Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Even The CIA Now Admits It Covered Up The Truth Of JFK’s Murder

As Earl Warren once let slip to a dogged reporter (there used to be such people in America), “You’ll not know the truth of the JFK assassination in your lifetime.” To the dismay of all democracy-loving people everywhere, Warren was right. Only dedicated researchers and writers, like David Lifton, Mark Lane, and James Douglas, largely ignored by the mainstream media, have dared to seriously investigate the murder of the century. Thanks to them we know much more now than we did 50 years ago. However, the truth of the conspiracy, which involved LBJ, the Joint Chiefs, Texas oil billionaires, and disaffected CIA rogues, has never been acknowledged by the establishment press or any government agency.

The best we can get from investigative “journalists” these days is admission of CIA lies, half-truths, and talk of indirect involvement. Such is this case with the latest revelation by a “name” journalist. Former New York Times reporter Philip Shenon, in an article for Politico Magazine, writes, “Even the CIA is now willing to raise these questions [about CIA involvement in JFK’s death]. Half a century after JFK’s death, in a once-secret report written in 2013 by the CIA’s top in-house historian and quietly declassified last fall, the spy agency acknowledges what others were convinced of long ago: that [John] McCone [CIA chief under JFK] and other senior CIA officials were ‘complicit’ in keeping ‘incendiary’ information from the Warren Commission.

“According to the report by CIA historian David Robarge, McCone, who died in 1991, was at the heart of a ‘benign cover-up’ at the spy agency, intended to keep the commission focused on ‘what the Agency believed at the time was the ‘best truth’—that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone in killing John Kennedy.’ The most important information that McCone withheld from the commission in its 1964 investigation, the report found, was the existence, for years, of CIA plots to assassinate Castro, some of which put the CIA in cahoots with the Mafia. Without this information, the commission never even knew to ask the question of whether Oswald had accomplices in Cuba or elsewhere who wanted Kennedy dead in retaliation for the Castro plots.

“The report offers no conclusion about McCone’s motivations, including the question of why he would go to lengths to cover up CIA activities that mostly predated his time at the agency. But it suggests that the Johnson White House might have directed McCone to hide the information. McCone 'shared the administration’s interest in avoiding disclosures about covert actions that would circumstantially implicate [the] CIA in conspiracy theories and possibly lead to calls for a tough US response against the perpetrators of the assassination.'"

Shenon, knowingly or unknowingly, is the latest conduit of the CIA’s limited hang-out position, to wit: “Yes, we covered up the truth, but we did not set up Oswald to be the patsy, hire the real hitmen, use assets to alter the Zapruder film, issue a false autopsy, alter the President’s wounds, kill and intimidate witnesses, or collude with the new President, the Joint Chiefs, or Texas oil billionaires to remove the 35th President from office…even though we hated him and were secretly at war with him throughout the thousand days of his administration.”

In truth, Shenon and his like bore me. At best, they should be pitied for being duped by CIA disinformation; at worst, they should be scorned for helping covering up the truth under the guise of “uncovering bombshell information” which does nothing more than exonerate the CIA. If you want the real truth, read Jim Douglass’s JFK and the Unspeakable…or my book, The President’s Mortician. And don’t be fooled by pseudo-journalists.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Right-Wing Benghazi Witch Hunt Exposed for What It Is: An Attempt to Lower Hillary’s Poll Numbers

The longest investigation is U.S. Congressional history has officially and publically been declared a devious, cynical, taxpayer-funded political ploy. We on the left have always known this, but now even a GOP leader has conceded this. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made this stunning admission on FOX News:

“What you’re going to see is a conservative Speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win. And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.”

Notice how McCarthy made no mention of the Americans who died in the attack on our Libyan embassy, which was ostensibly the whole point of the investigation in the first place. Those deaths, it turns out, are superfluous.

Steve Benen, reporting for MSNBC, put it this way: “Note, McCarthy sees the committee as a legitimate accomplishment of the Republican Congress, not because it’s uncovered relevant details about an act of terrorism, but because Hillary Clinton’s 'numbers are dropping.' This, in his mind, is evidence of the GOP majority using its power effectively – by using a supposedly non-partisan investigatory vehicle to embarrass a Democrat with dubious allegations.

"It’s almost as if the House Majority Leader assumed he was among friends, dropped his guard momentarily, and admitted out loud what Republicans are only supposed to say in private.

