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Megyn Kelly still doesn’t get it

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When the Wall Street Journal, reporting on her dismal ratings on NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today show, asked her what the problem is, she told them it’s because viewers don’t understand her.

I need to introduce myself to people who don’t know me or know some bastardized version of me that they’ve gotten from a website or a TV show,” she said. “There are definitely some who only know me through some caricature they learned about on ‘The Daily Show.’”

No, Megyn, no. The reason people won’t watch you isn’t because of some “caricature” of you, or because of some “bastardized version” of you. It’s because of the real you. You made the huuuge mistake of working for Fox News for many years, where you were an integral part of the Republican attack machine that smeared Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In working for an illegitimate propaganda organization, you ceded all professional credibility, then, now, and into the future.

You propagandized night after night after night, putting out the lies and misstatements of the Tea Party. You weren’t as awful as Breitbart, but almost. You were smarmy, unfair and bigoted. And when you quit, or got fired—whatever—you went over to NBC. Now, you expect everybody to forget the evil you colluded with?

I don’t think so!

Kelly’s viewership is 18% lower than it was one year ago, and the slide apparently is continuing to accelerate. Among the all-important age demographic of 25 to 54, it’s down 28%. Her poor performance is even dragging down the 10 a.m. hour of Today, with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, whose ratings are off 19% in the 25-54 age group.

NBC viewers aren’t stupid. Let’s not forget, NBC is the parent company of MSNBC, which is the harshest critic Trump has among major television networks. NBC viewers probably skew liberal; NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack should have understood that Kelly was a misfit when he hired her.

The problem concerns credibility. We expect news anchors to be honest and consistent in their political views. The days of Walter Cronkite—the news commentator who was strictly apolitical, whose personal views were impossible to fathom—are over. An old guy like Wolf Blitzer, on CNN, still tries to come across as non-partisan, but it doesn’t really work anymore, because we all intuitively know that no one these days is non-partisan, so pretending to be is an insult to our intelligence. I assume that Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson aren’t just pretending to be rightwingers, they really are. In the same way, I assume that Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell aren’t just pretending to be liberals, they really are.

So it’s insulting to foist Megyn on us one day as a Republican conservative, and then the next day, pretend she’s some kind of sympathetic liberal who was never really comfortable at Fox News. She was comfortable enough to stay there for a long time and take their money. She (and Andrew Lack) either take us viewers to be idiots, or they’re practicing a deep, distasteful form of hypocrisy.

Kelly herself has consistently tried to distance herself from her Fox News associates. In her memoir, Settle For More, she “never once mentions that the network she worked for is a platform for conservative ideas,” as the Atlantic observed. It added, “Writing a book about a career at Fox without mentioning its conservative agenda is like writing a book about a career at the Vatican without mentioning its Catholic agenda.” The article concludes: “Making the crossover to a major network requires a conservative to change her stripes.” Kelly has tried to scrub off her stripes, but some stains can’t be washed away.

When I’m home in the mornings, I will channel surf to find something interesting to watch and listen to in the background, as I’m doing other household things. But I will not watch Megyn Kelly. I like her (or, rather, I think I like the person I see on the tube). She’s certainly a beautiful woman. But I just can’t forgive her for the horrible machine she chose to be a part of. She said, or abetted, the most awful things about people I care deeply about. She was right beside Bill O’Reilly helping to put out hateful, fake “news” and tear this country down. I can’t forgive her for that and neither, apparently, can millions of other Americans, who similarly refuse to watch her. NBC ought to wash its hands of Megyn Kelly and replace her with someone who at least has some degree of integrity, not a T.V. goddess who simply sells herself to the highest bidder.

 


From the personal diary of EMMANUEL MACRON

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Well, Dear Diary, here I am in the Lincoln Bedroom of the U.S. White House! Who would have thought that a scrawny little kid from Amiens would be the guest of the President of the United States?

I’ve been getting a lot of heat from my critics, both here in the States and back home (especially from the socialists), over my sucking up to Trump. Le Matin, in an editorial, even called me “Trump’s lap dog,” the way they used to call Tony Blair “George W. Bush’s lap dog.” So I thought I’d explain why my words about President Trump have been so favorable.

