yammering is a constant and irritating reminder that they couldn’t care less about the law. For example…

  • Rep. Steve Scalise: Why are they trying to impeach a president of the United States behind closed doors in secret where the public can’t see it, the press can’t see it?
  • Rep. Doug Collins: Conducting an impeachment investigation behind closed doors isn’t just unprecedented—it’s un-American.
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz: Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry has been marked by secret interviews.
  • Sen. John Cornyn: The do it in secret, cherry pick and leak whatever furthers their narrative. Put it out there for all to see.
  • Rep. Andy Biggs: No more secret proceedings. No more Soviet-style proceedings.
  • John Ratcliffe: Adam Schiff is running an impeachment inquiry secretly, behind closed doors.
  • Rep. Jim Jordan: These proceedings should be public…they’re doing it all in a closed-door process.
  • RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel: What are Schiff and House Democrats hiding from the American people with their secret hearings?

And let’s not forget folks like these…

  • Sean Hannity: Adam Schiff — he is holding secret hearings, secret meetings, that result in secret transcripts all hidden from the American people.
  • Maria Bartiromo: We know that it’s all behind closed doors. […] Why are they doing this, this way?
  • Lou Dobbs: The radical Dems who are holding secret hearings in their attempts to unseat the president.
  • And of course, Trump himself: Democrats are allowing no transparency at the Witch Hunt hearings.

What’s interesting is that all of those GOP and right-wing media hacks are not the least bit disturbed by the secrecy of Barr’s investigation. If they were consistent they would be just as upset and would be demanding that everything Barr and Durham are doing be immediately disclosed to the public. Of course, they aren’t even pretending to be consistent. They are dedicated hypocrites who only want to shield their Dear Leader from criticism, malign Democrats, and most importantly, deceive the American people. And, fortunately for the nation, they are astonishingly inept in the pursuit of those sinister goals.

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

Ignoramus-in-Chief: Trump Thinks He Can Sue and/or Impeach Nancy Pelosi

The march toward total and utter mental infirmity continues apace as Donald Trump nears his inevitable impeachment. The symptoms of Cornered Rat Syndrome are becoming more obvious and more severe. The deranged ranting at his cult rallies is simultaneously laughable and frightening. And all the while his sycophants in politics and the press deepen their adoration of Dear Leader as they would a king or a god.

Donald Trump

On Saturday at the so-called “Values” Voters Summit – a right-wing propaganda festival masquerading as a Christian revival meeting – Trump showed up to slather some embarrassingly overt pandering around. During the course of his tiresome and repetitive oratory, he threw in a variety of absurdities that illustrate his growing fear and desperation. For instance, he yammered something about “They are using the IRS against me.” Nevermind that his appointees are running the agency, or that he didn’t bother to explain who “they” are. He also babbled on that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “hates our country” because she’s engaging in the constitutional process of investigating his flagrantly impeachable crimes.

However, with a doubt Trump’s hysteria reached fever pitch when he unleashed a load of throbbing gibberish aimed at members of Congress who are doing their jobs (video below). And it’s important to note that they are acting on behalf of the American people who broadly favor Trump’s impeachment and removal from office according every recent poll, including one by Fox News. Trump’s tantrum was the perfect example of just how ignorant and incoherent he is in these late stages of his psychoses. Referring to his perceived enemies on the Hill, Trump impotently bellowed that…

“We’re going to take a look at it. We’re going after these people. These are bad, bad people. I actually told my lawyers, I said sue them anyway. He’s got immunity. But they can’t sue them for that. I said sue them anyway. Even if we lose, the American public will understand. And sue Nancy Pelosi. Or maybe we should just impeach them. Because they’re lying and what they’re doing is a terrible thing for our country.”

If lying is the criteria that Trump wants to use, than there are more than 12,000 articles of impeachment waiting for Trump. More worrisome for Trump though, is that the lawyers he said he spoke with are goofballs like Rudy Giuliani and William Barr. So maybe they failed to grasp the fact that members of Congress cannot be sued for their official duties or remarks made in congressional proceedings. That’s actually spelled out in the Constitution’s “speech and debate clause” (Article I, Section 6). Furthermore, Trump’s threat to “sue them anyway” could make him subject to charges of judicial harassment, the willful exploitation of the legal system with malicious intent.

Additionally, Trump’s interest in impeaching Pelosi and Schiff is just more fantastical ramblings from an ill-informed whiner with delusions of tyrannical powers. There is no facility in the Constitution for impeaching members of Congress. This is just another example of Trump’s mush-headed hostility carrying him off into a bizarro world where he is blissfully omnipotent. And apparently, his goofballs (aka lawyers) don’t have either the intellect or the courage to tell him he’s nuts.

