Simon Maloy

Jeanine Pirro Wants to Destroy Jeff Sessions So She Can Have His Job

The key to understanding how Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro operates is to realize that she is single-minded in her personal ambition while completely unencumbered by anything resembling shame, dignity, or professional integrity. As it stands, Pirro is one of the more influential pundits in the country by virtue of her close relationship with President Donald Trump. She uses her awful Fox News program, Justice with Judge Jeanine, to propagandize on Trump’s behalf, for which she is granted access to the president, interviews with key administration officials, etc.

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Is Sean Hannity Coordinating with the White House?

Every episode of Fox News’ Hannity follows a fairly basic formula these days: pugnacious cube-headed goon Sean Hannity serves up a monologue devoted almost entirely to the vituperative (and frequently incoherent) slander of President Donald Trump’s political adversaries, and then he lards out the hour with panel discussions featuring a small, rotating cast of like-minded Trump sycophants and the odd sacrificial liberal.

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Jeanine Pirro Is Discovering New Ways to Debase Herself for Donald Trump

If you were to ask me who Jeanine Pirro works for, I’m not sure I could give you a straight answer. On paper, at least, she is an employee of Fox News, which pays her money to host a weekly show called Justice with Judge Jeanine. It’s a terrible program that exploits the well-worn cable news trope of using a crackpot pundit’s career in law enforcement to give unearned credibility to their howlingly stupid opinions. In theory, Justice with Judge Jeanine is a platform for Pirro (a former judge, former district attorney, failed Senate candidate, and speed-limit scofflaw) to give her take on the week’s top legal stories.

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Why Are the Media Letting Republicans Off the Hook for America's Mass Shootings?

The horrific mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, yesterday has once again touched off a discussion about what can be done to stop the escalating series of bloody massacres that only happen with this regularity in our country. The preordained answer, of course, is nothing. The Republican Party controls the White House and both houses of Congress, and its commitment to the National Rifle Association’s maximalist position on gun rights cannot be shaken -- not by dead schoolchildren, not by the fact that two members of Congress have been gunned down in the last decade, not by anything.

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The Trump Administration Wants to Make a Decades-Old Right-Wing Fantasy a Reality

The Trump White House’s newly proposed budget is (like all White House budget proposals) more of a political document than anything else. It has no actual bearing on how the government will spend its money, and Congress will almost certainly ignore it. But that’s not to say it is entirely devoid of value -- the White House uses the annual budget proposal to act out its fantasies and give us a little glimpse at the ideologies motivating the administration’s policy preferences.

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Is Lou Dobbs Quietly Trump's Most Sinister Propagandist?

At his New Year’s Eve celebration at Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump grabbed a microphone and gave thanks to the guests who paid him several hundred dollars each for the privilege of attending. As he spoke, the president singled out one attendee for some especially fulsome praise: Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs. “The great Lou Dobbs is here, by the way,” Trump said. “Boy, I tell you, I’ve loved him for years, but now I really love him. And you know what? It’s not about me. It’s about -- he is saying what he believes.” To applause and cheers, the president heaped his admiration on the cable news personality: “I just want to tell you, you are fantastic, and we appreciate it. Everybody in this room appreciates it.”

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The Long, Public Humiliation of Steve Bannon Is Now Complete

It’s been quite a news day for Steve Bannon. The Breitbart.com chairman and former White House strategist made headlines this morning when excerpts from author Michael Wolff’s new book on the Trump administration quoted him disparaging Trump campaign officials for the now-infamous June 2016 Russia meeting. “Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately,” Bannon told Wolff.

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Steve Bannon Is Self-Immolating Before Our Very Eyes

Steve Bannon, we’re told, is a “street fighter.” That’s what Bannon told us, anyway, when he went on 60 Minutes earlier this year shortly after his brief tenure in the Trump administration came to an end. “I think I’m a street fighter,” Bannon said, adding that he was also going to be President Donald Trump’s “wingman outside for the entire time.” And as the president’s street-fighting outside wingman, Bannon said he and Breitbart.com were going to protect the administration. “Our purpose is to support Donald Trump,” he explained, and “to make sure his enemies know that there’s no free shot on goal.”

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Frustration with Trump Down South: The Changing Politics of Reliably Republican Congressional District Propels Jon Ossoff

Looking at just the history, the case for a Democratic victory in the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District is thin. The district has voted for Republicans stretching all the way back to 1978, when Newt Gingrich first won the seat. In the years since Republicans have won re-election in the district by large margins. Tom Price, who vacated the seat to become President Donald Trump’s secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, first won the district in 2004 running unopposed. And he has brushed off all Democratic challengers since then, never once having less than 60 percent of the vote.

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Russia Scandal Looms Big: White House Is Badly Compromised After Comey's Testimony

The big news out of Monday’s hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was that FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the Justice Department is actively investigating connections between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Russian government. As Comey put it in his prepared remarks, the bureau is looking into “whether there was any coordination between the [Trump] campaign and Russia’s efforts” to interfere in the 2016 election.

