Too Many in the Trump Base seem Hopelessly Brainwashed…The current GOP mindset after years of being tarnished by the echo, the tea party & Trump, has bred the sense within their thoughts that all lifelong Republicans should get onboard so conservatives can own the libs.  That Trump base seems clueless as to why those of us in the resistance would be so adamantly anti-Trump.  Little do they understand the GOP narrative has shifted so far to the extreme right, not even resembling the inclusive conservatism defined by President Bush 41, that us moderate conservatives are more closely aligned to liberal Dems than the now radicalized party of Trump.  Plus us never-Trumpers still believe in traditional American values based on honesty, integrity, compassion & justice, which it’s so clear to us the current version of the GOP has totally abandoned.  And the leader they worship is far less of a person than most people.  Any Trump base supporter with a single moral bone in their body, I just don’t see how they could possibly support this schmuck.

Trump Base only Believes what they’re constantly Hearing

Below is the full article posted with this title: Robert Mueller Is No Match for Fox News: The evidence from the special counsel’s investigation is already damning, but it must contend with a haze of lies, confusion and “alternative facts.”  It’s an excellent perspective providing a summary of where we appear to stand with the Mueller investigation.  There’s an intense battle over messaging going on between the facts being brought out from the probe, & the concocted conspiracy theories being offered up by numerous Fox fake news hosts & guests alike.

For now, Fox has a decided advantage over Mueller, ranting on & spewing their ridiculous garbage to millions of viewers round-the-clock, while Mueller’s team does not leak, so all we know are the patchy tidbits revealed in the court cases being filed.  It’s given the Trump base a very tarnished version of the enormous legal jeopardy the president & his men are truly under.  Whenever some bombshell or smoking gun is uncovered in the headlines or Mueller’s report is made public, or more damning evidence is revealed from the various court filings this week, or the House committees report the various facts from witness testimony starting in January, at some point we can expect the tables to turn & the Fox/echo messaging nonsense can finally be exposed for what it really is…nonsense!  When & if Trump goes down, let’s hope he takes Fox fake news with him, from which the Trump base can be freed from their brainwashing media source & return to sanity.  Here is that entire article from robert-mueller-trump-manafort-corsi-report, well worth the read:

After a period of quiet, the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is seizing headlines yet again. In the past week, we learned that Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, broke the terms of his cooperation agreement by lying to Mr. Mueller’s investigators, all while his lawyer was briefing Mr. Trump’s legal team on what Mr. Manafort told the special counsel. The conservative author Jerome Corsi, facing possible indictment, made public a potential draft plea agreement with Mr. Mueller that contains incendiary allegations of attempted coordination between Mr. Corsi and the Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone with WikiLeaks. We also learned that Mr. Mueller had reached a plea agreement with Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former lawyer, for lying to Congress about the Trump Organization’s plans to construct a property in Moscow — plans that extended into the 2016 campaign and reportedly involved an effort to give Vladimir Putin the gift of a $50 million penthouse apartment. Mr. Mueller’s team has given no hint of what’s to come next. 

The National Archives’ recent unsealing of a “road map” by the Watergate special prosecutor Leon Jaworski — provided to Congress in 1974 to inform potential impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon — has fueled speculation on what a Mueller report might look like, but the question remains: Just where is all this going? From the day the Mueller investigation began, opponents of the president have hungered for that report, or an indictment waiting just around the corner, as the source text for an incantation to whisk Mr. Trump out of office and set everything back to normal again. The evidence that the special counsel has so far made public is damning enough. Yet even as the investigation seems to gather momentum, it has become increasingly clear that whatever findings Mr. Mueller reaches will be only a small piece of a much larger political puzzle. The special counsel’s office has already produced a hefty pile of evidence. The indictments of a Russian “troll farm” called the Internet Research Agency and of Russian military intelligence officers involved in the hacking of Democratic Party emails told a detailed story of a Russian effort to stir up American political passions. The documents revealed by Mr. Corsi suggest that he and Mr. Stone — who was in regular contact with Mr. Trump at the time — might have known in advance of planned releases by WikiLeaks of hacked documents. 

