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Senate Trial and its effect on 2020 elections

"Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime" ~Lavrentiy Beria

Everybody has a right to be stupid, but some people abuse the privilege.  ~Joseph Stalin

 

News Obama administration participation in the intelligence services putsch against Trump Recommended Links  Brennan's  "Trump Task Force" and its elections machinations Threat inflation as neocons primary tool FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga Alexander Vindman role in Ukrainegate Alexandra Chalupa role in fueling Russiagate Fiona Hill as Soros mole in Trump administration
Strzokgate Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukrainegate UA officials role in fueling Russiagate and Ukrainegate House Democrats attempt to backstab Barr and derail his investigation into the origin of Russiagate Nancy Pelosi impeachment gambit War is Racket Civil war in Ukraine Nulandgate Creepy neocon Joe Biden and fleecing of Ukraine
Rick Perry induced Trump blunder Post-Russiagate remorse -- the second Iraq WDM fiasco  Poroshenko presidency Color revolutions Ukrainian Security Services role in Spygate (aka Russiagate)  Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool MSM as attack dogs of color revolution Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Anti Trump Hysteria
Ukraine debt enslavement Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Steele dossier Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Rosenstein and appointment of the special prosecutor Infiltration of Trump campaign The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies History of American False Flag Operations
US and British media are servants of security apparatus MSM as fake news industry Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

So far the Senate trial develops as purely election campaign exercise.  At attempt to politically damage the president ahead of the election. Tucker made several good point about this mess and key protagonists of this Kanuki theather when both sides are afraid to touch the truth and operate in such theater of absurd environment:

As the Senate impeachment trial continued tonight, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson cut away for commentary with Brit Hume and asked what the point is.

As Congressman Hakeem Jeffries — one of the House impeachment managers — spoke, Carlson said, “I’m trying to stay professional here… but I’m wondering as I’m watching Congressman Jeffries speak who the intended audience is here. It’s hard to imagine many people watching at home will have their minds changed, hard to imagine many will understand what he’s saying. What’s the point of this?”

Hume said right now they’re “trying to get as much of their case and as much of their allegations and dispersions as possible before the public,” but said given how unlikely a conviction will be, Democrats could at least put Republicans “on the spot” and politically damage the president ahead of the election.

“That’s clearly been the plan from day one,” Carlson said. “It prevents the progress of the agenda… and also to help their case politically. I just wonder if this is the way to go about it. I’m obviously not a disinterested party here. I’ve got strong opinions. But I’m watching this and I’m trying to put myself in the shoes of someone undecided and thinking, ‘This guy hasn’t convinced a single person. In fact, by the end, I’m thinking I don’t know what they’re accusing Trump of but this guy’s not winning me over, to put it mildly.”

“That is in the eye of the beholder,” Hume responded. “I understand what you’re saying and I suspect there’s a very large segment particularly of our audience will find him as annoying as you do.”

“That was the word I was searching for, annoying,” Carlson said. He also said at one point, “I guess what I’m saying is whatever you think about Trump, these people strike me, one man’s opinion, as extremists and scary. That’s my takeaway.” 

See also:

One funny tidbit was Bolton betrayal of his former boss.  Here is Tucker again  sound good tidbits about both (although he forgot to mention that it was Adelson who put Bolton into his high level position in Trump administration)

Tucker- John Bolton has always been a snake - Fox News Video

There were a couple of funny moments

Trump should probably represent himself instead of his legal team and turn it into a real reality show:

The net result is that Creepy Uncle Joe will not be the candidate from democrats. Now all country know quite a bit about level of his corruption and his narcoaddict son Hunter Biden story. It is too early for Trump to uncork the champagne, but it looks like he is not a loser in this trial.  Dems gambit failed because Dems were afraid to touch really sensitive points. Remember that recent Iranian debacle of assassinating Soleimani, which is already starting being forgotten?

That along with Douma false flag were real issues which might change the impeachment trail in Dems favor.  That was a sure way to make Republican senators look dishonest and partisan when defending Trump. But Dems were complicit and recently bacem the second war party, so we got a Kabuki theater instead.  Whether this was an electoral gift for Trump or Trump unprovoked blunder was a gift to Dems remain to be seen.

As Colonel Lang observed (Isn't it interesting - Sic Semper Tyrannis):

that since the day Trump was inaugurated there have been continuous and unending propaganda and political warfare themes and memes launched against him in the interest of either outright overthrow or of dirtying him up so much that he cannot be re-elected. As soon as one effort goes down, another immediately surfaces.

Think about that pilgrims. Think about it. As a former practitioner on behalf of the US government of similar dark arts in covert warfare I recognize this pattern of behavior. What has been ongoing is a well funded IO operation that IMO draws on funds provided by the people and factions that you all can name.

IMO there is an operations center or "war room" somewhere that researches political vulnerabilities and serves them up seriatim to "the resistance." pl

How did the DNC manage that gift? Exactly. By directly throwing it into the trash bin without a moment of hesitation and keeping on desperately clinging to the politically stillborn clownery around Ukraine which will allow the Republican senators to laugh their Democratic colleagues out of the stage and seal Trump's victory.

Now Democrats look like a poor feller in front of an insurmountable wall, who, having witnessed a door which magically appeared in that wall, screamed "To battle!/Arriva!/Kovfefe!", slammed the said door shut, industriously broke the handle so that it could never be opened again and shatter the reinforced concrete with his forehead.

Second, not only is Trump hobbled by the impeachment nonsense, it is the purpose of this nonsense to hobble him. So much of the nonsense, beyond narrow power moves within the power structure, is coming from the Deep State (or whatever -- the neoliberal/neocon establishment, the CIA, etc.), with the Democrats (and the so-called Left who have subordinated themselves to the Democrats) taking the lead (but with plenty of Republicans on board for intervention); the aim of this hobbling is so that the power players of the neoliberal economic agenda and the neoconservative military agenda (what I call the neoliberal/neocon compact) can basically go on a rampage, trying to make up time and (imperialist) opportunities lost during the Trump disruption.

The anti-Russian card played by DemoRats (aka Clinton Democrats)  during domestic political campaigns in the States is a very short-sighted approach. This just project the image of the US elite as bunch of provincial, vindictive neocons, who are can't meet the level of responsibility that lies on the shoulders of the USA.

 The insanity of neoliberals/neocons looks like the actions of the ideologically bankrupt clique, the hysterical demonizing of Trump being their desperate way to avoid recognizing that fact that they lost the electorate support, but to their betrayal of  blue collar and lower middle class America.

