Sunday, January 7, 2018
The Progressive Left Is Losing the War but It Aims to Take President Trump Down as Its Last Victim (Part 1)
AS 2018 BEGINS IN EARNEST, THE REAL NEWS TODAY IS THAT THE LEFT IS IN PANIC MODE. And, the media is doing its lapdog best to cover up the fact. • • • "The Left in Extremis?" That's how American Thinker put it on December 28, even before the Michael Wolff book, with Richard Jack Rail writing : "We may be watching the death throes of the American Left as it spirals into the black hole of excess. The Left has pushed its issues so hard and far that leftists have lost all credibility. No one really believes that global warming matters....By now most everyone knows that the real aim of the global warming scare never was to cool down the planet, but rather to oust capitalism as the dominant economic model....Even the left acknowledges that women earn very close to what men earn, with most of the difference owing to choices made by women themselves. Seeing that, the Left began shouting about the income spread between top and bottom earners. But who in America really cares about income spread? All we care about is having enough to enjoy our lives according to our own standards....Abortion has been accepted for so long that it no longer raises much enthusiasm as a platform issue...That's more than sad, but it's true....Racism has been so overplayed that nobody serious takes it seriously anymore...We never hear from or about Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson these days....Greenness has become just another way to siphon off taxpayer bucks to keep Greenpeace out of the shipping lanes, along with all that Japanese trash from Fukushima....Diversity (pro-Moslem immigration) no longer resonates. Americans got tired of explosions and people dying in public places for lousy reasons. No one knows why this attitude took hold so thoroughly. We really do need a poll showing that America longs for exploding Moslems in our malls....Hating Christianity has lost much of its cachet as the allure of diversity has faded....LGBTQ, etc. issues have sort of just withered away as America's pretty much total indifference has waxed during the Trump administration. LGBTQs see that nobody's out to get them after all and have settled in to living their lives like anybody else." Rail concludes : "Well done, Mr. President." • • • ANOTHER SYMPTOM OF PANIC IN THE LEFT -- TWITTER KEEPS TRUMP. Twitter announced it will not block world leaders or remove their "controversial tweets" amid calls to remove US President Donald Trump from the social media platform. In a blog post Twitter said its purpose "is to serve and help advance the global, public conversation" and therefore would not remove content from elected leaders. Twitter's response comes after President Trump posted a tweet about North Korea -- "North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.' Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!" -- which led to calls for him to be banished from the site. • Following the tweet, critics argued that Trump's continued presence on the network was endangering the world and violating Twitter's ban on threats of violence. But Twitter said : "Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation because of their outsized impact on our society. Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets, would hide important information people should be able to see and debate. It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions. We review Tweets by leaders within the political context that defines them, and enforce our rules accordingly. No one person's account drives Twitter's growth, or influences these decisions. We work hard to remain unbiased with the public interest in mind." • That was a blow to the Left's constant efffort to restrict free speech from the conservative side of the argument -- any argumant. Just proves that when you can't beat 'em, instead of joining them, the Left tries to silence them. Pathetic, isn't it? • • • "THE BOOK" -- WOLFF TAKING HEAT FROM ALL SIDES. Sky News reported on Saturday that the author of the controversial book highly critical of Donald Trump's first year in the White House has claimed his revelations will eventually "bring down" the US President. • Well, we finally are getting closer to the truth about the piece of pulp fiction written by Michale Wolff. • Wolff made the claim in an interview with the BBC, responding Mr Trump's description of his book as "boring and untruthful." Speaking on BBC Radio 4, he added : "The story that I have told seems to present this presidency in such a way that it says he can't do his job. Suddenly everywhere people are going, 'Oh my God, it's true, he has no clothes'. That's the background to the perception and the understanding that will finally end...this presidency." • Mr Wolff said many of those close to Mr Trump describe him as a "moron", an "idiot" and "like a child." He told NBC : "They all say he is like a child. And what they mean by that is he has a need for immediate gratification. It's all about him...they say he's a moron. An idiot." Trump once said he would win an IQ competition with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and in a recent interview with CNN, Tillerson said : "I've never questioned his mental fitness. I've had no reason to question his mental fitness. He is not a typical President of the past, I think that's well-recognized. That's also why the American people chose him." • WOLFF's HOLLYWOOD FRIENDS LOVE HIM. The Hollywood Reporter did an interview with Michael Wolff about his book "Fire and Fury : Inside the Trump White House." Here is are excepts from the January 4 interview in anticipation of the release of the book : "Tell me more about this dinner party with Roger Ailes, Steve Bannon and Janice Min. [THR's former top editor Janice Min, strategist at Eldridge Industries and part owner of the Hollywood Reporter later confirmed on CNN and MSNBC some of the Hollywood Reporter interview excerpts about conversations between Roger Ailes and Steve Bannon at the private dinner party in New York City, calling the book's account 'absolutely accurate.'] For starters, what did you eat that night? That's a good question. I remember we had clams. And then I can't remember what we had. Did you cook or was it brought in? No, no, no -- I cooked. I think Janice [Min] said on a show this morning that my wife cooked, which [my wife] was very pleased about, but it was me. Was there drinking going on? Very little. (Pauses.) My wife is now saying that she made baba au rhum for dessert. (To wife:) What was the main course? Oh, I know what it was! It was Arctic char. And so it was fantastic. It was like, "Oh my God. Are we really here?" And I was so grateful that Janice [Min] came because I thought no one would believe this otherwise. Were the two of you sharing a lot of side eye? Oh totally. Totally. Janice and I were drinking and my wife was drinking but Bannon didn't. I offered him a glass of wine and he almost pushed it away: "I don't drink." And Roger drank very little. [Roger's wife] Beth maybe had a couple of glasses of wine. Who is the next person to resign or get fired? Dina Powell has already announced that she's going. Gary Cohn is basically out the door. I wouldn't imagine that John Kelly will make it to the spring. This is very, very, very hard duty. Will there be a sequel? Well, never say never. What's the situation with the movie and TV rights to the book? Let me not answer that at the moment. I can say at this point no deal, but lots of things happening." So, here we have a description of a dinner party and no one has verified it except the part-owner of the outlet, Hollywood Reporter, that published the interview. It is sad to watch such small minds preying on a giant of a figure as Donald Trump. • THE NEW YORKER VENTS TRUMP SPLEEN BUT ADMITS WOLFF ERRORS. The New Yorker's John Cassidy wrote a long article on January 4, saying : "Drawing heavily on quotes from Donald Trump’s former advisor Steve Bannon, Michael Wolff’s new book describes a dysfunctional and bitterly divided White House....Michael Wolff...is an experienced magazine journalist. Among the publications on his résumé are New York, Vanity Fair, and the Hollywood Reporter. A chronicler of media, power, and wealth, Wolff is also willing to dish the dirt, as he demonstrated in a gossipy tome about Rupert Murdoch, which was published in 2008. After that book came out, there was an inquest inside Murdoch’s News Corporation into who had granted Wolff access. Fingers were pointed at Gary Ginsberg, a former Clinton Administration official who served for years as Murdoch’s political advisor, confidant, and fixer. Ginsberg subsequently lost his job, and now works at Time Warner." But, as Wolff noted in a foreword to the paperback edition of the book, Murdoch was the person primarily responsible for the access he gained. Cassidy says : "The press baron 'not only was (mostly) a patient and convivial interviewee but also opened every door I asked him to open,' Wolff wrote. If there was a similar inquest at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue about Wolff’s new book, it didn’t take long to identify a culprit. On Wednesday afternoon, the White House press office put out a statement in Trump’s name. 'Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency,' it said. 'When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind....Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well.' ” The statement goes on,“Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.” The New Yorker says : "There can be no doubt that Wolff relied on Bannon heavily. The book...starts with the rumpled former investment banker having dinner with Roger Ailes, the late head of Fox News, in early January, 2017, and ends with Bannon standing outside the headquarters of Breitbart, the conservative news organization to which he returned after being ousted from the White House, in August. In the index, Bannon’s entry is considerably longer than anybody else’s except Trump’s. Bannon wasn’t Wolff’s only source, though....Wolff’s methods will doubtless attract more scrutiny. In some places, he re-creates entire scenes, complete with dialogue, without explicitly identifying his sources....the over-all portrait that Wolff draws of a dysfunctional, bitterly divided White House in the first six months of Trump’s Presidency, before the appointment of John Kelly as chief of staff and the subsequent firing of Bannon, has the whiff of authenticity about it....Wolff’s portrait of Trump as a one-dimensional figure who had no conception that he could win the 2016 election; little clue what to do after he did emerge victorious from the campaign trail; and virtually no interest in, or aptitude for, acquiring the skills and information needed to fulfill the role of President....Trump didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. If it was print, it might as well not exist. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semiliterate....Some thought him dyslexic; certainly his comprehension was limited. Others concluded that he didn’t read because he didn’t have to, and that in fact this was one of his key attributes as a populist. He was postliterate -- total television." BUT, the New Yorker is even tougher on Trump, the adversary of the Left and all ProgDems, including the New Yorker. Here is an excerpt of what the New Yorker thinks of Trump : "This depiction probably understates Trump’s devotion to making money, as well as his racism and nativism, both of which go back decades. But, in any case, even performer-Presidents have to make some decisions, and Wolff devotes a good deal of space to the most fateful call Trump has made so far : the firing of the FBI director James Comey, last May. Whether Trump’s firing of Comey amounts to obstruction of justice is a central focus of the investigation being conducted by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, into the President’s behavior....But “Fire and Fury” also stresses that the prime mover in the firing of Comey was Trump himself. In the end, the President cut almost all of his advisors out of his final decision-making process : Jared and Ivanka were urging the President on, but even they did not know that the axe would shortly fall. Hope Hicks...didn’t know. Steven Bannon, however much he worried that the President might blow, didn’t know. His chief of staff didn’t know. And his press secretary didn’t know. The President, on the verge of starting a war with the FBI, the DOJ, and many in Congress, was going rogue." The New Yorker says Wolff was right to stress the firing of Comey as a momentous decision : "Wolff recounts near the end of the book that, five months after Comey’s firing, Bannon was predicting the collapse of Trump’s Presidency. Speaking in Breitbart’s headquarters...Bannon told people there was a 33.3% chance that the Mueller investigation would lead to Trump’s impeachment, a 33.3% chance that Trump would resign, “perhaps in the wake of a threat by the cabinet to act on the Twenty-Fifth Amendment,” and a 33.3% chance that he would “limp to the end of his term. In any event, there would certainly not be a second term, or even an attempt at one. ‘He's not going to make it,’ said Bannon at the Breitbart Embassy. ‘He’s lost his stuff.’ ” • THE BBC, ALSO VERY LEFTIST, IS NOT KIND TO WOLFF. The BBC reported about Wolff : "Michael Wolff, 64, has written regular columns for publications including New York magazine and Vanity Fair. His style is typically to give readers glimpses of the inner workings of a subject, often media organisations, and the moguls behind them. Some of his writing has proved controversial, with subjects publicly disputing his reporting. What is already being disputed? People have started poking holes in some of the harder-to-believe anecdotes. One passage, released in New York magazine, implies the President did not know who former House speaker John Boehner was when former Fox News head Roger Ailes recommended him for the position of Mr Trump's chief of staff. But as the Washington Post points out, Donald Trump had previously golfed with him, and tweeted about Mr Boehner multiple times." BBC points out that Trump tweeted in 2103 : "Speaker John Boehner, who I like, should never have agreed to raise taxes because the Republicans got absolutely nothing for it!" And, the BBC supports former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has described an allegation about him in the book as "absurd" and "a complete fabrication." The BBC said : "According to The Times newspaper, Wolff says Mr Blair shared a 'juicy rumour' with Mr Trump's son-in-law that the UK government had