James Comey book release & Hannity mentioned in courtroom….

Only time will tell whether this is a minor distraction or becomes a major headache for Hannity.  It just seems far beyond coincidental he’d have the same lawyer as Trump.  And every night on TV as he attacks the DOJ & FBI & Mueller, plus attacks anyone who’d criticize Trump & their attorney Cohen, yet the Fox audience knew nothing about the cozy business/legal relationship Hannity had with Cohen.  And now that Hannity’s name was announced in a courtroom as being that secret third client of Cohen’s, you can bet your bottom dollar they’re hiding something.  Hopefully we’ll soon find out.  His ties with Cohen may have nothing to do with this, but haven’t I been speculating for months now Sean Hannity could be caught up in the Russian scandal?  Do you remember me saying he could go down with the ship like the rest of Trump’s cronies involved in the original conspiracy with the Russians &/or the subsequent cover-up?  I’m just thinking out loud here.  With Cohen’s 3 high profile clients being Trump, Broidy & Hannity, it raises plenty of questions.

The greatest single thing that could happen to America, aside from removing Trump from the White House, is for scandal to wind up removing Hannity from the air.  I’ve said all along, since Hannity in effect serves as a Trump adviser, he would be in legal jeopardy as this Russian case comes to fruition.  There are lots of links about this in the first group of Related Articles below, plus more from Daily Kos in part 3, some of which are very salacious!  That he was represented by Cohen is a fact Hannity was obviously trying to hide.  It might help explain why Hannity keeps going off the rails to discredit the Russian probe with a litany of wild theories.  If nothing else, for those who weren’t already aware, it helps show to the world how closely tied Hannity & Fox are to the Trump administration, which clearly does not make them a credible independent news source.  We now have proof of conflicts of interests involving Hannity’s crazy rants!  I’ve always said Fox was a state-run media!  Russia & North Korea have that too!

It was a mixture of shock & amusement when Hannity’s name popped up in court.  As we find out more, maybe this could so tarnish the Fox News brand, it proves to be enough in forcing them to back off their radicalized evening programming full of Trump worshipping.  It should also cost them advertisers & maybe spark another protest boycott.  We can only hope!  It will be very interesting to watch what happens as this episode plays out with Fox, in that will they continue to be a corrupt propaganda machine that keeps lying because that’s what the fanatics among their viewership want to hear, or will they instead do the right thing?  Stay tuned, it would be impossible for Hollywood to make up this kind of drama!

The various media sources have tremendous sway over influencing the political views of their audiences, which in recent years Fox & the echo have been consistently wrong in their rhetoric, spreading widespread misinformation in the minds of their conservative flock.  A big story that broke Friday night about evidence Cohen was in Prague meeting with Russians during the campaign, that further indicates Trump & the echo have consistently lied & steered their fans wrong when dismissing the Steele dossier.  The more evidence that comes out, the more it verifies the accuracy of that dossier.  In fact, the entire echo has been proven wrong on most of their takes on the Russian scandal, spreading a counter-narrative & conspiracies serving as a cover-up to the investigation.  Trumpeters/echo-fans have given the leader they worship & his state-run messaging sources such a long leash, that leader & media they implicitly trust can say practically anything, yet get away with it inside their alternate universe.

That’s very dangerous when they have millions of conservative followers buying into rhetoric that could enable a wanna-be dictator.  Please click on trump-hitler-europe & also view trump-would-have-called-hitler-and-mussolini-strong-leaders.  As long as a leader with a corrupt/authoritarian personality has Fox & the rest of the echo behind him, America runs the risk of allowing a criminal to serve out his term, which the fallout could grease the skids into becoming a fascist state.  As I keep warning, don’t think it couldn’t happen here.  This conclusion to assault-on-democracy offers a critically important message:

Trump’s attack on the rule of law and the essential institutions of American democracy is not a partisan issue, a contest between the left and the right. He is forcing a fight for the integrity of our system of self-rule, for our liberty. Around the world, anti-democratic leaders pursue two agendas before all else: undermine the free press and erode the independence of law enforcement and the judiciary. Trump has done both, using the reach and authority of his office to attempt to stifle unfavorable reporting as he attacks investigators, judges, and agencies who might also hold him accountable. If the federal justice system lacks sufficient independence to use its authority to discover potential crimes of the president or his associates, the chances of ensuring the accountability of the person we elect to that role are severely diminished.