"There was no real reason to create this committee, and the panel itself no longer serves any legitimate purpose. McCarthy’s unexpected candor was welcome – it was, to be sure, surprising to see him make such a concession on national television – but it served as a timely reminder that the Benghazi investigation that no longer focuses on Benghazi is now little more than a taxpayer-financed farce.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I’m Boycotting The Evening News; I’m Sick Of Its Conservative Bias

The other night as Scott Pelley tried to lull me to sleep with yet another “kitten rescued from a tree story,” it suddenly occurred to me that watching the nightly news on the major networks is a huge waste of time. With all the destruction and deceit created by right-wing extremists in this country, it is obscene that CBS, NBC, and ABC focus such large blocks of time to celebrity gossip, cute puppy stories, heartwarming human interest (e.g., the blind person who succeeds in college), and other “news stories” meant to assuage my fears, curry my favor, or make me overlook systematic dismantling of democracy. I’ve come to the conclusion that nightly news broadcasts are nothing more than light entertainment, used by corporate sponsors and owners to sell me financial services, cars, and computer widgets. Real journalism is dead. The days of Walter Cronkite editorializing about the futility of the Vietnam War, Harry Reasoner denouncing segregation, and Howard K. Smith exposing Nixon as a criminal are long gone. And the insidiously deceptive part is that the things they will not tell you are the very things which are tearing democracy to shreds. Here are just a few of the things which go unreported by ABC, CBS and NBC.

1)The Proliferation of Guns and Gun Deaths in U.S.
In 2014, approximately 35,000 people died by gunfire in the United States. It is estimated that 2015 deaths will exceed that number. The Center For Disease Control reports that gun violence costs American Taxpayers over $500 million annually in direct hospital costs. Yet you will not hear these stats on the nightly news, because these cowardly “journalists” are fearful of NRA and right-wing backlash.

2)Scandal-Free Obama Admiunistration
Over 130 members of Ronald Reagan’s administration were either accused, indicted, or convicted of crimes. The two Bush administrations squandered our national treasure and countless lives with needless wars; billions of taxpayer dollars which funded those wars are still unaccounted for. War criminals like Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and Don Rumsfeld have been given a free pass. On the contrary, the Obama administration has been absolutely scandal-free. Yet the contrast between his administration and others goes unnoticed in print and broadcast media.

3)Illegitimacy of Extremist Right-Wing Views
If Scott Pelley were broadcasting the nightly news in Berlin in 1933, he would hide behind the veneer of fairness and present the Nazi party viewpoint alongside the democratic stance. This analogy applies today, as right-wing extremism is presented as a legitimate opposing view on all issues. Even when right-wing politicians take ridiculously hateful positions, these positions are given equal time. A dumbed-down American public construes these positions as legitimate.

4)Right-Wing Presidential Candidates’ Lies and Scandals Go Unchallenged, but Hillary Clinton Gets Incessantly Hounded About Non-Issues Like Benghazi and E-Mails.
Carly Fiorina lied about seeing a video of an aborted fetus with a beating heart lying on a clinic table somewhere. No video exists. Planned Parenthood does not harvest human brains and limbs and organs for profit. Yet these lies, and a thousand others, are not exposed by the mainstream media. Viewers who believe everything they see on TV get a warped sense of reality.

5)Where the jobs went
Outsourcing (or offshoring) is a bigger contributor to unemployment in the U.S. than laziness. Since 2000, U.S. multinationals have cut 2.9 million jobs here while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. This is likely just the tip of the iceberg as multinational corporations account for only about 20% of the labor force.
When was the last time you saw a front-page headline about outsourcing?

6)Upward wealth redistribution and/or inequality
In 2014, 10% of the people held approximately 88% of the net worth in the U.S. The top 1% alone held 40% of all net worth. The ultra-rich are hoarding all the wealth. Soon nothing will be left but scraps for the poor. These statistics are nonpartisan and available to all reporters. Why aren't they discussed in the mainstream media?

7)How ALEC is destroying democracy
ALEC stands for American Legislative Exchange Council. Sounds innocuous enough, but don't be fooled. This organization, perhaps more than any other, is killing the democratic system. It is funded by the richest right-wing corporations and individuals in the country, who have bought and paid for most, if not all, right-wing politicians. ALEC drafts its own legislation and then demands that its whore-bought Republicans pass it. Need legislation drafted? No need to go through a lobbyist to reach state legislatures anymore. Just contact ALEC. Among other things, ALEC is responsible for:
• Stand Your Ground laws
• Voter ID laws
• Right to Work laws (union busting)
• Privatizing schools
• Health savings account bills which benefit health care companies

Many legislators don’t even change the proposals handed to them by ALEC. They simply take the corporate bills and bring them to the legislative floor. They're meeting in Chicago this weekend. Maybe the "liberal media" will send some reporters. But don’t hold your breath.