Not enough collusion for you? Consider Mr. Cohen’s latest plea agreement. Mr. Trump defiantly tweeted in January 2017, “I have nothing to do with Russia — no deals, no loans, no nothing!” But it now seems that the Trump Organization’s efforts to establish a Trump Tower Moscow were quite involved and continued into June 2016, just before Mr. Trump was nominated as the Republican Party’s presidential candidate. And Mr. Trump knew about it: Mr. Cohen’s plea states that he regularly briefed the Trump family on his work. There has also been no shortage of speculation that the special counsel may be writing a report on obstruction of justice by the president. Whether he is or not, plenty of evidence is already in plain sight: After the Manafort cooperation agreement fell apart, the president refused to rule out a pardon, saying, “Why would I take it off the table?” And consider the installation of Matthew Whitaker, a critic of the Mueller inquiry, as acting attorney general — a move seemingly calculated to limit the fallout from the investigation or even, in a worst-case scenario, enable the president to shut it down. The story is steadily worsening for the president. 

But there’s an alternate story taking hold as well, or perhaps many alternate stories. Mr. Corsi has spent several weeks complaining that Mr. Mueller’s investigators attempted to force him into a false confession — a version of events picked up by pro-Trump voices such as the Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The president has likewise taken to accusing the Mueller team on Twitter of “horribly threatening” people and “ruining lives for them refusing to lie,” comments that might stem from information provided to him by Mr. Manafort. Likewise, George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators and initially cooperated with the special counsel, has shifted in recent months to an aggressively conspiratorial posture. In tweets and appearances on Fox News and other pro-Trump media, he has accused American, British and Australian intelligence agencies of fabricating the Russia scandal.

The allure of a Mueller report lies in its imagined promise of a single, definitive truth capable of cutting through the haze of lies, confusion and “alternative facts.” But Mr. Corsi’s and Mr. Papadopoulos’s antics are a warning that this hope will inevitably fall short. Conspiracy theorists and prosecutors live in different worlds: The first, unmoored from truth; the second, devoted to proving facts beyond a reasonable doubt. Mr. Mueller has the power to charge Mr. Corsi for lying; he has already done so to Mr. Papadopoulos. Rather than crumbling, though, their falsehoods have continued to spread and grow — and they’ve taken root in the media ecosystem in which the president chooses to spend his days. In this environment, the question is less what Mr. Mueller will do next and more what Congress and the American people will do with the information they already have. By now it’s clear that the special counsel is not armed with a silver bullet, not because the facts are not bad for the president but precisely because they are. If facts were enough, Mr. Trump would already have been impeached.

The Liars are following Their Leader

There are lies upon lies upon more lies!  Whether it was among his campaign or White House staff, the one obvious thing Trump’s staff had in common was the lying: muellers-targets-share-a-problem-they-lie.  A requirement Trump demands to even work for him is total loyalty, which means always echoing his lies, otherwise, they get purged: biographer-trump-sees-staffers-as-either-loyal-to-what-he-is-saying-right-now-or-a-traitor.  A sentence that best sums up the thoughts inside muellers-probe-has-produced-a-rogues-gallery-of-liars is this one: What is striking at this point, although not a surprise given past histories and the people involved, is the mountain of lying that has taken place.  When the prez & his minions keep lying to us without ceasing & without remorse, it’s obvious they have something to hide.  Check out this whole article from following-the-crumbs-through-trumps-labyrinth-of-deceit-and-betrayal, where Individual 1 from the Cohen court filings show the prez is the central focus & most important figure in the Mueller probe:

Michael Cohen’s guilty plea Thursday that he lied to Congress about Donald Trump’s interests in building a Moscow tower comes as little surprise — everyone attached to this administration seems to lie with ease. And yet it’s explosive news in the carnival kingdom of liars, crooks and thieves. Cohen, who probably knows more than anyone about Trump’s business dealings — excepting, perhaps, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III — admitted having falsely claimed that efforts to build a Trump Tower Moscow ended in January 2016. It turns out that negotiations actually continued through mid-June of that year. What’s a few months, you say? But, of course, Trump would want to expand his real estate empire to Russia, as he reportedly has been trying to do for 30 years. As for Trump’s lying to the American people, we all know how little this matters to the Republican Party base. Simply put, they don’t care. The Don’s a tycoon, after all — a mogul, a celebrity, a really big deal, let me tell you. Besides, they would contend, little white lies never hurt anybody. Impervious as Trump loyalists are to the behavior of sewer rats, nothing Trump does — including, theoretically, shooting someone on Fifth Avenue, as he once noted with a soupcon of admiration — seems to threaten the moral fibers of the Republican tapestry.