his campaign under surveillance. Mr Blair denied to BBC Radio 4 that he had any conversation with Jared Kushner. A billionaire friend of Donald Trump, Thomas Barrack Jnr, has also denied a quote attributed to him by Wolff, telling a New York Times reporter that he never said Mr Trump was 'not only crazy, he's stupid.' There is also an incorrect claim in the book that CNN last year broadcast salacious contents of the Russian dossier concerning Mr Trump. In fact, CNN was careful to withhold such details at the time." The BBC asks : "How much credence can we lend the book? NBC's political reporter posted an extract from Wolff's introduction, which addresses the inherent problem that a lot of stories coming from the White House conflict with one another : 'Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. Those conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book. Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances I have, through a consistency in accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true.' " Then, the BBC quotes DonaldJTrump Jr : "More lies, go back and look, Boehner and #potus spent time together well before the election. Just another pathetic attempt to smear @realDonaldTrump #fakenews." The BBC concludes : "So the book may make an interesting and compelling read but the stories inside are taken from recollections and opinions of people who spoke to Wolff, rather than being indisputable fact. Whether Melania Trump really was in tears on election night or Ivanka Trump really did mock her father's 'comb-over' and has presidential ambitions of her own may never be known. Either way, people seem to want to read the book. It has already reached the top of Amazon's best sellers' chart, days before its official release." • EVEN THE NEW YORK TIMES TREADS CAREFULLY ON WOLFF'S "FACTS." Last Friday, the New York Times wrote : "In a long journalism career, Michael Wolff has gone from New York Times copy boy to overnight sensation at age 64. Michael Wolff has, for years, been a prime piranha in the Manhattan media pond, using his caustic columns to tear into his lunchmates at Michael’s, the Midtown mogul canteen, and cutting a memorable figure at star-speckled dinner parties, clad in Charvet ties and shirts by the London haberdashery Browns. His arsenic-laced prose was well known among powerful figures like Rupert Murdoch, whose life Mr. Wolff chronicled in a 2008 biography that left its subject displeased. But his nose for first-class gossip kept the machers circling. Now, the Wolff formula has been applied to a far bigger canvas: presidential politics. It is proving to be his most successful provocation to date. 'Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,' his insider account of the year he spent reporting from the West Wing, has drawn denunciations from the White House lectern, threatened the career of the Breitbart News leader Stephen K. Bannon and turned Mr. Wolff, an overnight sensation at age 64, into one of the world’s most famous journalists....Even for the brazenly confident Mr. Wolff, a status-mad needler with a habit of being ejected from expensive restaurants, this is a new level of notoriety. He is accustomed to angering the Manhattan power elite, not the leader of the free world. 'It’s almost a natural evolution of Michael Wolff, that one day the President would be talking about him from the White House,' said Janice Min, the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, where Mr. Wolff is a columnist. His acidic portrayal of Mr. Trump as a President in over his head, disdained by aides who are astounded by his lack of fitness for the job, has dominated headlines and social media for days, along with his purportedly verbatim quotes from figures like Mr. Bannon and Mr. Murdoch dismissing Mr. Trump as a fool. But Mr. Wolff has picked up as many foes as fans during his years as a slashing columnist -- perhaps more, even -- and critics have raised questions about the veracity of his reporting, saying that he has a history of being casual with his facts. 'Historically, one of the problems with Wolff’s omniscience is that while he may know all, he gets some of it wrong,' David Carr, the late New York Times media columnist, wrote in 2008, reviewing a Wolff book that, he pointed out, contained errors. The excerpts from 'Fire and Fury' that appeared this week have been raked over for mistakes. Mr. Wolff writes that CNN reported on Mr. Trump being accused of an exotic sexual practice with prostitutes in an intelligence dossier; in fact, BuzzFeed News reported those details. He also describes Mr. Trump as being unaware of the identity of John Boehner, the former Republican House speaker; in fact, the pair had golfed together long before Mr. Wolff began visiting the White House. Other details have been disputed. Thomas Barrack Jr., a close Trump friend, denied that he said the President was 'not only