8) The number of bills blocked by Republicans in Congress
The filibuster has been used a record number of times since Obama was elected President. From 2008-2012, 375 bills weren’t even allowed to come to a vote in the Senate because Republicans threatened the filibuster. This is more obstruction than occurred in the Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II administrations combined. In 2013, during the first 6 months, Congress has only passed 15 bills that were signed into law. The GOP has also succeeded in holding up 79 of President Obama’s picks to the U.S. Circuit Court and Courts of Appeal. They’re blocking these appointments regardless of qualification.
Where's the coverage? Where are the reporters asking why nothing is getting done?

Where does one go for hard news and good, old-fashioned muckraking journalism in America today? You got me. Adlai Stevenson once said, "The free press is the mother of all our liberties and of our progress under liberty"; and Thomas Jefferson wrote, "The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure."

Without a watchdog media exposing corruption, hypocrisy and the dismantling of democracy, we will devolve into a totalitarian state, run by and for the powerful few. Maybe this is what it was like in 1933 Berlin; we’re closer than ever to fascism.

Friday, September 25, 2015

End Of The World Near; FOX News Commentator Defends Pope

As a lapsed Catholic, I have mixed feelings about Pope Francis. When I listen to him speak, I think, “This is a great man. He reminds me of the Jesuits who taught me to revere the intellect, care for those who have less, and be wary of blind believers who deny reason and use the word of God for their own profit.”

Then I remember why I turned my back on the Church: my Sunday donations that were used to defend pedophiles; archbishops who raged against abortions, but did not speak out against war or the sickening culture of American gun violence; the hording of Vatican treasures while the world’s poor go hungry.

I was raised Catholic in the ‘50s and early ‘60s when mass was an obligation, and no one questioned the sanctity of the religion’s rituals. But as the ‘60s wore on, and the world as everyone knew it changed, the Church became irrelevant. The same tired, empty homilies of parish priests had no revelations or insights about war, bigotry, and inequality. I came to view the Church as meaningless at best, hopelessly outdated at worst.

The Jesuits, however, were a different matter. They did not flinch from the turmoil of the late ‘60s. They addressed the existential nature of life head-on. They were not afraid to discuss relevant matters like war, poverty, and inequality. In their classrooms I read atheist literature, discussed the lack of empirical evidence for the existence of God, and learned to respect science. They taught me how to think for myself. Faith that was unchallenged by the intellect was not a worthy faith. Thus, I lost my faith. Or I never had it in the first place.

After high school, I left Catholicism behind. I’ve never looked back until now; Francis has aroused some ancient sentiment in me. His Jesuitical message has pissed off the right wing; and anything that angers those jackals deserves my attention.

Francis is not some ivory tower papist issuing staunch, anti-human edicts. He is a man of the people and a man of his times. Like Jesus, he walks among us, defends the poor, denounces hypocrisy, and condemns war for profit. It takes courage to do that; he does not seem to give a damn what American conservatives think of him. For that alone he deserves praise. Even the idiots at FOX News recognize this. Shepard Smith, of all people, had this to say about the right’s dissatisfaction with Francis:

“I think that we are in a weird place in the world when the following things are considered political. Five things, I'm going to tick them off. These are the five things that were on [the pope] and our president's agenda. Caring for the marginalized and the poor. That's now political. Advancing economic opportunity for all. Political? Serving as good stewards of the environment. Protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom globally. Welcoming [and] integrating immigrants and refugees globally. And that's political? I mean, I don't know what we expect to hear from an organization's leader like the pope of the Catholic Church other than protect those who need help, bring in refugees who have no place because of war and violence and terrorism. These seem like universal truths that we should be good to others who have less than we do, that we should give shelter to those who don't have it. I think these were the teachings in the Bible of Jesus. They're the words of the pope, they're the feelings of the president. And people who find themselves on the other side of that message should consult a mirror, it seems like. Because I think that's what we're supposed to do as a people, whatever your religion. I mean, it seems to me — and I think to probably, as Bill O'Reilly would put it, most clear-thinking Americans — that that's how we're supposed to roll.”

