Saturday, December 7, 2019

Wow, Fox News Refusing to Allow a Trump Lie to Stand: Calling Him Out

It is easy to sit back and be all cool about shit, and talk about the rubes who watch Fox News, and the stuff they want to believe so badly that they talk themselves into it. I do challenge people, however, to consider the impact upon you if you unknowingly throw yourself into a highly professional propaganda machine. Propaganda is a well-studied science and no one does it better than the Russians, and their nationalist far-right sympathizers. For that precise reason, it matters when Fox News refuses to back a Trump lie. Indeed, one of Trump’s latest was such whopper that even Neil Cavuto admitted he didn’t even know “where to begin” to debunk the lie. First, the lie, as reported by Huffington Post: Trump on Friday told White House reporters that “the tariffs are not being paid for by our people” but “by China” because “of devaluation and because they’re pumping money in.” “Remember this, our country is taking in billions and billions of dollars from China,” the president added. “We never took in 10 cents from China. And out of that many billions of dollars, we’re taking a part of it and giving it to the farmers because they’ve been targeted by China. The farmers, they come out totally whole.” Do you understand macro-economics? I do not. But, I listen to people who DO understand economics, and I find it straightforward when they explain that the cost of tariffs are simply passed directly on to the consumers. Okay, that makes total sense. Evidently, making sense is important enough to Neil Cavuto that he will – on rare occasions – call Trump out on the lie: “I don’t know where to begin here,” responded Cavuto, who on Wednesday entered into a war of words with Fox Business host Lou Dobbs about the government deficit under Trump. “But just to be clarifying, China isn’t paying these tariffs. You are. You know, indirectly and sometimes directly,” he explained. “It’s passed along to you through American distributors and their counterparts in the United States that buy this stuff from the Chinese and then have to pay these surcharges. Not the Chinese government or China in particular.” Yes, do note that it was Lou Dobbs’ show in which Cavuto appeared, and certainly note that dangerous and never-to-be-sufficiently-damned Lou Dobbs will carry the water for Trump, regardless of the truth. But anytime there is an “argument” at Fox News about Trump, you can bet that over half of Fox’s audience knows it’s due to water finding its way through “truth cracks” in the propaganda dam. The audience may not “care,” they might “immunize” themselves from the truth by not caring, but they do hear it. I find that important. As I noted in a previous article, breaking Trump is about breaking the mystique. The mystique pervades most strongly in the cable propaganda set up specifically to propel him forward. If Fox tells their viewers that Trump lied to them, on any one thing, it makes that voter/viewer more wary of the next lie. And this is not some “meaningless” lie. This is about money in that American’s pocket. If that voter visits Walmart tomorrow and notes the shoes “seem” more expensive than expected, there will be a part of their brain that entertains the possibility: “Am […]

The Press Pool Report Shows Trump Was Playing Golf At Time Of Raid, Not...

