Hannity Defends Real Estate Deals Against Absurd Media Attack (And He’s Right)

When it comes to Sean Hannity, I readily admit that I will be the first to criticize whenever he says something I find absurd. This was long before Trump and it will probably continue long after Trump. Sometimes I criticize fairly, sometimes I can be too mean.

However, at the end of the day, Hannity is a human being and is entitled to a fair defense whenever there is a media assault launched against him on, at best, spurious grounds. The recent revelations that Hannity’s business dealings with Michael Cohen involved real estate ventures in low-income areas, to me, qualifies.

The Guardian, whose political leanings are quite opposite of Hannity’s, revealed the information in a now widely-circulated story. The major claim against Hannity are that he did not disclose this when covering Ben Carson and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the fact that he worked with Cohen just gives an aura of absolute shadiness to the whole deal.

Hannity defended himself with this statement:

It is ironic that I am being attacked for investing my personal money in communities that badly need such investment and in which, I am sure, those attacking me have not invested their money. The fact is, these are investments that I do not individually select, control, or know the details about; except that obviously I believe in putting my money to work in communities that otherwise struggle to receive such support.

I have never discussed with anybody at HUD the original loans that were obtained in the Obama years, nor the subsequent refinance of such loans, as they are a private matter. I had no role in, or responsibility for, any HUD involvement in any of these investments. I can say that every rigorous process and strict standard of improvement requirements were followed; all were met, fulfilled and inspected.

The LLC’s are REAL companies that spend real investment money on real properties.

The second paragraph here is important for two reasons.

First, he points out those deals were made during the Obama years – as in before Ben Carson was appointed to lead the department under President Donald Trump. That in itself deals a pretty heavy blow to claims that Hannity didn’t “properly disclose” this information with regard to Carson and the Department. He was under no obligation to because he didn’t make a deal with Carson’s agency.

The second reason that the paragraph is so important is that there is no actual scandal involving the purchase themselves. Everything, legally, appears on the up-and-up. Just because he used Cohen to broker those deals doesn’t make then automatically any less legitimate.

The key issue in this non-scandal is the issue of “disclosure,” which honestly makes very little sense. “Disclosure” in the media is a word we use when we find a possible conflict of interest that would prevent someone honestly and fairly reporting on something or someone. Hannity is neither a journalist nor is he contractually obligated to be “fair.” His show can make or break news, but he himself is not a reporter to be held to the same standards as a traditional reporter would be.

For that matter, it is incredibly easy to pick out a nice handful of disclosures or conflicts of interest in the media. When a sizable chunk of the Beltway media has worked for or made major donations to key Democratic politicians (including presidents) over the past few decades, the idea that Hannity of all people should be held to this standard most media could not fairly hold themselves to is not just absurd. It is insulting.

Hannity has done nothing wrong, and it is only his political ideology and, in particular, his loyalty toward Donald Trump that makes him a target when non-stories like this blow up. It is silly to think that he is somehow this unethical disgrace to journalism when those rules can’t and shouldn’t apply to a partisan talk show host – especially when the supposedly objective media can’t hold themselves to it.

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John Kasich Seems To Think Liberals Will Just Embrace Him If He Runs

Very few things about John Kasich don’t irritate me.

He’s a lifelong politician. He claims to be a conservative despite holding as few conservative positions as possible and still get by. He maintains an unhealthy level of holier-than-thou-ism.

He’s like Jennifer Rubin, but somehow even hackier.

But, perhaps the most annoying thing to me is that he is under the mistaken belief that if he just attacks Republicans, conservatives, and Republicanism enough, he can somehow get elected in a bipartisan vote.

Today, Kasich’s anti-Republican crusade is against guns.

“In too many communities, convictions aren’t uploaded to the National Criminal Background Check system as they should be. This afternoon, I’ll take action to help close this gap to keep weapons out of the wrong hands in our state,” Kasich tweeted.

Asked for further details, Kasich’s office declined to elaborate Monday morning and pointed to the governor’s afternoon news conference, where he is expected to address the measure.

The announcement comes amid a national debate over gun control sparked by several mass shootings. Earlier this year, Kasich urged President Donald Trump to take action in the wake of a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Amid the reaction to Parkland, he also softened language related to the Second Amendment on his campaign website.

I cannot wait for Kasich to make his announcement, whatever it is, and look around expecting praise for “taking action” on guns. His head is already dangerously large, and today could be the day it explodes.

What is truly hilarious about Kasich’s dreams is that he somehow truly believes that the Democrats will embrace him as though he’s never held a problematic position.

Kasich, for all his faults, is pro-life. That alone will bring down every Democratic group against him with ads across every platform. That makes him anti-woman, you see.

