Monday, February 17, 2020

Russian Media Calls American President Their ‘Agent’ While Putin Laughs

You know, it’s really high time that we modify the name of the Republican party, from the GOP to the GOPP, the “Grand Old Party of Putin” for that is precisely what it has become. As Speaker Pelosi opined not so long ago, “All roads lead to Russia.” Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin is convulsing with laughter over what a lovely hash of things he has made, with Ukraine in knots over American betrayal, while Fox News takes Russia’s side against the Democrats, and Rudy Giuliani trips over his own shoelaces, sabotaging American career diplomats in the service of his true allegiance, Russia. Daily Beast: Putin has expressed undisguised delight with the crusade led by Trump and Giuliani to whitewash Moscow’s interference in the U.S. elections and pin the blame on Kyiv. Last month, the Russian president smugly remarked “Thank God no one is accusing us of interfering in the U.S. elections anymore. Now they’re accusing Ukraine.” Rossiya-1 reporter Valentin Bogdanov surmised that by now the majority of American Republicans believe that Ukraine interfered in the U.S. elections, with the show airing various clips from Fox News. The absurdity of such claims spawned by the Russian security services puts the hypocrisy of the Republicans on full display. The Kremlin, having argued for years that democracy is a sham and the West is devoid of morals and principles, can now showcase the GOP as its “Exhibit A.” Appearing on The Evening With Vladimir Soloviev in October, political scientist Dmitry Evstafiev argued that Trump has to destroy the Republican Party in order to secure his own long-term survival. The impeachment proceedings seemed to expedite the process, with the GOP’s self-immolation for the sake of its “Dear Leader.” Prompted by the head-spinning swerve of the Republicans, Tucker Carlson of Fox News even argued that, in the Ukrainian conflict, the U.S. should be taking the side of Russia. … Oh yes, Mother Russia is riding high on the Carlson/Fox News hit parade, while Trump supporters continue to sport tee shirts saying, “I’d rather be Russian than a Democrat.” I hope that breaking rocks in a labor camp is something that they enjoy, since they think selling out democracy and living under a guy like Putin is such a keen idea. So while Putin is cackling over his bloodless coup over the idiots in this country, (and like P.T. Barnum, Vladimir Putin didn’t underestimate the number of them, either,) his state media proudly points to the photo of Sergei Lavrov standing next to a grinning Trump — while Volodomyr Zelensky can just go screw, awaiting his invitation to the Oval Office. To add insult to injury, (although Trump is apparently too stupid to notice and his sycophants must be shielding him from the truth,) Russian state media, when not crowing about what a great tool Trump is, is busy laughing at him. They’ve also added a cynical new a narrative filled with half-joking ironies as they look at the American president’s bleak prospects when he does leave office. Appearing on Sunday Evening With Vladimir Soloviev, Mikhail Gusman, first deputy director general of ITAR-TASS, Russia’s oldest and largest news agency, predicted: “Sooner or later, the Democrats will come back into power. The next term or the term after that, it doesn’t matter… I have an even more unpleasant forecast for Trump. After the White House, he will face a very unhappy period.” The host, Vladimir […]
Washington Post / YouTube WATCH LIVE Pelosi Democrats announce revised 1575999640.jpg...

Media pushes ‘Dems in disarray’ over impeachment—again

Poised to pass two articles of impeachment in the full House this week, Democrats have remained extraordinarily united throughout the process while nearly half the country stands in favor of taking the drastic action of...
Curt Johnson / Flickr Can Fox News survive Donald Trump...

Trump’s War Isn’t Just With Fox News, It’s Against Democracy and Our Norms Of...

Journalist and satirist H.L. Mencken defined the demagogue as “one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.” That is a perfect job description for Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs and the denizens of the curvy couch at Fox News. These demagogues of the airwaves are responsible for the disinformation campaign that got Donald Trump elected. Despite that fact, it’s no secret that Trump and Fox News have a tempestuous relationship, to say the least. Trump demands nothing less than total fealty and Fox appears to be getting less and less inclined to give it to him. Here’s Trump’s latest grievance against the network. Hard to believe that @FoxNews will be interviewing sleazebag & totally discredited former FBI Director James Comey, & also corrupt politician Adam “Shifty” Schiff. Fox is trying sooo hard to be politically correct, and yet they were totally shut out from the failed Dem debates! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2019 Both Commiecast MSNBC & Fake News CNN are watching their Ratings TANK. Fredo on CNN is dying. Don’t know why @FoxNews wants to be more like them? They’ll all die together as other outlets take their place. Only pro Trump Fox shows do well. Rest are nothing. How’s Shep doing? — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2019 These comments can be understood on a couple of different levels. First and foremost, they are the immature lashings-out that we’ve come to expect from Trump, another day, another Twitter tantrum. Secondly, and far more troublesome, they are an indication that Trump is only thinking in the short term, of “his” presidency, “his” posterity, all things Trumpian — and he doesn’t give a tinker’s damn if he burns all of our democratic norms to the ground, as long as it serves his selfish purpose to do so. That’s also par for the course with Trump and it has always been terrifying; because preserving our norms is the only way we’re going to remain America and Trump doesn’t care about that at all. He never has. Wired: That tradition and idea of American politics as an ongoing conversation, an endless argument, is key to preserving our democratic experiment. The idea that you will be in power sometimes, and out of power other times, is what preserves norms and traditions, and curbs the worst abuses and impulses; politicians traditionally understand that actions taken in the majority could serve to bite them if and when they return to the minority. Donald Trump, who rose to prominence trumpeting the very “birther” falsehood that McCain once batted away, seems bent on undermining that tradition; he has proven he’s perfectly willing to burn down political norms for short-term gain. Fox News seems intent on helping him—and on a daily basis, they’re telling their viewers he’s right and anyone who disagrees with him is less than human. Trump’s lies are the one constant and consistent position of his presidency (13,000 and counting!), and Fox News has gone all in. We, as a democratic society, cannot survive such consequences-be-damned, winner-take-all, facts-don’t-matter politics. Fox News has upended Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s famous proclamation that “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Its daily programming seems driven by the idea that everyone might be entitled to their own facts, […]