Pelosi attempt to sway 2020 election via impeachment trial will now backfire due to her own  stupidity and cowardness. As Chris Hedges  noted in his Dec 23 article in Truthdig:

The impeachment process was a nauseating display of moral hypocrisy. The sound bites by Republicans and Democrats swiftly became predictable. The Democrats, despite applauding the announcement of the voting results before being quickly silenced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sought to cloak themselves in gravitas and solemnity. Pelosi's calculated decision to open the impeachment proceedings with the 1954 "under God" version of the Pledge of Allegiance was an appropriate signal given the party's New McCarthyism.

The Democrats posited themselves as saviors, the last line of defense between a constitutional democracy and tyranny. The Republicans, as cloyingly sanctimonious as the Democrats, offered up ludicrous analogies to attack what they condemned as a show trial, including Rep. Barry Loudermilk's statement that "Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afforded to this president." The Republicans shamelessly prostrated themselves throughout the 10-hour process at the feet of their cult leader Donald Trump, offering abject and eternal fealty. They angrily accused the Democrats of seeking to overturn the 2016 election in a legislative coup.

It was a mind-numbing spectacle, devoid of morality and ethics, the kind of political theater that characterizes despotic regimes. No one in the House chamber was protecting the Constitution. No one was seeking to hold accountable those who had violated it. No one was fighting to restore the rule of law. The two parties, which have shredded constitutional protections and rights and sold the political process to the highest bidders, have engaged in egregious constitutional violations for years and ignored them when they were made public. Moral stances have a cost, but almost no one in Congress seems willing to pay. Trying to tar Trump as a Russian agent failed. Now the Democrats hope to discredit him with charges of abuse of power and contempt of Congress.

The politicization of the impeachment process has only exacerbated the antagonisms and polarization in the country. It has, ironically, increased support for Trump, who in this toxic environment may well be reelected. His approval rating has jumped to 45 percent, up from 39 percent when the impeachment inquiry was launched, according to the latest Gallup survey , conducted from Dec. 2 to Dec. 15. This is the third consecutive increase in Trump's approval rating. Among Republicans, Trump has a job approval rating of 89%, almost nine in 10 in the GOP. Fifty-one percent of Americans oppose impeachment and removal, up five percentage points since the House inquiry began, Gallup reports.

Yes, Trump's contempt of Congress and attempt to get Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, to open an investigation of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in exchange for almost $400 million in U.S. military aid and allowing Zelensky to visit the White House are impeachable offenses, but trivial and minor ones compared with the constitutional violations that the two parties have institutionalized and, I fear, made permanent. These sustained, bipartisan constitutional violations -- not Trump -- resulted in the failure of our democracy. Trump is the pus coming out of the wound.

If the Democrats and the Republicans were committed to defending the Constitution why didn't they impeach George W. Bush when he launched two illegal wars that were never declared by Congress as demanded by the Constitution? Why didn't they impeach Bush when he authorized placing the entire U.S. public under government surveillance in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment? Why didn't they impeach Bush when he authorized torture along with kidnapping terrorist suspects around the world and holding them for years in our black sites and offshore penal colonies? Why didn't they impeach Barack Obama when he expanded these illegal wars to 11, if we count Yemen? Why didn't they impeach Obama when Edward Snowden revealed that our intelligence agencies are monitoring and spying on almost every citizen and downloading our data and metrics into government computers where they will be stored for perpetuity? Why didn't they impeach Obama when he misused the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force to erase due process and give the executive branch of government the right to act as judge, jury and executioner in assassinating U.S. citizens, starting with the radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and, two weeks later, his 16-year-old son? Why didn't they impeach Obama when he signed into law Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, in effect overturning the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the use of the military as a domestic police force?

There are other bipartisan constitutional violations, including violating treaty clauses that are supposed to be ratified by the Senate, violating the Constitution by making appointments without seeking Senate confirmation, and the routine abusive use of executive orders. But the two major political parties, salivating at the thought of wielding the king-like power that now comes with the presidency, have no desire to curb these far more dangerous violations.

The selective use of the two violations to impeach Trump is a weaponization of the impeachment process. Should the Democrats take control of the White House and the Republicans control of the Congress, impeachment, with or without merit, will become another form of political pressure exerted within our dysfunctional and divided political system. The rule of law will be a pretense, as in the current process of impeachment and Senate trial.

The impeachment circus, which will culminate in a preordained, choreographed and televised show in the Senate, coincided with The Washington Post's release of what is being called the Afghanistan Papers . The Post, through a three-year legal battle, obtained more than 2,000 pages of internal government documents about the war. The papers detail bipartisan lies, fraud, deceit, corruption, waste and gross mismanagement during the 18-year conflict, the longest in U.S. history. It is a blistering indictment of the ruling class, which, as the papers note, since 2001 has seen the Defense Department, State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development spend or win appropriation of between $934 billion and $978 billion, according to an inflation-adjusted estimate calculated by Neta Crawford, a political science professor and co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University. "These figures," the Post adds, "do not include money spent by other agencies such as the CIA and the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is responsible for medical care for wounded veterans." [ See Chris Hedges discuss the Afghanistan Papers with Spenser Rapone, a West Point graduate who served as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan.]

This window into the inner workings of our bankrupt ruling elite, responsible for widespread destruction and the loss of tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of lives in Afghanistan, was largely ignored by the media during the impeachment proceedings. Neither political party, and none of their courtiers on the cable news shows, is interested in exposing the bipartisan failure, lying and grotesque incompetence on the part of the United States in the years it has occupied Afghanistan. Afghan and U.S. officials concede that the Taliban is stronger now than at any other time since the 2001 invasion.

In a functioning democracy, the publication of the Afghanistan Papers would see generals and politicians who knowingly deceived the public hauled before congressional committees. The Fulbright hearings, during the Vietnam War, although they did not lead to prosecutions, at least aggressively held U.S. officials to account and made public their duplicity and failure. But in the wake of the new disclosures, no one in either political party or the military will be held accountable for the debacle in Afghanistan, a conflict that saw a vast waste of resources, including nearly a trillion dollars that could have been used to address our pronounced social inequality, rebuild our decaying infrastructure and help end our reliance on fossil fuels.

The Afghanistan Papers lay bare a truth the hyperventilating Republican and Democratic mandarins in Congress prefer to mask. On all the major structural issues -- war, the economy, the use of militarized police and the world's largest prison system for social control, the infusion of corporate money to deform the electoral and legislative processes, slashing taxes for the wealthy and corporations, exploitative trade deals, austerity, the climate emergency and the rapidly accelerating government debt -- there is little or no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats.