 

But the littlest of lies can wreak havoc. Just ask Bill Clinton. And Richard M. Nixon. And Cohen. And Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who recently ended his plea relationship with Mueller. Trump’s own lies, which number in the thousands, according to The Post’s Fact Checker, haven’t yet hurt him enough to perp-walk him out of the White House, but the night is young. Indeed, the president’s tangerine-colored, Teflon-coated, tricky-dicky, slick-willie ways just might be running out of legs. With Cohen’s plea, the president has secured a position heretofore reserved for others: He’s now officially a person of interest and even has a legal code name: Individual 1. Suffice to say, it could have been much worse. But what a lovely gesture from the FBI — providing a moniker better suited to the subject than “president.” Needless to say, Individual 1 — or I-1 for short — has accused Cohen of lying to spare himself. So many pants, so many fires. So grows the nose once the first lie is told. When everybody’s a liar, is Lady Justice left to weigh whose lies are most credible? Perhaps this is what’s taking Mueller so long to create a report. But the number of Trump associates who’ve left the swamp to sing for Mueller seems by now to outnumber those left for Trump to fire. Surely, a preponderance of evidence can’t be far off.

 

In the meantime, Trump has created a path through this byzantine labyrinth of deceit and betrayal by dropping crumbs of doubt to show the way. Each crumb corresponds to what and whom he considers a threat. For example, Trump detested and, ultimately, fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from overseeing the Russia investigation. Obviously, he had wanted Sessions to serve as soldier, spy, tinker — and to tailor things to suit the president. (Forgive me if this is too easy.) For nearly two years, Trump has attacked the FBI and the special counsel. An innocent man need attack no one. From early in his campaign, while privy to ongoing business negotiations with Russia, he was touting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia generally. Just hours after Cohen’s plea, Trump canceled his planned meeting with Putin at the Group of 20 in Argentina this weekend.

 

One may read the crumbs as one wishes, but facts don’t lie — and them’s the facts. Even though most legal experts see no grounds for criminal charges (yet), it’s clear that Trump (again) lied to the American people and pursued a course he hoped would benefit him personally, contra his America-first trope. Emails from this same period show Cohen sought a financial endorsement from Russia for a Trump Tower project. Meanwhile, Putin was saying flattering things about Trump. Perhaps most telling, I-1 has strategically sewn seeds of doubt in American institutions, especially the justice system, while making himself potentially vulnerable with our chief geopolitical foe (H/T Sen.-elect Mitt Romney). Apparently, Trump would rather his supporters lose faith in their country than in the man they elected to disrupt it. If that’s not technically a crime, it is surely criminal.

We have met Our Enemy & they are the Trump Base?

If crimes can be proven, we’ll have no choice but to have the President removed based on the Constitution & rule of law.  But our problems would be far from over.  With Fox fake news & the rest of the echo preconditioning the Trump base to be detached from reality, many would be in total denial & some might be prone to violence: extremism-expert-warns-trump-could-rile-up-his-base-if-he-called-for-violence-there-would-be-violence.  But democracy is never free or easy as we’ve seen through our history with many foreign entanglements, which if ending the Trump presidency does become our required mandate based on that proof of crimes, for the first time since the Lincoln presidency we may be required to defend our country against internal threats.  When we see the crowds at his rallies, some seem worked up into a crazed frenzy, so they might really go berserk when their hero gets the boot.  Here is an excellent op-ed seen in these excerpts from trump-mueller-russia-investigation:

I no longer think that anyone in America, including Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters, can afford to put off the consideration of the central question of this administration: What if Donald Trump or those closest to him were compromised by the Russians or colluded with them? There have always been those of us on the left who viewed his presidency as compromised, asterisk-worthy if not wholly illegitimate, because of the Russian interference. A crime had been committed by Russia and Trump cheered the crime and used the loot thereof to advance his candidacy. That is clear. The Russians made repeated attempts to contact people in Trump’s orbit and in some cases were able to meet with members of the team, as evidenced by the Trump Tower meeting. That is clear. Members of Trump’s team were extremely interested in and eager to accept any assistance that the Russians could provide. That is clear. And since assuming office, Trump has openly attempted to obstruct justice and damage or impede the investigation into what the Russians did and whether anyone in his orbit was part of the crime. That too is clear. But for the people who support and defend Trump, this has already been absorbed and absolved. They may not like it, but they are willing to overlook it. Indeed, they are so attached to Trump that his fortunes and his fate have become synonymous with theirs. There is a spiritual linkage, a baleful bond, between the man and his minions. But what happens if the evidence that the investigation by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, uncovers reveals a direct link between Trump and the Russians? How do Trump’s boosters respond? Last week, when Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the timeline and the extent of Mr. Trump’s involvement in negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow, the political earth shifted. If Trump was lying to or misleading the American people about his efforts to do business in Russia while running for president and the Russians knew — and presumably had evidence — that he wasn’t being completely honest and forthcoming, then he was compromised.