crazy, he’s stupid,' as Mr. Wolff reports. On Thursday, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said the book contained 'mistake, after mistake, after mistake.' ” The NYT reports that : "Mr. Bannon has not disputed his quotes in the book, even as the material has damaged him politically and perhaps professionally : Several Republican politicians have distanced themselves from him, and one of his key financial backers, the hedge fund heiress Rebekah Mercer, a funder of Breitbart, said on Thursday that she did not support his statements....Graydon Carter, Mr. Wolff’s former editor at Vanity Fair, wrote in an email that he was not surprised Mr. Wolff “would write an entertaining book. The mystery,” Mr. Carter added, “is why the White House allowed him in the door.” • • • THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER TALKS ABOUT ANOTHER NYT REPORT ON THE WOLFF BOOK. The Examiner wrote what New York Times' Maggie Haberman said about Michael Wolff's book : "Maggie Haberman, White House correspondent for the New York Times, ripped author Michael Wolff on Friday for 'getting basic details wrong' about President Trump's campaign and administration in the newly published book 'Fire and Fury.' 'I believe parts of it and then there are other parts that are factually wrong,' she said on CNN. 'I can see several places in the book that are wrong. So for instance, he inaccurately describes a report in the New York Times. He inaccurately characterizes a couple of incidents that took place early on in the administration. He gets basic details wrong.' Haberman said Wolff's 'style' is to create a broad narrative in a story, but gets many of the details wrong. 'He creates a narrative that is notionally true, conceptually true, the details are often wrong,' she said. Haberman said Trump is also incorrect when he says he never met with Wolff, but she also said that Wolff is 'overstating the access he had to the President' to write the book. She pointed to other inconsistencies that Wolff is making. 'He described in the book Rupert Murdoch's quote 'an expletive idiot' about Trump and then in his own column a day later it was 'expletive moron,' she said. Haberman said the shortcoming is the result of Wolff's decision not to make the extra effort to check basic facts....In another anecdote, billionaire Robert Mercer -- a former Ted Cruz backer and Breitbart investor -- offers Trump's campaign $5 million, and Trump is clueless as to why Mercer would invest in him....But Mercer couldn't give $5 million to Trump's campaign -- not legally, anyway. He spent his money on Trump through a super PAC, which is independent of the Trump campaign and is subject to plenty of rules preventing coordination between the two." Perhaps Haberman's most interesting take is on what the Washington Ewxaminer calls : "the apparent re-created conversation between Stephen K. Bannon and Ailes [Roger Ailes died in 2107 and therefore cannot be tested about the dinner], the New York Times's Nick Confessore points out, which raises questions about accuracy. As for the other claims, many are of the kind that has been whispered about but never reported on with any authority or certainty. Wolff has taken some of the most gossiped-about aspects of the Trump White House and put them forward as fact -- often plainly stated fact without even anonymous sources cited." The Washington Examiner finally lands on the obvious conclusion : "But just because the administration doesn't seem to have much regard for the truth and because there are all kinds of insane things happening behind closed doors doesn't mean the truth isn't a goal worth attaining. And in an environment in which the press is widely distrusted by a large swath of the American people -- and overwhelmingly by Trump's base -- the onus is even more on accounts of his presidency to try to filter out the tabloid stuff....For whatever reason, Wolff seems to have arrived at a stunning amount of incredible conclusions that hundreds of dogged reporters from major newspapers haven't. Whether that's because he had unprecedented access -- Wolff says he had 'something like a semi-permanent seat on a couch in the West Wing' -- or because his filter was just more relaxed than others, it's worth evaluating each claim individually and not just taking every scandalous thing said about the White House as gospel." • • • BANNON APOLOGIZES -- THE HILL WEIGHS IN. On Sunday, former Trump political strategist Steve Bannon expressed “regret” for unflattering comments attributed to him in the recently released Trump White House tell-all “Fire and Fury,” telling Axios he should have responded sooner and that he continues to support the President : "My support is also unwavering for the President and his agenda.” Fox News later Sunday confirmed the statements with Bannon. Those statements attributed to Bannon, who joined the Trump presidential campaign in the closing