It’s not that I admire him as a man. Personally, I think he’s indecent—a vulgar, ugly proto-fascist whose behavior towards women is abominable. Brigitte, my wife, loathes him: she calls him “Monsieur Tête-de-Merde,” which translates as “shithead.” Beyond being a truly awful person, he’s not a good leader for America or for the free world. Quite frankly, after speaking to many of my colleagues around the world, no leader I know of likes Trump, except for King Salman, in Saudi Arabia. Merkel says every time she shakes hands with him, she retreats to the lady’s to spray sanitizer all over herself. As for Theresa May, whenever his name comes up, she just grimaces and does a gag-me with her finger down her throat.

But a French president cannot allow his personal feelings to interfere with what’s best for France! We need American dollars. Their tourists, while cheap spenders, provide us with billions of dollars a year. I need technology partnerships with American firms, and if Trump was to get pissed at me, he might even level more stupid trade sanctions against France. Security-wise, we still need to be NATO members. Trump has this insane love affair with Putin, but we French are far more realistic. The new Russia is no different from the old Russia, or the old Soviet Union. Putin would be at the North Sea in a week if not for NATO.

I’ll tell you a funny story about Trump, Dear Diary. The first time we met, at the G8 economic summit, he and I were having lunch, just the two of us. This was in Sicily, and Donald was planning on visiting Paris on his way home. (Melania had stayed behind at Trump Tower.) “Emmanuel,” Donald began, and I sensed some hesitancy on his part.

“Yes, Donald?”

“You’re a man of the world,” he said, emphasizing the word ‘man,’ “so I know you’ll understand. Melania is a very beautiful woman—“

“Yes, she certainly is, Donald.”

“—but we don’t, uhh, you know—“

“You don’t have sex anymore?”

“Exactly. And so I was wondering, when I’m in Paris, if you know any, you know, interesting women you could—“

“Ah, oui, je comprend,” I told my friend. “Yes, I understand completely. I will arrange it. Are there any particular kinds of women, or qualities, that you prefer, Donald?”

“Yes, Emmanuel, now that you mention it, I like to see gorgeous young women pee on each other.”

I thought that was a bit unusual, but I’m a good politician, so I was able to conceal my real reaction, which was disgust. “Ah, you are a urophile.”

“Not myself, personally,” he explained. “Actually, I’m the most germaphobic person you’ll ever know. I don’t like to get near the stuff. But, at a distance, I like watching beautiful ladies do it on each other.”

Needless to say, I made it happen, Dear Diary, although unlike our mutual friend, Putin, I did not videotape it! But that is how I know that the Moscow incident, as described in the Steele dossier, really did occur.

I do feel a little ashamed at how sycophantic I’ve had to be with Trump, and I hope you’ll forgive me, Diary. Someday, France will forgive me. I am no Petain, Diary, but a man who loves his country, and will abash his honor to help it!

And speaking of Donald, his breath is horrible! No one had warned me. It took all my dissembling not to move away whenever he came near and opened his mouth, which was most of the time. Appalling! Like the man himself.

 

Oh, one more thing, Diary. Melania really is a very beautiful, sexy, charming woman. She’s not too intelligent, but can hold her own in a chat about, say, table settings or couture. Brigitte told me that Melania told her she still believes that Obama is from a foreign country. “Entre nous,” the First Lady said, “Donald and I are convinced his ‘Hawaii birth’ was faked.”

“Mon Dieu!” Brigitte said, pretending to be horrified. “Where was he really born?”

“Kentucky,” Melania replied, obviously confusing the U.S. state with Kenya. Brigitte was too polite to correct her.

 


Don’t give Trump credit for North Korea suspending testing!

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My take on the North Korea thing is that the Kim family’s goal long has been clear: to develop an ICBM and hydrogen bomb capacity in order to compel America to sit down at the negotiating table and meet their demands. Having such capability seems to be the only way for some countries to be taken seriously.

