We’ve Waited 2 Years for the Mueller Report Today…As we’ve been saying here at The VORACS for months & years, the evidence of obstruction of justice is basically a slam dunk. The multiple instances in that report are overwhelming. In the Mueller report today, we see a pattern of illegal activities clearly spelled out. There’s so much stuff in the 400+ page report, it’d be impossible to sum it all up here. Let’s just start with a few of the obvious signs of obstruction from the report. Overall there were 10 categories of obstruction. It includes the prez directed White House attorney Don McGahn to fire Mueller, plus trying to get AG Sessions to unrecuse, along with the firing of Comey over that Russier thing. There was also destroyed evidence as part of numerous instances to cover up crimes.
And Trump himself knew in advance of WikiLeaks email dumps as seen in the Mueller report today. Furthermore, Trump actually shouted out an expletive that his presidency was over upon the appointment of Mueller, acknowledging his own guilt & explaining why he went overboard to try derailing the probe. Special counsel gave Trump a pass just based on his position of president. Mueller stood by the framework of longstanding DOJ protocol that a sitting president cannot be indicted, which helped influence their prosecutorial judgement not to make charges on obstruction based on the merits, which he handed off to Congress (not Barr) to make the political judgement whether the evidence of obstruction rises to the criminal standard of high crimes & misdemeanors.
Based on the solid evidence in the Mueller report today Congress can mull over, it’s rather apparent under normal circumstances the president’s actions would be impeachable offenses. The fact this current president is uniquely protected by his cult sycophants & evil echo, the question becomes is it politically savvy to proceed with impeachment when the crimes haven’t yet risen to the level where at least 20 GOP senators would vote to convict? We’re not there yet, so we must wait on the preponderance of evidence yet to be revealed. There’s much more to come out from the redacted parts of the report (Nadler is subpoenaing for the whole thing), the huge stack of Mueller related documents, ongoing grand jury probes, accounts directly from Mueller & his team (with the expectations of personal testimonies), the ongoing congressional investigations (including the possibility the Russians had Trump compromised), plus the multiple spinoff investigations & separate probes of credible financial crimes being done in various jurisdictions (such as the SDNY).
Much of the info in the Mueller report today were details we got wind of in media stories from the past couple years, but the actual report only confirms what a relevant & substantive probe this really was. The amount of infiltration & interference from Russia during the 2016 campaign was astounding, which the Trump campaign did know much of what was going on. So cheating with foreign powers to steal elections may have just been normalized if Trump ultimately gets away with this. Other interesting tidbits from the Mueller report today included with the president’s written responses to Mueller a few months ago, Trump forgot almost everything of note, meaning he refused to answer. And all throughout the nearly two-year probe, the prez & his minions lied to us every step of the way. We can definitely see this probe was no witch hunt. There are so many unflattering details in this report, Congress would be derelict in their duties not to pursue it further. To do otherwise would be giving a president a pass on such deplorably crooked behavior. And the report makes it clear it was Mueller’s intent to pass the ball onto Congress.
We’ve anticipated this day for two years, so naturally there are tons of articles about the release of the Mueller report today. Since we have limits on outbound links & there are sooooo many article links here in Part 2, most won’t be live links. But even reading the titles can be informative, plus you could search for the ones that intrigue you:
Barr is Compromised
As I’ve often said, Trump corrupts everyone he touches & the AG is no exception. Barr’s press conference this morning looks to have been orchestrated by Trump himself with preordained talking points. They wanted to interject their partisan spin rather than just letting the report speak for itself. The AG’s conclusion of no collusion (saying it repeatedly) was based on the Trump campaign not being directly involved in the hacking & disseminating information damaging to their presidential opponent. But that doesn’t answer the question why the Trump campaign encouraged, welcomed & even rewarded the Russians for their illegal actions.
