Trump Inches Closer Towards Censoring Media

For all of Trump’s enmity toward North Korea’s Trump-like leader, the fascist in the White House is embracing concepts that keep Kim Jong-un in power without opposition or dissent. After a typical Trump Twitter outburst yesterday, it appears that he is serious in using the United States Congress to target, investigate, and punish the news media and journalists. Yesterday he called on the United States Senate to “investigate” the various news outlets that publish unflattering, but accurate and truthful, stories about him and his administration.

Apparently when Trump took the “swear to godoath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” he was lying.  Of course he was lying and that became obvious the day of his poorly attended inauguration. Trump doesn’t have much use for the Constitution, much less any intent to preserve and protect it; not when he’s violated it willfully and often for pecuniary gain. But this is the first time he has made it clear he wants to use the federal government to aid him in violating the Constitution’s 1st Amendment to censor the media like his fascist paramours in Russia, North Korea, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia.

Trump’s panties were in a wad over a couple of reports, and one report that never happened, regarding his strained relationship with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; a strained relationship like Trump eventually develops with anyone who fails to lick his boots. Apparently Trump was incited to a Twitter outburst after learning that his Secretary of State called him a “moron” with “an R-rated modifier” that rhymes with “trucking.” Tillerson’s aptly-worded remarks were many Americans’ reaction to Trump’s self-aggrandizing campaign speech to the Boy Scouts. For dog’s sake, except for evangelical extremists and Nazis, nearly everyone in America and around the world has called Trump a moron – probably with several “R-rated modifiers.”

A couple of hours before dawn yesterday, Trump “tweeted:

Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!”

As any eighth grader knows, the “Senate Intel Committee” isn’t investigating any kind of media because unlike Trump, the preponderance of senators comprehend that the First Amendment forbids Congress from abridging freedom of the press.

It is noteworthy that Mr. Tillerson held a news conference after the reporting that he called Trump a “f*cking moron;” a report he definitely did not deny. Instead, he took the “kind-of” high road and said, “I’m not going to deal with petty stuff like that.” Still, Trump interpreted Tillerson’s “non-denial” later in the day as proof  the media was lying by claiming the story reported by NBC was “totally refuted” and “made up.”

Not content to use Twitter to spread his own “totally refuted” and “made up” claims about what Tillerson did or did not say, Trump went back to Twitter less than an hour later; surely to impress on his devotees how important it is for Congress to investigate the press. Trump assailed NBC as spreading “fake news” that Rex Tillerson threatened to resign. He “tweeted:”

Rex Tillerson never threatened to resign. This is Fake News put out by NBCNews. Low news and reporting standards. No verification from me.”

 Besides news outlets or journalists not needing verification (approval) from the liar-in-chief, there is the minor issue of Trump’s wont of spreading “Fake News” to incite rage against the media. It is “Fake News” from Trump that NBC reported Tillerson threatened to resign; it just didn’t happen. What its report did claim was that Tillerson “was on the verge” of stepping down. It is an entirely believable claim after Trump assailed the Secretary of State in public for wasting his time in seeking a diplomatic solution to North Korea.

The insinuation from Trump, and a glaring dog whistle to his zealot followers, is that there is no “real news” except that which he “personally verifies is real” to reporters and news outlets. It is precisely how the “news” is curated in North Korea; only news personally approved by Kim Jong-un is real and verified as suitable for delivery to the public.

Many politicians have rocky relationships with the free press, especially those who lie at about the same rate most people use a toilet. But Trump is a different animal, (all due respect to every animal on the planet). Since his campaign he has made inciting animus toward the press nearly as high a priority as boasting about himself at every opportunity.

Trump has regularly assailed reporters en masse, and very personally. He incites his acolytes, especially in rallies, against various media outlets and reporters, and hypocritically accused individual reporters of sedition. As an aside, writing an accurate story is only considered seditious in countries like North Korea and Saudi Arabia.

During the campaign Trump made a big deal out of wanting libel laws changed to make it easier to sue news outlets he considers spreading fake news; like accurate stories and stories that don’t acknowledge his divinity. He also uses “memes” of violence against news outlets and they are not humorous or inconsequential. They are highly successful incremental acts to incite his followers to violence against the free press.

Although this latest call for the Senate to investigate news outlets is an authoritarian dictator’s move, and it is no revelation that Trump wants the authority to censor the free press, there is the “vengeance” factor Trump is renowned for. Remember, it was the free press that reported every moronic word Trump uttered as well as reporting that Trump is connected to Russia; and that he lies more often than an infant soils its diaper. Those accurately reported stories are one of the reasons the public even knows why the Senate Intelligence Committee, like several other committees and 17 different intelligence agencies, are investigating the corrupt fascist. Getting vengeance on people he thinks wronged him is Trump’s admitted raison d’être. Now he thinks the White House gives him authority to “get back” at his perceived enemies and it explains his attacks on the NFL and now poses a serious threat to the free press.