Oh No! the Boss Infuriated by Fox, Interviews Schiff and Comey

Well, well, well. Hmmm. The lord of the Right is not happy with the medium of the Right. I suppose Trump is practicing being “Putin” and since polonium shakes are not in Trump’s current repertoire (yet), Trump must resort to his favorite weapon, his mouth: Via Rawstory: “Hard to believe that Fox News will be interviewing sleazebag & totally discredited former FBI Director James Comey, & also corrupt politician Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff,” Trump said. Sleazebag and corrupt. How he doesn’t choke on those words as they roll down the marble ramp from his brain to his mouth is beyond me. The current Webster’s dictionary must have Trump’s smiling picture under both words, or it’s “discrediting” itself. But two aspects are more noteworthy. First, and most obviously, I doubt there’s ever been an American politician, or person, more comfortable expressing his entitlement to be de facto programing director for his “news” station of choice. Trump’s first commandment to Fox: “I am the lord your god, you shall have no guests before me.” Second, how snowflake is it that it discomforts Trump so, for “his” audience to hear views not pre-approved? The “discredited” Jim Comey? Discredited by who? I am not a huge Comey fan (who is?) but when I think of “discredited” people, I think of folks that get spanked by porn stars, three months after his new wife gives birth to a baby son and then has to pay a fortune to get said porn star to keep quiet about it all, such that the he is not “discredited” with the evangelical right that normally would find it “discrediting” behavior. That would discredit a person in my eyes. One might also point to someone who holds up $400 million in aid to get a foreign country to fake an investigation into one’s political opponent and gets his ass impeached for it while hiding all the evidence as “discrediting” his word? “Corrupt politician?” Holy ships. We don’t have time and the internet doesn’t have enough memory to itemize corrupt acts by … “Fox is trying sooo hard to be politically correct, and yet they were totally shut out from the failed Dem debates,” Ahem. I will resist the temptation to write an entire treatise on political correctness run amok. It is so ironic that Fox has done far more to assure its viewers it is anything but “politically correct.” Moreover, Trump using that phrase while believing it extends to booking guests (!) just goes to prove for the millionth time that Trump doesn’t have the slightest clue what the phrase entails. Regardless, even without any familiarity with the phrase, he manages to live life proving he hates being correct, political or otherwise. But hey, any rancor between Trump and Fox is to be encouraged. Division in the Trump camp can only help that camp populated by the “anyone but Trump” folks. That camp is far more fun anyway, especially on Saturday night. Might I add, when it gets right down to it, the biggest snowflake around is that one that melts hearing words insufficiently praising him. Has it ever occurred to the MAGA heads that they’re led by a big baby, terribly terribly afraid that the MAGA heads might hear something that makes them reconsider? **** Peace, y’all Jason jmiciak@yahoo.com and on […]
Fox News / YouTube Chris Wallace Trusted journalist ready for 1556796853.jpg...

Fox News’ Wallace says Trump has done damage with his historic ‘assault on freedom...

In a speech before an audience at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Fox News’ Chris Wallace said that, as president, Donald Trump is “engaged in the most direct, sustained assault on freedom of the press in...

Chris Wallace Publicly Blasts Donald Trump For ‘Most Sustained Assault On Press Freedom In...