 

There is a precedent in the Nixon investigation. When the evidence of wrongdoing was clear and incontrovertible, people began to peel away, tails tucked and full of shame. But that was a different time, one in which media wasn’t so fractured and partisan, before the advent of social media and our current dissociable mentalities. Nixon had no propaganda arm. Trump has one. It’s called Fox News. There is little daylight between the network’s programming and the White House’s priorities. If Trump goes down, so too does Fox, in some measure. So the network has a vested interest in defending Trump until the bitter end, and that narrative-crafting could impede an otherwise natural and normal disaffection with Trump. Furthermore, Trump does not strike me as a man amenable to contrition or one interested in the health and stability of the nation. I expect Trump to admit nothing, even if faced with proof positive of his own misconduct. There is nothing in the record to convince me otherwise. He will call the truth a lie and vice versa. I also don’t think that Trump would ever voluntarily leave office as Nixon did, even if he felt impeachment was imminent. I’m not even sure that he would willingly leave if he were impeached and the Senate moved to convict, a scenario that is hard to imagine at this point. I don’t think any of this gets better, even as the evidence becomes clearer. I don’t believe that Trump’s supporters would reverse course in the same way that Nixon’s did. I don’t believe that the facts Mueller presents will be considered unassailable. I don’t believe Trump will go down without bringing the country down with him. In short, I don’t believe we are reaching the end of a nightmare, but rather we are entering one. This will not get easier, but harder. The country is about to enter the crucible. This test of our republic is without a true comparison. And we do not have a clear picture of how the test will resolve. But, I believe damage is certain.

Will the Trump Base ever see who the Real Criminal is?

This rabid obsession with finding Hillary’s missing emails back in 2016 looks to have been what led the Trump campaign down the trail of connecting with the Russians & WikiLeaks: how-the-rights-obsession-with-clintons-emails-led-it-to-wikileaks.  And the echo just can’t give up Hillary, since they’ve used her as their favorite evil villain for so long, they’ve preprogrammed their Trump base audiences to get stirred up at the mere mention of her name.  But they’re honed in on the wrong criminal.  Many in the Trump base aren’t objective or discerning enough to believe the Mueller evidence no matter how provably damaging it would be to the prez.  As the echo has trained them to think, they’ll just blame it on Trump’s enemies in the deep state.  Of course, such thoughts are ridiculous, but it is what it is.  We don’t need to convince all or even most of the Trump base to believe the facts when they come out.  So take heart, since should just a portion of them drop their support for Trump, that should be sufficient politically to launch a successful impeachment, & if the evidence is solid enough also a Senate conviction & removal (so please share The VORACS since some echo fans can still be convinced of the facts).  Some professed skeptics of the Trump Russian scandal are starting to come around based on the more recent headlines, as seen in excerpts from a Rupert Murdoch newspaper taken from latest-collusion-news-suggests-mueller-just-might-have-a-case:

Today, I’m not such a skeptic any longer. Here’s why. For starters, we now know, from the plea deal between Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and special counsel Robert Mueller that the Trump organization was actively seeking business opportunities in Moscow even as Trump was securing the GOP nomination. Given the transactional nature of both Trump and Putin, the idea that quid pro quos might have been discussed is impossible to dismiss. Second, we have, in the past few days, learned of the first possible connection between Russian intelligence and actions taken by the president. This is a little hard to unravel. There’s a radio guy named Randy Credico. There’s a conspiracy monger named Jerome Corsi. And there’s Trump political consigliere Roger Stone. According to emails, back in 2016, Credico was supposedly in touch with WikiLeaks. Credico told Corsi WikiLeaks had a lot of stuff on Hillary. Corsi told Stone the stuff was coming — and that Trump should start talking about Hillary’s health. Which he did.