 

The press offers another avenue through which truth can be revealed, but journalists lack the legal authority often needed to discover hidden wrongdoing, and without law enforcement’s pursuit of facts, journalistic efforts become even more difficult as well. Most importantly, the ability of ordinary Americans to hold their leaders accountable through political processes relies on the healthy functioning of these two sources of information, and is severely impaired by their absence. Rhetorical red lines alone will not prove a sufficient response to these challenges. Turning back attacks on the independence of the press and law enforcement will require Americans to work together across old divisions, coalescing around the defense of their most essential principles, norms, and institutions.

 

And elected representatives in Congress can do more than talk. They can act, passing legislation protecting the special-counsel investigation—with a veto proof majority, if necessary—and holding the president accountable for any further efforts to render the federal justice system incapable against him. If the president removes Sessions or Rosenstein or Mueller, it will be a direct attack on the integrity of the special-counsel investigation and the primacy of the American people and the rule of law. The Constitution provides a remedy for such a gross breach of duty: impeachment. If Trump forges ahead on his present course, it will be up to Americans to make it clear to their elected representatives that they no longer have any alternative but to remove the president from office.

We continue to see all along the ones I can confidently describe as blooming idiots among Trump’s toadies, echo commentators & House Freedom Caucus radicals, who keep making arguments that make absolutely no sense.  As clearly illustrated in this next link, they just can’t help themselves than to constantly play the Clinton card in distracting from the Russian scandal: gop-lawmaker-fails-to-answer-question-without-invoking-clinton-after-msnbc.  It’s the same pattern we’ve always seen from Trump & his staff, pundits, echo & congresspeople puppets, coordinating the narratives so they all speak from the same playbook, & blaming all their agreed-upon enemies for all their problems.

 

Let’s try to set them straight.  All the chaos, dysfunction & bitter division we now see in DC are not the fault of Hillary, Obama, Pelosi, Schumer, Mueller, Rosenstein, Sessions, Comey, McCabe, the DOJ, the FBI, the deep state, the swamp, CNN, the Washington Post, LBJ, FDR, Benedict Arnold, Pontius Pilate, King Herod or anybody else they like to blame, it’s really Trump who’s to blame for our current mess.  See the-fault-dear-trump-is-not-in-your-stars where I post interesting excerpts here:

It’s time for Donald Trump to man up and stop casting about for other folks to blame for his troubles. The dire straits in which he finds himself are largely of his own making. It was not “Access Hollywood” or Billy Bush, but Trump who bragged about his sexual abuse of women. It was not The Post, the New York Times, CNN or MSNBC that introduced Trump to adult-film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom claim to have had affairs with him a decade ago. No news organizations had a hand in Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, arranging a payment of $130,000 to Daniels days before the presidential election to keep her from talking about the man who was then the Republican nominee. It was McDougal, not a fake news reporter, who disclosed that she sold her story about the alleged affair with Trump to the National Enquirer, which did not publish it. And journalists certainly didn’t make Trump deny knowledge of the hush-money payment to Daniels or get him to suggest that the media ask Cohen where the money came from. It was Trump on his own, mouthing off on Air Force One last week, who professed ignorance and then threw Cohen under the bus.

 

Hillary Clinton, regardless of Trump’s attacks, did not produce the intelligence community’s finding that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election with the aim of hurting her and helping him. Neither did Clinton order the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey — although she probably would have been delighted if Comey had opted for a major career change months before voters went to the polls. It was Trump, not Democratic National Committee operatives, who asked Comey (according to Comey) to drop the investigation of Michael Flynn, then the national security adviser; Trump who hired Flynn against the advice of President Barack Obama; Trump’s own handpicked national security adviser who later pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Just as it was Trump who back in March 2016 chose the now-indictedRussia-connected Paul Manafort to chair his presidential campaign. Trump and his team, not Obama loyalists embedded in the government, initiated the harebrained action that led to the creation of a special counsel. Trump can whine all he wants, but Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein didn’t elbow himself into the Russia probe. He was brought in by Trump after Trump’s rash and self-serving decision to fire Comey. Then Rosenstein brought Robert S. Mueller III and his small army of prosecutors and FBI agents into the mix — a toxic one, from Trump’s standpoint. In connection with Russia’s attempts to throw the election to Trump, it was Trump businesses drawing big bucks from Russian investors and oligarchs and his pro-Russian sympathy that focused attention on his dalliances with the Kremlin. Ah, but what should Americans expect from an undisciplined, vindictive and now scared-silly Trump. We should know by now that with self-absorbed Trump, a moment’s thought is a moment wasted. Trump should stop with the pouting and finger-pointing.