This would have been true no matter who was in the White House in 2018. It just so happens to be Trump. North Korea has been working on their nuclear program for decades, and they were bound to reach the point of deliverability sooner or later. As things turned out, they reached it late last year; hence Kim Jong Un’s calculated decision to meet with his South Korean counterpart and with the American president.

All that North Korea has ever wanted was a seat at the table and to be treated with the same respect with which America treats other counties. American presidents, Republican and Democratic, have consistently refused to do this, instead branding North Korea a rogue regime. Naturally, North Korea resented and feared this, given America’s historic habit of overthrowing regimes it doesn’t like, and they understood that the only way to force America to accept them was by developing a nuclear arsenal.

Exactly why American presidents have been so resistant to accepting North Korea has always mystified me (and I’ve been watching this game for a long time). Yes, we fought them in the Korean War, but that was 65 years ago! North Korea was never remotely close to being a threat to us, or to our allies such as Japan; and as for their vaunted ability to launch tens of thousands of rockets and bombs on Seoul, nobody ever expected that to happen, because the Kim family knew that if they did it, they would be obliterated in fifteen minutes.

America isn’t the only country ever to have had a stupid policy, but ours toward North Korea was dumber than most. It was similar to our policy—again, under both Democrats and Republicans—toward Cuba. Cuba was never a threat to the U.S., in any conceivable way. We didn’t like their communist government, but that in itself posed no danger to our way of life or national security. In both cases—Cuba and North Korea—I got the sense of an American policy hardened into concrete and made rigidly unchangeable by force of habit. It was an anachronism. Nobody could really explain it anymore, as it became less and less relevant with each passing year. Republicans in particular seemed to lead the anti-Cuba brigade, no doubt because they are so rigidly opposed to any form of socialism, preferring instead their oligarchic policies of tax cuts for the rich and giant corporations and a minimum of help for poor people, and also because of the outsized importance of the Florida Cuban-Americans, who are among the most rightwing blocs in the country. I think the anti-North Korea movement was led equally by Republicans and Democrats, but it never made any sense. I mean, we fought the North Vietnamese and lost 50,000 troops there, but today Vietnam is a business partner and American tourist destination. We’ve spent a ton of money keeping tens of thousands of troops on the Korean peninsula and in Japan all these years, to defend ourselves against a country that posed no threat to us whatsoever.

The only way North Korea might have posed a threat to us was if they developed a nuclear capacity, and the best way to ensure that they would was to do exactly what we did for sixty years: surround them, embargo them, insult them and the Kim family, threaten them, and refuse to talk to them. It’s almost as if the official policy of the United States was to make sure that North Korea would produce nuclear weapons, so that we could threaten them with war if they did.

It rubs me the wrong way to see Trump get any credit for Kim’s decision to meet with him. As I said, this would have happened regardless of who’s president. The rightwing yahoos who remain committed to Trump don’t see it that way, of course; they love macho bullies, and so Trump’s “Rocket Man” taunts were music to their ears. Insults for a chubby, slant-eyed Asian weirdo! Threats of “fire and fury” against a nation of little yellow people who are not like us! That’s what the Breitbart-tea party crowd loves, and Trump, indebted to them up to his neck, gives it to them every time. The funny thing is that, if Hillary Clinton were president and were doing the same thing (of vowing to meet with Kim), Republicans would be screaming bloody murder. Hillary is selling out America’s security! The communist Hillary Clinton hates America and is cutting secret deals with our enemies! Mitch McConnell would be holding hearings to ferret out the internationalists in the State Department who were undermining our freedom. Devon Nunes would accuse Democrats of collusion with North Korea and their chief sponsor, China, and would no doubt find secret memos by which Hillary Clinton was revealing official secrets to terrorists. Fox “News” would be showing clips of North Korean armies goose-stepping, mushroom clouds, and the graves of American war dead killed on Pork Chop Hill. Sean Hannity would be demanding impeachment proceedings.

It’s all so predictable with this tea party crowd, isn’t it? The important thing is to not let Trump get away with taking credit, in case anything good should happen as a result of these upcoming summits (which might not even happen). Let’s not take our eye off the ball: the Mueller investigation continues. We have got to remain united in resistance to this bogus Trump regime.