It is uncertain if anything comes from this latest authoritarian move, at least legally and in the near future. But what is certain is that Trump continues instilling a violent distrust of the media, and the truth, into his feeble-minded acolytes and Americans too ridiculously stupid to recognize a corrupt fascist dictator when they see one.

There is no doubt Trump would unilaterally censor the media if it was within his power, but since he can’t he is doing the next best thing; calling on Congress to do his dirty work. If Trump succeeds, there will still be media in America, but it will be Alex Jones Infowars, Brietbart and Fox News, and the extremist evangelical networks; the only media Trump hasn’t attacked because they are the only groups spreading his fake news.

Putin And Trump Dangerously Commiserate Over “Hurtful” Media

 

There have been plenty of reports and commentary about how crucial to a functioning democracy a free press is, and although it is the 21st Century the term “media” has replaced “the free press” to include more than just newspapers. Even George W. Bush, often at odds with the media during his tenure as president, said in February last:

I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. We need the media to hold people like me to account. Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power.”

Whether one liked George W. Bush as president or not, and there are myriad reasons to criticize his administration, he never attacked the media. And in fact, he did pressure Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to “embrace a free press;” in February he warned that his efforts then are being undermined now by Trump’s attacks on the media.

It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves.”

Today it is actually a worse situation than Mr. Bush commented on four months ago and this weekend at the G20 Summit that was painfully obvious. It was bad enough that Trump disparaged the American intelligence community, real President Barack Obama and the media during a speech in Poland, but a brief exchange between Putin and Trump during their “private” meeting is a clarion call of alarm to American journalists and democracy.

It is unclear if demeaning the press was on the agenda for Trump and Putin’s alleged first one-one-one meeting at the G20 summit, but the subject definitely came up. The two fascists waited until reporters were convened to cover the “meeting” to “trade disparaging comments about the reporters” in the room doing their jobs.

During a scheduled photo op session prior to the highly anticipated private meeting between Trump and his hero Vladimir Putin, the Russian tyrant leaned in to Trump and pointed to the group of journalists in the room, and asked like a Mafia boss:

These are the ones hurting you?”

Trump replied, like a low-level street criminal crying to the Mafia Don:

These are the ones. You’re right about that.

What is unclear is whether or not Putin asked Trump if he wanted “his people” to “make the problem go away;” a prospect that is not remotely out of the realm of possibility.

The brief exchange between the two fascists, Putin and Trump, drew less outcry than expected from journalists, although a few of them did cite what they termed “the troubling media landscape in Moscow.” Now it should be particularly troubling for American journalists that Trump was personally commiserating with the murderous Putin about journalists he agreed were “hurting” him.

In Trump and Putin’s authoritarian worldview, “hurting a corrupt leader” is code for the media doing doing its job reporting the news and events as they happen. The exchange is especially troubling because nearly 60 journalists have been executed in Russia since 1993; including Vladimir Putin’s critics and those reporting on Russia’s storied political corruption.

Although it’s true Trump isn’t yet ordering his minions to start murdering journalists, he is doing the next best thing; calling the American media “the enemy of the people” and claiming any story failing to praise him “fake news.”

Add to that incitement, Trump putting up a doctored video this past week of him beating CNN senseless, and then his punk-ass son sharing a video of Trump shooting down a jet with CNN superimposed on it; a “meme” junior Trump claimed was “one of the best I’ve seen.”

There has already been action on Trump’s behalf by his Nazi supporters who started identifying CNN employees (doxing) so other fascists could harass and intimidate what Trump identified as “enemies of the people,” and issue threats to “hunt down their children” That includes CNN journalists getting death threats. And, as no small number of pundits noted, Trump’s attacks on the media at home and abroad are exactly what other tyrants want to hear to justify their attacks on the press, often murderous attacks.

The president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haas said,

“Potus disparaging abroad of US media dilutes respect for American democracy & gives license to autocrats to crack down on their own media.”

NBC’s Chuck Todd added:

A trashing of the American press corps and Intel community in Eastern Europe of all places. Could Putin have asked for anything more?”

As former President Bush said, “the media is indispensable to democracy,” and that “it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power.” Those two comments inform exactly why Donald Trump is waging a seriously dangerous war against a free press and by extension America’s fragile democracy. Like any aspiring fascist tyrant, Trump detests the concept of democracy and he wants to continue abusing his power without criticism, much less reporting.