The political clashes are not substantive, despite what we heard in the impeachment hearings. They are rhetorical and largely inconsequential. The Republicans and the Democrats recently passed a $738 billion defense bill for fiscal year 2020, a $21 billion increase over what was enacted for fiscal year 2019. The vote was a lopsided 377 to 48. The U.S. spends more on its military than the next 10 countries combined. Also, a day after the impeachment of President Trump, the Republicans and Democrats in the House passed a thinly veiled rewrite of the Clinton administration's North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the 25-year-old free trade agreement that hollowed out our manufacturing centers and sent U.S. jobs and production to Mexico. Again, the vote was lopsided, 385 to 41. When the wealthy and our corporate masters want something done, it gets done. Our elected officials serve them, not us. We are to be controlled.

The Republican and Democratic politicians, like the generals, government bureaucrats and intelligence chiefs, once they leave their government posts will be generously rewarded by being given jobs as lobbyists and consultants or being appointed to corporate boards. These politicians are the mutant products of our system of legalized bribery, shameless kleptocrats . The only interests they serve are their own. This truth binds half the country to Trump, who although a con artist and himself flagrantly corrupt, at least belittles and mocks the ruling elites who have betrayed us.

Trump and his supporters are not wrong in condemning the deep state -- the generals, bankers, corporatists, lobbyists, intelligence chiefs, government bureaucrats and technocrats who oversee domestic and international policy no matter who is in power. The Afghanistan Papers, while detailing the quagmire in Afghanistan -- where more than 775,000 Americans were deployed over the 18 years, more than 2,300 soldiers and Marines killed and more than 20,000 wounded -- also illustrate how seamlessly the two ruling parties and the deep state work together.

"What did we get for this $1 trillion effort? Was it worth $1 trillion?" Jeffrey Eggers, a retired Navy SEAL and White House staffer for Bush and Obama, is quoted as saying by The Washington Post. "After the killing of Osama bin Laden, I said that Osama was probably laughing in his watery grave considering how much we have spent on Afghanistan."

The Post writes , "The documents also contradict a long chorus of public statements from U.S. presidents, military commanders and diplomats who assured Americans year after year that they were making progress in Afghanistan and the war was worth fighting. Several of those interviewed described explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public. They said it was common at military headquarters in Kabul -- and at the White House -- to distort statistics to make it appear the United States was winning the war when that was not the case."

"As commanders in chief, Bush, Obama and Trump all promised the public the same thing," the Post notes. "They would avoid falling into the trap of 'nation-building' in Afghanistan. On that score, the presidents failed miserably. The United States has allocated more than $133 billion to build up Afghanistan -- more than it spent, adjusted for inflation, to revive the whole of Western Europe with the Marshall Plan after World War II."

There is no difference, the Afghanistan Papers make clear, in the mendacity and incompetence of the policymaking apparatus no matter who controls Congress or the White House. No party or elected official dares defy the military-industrial complex or other titans of the deep state. The Democrats through impeachment have no intention of restoring constitutional rights that would curb the power of the deep state and protect democracy. The deep state funds them. It sustains them in office. The Democrats are seeking to replace the inept and vulgar face of empire that is Trump with the benign and decorous face of empire that is Joe Biden. What the Democrats, and the deep state that has allied itself with the Democratic Party, object to is the mask, not what is behind it. If you doubt me, read the six-part series on Afghanistan in the Post.


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[May 26, 2020] Who Deserves Impeachment More - Trump Or Schiff

May 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

But now let's take a look at Schiff's sins and see how they compare. Back in 2017, he was the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and therefore the man Democrats counted on to lead the charge that Trump had colluded with the Kremlin in order to steal the election. He did so with gusto. Quoting from a dossier prepared by ex-British MI6 agent Christopher Steele, he regaled a March 2017 committee hearing with tales of how Russia bribed Trump adviser Carter Page by offering him a hefty slice of a Russian natural-gas company known as Rosneft and of how Russian agents boosted Trump's political fortunes by hacking Hillary Clinton's emails and passing them on to WikiLeaks . Conceivably, such acts could have been purely coincidental, Schiff acknowledged.

"But it is also possible," he went on, "maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected, and not unrelated, and that the Russians used the same techniques to corrupt U.S. persons that they have employed in Europe and elsewhere. We simply don't know, not yet, and we owe it to the country to find out."

Hours later, he assured MSNBC that the evidence of collusion was "more than circumstantial." Nine months after that, he informed CNN's Jake Tapper that the case was no longer in doubt: "The Russians offered help, the campaign accepted help, the Russians gave help, and the president made full use of that help." In February 2018, he told reporters: "There is certainly an abundance of non-public information that we've gathered in the investigation. And I think some of that non-public evidence is evidence on the issue of collusion and some on the issue of obstruction."

The press lapped it up .

But now, thanks to the May 7 release of 57 transcripts of secret testimony – transcripts, by the way, that Schiff bottled up for months – we have a better idea of what such "non-public information" amounts to.

The answer: nothing.

A parade of high-level witnesses told the intelligence committee that either they didn't know about collusion or lacked evidence even to venture an opinion. Not one offered the contrary view that collusion was true.

"I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting [or] conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election," testified ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch told the committee that no one in the FBI or CIA had informed her that collusion had taken place. Sally Yates, acting attorney general during the Obama-Trump transition, was similarly noncommittal. So were Obama speechwriter Ben Rhodes and former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. David Kramer, a prominent neocon who helped spread word of the Steele dossier in top intelligence circles, was downright apologetic: "I'm not in a position to really say one way or the other, sir. I'm sorry."

But rather than admit that the investigation had turned up nothing, Schiff lied that it had – not once but repeatedly.

Let that sink in for a moment. Collusion dominated the headlines from the moment Buzzfeed published the Steele dossier on Jan. 10, 2017, to the release of the Muller report on Apr. 18, 2019. That's more than two years, a period in which newspapers and TV were filled with Russia, Russia, Russia and little else. Thanks to the uproar, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein secretly discussed using the Twenty-fifth Amendment to force Trump out of office, while an endless parade of newscasters and commentators assured viewers that the president's days were numbered because " the walls are closing in ."

Schiff's only response was to egg it on to greater and greater heights. Even when Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller issued his no-collusion verdict – "the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities," his report said – Schiff insisted that there was still "ample evidence of collusion in plain sight."