Wall Street Journal is reaching into the gutter to defend their man

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Donald Trump just tweeted praise on the Wall Street Journal’s rightwing columnist, Kimberley Strassel, for her hit piece on James Comey in the weekend’s paper. The Journal’s editorial page has been, of course, a locus for the anti-Comey movement, which also includes Fox “News” and most of the lunatic fringe of Republican talk radio. Their tactic isn’t to challenge the facts as we know them. No one (besides Trump) is plausibly denying any of the facts concerning collusion and obstruction of justice, because we don’t yet know what the facts are. Instead, the Republicans are using a familiar tactic: launching ad hominem attacks on Comey by besmirching his character.

This would be amusing, coming from anyone besides Republicans, who for the last 1-1/2 years have found themselves in the awkward position of having to defend a man whose moral character is repugnant. The serial adultery, the juvenile insults of anyone he doesn’t like, the perpetual lies, the vulgarity—well, you know the list as well as I do.

Strassel’s smear of Comey is from the Republican playbook, repeated by every GOP propagandist with a platform. Like the rest of her cohort, she lies when it’s convenient, and twists or withholds the truth when it suits her purpose.

For instance, she writes that the dossier was funded by a Democrat-aligned group.” LIE! It was paid for by “a conservative website funded by a major Republican donor” who was working on behalf of a different Republican primary candidate, according to Pulitzer Prize-reporting by the New York Times.

Incredibly,  Strassel writes, “Would it not have been in the public interest to make clear last year that the president was not under investigation?” WITHHELD TRUTH! This totally ignores the fact that Comey divulged the FBI’s renewal of the case of Hillary Clinton two weeks before the election, while withholding the information that Trump and his campaign also were under investigation!

Along the same lines, she demands that Comey “explain the extraordinary accommodations the FBI provided Team Clinton during the email investigation.” LIE!  Do you really believe Comey provided “extraordinary accommodations” to the Clinton campaign? Comey’s revelation of the renewed investigation into Hillary Clinton completely shocked her personally, immobilized her campaign, disgusted all Democrats, and cost Clinton the election! Rather than an “extraordinary accommodation,” Comey delivered the death blow to Team Hillary.

But for me, the most disgusting thing—the worst lie—in Strassel’s hit piece is her insinuation that Comey is avoiding answering questions that make him uncomfortable. If Strassel is so concerned with public figures being completely transparent, here are a couple questions that her man, Trump, refuses to truthfully  answer:

Why won’t you release your taxes?

How many women have you had sex with, besides whomever your wife was at the moment?

How much money is your company making by taking advantage of your presidency?

Why is it okay for a President of the United States to behave in such undignified ways as bullying Gold Star parents, college students, journalists?

Why are you denying that climate change is real?

Do you deny that Russia intervened in the 2016 election on your behalf?

What really happened at the Trump Tower meeting with Donald Jr. and Jared?

Why did you dictate the excuse about the meeting to Donald Jr. on Air Force One?

Why did you fire Comey?

Why did you demand loyalty from Comey?

Why have you allied so fiercely with the most rightwing elements in America, in violation of his promise to be a bipartisan president?

Well, this is another list that could go on and on, but wouldn’t it be nice to hear Trump provide these answers? He won’t, of course, and his Republican enablers won’t ask him to, which is why we need James Comey as Special Counsel to get to the bottom of these scandals.

In his pro-Strassel tweet, Trump called the Comey investigation “one of the weakest obstruction cases ever brought!” LIE! He is, of course, trying to influence the minds of his followers before any report has been issued, before the facts are known, and despite the accumulating evidence that a lot of wrong-doing seems to have occurred on his behalf. It makes me wonder if, when all is said and done, what he would do if Comey’s ultimate report says that there’s not enough evidence to charge Trump with obstruction or collusion—but there is plenty of evidence to charge his son, Donald Jr., and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with one or both of those crimes. Much speculation is currently underway concerning whether or not Michael Cohen will flip. The question may turn out to be, not if Donald Jr. or Jared flips, but if Trump flips on himself: admitting to crimes to prevent his elder son and his only daughter’s husband from going to jail.