In Morning Joe’s article trumps-miserable-crew-has-never-been-so-desperate, this first paragraph is how it starts & the second paragraph how it ends, but overall Joe provides a clear perspective on Trump’s troubles & the damage he is doing.  We can only hope as Trump goes down, he can take Fox & the echo with him:

These are desperate times for the quislings of Trump. The cost of collaborating with President Trump in the continued debasement of American democracy is becoming far too high. Fifteen months into his presidency, Trump has seen a national security adviser, a former campaign chairman, a foreign policy adviser and another high-ranking campaign official face charges of serious crimes. This week, the president must have felt the walls closing in even more tightly around him when FBI agents searched the home, office and hotel room of his longtime personal lawyer, whom associates call Trump’s “fixer.” The president’s response to the Michael Cohen search, duly authorized by an independent federal judge, was to reflexively trash law-enforcement officers, undermine the rule of law and slander a Vietnam War hero who has committed his adult life to the service of America. By now, of course, few should be surprised by the depths to which Trump sinks when attacking law enforcement personnel. But this week provided insight into just how desperate Trump and his courtiers have become in their defenses of an indefensible administration. The president promoted a Fox News show via Twitter that starred a steady stream of sycophants who slandered special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

 

Even the most terrified politician must know that Trump and his stooges have reason to be rattled. And an ABC News-Washington Post poll shows that almost 7 in 10 Americans want Mueller to continue his investigation into possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. Sixty-four percent support the special counsel’s investigation into Trump’s past business dealings. And nearly 6 in 10 Americans believe that the special counsel must continue investigating Trump’s payoff to women for the purpose of keeping them quiet during the 2016 election. Regardless how Mueller’s investigation ends, Trump will one day leave Washington. And when he does, the steady stream of attacks on Justice Department professionals, FBI agents and all the honorable men and women who daily defend Americans against enemies foreign and domestic will forever stain the reputations of Trump’s most shameless apologists. All this for a man who has spent decades showing loyalty to little else but his ravenous pursuit of money and fame.

In the group of links on the James Comey book, in the televised interview & that just released book, he likens the prez to a mob boss.  We’ve seen that from watching his presidency, where he demands total loyalty & does (Twitter) hit jobs on his opponents.  This is getting increasingly more dangerous as the components are coming together potentially paving the way for fascism coming to America, since we always see Trump lashing out & threatening anyone he gets mad at, while his loyal cronies would seemingly do anything to protect him.  I call Trump a jackass because he is, but as leader of our nation he should never be always punching down & dishing out so many insults.  I’ve included lots of excerpts here from of-course-trump-hates-comey-trump-hates-anyone-who-criticizes-him, since it tells the truth about the repeated distortions from Trump & his messaging puppets, which we need to call them out before they do permanent damage to our country:

But to the Trumpist die-hards, any criticism is a provocation, no matter how plain and irrefutable its validity or veracity. The speaker does not matter, only that what the speaker is saying is oppositional. This is how the GOP performs the sort of moral contortions that led the party to create a websitelyincomey.com, with the explicit purpose of smearing the former FBI director, a registered Republican, ahead of publication of his book. It’s unclear whether Republicans in Congress feel this way, considering that some of them viewed Comey’s firing as an attempt on the president’s part to avoid accountability, but they are not pushing back. The party at large is taking a cue from Trump, who has a habit of accusing his enemies of things he has done — even the Sunday school-teacher types like Comey, who are so far outside the model of corruption and dishonesty that Trump embodies that they seem like an entirely different species.

 

Trump is happy to extend and exacerbate this toxic dynamic, and he tweeted Friday that Comey was a “slime ball” and a “terrible director of the FBI,” a “proven LEAKER and LIAR,” and baselessly and falsely accused him of leaking classified information and perjuring himself. Aside from the fact that at least two of these claims would be a slam-dunk defamation claim for Comey if they were made by anyone but the president — who apparently believes that there are no consequences for anything he says, no matter how destructive and false — many of the epithets Trump attaches to Comey are the ones most frequently and accurately applied to the president. He is a prolific fabulist who produces falsehoods at such volume that it might be easier to catalogue the occasions where he accidentally says something that’s true, and whose habit of leaking to the news media became so ingrained and regular that he invented a pseudonym to better facilitate it.