"I use that word very carefully," he said, "because I also distinguish time and time again between collusion, that is acts of corruption that may or may not be criminal, and proof of a criminal conspiracy. And that is a distinction that Bob Mueller made within the first few pages of his report. In fact, every act that I've pointed to as evidence of collusion has now been borne out by the report. "

So Trump colluded with the Kremlin, but in a non-criminal way? Even if Mueller got Schiff in a headlock and screamed in his ear, "No collusion, no collusion," the committee chairman would presumably reply: "See? He said it – collusion."

The man is an unscrupulous liar, in other words, someone who will say anything to gain attention and fatten his war chest, which is why contributions flowing to his re-election campaign have risen from under $1 million a year to $10.5 million since the Russia furor began. The man talks endlessly about the Constitution, patriotism, his father's heroic service in the military, and so on. But the only thing Adam Schiff really cares about is himself.

Trump's sins are manifold. But with unerring accuracy, Schiff managed to zero in on the one sin that didn't take place. Considering that the $391 million was destined for ultra-right military units whose members sport neo-Nazi regalia and SS symbols as they battle pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukraine, Schiff's crimes are just as bad, if not worse. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the next candidate for impeachment, the congressman from Hollywood – Adam Schiff!

[May 16, 2020] A model democrat

Highly recommended!
May 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Absaalookemensch , 1 week ago

Adam Schiff is a model Democrat. He has no integrity, decency, honesty. He's a model Democrat.

[May 16, 2020] Rep Zeldin calls on Adam Schiff to resign

May 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

George Powe , 5 days ago

Schiff resign? He should be tried for TREASON and EXECUTED!

CheapSkateSimmer , 5 days ago

Schiffty Schiff needs to answer questions under oath.

Tim Nobody , 1 day ago (edited)

Adam Schiff knew the truth and when on TV everyday and lied to the American people. He should be ran out of DC..

HugsBach , 5 days ago

Adam Schif needs to be impeached, criminal prosecution, perjury too!

[May 16, 2020] John Solomon 'Everything about the Schiff-show is falling apart' - YouTube

May 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Rosco Coltrane , 2 days ago (edited)

Why isn't Schiff in Jail. Isn't Barry's Alumni worried about the rule of law?

Juju Rellama , 2 days ago

She [Amb. Yovanovitch's] hated Trump. Blamed him for her failed career. Whistleblowers don't have long careers

Will Hunt , 2 days ago

Nothing but lies for 4 years from Dems. Pathetic and disgusting. A Coup, Imagine that?

mark spannar , 2 days ago

She needs to be put in jail. The American people demand and deserve justice .

Cy Todd , 2 days ago (edited)

"Wasn't completely honest"... mistress of understatements. She lied. The left's narrative is imploding. Corrupt Ambassador, and the left whined when she was fired. Belongs in prison... in Ukraine.

fiddlemastr jay , 2 days ago

Yovanovitch is just another piece of Rhodes Scholar trash.

ZW , 2 days ago

Is she lied she better be charged with a flipping crime. Time to stop playing coy.

RM SemFl , 2 days ago

Yovanovitch sat their and lied the whole time. Why isn't she being charged?

JDSwamp , 2 days ago

She's Princeton. The quality! The Ivy! Yovanovitch LIED under oath.

imaGINAtion , 2 days ago

During the impeachment sham hearing, Yovanovitch said she had not recall anything about the well known national scandal Burisma in Ukraine. Surprising, isn't it?

Noam Pitlik , 2 days ago

Schiff doesn't strike me as the 'fall on his sword' type. Maybe he will spill the beans someday.

Dave Wo , 2 days ago

Yeah.... Yovanovitch is a liar. Throw her in prison for lying to congress.

Vladim IANCU , 2 days ago

The entire Obama Administration was, for eight long years, a string of crimes and cover-ups by the then President and all his partners in wrongdoings. When is Lady Justice going to prevail?

[May 16, 2020] Greg Gutfeld Something has got to be done about Adam Schiff - YouTube

May 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

terry ortiz , 1 day ago

The fake media isn't angry with their sources because the sources lied because the media were partners in crime.

[May 11, 2020] Tucker: Adam Schiff should resign

This is nationwide gaslighting by Clinton gang of neoliberals who attempted coup d'état, and Adam Schiff was just one of the key figures in this coupe d'état, king of modern Joe McCarthy able and willing to destroy a person using false evidence
What is interesting is that Tucker attacked Republicans for aiding and abetting the coup d'état against Trump
May 11, 2020 | www.youtube.com

RionE23 , 2 days ago

I'm sick of politicians getting a free pass by "resigning" no, they break the law they go to jail.. just like the rest of us.

shannon11590 , 1 day ago

Adam Schiff simply needs to be criminally prosecuted and imprisoned for the countless number of criminal acts that he committed while in Congress.

[May 11, 2020] Twin Pillars of Russiagate Crumble by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
So the RussiaGate was giant gaslighting of the US electorate by Clinton gang and intelligence agencies rogues.
Notable quotes:
"... For two and a half years the House Intelligence Committee knew CrowdStrike didn't have the goods on Russia. Now the public knows too. ..."
"... House Intelligence Committee documents released Thursday reveal that the committee was told two and half years ago that the FBI had no concrete evidence that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee computers to filch the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks ..."
"... Henry testifies that "it appears it [the theft of DNC emails] was set up to be exfiltrated, but we just don't have the evidence that says it actually left." ..."
"... This, in VIPS view, suggests that someone with access to DNC computers "set up" selected emails for transfer to an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example. The Internet is not needed for such a transfer. Use of the Internet would have been detected, enabling Henry to pinpoint any "exfiltration" over that network. ..."
"... Bill Binney, a former NSA technical director and a VIPs member, filed a sworn affidavit in the Roger Stone case. Binney said: "WikiLeaks did not receive stolen data from the Russian government. Intrinsic metadata in the publicly available files on WikiLeaks demonstrates that the files acquired by WikiLeaks were delivered in a medium such as a thumb drive." ..."
"... Both pillars of Russiagate–collusion and a Russian hack–have now fairly crumbled. ..."
"... Thursday's disclosure of testimony before the House Intelligence Committee shows Chairman Adam Schiff lied not only about Trump-Putin "collusion," [which the Mueller report failed to prove and whose allegations were based on DNC and Clinton-financed opposition research] but also about the even more basic issue of "Russian hacking" of the DNC. [See: "The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate."] ..."
"... Fortunately, the cameras were still on when I approached Schiff during the Q&A: "You have every confidence but no evidence, is that right?" I asked him. His answer was a harbinger of things to come. This video clip may be worth the four minutes needed to watch it. ..."
"... Schiff and his partners in crime will be in for much tougher treatment if Trump allows Attorney General Barr and US Attorney John Durham to bring their investigation into the origins of Russia-gate to a timely conclusion. Barr's dismissal on Thursday of charges against Flynn, after released FBI documents revealed that a perjury trap was set for him to keep Russiagate going, may be a sign of things to come. ..."
May 11, 2020 | original.antiwar.com

For two and a half years the House Intelligence Committee knew CrowdStrike didn't have the goods on Russia. Now the public knows too.

