Friday, March 31, 2017



1. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). Fact-conscious Americans understand that Donald Trump is a notorious liar. What’s most alarming is that many Americans, including most Republican Party identifiers, believe anything The Donald wants them to believe—that humans don’t cause climate change, all Muslims should be presumed dangerous, vaccinations cause autism, scientists shouldn’t be trusted, Obama was born in Kenya, massive voter fraud stripped him of a popular majority, his inauguration attracted a record number of attendees, the media pumps out vicious lies about the president-elect, and on and on. Chalk up Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, as a devoted Trump believer. According to Smith, it is:
“ … better to get your news directly from the president. In fact it might be the only way to get unvarnished truth.”
This is what it’s come to in America: a significant portion of the public trusts Trump’s direct communications more than it trusts the media, not to mention the truth. When this happens, as is perilously close, our democracy ends.

2. CNN Political Pundit Van Jones. Chalk up Jones as yet another liberal/progressive beguiled by President Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress. Here’s what Jones said right after the president’s speech:
"He became President of the United States at that moment, period," Jones said with regards to President Trump honoring the wife of the fallen Navy SEAL in Yemen. He continued:
"There are a lot of people who have a lot of reason to be frustrated with him, to be fearful of him, to be mad at him. But that was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics, period. And he did something extraordinary. And for people who have been hoping that he would become unifying, hoping that he might find some way to become presidential, they should be happy with that moment. For people who have been hoping that maybe he would remain a divisive cartoon, which he often finds a way to do, they should begin to become a little worried tonight. Because that thing you just saw him do, if he finds a way to do that over and over again, he is going to be there for eight years. Now, there is a lot that he said in that speech that is counterfactual, that was not right that I oppose and will oppose. But he did something tonight that you cannot take away from him. He became president of the United States."
How could Van Jones make such a statement?
Other presidents have used the families of our fallen heroes as sentimental props. There is nothing in that act that elevates their presidential acumen. How then is that one act extraordinary? Moreover, how can one "counterfactual” speech from someone who has been a "divisive cartoon” elevate one from caricature to presidential? Ironically, right after the moment that so impressed Van Jones, Donald Trump cheapened it by making it a length-of-ovation contest.
It concerns us all that Jones did not remind the audience that Trump absolved himself from any responsibility for the death of the Navy SEAL he commended during the speech. An incorrigible buck-passer, Trump threw the blame directly on "the generals.” 
This is the type of punditry that was partially responsible for the election of a man who is a clear and present danger to America. It is the type of analysis that justifiably creates doubts about the true objectivity of the traditional mainstream media. The country made a mistake in electing Donald Trump. He fooled many good people. But liberal pundits must not be complicit in continuing the deception.
3. Fox News Commentator Todd Stames. Speaking at Liberty University. Stames told his audience that God gave America a “second chance” with the election of Donald Trump and conservative Christians must now rise up and take this nation back.
“For the past eight years,” he said, “we’ve been told that we are the problem, that we are not a Christian nation, that we are not an exceptional nation. Our traditions and our values have been ridiculed and marginalized. We were mocked by Hollywood and dismissed by the academics, marginalized by the mainstream media. But all that changed on election day when a man who promised to defend religious liberty, a man who promised to make America great again became our president.” He went on”
“I believe that God saw fit to give our nation a second chance.” My fellow countrymen, we are surrounded, the cultural bullets are flying, the enemies of freedom are advancing and the time has come for all of us to stand resolute. You say, ‘Todd, I’m not a fighter.’ Well, there ain’t no such thing today, sonny, because we are freedom’s last line of defense! … It’s time for every gun-toting, Bible-clinging deplorable American to take a thunderous stand for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Donald Trump, a man who “promised to defend religious liberty”? To protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? True words—if, of course, you’re a wealthy white Christian. Anyone else, well . . . .