Trump’s praise for Barr by stating the AG really took the bull by the horns is just another way of saying Barr is yet another corrupted loyalist doing the president’s slimy dirty work. The AG has embraced the Trump-team distorted line of total exoneration, the outrageous idea spying occurred within the FBI & the Trumpian heartless immigration policies. So instead of being the independent head law enforcement officer upholding the law, it sure looks as though Barr has become just another lawless henchman in the Trump gestapo. Now Trump & his henchmen are looking to weaponize the investigation to go after their accusers, just as any brazen rogue dictator would do. Team-Trump will unjustifiably keep trashing the FBI & any political opponents to protect a corrupt leader. It’s nothing less than a blatant assault on our democracy & Constitution: thedailybeast.com/trump-and-co-are-crossing-big-bright-red-linesand-theyre-getting-away-with-it?.
Trump & his cronies will keep lying to the American public about the origins (or as Trump says “oranges”) of the investigation to score political points. Zero recognition will be given to the truth, such as the probe began based on suspicious actions & words from the likes of George Papadopoulos & Carter Page, legitimized through a difficult-to-get but highly-justified FISA warrant. Also conveniently overlooked is the Trump campaign asking for & fawning over the dirt the Russians had on their presidential opponent, along with the repeated communications & lying over their many Russian contacts, plus the advocating for pro-Russian positions & Trump himself lionizing Putin. There’s also the not-so-small circumstances such as Trump campaign staff members communicating with WikiLeaks or turning over private polling data to a Russian intelligence operative, so this was a campaign swimming in illegalities.
In a classic example of both collusion & obstruction, Barr & the president’s team were working in cahoots by crafting their disinformation & misdirection campaign days before releasing the Mueller report: msn.com/en-us/news/politics/white-house-and-justice-dept-officials-discussed-mueller-report-before-release
Barr’s actions scream out at compliance & servitude to Trump instead of the American people: slate/mueller-report-release-william-barr-justice-department-trump
Such over-the-top partisanship should be disqualifying for holding the position of AG: thehill/why-william-barr-should-resign
A judge might have to intervene: thedailybeast/judge-says-he-might-ask-to-review-mueller-report-redactions-after-release-pass-on-to-foia-requesters
As staff members to a chronic liar, the people who work for the prez are worried they’re going to be on the receiving end of his wrath for telling the truth to Mueller’s prosecutors. The president’s greatest fear of all always is the truth will become known: washingtonpost/trumps-greatest-fear-his-underlings-told-mueller-truth
The Show Must Go On
There is such a preponderance of evidence of Trump engaging in numerous criminal activities, the Mueller report today won’t be the end of his legal jeopardy. It can actually be a building block to the large number of spin-off & separate probes which could ultimately prove a wide array of illegal activities by our prez. Besides not being exonerated on obstruction & abuse of power from the Mueller report today, even the conspiracy case is still an open question pending new evidence. We’ve already seen campaign finance violations from illegal hush money payments to sway an election. There was also a detailed report spelling out years of tax fraud committed by the Trump Organization. Mueller was given a rather narrow mandate, so the other probes are far more capable of following trails signaling criminality wherever they lead.