House Intelligence Committee documents released Thursday reveal that the committee was told two and half years ago that the FBI had no concrete evidence that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee computers to filch the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks in July 2016.

The until-now-buried, closed-door testimony came on Dec. 5, 2017 from Shawn Henry, a protégé of former FBI Director Robert Mueller (from 2001 to 2012), for whom Henry served as head of the Bureau's cyber crime investigations unit.

Henry retired in 2012 and took a senior position at CrowdStrike, the cyber security firm hired by the DNC and the Clinton campaign to investigate the cyber intrusions that occurred before the 2016 presidential election.

The following excerpts from Henry's testimony speak for themselves. The dialogue is not a paragon of clarity; but if read carefully, even cyber neophytes can understand:

Ranking Member Mr. [Adam] Schiff: Do you know the date on which the Russians exfiltrated the data from the DNC? when would that have been?

Mr. Henry: Counsel just reminded me that, as it relates to the DNC, we have indicators that data was exfiltrated from the DNC, but we have no indicators that it was exfiltrated (sic). There are times when we can see data exfiltrated, and we can say conclusively. But in this case, it appears it was set up to be exfiltrated, but we just don't have the evidence that says it actually left.

Mr. [Chris] Stewart of Utah: Okay. What about the emails that everyone is so, you know, knowledgeable of? Were there also indicators that they were prepared but not evidence that they actually were exfiltrated?

Mr. Henry: There's not evidence that they were actually exfiltrated. There's circumstantial evidence but no evidence that they were actually exfiltrated.

Mr. Stewart: But you have a much lower degree of confidence that this data actually left than you do, for example, that the Russians were the ones who breached the security?

Mr. Henry: There is circumstantial evidence that that data was exfiltrated off the network.

Mr. Stewart: And circumstantial is less sure than the other evidence you've indicated.

Mr. Henry: "We didn't have a sensor in place that saw data leave. We said that the data left based on the circumstantial evidence. That was the conclusion that we made.

In answer to a follow-up query on this line of questioning, Henry delivered this classic: "Sir, I was just trying to be factually accurate, that we didn't see the data leave, but we believe it left, based on what we saw."

Inadvertently highlighting the tenuous underpinning for CrowdStrike's "belief" that Russia hacked the DNC emails, Henry added: "There are other nation-states that collect this type of intelligence for sure, but the – what we would call the tactics and techniques were consistent with what we'd seen associated with the Russian state."

Interesting admission in Crowdstrike CEO Shaun Henry's testimony. Henry is asked when "the Russians" exfiltrated the data from DNC.

Henry: "We did not have concrete evidence that the data was exfiltrated from the DNC, but we have indicators that it was exfiltrated." ?? pic.twitter.com/TyePqd6b5P

-- Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) May 8, 2020

Not Transparent

Try as one may, some of the testimony remains opaque. Part of the problem is ambiguity in the word "exfiltration."

The word can denote (1) transferring data from a computer via the Internet (hacking) or (2) copying data physically to an external storage device with intent to leak it.

As the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity has been reporting for more than three years, metadata and other hard forensic evidence indicate that the DNC emails were not hacked – by Russia or anyone else.

Rather, they were copied onto an external storage device (probably a thumb drive) by someone with access to DNC computers. Besides, any hack over the Internet would almost certainly have been discovered by the dragnet coverage of the National Security Agency and its cooperating foreign intelligence services.

Henry testifies that "it appears it [the theft of DNC emails] was set up to be exfiltrated, but we just don't have the evidence that says it actually left."

This, in VIPS view, suggests that someone with access to DNC computers "set up" selected emails for transfer to an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example. The Internet is not needed for such a transfer. Use of the Internet would have been detected, enabling Henry to pinpoint any "exfiltration" over that network.

Bill Binney, a former NSA technical director and a VIPs member, filed a sworn affidavit in the Roger Stone case. Binney said: "WikiLeaks did not receive stolen data from the Russian government. Intrinsic metadata in the publicly available files on WikiLeaks demonstrates that the files acquired by WikiLeaks were delivered in a medium such as a thumb drive."

The So-Called Intelligence Community Assessment

There is not much good to be said about the embarrassingly evidence-impoverished Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of Jan. 6, 2017 accusing Russia of hacking the DNC.

But the ICA did include two passages that are highly relevant and demonstrably true:

(1) In introductory remarks on "cyber incident attribution", the authors of the ICA made a highly germane point: "The nature of cyberspace makes attribution of cyber operations difficult but not impossible. Every kind of cyber operation – malicious or not – leaves a trail."

(2) "When analysts use words such as 'we assess' or 'we judge,' [these] are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong." [And one might add that they commonly ARE wrong when analysts succumb to political pressure, as was the case with the ICA.]

The intelligence-friendly corporate media, nonetheless, immediately awarded the status of Holy Writ to the misnomered "Intelligence Community Assessment" (it was a rump effort prepared by "handpicked analysts" from only CIA, FBI, and NSA), and chose to overlook the banal, full-disclosure-type caveats embedded in the assessment itself.

Then National Intelligence Director James Clapper and the directors of the CIA, FBI, and NSA briefed President Obama on the ICA on Jan. 5, 2017, the day before they gave it personally to President-elect Donald Trump.

On Jan. 18, 2017, at his final press conference, Obama saw fit to use lawyerly language on the key issue of how the DNC emails got to WikiLeaks , in an apparent effort to cover his own derriere.

Obama: "The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked."

So we ended up with "inconclusive conclusions" on that admittedly crucial point. What Obama was saying is that U.S. intelligence did not know -- or professed not to know -- exactly how the alleged Russian transfer to WikiLeaks was supposedly made, whether through a third party, or cutout, and he muddied the waters by first saying it was a hack, and then a leak.

From the very outset, in the absence of any hard evidence, from NSA or from its foreign partners, of an Internet hack of the DNC emails, the claim that "the Russians gave the DNC emails to WikiLeaks " rested on thin gruel.

In November 2018 at a public forum, I asked Clapper to explain why President Obama still had serious doubts in late Jan. 2017, less than two weeks after Clapper and the other intelligence chiefs had thoroughly briefed the outgoing president about their "high-confidence" findings.