 

WikiLeaks did have lots of stuff on Hillary — or rather, on the Democratic National Committee. It received this material from Russian intelligence, which was doling it out under a false internet identity called “Guccifer 2.0.” So. It seems there was something in the DNC emails that suggested Hillary might have been unwell. Those emails came from Russian intelligence. WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange told Credico about the fact that the emails were going to be released and that Trump should talk about Hillary’s medical condition. And Trump did. So: Russian intel gave dirt to Assange, who informed Credico, who in turn gave Corsi a heads-up, who told Stone. Who told Trump. One last point: Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who received tens of millions from Ukrainian politicians aligned with Moscow. Manafort was tried and convicted on charges brought by Mueller, but none of them related to the campaign. Mueller may not be done with him, and clearly Manafort isn’t done with Trump, either. So those who are as collusion-skeptical as I was might want to keep your powder dry.

Civil Servants Being Muzzled

Trump has never held back in his dangerous attacks on the First Amendment.  Another example in the type of abuse of power a Trumpian administration helps produce comes from excerpts inside new-warning-federal-employees-no-talk-resistance-or-opinions-about-impeachment-work, which whether Trump even realizes it or not, his influence empowers government authorities to act in accord with what we normally see in fascist dictatorships.  Here is a direct infringement on free speech where government employees are walking on eggshells for fear of being punished, forced to bite their tongue even in casual conversations.  Trump loves Russia, but we don’t want to be like Russia:

In a move that some ethics advocates say could be an opening to limit dissent, the federal government has issued a new interpretation of guidance for the political activity of federal government workers, warning that weighing in on impeachment or talking about “the Resistance” may constitute prohibited activity. The Office of Special Counsel is charged with enforcing the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity in the course of their work. The office, not to be confused with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, is run by Henry Kerner, whom President Trump nominated to the post. The unsigned “Guidance Regarding Political Activity,” which was issued Tuesday, uses a question-and-answer format as it seeks to clarify the types of actions and rhetoric considered political activity and therefore prohibited at work.

 

In a nod to the current climate, it stipulated that advocating for or against impeachment of a candidate for federal office would be considered political because of its implications for future elections, and that any use of terms such as “resistance” and “#resist” would be construed as political activity. But union officials and some government watchdogs said they feared the guidelines could have wide-ranging effects on the nearly 3 million federal employees in the United States, as well as state and local government employees who work with federally funded programs. The ethics nonprofit American Oversight said the guidance raised “significant concerns” in a letter it sent to the office Thursday, urging it to withdraw the memo. “OSC’s position on impeachment advocacy or opinions goes too far,” the group’s executive director, Austin Evers, wrote in the letter, adding that “certainly there is a difference between advocating that an official should (or should not) be elected and advocating that an official did (or did not) commit treason or high crimes and misdemeanors under the Constitution.” Evers expressed concern that the guidelines could constrain whistleblowers.

 

Nick Schwellenbach, director of investigations at the Project on Government Oversight and an employee of the OSC from 2014 to 2017, said he felt the guidance probably crossed a legal line. “The way OSC has traditionally balanced its enforcement of that statute with the First Amendment is [focused on] supporting a candidate or political party for election. I think once you start talking about more-general political views, you’re starting to infringe upon people’s rights,” he said. “This one, I think, goes too far for them. It runs the risk of turning the OSC into an Orwellian enforcer inside the federal workforce.” Schwellenbach said he believed that the guidance could be successfully challenged in court on its constitutionality. Norm Eisen, a senior fellow at Brookings and the former top ethics lawyer in the Obama White House, said he found the guidance “very peculiar.” “It’s contrary to my understanding of the Hatch Act and its interpretation, which is confined to what’s more commonly understood as political activity — vote for or against a candidate,” he said. “This infringes into policy questions.” He too said he feared it could have a chilling effect on the First Amendment rights of government employees and said he thought a legal challenge could be successful. “I do have to take exception to this advice, and I hope they’ll reconsider,” he said.