We still can’t help but wonder if Barr pressured Mueller to wrap things up before he was done. That could be why Mueller farmed out many probes. In fact, reports say he’s handed out 14 separate cases, 12 of which we don’t know what they are or what they’re dealing with. So the criminal investigations are far from over. With the public suffering from symptoms of investigation fatigue & the Dems don’t want to be perceived as overplaying their hand, the probes should go on as aggressively & silently as possible. The Dem committees & various district prosecutors should go about their business quietly behind the scenes, publically releasing info to the public only after proof of criminal activity is discovered. Although admittedly, the coming public congressional hearings could cause quite a stir. Our Part 3 post on the weekend might feature a song these investigations are only the beginning of the further crimes that will be exposed in time. Here are articles on the probes ahead which the Mueller report today serves as a stepping stone:
Tyranny with no regard for the law:
To infer innocent civil servants just doing their jobs are traitors signals the hallmark of fascism, just the type of leader the Framers of the Constitution feared:
A weak president but still very dangerous: rawstory/crisis-trump-weak-president-hes-also-budding-authoritarian
Tramples on the rule of law: rawstory/trump-thinks-really-law-expect-assaults-democracy
He may not be joking: washingtonpost/trump-again-jokes-about-staying-on-as-president-for-more-than-two-terms
Trump, the perpetrator of lies & crazy vindictive policies: rawstory/trump-really-believe-lies
Incredible to think America is becoming among the most dangerous countries for journalists, but that’s the tone Trump is setting:
Among the vital evidence to conduct the ongoing investigations, we need his tax returns, especially considering the valid clues of financial crimes. See this article posted from biographer-david-cay-johnston-rips-detractors-didnt-heed-warnings-dictator-trump:
An author who literally wrote the book on Donald Trump’s shady financial history went off on detractors who failed to heed his warnings even prior to 2016. Pulitzer winner David Cay Johnston told CNN’s Ana Cabrera Saturday that the laws governing the release of presidential tax returns are “incredibly clear” — and noted that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is “really sticking his neck out” and risking jail time in his refusal to cooperate with congressional investigators seeking to get them. “Why would he be willing to potentially go to jail, potentially be removed from office by rejecting this request from the house ways and means committee?” Cabrera asked Johnston. “Because Donald Trump appoints people who either lack moral character or who are willing to pledge personal loyalty to him,” the biographer said.
He then launched into a passionate rant about the man he’s been covering for years. “I’ve been warning people as the person who’s covered Trump longer than anybody else, for more than 30 years, from before the time he took office, if Donald got in the White House he would act like a dictator because he does not know what’s in the Constitution and he doesn’t care,” Johnston said. “He believes in his own mind that he should run the country and he tells us all the time he’s smarter than all of us, everyone else who stands in his way is an idiot or a fool or a traitor or something else,” he added. “That’s the language of dictators, not of someone who under our constitution is there to faithfully execute the laws that Congress has passed.” As for the reason Mnuchin and Trump’s continued refusal to provide the public with the president’s tax return, Johnston said the answer is simple. “Donald Trump is not a billionaire,” he said. “His biggest concern is that he’ll be exposed for the fraud he is, in finance but he’s also concerned it will get into money he likely laundered for people who were not just Russians but in the Middle East and elsewhere in real estate transactions.”
That Crazy Fox is Deceptive & Cruel
Fox fake news will keep lying relentlessly to protect a corrupt president & appease their viewers. The deranged lunatics on the Fox prime-time shows lie repeatedly to their audience every night, which more examples are revealed in these articles (and the lies tonight from those 3 stooges were truly stunning!):
She’s the new Hillary, since the Fox business model is based on having an enemy to demonize & stir up their viewers:
More proof of the disingenuous lies on Fox exposed in these HuffPost articles:
Feeling the Bern or just Burned?
The Fox fake news audience seems to be full of people who don’t check in with authentic news sources & are apparently incapable of thinking for themselves. They just absorb & trust everything they take in from far-right echo sources at face value. So it must have been quite a shock to them if they tuned into the Bernie Sanders town hall, where they heard policy ideas totally foreign to them. Of course, Trump blew a gasket over a far-left progressive invading his space on state-run TV, when Bern was spreading ideas normally prohibited from ever entering the echo-bubble. To the extent the prez views Fox as a teammate assigned to spread his propaganda was revealed this week when he referred to Fox as “we.” And the extent Trump was disturbed by the Bernie appearance can be looked up in these article titles:
Spreading the Fox Rubbish Around
It’s very bad for America that millions have been brainwashed to believe that extremist far-right garbage. Conservatism has been hijacked & become unrecognizable! That sorry state of affairs is revealed in excerpts from washingtonpost/yes-fox-news-matters-lot:
There’s simply no outlet that dominates any other part of the political spectrum in the way Fox News dominates the right. With that dominance, Fox News has done great damage. It’s not as if Fox News’s influence extends only however millions may be viewing in prime time. There’s what experts call a “media ecosystem” out there, where people take nonsense uttered on Fox News, then share it on Twitter, on Facebook, with their neighbor. Nonsense has a high pass-around rate. Just take the whole “deep state” conspiracy theory, which holds that President Trump fell victim to a plot by national security establishment figures who felt threatened by his outsider policies. In their book “Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics,” Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris and Hal Roberts examine how the phrase “deep state” morphed from a nonpartisan description of dark forces to a highly partisan attack on Trump detractors. They found that Fox News played a key role, though not a solitary one.