Clapper replied : "I cannot explain what he [Obama] said or why. But I can tell you we're, we're pretty sure we know, or knew at the time, how WikiLeaks got those emails." Pretty sure?

Preferring CrowdStrike; 'Splaining to Congress

CrowdStrike already had a tarnished reputation for credibility when the DNC and Clinton campaign chose it to do work the FBI should have been doing to investigate how the DNC emails got to WikiLeaks . It had asserted that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulting in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine's struggle with separatists supported by Russia. A Voice of America report explained why CrowdStrike was forced to retract that claim.

Why did FBI Director James Comey not simply insist on access to the DNC computers? Surely he could have gotten the appropriate authorization. In early January 2017, reacting to media reports that the FBI never asked for access, Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee there were "multiple requests at different levels" for access to the DNC servers.

"Ultimately what was agreed to is the private company would share with us what they saw," he said. Comey described CrowdStrike as a "highly respected" cybersecurity company.

Asked by committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) whether direct access to the servers and devices would have helped the FBI in their investigation, Comey said it would have. "Our forensics folks would always prefer to get access to the original device or server that's involved, so it's the best evidence," he said.

Five months later, after Comey had been fired, Burr gave him a Mulligan in the form of a few kid-gloves, clearly well-rehearsed, questions:

BURR: And the FBI, in this case, unlike other cases that you might investigate – did you ever have access to the actual hardware that was hacked? Or did you have to rely on a third party to provide you the data that they had collected?

COMEY: In the case of the DNC, we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. But we didn't get direct access.

BURR: But no content?

COMEY: Correct.

BURR: Isn't content an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?

COMEY: It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks – the people who were my folks at the time is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016.

In June last year it was revealed that CrowdStrike never produced an un-redacted or final forensic report for the government because the FBI never required it to, according to the Justice Department.

By any normal standard, former FBI Director Comey would now be in serious legal trouble, as should Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, et al. Additional evidence of FBI misconduct under Comey seems to surface every week – whether the abuses of FISA, misconduct in the case against Gen. Michael Flynn, or misleading everyone about Russian hacking of the DNC. If I were attorney general, I would declare Comey a flight risk and take his passport. And I would do the same with Clapper and Brennan.

Schiff: Every Confidence, But No Evidence

Both pillars of Russiagate–collusion and a Russian hack–have now fairly crumbled.

Thursday's disclosure of testimony before the House Intelligence Committee shows Chairman Adam Schiff lied not only about Trump-Putin "collusion," [which the Mueller report failed to prove and whose allegations were based on DNC and Clinton-financed opposition research] but also about the even more basic issue of "Russian hacking" of the DNC. [See: "The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate."]

Five days after Trump took office, I had an opportunity to confront Schiff personally about evidence that Russia "hacked" the DNC emails. He had repeatedly given that canard the patina of flat fact during an address at the old Hillary Clinton/John Podesta "think tank," The Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Fortunately, the cameras were still on when I approached Schiff during the Q&A: "You have every confidence but no evidence, is that right?" I asked him. His answer was a harbinger of things to come. This video clip may be worth the four minutes needed to watch it.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SdOy-l13FEg

Schiff and his partners in crime will be in for much tougher treatment if Trump allows Attorney General Barr and US Attorney John Durham to bring their investigation into the origins of Russia-gate to a timely conclusion. Barr's dismissal on Thursday of charges against Flynn, after released FBI documents revealed that a perjury trap was set for him to keep Russiagate going, may be a sign of things to come.

Given the timid way Trump has typically bowed to intelligence and law enforcement officials, including those who supposedly report to him, however, one might rather expect that, after a lot of bluster, he will let the too-big-to-imprison ones off the hook. The issues are now drawn; the evidence is copious; will the Deep State, nevertheless, be able to prevail this time?

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President's Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). This originally appeared at Consortium News .

[May 07, 2020] There's No Question It's A Fraud Fmr Trump Attorney Says Mueller Badly Misled White House, Schiff Is Nancy's Liar Zero

Highly recommended!
May 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Former Trump attorney John Dowd says it's "staggering" that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's "so-called Dream Team would put on such a fraud," after the Wednesday release of the investigation's "scope memo" revealed that Mueller was tasked with investigating accusations from Clinton-funded operative Christopher Steele which the DOJ already knew were debunked . "In the last few days, I have been going back through my files and we were badly misled by Mueller and his senior people , particularly in the meetings that we had," Dowd told Fox News Radio host Brian Kilmeade on Thursday.

The scope memo also revealed that Mueller's authority went significantly beyond what was previously known - including "allegations that Carter Page committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States, in violation of United States law," yet as John Solomon of Just The News noted on Wednesday - the FBI had already:

" There's no question it's a fraud I think the whole report is just nonsense and it's staggering that the so-called 'Dream Team' would put on such a fraud ," Dowd said, according to Fox News .

Dowd also discussed Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham's investigation into the origins of the Russia probe , which is expected to be wrapped up by the end of the summer.

"Durham has really got a load on his hands tracking all this down," Dowd said.

Durham was appointed last year by Attorney General Bill Barr to review the events leading up to Trump's inauguration. However, Durham has since expanded his investigation to cover a post-election timeline spanning the spring of 2017, when Mueller was appointed as special counsel. - Fox News

"Nancy's Liar"

Dowd also circled back to a claim by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff that there was "direct evidence" that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election, despite the fact that transcripts of House Intelligence Committee interviews proving otherwise .

"Schiff doesn't release these interviews because they're going to make him a liar," said Dowd, adding "They're going to expose him and he'll be run out of town."

"He lied for months in the impeachment inquiry. He's essentially Nancy [Pelosi]'s liar and he's now going to be exposed."