This combination of abject stupidity and absence of rational advice is going to insure that things will continue to devolve as Trump’s fortunes, and mental capacity, whither into ash. So the question facing America now is whether to buy more popcorn or Prozac. Or both to be on the safe side.

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

Attorney Genuflect Barr Inadvertently Tags Trump World as ‘Organized Destruction’

The administration of Donald Trump has suffered unprecedented chaos and personnel turnover. Trump is on his third Chief of Staff. He is about to name his fourth Homeland Security Secretary. His current Communications Director is the fifth person to hold that jobs. He’s had at least 55 high-profile departures, and that isn’t counting dozens more at mid-levels.

William Barr, Donald Trump

However, his second Attorney General, William Barr, appears to be fulfilling the criteria that Trump values most in his underlings: 100% pure, unadulterated, and blind loyalty. Barr has been acting as Trump’s de facto personal lawyer, despite that being wholly improper and unethical for the nation’s top law enforcement official. He routinely takes Trump’;s side on controversial legal issues without regard for legal precedent or even reasoning. He has even inserted himself into the congressional impeachment inquiry in ways that make him subject to potential impeachment himself.

On Friday Barr gave a speech at Notre Dame University where he took some positions that are far afield from his duties as Attorney General (video below). In fact, he sounded more like one of Trump’s evangelical political boosters than a lawyer representing the American people. His remarks condemned the “ascendancy” of “secularism” as the cause of every social problem from mental illness, to violence, to drug abuse. And his sermonizing went even further to blast through the wall separating church and state. For instance, he said that…

“Among the militant secularists are many so-called progressives. But where is the progress? We are told we’re living in a post-Christian era. But what has replaced the Judeo-Christian moral system? What is it that fills the spiritual void in the heart of the individual person? And what is the system of values that can sustain human social life? The fact is that no secular creed has emerged capable of performing the role of religion.

Thank you Pastor Barr. In that one brief paragraph Barr has maligned progressives as anti-religion militants who advocate for the abandonment of social values. His remedy, of course, is more religion, rather than respect for the Constitution and the law. But he wasn’t finished. He further stated that…

“This is not decay. This is organized destruction. Secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.”

Whoever Barr is calling “Secularists”, he is claiming that they have taken total control over all of the media and educational institutions in the country. Of course, if that were true there would never have been a Trump presidency. What Barr is really saying, without any awareness of it, is actually a condemnation of his boss. No one has been more assaultive of religion and traditional values than Trump. He’s a thrice-married, adulterous, prideful, profane, greedy, liar.

Donald Trump spent much of his life consumed by popular culture. He worked in mass communications and entertainment for fourteen years as the host of a reality TV game show. He also had a regular slot on Fox News for a segment of Fox and Friends called Mornings with Trump. And he even operated his own Trump University, although that ended when he was found to have committed fraud and ordered to pay $25 million in restitution and penalties to his students/victims.

So Barr is inadvertently telling the truth about the immorality of Trump. Everything in his speech applies more to the President than the progressive patriots he’s attacking, including the violence, drug abuse, militance, and spiritual vacancy. But more importantly, Barr’s transformation into Trump’s preacher is just another frightening diversion from the legitimate role of government by the Trump administration. It’s further evidence that Trump is steering the nation toward a fascist-style theocracy that would crush our constitutional democracy. And it makes impeaching Trump a ever more urgent imperative for the American people.

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

Shepard Smith Suddenly Signs Off at Fox News the Day After Bill Barr met with Rupert Murdoch

The most jarring news in the media world today is that Shepard Smith of Fox News announced on the air that he was anchoring his last broadcast at the network. No one had anticipated his departure and there had been no speculation about it. His colleagues were dumbstruck and issued their own emotional reactions.

Fox News, Shepard Smith, Donald Trump

Smith was out of place at Fox News. He was frequently reporting the actual facts of a story even while his primetime colleagues (Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson) were deliberately lying and even maligning his work and his honor. Carlson engaged in an on-air feud with Smith just last month after his guest, Trump flunky Joe diGenova, called Smith a fool for daring to report honestly. However, despite the open hostility, Smith bravely endured in a losing war to inform Fox’s viewers. One of his recent valiant efforts involved setting the record straight on the Russia probe and the Mueller report. And on another occasion Smith brutally, yet subtly, roasted Fox News while accepting a First Amendment Award.