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Right-Wing Pipeline of Lies and Propaganda Distorts Media Coverage: New Study

Sean Hannity had a busy weekend on Twitter. The Fox News host and “street martial arts” practitioner had a fire lit underneath him upon hearing that President Donald Trump had accused Barack Obama of ordering wiretaps at Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign. As any good journalist would, Hannity took Trump’s statement at face value and immediately set about trying to get answers.

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The AP's Flawed Immigration 'Round-Up' Scoop and the White House Response

The Associated Press dropped a big scoop Friday morning on a draft memo in which the Trump administration, as the AP put it, “considered a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.”

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The Democrats' Inept Resistance: Party Leaders Want Bernie Sanders to Save Them From Angry Activists

The first month of the Donald Trump presidency has provoked a public backlash against the president and his Republican enablers in Congress. Massive protest marches against Trump and his policies have been complemented by rowdy town-hall meetings that have left Republican legislators gibbering in the face of angry constituents.

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The White House's Official Explanation of the Michael Flynn Scandal Makes No Sense

White House press secretary Sean Spicer stood up before the Washington press corps on Tuesday and told several lies to cover up President Donald Trump’s lies about the scandal surrounding now ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn. These lies are important, and they make it clear that the White House’s official story of how the administration handled Flynn’s falsehoods about his contacts with the Russian government does not make sense.

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White House for Sale: Trump Team Openly Flouts Ethics Rules in the Nordstrom Flap - Because Congress Will Do Nothing

Do not purchase Ivanka Trump’s products. I’m not really sure what the president’s oldest daughter sells or where it’s sold, but that doesn’t really matter. Don’t buy it. The reason to swear off all Ivanka Trump-branded items is straightforward: You don’t want to reward an openly corrupt White House.

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Paying for Trump’s Wall: Don’t Let an Absurd Promise Distract Us from a Terrible Policy Decision

So it turns out that Mexico will not be paying for Donald Trump’s famous border wall. Politico reported this week that the Trump transition and Congressional Republicans are working on a plan to fund construction of a barrier along the Mexican border through the normal appropriations process. That means American taxpayers will be on the hook for this one.

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Ignorance or Paranoia? Trump Links Three Unrelated Attacks in His 'Us vs. Them' Worldview

On Monday, three discrete acts of international violence captured media attention: the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey in Ankara, a truck plowing through a Christmas market in Berlin and (with far less notoriety) a shooting at a mosque in Zurich. We still don’t know much about who committed these acts and why, but President-elect Donald Trump has a theory that links all three together. Per Trump, they’re all part of a war on the “civilized world” that is only worsening.

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Donald Trump's Trying to Give His Kids Top Secret Security Clearance, Making Sure His Conflicts of Interest Are Extra Bold

We’re not even a week into the still-indigestible reality of President-elect Donald Trump and the incoming administration is already up to its armpits in conflicts of interest, internal squabbling, heavy-handed recriminations, and absurdist incompetence.

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The Right’s Sean Hannity Problem: Conservatives Loved the Fox News Host Until He Became Trump’s Hatchet Man

It’s amusing to see portions of the conservative world recoil in horror at the behavior of Sean Hannity. The mega-popular Fox News host, one of the biggest stars of the right-wing media, has been absorbing sustained criticism from certain pundits and radio hosts for his overt and unseemly activism on behalf of Republican nominee Donald Trump. Hannity’s critics view Trump (correctly) as a threat to Republican politics, the health of the conservative movement and the country itself, and for Hannity to devote his energies and influence to electing him is, in their view, beyond the pale.

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Trump's Immigration Muddle: He's 'Softening' Without Actually Moderating and Confusing Everyone

No one seems to know what Donald Trump’s position on immigration is anymore. That’s a bit of an imprecise assessment, as his position was never really fleshed out to any great detail beyond “build a wall” and “get tough.” But Trump (in concert with his campaign staff and advisers) has done much of late to further obscure his already uncertain position, which he’s ostensibly planning to flesh out in a big speech in Arizona on Wednesday.

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'Election Fraud': Steve Bannon's Residency Issues, Explained by Breitbart News Articles

The Guardian dropped an interesting scoop Friday morning about newly ensconced Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon, who apparently “is registered to vote in a key swing state at an empty house where he does not live, in an apparent breach of election laws.” The “swing state” in question is Florida, where Bannon used to live in a rental property in Miami-Dade County that, per the Guardian, has been empty and abandoned for months. Florida state law requires that voters be legal residents of the state in order to register to vote there, but Bannon apparently makes his home in California.

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Hillary’s Economic Pitch: She’s Recommitting to Progressive Policies and Dismantling Trumpism

Heading into Hillary Clintons’ big economic speech on Thursday, there was someconcern among progressive groups that the Democratic presidential nominee was going to use the opportunity to nudge her policy agenda towards the center. She’d secured the nomination and no longer had to worry about Bernie Sanders’ challenge from the left, and her campaign was in the middle of a high-profile push to recruit Republican defectors away from GOP nominee Donald Trump, which left open the possibility that she might start moderating for the general election.