[Mar 01, 2020] That the whistleblower works for the CIA is a matter of public record, not some conspiracy theory

Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats did not want Adam Schiff to have to answer questions about the whistleblower, and they don't want the whistleblower's identity to be officially revealed. Such things do not contribute to the greatest cause of our time, the destruction of Donald Trump. ..."
"... The whole point of having the House impeachment investigation proceed from the House Intelligence Committee, headed by Adam Schiff, was to send the signal that Trump is unacceptable to the nefarious powers that make up the Deep State, especially the intelligence agencies, especially the CIA. ..."
"... What a world, then, when OP Democrats are cheering on John Bolton, hoping again for a savior to their sacred resistance cause, and meanwhile they aren't too excited about Rand Paul's intervention. For sure, it is a sign that a "resistance" isn't real when it needs a savior; it's not as if the French Resistance sat back waiting for Gen. de Gaulle. In any case, in the procession of horrible reactionary figures that Democrats have embraced, Bolton is probably the worst, and that's saying quite a lot. ..."
"... People are even talking about "getting used to accepting the help of the CIA with the impeachment," and the like. (I realize I'm being repetitious here, but this stuff blows my mind, it is so disturbing.) At least they are recognizing the reality -- at least partially; that's something. But then what they do with this recognition is something that requires epic levels of TDS -- and, somehow, a great deal of the Left is going down this path. ..."
"... The USA Deep State is a Five Eyes partner and as such Trump must be given the proverbial boot for being an uneducated boor lacking political gravitas & business gravitas with his narcissistic Smoot-Hawley II 2019 trade wars. Screw the confidence man-in-chief. He is a liability for the USA and global business. Trump is not an asset. ..."
"... Almost as a by product of his 2016 victory, Trump showed up the MSM hacks for what they were, lying, partisan shills utterly lacking in any integrity and credibility. The same applies to the intrigues and corruption of the Dirty Cops and Spookocracy. They had to come out from behind the curtain and reveal themselves as the dirty, lying, seditious, treasonous, rabid criminal scum they are. The true nature of the State standing in the spotlight for all the world to see. This cannot be undone. ..."
Mar 01, 2020 | off-guardian.org

First , the whistleblower was ruled out as a possible witness -- this was essentially done behind the scenes, and in reality can be called a Deep State operation, though one exposed to some extent by Rand Paul. This has nothing to do with protecting the whistleblower or upholding the whistleblower statute, but instead with the fact that the whistleblower was a CIA plant in the White House.

That the whistleblower works for the CIA is a matter of public record, not some conspiracy theory. Furthermore, for some time before the impeachment proceedings began, the whistleblower had been coordinating his efforts to undermine Trump with the head of the House Intelligence Committee, who happens to be Adam Schiff. It is possible that the connections with Schiff go even further or deeper. Obviously the Democrats do not want these things exposed.

... ... ...

In this regard, there was a very special moment on January 29, when Chief Justice John Roberts refused to allow the reading of a question from Sen. Rand Paul that identified the alleged whistleblower. Paul then held a press conference in which he read his question.

The question was directed at Adam Schiff, who claims not to have communicated with the whistleblower, despite much evidence to the contrary. (Further details can be read at here .) A propos of what I was just saying, Paul is described in the Politico article as "a longtime antagonist of Republican leaders." Excellent, good on you, Rand Paul.

Whether this was a case of unintended consequences or not, one could say that this episode fed into the case against calling witnesses -- certainly the Democrats should not have been allowed to call witnesses if the Republicans could not call the whistleblower. But clearly this point is completely lost on those working in terms of the moving line of bullshit.

One would think that Democrats would be happy with a Republican Senator who antagonizes leaders of his own party, but of course Rand Paul's effort only led to further "outrage" on the part of Democratic leaders in the House and Senate.

The Democrats did not want Adam Schiff to have to answer questions about the whistleblower, and they don't want the whistleblower's identity to be officially revealed. Such things do not contribute to the greatest cause of our time, the destruction of Donald Trump.

However, you see, there is a complementary purpose at work here, too. The whole point of having the House impeachment investigation proceed from the House Intelligence Committee, headed by Adam Schiff, was to send the signal that Trump is unacceptable to the nefarious powers that make up the Deep State, especially the intelligence agencies, especially the CIA.

The only way these machinations can be combatted is to pull the curtain back further -- but the Republicans do not want this any more than the Democrats do, with a few possible exceptions such as Rand Paul. (As the Politico article states, Paul was chastised publicly by McConnell for submitting his question in the first place, and for criticizing Roberts in the press conference.)

What a world, then, when OP Democrats are cheering on John Bolton, hoping again for a savior to their sacred resistance cause, and meanwhile they aren't too excited about Rand Paul's intervention. For sure, it is a sign that a "resistance" isn't real when it needs a savior; it's not as if the French Resistance sat back waiting for Gen. de Gaulle. In any case, in the procession of horrible reactionary figures that Democrats have embraced, Bolton is probably the worst, and that's saying quite a lot.

... ... ...

Now we are at a moment when "the Left" is recognizing the role that the CIA and the rest of the "intelligence community" is played in the impeachment nonsense. This "Left" was already on board for the "impeachment process" itself, perhaps at moments with caveats about "not leaving everything up to the Democrats," "not just relying on the Democrats," but still accepting their assigned role as cheerleaders and self-important internet commentators. (And, sure, maybe that's all I am, too -- but the inability to distinguish form from content is one of the main problems of the existing Left.)

Now, though, people on the Left are trying to get comfortable with, and trying to explain to themselves how they can get comfortable with, the obvious role of the "intelligence community" (with, in my view, the CIA in the leading role, but of course I'm not privy to the inner workings of this scene) in the impeachment process and other efforts to take down Trump's presidency.

People are even talking about "getting used to accepting the help of the CIA with the impeachment," and the like. (I realize I'm being repetitious here, but this stuff blows my mind, it is so disturbing.) At least they are recognizing the reality -- at least partially; that's something. But then what they do with this recognition is something that requires epic levels of TDS -- and, somehow, a great deal of the Left is going down this path.

They might think about the "help" that the CIA gave to the military in Bolivia to remove Evo Morales from office. They might think about the picture of Donald Trump that they find necessary to paint to justify what they are willing to swallow to remove him from office. They might think about the fact that ordinary Democrats are fine with this role for the CIA, and that Adam Schiff and others routinely offer the criticism/condemnation of Donald Trump that he doesn't accept the findings of the CIA or the rest of the intelligence agencies at face value.

The moment for the Left, what calls itself and thinks of itself as that, to break with this lunacy has passed some time ago, but let us take this moment, of "accepting the help of the CIA, because Trump," as truly marking a point of no return.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

The USA Deep State is a Five Eyes partner and as such Trump must be given the proverbial boot for being an uneducated boor lacking political gravitas & business gravitas with his narcissistic Smoot-Hawley II 2019 trade wars. Screw the confidence man-in-chief. He is a liability for the USA and global business. Trump is not an asset.

paul ,

Trump, Sanders and Corbyn were all in their own way agents of creative destruction. Trump tapped into the popular discontent of millions of Americans who realised that the system no longer even pretended to work in their interests, and were not prepared to be diverted down the Identity Politics Rabbit Hole.

The Deep State was outraged that he had disrupted their programme by stealing Clinton's seat in the game of Musical Chairs. Being the most corrupt, dishonest and mendacious political candidate in all US history (despite some pretty stiff opposition) was supposed to be outweighed by her having a vagina. The Deplorables failed to sign up for the programme.