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Trump's Perverse Allure Is Explained By Renowned Psychologist

If you've been baffled by Donald Trump's poll numbers, you're not alone. Sane people dismiss him as a pompous jackass, short on substantive policy and long on name-calling. If you ever played in the schoolyard as a child, you will recognize his type. He tries to get his way by bullying others, especially the weakest and most vulnerable among us. When the bully gets challenged, he stomps and huffs and name-calls, and then sulks and pouts until his sycophants gather round him to assuage his ego. This drama is almost infantile and laughable for anyone over the age of eight, but, then again, no one has ever accused Republicans of being mature, rational, and beyond expressing juvenile behavior. Having said all this, I still did not understand how a thrice-divorced, pro-choice (until recently), non-religious New Yorker like Trump could hold any appeal for the southern, Evangelical right-wing. That is, until I read what Dr. Scott Keiller had to say in a recent edition of OpEd News.

According to Dr. Keiller, a professor of Psychological Sciences at Kent State University, Trump displays the classic traits of a narcissistic authoritarian. And those who were raised in authoritarian households, and who may have even been abused as children, are naturally drawn to someone like Trump. Even if Trump's political views do not comport with theirs, his sycophants are succumbing to what is familiar to them: an authority figure who is self-involved, abusive, and tyrannical. Here's how Rob Kall, Editor-in-Chief of OpEd News puts it:

"Dr. Keiller's research on narcissism, prejudice, and authoritarianism has been published in peer-reviewed journals published by the American Psychological Association and others, including the Journal of Personality Assessment, Psychology of Men & Masculinity, Psychological Assessment, and Sex Roles.

"Trump is a narcissistic, blustering, offensive, abusive bully and buffoon. He is, among all the billionaires in the world, the most desperate for attention, the fastest to attack critics. There is widespread agreement that he is a narcissist. That tells us a lot about his supporters.

"Trump is pulling between 25 and 32% in polling. That's about the same ballpark for the percentage of people who were victims of child abuse of one kind or another. It's also about the same percentage for right-wing authoritarian types.

"[Dr. Keiller] explained authoritarians as people obsessed with rules, who very much follow self-proclaimed experts on how life should be and moral. Someone who is authoritarian is seeking a leader to follow and blindly obedient. They are very conventional, very submissive to authorities, seeking people to dominate them.

"[Dr. Keiller] also talked about narcissists. People who are in abusive relationships are very often abused by parents who are narcissistic and sometimes also psychopathic. All psychopaths are narcissists. Victims of childhood abuse may become abusing narcissists or they may, and often do, enter into relationships with abusive narcissists. It's a vicious cycle. It makes sense that most authoritarians who seek out leaders to be submissive to, are recreating the life they grew up in. They were abused as children and they seek leaders who will abuse them."

This clarifies why those who support Trump do so with full knowledge that they are doing it at their own peril. They know full well that Trump is a tyrannical narcissist, but it is just this sort of personality to whom they are drawn, even if, in the end, they know and expect that they will be mistreated. Perhaps Republicans like being victims; they are both sadists and masochists. Often times I have heard them utter empty and angry aphorisms like, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way," as if there are only those who abuse and those who get abused. No in-betweens. No shades of gray.

And this would explain why it is next to impossible to reason with a Republican (psychopath). They are psychologically wounded and, thus, absolutely incapable of seeing truth. They are hopelessly mired in living their lives according to old paradigms, built on bigotry, violence, misuse of power. They are victims who care only about themselves and their own survival. Not the greater good.

Now I have some understanding of how we wound up with two Bushes, Nixon, and Reagan as presidents. This is why Sarah Palin is so popular with Tea Partiers. Sick and twisted as it seems, Republicans slogan should be, "Hurt me Daddy, because it feels so good."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Permanent War State And The Debasement Of The American Political System, Or How I Learned To Endure Trump And The Other Imbeciles

Amid the childish squabbling and juvenile name calling of the recent Republican debates, there was little discussion of what ails us as a nation and how to fix it. God’s name was invoked repeatedly, illegal Mexicans were demonized as usual, and all the obligatory Obamacare denunciations were uttered. It was a predictable and boring charade. The same empty platitudes, constructed to draw huge applause from the red-faced, red-voting, white-haired haters, polluted the arena. Meanwhile, huge debt and massive wealth inequality plague us, and the bully Trump and his cowardly subjugates made no mention of possible solutions. Indeed, there was no mention that these things were problems.