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The GOP's Youth-Vote Disaster: Donald Trump's Nomination Could Hurt Republicans for Years to Come

There’s really quite little in the world of political polling that shouldn’t scare the hell out of Republicans right now. Their presidential candidate, Donald Trump, celebrated his first two weeks of official nominee-dom with an extended and baffling implosion that drove down his numbers nationally, in battleground states and even in some states that a Republican shouldn’t have too much difficulty carrying. As of this writing, he’s hovering around 40 percent in the national polling averages. The recent state-level polling shows Hillary Clinton is eating Trump’s lunch in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Florida. And Trump’s struggling in reliably red states like Georgia and Arizona. Pretty much everywhere you look, it’s ugly.

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Far Too Little, Way Too Late: The Hopeless Anti-Trump Candidacy of Evan McMullin

After months and months of fruitless searching (papered over with the vigorous tweeting and determined production of self-righteous blog posts) the #NeverTrump movement has finally—finally—found its “independent conservative” candidate for the 2016 presidential race: Evan McMullin. Who the hell is Evan McMullin? He’s a congressional staffer, former CIA officer, and TED Talk deliverer—which is to say that he has precisely zero national profile. But he has all the trappings of a protest-vote candidate: McMullin’s newly launched campaign website insists that “it’s never too late to do the right thing.”

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Elizabeth Warren’s Devastating Trump Hit: She Drew a Straight Line from Jim Crow to Donald Trump

The Democratic National Convention got off to about as rough a start as you could imagine, with the party committee chair abruptly resigning and her replacementfending off choruses of boos from delegates loyal to Bernie Sanders. But the proceedings eventually settled down and the acrimony steadily waned as the primetime slate of speakers all turned in strong performances. There are plenty of potential highlights to choose from, but there was one passage from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s speech that stood out to me as one of the more effective and damning indictments of GOP nominee Donald Trump offered up thus far.

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The Tim Kaine Effect: What does Hillary Clinton’s VP pick bring to the race?

It’s official: Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate is Tim Kaine. The New York Times reported the news late thus evening, citing a senior campaign official. The Virginia senator had reportedly been Clinton’s top pick going down the stretch, and he’s long been viewed as the “safe” pick for Hillary: he’s a relatively moderate middle-aged white guy from a swing state and he speaks Spanish. Kaine reportedly narrowly missed out on being Barack Obama’s running mate in 2008, but now he’s finally made it to the big stage.

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Why Is the Corporate Media Taking Trump's Nonsense Seriously?

It’s only May, which means we have about five months before the presidential election. There are conventions to be had, running mates to be selected, debates to be overhyped, and an obscene amount of money to be spent on an equally obscene quantity of advertising. The general election campaign hasn’t even really begun yet, on account of it being so damn early in the cycle still. Hell, we don’t even have official nominees yet for either major party.

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Will Donald Trump Reinvent the Enemies List If Elected?

Sometimes it’s difficult to fully grasp the notion that the Republican Party has nominated a real live authoritarian as its 2016 presidential candidate. The American political system is held together by shared adherence to a set of political norms, and Donald Trump has found unanticipated electoral success by promising to trample over many of them. He’s going to ban members of entire religion from entering the United States, he’s going to coerce one of our neighbors and primary trading partners to funding an unrealistic infrastructure project, and he’s going to do all of this through sheer will and determination on his part. The Trump vision of government is “Trump’s will be done.”

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Donald Trump’s Flip-Flops: He’s Banking on Bigotry and Ditching Right-Wing Economic Orthodoxy

Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee on Tuesday night, and he wasted literally no time in shedding some of the policy positions he laid out in the primary. He hasn’t exactly been the picture of consistency to date, and he’s built an entire political persona around erratic and unpredictable behavior, but the issues that Trump is flip-flopping on give some indication of how he views his own base and the sort of pitch he’ll make in a general election.

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Trump Has Insane General Election Optimism About States He Can’t Possibly Win

If there’s one quality the Donald Trump presidential campaign does not lack, its confidence. In the days since Trump barreled through the New York primary, his team has been making a deliberate show of strength intended to discourage his rivals and win over skeptical Republicans. And, in characteristic Trump fashion, their pitches have an eye-catching, over-the-top quality intended to distract from the obvious lack of substance behind the product.

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Obama’s Popularity Is Spiking - Further Destroying the GOP’s Chances of Saving Its Sinking Ship

Barack Obama is getting more and more popular of late. A new Bloomberg Politics poll puts his job approval rating at an even 50 percent, a six-point jump from the survey they conducted in November. His favorability rating spiked nine points, all the way up to 57 percent. On specific issue areas that have been troublesome for the president in the past, like the economy and health care, his approval rating is inching up towards 50 percent. He’s getting positive marks for nominating Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the late Antonin Scalia, and nearly two-thirds of the country supports his push to have the Republican-controlled Senate hold hearings on the nomination.

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