Although Trump’s attendance at the G20 signaled an end to American leadership in global economics, trade and foreign policy, it did give Americans some insight into how much Trump really is like Vladimir Putin. And if Americans believe it is only a frightening prospect for the media, they haven’t been paying attention to the inhumane conditions in Putin’s authoritarian Russia. But not to worry, at the rate Trump is aspiring to be like Vlad, they are about to experience Russian-style tyranny right here in America.

Taxpayers To Fund Trump’s Global Alt-Right Propaganda Network

 

Of all the things Donald Trump hates about America and particularly the U.S. Constitution, besides a robust system of checks and balances to prevent him becoming emperor he despises freedom of the press. The aspiring tyrant has made little secret that he would imprison any journalist who failed to report on the greatness of Donald Trump or that the entire world didn’t support him; if not for that pesky First Amendment. Trump has stated often that the only news Americans will ever need are whatever lies come out of his mouth or through his Twitter feed. Absolutely anything else, according to Trump, is “fake news.

In an attempt to expand his reach in excess of social media, and to seize control of a large sector of the media, Trump made two moves this week that would impress Adolf Hitler’s Reich Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels (sod off Godwin). The despicable actions are in preparation for a taxpayer-funded Trump propaganda network that will have worldwide coverage as the official alt-right news outlet of the United States of America as presented by the Trump.

First, when Trump provided waivers for his senior staff giving them permission to disregard ethical conflict of interest laws, he made sure Brietbart chief Steve Bannon has free rein to run the alt-right conspiracy site from his White House position funded by taxpayers. As noted In the Washington Post, The waiver gives Bannon “permission to communicate with Breitbart News, the conservative website he used to run.” What the authority to violate ethics and conflict of interest rules really does is give Bannon unchallenged authority to “run a pro-Trump propaganda outlet with a sordid history of white supremacist content, while working in his taxpayer-financed White House position.

It is no surprise that Breitbart championed Trump; there were rumors from Breitbart employees that Trump was paying the alt-right news site to do his campaigning. Breibart is a perfect fit for Trump because Bannon boasted regularly that the conspiracy site was “the platform for the alt-right;” the misogynist, white supremacist, anti-immigration movement that is now a dominant force within the conservative movement and running Trump’s administration.

To accompany Bannon’s new authority to use Brietbart as the official White House domestic media outlet, or use his White House position to set the editorial direction of his and Trump’s alt-right perspective via Brietbart, Trump is preparing to install a Bannon devotee as the CEO of the “taxpayer-funded Broadcasting Board of Governors.” Although that position may seem like just a title and a thank-you gift appointment to Bannon, it is a position with worldwide reach and the implications that it will be Trump’s personal alt-right (Nazi) propaganda network are as certain as the knowledge that the Sun will rise in the East.

The position of CEO of Broadcasting Board of Governors has purview over “the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and the Middle East Broadcast Network. Those taxpayer-funded networks combined reach over 278 million people around the world and broadcast to 100 different countries in 61 languages.” Now those millions in 100 different countries will experience the world as told by “the voice of Trump;” and it will be regarded as officially the voice of the America.

As one might expect from a government operation, previous CEOs of the Broadcasting Board of Governors had well-founded experience as journalists and with the media; they certainly were not partisan political activists or alt-right fascists.  For example, John Lansing, the current BBG CEO was the president of Scripps Networks and prior to him Andy Lack, the current president of NBC News held the CEO position. Now a Steve Bannon zealot will lead the BBG and if any American thought there was a built in protection against partisanship in taxpayer-funded media, they are going to be disappointed.

As Oliver Willis noted, “In the past the [CEO] position was walled off from directly controlling the output of the network by a bipartisan board. But Republicans in Congress disbanded the board in a provision tucked into the Defense Authorization Act that passed in December.”

One anonymous senior government official fretted to Politico that, “The White House could theoretically use the BBG for any kind of messaging” and there is no doubt in most people’s minds that Trump and Bannon will use the BBG for the same “mendacious messaging” as that seen daily in Trump’s tweets. Another Republican official told Politico a few months ago that “There’s some fear among the folks here that the firewall will get diminished and attacked and fall victim to propaganda.” Apparently that “Republican official” failed to see that his congressional Republicans decimated that firewall in December, possibly to make it easier for Trump’s worldwide propaganda network to operate unimpeded.

To get an idea of the type of person Trump wants spreading his lies and propaganda around the world, besides being a Bannon-Breitbart disciple, Michael Pack has no journalism experience; save being a worshipper of Steve Bannon and Breitbart. Pack is currently the president and CEO of the Claremont Institute, an organization the Chronicle of Higher Education described as the “academic home of Trumpism.” As an aside, use of the words academic and any variant of Trump in the same sentence is the definition of an oxymoron.