The Echo has many Talking Heads, so in such a Competitive Industry they keep Marching Rightward for the Ratings

As I read these excerpts below from path-conservative-media-success-paved-outrage-bait, it reminds me of another conservative media figure, Lou Dobbs.  A few years ago, I loved his show on CNN, before he went to Fox Business & wanting to appeal to his new audience, became a stark-raving-mad lunatic!  That’s the whole trouble with the echo, as the various talk-blabbers compete for attention & ratings, the most outlandish, bombastic & controversial gain the notoriety.  Their rhetoric has ZERO to do with smart policies or good governing.  As they keep leaping past each other to see who can move the farthest out on the extreme right, the truth is what gets lost in the shuffle:

Anyone who spends any significant amount of time watching political talk shows or cable news channels knows that it’s the loudest and most extreme voices that rise to the top of the punditry food chain. It’s as true for Erickson as it is for more recent additions to our national discourse, Tomi Lahren and Milo Yiannopoulos. The power to provoke has replaced intelligent discussion, and would-be commentators are catching on. Erickson, along with the likes of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, or any number of other conservatives coming out of the world of talk radio, have made entire careers based on saying things so outrageous that the rest of us ask whether they even mean what they’re saying. Does Coulter actually wish that Timothy McVeigh had bombed the New York Times building? Or that politicians who support immigration reform should face “death squads”? Probably not, but her many outrageous statements have helped make Coulter a bestselling author and mainstay in the world of political commentary for two decades running. The truth is that you don’t have someone like Erickson or Coulter on your Sunday morning political talk show if you’re interested in an-depth discussion about policy. No, you have them on because of their potential to generate controversy. Their entire brand is built upon being predictably unpredictable. The truth is that discussing politics can be boring, and maybe it should be. Deficit discussions and tax talk just aren’t sexy. Foreign policy is probably better considered with a sober seriousness, and the economy is best understood as a complex mess of systems only a technocrat could love. But people like their politics with a side of entertainment. After all, there’s a reason people tune in to CNN over C-SPAN, and this creates a major incentive for would-be commentators to embrace a politics-as-WWE approach.

 

Tomi Lahren went from hosting a University of Nevada, Las Vegas, political roundtable show in which she accepted the realities of climate change to becoming a Fox News megastar. The secret to her success: a newfound embrace of the theatrical and outrageous. Her road to stardom was paved with tweets calling the Black Lives Matter movement “The new KKK,” videos in which she said that the U.S. government during the Obama administration had a “be-friendly-to-Jihadis mentality,”  and more recently, a tweet saying that the “highlight” of her Thanksgiving weekend was watching the tear-gassing of migrants (including children) at the U.S.-Mexico border. Lahren found a shortcut to success, and she took it. How many of us can honestly say that we wouldn’t act out a more extreme version of ourselves if it meant a one-way ticket to the top? Because if it’s not Lahren filling the rage void in political media, it’d be someone else just as over-the-top and abrasive. If social media has shown us anything, it’s that there are always people waiting in the wings, longing to be discovered. If the expected response is reactive outrage, maybe deliberate disinterest is the answer. So, why am I writing about this, you might ask. I think it’s important to recognize the patterns at play. Starving the trolls of the attention they seek is a reasonable long-term goal. But in the meantime, we need to recognize that there are people toying with our national political discourse just for a shot at fame and fortune.

Right-Wing Hosts get Ostracized for Telling the Truth

Glenn Beck was once one of those extremist far-right talk show hosts.  As soon as he realized a few years ago the corrosive effect his crazy propaganda industry was having on the GOP, he tried to do a mea culpa.  But by that time the conservative audiences had become so radicalized, he couldn’t hold his own audience.  So Beck has just tried to revive his career by joining forces with a true maniacal crackpot: glenn-beck-gets-bailed-out-by-right-wing-nutjob-mark-levin.  But I must admit, adding Beck while losing Malkin is an enormous improvement!:  michelle-malkin-departs-crtv-one-day-after-blaze-merger-announced.  Of course, it’s no secret who the biggest raving lunatic of all is: sean-hannity-apparently-thinks-trump-can-investigate-the-doj-via-military-tribunal-thats-completely-false.  It doesn’t happen often outside Shep Smith’s show, but occasionally that Fox fake news viewership gets a taste of sober reality: fox-news-judge-napolitano-mueller-tactics-giulianis-blasting-are-same-ones-he-used-as-a-prosecutor.

Can the Trump Base be any more Gullible?