Another day, another delusion from the White House, set forth for the purpose of gaslighting the American people. Obama photographer Pete Souza compared the time stamp of the photo of the Serious White Men that Dan Scavino tweeted out, and the actual time of the al-Bahgdadi raid. The raid, as reported, took place at 3:30PM Washington time. The photo, as shown in the camera IPTC data, was taken at "17:05:24". — Pete Souza (@PeteSouza) October 27, 2019 It was asked on Twitter if they all could have been there two hours later. “Sure, it’s possible,” Souza replied. However, there’s another tell, other than the time stamp, to let you know this photo is a phony. They’re all staring into the camera, which in a real war room situation, is not the case. Souza’s war room photographs are taken from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. Here’s an example. The propaganda never ends with the Trump admin. For those who need to cleanse their eyes with a picture that wasn't staged … — Denise Shearin (@DeniseShearin) October 27, 2019 Above is the Osama bin Laden moment that Trump is desperately trying to create for himself. The Baghdadi raid reportedly took place yesterday at 3:30PM EST. According to yesterday's pool report, Trump and crew didn't leave Trump National Golf Club until 3:30PM EST. So, as Pete Souza points out, the Trump "war room" photo tweeted by @DanScavino was clearly staged. — Avi Bueno (@Avi_Bueno) October 27, 2019 Additionally, the subsequent pool report indicates they didn't return to the White House until 4:18PM, at which point "Trump was spotted walking in wearing navy blue pullover and red cap". — Avi Bueno (@Avi_Bueno) October 27, 2019 Personally, I like the unconnected cables a lot. Nice touch. I used to work on B-movies as a young woman and we weren’t that sloppy — but I can well believe that the White House is less professional than a non-union no-budget crew. But we know that Trump only employs the “best people” and that includes IT, right? So, this has to be the real thing. Right??? The orange one in the center (cable, not person) is my favorite. I fantasize that it’s the cable that Putin attaches to Trump to keep the big blowhard pumped up and lying. Or maybe it’s the equivalent of a shock collar, and Putin wants Trump to have it in sight at all times, to remind him who’s boss. Sweet Jesus, where do we go from here? What’s down wind of faking a war room photo? What can possibly stink worse than this? Iconic. The sign & grin photo-op 45th so-called president of the US. All dressed up for Halloween with ‘his generals’; pitifully still trying to best @BarackObama. Never. Trump: Always Queens. Never Manhattan. — Plmnmo (@Plmnmo) October 27, 2019 Poets have said, maybe life is but a dream. I don’t know about that, but I do know that the Trump administration is nothing.but.a.sham/scam.  
@Rob_Rogers / Twitter I really hope both Rudy and 1569672885.jpg...

Editorial Cartoons and Artwork – Quid Pro Quo Edition

Here are some of the best editorial cartoons this week — mainly focused on the whistleblower complaint which has uncovered much of the treasonous wrongdoings of the past two and half years and has...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr trump pence...

Trump’s “Worst Kept Secret in DC” Could Take Down Pence and Barr

Whoa. It appears that his week’s breaking story, Trump withholding Ukrainian aid in an attempt to extort Ukraine into investigating Biden, is not a breaking story within the DC “beltway.” People “in the know” have known for months. This is more than just an interesting aside, it has direct implications for who may be going to jail, or impeached, including Mike Pence and William Barr. The notes and transcript may have been contained in a top-secret server, but it certainly was not “top secret.” From Rawstory: Scarborough said he and Brzezinski heard almost two months ago from a former Department of Defense official that Trump was holding up the aid as leverage, and he said the allegation was widely known. “It seemed to be the worst kept secret in Washington, D.C., that’s why Republicans denying a quid pro quo today is so laughable,” Scarborough said Now, if Joe and Mika knew of the story, having been told by a “Department of Defense” official, someone outside of the White House and outside the formal intelligence community, it defies belief that Mike Pence, and William Barr knew nothing about the threat. Speaking of Mike Pence, perhaps we didn’t appreciate Pence’s trip to Poland enough, at the time. We were too focused upon sharpies and hurricanes hitting Huntsville. But Pence had his eye on the ball, and a message from his boss, to give to the Ukrainian president, who was also in Poland at the time: Pence met with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky early this month in Poland, where he denied speaking about Biden but did admit to discussing corruption — which Trump has used as a code word for his efforts to investigate the former vice president’s son. Both Trump and Rudy Giuliani used “corruption” as the code word when they address the need to investigate Biden. It is hard for me, or anyone, to believe that Pence did not deliver the exact same message to Ukrainian president  Zelensky, “you must investigate Biden.” Pence could be destined for impeachment himself, especially if that discussion was more “express” in its quid pro quo. Though, of course that would be tough to prove. But, want to know who would “know” exactly what was discussed? Joe Scarborough assures us that John Bolton will know, and will talk. Pence is in real trouble. But the problems for the Trump crowd do not end there, because the fact that this was “widely known” among the right circles in Washington also means that Barr’s denial that he knew “anything” about what Trump said during the phone call, or had been asked to do anything, becomes less tenuous. James Maguire, the DNI who testified yesterday, said the complaint had been forwarded to the Department of Justice for investigation, and the DOJ declined to investigate the matter. Perhaps prior to today, we might have believed that the matter didn’t come to Barr’s attention. Though, to be sure, even that is doubtful, a complaint asking that the president be investigated for extortion is likely something of which the Attorney General would be aware. But, now that we know that this was the “worst kept secret” and that it had been making the rounds, all combined with the fact that the funds certainly had been withheld, makes it impossible to believe that Barr didn’t […]