4. New EPA Chief Scott Pruitt. Nothing like having a climate change denier heading the EPA. Pruitt told NBC’s “Squak Box:”
… measuring the effects of human activity on the climate is “very challenging,” and that “there’s a tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact” of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. “So, no, I would not agree that (carbon dioxide) is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”
As I’ve tried to document in several previous posts, views like those of Pruitt’s are contrary to mainstream climate science, including, among others, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the overwhelming majority of climate scientists, and the EPA itself. The IPCC recently reported that carbon dioxide is the biggest heat trapping force and is responsible for 33 times more added warming than natural causes.
What’s next for the bonehead Pruitt? Perhaps like the moronic Jim Inhoff , who heads the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, he’ll bring a snowball to the next press conference to disprove climate change once and for all. What a team! Only in America. Brace yourselves for Trump environmental rollbacks.
5. Rep. Steve King (R-IA). Responding on twitter to a story about Dutch politician Geert Wilders call to end Muslim immigration and ban the Quran, the notorious White Nationalist King said:
“Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
For his bigotry, King won praise from none other than fellow racist David Duke, who tweeted “GOD BLESS STEVE KING.!!”
King has a rich history of outrageous bigoted statements. In 2002 in a panel discussion about the makeup of the Republican Party, he questioned what nonwhites have contributed to civilization, saying: “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about. Where did any other subgroup of people [non-Whites] contribute more to civilization?
In 2013 King said that for every successful child of undocumented immigrants, there were 100 others who were drug mules with “calves the size of cantaloupes” from hauling marijuana.
Wow! I’m surprised King wasn’t selected by Trump as Attorney General. He makes Sessions seem progressive.
6. White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney told the White House press corps this month that popular vote loser Donald Trump's budget cuts Meals on Wheels and after-school nutrition programs because those programs "aren't showing any results."
“We can't do that anymore. We can't spend money on programs just because they sound good. Meals on Wheels sounds great. […] I can't defend that anymore. We cannot defend that anymore. $20 trillion in debt. We're going to spend money, we're going to spend a lot of money but we're not going to spend it on programs that don't show they deliver the promises we made to people.”
As for the school children:
“They're supposed to help kids who don't get fed at home get fed so they do better in school. Guess what? There's no evidence they're actually doing that. There's no evidence they're helping results, helping kids do better in school, which is what -- when we took your money from you to say, we're going to spend them on after-school program, we justified it by saying these kids will do better in school and get jobs. We have no proof that's helping.”
Goddammit old people and school children! Get out there and get jobs so we know that feeding you is worth our money.
No, Mulvaney says, the "compassionate" thing to do is for tax payers, to "go to them and say, look, we're not going to ask you for your hard-earned money anymore. Single mom of two in Detroit, give us your money. We're not going to do that anymore unless they can guarantee that money will be used in a proper function." That, he says, "is about as compassionate as you can get."
The Trump Administration clearly has no compassion for needy people, but they sure do for the military, which is about to receive a spending windfall. Good thing it has shown worthy results in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia.
7. The Wall Street Journal. The following sharply critical editorial, does not constitute a bonehead absurdity; rather, it’s a reasonable assessment of the complete bonehead absurdist, Donald Trump. Coming from the conservative, Murdock-owned WSJ, a notable Trump backer, it is big news.
If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him? Would the rest of the world? We’re not sure, which speaks to the damage that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.
The latest example is Mr. Trump’s refusal to back off his Saturday morning tweet of three weeks ago that he had “found out that [Barack] Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory” on Election Day. He has offered no evidence for his claim, and a parade of intelligence officials, senior Republicans and Democrats have since said they have seen no such evidence.
Yet the President clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims.
A “drunk to an empty bottle of gin.” Can’t you picture it? Lest you think Trump will head this warning from one of his friendly media outlets, remember that Trump, the ultimate “you’re with me or you’re against me” guy, doesn’t take well to criticism. Will the WSJ now be placed on his “bad dude” list? Let’s just hope that Trump ends up being worse for the Republican Party than he is for the country.
And this month’s winner is:
There are several worthy candidates this month--Lamar Smith and Steve King especially come to mind-- but I have to give the award to Van Jones. I’d like to think that by now liberals know better, but, as we've learned, a mainstream media liberal is a different animal. Passing occasional kudos to Trump is supposed to demonstrate "balance."  Truth doesn't enter the equation in the corporate media world.

1 comment:

  1. Ron, I agree that Van Jones, who as much as anybody I can think of on TV should know better, is the hands-down winner. (What was he smoking?) The others are just doing their assigned lunatic tasks, and "bonehead" is too moderate a term for their idiocies. Maybe you need a new category for them, say, "Batshit Crazy" or "Despicably Mean and Callous" or "Profoundly Selfish" or, more simply, "Nonhuman." By the way, I have been thinking about your rebuttal of my comments on your extreme partisanship article and will have more to say on the issue. It is an important one, and I think both of our positions need some fine-tuning.


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