It cannot be ignored that Smith announced his departure (video below) the day after Donald Trump’s shill Attorney General, William Barr, had a private meeting with the overlord of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch. That confab was originally suspicious because it occurred the day after Fox News released a poll showing that a majority of voters favored Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. Trump, who has long despised Smith, naturally expressed his disappointment with Fox tweeting falsely that “I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll. Whoever their Pollster is, they suck. […] @FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore.” And then Barr traveled to Murdoch’s lair to kiss his ring.

However, this new development makes it all even more suspicious. There is no way of knowing at this time if that meeting had anything to do with Smith leaving Fox News. His on-air farewell was nothing but grateful and gracious. But it is extraordinarily rare for a figure so closely tied with a broadcaster (Smith was at Fox from day one) to leave without any notice. Normally one would announce they are going off to pursue other opportunities, and that their last day would be a week or a month away. But Smith is already gone. And in his goodbye he noted that there is an agreement with Fox that he will not work as a journalist anywhere else for some unspecified period of time.

There is already speculation that Smith was forced out. And of course, there is already speculation that that speculation is false. But get real. If Smith wasn’t forced out overtly by his bosses who were through tolerating his independence, then he was forced out covertly by the way he was treated. In the matter of his feud with Carlson, it was Smith who management reprimanded.

No doubt Smith’s departure will bring great joy to Trump. And he will surely tweet something nasty about it before long. But Fox News has lost one of its only connections to ethical journalism. And it could not have come at a worse time. Trump is suffering a hysterical meltdown as Congress gets closer to his inevitable impeachment, but which he insanely has taken to calling a “coup.”. Just last night he delivered what may be the most disgusting performance of his short residency in Washington.

What’s left at Fox News will be an increasingly sycophantic cadre of true believers who literally describe their Dear Leader in terms generally reserved for kings or gods. As Trump’s megalomaniania, paranoia, and malignant narcissism become more severe, his martinets at Fox News will become more unbearably worshipful. So as we heartily wish good luck to Shep, we nervously wish it also for ourselves.

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

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

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

Fox News, Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lacking Any Coherent Impeachment Defense, Trump Deploys An All Fox News Blitzkrieg

On Wednesday morning Donald Trump released the transcript White House provided, non-verbatim memo of his July phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. It was somewhat anticlimactic considering that he had already admitted that he pressured Ukraine to smear Biden, and even declared Biden “corrupt” and subject to the electric chair. Still, he has been saying for days that the call was “perfect,” that he had done nothing wrong, and promised that it would exonerate him. What the hell was he thinking!

Donald Trump, Phone, Pacifier

Keeping in mind that several days prior to this phone call, Trump had frozen nearly $400 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine, who were engaged in a conflict with Russian troops on their eastern border. With that as context for Trump’s remarks, here are some relevant and incriminating parts of the memo (full document below):

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. […] I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance.”

“Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it. […] I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.”

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

So Trump starts out by asking for “a favor.” That’s precisely how Godfather Don Corleone began his conversations with shakedown victims when he made them “an offer you can’t refuse.” Zelensky knew that the aid his country needs was at risk. This is as close to a quid pro quo as is ever encountered in organized crime. And having that followed up by a request to meet with Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and his Attorney General, William Barr – which is a new and troubling revelation – only makes Trump’s clearly unlawful intentions more clear.

The fact that Trump bothered to malign special counsel Robert Mueller is another indication that he is tying this call to his own political tribulations. And directly warning Zelensky that “it’s very important that you do … whatever you can do,” is hardly a subtle nudge. Trump then brings up the Ukrainian prosecutor who he calls “very good” despite being held in disrepute by the U.S. government, the European Union, the World Bank, and other international institutions.

Trump then got to the real point when he brought up Joe Biden and made the objectively false statement that he “stopped the prosecution” of Biden’s son. In fact, the corrupt prosecutor wasn’t even actively pursuing the case. And every investigation into the matter found zero evidence of any wrongdoing by Biden. Nevertheless, Trump pressed this issue repeatedly in the phone call and kept pressing for a meeting with Giuliani and Barr.

If this is Trump’s idea of an exculpatory document, you have to wonder what he considers incriminating. Trump is seen here explicitly abusing his power by recruiting a foreign leader to interfere with an American election. And he is using funds allocated by Congress to extort the illegal results he wants. There is no defense for this criminal behavior. Trump couldn’t even provide one, so he claimed on Wednesday that it should all be ignored because the stock market went up. Really? For the record, the market today is stagnant at best. It’s exactly where it was in January of 2018, a year and a half ago. Trump is also arguing his innocence based on his leading poll numbers. Except that he’s losing to every top Democrat. In fact, a Fox News poll saying just that was released a week before Trump called Zelensky. Coincidence?