Under Pack’s leadership, Claremont Institute has been a staunch supporter of Rush Limbaugh’s misogynistic and racist radio show and has been instrumental in keeping it on air via expensive ads sponsoring his program, his racism and his misogyny. In fact, Claremont under Pack’s leadership gave Limbaugh its Winston Churchill Statesmanship Award, and now its CEO will be running the BBG as CEO to spread Trump’s alt-right racism and bigotry around the world; paid for with taxpayer dollars.

During the campaign Trump threatened to start his own media empire, but that was prior to being installed in the White House by the Russians and emoprogs. Now that he has taxpayer money at his disposal, he is starting his own media and news network to spread alt-right propaganda around the world as the official voice of America.

Conservative Pundits Are Abandoning Trump in Droves

 

Ardent sports fans comprehend that it is a completely natural tendency, and duty, to support their favorite team regardless of their win-loss record, or if a team member makes an embarrassing public misstep. It is no different in the sport of politics. Republicans support their own and it is the same with Democrats. This is particularly true for the team leader; never waver in support for the man or woman at the top.

In the case of Republicans, their standard bearer is a man they have known all along was ill-equipped to ever be in the White House and that is not including Trump’s predilection to criminal behavior, authoritarianism and blatant unrepentant corruption. Republicans certainly were aware of Trump’s corruption because no “renowned” business man declares bankruptcy six times and still maintains a multi-billion dollar business empire; shady deals have been a staple of Trump’s so-called business acumen but the Republican establishment and conservative punditry supported him all the same.

Apparently, to protect the conservative “brand,” the Republican brand, right-wing columnists discarded any sense of decency they may have developed over the years and fully embraced and supported the Trump directly after the election, but now they are finally showing signs that they recognize their folly and are speaking out. It isn’t entirely clear if finding their voices is to distance themselves from Trump to protect their credibility or the conservative brand, but at least they are speaking out.

Three noted conservative columnists have made cases against Trump’s fitness for the White House gig and they have argued points that Democrats and those of us on the left have trumpeted since long before Trump won the Republican nomination, not the election. What is very telling is that Republicans and conservative pundits and writers witnessed the same Trump behavior as Democrats and liberals for well over a year, but they embraced him as a demigod anyway because he carried the home team’s flag.

Erick Erickson is one conservative who heartily embraced Trump post-election, but his tune changed this week after it was revealed that Trump exposed highly-classified intelligence to the Russians. Erickson “reported” that according to a White House insider:

What Trump did  is far worse than what is being reported. The President does not seem to realize or appreciate that his bragging can undermine relationships with our allies and with human intelligence sources. He also does not seem to appreciate that his loose lips can get valuable assets in the field killed.”

Unlike many conservatives, Erickson is not defending Trump’s mammoth blunder because he knows one of the sources intimately and trusts their word explicitly. Erickson was defending the “source’s” need to “leak” the information because he understands it is the only way to stop Trump and protect national security. He said:

If the President, through inexperience and ignorance, is jeopardizing our national security and will not take advice or corrective action, what other means are available to get the President to listen and recognize the error of his ways?”

David Brooks, NYT’s conservative columnist penned an opinion piece titled “When the World Is Led By a Child.” In the conservative’s article he writes:

Trump is an infantalist. There are three tasks that most mature adults have sort of figured out by the time they hit 25. Trump has mastered none of them. Immaturity is becoming the dominant note of his presidency, lack of self-control his leitmotif.”

It is worth the short read to get to the finer points Brooks clearly makes about why Trump is ill-equipped to be president, besides acting like “a 7-year-old boy who is bouncing around the classroom.” Brooks also notes that Trump is “the all-time record-holder of the Dunning-Kruger effect; the phenomenon in which the incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence.”

Although Brooks goes through a litany of accurate assessments of Trump’s childish behavior, he seems to be most concerned, and rightly so, that:

The Russian leak story reveals one other thing, the dangerousness of a hollow man. Our institutions depend on people who have enough engraved character traits to fulfill their assigned duties. But there is perpetually less to Trump than it appears. When we analyze a president’s utterances we tend to assume that there is some substantive process behind the words, that it’s part of some strategic intent.”

Obviously, Brooks is stating that Trump has no strategic intent, but he also knows like everyone on the left that Trump never had any “strategic intent.” He has known that obvious fact since Trump entered the race for the presidency, and yet he reined in his criticism to protect the conservative brand that Trump is decimating every day he occupies the White House.