These snake-oil peddlers know better than to open the vipers’ nest. While they rage against big government and indolent takers, they refuse to acknowledge that the biggest takers are the richest among us. And the richest among us buy and sell these same gutless politicians like they’re banal commodities (which they are). Fittingly, then, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee and the rest of the jackals propose to lower taxes on the wealthy and further burden the middle class with our national debt. This policy will exacerbate income inequality, and they know it. But they couldn’t care less, because to be a Republican today means to do what benefits oneself and not the greater good. Rapacious sociopaths like Scott Walker will say and do anything to advance their own ends.

The rest of us are schmucks for letting them get away with it, but the American media are culpable too. Now fully owned and operated by multinational corporations, CBS, NBC, and ABC (I don’t even include the trash dump called FOX) are consistently silent on the source of inequality and debt. To wit, they do not tell us who pays taxes in this country and where that tax money goes. In short, since Bush and his cronies stole the White House in 2000, large corporations and super-wealthy individuals have paid less and less tax, while middle class tax rates have remained relatively level. Concomitantly, six of every ten tax dollars paid by all Americans goes to defense spending—to the Pentagon, to defense contractors, to war profiteers of all stripes. This pack of hawks includes the corporations who own major broadcast media. They, in turn, with their bloody profits, buy politicians who fund massive military spending projects like Iraq War II(at last count Halliburton made $39 billion on that one) and the F-35 fighter jet ($1 trillion and counting)…both of which were colossal wastes of treasure.

To justify this corrupt system, our leaders must invent and re-invent enemies. For 45 years it was the Soviet Union and the spread of godless communism around the globe. Before the dust had settled from the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and the USSR was no more, our leaders decided the new boogeymen were oil-rich Mideastern Muslims. George Sr. invaded Iraq in 1991; George Jr. twelve years after. (This despite the fact that the Bin Ladens have always been intimate business associates of the Bushes.) A decade on, radical Islam, to the great relief of the military-industrial complex, is still terrorizing the region.

We are in what writer Andrew Bacevich calls a permanent war state. In his book, Washington Rules, Bacevich writes of an “American credo” which he says calls upon the United States – and the United States alone – to “lead, save, liberate, and ultimately transform the world…which requires America to: to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism.”

Australian writer Greg Maybury argues that this American war-state monolith unleashed its hell-hounds in the run-up to Vietnam. In 1963 the American military-intelligence-security state (AMISS) came to a crossroads. Faced with a President who dared to propose a permanent peace state, which would turn the economic construct of the country on its head, AMISS decided it was best to remove its commander-in-chief.

Maybury writes in “Pox Amerikana,” “Although it may not have been widely recognised at the time, in June 1963, just a few months shy of the Big Event [JFK’s assassination], President Kennedy in his American University commencement address delivered what is arguably the most significant oration of his short-lived, ill-fated tenure as commander-in-chief.

“In fact, it may well have been the most pivotal in American foreign policy in that era. Forget the unforgettable ‘[the] torch has been passed to a new generation….ask not what your country can do for you’ schtick; disregard the indelible ‘we choose to go to the moon because it is hard’…spiel!

“In this address, it appeared Kennedy was attempting to re-define the accepted notion of Pax Americana, to articulate a more inclusive, collaborative version, one that would bring folk with them willingly rather than dragging them kicking and screaming to the position. In almost all respects this wasn’t just a redefinition; he was attempting to turn the notion on its head. ‘Peaceful co-existence’ was decidedly the sub-text of his message. It appeared the baptism of fire he experienced in his on-the-job training as president thus far had changed him significantly.

“But as James Douglass has observed, when Kennedy uttered these words, ‘the priests of our national security state saw him as a heretic.’…from the Brass Asses in the Pentagon bunkers to the winkle-pickered wolf-pack down on the Langley Farm to the righteous, pointy-headed foreign policy and national security wonks in the Beltway think-tanks and the hallowed halls of Ivy League academia and even a few within his own administration, [JFK’s peace state] came across as touchy-feely, appeasement-sounding – indeed na├»ve, unadulterated – nonsense. This was not in the brochure, and quite a few would’ve been spitting hollow points at the wall.