Trump Presents Irish Cops w/Massive Bill, After They Guarded Him In June

One thing to be said about Donald Trump, he’s an equal opportunity grifter. Just get in his path, and if there’s a way he can fleece you, consider it done. Trump visited his Doonberg golf club when in Ireland last June. Dozens of Irish police were dispatched to guard him, and he has rewarded them for their service by presenting an enormous bill for food and coffee. When @realdonaldtrump made a side trip to his Irish golf club this summer, dozens of Irish cops were sent to protect him. Then Trump’s company charged the cops more than $100K for food and coffee. Here’s the bill: — David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) October 23, 2019 So, how many dozens of cops did they have? If they had 48 cops, then the cost for lunch and coffee would be over $2K per cop? My God, what did they have, mountains of lobster and caviar? I hope the Irish government sends back a bill to Trump for quadruple the amount for security services, and stiffs him on this bill, just to give him a taste of his own medicine. Can you imagine what G-7 would have cost the taxpayers if coffee and sandwiches for security guards cost this? The mind reels. And don’t forget, while this bill was being compiled, Donald Jr. and Eric were out on the town running up another one, at the local pubs, and stiffing the bar keep. No wonder this family is rich. We all could be if we operated this way.  

HA! Chris Wallace Says In Response To Trump Attack, ‘One Of Us Has Daddy...

Donald Trump just tweeted at Chris Wallace today. Maybe he’s hoping that Wallace will go the way of Shepard Smith. Somebody please explain to Chris Wallace of Fox, who will never be his father (and my friend), Mike Wallace, that the Phone Conversation I had with the President of Ukraine was a congenial & good one. It was only Schiff’s made up version of that conversation that was bad! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2019 Raw Story: It isn’t the first Time Trump has gone after the younger Wallace. In a 2015 debate where Trump attacked former Fox News host Megyn Kelly for “blood coming out of her wherever,” Trump also attacked Chris Wallace for not being as great as his father. “The great Mike Wallace was a friend of mine,” Trump said. “He was a tough cookie and he was great. And the son is only a tiny action of Mike, believe me.” If Trump’s comment ever stung him, Wallace is over it. “One of us has daddy issues, and it isn’t me,” he says. Trump does have Daddy issues. Right now, all he can talk about is how terrible Joe Biden and his son are. Trump claims to know all kinds of celebrities, because he’s such a hot shot himself. Does he not know that the well-adjusted sons of famous and successful fathers, the Michael Douglases and Rob Reiners of the world, are not comparing themselves to Dad, they’re being their own men? And because their fathers raised them to have confidence and forge their own path, they’re able to realize their own potential and not spend their lives enthralled to their fathers’ image and feeling inadequate — like Donald Trump? Trump’s neuroses and lack of self-awareness are getting so pronounced that even those of us who took a couple of psych classes in college can see his issues as clear as day. Pity he can’t. And just for the record, there’s no indication Mike Wallace was ever friends with Trump. He interviewed him once on “60 Minutes.” Mike Wallace interviewed thousands of people on that show, including an old landlord of mine who went to prison for Medicare fraud. Seriously. His name was Paul Zander. I guarantee you, Zander didn’t consider Mike Wallace a friend, au contraire. Wallace and his film crew showed up on the sidewalk outside Zander’s medical prosethetics shop in Westwood, while Zander, who was out on a huge bail bond, while awaiting adjudication of his case, stared out the shop window in disbelief. Things were bad enough when his two buddies from Iran, who managed to flee the country before the feds descended, left him holding the bag, I believe under the doctrine of joint and several liability, but don’t quote me. And then Mike Wallace showed up. It was not a good time. Walllace put people on the hot seat. Trump is actually lucky that Wallace deigned to waste a ten minute interview on him, he usually fried much bigger and more interesting fish. CBS News: “There are a lot of things to do,” Mr. Trump said. “You know, a fertile imagination and a fertile mind, Mike, it’s really amazing what can be thought of.” “Politics?” Wallace interjected. “No, not politics,” Mr. Trump said. “You said you could do a better […]

Trump Having Unplanned Medical Tests Today, Is This Preparation for an Out?