Any Republican position he’s ever held will make him un-electable in Democrats’ eyes. He won’t win. And yet, he seems to firmly believe that it is attack Republican positions that will make him America’s Savior. He thinks the media coverage is great when in reality he’s being used as a token anti-Trump Republican and they’ll drop him as soon as Trump is no longer a thing that is happening to us.

His Messiah Complex is so misguided that it’s would be humorous if it weren’t so annoying to see him Holier-Than-Thou-ing all over the place. Please, someone, make it stop.

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Donald Trump Is Ahead (For Once), So Why Is He Intent On Messing It Up?

From a book no one will really read to a series of memos that don’t really do much of anything, James Comey appears to have worn out his welcome. Republicans don’t like him because he is leading a PR campaign against Donald Trump, and Democrats aren’t quite ready to forgive him for re-opening the Clinton investigation so late in the 2016 campaign.

For Trump, this should be a moment that he can celebrate a victory – one of his enemies is basically taking himself out by doubling down and going on a disastrous media tour. However, letting Comey take himself out is just not Trump’s style. He has to get the last word in, even when the conversation is so very clearly over.

This, from Saturday, is not only a dubious claim but an unnecessary one. There was no real reason for Trump to even go there. But, he couldn’t stop. Here he is on Sunday.

Why on earth are you still on this, Mr. President? You are extending Comey’s news cycle by merely commenting on him.

Sure, I mean Trump’s logic isn’t that hard to figure out: He needs… no, he craves an adversary. There are two types of people in Trump World, after all, and those are people who agree with Trump and people he can set up as an opponent to trash as much as possible just to get a rise out of his fans.

That’s not saying Comey isn’t a real adversary – he’s made it abundantly clear that he does not like Trump and his words and actions of late betray the already obvious politicization of his former job. Still, that doesn’t mean that Trump even has to acknowledge Comey. It’s very clear his star is falling at a rapid pace. He’ll be a footnote in history before much longer.

That is, of course, if Trump stops tweeting about him.

Trump has this obsession with constantly tweeting about things that anyone who isn’t slavishly devoted to Twitter or political gossip probably don’t care about in the grand scheme of things.

It isn’t just Comey. He does this all the time. Take this tweet for example.

I had no idea about this story. I’ve been away from my computer all weekend. I find the idea of calling Jeff Sessions “Mr. Magoo” hilarious, and I am sad I missed it. But, the real world happens and on the weekends, many ordinary Americans are working, spending time with family, resting, and other non-political things. How many people actually read the Washington Post story?

Not nearly enough to warrant a response from the President of the United States, that’s for certain. But still, he goes out and comments on it. He can’t stop himself.

And when it comes down to issues like Comey, all Trump does is breathe new life into the subject when it should have died already. Every denial or response from Trump is just one more flood of “WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?!” reactions from the #Resistance waiting to happen.

Just stop it, Mr. President.

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BREAKING: DNC Files Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Over 2016 Election

The Democratic National Committee has pulled the trigger and filed a massive lawsuit alleging that Russia, WikiLeaks, and the Donald Trump campaign all conspired to disrupt the 2016 election and cause Donald Trump to become the President of the United States.

The Washington Post broke the story this morning.

The complaint, filed in federal district court in Manhattan, alleges that top Trump campaign officials conspired with the Russian government and its military spy agency to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump by hacking the computer networks of the Democratic Party and disseminating stolen material found there.

“During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump’s campaign,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement.

“This constituted an act of unprecedented treachery: the campaign of a nominee for President of the United States in league with a hostile foreign power to bolster its own chance to win the presidency,” he said.

The lawsuit has been filed against Russia, but also names WikiLeaks and key Trump campaign aides – including Jared Kushner, Donald Trump, Jr., and Paul Manafort – of participating in the conspiracy. They are not, however, naming Trump as a conspirator here.

The suit filed Friday seeks millions of dollars in compensation to offset damage it claims the party suffered from the hacks. The DNC argues that the cyberattack undermined its ability to communicate with voters, collect donations and operate effectively as its employees faced personal harassment and, in some cases, death threats.

The Post article acknowledges that there are complications with filing such a suit against a foreign government, but the lawsuit claims that Russia’s and WikiLeak’s part in the conspiracy constitutes trespassing on private property – in this case, inside DNC computers.

It’s certainly an odd case, but one that bears watching. Keep in mind that the lawsuit overlaps with the time that Democrats are laying out their campaign strategies for November’s midterm elections and trying to keep voter enthusiasm alive.

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BRILLIANT: New Info Shows Clinton Campaign Sought To “Maximize” Trump

There are two types of reader here at RedState – those who like Trump and those who do not. However, there is a single issue that unites us no matter your thoughts on the President. That issue is, of course, Hillary Clinton.