Probably not. As a sociopath, he doesn’t really care about anyone but himself.


Why evangelicals love Trump

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With all the sex scandals surrounding Trump, you’d think his “family-values” evangelical followers are losing faith in him. But no. “White evangelical support for President Trump [is] at an all-time high,” according to the respected PRRI survey, released on Wednesday. While Trump’s favorability rating among evangelicals never hit 50% during the primaries, it has now soared to 75%, an astonishingly high score given the avalanche of sordid news surrounding him.

Why do evangelicals, Pentecostals and other conservative Christians adore him? To answer this, it’s necessary to understand a few things about them.

Fundamental Christians are by far the heaviest of all religious groups led by the Baptists with a 30% obesity rate compared with Jews at 1%, Buddhists and Hindus at 0.7%.” That’s from a Fox News op-ed. I’m not picking on fat people, but obesity can have a serious impact on psychological health. The Psychiatric Times reports that ”overweight and obese persons are more likely than their normal-weight peers to have a variety of psychiatric disorders,” including depression, anxiety disorders, various phobias, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, alcohol addiction, paranoia and schizophrenia. These conditions may well interfere with evangelicals’ ability to think rationally.

Contributing to this intellectual confusion is the fact that evangelicals are the least educated of all religious groups in America. A Pew study found that, of America’s top 31 religious groups, Hindus, Unitarians and Jews have the highest percentage of college graduates (an average of 67.6%), while Baptists, the Church of God, the Assemblies of God, and the Churches of Christ have the lowest (average 13.5%).

This lack of education shows in the beliefs of evangelicals—beliefs based, not on science or fact, but on their interpretation of the bible. For example, By a wide margin, the evangelical leaders surveyed reject the idea that human beings and other living things have evolved over time due solely to natural processes,” according to another Pew Center study.

 It seems to me that evolution, as characterized by Darwin, is so established as scientific fact that anyone who disputes it is, in essence, declaring himself irrational and possibly, by some definitions, insane. I suppose evangelicals would disagree, but again, the non-belief in evolution in favor of a seven-days-of-creation theory is evidence of a lack of intellectual capacity. We have to take that into consideration when asking why evangelicals remain so stubbornly attached to Trump.

Additional factors come into play when we consider the mental stability of evangelicals. The most violent husbands in America are nominal evangelical Protestants,” states an article in—of all places—the religious publication Christianity Today. In many cases, it adds, religion is not protective against abuse.”

As if all the mental and physical health issues plaguing evangelicals weren’t enough, “The [U.S.] states in which evangelical Christians are most concentrated have the highest levels of poverty, unemployment, unwanted pregnancies, domestic violence, disease, and infant mortality [and] the lowest levels of academic achievement, household income, and life expectance,” according to The Economist magazine.

This dismal track record for evangelicals again strongly suggests that something is wrong with them: something unhealthy and certainly not good for American democracy.

My hunch is that the love affair between Trump and evangelicals is the result of the impairment of cerebral capacity among conservative Christians. People who cannot or will not think straight are unable to distinguish between fact and fantasy—unable, that is, to recognize blatant lies of the kind Trump routinely tells. They are thus easier to mentally manipulate than healthy, well-educated people, who generally insist on facts and evidence when making up their minds.

There’s one final problem with evangelicals and Trump, and that is the evangelical tendency to accept authoritarianism as a legitimate structure of governance. Right wing Christians cede to God and Jesus their heavenly affairs; they apparently cede to Donald Trump their worldly ones. This plays right into Trump’s hands: he would cherish an America in which he is answerable to no one—not Congress, not the Supreme Court, certainly not the Fourth Estate.