New York Times conservative columnist Ross Douthat proposed using the 25th Amendment as opposed to impeachment to get Trump out of the Oval Office; a place he shouldn’t be allowed to visit, much less occupy. Douthat fairly summed up what kind of mess Republicans are desperate to get away from despite his “exhortations” to them a few days ago about fulfilling their duty to America. He wrote:

If the G.O.P.’s surrender to candidate Trump made exhortations about Republican politicians’ duty to their country seem like so much pointless verbiage, now President Trump has managed to make exhortation seem unavoidable again.”

Douthat  explained that Trump lacks even the basic traits necessary to be president, traits Trump wouldn’t know if they walked up to him, introduced themselves and then smacked that silly orange right off his face. Douthat wrote:

One needs some basic attributes: a reasonable level of intellectual curiosity, a certain seriousness of purpose, a basic level of managerial competence, a decent attention span, a functional moral compass, a measure of restraint and self-control. And if a president is deficient in one or more of them, you can be sure it will be exposed.”

Douthat ends his piece with an open and public appeal to Republican leaders to put an end to the “team’s” and the country’s nightmare before Trump can inflict too much damage on the “brand” and the nation. He wrote:

I respectfully ask Mike Pence and Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to reconsider their support for a man who never should have had his party’s nomination, never should have been elevated to this office, never should have been endorsed and propped up and defended by people who understood his unfitness all along.” (author bold)

It isn’t often, if ever, that a conservative of any stripe echoes the deep-seated sentiment of Democrats and the left even if they tacitly agree. But in this case, in pleading with Republicans to do the right thing and stop defending a corrupt, incompetent criminal, something liberal columnists have called for since Trump was inaugurated, Douthat is saying exactly what the left started screaming about a year ago. Except at this juncture, and amid the daily revelations that Donald Trump is as corrupt as he is criminal, removing Trump from office because he is unfit to serve is not going to cut it. Trump needs to impeached and sent to prison along with every last one of his subordinates who aided or covered for his disastrous and criminal administration.

Nate Silver is Right – Democrats Are Lying To Themselves

 

It’s probably the case that every human being has experienced recurring nightmares and for some political observers this election is shaping up to be yet another disaster, for Democrats. One might think all Americans were aware that polling and election outcome predictions are not reliable, especially after the past two or three election cycles where Democrats were crushed in congressional and state-level races even after outrageous reporting that Republican governors, legislators and state representatives were destroyed by this or that Democrat leading up to voting day. This nightmare scenario is raising its ugly head and it appears that only Nate Silver is aware that Democrats are lying to themselves if they think Donald Trump can’t defeat Hillary Clinton.

Democrats know Nate Silver and yet it appears they have little regard for an “ominous warning” he recently issued:

There’s still a lot of denial among Democrats about how tight the race has become, despite evidence from high-quality polls.”

One of the big problems, and it is huge, is that although many voters claim they don’t support Trump and are highly-unlikely to vote for him in public, when queried anonymously, they do support the television celebrity and will be ticking a box with his name next to it in November. But, one might say, the polls show Hillary crushing Trump and pundits keep claiming the Republican Party is all but destroyed. However, according to experts like Thomas Edsall, some Trump voters are lying to the pollsters. In a prescient, but ignored op-ed a couple of months back, Mr. Edsall asked, “How Many People Support Trump but Don’t Want to Admit It?” The answer is probably a lot, and a lot means a Clinton win is not nearly as likely as Democrats want to believe.

There is something known amongst pollsters as “social desirability bias; the desire of respondents to avoid embarrassment.” Some voters refuse to tell a live interviewer that they support a candidate like Trump because he is offensive and outrageous. But like most establishment Republicans publicly rejecting Trump and claiming to support Hillary Clinton, once they’re in the privacy of the voting booth on November 8, they will, without hesitation, cast their secret ballot for every Republican up and down the ballot; including the Republican candidate for president.

According to real experts, in matchups between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Trump does much better in polls that are conducted online where a respondent, in the privacy of their computer screen, can tick a box next to Trump’s name sans embarrassment. In fact, it is a completely different story when they are faced with responding to a human being’s voice in person-to-person polls by landline and cellphone surveys.

To make the point clearer, Real Clear Politics aggregated 10 separate telephone polls giving Hillary Clinton a respectable nine point national advantage over Trump. However, the combined results of two online surveys conducted by YouGov and Morning Consult, Clinton’s lead fell to only four points. It’s why Nate Silver is right in saying Democrats are in denial if they think Donald Trump can’t win in November.

To re-emphasize the point, Nate Silver ran a national presidential poll about two weeks ago and to say the results are shocking is an understatement. In telephone calls where a live person asks a respondent to “disclose their preference to a living person,” Hillary Clinton polls at a very strong 86 percent. However, in Silver’s online and “robo” polls conducted over the Internet and in private, Clinton polls a whopping 15 percent lower, coming in at only 71 percent.