 

And Trump’s allies are willing and happy to enable the smears. Sean Hannity, whose entire raison d’etre now appears to be defending the president, maligned Comey, who has prosecuted many members of the mafia over the course of his career, as someone who doesn’t know what a real mob boss looks like. (Hannity himself has prosecuted exactly zero members of the mafia and is predictably convinced that mob bosses look like Hillary Clinton.) Former Trump adviser and intelligence pseudo-expert Sebastian Gorka repeated the slur that Comey is a liar, and called CNN reporters “perverts” for good measure. Jason Miller, former Trump senior communications adviser, suggested on CNN that Comey’s practice of taking notes after meeting with Trump was “vindictive,” even though note-taking in these meetings is standard procedure for FBI officials. In a briefing Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described Comey’s firing as one of Trump’s greatest achievements and called him a “disgraced partisan hack,” an appellation that seems destined to be applied more rigorously to herself.

 

There’s irony in the GOP response: The central thesis of Comey’s book is that the steady stream of lies coming out of the Oval Office is damaging to democracy, and there’s no evidence that Comey has lied about anything. The notion that “Comey is a liar” is less the view of mainstream Republicans than an attempt by the president’s supporters to redefine “lie” as any assertion of inconvenient information, no matter how easily or obviously verifiable. In Trump’s formulation, a lie is not a fabrication of fact or a statement intended to mislead; it’s anything that offends his sensibilities or those of his cronies. The result is an almost Orwellian algorithm: If what’s said is true but unflattering to the president, it’s a lie. If what’s said is a lie but flatters the president, it’s true. And the truth matters, because Comey is right: There is no value to democracy in entrenching an individual’s mistakes and protecting the president’s reputation at the expense of the country and our values. And even if it feels inconvenient right now, that message is still better delivered than not. There’s no bad time to remind Americans that its leaders do not get to construct an alternate reality and demand that everyone else live in it. A lie is still a lie, by the standard definitions, and even the president can’t change that.

When a president keeps lying, insulting & threatening his political opponents, even calling for jail time without any hard evidence, those vengeful personal traits are not exactly displaying the fruits of the spirit (which ties into my comments about evangelicals at the bottom).  In the James Comey book just being released now, here are takeaways from his ABC interview as seen in searing-interview-james-comey-unleashes:

“A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they’re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person’s not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds,” Comey said.

 

Highlights from the interview include:

 

*Trump may be vulnerable to Russian blackmail. “I think it’s possible. I don’t know. These are more words I never thought I’d utter about a president of the United States, but it’s possible.”*

The president “treats women like they’re pieces of meat.”

*In regards to Trump asking Comey to drop his investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, there was “certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice.”

*Comey said Trump was “of above average intelligence who’s tracking conversations and knows what’s going on.”

*“I don’t think he’s medically unfit to be president. I think he’s morally unfit to be president.”

*He said Trump “will stain everyone around him. And the question is, how much stain is too much stain…”

*Trump was obsessed with disproving allegations that he paid prostitutes to urinate on a bed in a Moscow hotel room. Comey recalled the president asking “Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?” 

 

The interview comes just days before the release of his highly anticipated book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, which has already sold close to 200,000 copies 

Inside cnn-legal-analyst-comeys-account-of-trumps-behavior-devastating, here is Jeffrey Toobin’s take on the Comey interview:

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said he believes former FBI Director James Comey‘s account of President Trump‘s behavior is “devastating.” Toobin was asked during a segment on the network whether he thinks Comey’s claims that Trump asked him to let the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn go was evidence of possible obstruction of justice. “I don’t think it’s evidence of obstruction of justice. I think it is obstruction of justice,” Toobin said. “There’s just no other way to describe what the president was doing, if Comey’s account of the conversation is correct. He is trying to stop an investigation of a subordinate in the Russia investigation.” Toobin said he believes it was a “crime committed in the Oval Office.” “I just think it’s a completely devastating account of the president’s behavior,” Toobin said.