Trump’s tendency towards megalomania and autocracy is in my judgment a danger to us all, but evangelicals appear not to care. They’ve never been particularly fond of democracy; they prefer a top-down form of tyranny in which unquestioned obedience is expected. They’re getting a taste of it in Donald Trump, and they love what he’s feeding them.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 


From the personal diary of SEAN HANNITY

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I really thought Cohen would be able to invoke lawyer-client privilege—he promised me he could–and I still don’t exactly understand what went down in New York, except that that damned judge, Kimba Wood, obviously is an elite liberal. I checked her out on Wikipedia and wasn’t surprised to find out that Clinton—Bill, not Hillary—nominated her for Attorney-General, but she had to withdraw because she was involved in a nanny-scandal. Clearly she is prejudiced against Republicans and conservatives. I can’t attack her directly on my shows, but I can promise you, Diary, that my friends are going to tear her a new one. They’re already spreading the rumor that Wood presided over George Soros’s marriage! Mr. Murdoch even got his friend, George W. Bush’s attorney-general, Michael Mukasey, to write an op-ed piece in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal that was very clever in indirectly defending me by attacking Comey and Mueller. Mukasey owes Mr. Murdoch bigtime; he never would have gotten his job otherwise. It’s good to have someone like Mr. Murdoch in my corner!

That’s what I love about my peeps. They lie so adroitly and manipulate so brazenly. When I was a young journalist, I had a hard time lying with a straight face, but nowadays, it’s easy. The more you lie, the less problem you have with lying. What is “truth,” anyway?

Everybody wants to know what Cohen helped me with, Diary. Like I tweeted, “I never retained him, never received an invoice, or paid legal fees.” Of course, our agreement was that there be no paper trail. Cohen doesn’t leave paper trails behind, which is what his clients love about him. I did pay him—nearly $350,000 so far—but there’s no trail for that: the money went straight into one of Cohen’s offshore accounts, where it waits for him to use when the heat settles down, and no one will ever be able to trace it.

What did he advise me on? It wasn’t “advice” so much as help. You see, Diary, there was this chick I met at a hotel bar in Atlanta: tall, thirtyish, long curly blond hair, big boobs. Really hot—kinda like Stormy Daniels. She said she lived in Frisco and was in town for a convention. We got to chatting—she was drinking Margaritas, and I was drinking my favorite dry martinis. Yeah, we got a little tipsy, and next thing you know we’re in her room, making it. To make a long story short, about two weeks later my secretary at Fox gets an email asking me to call the woman in question, whose name is Desirée. So my secretary calls her, and Desirée tells her she needs some money, or else she’ll go public—and she claims she has secret tape recordings of our encounter.

Well, that’s when I called Donald, I mean, the President—this was shortly after he was sworn in—and told him, and he got me in touch with Cohen, who worked out the deal: $150,000 for her silence. I don’t know the details. I arranged for the money to go to the same offshore account; I assume that somehow he managed to get the money to Desirée, but I don’t know how, and I don’t want to know!

I have no idea what the Feds have on me. Did Cohen have tapes of our conversations? Videos? Emails? Texts? I honestly don’t remember much about our communication. Let me tell you, Diary, when you have a bimbo eruption that can threaten your reputation and career, you go into fight-or-flight mode. All I knew was that I needed to make this thing go away—and that’s exactly what Cohen is good at. He’s done it for Trump for years.

The thing people don’t understand about wealthy, powerful men like me is that we have needs that ordinary men don’t, and the means to realize them. The occasional fling isn’t a luxury for me, it’s a necessity. I mean, I’m under a lot of stress! I’ve talked about this with the President, and he feels exactly the same way. He once told me, “Sean, you and I know that a sexual affair is cathartic. We’re so busy that, every once in a while, we just need the peace and excitement of a roll in the hay with a woman who’s practically a stranger.” Amen to that!

I’m pretty sure I can beat this rap. The Murdochs are solidly behind me—hell, I’m their biggest earner, they damn well better be! So my job’s safe. Rush has been outstanding in his support. He has his own fixer—I don’t know the guy’s name, but he supposedly helped Rush with that little OxyContin problem, and I know for a fact that Rush has had bimbo eruptions too. Matter of fact, Jeanine Pirro told me Rush got involved with a cabana boy at a Mustique resort, back around 2012. She said he had to pay him $1 million to keep it on the Q.T. That’s a lot of dough, but Rush makes something like $30 million a year, so I guess he can afford it.