Where Democrats and liberal pundits alike have to start being honest is admitting that no matter how offensive and dangerous Donald Trump may be, and he certainly is both, he is the Republican Party standard bearer. That he is a racist, bigot, misogynist and inept at everything just endears him a bit more to the preponderance of ignorant Americans who will flock to the polls to vote for a celebrity they’ve watched on their televisions.

Americans are also memory challenged besides ignorant and all of the offensive and hateful remarks by Trump, even targeting Veterans and women, are already long-forgotten by many prospective voters. Remember, that even after shutting down the government six months before the 2014 midterms, Republicans who pundits claimed were finished easily won their races.

Democrats can never assume the voters are dependable according to their responses in polls and surveys, but they can, and damn well should assume that when they hit the voting booth in November the preponderance of racists, religious, and bigoted Republicans and their independent or first-time voting brethren will pull the lever or tick the box for the Republican. That his name is Donald Trump is of no consequence; he will have an “R” beside his name and he promised to protect their Christian heritage and make America great again. It is meaningless to informed Americans, but it cements the deal for conservatives.

 

This article was originally set for publication Sept. 15, 2016

Washington Post Offers Brilliant and Reasoned Endorsement of Hillary Clinton

Anyone familiar with a newspaper editorial board’s process of deciding which candidate to endorse for any office in any election will confess it can be a lengthy and sometimes contentious task. Two weeks ago when the New York Times editorial board endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, anyone with a pulse could see the board did its due diligence and put forward a well-researched and well-conceived rationale for endorsing Clinton. Late this week, the Washington Post weighed in on the presidential election and officially endorsed Hillary Clinton and gave what is arguably the most well thought-out and clearly reasoned endorsement of any candidate in recent memory.

Although the Post methodically laid out its reasons for endorsing Ms. Clinton, the editorial’s first paragraph really said everything any of their readers needed to know about Clinton as a superior choice over not just Donald Trump, but any candidate from any party.

There is a well-qualified, well-prepared candidate on the ballot. Hillary Clinton has the potential to be an excellent president of the United States, and we endorse her without hesitation.”

In similar fashion of the NYT’s endorsement, the Post did not focus on why Donald Trump is “dreadful” or why Clinton is the “lesser of two evils;” because it is not why the board endorsed her. However, like any thoughtful endorsement it did not shy away from why it believes, right or wrong, that some Americans dislike and distrust the former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator. The piece carefully explained how and why it believes Hillary could have handled the past 25 years of conservative attacks on her character better.

Interestingly, the endorsement did note what it called Clinton’s “genuine flaws, missteps and weaknesses;” of which one, a lack of charisma, the board considered an asset in America’s “angrily divided nation” where, if elected, she will have to govern and work with a political party “determined to thwart her.”

It is worth taking the 4 minutes to read the Post’s endorsement, but there was one specific point that stands out as justification for the opening paragraph about Clinton being “well-qualified and well-prepared” to be “an excellent president.”

In a few words with significant weight behind them, the Post said Hillary Clinton is “dogged, resilient, purposeful and smart. She does not let her feelings get in the way of the job at hand. She is well positioned to get something done,” and she will not be deterred from progress by a defeat no matter how brutal.

The Post specifically noted that instead of holding “some grudges” toward Republicans who “lambasted her husband in the most personal terms” during an impeachment fiasco, after winning election to the Senate in 2000 “colleagues in both parties found her to be businesslike, knowledgeable, intent on accomplishment, willing to work across the aisle and less focused than most on getting credit.”

On domestic issues, the Post remarked that “Ms. Clinton’s agenda is commendable, and parts may actually be achievable: immigration reform; increased investment in infrastructure, research and education, paid for by higher taxes on the wealthy; sounder family-leave policies; criminal-justice reform. In an era of slowing growth and growing income inequality, these all make sense, as do her support for curbing climate change and for regulating gun ownership.”

On all of those issues, the editorial board noted that Clinton may not please some farther-left Democrats or hard-right Republicans, but because this is a divided America and progress comes in excruciatingly painful incremental steps, her steady hand, knowledge, and intent on accomplishment by working across the aisle will achieve results; if only incrementally.

What was surprising, really, was the Post’s remark that “Ms. Clinton underlined her fitness for office in what was essentially the first major decision of her potential presidency: her choice of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) as running mate.” The Post noted, rightly, that “Ms. Clinton selected a person of sound judgment, with executive and legislative experience and unquestionable capacity to serve as president if necessary.” It was an executive-level choice that demonstrated Clinton’s “seriousness of purpose and relentless commitment to achievements in the public interest” instead of making a choice based on exciting “this or that part of her base.”