It takes a special kind of ignorance for Trumpeter nation to actually believe the preposterous conspiracies they’re regularly being fed by Fox & the echo, as if their brains are equipped with an on-off switch that they willingly flip off whenever hearing the likes of Hannity, Dobbs, Limbaugh or Alex Jones.  It’s likely their mental issues actually stem from extreme naivete & irrational tribal loyalties.  They’ll believe most anything as long as it emanates from their preferred far-right media sources, while all along they’ve bought into this fanciful narrative of a deep state & the need to drain the swamp.  Well, as we’ve come to find out the swamp does need drained, the worst of which are the swamp creatures Trump has brought with him to DC.  There’s all manner of alligators, snakes & various slithery characters that have attached themselves to the prez, seen from these posts inside under-trump-the-swamp-is-draining:

Impeachment is a political act, and the endgame of the Robert Mueller investigation may not deliver the stark evidence that would remove Donald Trump from office. But this week’s activity on the Mueller beat — the guilty plea from Michael Cohen, the pardon-angling from Paul Manafort, the ongoing Austin Powers antics of Jerome Corsi and Roger Stone — is further confirmation that Trump is one of the most impeachable presidents we’ve ever had. It isn’t just that he’s already implicated in actions (for instance, paying off a porn-star mistress in possible violation of campaign-finance laws) that a hostile Congress might reasonably cite as a reason for impeachment. It’s that the whole Trump operation, now lying exposed on Mueller’s table — the shady business empire, the constant practice of deceit, the dim-bulb hangers-on — screams corruption in a way that few politicians’ circles do. With Trump there is no pretense of respectability or rectitude. There is only the open, shrugging grift.

 

This shrug makes it hard for his critics to fathom how the Trump campaign ever persuaded anyone that its candidate would actually “drain the swamp.” Some of the liberal fixation with fake news reflects an attempt to explain Trump’s anti-corruption pitch as just a fraud that voters swallowed (or were force-fed by the Russians). And indeed, a portion of Trump’s supporters choose to live the fantasy worlds of Pizzagate and QAnon, where the most impeachable of presidents is as a white knight taking on a fictive ring of pedophiles. But the more common reason a certain kind of Trump supporter accepted his anti-corruption pitch was less conspiratorial and more cynical. He’s bad but they’re all like thatthe whole elite class is rotten, so why not send a grifter to catch a bunch of grifters?

 

That hasn’t worked out; it turns out that when you send a businessman-grifter into the world of political grifters he hires some of the worst of them to help him with the fleecing. But there is one odd way in which Trump’s supporters have gotten what they wanted. Trump isn’t draining the swamp himself, but the shock of his ascent has created swamp-draining conditions — in which other corruptions have suddenly been exposed, and there have been many deserved falls from grace. In fact our elite is rotten and deserves judgment, yet Trump’s mix of kleptocracy and kakistocracy is worse. So the question of how you replace a bad elite with a better one, not just with something more corrupt, is what both left and right should be pondering while this particular purgation runs its course.

Evangelicals also being Deceived

For me personally, the most disturbing part of the way the Trump base embraces Trump, is that his most loyal group remains (white) evangelical Christians.  In their obstinate wish to put a couple conservative justices on the Supreme Court, they willfully back a prez so obviously lacking a moral compass. Their pro-life position has caused them to follow that immoral leader, setting a precedent where the president of our nation can be a deceptive & dangerous demagogue, while their own moral duplicity could totally undermine the evangelical church itself: trumps-self-aggrandizing-comments-on-christianity-are-out-of-line.

This is Disgraceful!

It’s amazing this type of election corruption would be happening here in America!  Trump & the GOP have relentlessly pursued stamping out voter fraud to the point they’re shamelessly guilty of voter suppression.  Even after winning the presidency & being inaugurated, Trump still claimed without evidence there were millions of illegal votes.  Well, we may have finally found the proof of voter fraud!: is-a-do-over-election-incoming-north-carolina-republicans-alleged-to-have-committed-massive-voter-fraud.

Of course, Fox fake news prefers to report on their contrived/phony voter fraud, not the real voter fraud: despite-obsession-voter-fraud-fox-news-has-virtually-ignored-possible-election-fraud-north-carolina.  And the GOP is working hard to disenfranchise voters in places like Wisconsin & Michigan: protests-erupt-as-wisconsin-gop-attempt-to-disempower-democrats-following-scott-walkers-loss & also wisconsin-republican-powergrab-gop-2018-autopsy-democracy-is-our-enemy.  Trump’s fascist goal is all too real with his party behind him.  The GOP has indeed become hopelessly tainted & too far gone.  We really should put it out of its misery so we can start all over: republican-party-bigotry-plutocracy-ratfucking.  Most in the GOP now seem consumed by the Trump cult, with a few notable exceptions like Burr: richard-burr-senate-intelligence-committee-trump-lie-under-oath.