I spent an entire column detailing how Sondland could end Trump’s presidency in the coming week. Rudy Giuliani is set to be arrested at any time, and god only knows what Rudy could testify to. Roger Stone was convicted and may be tripping over himself to talk, just to get his sentence reduced, despite the fact that he’s already burned himself as a convicted perjurer. The Supreme Court may or may not decide to hear the case regarding Trump’s tax returns and the state of New York. The SCOTUS may decide this week that it won’t review the case, at which point Trump’s tax returns will be in the Manhattan DA’s hands by the end of the week. The SCOTUS’s decision about whether to take the case involving the Deutsche Bank records is also about to get to the SCOTUS. As we noted, the three ambassadors changed everything about the tone regarding impeachment this week. The tide has turned discerningly against Trump. It is within this environment that Trump took an unannounced trip to the doctor today at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC, purportedly in “anticipation of a long campaign year” and “taking advantage of a rare weekend off,” he went in for a medical review, and we now know that review involved some tests. Some will tell us that “all is normal.” Except this appointment, coming unannounced, is not at all normal. Per MSN: The appointment wasn’t on his weekend public schedule that was released Friday night, and his last physical was in February. Press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the 73-year-old Trump was “anticipating a very busy 2020’’ and wanted to take advantage of “a free weekend’’ in Washington to begin “portions of his routine’’ checkup. She was not more specific about the testing. Is it possible that Trump is laying the groundwork for an “out”? “He is too ill to continue as president.” I am not the only one questioning how a non-emergency doctor’s appointment could become so necessary, so quickly, not the least because there is literally a physician on call at the White House at all times, and a small clinic within the facility. To go out of that environment means that “something” else is going on. Very interesting. — Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) November 16, 2019 Probably not. And yet, it is always good to have options, no? Trump is Trump. He is not going to throw his hands up, yell “Ya got me!” and put his hands behind his head. He will lie, cheat, steal, whatever it takes to retain whatever power, money, sympathy, and any other redeeming quality he thinks he can retain, by whatever means necessary. Including playing “sick” and handing the reigns over to Pence, who then pardons Trump and his family “so he can work on his health.” Keep an eye on it. UPDATE: Reviewing Twitter, there is a great deal of irresponsible speculation about drug abuse, which is one hell of an allegation to throw around without any proof (one can admit one is speculating, as we often do, but not make a direct accusation). There is this update by the press secretary, Bagdad Bob: From Stephanie Grisham: “After a quick exam and labs, the President is headed back downtown.The President remains healthy and energetic without complaints, […]
Kurres Edlund / Flickr Kushner Cos filed false documents with...

Kushner to the Rescue: Trump Taps Jared to Lead Impeachment Defense

Lest you worried that Trump would understand the seriousness of the charges against him, and invest in the swampiest of the experienced swamp-monster attorneys in DC, fear not. Trump got a public defender. Jared. From Rawstory: As reported by CNN on Friday, the president is relying on Kushner and chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to come up with a plan aimed at beating back investigations launched by House Democrats into the president’s efforts to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political opponents… Kushner has been the mastermind behind some of Trump’s biggest mistakes as president, most notably the decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, which led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller and the conviction of multiple Trump associates for a wide array of offenses. If someone attempted to impeach me for the presidential crime of the century, I would be lining up the absolute best attorneys in NYC and DC, with a minimum of thirty years experience each, people who have tackled serious issues before, and won. Thankfully, it is Trump that is accused of abusing the powers of his office, not me. I get abused by my office. The internet is having a great time with the inspired choice: This is unfortunate news for the world. Now, who's going to solve the Middle East peace problem? — Jeff Dannenberg (@jecrda) October 4, 2019 😂😂😂😂😂 Kushner and Mulvaney to head impeachment defense. To my knowledge, Kushner does not have a law degree. TRUMP IS SCREWED! — Sherrie Kaw (@89wunderlust) October 4, 2019 To my knowledge, Jared’s tuition at Harvard (for undergrad) was well over a million dollars, that was the amount his father had to give the university to get his son admitted. F’ing moron. And, to remind everyone here of the stakes, and the need to keep an eye on “Kush” because he’s been known to “do whatever it takes:” Trump has tapped son in law Jared Kushner to lead his impeachment defense. While Jared is a repulsive and inept creature, we should not be overconfident. He has friends with bone saws who carve up journalists. — Jim David (@ComicJimDavid) October 4, 2019 Still, it could be much worse. Trump could have tapped someone who might have formed a plan, based upon experience, legal principles, and intelligence. Instead, he went to Jared. **** Peace, y’all Jason, and on Twitter: @MiciakZoom  
Don Irivne / Flickr steve bannon...