The Post ended its endorsement with a point that did not have to be made and really did nothing to substantiate the worth of a major newspaper’s otherwise brilliant endorsement. It said, “We believe that Ms. Clinton will prove a worthy example to girls who celebrate the election of America’s first female president. We believe, too, that anyone who votes for her will be able to look back, four years from now, with pride in that decision.”

Anyone who supports or votes for Hillary Clinton should not do so based on her gender regardless the historical or role model value for girls or women. The only reason to support Clinton’s candidacy is because she is “well-qualified and well-prepared to be an excellent president;” the most important reason offered by the Washington Post editorial board.

 

h/t shoq

Media Ignores Legitimate Federal Rape Case Against Donald Trump

If Americans plagued with the task of observing and commenting on the state of American politics haven’t already figured it out, America’s mainstream media certainly detests strong intelligent women. If that were not the case, and it definitely is, the media would eschew the proliferation of phony Republican claims about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and start focusing on legitimate scandals involving their favorite “man of the year” Donald Trump. No, this isn’t about Trump’s illegal campaign contribution to a corrupt Florida attorney general,or his ties to Russian oligarchs, or his failure to pay income taxes; it is about the legitimate child rape case against an avowed misogynist the GOP felt comfortable nominating as their standard bearer seeking the White House.

As misogynists go, now that the American queen of misogyny, Phyllis Schlafly, is dead, Donald Trump surely ranks as America’s greatest and most visible woman hater and has the right to claim Schlafly’s crown. If the big-time wrestling and reality television celebrity wasn’t defaming women as “dogs, slobs and pigs,” he was attacking a Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly for asking him a question that Trump claimed was unprofessional because she was menstruating. Add to those anti-women credentials his attack on the appearance of another Republican candidate, Carly Fiorina, and Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi.

It is no surprise, then, that Trump is facing a very real, and very credible, federal lawsuit accusing the Republican nominee for president of raping a 13-year old girl during a party hosted by a billionaire and convicted pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein. Although this has been ongoing for some time, now more than ever the mainstream media should be delving into to case after a federal judge announced a pre-trial conference scheduled for September 9 was rescheduled for October 14th. The judge gave the plaintiff extra time to “legally” serve defendants Donald J. Trump and a man Trump said was a “really neat guy,” and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein who was present during the “alleged” child sex abuse.

As a side note, even pretend journalists are encouraged to use the “alleged” because Trump is not yet convicted, but there is plenty of evidence pointing to Trump’s guilt; primarily from Trump himself. There is, however, a good reason to believe there is validity to the victims charge if for no other reason than there is an eye witness accounting of the brutal child rape of a 13-year old girl by the man the GOP establishment want sitting in the Oval Office to make America even more exceptionally Republican.

Eye witness account aside, there is the account of Epstein who was with Trump at the time of the “alleged” child rape. Epstein, a now-disgraced investment banker and “good buddy” of Trump’s, was previously accused of running a “sexual abuse ring” involving underage girls and providing them to high-powered clients and wealthy businessmen like Donald Trump. Epstein was successfully convicted of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution and served 13 months in prison after pleading guilty.

Even setting aside the two other allegations of “violent rape” against Trump, it is prescient to consider his decades worth of contempt for, and debasing comments about, women in general, but especially those he has worked with. The misogynist king takes great pride in his “longstanding and well-documented” record of objectifying the gender he decreedhave to be treated like shit.”

Trump’s contemptible record of abusing women is an important point in claiming this rape charge is completely believable; because according to American Psychological Association (APA), “men who objectify women are more likely to become perpetrators of sexual violence; just as one with a long history of overtly racist comments is more likely to commit a hate crime.” One would add that a child who enjoys torturing and killing animals is more likely than not to torture and kill human beings in later life with Jeffrey Dahmer being a prime example psychologists cite often.

As noted here, “Decades of abusive language [targeting women] does not make Trump a rapist, but it does show who the man is: a callous, mean-spirited misogynist who no sane person would leave alone with their daughter.” And, as acclaimed American poet Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they really are, believe them.”

Trump has revealed who he is and what he thinks of the fairer sex that makes the allegations he is a child rapist very believable. If the main stream media would take a second out of focusing on Hillary Clinton coughing, or slipping on icy stairs, or using email to give attention to a legitimate charge of child rape against the Republican nominee for president, perhaps his ardent supporters would pause and realize they are enamored with a dirty lying pedophile.

Bernie Sanders Didn’t Lie – He Blamed Media Because He Believed a Lie

 

It is, or it can be, easy to get caught up during a hotly-contested campaign and make statements that one might reconsider making after the fact. But if that  is the case, the wise thing to do is “walk back” the offending statement as elegantly as possible and if the statement was based on a gross error, or dog forbid a blatant lie, then admit the misstep, apologize, and move forward with the campaign.