Benkler told the Erik Wemple Blog in an interview: “The right-wing media ecosystem has developed into a completely distinct and insular ecosystem that operates purely on identity-confirming narratives,” he says. “Fox News is the leading node in the right-wing ecosystem: It’s the primary source of stories, the primary source of accreditation, the primary source of attention.” Sean Hannity cannot snap his fingers and generate a federal indictment of Peter Strzok, nor can Steve Doocy snap his fingers and stifle President Trump’s most embittered critics. Media personalities aren’t omnipotent. Sure, Barack Obama secured two terms as president despite Fox News. Certain favored politicians of Fox nation may not have made it as far as they would have liked. These benchmarks, however, miss the bane of Fox News, which lies in its central mission of misinforming its Trumpite audience. The network is influential because it has banished a common set of facts for American political discussions.
Fox fake news is not only a constant source of misinformation & conspiracies, but it’s the network tearing families apart. Posted is the opening to fox-news-brain-meet-the-families-torn-apart-by-toxic-cable-news, which clicking on that link you can see the personal stories:
I love my mother. She is one of the kindest and sweetest people you will ever meet and I would be nothing without her. I’ve never heard her say a bad word about anyone, never mind anything overtly terrible, like the type of thing, for example, you might hear from Tucker Carlson or Sean Hannity. But I do know, much to my dismay, that she has watched them on TV a lot over the years. My mom and I have agreed to not talk about politics any more. The cognitive dissonance between this lovely woman finding something appealing in the most xenophobic pundits on TV is too hard for me to reconcile. I don’t want to think about it.It turns out there are a lot of families across the country who have a similar arrangement, or worse, in which people have stopped talking altogether to relatives they feel have been stolen from them by Fox News. To be clear, Fox News didn’t invent the white supremacy and racism at the heart of America, but the channel has definitely supercharged it. It’s also important to point out that “My parents watched the bad TV and got racist off it” is clearly a much less serious problem than being someone whose life is put at risk by the type of stuff Fox News promotes. That doesn’t make seeing someone you care about slide into the myopic bubble of rightwing propaganda any easier. I mentioned the idea of losing family to Fox News brain on Twitter the other day, and unsurprisingly, a lot of people had their own similar stories. I asked some of them to share how it felt. Here’s a collection of the stories people shared.
I personally had long been a watcher of Fox News, but these past few years as their messaging evolved into echoing far-right talk radio & conspiratorial websites, the early AM & evening shows on Fox have become way too much to stomach. But they’ve had a toxic effect on lots of GOP supporters as seen in excerpts from Rupert-Murdoch-and-Fox-News-continue-to-slowly-poison-our-country-to-death
Because as it turned out, a horror is actually what Fox News has become in our lifetime, a horror which, along with “talk radio,” has done more extensive and lasting damage to the fabric of this country than any Islamic terrorist (to borrow a tired cliche right out of the Fox News playbook) could ever wish for in his wildest dreams. In hindsight, I gave far too much credit to what I naively viewed as a reasonably enlightened American population. I know now those vast swaths of this country are woefully, willfully and obstinately ignorant, ignorant to the point of threatening violence if only to defend their racial and sexual biases and prejudices, and those are the very people that Fox News targets like a venomous, insatiable predator.