Bannon: Trump will lose supporters when they discover he’s just another non-billionaire scumbag

Steve Bannon took a break from turning into compost for long enough to speak with Michael Wolff for Wolff’s latest book, Siege: Trump Under Fire. And Bannon had a lot of salty things to...
The List / YouTube The Stunning Transformation Of Ivanka Trump...

New Report Shows Ivanka Specializes in Money Laundering, Too

If there is a lawless hotspot on the globe, the Trumps are there. Increasingly, it looks like the Trump organization specializes in one business more than any other, money laundering. They don’t even try to hide it much, either. Ivanka might be worse at it than her daddy. A deep investigation carried out by Global Witness, an anti-corruption organization, and reported upon by Talking Points Memo, reveals that Ivanka Trump followed Don’s pattern to a “T” in the two projects most identified as “hers,” the building projects in Azerbaijan and Panama. Both projects suffered from shitty construction (duh) and “untimely bonuses” (double duh). Of course they did, Trump projects are internationally renowned for shoddy construction and untimely cash-vacuums, cash being perhaps the only thing regularly “vacuumed” at all in Trump projects, if the rumors are to be believed. So there is no breaking news to be gleaned from an investigation showing that Ivanka branded a building architecturally-inspired by Walmart, built from military surplus supplies, nor news in hearing the Ivanka was last seen heaving two garbage bags of money into a helicopter and jumping aboard. The story is in where “the money” came from to begin with. It is a story that is becoming just as associated with Trump properties as the bedbugs. It seems Trumps have a hard time taking-in “good money,” if you know what I mean: “Trump’s business approach,” wrote anti-corruption group Global Witness in a recent report, “has been to lease his name and for him and his family to drum up sales in some of the world’s dirty money hotspots, in some instances aided — knowingly or unwittingly — by networks of money launderers. The result is that Trump’s current wealth has depended in part on securing significant infusions of untraceable foreign funds.” Yes. Well, alright, people that rely heavily upon “significant infusions of untraceable foreign funds” are highly sensitive to having their taxes released that does sure seem to fit. The real story, however, is in how brazen these people are. To fully appreciate just how little the Trumps care about their obvious association with criminality requires us to “pretend” for a moment. Let’s pretend we are someone bright, but we have no business or legal background or acumen. Indeed, we have NO interest in business, law, politics … We are … veterinarians. We specialize in puppies. We are the best puppy specialists on Earth and cannot spell “IRS” if we were spotted the vowel. We are just good normal people who rely on experts when it comes to business and law. Our aunt left us a big real estate investment in Panama! We attend a meeting about our investment and learn the things that Ivanka knew. Would we not go into the street screaming upon learning that our customers for these multi-million dollar condos: Paid in cash, millions in cash. Units purchased in bulk, in cash. Purchased by shell companies just created the week before and without any other assets. Purchased in “Bearer Shares” (illegal in the Bahamas and U.K., these are, like, worse than cash in some ways.) And a highly disproportionate number of purchasers were Colombian or Russian. Now, puppy doctor with a great aunt, would you not go to your accountants and lawyers and ask: “Hey, how come we are paying a fortune to armed guards to […]

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