Then Trump turned to his goto protectors at Fox News to vainly try to spin this in his favor. He posted (so far) twelve (12!) tweets of Trump-fluffing sycophants that contained no factual refutation of the damning contents of the White House summary phone call. They included:

  • Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway writing that the whistleblower’s attorney worked for Hillary Clinton and “Schuck” Schumer. That was for short internships nearly twenty years ago.
  • Fox host Mark Levin asserting that the is media trying to protect Biden.
  • Sean Hannity interviewing Attorney Joe DiGenova, whose reputation was so bad that he couldn’t be added to Trump’s staff.
  • Tucker Carlson interviewing Jenna Ellis, a member of the Trump 2020 Advisory Board.
  • Sean Hannity interviewing GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, a sellout who once called Trump an idiot and a liar, but who now kowtows to him in the most embarrassing fashion.
  • Lou Dobbs interviewing Harmeet Dhillon from the Republican National Lawyers Association.
  • Sean Hannity (again), this time with Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Leader.
  • Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro, another Fox News host and shameless Trump-fluffer.
  • Yet another Hannity reference saying that the whistleblower has a political bias.
  • Fox and Friends asserting that “Democrats have been talking about Impeaching Donald Trump since before he was inaugurated. @SteveDoocy @foxandfriends”
  • Fox host Bret Baier saying that “You don’t see a direct quid pro quo in this.”
  • Fox’s White House correspondent, John Roberts, saying that there was no quid pro quo in the memo.

Someone who has a good argument for innocence wouldn’t have to resort to a cadre of notoriously biased pundits and Fox News propagandists for legal help. But this is Trump’s whole modus operandi. Remember, his preparation for the presidency was hosting a reality TV game show for fourteen years. His entire reference to his job is tied to television and celebrity. So rather than accumulate knowledgeable defenses from intelligent, reputable people, he leans on dishonest TV personalities talking to partisan hacks. You know, people just like himself.

UPDATE: The whistleblower complaint has been declassified and released. It’s available here with a few redactions.

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

Fox News Defends Trump’s State-Sponsored Political Extortion as Just ‘The Art of the Deal’

The news that Donald Trump may have promised the president of Ukraine hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid if he would open a bogus investigation into Joe Biden has captured the attention of the press. And rightfully so. This would amount to state-sponsored extortion by Trump in order to smear a political opponent. And it wouldn’t even be the first time that Trump has conspired with a foreign country to steal an election (see: Russia, 2016).

Donald Trump, Fox News, White House

As this scandal continues to build steam, Trump is managing to get himself into even more hot water. In a press avail with the Prime Minister of Australia, Trump gave contradictory answers about what he knew about the affair. In fact, when asked if he read the report he contradicted himself in the space of a single sentence saying, “No I haven’t. I just – I tell you, everybody’s read it. They laugh at it.” He went on to attack the press, as usual, saying that “Our media has become the laughingstock of the world […] You’re a joke.” Which only proves that he is pitifully incapable of recognizing who the world is actually laughing at.

In the midst of this unfolding melodrama, Fox News is adopting their routine position as Trump-fluffing propaganda disseminators. And taking the lead is Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox and Friends. Their defense of Trump is a bizarre spectacle of ludicrous justifications for Trump’s potentially treasonous behavior (video below). Co-host Steve Doocy began by telling his dimwitted viewers to…

“Keep in mind this whistleblower filed this report with the inspector general of the Intel community on August the 12th. That was over a month ago. Then they kicked it around, sent it to the Department of Justice, and said ‘We do not have to hand it over to Congress.'”

First of all, it is entirely improper for the Justice Department to interfere in this process in any way. It negates the whole purpose of the Whistleblower Protection Act if the President’s henchmen (Attorney General William Barr, et al) can suppress information provided in good faith by insiders concerned about national security. And it endangers the welfare of the whistleblower whose identity is disclosed to people who have motive to retaliate.

That said, after having improperly interfered, the Justice Department has no authority to rule that the complaint can’t be turned over to Congress. The law says unambiguously that it “shall” be turned over. So the Justice Department is wrong, and Fox News is wrong to excuse this breach of the law. But Doocy wasn’t finished. He continued…

“The reason the whistleblower apparently said that it was ‘serious’ and ‘urgent’ is because that designation usually automatically triggers it getting to Congress. The Department of Justice says that that is not appropriate, so we don’t have to give it to the Committee. Well, somebody with knowledge of this person’s story didn’t like the fact that Congress wasn’t gonna get it and it wasn’t gonna become public. So they leaked the story to the Washington Post.”

