Monday, April 16, 2018

Last Call For Comey Island, Con't

ABC ran an hour-long interview with former FBI Director James Comey last night ahead of Comey's book release on Tuesday, and it pretty much confirmed every thought I've had about the guy:

Comey also says that if given the choice, he still would have informed the world eleven days before the 2016 election of the Clinton e-mails on Anthony Weiner's laptop, a bungled mess of an investigation reveal that essentially cost Clinton the race.

My take on Comey hasn't changed, he's self-serving and is using defending the "honor" of the FBI as an excuse to violate FBI rules and absolve himself of being the Judas goat that basically elected Donald Trump in the last week of October 2016. 

To save you the trouble of reading the transcript, he takes shots at everyone on the way out the door: Trump, Bob Mueller (who was his boss at one point), Rod Rosenstein, Hillary Clinton, David Petraeus, Loretta Lynch, Michael Flynn, Republicans in Congress, Democrats in Congress, the American people, you name it. Everyone's at fault here except James Comey, according to James Comey anyway.

Finally he compares Trump to a forest fire that damages America but clears out the old to make way for the new and hopes America will recover, but not if Democrats impeach Trump, which will do more damage to the country and "let the American voters off the hook" for electing the guy in the first place.

The real victim of all this is James Comey though, at least that's his view.  For that, I'll never forgive the man.

You shouldn't either.  He's right about Trump being an unfit mob boss, but he's only saying what's obvious now in the harsh glare of the spotlight that Comey himself wanted in order to save his own ass.

History won't be kind to either man.

The Greitens Report

Hey guys, Bon Tindle. here.  It's been a while, and I'm sorry that these are the circumstances that bring me back.  Zandar graciously asked me to help cover the shame of my home state, Missouri.

[Zandar here.  Bon Tindle has graciously agreed to write about Missouri GOP Gov. Eric Greitens for ZVTS as she lives in the state, so please let her know what you think in the comments!]

After reading the entire report about our governor, I was upset for a variety of reasons.  As a woman who has been targeted by a man in power, I recognized the setup.  The way they test victims, and make sure they are able to terrorize them into silence.  The stalking and unwanted appearances.

And, of course, the violence.

This story has a lot of angles, and speaks to a lot of topics.  I am going to focus on the victim and consent right now, and circle back to other subjects in later posts.

It is important to note that the victim did not consent to the acts that took place.  She was sometimes not even given the chance to give or revoke consent because she was not in control of her situation, such as when the photograph was allegedly taken.  Other times, she complied because it brought her closer to escape.  In testimony deemed credible, the victim was not a willing party to the actions that took place.

That's called rape, and there is no backing away from it.  The blackmail is an enormous ethical violation as well, but the way the rape was engineered is thoroughly disturbing.

But there are other violations, as well.  The media grabbed this story and took off, and though the fact was known that the victim did not initiate the story, very few stopped to consider what that means.  It means this story was not driven by the victim, and was likely against her wishes. It was broken by her ex-husband, who drove the narrative for the first several days.  It involved a recorded call and the victim had no idea her words were recorded. While that is legal in Missouri, that doesn't mean it is ethical when used to further victimize.  Thoughtless posters on social media poked fun without considering it came at a victim's expense.  These are issues that also need to be addressed and filed appropriately.

Good journalists note these things and question the motives of a source. I am very proud to say the Springfield News-Leader was sensitive to this throughout the coverage.  They also voiced an opinion that the governor must go, in light of what we know.  For the record, I could not agree more.

Make no mistake, there is some support for Greitens among the most loyal, but it is dying quickly.  Political allies are dropping one by one, but as the story unfolds and the victim gains credibility, most people I  have interviewed believe there is a dead end ahead, whether through resignation or involuntary process is the only question.

I will continue to cover this, and as the story develops bring it over here and share the local knowledge and response.

Sign Of The Times

The New York Times editorial board finally makes the call on Trump that they should have made more than 18 months ago.

News reports point to a growing possibility that President Trump may act to cripple or shut down an investigation by the nation’s top law-enforcement agencies into his campaign and administration. Lawmakers need to be preparing now for that possibility because if and when it comes to pass, they will suddenly find themselves on the edge of an abyss, with the Constitution in their hands.

Make no mistake: If Mr. Trump takes such drastic action, he will be striking at the foundation of the American government, attempting to set a precedent that a president, alone among American citizens, is above the law. What can seem now like a political sideshow will instantly become a constitutional crisis, and history will come calling for Mr. Hatch and his colleagues.

For months, investigators have been examining whether Mr. Trump’s campaign conspired with the Russian government to undermine American democracy, and whether the president misused his power by obstructing justice in an effort to end that investigation.

Until the last few weeks, Mr. Trump had shown restraint, by his standards, anyway. He and his lawyers cooperated with investigators. Mr. Trump never tweeted directly about Robert Mueller, the special counsel, and spoke about him publicly only when asked.

Alas, that whiff of higher executive function is gone. Mr. Trump is openly attacking both Mr. Mueller and Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, appointed by Mr. Trump himself. Mr. Rosenstein is overseeing the Russia investigation and signing off on Mr. Mueller’s actions.

Of course, this president has been known to huff and puff, to bluff and bluster, and he may be doing no more than that now. He may choose not to fire either man. We know he has already twice told his aides he wanted Mr. Mueller fired, only to be talked out of such rash action.

But if the president does move against the investigators, it will be up to Congress to affirm the rule of law, the separation of powers and the American constitutional order. The miserable polarization and partisan anger that have been rising in American life for decades will hit a new crescendo, and that will present congressional Republicans with a heavy burden indeed.

They go on to plead with congressional Republicans, starting with Senate president pro tempore and Judiciary Committee chair Orrin Hatch, to do the right thing for America's sake should Trump make the move we all at this point expect him to make on Rosenstein and Mueller (and possibly Jeff Sessions being taken out by the ensuing collateral damage as well).

I wouldn't hold my breath on Hatch doing anything at all.  Mitch McConnell will see to that.  Paul Ryan in the House?  Well, he's heading for the hills.  Don't expect anything there either.

This was always going to be up to Republicans in Congress, and there's nothing that I've seen that makes it even remotely feasible that they will choose country over party.  Perhaps in January with a new House and Senate controlled by the Dems, but the one we have now, no way.

And let's not forget we have an entire media empire devoted to keeping Trump in power no matter how far he goes.

The 2018 elections may be our best hope, and even then by the time they roll around it may already be too late.


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