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.

Attorney Genuflect Bill Barr has Fully Morphed Into a Fox News Trump-Fluffer

On Monday the Inspector General of the Justice Department released his report on the origins of the Russia probe. The top-line conclusion was that it “did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI.” Yet somehow Trump embraced the report with delusional glee. He even boasted that it was “one of our great achievements.”

William Barr, Donald Trump

Now Trump’s Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, is disputing the very same IG Report that a deranged Trump said was a victory for him. This is the sequel to the aftermath of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller, when Trump insisted that it “totally exonerated” him, while simultaneously disparaging it as a hoax and a witch hunt. It takes a mind that is either brazenly dishonest or severely dysfunctional to attack a report that you also claim vindicates you. But that is what Trump did then, and is reprising now.

Barr was interviewed by NBC’s Pete Williams on Tuesday morning (video below). The whole interview was a bizarre affair that exposed Barr’s flagrant biases and his abandonment of principle, integrity, and honesty. He demonstrated that he is not the Attorney General for the people of the United States, but a shill for private citizen Trump. His remarks reflected the glassy-eyed devotion of a cult follower whose adoration for Dear Leader is unflappable. Barr began by dismissing three years of criminality by Trump and Company:

“I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press.”

Barr is forgetting that in the past three years many of Trump’s closest associates have been indicted and convicted, including Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, Micheal Cohen, and Roger Stone. And there were dozens of other indictments that are still pending. Plus, Mueller’s report found at least 270 contacts between the Trump team and Russia-linked operatives. That is hardly the result of a “bogus narrative.”

By blaming his slanderous criticisms on the press, Barr is just parroting his White House Overlord and the glassy-eyed sycophants on Fox News. The AG continued in this vein sounding more like Sean Hannity and Alex Jones than the chief law enforcement officer of the nation. Barr made the ludicrous and unsupported assertion that Trump “was clearly spied upon” by the FBI. Then he continued saying that…

“From a civil liberties standpoint, the greatest danger to our free system is that the incumbent government use the apparatus of the state … both to spy on political opponents but also to use them in a way that could affect the outcome of an election.”

First of all, Trump was not spied on, he was investigated. Barr is using language that is deliberately prejudicial. No police officer engaged in collecting evidence would ever say that they were “spying” on a murder suspect. What’s more, the FBI wasn’t even investigating Trump. They were legitimately probing the suspicious activities of individuals connected to his campaign.

It’s also troubling that Barr refers to valid and justified FBI investigations as “the greatest danger” to our system of government. Apparently he thinks it’s worse than Russians hacking our elections and launching massive campaigns of propaganda in support of Trump. Barr also doesn’t seem concerned that Trump “used the apparatus” – not of the state – but of a foreign state “in a way that could affect the outcome of an election.’ This was evidently not a problem for Barr. In fact, he appears to think it’s commonplace and acceptable:

“Presidential campaigns are frequently in contact with foreign persons. And indeed, in most campaigns there are signs of illegal foreign money coming in.”

WHAT? That’s not only false, it’s insane. No campaign professional would agree that such contact occurs “frequently,” if ever. And if Barr has proof that “most campaigns” are receiving “illegal foreign money,” why on Earth isn’t he prosecuting anyone?

He went on to falsely state that “there was and never has been any evidence of collusion” with Russia. In fact, the Mueller Report said that, while he could not unequivocally establish such collusion, there was actual evidence. Just not enough to indict. What’s more, Mueller affirmed that Trump “welcomed and encouraged” Russian interference in the 2016 election, and then sought to cover it up. That alone should warrant his impeachment.

On Tuesday morning Trump relaunched his attack on the FBI. This time against Christopher Wray, the FBI Director that Trump himself appointed. Wray’s offense was to affirm the findings of the independent Inspector General. The one Barr that is discrediting and publicly humiliating. Bill Barr is a disgrace to the office of Attorney General. He deserves to be impeached and removed from office every bit as much as Trump does. He is purposefully reorganizing the Justice Department as the defense team and PR operation for a corrupt president. And isn’t that Fox News’ job?

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

Trump’s Mental Disabilities Prevent Him from Understanding the Inspector General’s Report

On Monday the long-awaited report about the FBI’s Russia probe by the Inspector General of the Justice Department was released. Donald Trump, Republicans, and the vast right-wing conspiracy had been insisting for weeks that this report would provide damning proof that Democrats and the imaginary “Deep State” were conspiring to stage a “coup” against Trump.

Donald Trump, Deep State

Now, with the release of this report it’s clear that the hopes of the Trump cultists have been thoroughly dashed on the rocks of reality. The conclusions by Inspector General Michael Horowitz could not have been stated more plainly:

IG Report: We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI’s decision to seek FISA authority.

Among the findings were key revelations that upend the Trump regime’s favorite fallacies. For instance, the FBI did not use the Steele dossier to open the Russia probe. Also, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were not decision-makers. None of the hair-raising charges espoused by the wingnut set were upheld.

The report did identify a number of bureaucratic mistakes and flaws in the processes. But the bottom line was that none of these minor mishaps impacted the integrity or honesty of the work of the FBI and its senior officials, including Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, or anyone else in the Bureau. The report unambiguously declares that the investigation of Trump campaign operatives was fully justified and that its conduct was free of partisan politics.

However, despite the clarity of the report, Trump offered up his own bizarre and delusional analysis when asked by reporters after the report was made public (video below):

Trump: The IG report just came out and I was just briefed on it and it’s a disgrace what’s happened with respect to the things that were done to our country. It should never again happen to another president. It is incredible, far worse than I would’ve ever thought possible and it’s an embarrassment to our country, its dishonest, it’s everything that a lot of people thought it would be, except far worse.