Again, none of this is the Justice Department’s call. But Doocy is also introducing something that was never a part of this. He implies that somebody wanted this to become public. But had the complaint been turned over to Congress, they would have reviewed it privately. The only reason any of this is becoming public is because the process was breached by the administration.

It’s ironic that Fox News is more worried about this complaint leaking than the substance of the complaint which is Trump’s attempts to extort and/or bribe a foreign country and to pressure them into aiding his election fraud. But if you thought that Fox was bothered by any of that, here’s what Doocy’s co-host Ainsley Earhardt had to say about it:

“They say the President was making promises, leaking delicate information to another heads of state. But this is what they do. They talk. They negotiate. And the President’s known for that. The art of the deal. Who’s leaking this? Is it someone that works at the White House?”

So to Fox News this is standard operating procedure in negotiations. They consider it acceptable for Trump to bully foreign leaders into manufacturing political dirt on his opponents. They regard it as simple dealmaking, despite the fact that there are no components of this deal that are in the interests of the United States. It is a purely hostile swipe at Biden, who Trump expects to run against next year. So Earhardt is defending dealmaking that is only intended to disrupt an election. But then again, that’s what Fox News does every day. Disrupting elections by airing distortions and lies is the whole reason Fox News exists.

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

Daft Trump: Comedians and Conspiracy Nuts are More Credible than the New York Times

The wild speculation surrounding the death of pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein continues to unravel. Unfortunately, most of the unraveling is occurring in the tangled mash of broken synapses in what remains of Donald Trump’s scattered and paranoia-racked brain. The fact that an American president has sunk into such an abyss of madness is both embarrassing and frightening.

Donald Trump

The latest evidence that Trump has stepped off the sanity train is his defense for having retweeted a preposterous rant by a lunatic conspiracy crackpot. The tweet alleged that Bill and/or Hillary Clinton were conspirators in the death of Epstein. To add fuel to that fire, Fox News embraced this lunacy in an effort to provide cover for Trump. But on Tuesday Trump rushed to his own defense with a bizarre tirade that was littered with lies and appalling foolishness (video below). Speaking of the original tweeter, Terrence K. Williams,Trump said:

“He’s a very highly respected conservative pundit. He’s a big Trump fan. And that was a retweet. That wasn’t from me. That was from him. He’s a man who has half a million followers and he’s respected. And as you know, Bill Barr wants to do an entire investigation of the whole Epstein Matter.”

First of all, Williams is neither highly respected, nor a conservative pundit. He’s an aspiring comedian and devoted Trump cultist. So he is indeed a “big Trump fan,” which speaks to his poor judgment. Secondly, Trump seems to think that having retweeted Williams’ idiocy relieves him of any responsibility for it. But Trump himself affirms his agreement with the tweet, so whether he wants to admit it or not, he owns it. Trump then goes on to suggest that Williams’ 500,000 Twitter followers is some sort of validation for his blather. If that’s true, then Stephen Colbert – with 18.6 million followers – should be the next Secretary of State. This just shows that our reality TV president is still obsessed with ratings.

Finally, Trump says that his disreputable Attorney General, William Barr, is investigating all of this. Really? Barr is investigating the Clinton murder allegations? That would be a troubling signal that our justice system has completely collapsed. To be fair, at least, Barr would also need to probe the possibility that Trump was the mastermind behind Epstein’s death. After all, Trump had much greater access and opportunity, as well as far more to lose if Epstein talked.

Also on Tuesday morning, Trump was asked outright if he thinks the Clintons were involved in Epstein’s death. He replied, “I have no idea.” Let that sink in. The President of the United States is allowing for conjecture that a former president, and political foe, committed murder. He went on to implicate Clinton with allegations about trips on Epstein’s plane. What Trump isn’t saying is that those trips were often to attend charitable events, and there is no evidence of any hanky panky. Unlike what we know about Trump’s pussy-grabbing, porn star chasing, and Miss Teen America dressing room invading.

Trump also isn’t saying how many times he flew on Epstein’s plane and partied with Epstein in New York and Florida. There may not be as many plane rides because Trump has his own plane. But their relationship is well documented and much of it revolved around affairs with young women.

While the President regards Trump-fluffing comedians as “highly respected” pundits, he continues to malign professional news enterprises. He quote-tweeted a notorious wingnut from Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post saying that the New York Times is “no longer a news organization. It is now an agenda driven organization out to change the Country (for the worse!).” What’s more, Trump retweeted several posts from Breitbart, felon Dinesh D’Souza, and the disgraced and pathetic hack, James O’Keefe. So what we have residing in the White House is a psychotic conspiracy theorist who values cheesy comics and propagandists over experienced journalists. Is it any wonder why the nation is so ashamed of Trump?

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