Over the past couple of days all the rage has been the two Democratic candidates for the nomination claiming their opponent is “unqualified to be president.” The only problem is that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton never said Senator Bernie Sanders is unqualified to be president; even though she was given three prime opportunities to do so.

In fact, Mrs. Clinton was pressured by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, three times, to state categorically that “Senator Sanders is not qualified to be president.” She refused to be dragged into what is typical of Republican politicians Scarborough is used to easily manipulating into saying what he wanted to hear. Hillary Clinton is not a Republican, and since she is very dedicated to maintaining Democratic unity, she was not about to be manipulated by the likes of “Morning Joe.”

Apparently, Senator Sanders, or his staff, failed to verify reports that Mrs. Clinton said on national television that he was unqualified to serve as president, so he reciprocated during a campaign speech. He said,

She has been saying, lately, that she thinks that I am quote-unquote ‘not qualified to be president.’ Let me just say in response to Secretary Clinton that I don’t believe she is qualified if she is, through her Super Pac, taking tens of millions from special interests.”

Now there are two specific problems with the Senator’s remarks. First and foremost; Hillary Clinton never said Sanders is unqualified despite being aggressively pressed on the issue three times. Second, taking special interest money does not make a candidate “unqualified to be president.”

If that were the case then Senator Sanders is as unqualified as he claims Mrs. Clinton is because he takes millions in special interest money as well; including from wealthy Hollywood elites and there is nothing wrong with it. It is, unfortunately, the nature of American politics and not a reason for either of Democratic candidates to be considered “unqualified” to serve.

What is wrong is that the Senator reacted negatively, and hastily, to something that never occurred. It is curious that no-one on his campaign staff alerted him that regardless what he might have heard, or wanted to believe about Mrs. Clinton, she refused to stoop so low as to say he was unqualified to serve despite being “aggressively pressed” three times. As one writer notedMrs. Clinton did what a ‘statesman’ would do;” take the high road to maintain unity with the Democratic base.

It took a day or so, but Senator Sanders did kind of walk back his statement regarding Mrs. Clinton’s qualifications to serve, but he blamed the media during a press conference yesterday for instigating his untoward remark about Mrs. Clinton’s qualifications. Senator Sanders even said he did not want to get into “that type of politics.”

This is not the type of politics that I want to get in, I know it’s what the media loves. It is not the type of politics that I want to get in, but let me also be very clear. If Secretary Clinton thinks that I just come from the small state of Vermont, we are not used to this, we will get used to it fast.”

Maybe that is how they apologize and say I made a mistake in  Vermont, but if that is the case it was unconvincing and likely irritated a few more on the left. The simplest thing to tell the press, his supporters, and the American people was not about being a victim of the media, but that he simply overreacted before vetting what he believed was a slight against his character and qualifications.

As noted by other columnists, “Simply calling your opponent ‘unqualified’ isn’t necessarily the wisest thing to do, but if it’s how you feel, it also isn’t necessarily earth-shattering heresy.”  Unless, however, that comment is based on a blatant lie with video verification it was a blatant lie; no matter where the lie originated. Senator Sanders’ comment rankled Hillary supporters and no small number of Democrats,  but a different response from the Senator would have allowed them to get over it and have a new sense of respect for Bernie and his campaign.

Even after learning it was lie, it was  unforgivable to shift the blame to the media; it is what Republicans do and it is beneath Senator Sanders as a man of integrity. It does not take any effort to say “I was wrong, I overreacted and I shouldn’t have; I apologize.” A comment like that would go a long ways to combat the “Bernie Lied” articles making the rounds on the Internet. What Bernie did was overreact to a lie, but made it worse by blaming the media instead of his campaign.

As yet another columnist commented, this nominating primary is not some kind of amateur game without serious consequences for the entire nation. It is all well and good to fight for the nomination, but as noted here, here, and here, anything serving to divide the left is a win for Republicans. It is exactly why the Karl Rove types are spending tens-of-millions to feed the “Left’s” smear campaign against Mrs. Clinton’s character.

Senator Sanders says he does not want to get into dirty politicking and that he wants to lead the most powerful nation on earth.  But as mentioned here, “if he can’t admit a simple mistake or apologize for it – which is what blame-shifting amounts to – his qualifications for the Democratic nomination may be fine. It’s his character that becomes a matter of debate.”

It is too bad that instead of a simple apology and “a strong walk-back by Senator Sanders himself,” Bernie made it look like he can be easily manipulated by a headline; one he was quick to blame for leading him to engage in exactly “the type of politics” he says does not want to get into. It is too late though, because blaming the media just defined the “type of politics” the Democratic campaign is now into and that is indeed very sad and unproductive.