Donald Trump and Chris Wallace have tangled before and after Wallace’s Wednesday remarks at Washington D.C.’s Newseum, look for the relationship to deteriorate even further. Trump claimed in October that Wallace was “nothing like his father” which prompted Wallace to quip, “one of us has daddy issues and it’s not me.” But that was lightweight compared to what Wallace shared last night. The Guardian: “I believe that President Trump is engaged in the most direct sustained assault on freedom of the press in our history,” Wallace said to applause at the Newseum, a media museum in Washington, on Wednesday night. “He has done everything he can to undercut the media, to try and delegitimise us, and I think his purpose is clear: to raise doubts when we report critically about him and his administration that we can be trusted. Back in 2017, he tweeted something that said far more about him than it did about us: ‘The fake news media is not my enemy. It is the enemy of the American people.’” Wallace recalled that retired admiral Bill McRaven, a navy Seal for 37 years, had described Trump’s sentiment as maybe “the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime” because, unlike even the Soviet Union or Islamic terrorism, it undermines the US constitution. The veteran broadcaster added:“Let’s be honest, the president’s attacks have done some damage. A Freedom Forum Institute poll, associated here with the Newseum, this year found that 29% of Americans, almost a third of all of us, think the first amendment goes too far. And 77%, three quarters, say that fake news is a serious threat to our democracy.” When Trump hears about this, he’ll lose his mind, not just because Wallace had the hubris to stand up to him, but because Fox News is apparently letting this go on. That begs the question, once again, what is Fox News up to with it’s seeming betrayal of Trump by certain journalists and pundits over there? This is getting curiouser and curiouser.

Vanity Fair: ‘He Thinks Fox Screwed Him’ Trump Enraged At Fox, His Impeachment Bulwark

Donald Trump is on the ropes these days, wondering if Fox News is going to betray him and just what he’s gonna do about it if they do. Recently Fox News decided to not allow Rudy Giuliani access to its airwaves anymore, which came as a shock, not only to viewers, but to Trump. He expects Fox News to be his bulwark against impeachment, far more than he depends upon the Senate, in point of fact — and he’s not sure exactly what they’re doing. I mean, they carried the impeachment hearings, like it was news or something. What’s up with that? Gabriel Sherman, Vanity Fair: So far, Trump’s wall of support from House and Senate Republicans appears as solid as ever. But Trump is less certain about the strength of his ultimate line of defense: Fox News. According to multiple sources who’ve spoken with Trump as impeachment has unfolded in the House, Trump is furious with pockets of Fox’s coverage. “He’s pissed. He thinks Fox screwed him,” a former West Wing official said. The news division carried the impeachment hearings live, a rare instance in which unmediated evidence of Trump’s misdeeds could pierce the Fox bubble. The network’s legal commentator, Judge Andrew Napolitano, declared Trump’s defiance of Congress “an impeachable offense,” a position that directly contradicted the House Republicans’ handpicked witness, George Washington University law scholar Jonathan Turley. Trump has also been engaged in a running war with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace; after Trump tweeted last month that Wallace was “nasty,” fellow Foxer Neil Cavuto rushed to Wallace’s defense. […] On Sunday, Trump lashed out on Twitter, writing: “Don’t get why @FoxNews puts losers on like @RepSwalwell (who got ZERO as presidential candidate before quitting), Pramila Jayapal, David Cicilline and others who are Radical Left Haters? The Dems wouldn’t let @FoxNews get near their bad ratings debates, yet Fox panders. Pathetic!” Also over the weekend, Trump tweeted multiple stories from Fox rival Newsmax run by Trump’s friend Chris Ruddy. “Having any opposing voices is a problem for Trump,” a Republican who spoke with the president told me. “He was saying this coverage is bullshit. This was a shot across the bow to all the hosts.” Inside Fox, the message was received. “He’s clearly worried we’re really going to cover this fairly, and he’s starting to freak. This is about keeping us in line,” a Fox staffer told me. Richard Nixon would have killed his own dog to have a propaganda machine like Fox News in his corner back in the day. Trump is depending upon it, and like a lover, he’s trying to make them jealous by going over to Newsmax and OAN. Trump does not want anything resembling actual news coverage, he wants his shills to do his bidding or get fired, period. He’s an authoritarian and he wants a compliant media like Kim Jong Un has. Who knows what Fox is up to, particuarly Cavuto, Wallace and Napolitano, who all deign to disagree with Trump regularly? Could it be that Rupert Murdoch is already contemplating a post-Trump world and preparing for it? No one knows, but one thing is certain: this is an area of Trump displeasure to keep your eyes on. This is Trump’s achilles heel.
LeStudio1 - 2018 / Flickr The New York Times...

The New York Times can apparently read Democrats’ minds, but not Trump’s mind to...

A gigantic double standard was on display in The New York Times on Wednesday as the newspaper reported on articles of impeachment brought against Donald Trump. It's a disturbing double standard that revolves around the...
Wochit Politics / YouTube Ocasio Cortez Criticizes CNN Hire 1575932041.jpg...

CNN has yet another GOP problem

Last winter, CNN for weeks stood by its extraordinary and inexplicable decision to hire Sarah Isgur Flores, a career Republican Party operative with absolutely no journalism experience, to be the network’s political editor. A hardcore...

On Sunday shows, Republicans continue to move from Trump defense to Trump co-conspirators

It's Sunday, which means Donald Trump's most obsessive defenders are given free rein to mislead the public and ignore the facts on national television. The primary news this week was an announcement from House...

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