What fascinates us about Clinton to this day is the lack of responsibility she and her campaign takes for their embarrassing 2016 defeat. It is the fault of journalists or Republican lies or just straight-up sexism that keeps her from attaining the highest office in the nation. It is never the fault of her or the comically incompetent campaign run under her name.

Case in point: This Daily Beast story about Clinton allies referring to a new book about her. The book, Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling, is causing consternation as it is clearly another example of “unfair” journalistic practices against Clinton.

Throughout the book, Chozick refers to her fellow journalists in the small pool that flew on the campaign plane as “Travelers,” while referring to many Clinton staffers collectively as “The Guys.”

Asked to comment on the book, a former campaign staffer who’s referred to in it as one of “The Guys” told The Daily Beast: “The challenge on the campaign was that you had a reporter holding the Clintons to a higher standard through a lower standard of reporting. Amy was not always an honest broker, and this book seems to be more of the same. It ridicules people with a smile, contributing little to the public discourse.”

But what these staffers, and Clinton supporters in general, fail to understand is that Donald Trump happened because of the campaign, not the other way around. They chose to elevate Trump, and their allies in the media were more than happy to oblige because of ratings. The media and the campaign thought they could benefit from promoting Trump to the forefront, and they used each other to do it.

From early on, the Clinton camp saw Trump as an enemy to encourage, Chozick writes. During the campaign, as had been previously reported, there was an effort to elevate Trump into a so-called Pied Piper in order to tie him to the mainstream of the Republican Party.

“An agenda for an upcoming campaign meeting sent by [Campaign Manager] Robby Mook’s office asked, ‘How do we maximize Trump?’” Chozick writes, describing a time when the GOP primary was still crowded.

Even as Trump surged in the polls, the Clinton camp still saw him as a danger to stronger candidates rather than such a candidate in his own right, Chozick reports, so that in August 2015, “when the main GOP debate came on, everyone pushed their pizza crust aside and stared transfixed at the TV set… [Campaign Manager] Robby [Mook] salivated when the debate came back on and Trump started to speak. ‘Shhhhh,’ Robby said, practically pressing his nose up to the TV. ‘I’ve gahtz to get me some Trump.’ Robby thought Rubio would be the nominee. Podesta was bullish on Kasich. Bill and Hillary, still stuck in the 1990s, feared the Bush surname most of all.”

Boy, did that backfire gloriously.

Now Mook, the tech-savvy political wunderkind, would in a normal field never have a job again. But this is politics, and clearly this is the fault of the ignorant masses and not the campaign or the candidate, so Mook will be allowed to continue running campaigns.

But as long as Clinton and here people are out there, spewing their whiny, corrosive poison to any journalist willing to listen, then the Democrats will continue to struggle to connect with the very people Clinton neglected and even isolated. The Clinton loss was historic – Donald Trump broke the famed Blue Wall and split union households, both of which were unthinkable until election night.

Love Trump or hate him, he certainly owes Hillary and Friends some thanks. They gave him the spotlight and he run with it all the way to the White House. While Clinton may firmly believe that there is a media and conservative conspiracy to keep her out of office, the truth is pretty obvious.

She never had a chance.

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Whatever Happened To The Happy Warrior?

Recently, I managed to re-connect with some old gaming friends. We had become friends through an online browser game that simulated global politics and, for a while, was fun.

However, what ended up ruining the game for me is that a lot of the debates became stale, the conflicts repetitive, and the political chatter grating. Gone were the days of diplomacy-by-trolling and edicts from emperors to not wear pants. It became too serious. “Winning” the game became all-consuming, and it ruined the fun. In the end, it seems like most folks wandered off for their own mental health. I did the same.

A few remained friends through social media, but many I just didn’t keep up with. Last week, one of my favorite people from this group invited me to a group chat where a bunch of the gang was gathered. Catching up, years later, has been great.

Now, many of these players are far more liberal than I am, and it has led to debates, but these debates are enjoyable. We actually have to pierce each other’s bubble and treat each other as humans.

Somewhere along the way, we as a larger society seem to have stopped doing that entirely.

Take the situation with Starbucks. Many on the Right are going to say that Starbucks is simply going to indoctrinate its workers in order to make the company even more of a Leftist institution than it already is. If there is anyone on the Right who has said they want to engage and have these conversations on race and society with Starbucks, its employees, and the black community as a whole, I haven’t seen it.

And, it’s not about telling them why they’re wrong, either. I’m talking about going out, leaving your bubble, and actually engaging them with a smile and an open mind.

Remember the metaphor of the happy warrior? It was an Andrew Breitbart favorite. He advocated going out and fighting your political battles with a smile on your face, and he was right in doing so. Politics is a draining hobby, and it will totally sap your humor if you let it.

Social media has become the epitome of that. It is a cesspool of humorless, angry, political fiends hellbent on dehumanizing anyone who disagrees with them and taking themselves way too seriously. In the end, that doesn’t do anyone any good.