What report was he reading? There is no plausible way a person could utter that nonsense unless they were clinically insane or purposefully intended to deceive. For this report to be “far worse” than Trump “ever thought possible,” it would have to have uncovered evidence of something worse than treason, because that’s what Trump had called the Russia investigation in the past. There was, of course, nothing in the report that supported that hysterical take. Although, Trump did get affirmation from his Attorney Genuflect, Bill Barr, who said that “The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions.” Which the IG Report most definitely didn’t do. Then Trump continued…

Trump: They fabricated evidence and they lied to the courts and they did all sorts of things to have it go their way and this was something we can never allow to have to happen again. The report actually, and especially when you look into the details of the report are far worse than anything I would’ve even imagined. What they were doing and what they would’ve done if I didn’t make a certain move, a certain move that was a very important move because it would’ve been even worse if that’s possible. And they might’ve been able to succeed, this was an overthrow of government, this was an attempted overthrow and a lot of people were in on it and they got caught, they got caught red-handed.

There is also no evidence of anyone fabricating evidence or lying to the court, as Trump is alleging. And naturally, he won’t provide any examples of such activity, because there aren’t any. Trump often speaks in vagaries to avoid having to support his preposterous assertions. Another example of that is his reference to a “very important move” that he says prevented even worse atrocities – for him. He’s talking about his firing of Comey, an action that should itself result in an Article of Impeachment for obstruction of justice.

Finally, Trump’s deranged claim that the Russia probe was “an attempted overthrow” of the government is both false and strikingly paranoid. He further claims that there were “a lot of people in on it” that he now says have been “caught red-handed.” Who the hell he’s talking about is a mystery. None of the people that Trump has been viciously slandering for the past couple of years has been charged with any crime, or even cited for administrative errors.

In short, the FBI has been fully exonerated by an independent Inspector General who was appointed by Trump. And Trump has been shown to be a malicious liar. His mental infirmity is still on display with crazy comments that amount to dubious declarations of victory. “I think,” Trump said, “I’m gonna put this down as one of our great achievements.” Really? That says something about what he regards as his other alleged “achievements.” Namely that they are all in his mind and only exist to fluff his super-sized, narcissistic ego.

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

Terrified that His Taxes Will Become Public, Trump Sics His DOJ on the Supreme Court

Last week’s impeachment hearings revealed overwhelming evidence of the criminal behavior of Donald Trump. The witnesses were largely from his own administration, including Dr. Fiona Hill who was a top aide to Trump’s ultra-conservative National Security Advisor, John Bolton. And every one of them testified that Trump improperly threatened to withhold military funds from Ukraine unless they helped him smear a political rival. In fact, Trump himself admitted it.

Donald Trump

However, in just the few hours since the hearings adjourned, there have been some startling stories of corruption and dirty dealing by Trump and his sycophantic defenders. The ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, has been implicated in a scandal of his own wherein he was seeking foreign assistance to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Which is precisely the crime that the Committee is investigating Trump for. As for Trump, he visited his Friends at Fox News to spread propaganda manufactured by Russia. But These aren’t the only problems Trump faces.

The state of New York has been trying to get Trump’s tax returns as evidence in a case probing alleged campaign finance violations. Trump, of course, has been refusing to cooperate, but having lost in the lower courts, Trump is taking his challenge to the Supreme Court. In advance of any decision, the Department of Justice is now weighing in with their own opinion. And naturally they are siding with Trump. This is just further proof that Attorney Genuflect Bill Barr is a toady for Trump who is breaching his oath to serve the American people.

There is no justification for the DOJ to interfere with this litigation. It is outside of the purview of the Department as it involves Trump personally and is not associated with his duties as president. What’s more, the case that the DOJ is presenting to the Supreme Court is typically biased, shallow, and weak on legal rationale. According to their filing

“The brief, filed by Solicitor General Noel Francisco, says allowing Manhattan prosecutor Cyrus Vance to obtain the tax returns would create a precedent that ‘may subject the president to highly burdensome demands for information’ and ‘raises the risk that prosecutors could use subpoenas to harass the president as a result of opposition to his policies.'”

Literally none of that is is justification for the Justice Department to interfere with this case. The President is not immune to investigations by state prosecutors. And it isn’t the DOJ’s job to define what constitutes a “burden” to the President. Nor is the DOJ permitted to insert itself into what may or may not be a political affair. The President has his personal attorneys for those purposes. The brief went on to say that…

“’The United States has a substantial interest in protecting the office of the president and the powers and duties vested in that office,’ the brief reportedly reads. ‘The United States also has a substantial interest in protecting the autonomy of the federal government from potential interference by the states.'”

To the extent that the DOJ is tasked with “protecting the office of the president,” it is limited to the his official duties, not his personal affairs. Especially those that took place prior to his election. However, the argument that the DOJ has an interest in protecting the President “from potential interference by the states,” is downright ludicrous. It is, in effect, a claim to protect the President from the nation he is sworn to serve. If upheld it would set a precedent that allows any president to violate state laws with impunity. And along with the tax laws that are central to this case, that could include rape and murder.

Trump’s stubborn refusal to release his taxes – as every other president in modern times has done – is a pretty good indication that there is something terribly wrong hidden in them. He isn’t even pretending to be audited anymore. Now he claims that just asking to see his returns is an abuse of power. He’s just sending his lackeys out to make absurd arguments in the hopes that he can keep his skeletons in the closet. And while the DOJ’s case is so thin as to be laughable, it is not outside the realm of possibility that it will be received favorably by a Supreme Court that is stacked with right-wingers and Trump appointees. Time will tell if they honor the law and the Constitution more than their misplaced loyalty to a criminal president.

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

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

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

Donald Trump Sweating

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.