months, were most critical of the President’s son Donald Trump Jr., who also was a part of the campaign. Bannon released a statement saying : "Donald Trump Jr. is both a patriot and a good man. He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around." Bannon also said: "I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr. has diverted attention from the President's historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency." Bannon, in the statement, says his description of the meeting was aimed at former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, not Trump's son. • TheHill also published on Sunday a review of Trump officials making the orunds of the Sunday talk shows : "Multiple individuals close to President Trump hit the Sunday show circuit, including two Cabinet officials, but White House policy advisor Stephen Miller became the talk of the morning after Jake Tapper abruptly cut off a contentious interview with him during CNN’s State of the Union. Tapper called Miller "obsequious" for his defense, and Trump aides also took criticism from past administration officials for their approach to fighting back against the book's claims. Miller slammed the book during his CNN interview, calling it a “grotesque work of fiction” and a “pile of trash” written by a “garbage author.” But, TheHill describes how the interview took a turn when Miller began to spar with Tapper over CNN’s coverage of the Trump White House. After several minutes, Tapper cut off the interview, telling Miller he was not answering his questions. Tapper said on the air : "I get it. There’s one viewer that you care about right now and you're being obsequious and you’re being a factotum in order to please him, OK," Tapper told Miller, appearing to refer to the President, adding, “And I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time. Thank you, Stephen.” Trump in a tweet following the show praised Miller for his debate with Tapper, calling the CNN host a “flunky“ : "Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration. Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky!” Other administration officials also pushed back against the reporting in the book. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley disputed another claim in the book, which said “100 percent of the people around" the President question "his intelligence and fitness for office." Haley said : "These people love their country and respect our president. I have never seen or heard the type of toxic language that they're talking about. Now, I'm not there seven days a week, but I'm there once a week, and I'm there for a day with White House meetings and everything, no one questions the stability of the President.” CIA Director Mike Pompeo also rejected an allegation in the book that the President does not read : "This President reads material that we provide to him. He listens closely to his daily briefing. This President is an avid consumer of the work product that our team at the CIA produces and we do our best to convey that to him every day." • Trump, for his part, has dismissed Wolff as a “loser” who “made up stories” to write the book. The President said : "Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book.” Corey Lewandowski, who formerly served as Trump’s campaign manager, echoed the president’s line, accusing Wolff of being a liar : “The guy is a liar, is what it comes down to, and I don’t think anybody who looks at what’s in this book can take it honestly. This is a book of fiction. Not only is it not accurate, there are so many misrepresentations in this book that it shouldn’t be taken seriously." • And, thus far, the Sunday response by the ProgDem leadership has been left to former Obama advisor David Axelrod called the Trump White House’s strategy “disastrous,” adding that it “only raises more questions. So this book is -- however accurate some of the reporting is, it builds on a year's worth of experience with Donald Trump and a year's worth of reporting by a broad array of news organizations that make you think, yes, maybe there is something here.” Mark McKinnon, a former advisor to President George W. Bush, also questioned the administration’s handling of the book for CNN : “But the worst thing that you can do is flatter the book with attention and, even worse than that, threaten to sue the author. I guarantee, if you want to raise sales for a book, threaten to sue the author.” • • • DEAR READERS, there is a cabal. It is real. It is Progressive. It is out to destroy Donald Trump, his presidency, and the conservative movement sweeping across America by any means possible. Tomorrow we will look at why this period is so dangerous for the President, why Michael Wolff's book is merely a symptom of the reality on the ground, and why the MSM and all Progressives are treading lightly on this book aimed at proving that Trump is "unfit" to serve as President.