There has been plenty of ink spilled in the name of “reclaiming discourse.” While I’m not entirely sure it can be reclaimed (seeing as no one can seem to agree on what’s been lost or taken), it can be made more fun. We can treat each other as humans, have discussions, leave our bubbles, and generally be good people.

And, if your first reaction to this is “Well, the LEFT…”, then stop right there. That’s part of the problem.

Bring back conversation, not just discourse. Go out there and talk about it with a smile on your face. Prove to me there’s no rust on our happy warrior army.

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James Comey Is Selling a Book and Everyone Else Is Getting Ripped Off

Former FBI Director James Comey speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Arguably the most irritating thing about this news cycle is the “leaked” excerpts of James Comey’s new book, which provide us with new and exciting insults from someone with a grudge against Trump… and little else.

There is a reason these excerpts dropped last night. There is a reason Comey is on a media blitz. There is a reason people are breathlessly talking about him.

He’s selling a book.

Comey isn’t out there trying to stop Trump and he isn’t trying to save Democracy, despite what others may imply. He is trying to up his sales. Sure, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but the countless people who can’t wait for his “explosive tell-all” or however we’re describing it today aren’t going to get any new information from it.

Let’s be clear here: If Comey had anything damning on Trump it would have come out before Congress, not his book. Why? Because he legally cannot reveal anything about any investigation into Trump in his book.

And this is something that the folks the in the media who are talking about the book know as well. Which begs the question: Why give it attention if it’s not going to do what it’s implied to do?

Comey pushes it to up his sales. Anti-Trump figures in the media are doing it to keep negative Trump publicity in the news cycle.

The fact is that everyone in Washington D.C., from Left to Right, hates Comey or hated him at some point in the recent past. His decision-making when he was at the top of the FBI is questionable at best. His explanations for his decisions are even worse.

But, he was fired by Trump, bears a grudge, and got a sweet book deal. That’s all anyone really needs, apparently.

I’m no fan of Trump. I don’t really like defending him (and, to an extent, this column isn’t a defense of him, really). But the lengths which people go to in order to make sure negative stories get as much airtime as possible is pretty shameful.

Find real stories and tell them. This isn’t a story. This is an extended advertisement for a book.

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REPORT: Paul Ryan Telling Allies He’s Done

While the rumors have been persistent for a while now, a new report indicates that Paul Ryan is effectively getting his affairs in order by telling close allies that he’s not going to run for re-election.

Here’s the bulletin from Axios, laying it out:

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has told confidants that he will announce soon that he won’t run for reelection in November, according to sources with knowledge of the conversations.

Why it matters: House Republicans were already in very tough spot for midterms, with many endangered members and the good chance that Democrats will win the majority. Friends say that after Ryan passed tax reform, his longtime dream, he was ready to step out of a job that has become endlessly frustrating, in part because of President Trump.

It’s not a good sign for Republicans, who are expected to take a major hit in the House come the midterm elections. Ryan took control of the House in 2015, and prior to that was a vice presidential candidate for Mitt Romney.

Ryan has remained quiet publicly on whether or not he is running again, but the whispers and rumors have long indicated he is done with Washington D.C.

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Conservatism’s Next Voice: Ben Shapiro Heads to Radio

A viral sensation because of his prolific writing resume, videos of arguments against liberal activists, and contentious university speeches, the Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro has been a big hit on virtually every available medium.

This includes podcasting, where the Ben Shapiro Show is a huge hit among political podcasts, frequently at the top of the charts. All of this popularity has led a major radio group to syndicate his podcasts on terrestrial radio, POLITICO reports.

Starting on April 2, Westwood One will be syndicating the podcast, called The Ben Shapiro Show, as a one-hour program in several major markets, including New York, Washington, and Los Angeles.

The move will bring the 34-year-old Shapiro, often seen as a leading voice of young conservatives, into the same arena as the older generation of conservative talk radio standard-bearers, like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. With his 1.27 million Twitter followers and, according to Westwood One, 15 million podcast downloads per month, some observers can see Shapiro rising quickly through the ranks of conservative radio.

Shapiro is no stranger to terrestrial radio. He has subbed in for Mark Levin in the past (and performed well when he did). However, having his own syndicated show is a clear play for a younger conservative audience, one which Shapiro draws across his various platforms.

And while he does not see himself as a competitor to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, he is a younger face, rising popularity and, perhaps most significantly, a willingness to be critical of President Donald Trump – something the two long-standing voices of conservative radio won’t do.

Shapiro is the first real opportunity for younger conservatives to have a voice on talk radio. Many younger conservatives have had to latch on Limbaugh and Hannity because those two were the primary options. However, Shapiro is someone they are more likely to connect with, and that can make all the difference.

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