The monster created by Fox News now literally threatens the outright destruction of the American republic. Millions of Americans have allowed themselves to be comfortably sucked into the vortex of what is essentially a propaganda and contrived outrage and blame generator on a scale unprecedented in its reach and effects. The symbiosis between Fox News and the Republican Party has been documented ad nauseam. It simply achieved its apotheosis in the administration of Donald Trump who is widely acknowledged to rely exclusively on Fox News propaganda in making policy decisions and staff appointments that impact the lives of millions of Americans. Worse, we have a huge cross-section of the American public willing to support those decisions, solely because they are validated and legitimized by Fox News. The fact that this propaganda outlet was foisted on us by Rupert Murdoch has long since faded from the national conversation even as our national policies and the actions of those who implement them are now dictated almost exclusively by his “agenda.” When Donald Trump speaks of immigrants as a foreign menace it is without the slightest sense of irony that the real menace to America is one beamed into our homes by an Australian media mogul who decided decades ago to devote his accumulation of money and power towards refashioning our country to serve his own ends.
There have been many devastating testimonials published here and elsewhere that detail the ruinous impact that a constant diet of Fox News has had on the minds and attitudes of our parents, friends, and loved ones. How once compassionate, thoughtful people in our lives have succumbed to the corrosive, divisive poison poured incessantly into their brains by highly-paid, morally vacant provocateurs like Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, and Jeanine Pirro. Add in supposedly “serious” commentators such as Neil Cavuto, Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, all of the Fox News circus performers who essentially appeared out of nowhere with no established journalistic capacity but were somehow, suddenly being taken very seriously by millions in this country– as if they’d always been around, as if their opinions had always mattered. Jen Senko, Jodie Evans and Matthew Modine even produced a full, feature-length film titled The Brainwashing of My Dad that chronicles the deterioration of Senko’s father into an angry, one-dimensional shell of himself, parroting Fox News talking points.
It is bad enough that we have now had a government that is wholly beholden to the selfish agenda of a ruthless billionaire, and that one of our two major political parties is now wedded to that same agenda by virtue of his propaganda machine. At least we have a robust Democratic party and other, more honest sources of news capable of opposing that. But in the long term, whatever the fate of Fox News, the fact that we may be losing an entire generation of decent human beings who will instead go to their graves in a state of self-delusion, grinning smugly in their knowledge that Fox News had all the answers, even as their families sadly, slowly disengaged and separated themselves in dismay, even as their capacity for critical thinking, understanding, and compassion disappeared under this constant onslaught of ideological lies—that is the real, terrible, human tragedy that can never be cured.
Other Echo Knuckleheads
This nutwing marches to Trump’s drummer & touts the baseless voter fraud myth: mediamatters.org/video/Fox-News-anchors-allow-CPAC-Chair-Matt-Schlapp-to-again-push-the-baseless-right-wing-lie
Another nutwing spews outrageous lies & talks with loony guests: mediamatters.org/blog/eric-bollings-new-show-sinclair-broadcast-group-brings-worst-right-wing-media-local-news
Nutwings Afflicting Their Fans
A very worthy endeavor, albeit very difficult, is working to mentally deprogram an evil terrorist mindset as the best way to nip such potential carnage in the bud. Whether we’re dealing with Islamic radicals or white supremacists, it’s most effective to intercept them at the source of their radicalization on the internet: thinkprogress.org/grassroots-activists-groups-combat-far-right-extremism-when-big-tech-law-enforcement-fall-short
Please look up these NY Mag articles. Doesn’t it seem like crazy conspiracies & racism often afflict the same people with the same mindsets?:
This might help explain why the Fox/echo audiences somehow believe all the crazy stuff they do: alternet.org/a-cognitive-scientist-explains-why-everyone-is-at-risk-of-falling-for-fake-news-and-how-to-resist-it