In the next group of Trump news links, we find so many Fox hosts/commentators have gone so far to the right & are so in the tank for Trump, they have no credibility.  On CNN, they have these panels where they pit left against right.  The problem comes in when their conservative squawkers know their role is to defend Trump no matter what, so they go to extremes & come across as disingenuous morons.  Believe it or not, the best conservatives on cable TV come from an unlikely source, MSNBC!  Progressive liberals may not be thrilled with the more right-leaning path the network has taken, especially compared to the days of Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz & Keith Olbermann, but to me the network is more credible than ever: is-msnbc-going-conservative-supposedly-liberal-news-network-loves-nevertrumpers-more-than-leftists.  I do share the same brand of pragmatic/principled conservatism as most of the conservative commentators who regularly appear on MSNBC shows.  Those trapped in echo-bubble-land should expand their horizons & check it out sometime!

Never before in our nation’s history have millions of citizens been so deceived by such a powerful messaging source as the rightwing echo.  Every night on Fox fake news, they present 3 straight hours of extreme idiocy!  They have a proven history of lies & deception, as we see repeatedly in the Related Articles posted with each VORACS part 2 message, which makes it all the more perplexing Fox has an audience watching, let alone believing that stuff.  Their viewers could be told what’s down is up & up is down, or the sky is green & the grass is purple, & I’d swear many staring blankly at their TV screens would take it all in & blindly accept every word.  That type of puppy-dog loyalty coming from actual humans is confounding & just plain scary, while it sabotages the GOP’s ability to be a constructive party when their base has fallen for obvious falsehoods & insane narratives.  When we see more articles likemorning-joe-pounds-fox-news-comparing-mueller-stalin & also hannity_glenn_beck_bat_crazy_comey_book & also fox_friends_claim_trump_adoration_no_impact_on_show, it shows so much of what is seen on Fox is totally nuts!  As to the viewers who watch & believe that garbage, it’s hard to find the words to describe that type of mentality.  Isn’t this is modern-day America, not 1930’s Germany?

It is just so easy to identify these echo radical nutjobs!  They stick out like a sore thumb when they constantly praise Trump over all his many indiscretions, but when he finally does something right like a surgical strike on Syrian targets, that’s when they attack him: laura-ingraham-alex-jones-and-other-right-wing-media-allies-turn-trump-over.  It just goes to show some of these echo-hosts are wrong on practically everything they say.  So many in their audiences tune in thinking they’re getting a conservative point of view, not properly deciphering they’re actually getting an incomprehensibly nonsensical & hardcore extremist point of view.  Further ridiculous rhetoric is revealed in the next group under Sinclair Broadcasting, providing this warning from how-sinclair-is-taking-over-local-news-and-pushing-the-country-to-the-right:

Unlike Fox News and InfoWars, who bellow their blustery politics at their viewers, Sinclair is far subtler. It blends coverage of the weather and local sports with the sort of must-read segments highlighted by Deadspin. These right-wing propagandistic segments are consciously and carefully intercalated with community-relevant news.

Whatever articles I include about my evangelical faith, it’s all in earnestly searching for viable explanations why the white evangelical demographic has seemingly lost their moral compass with the world definitely noticing.  I have yet to hear a cogent explanation how so many in the faith could undermine their principles by aligning with a worldly leader who has no ethics.  A basic argument is the pro-life cause, but Trump is making the GOP so toxic, in the long run it’s going to hurt the cause as Dems take over.  No matter what we think of Comey, I believe he’s right the president is morally unfit to serve.

As I keep waiting for a logical reason from evangelicals why they overwhelmingly support Trump, let me take another shot at it with this theory.  The Syrian conflict offers a dire warning we could be living in the last days.  Interpreting the biblical prophecy points towards Armageddon being the last great war, an all-out nuclear battle being sparked by conflict centered on the Syria-Israel region.  It’s also to be marked by a spirit of deception running throughout the world, where people can’t distinguish between truth & lies.  If we are indeed part of an eternal battle between good & evil, where there’s a heaven & a hell, with God & Satan in direct opposition while appealing to the hearts of mankind, we should pray for the wisdom to stay on the side of truth & moral principles.  If Satan wanted to inflict the most amount of damage in spreading his lies in the end times, he might want to start with deceiving the evangelical church community.  Sadly, is that what we’re starting to see now?