A Different Kind of GOP has Emerged since the Bush 41 days, now having Sacrificed Honesty, Integrity & Human Values

The research seen inside the-republican-party-has-changed-dramatically-since-george-h-w-bush-ran-it illustrates how much more radicalized to the far-right the GOP has become since the Bush 41 presidency.  There are numerous factors at play, including the extremist echo messaging, the surly attitudes carried over from the tea party, economic & cultural displacement, more tribal isolation based on age, gender, race, education, religion & geography, dark money, gerrymandering & the obstinate House Freedom Caucus, intense frustration with DC, along with polarization, hyperpartisanship & gridlock.

On the international scene, do we want a leader advancing peace & human rights?  Or one promoting autocracy which is destined to wind up in world destruction?  For thinking Americans, the answer should be self-evident.  See these excerpts patched together from trump-george-hw-bush-america-must-decide-world-vision, plus there’s more articles about Bush 41 in part 3 along with a song for him & Barbara:

The question before America today is whether President Donald Trump’s vision of the world, or that of former President George HW Bush, will prevail. President Bush helped build the infrastructure of a more peaceful world. When he entered the White House, the United States and the Soviet Union were in a nuclear standoff. When he left office, the cold war was over. The Soviet Union was gone. Europe was reuniting. The United States had brought the world together to confront aggression by Iraq. President Bush’s world was imperfect, but he set it on the right course. Today, the world he built is in peril. The passing of President Bush while Trump was in Argentina for the G20 summit could hardly be more illustrative of how a hopeful world seems to be slipping away.

 

Watching the G20, two different visions of the world – the world of Trump and the world of President Bush – were on display. Trump wants to take us back to a world dominated by autocrats. A world where might makes right, where states do not believe in international cooperation, and where human rights are confined to the thoughts of philosophers. A growing number of world leaders share this vision. President Vladimir Putin leads a Russia that invades other countries. President Xi Jinping runs a China that bullies its neighbors in Asia while pursuing an ethnic cleansing campaign against its Uighur population. The viral video of the brotherly embrace between Putin and the Saudi Arabian crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, at the G20 exemplifies a growing sense of autocratic impunity.

 

Trump not only takes the side of autocrats – he also undermines democratic allies. He regularly picks fights with America’s friends, from his G7 spat with the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, to criticism of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, over immigration to his feud with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, on a trip to France. When Prince Mohammed murders a US-based journalist, Trump takes the side of the Saudi autocrat over seeking justice for Jamal Khashoggi. Trump supports Putin over his own advisers, whether it’s on Russia’s interference in US elections or Ukraine. Trump’s envy of autocrats extends to his actions at home – attacking the media, the judiciary, law enforcement, and talking about jailing his political enemies. Trump even openly admires how the brutal North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, “speaks and his people sit up at attention … I want my people to do the same.” Trump’s actions are undermining American democracy and resulting in a more dangerous world.

 

Some countries that have traditionally upheld democratic norms are now represented by more populist leaders, such as Trump and Giuseppe Conte, the prime minister of Italy. Brazil elected a rightwing president in Jair Bolsonaro, who openly derides democratic ideals. The United Kingdom is mired in a slow-motion national catastrophe as it withdraws from the European Union. Democratic erosion is on the march from Hungary to Turkey, the Philippines to Poland. And without American leadership, the world’s democracies are struggling to unite in the face of the autocratic tide. Luckily, Trump is not America. And today, voices – from new members of Congress to a growing chorus of grassroots organizations – are rising to push back against Trump’s dictatorial style at home and his recklessness abroad.

 

When America leads, it can achieve amazing things, from the creation of the United Nations to the reunification of Europe, peace in the Balkans to the Paris climate agreement. This was President Bush’s vision, as he put it when rallying the world against Iraq in 1990: “The crisis in the Persian Gulf … offers a rare moment of opportunity to move toward an historic period of cooperation … a new world order … Today that new world is struggling to be born … A world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle. A world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice. A world where the strong respect the rights of the weak.” In these troubled times, let us not discard ideas of global rules and norms like freedom and justice as “old ideas” – they are not old, they are timeless. America must continue to fight for them, pick up President Bush’s mantle, and spark a thousand points of light as we build a new world.