And posted here is the beginning to conspiracy-theories-trump-qanon-pizzagate-nancy-rosenblum:
Are we living in a golden age of conspiracy theories? That’s the argument Harvard politics professor Nancy L. Rosenblum makes in her new book, A Lot of People Are Saying. And it’s not merely that conspiracy theories are thriving — they’re also getting more absurd, less substantive, and harder to refute. In fact, what we’re seeing now, according to Rosenblum and her co-author Russell Muirhead, is more “conspiracism” and less theory. Which is to say, the purpose of conspiracy theories is no longer to explain reality or offer some account of the world; instead, the point is to erode trust in public figures or institutions. She points to the recent Pizzagate conspiracy as a perfect example. This was a fake news story alleging that Hillary Clinton and her former campaign chair, John Podesta, ran a child sex ring in the basement of a pizzeria in Washington, DC. It was totally fabricated, but it proliferated enough online that a man eventually showed up at the restaurant with an assault rifle and fired at least one shot. Rosenblum believes this new form of conspiracism amounts to a direct attack on the foundations of liberal democracy and what she calls “knowledge-producing institutions.” As conspiracism takes root in our politics, she says, we lose our capacity to deliberate about the direction of the country. And ultimately, democracy itself becomes impossible.
Organized Religion in State of Decline
This really shouldn’t come as such a surprise, considering Catholics have been dealing with an ongoing/widespread priest sexual abuse scandal, while evangelicals have largely associated themselves with a lying/corrupt demagogue of a leader. With devotion to organized religion waning, sum it up as the classic case of self-inflicted wounds:
There’s plenty I don’t necessarily agree with inside mayor-pete-unmasks-evangelicals-like-pence, but I do agree with these excerpts:
As Buttigieg said on “Meet the Press” last Sunday, “I can’t believe that somebody that was caught writing hush money checks to adult film actresses is somebody they should be lifting up as the kind of person they want to be leading the nation.” Or, he could have added, as bona fide Christians, are they really professing loyalty to a man who bragged about grabbing women by their genitals and getting away with it? Among Evangelicals, even his most ardent supporters have a hard time explaining why they cling to Donald Trump despite his disgusting, immoral, and decidedly un-Christian personal behavior. Their latest ploy is the King Cyrus defense, aka “vessel theology.” 2,500 years ago, it was Persia’s pagan King Cyrus who allowed Jews to return from captivity in Babylon and rebuild their temple in Jerusalem. Like God once used Cyrus, Evangelical leader and Trump supporter Mike Evans explains, God is now using Trump, “this flawed human being like you or I, this imperfect vessel, and he’s using him in an incredible, amazing way to fulfill his plans and purposes.”
Which is total nonsense. Notice: no Evangelicals made the Cyrus argument when that “flawed human being” and “imperfect vessel” was a Democrat named Bill Clinton. Does it only apply to Republican sinners? Let’s face it, Evangelicals hide behind the Cyrus defense because they’re afraid to admit the real reason they support Donald Trump. In their minds, he may be an adulterer and serial sexual predator, but he promised to do, and has delivered on, the only thing they really care about: appointing judges to the Supreme Court who will overturn Roe v. Wade and reverse the court’s recognition of same-sex marriage. To them, nothing else matters. Trump can cheat on his wife, pay porn stars, say nice things about white nationalists, rip immigrant children from their parents and lock them up in cages, take health care away from people with pre-existing conditions, unleash a flood of personal insults on Twitter, or call people names they dare not repeat in front of their own children. Conservative Christians like Pence don’t care. That’s just the price they’re willing to pay for Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. In so doing, as I argued in my book “How the Republicans Stole Religion,” they turn Scripture upside down. Reverend Jim Wallis, founder of the social justice organization Sojourners, notes that there are 31,156 total verses in the Bible. Over 5,000 of them deal with helping the poor.