Next time I see the President, I’m gonna ask him how he manages to smuggle women into the White House, or Mar-a-Lago, or Bedminster, or overseas, wherever he’s at. I myself am going to have to cool it for a while, which pisses me off. I mean, I can always “take care of myself,” but you’d be amazed how many beautiful, hot ladies throw themselves at me, and it’d be a shame to have to say “No.” But I have no choice. This Cohen business has been embarrassing. I’m gonna have to watch my back for a while.

 

 


Trump and California: An uneasy mix

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Donald Trump is angry at California and our governor, Jerry Brown—again. The nation’s bluest state voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a wider margin (61.6%) than any other state besides Hawaii, and Trump’s approval rating in California currently stands at about 29%, lower than any other state besides Massachusetts. Trump knows he’s loathed in the Golden State; we don’t like him, his policies, and everything he stands for, and he doesn’t like us.

Republicans, an endangered species in California, love to slur Jerry Brown. Rush Limbaugh, the former drug addict, recently called him “anti-American,” which is funny, since Limbaugh’s hero, Trump, seems to have sold out America to the Russians. InfoWars, the white supremacist website of the rightwing agitator, Alex Jones, just broadcast, “Jerry Brown, you have destroyed the state of California!” This is arrant nonsense, of course, but most Trump lovers don’t live in California—we don’t want them here—and so they have no idea that Alex Jones and all the other California bashers are manipulative liars throwing red meat to their under-educated, provincial base. Among actual Californians—we who know and love Jerry, and understand how he has governed during his four terms—actually rate him highly, with a recent Fox poll (!!) giving him a 54% approval rating, which is quite good for a sitting governor.

The right wing’s latest complaint against Jerry Brown is that Brown has refused to comply with Trump’s request (actually a demand) to deploy California National Guard troops to the Mexican border in order to help round up undocumented immigrants. Gov. Brown rightly said “Hell, no” (I paraphrase), although he didn’t rule it out: he just asked for a little more information about what they would actually do.

But Trump, naturally, misrepresented Brown’s position, and took to his favorite propaganda outlet, Twitter, to rant, Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border. He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border. The high crime rate will only get higher. Much wanted Wall in San Diego already started!”

This comment is typical of Trump in its unsubstantiated smears and lies (“not looking for safety and security”), misrepresentations (“high crime rate”) and deceptions (“cannot come to terms.”)

To insult Gov. Brown by stating he’s “not looking for safety” is McCarthyite, not surprising for a man, Trump, whose mentor was the notorious red baiter, smear artist and deeply closeted, albeit homophobic, homosexual, Roy Cohn. The border areas of California actually have “lower violent crime rates than other places,” according to the F.B.I.

As for that “cannot come to terms” crack, it deliberately and misleadingly implies that Gov. Brown is at odds with California National Guard he commands. That is a lie. Trump would have more accurately used the term if he had tweeted, “My wife, Melania, cannot come to terms with my sexual perversions and serial adultery.” The California National Guard itself, in a formal statement, insisted, “state officials have not rejected anything” when it comes to sending troops to the border, and they suggested instead that “the federal government”—Donald Trump’s government—has “not responded” to Brown’s request for further information on how the troops would be used.

CBS News quoted a spokesperson for Trump’s own Homeland Security department, Tyler Houghton, as saying “the federal government is committed to working with Gov. Brown.” Meanwhile, Brown himself, in remarks on Monday at the National Press Club, took the high road. “We want to be cooperative,” he insisted. “I think we can find common understanding here, there’s enough problems at the border and the interface between our countries, California will have plenty to do, and we’re willing to do it.”

 Here’s the truth, although it’s not likely Republicans can accept it. Jerry Brown remains wildly popular in California. After all, we’ve elected him a historic four times, and would probably do so again were he to remain healthy and run for re-election (he isn’t). California is by far the richest, most powerful, most job-producing, most educated, most technologically advanced, most diverse and most innovative state in the country, and we’ve gotten there under Jerry Brown’s historic leadership. One can’t help but suspect that those rural Red State Trump supporters who are hating on California and Jerry Brown are just jealous, as well they should be!


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