“Whereas Kennedy at least openly contemplated a path to presidential greatness via a Grand Peace, Bush like many presidents before him saw the only path to a glorious presidential legacy [was] through war, one he ‘knew’ the American people would support him in. As impaired as Bush’s vision may have been, one is tempted – at least with hindsight – to suggest that his was the more pragmatic and realistic, and the one most in sync with America’s true ‘manifest destiny’. Jack’s didn’t stand a ‘snowball’s’!”

Like many other American black plagues, the permanent war state can trace its origins to the streets of Dallas, November 22, 1963. Within three days of the brutal murder, LBJ reversed his predecessor’s National Security Action Memo 263 which laid out Kennedy’s bold plan to withdraw America completely from Vietnam in his second term. Even establishment-approved historians (read lying toadies), like Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Caro, and Robert Dallek, grudgingly admit that LBJ’s NSAM 273 wiped out JFK’s peace-state dream, opened the door to a decade of war in southeast Asia, and ushered in the permanent war state.

In the three-card monty game run by the American capitalist war state, we are the suckers. Despite what the traveling Republican clown show tells us, it is not social welfare programs that have busted the budget. It is not spending on education that needs to be cut. And it is not Planned Parenthood which is sucking the federal teat dry. It is the trillions we spend on needless, murderous war and its weaponry and its installations and its co-conspirators—the Pentagon and its blood-sucking contractors—that is holding us hostage at gunpoint. As Jeb Bush recently told a gathering of major defense contractors, "The Iraq War was a pretty good deal for you."

When right-wing blowhards try to convince us that welfare cheats and minority takers and do-gooders and public schools and infrastructure rebuilding are keeping us in debt, remember this: if we cut military spending and corporate welfare by just one-half, we could build all the new roads and bridges we need; provide free education to every student; feed the hungry; subsidize the jobless; fund Social Security and Medicare for good; and provide free health care for all citizens.

When someone in the Republican circus speaks to this truth, maybe I’ll sit up and listen.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Trump Is The Malignant Byproduct Of Republican Hate

Watching the orange-haired assassin, Donald Trump, is like eating pizza and ice cream. Great fun at the time, but I hate myself afterwards. It’s too indulgent, and it does me no good. But the temptation of seeing one Republican nutjob devour other Republican nutjobs, and then those nutjobs turn on the Donald, is sometimes irresistible. Right-wingers, who have for decades gotten away with taking reckless, unsubstantiated and mean-spirited potshots at everyone on the left, are now having to eat their own mudpies. And they have no one to blame but themselves.

Timothy Egan, contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times, succinctly explains why Trump’s toxic bombast is just an outgrowth of years of GOP hatred now turned inward:

“Trump is a byproduct of all the toxic elements Republicans have thrown into their brew over the last decade or so — from birtherism to race-based hatred of immigrants, from nihilists who shut down government to elected officials who shout ‘You lie!’ at their commander in chief.

“It was fine when all this crossing-of-the-line was directed at President Obama or other Democrats. But now that the ugliness is intramural, Trump has forced party leaders to decry something they have not only tolerated, but encouraged.

“Consider Trump’s swipe against McCain’s military service, and by extension all veterans who have been involved in the fog of combat. Republicans were apoplectic at Trump’s claim that McCain was no war hero.

“‘All of our veterans, particularly P.O.W.s, deserve our respect and admiration,’ said Jeb Bush. The Republican National Committee was quick to lay down a similar principle, saying, ‘There is no place in our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably.’

“No place except a presidential campaign, that being the 2004 attempt to destroy the honorable Vietnam service of candidate John Kerry. Where was Bush’s ‘respect and admiration’ when his brother was benefiting from a multimillion-dollar smear of a Navy veteran with a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart?

“The wise men predicted Trump’s demise after he demeaned a former prisoner of war. But polls posted late this week showed Trump still in the lead. How can he get away with bashing combat veterans? Simple: The party he now wants to represent wrote the playbook on it.”

Someday, sooner rather than later, a real journalist will finally ask Trump a substantial question about foreign policy or corporate welfare or gun control or nuclear war with Iran, and he will be exposed for the bloviating charlatan that he is. The junk food binge will end, and I’ll have to return to a sensible diet of Hillary, Bernie and Elizabeth lambasting ruthless, greedy and corrupt extremists like Scott, Jeb and Marco. Until then, though, I can’t say I won’t snack on the empty calories of The Orange Orator taking down one of his fellow blowhards—maybe that fat guy from Jersey?