Almost as a by product of his 2016 victory, Trump showed up the MSM hacks for what they were, lying, partisan shills utterly lacking in any integrity and credibility. The same applies to the intrigues and corruption of the Dirty Cops and Spookocracy. They had to come out from behind the curtain and reveal themselves as the dirty, lying, seditious, treasonous, rabid criminal scum they are. The true nature of the State standing in the spotlight for all the world to see. This cannot be undone.

For all his pandering to Adelson and the Zionist Mafia, for all his Gives to Netanyahu, Trump has failed to deliver on the Big Ticket Items. Syria was supposed to have been invaded by now, with Hillary cackling demonically over Assad's death as she did over Gaddafi, and rapidly moving on to the main event with Iran. They will not forgive him for this.

They realise they are under severe time pressure. It took them a century to gain their stranglehold over America, and this is a wasting asset. America is in terminal decline, and may soon be unable to fulfil its ordained role as dumb goy muscle serving Zionist interests. And the parasite will find it difficult to find a replacement host.

George Mc ,

Haven't you just agreed with him here?

He thinks the left died in the 1960s, over a half century ago. It's pretty simple to identify a leftist: anti-imperialist/ anti-capitalist. The Democrats are imperialists. People who vote for the Democrats and Republicans are imperialists. This article is a confused mess, that's my whole point;)

If the Democrats and Republicans (and those who vote for them) are imperialists (which they are) then the left are indeed dead – at least as far as political representation goes.

Koba ,

He's sent more troops to Iraq and Afghanistan he staged several coups in Latin America and wanted to take out the dprk and thier nukes and wants to bomb Iran! Winding down?!

sharon marlowe ,

First, an attempted assassination-by-drone on President Maduro of Venezuela happened. Then Trump dropped the largest conventional bomb on Afghanistan, with a mile-wide radius. Then Trump named Juan Guido as the new President of Venezuela in an overt coup. Then he bombed Syria over a fake chemical weapons claim. He bombed it before even an investigation was launched. Then the Trump regime orchestrated a military coup in Bolivia. Then he claimed that he was pulling out of Syria, but instead sent U.S. troops to take over Syrian oil fields. trump then assassinated Gen. Solemeni. Then he claimed that he will leave Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government, the Iraqi government asked the U.S. to leave, and Trump rejected the request. The Trump regime has tried orchestrating a coup in Iran, and a coup in Hong Kong. He expelled Russian diplomats en masse for the Skripal incident in England, before an investigation. He has sanctioned Russia, Iran, North Korea, China, and Venezuela. He has bombed Yemen, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Those are the things I'm aware of, but what else Trump has done in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America you can research if you wish. And now, the claim of leaving Afghanistan is as ridiculous as when he claimed to be leaving Syria and Iraq.

Dungroanin ,

Yeah yeah and 'he' gave Maduro 7 days to let their kid takeover in Venezuela! And built a wall. And got rid of obamacare and started a nuke war with Rocketman and and and ...

sharon marlowe ,

There were at least nine people killed when Trump bombed Douma.

Only a psychopath would kill people because one of its spy drones was shot down. You don't get points for considering killing people for it and then changing your mind.

People should get over Hillary and pay attention to what Trump has been doing. Why even mention what Hillary would have done in Syria, then proceed to be an apologist for what Trump has done around the world in just three years? Trump has been quite a prolific imperialist in such a short time. A second term could well put him above Bush and Obama as the 21st century's most horrible leaders on earth.

Dungroanin ,

...If you think that the potus is the omnipotent ruler of everything he certainly seems to be having some problems with his minions in the CIA, NSA, FBI..State Dept etc.

Savorywill ,

Yes, what you say is right. However, he did warn both the Syrian and Russian military of the attack in the first instance, so no casualties, and in the second attack, he announced that the missiles had been launched before they hit the target, again resulting in no casualties. When the US drone was shot down by an Iranian missile, he considered retaliation. But, when advised of likely casualties, he called it off saying that human lives are more valuable than the cost of the drone. Yes, he did authorize the assassination of the Iranian general, and that was very bad. His claims that the general had organized the placement of roadside bombs that had killed US soldiers rings rather hollow, considering those shouldn't have been in Iraq in the first place.

I am definitely not stating that he is perfect and doesn't do objectionable things. And he has authorized US forces to control the oil wells, which is against international law, but at least US soldiers are not actively engaged in fighting the Syrian government, something Hillary set in motion. However, the military does comprise a huge percentage of the US economy and there have to be reasons, and enemies, to justify its existence, so his situation as president must be very difficult, not a job I would want, that is for sure.

The potus is best described (by Assad actually) as a CEO of a board of directors appointed by the shareholders who collectively determine their OWN interests.

Your gaslighting ain't succeeding round here – Regime! So desperate, so so sad 🤣

[Feb 24, 2020] Opening impeachment was worse then a crime, it was a blunder on the part of neoliberal Dems. Essentially they bet that it can serve as the Muller investigation II helping the neoliberal Dems to win 2020 like it helped them to win 2018 without reforming the Party. They forgot about their own crimes committed in the process (Ukraine, Stzrokgate, etc), which now come to light

Notable quotes:
"... Adam Schiff physically resembles a typical prosperity theology preacher -- a classic modern American snake oil salesman. And with his baseless accusations and the fear to touch real issues , he is even worse than that -- he looks outright silly even for the most brainwashed part of the USA electorate ;-) ..."
"... Realistically Schiff should be viewed as yet another intelligence agency stooge, a neocon who is funded by military contractors such as Northrop Grumman, which sells missiles to Ukraine. ..."
"... The claim that the withdrawal of military aid from Ukraine somehow influences the balance of power in the region was a State department concocted scam from the very beginning. How sniper rifles and anti-tank missiles change the balance of power on the border with the major nuclear power, who has probably second or third military in the world.? They do not. ..."
"... No where does Schiff compare to the evils and long lasting impact by that of Trump, Nunes, and Mcconnell. Comment over. ..."
"... Does not matter. Schiff is just a marionette performing prescribed function. He is adamantly inept is this function, but that happens with marionettes. Nothing to talk about or to compare with the major "evildoers" of Trump administration (although he, like Pompeo, is a neocon, so he belongs to the same crime family ;-) ..."
"... Actually, as a side effect, they might well sink Warren (which is not such a good thing), as she was stupid enough to jump into impeachment bandwagon early on with great enthusiasm. Proving another time that she is an incompetent politician. ..."
"... Trump is a narcissistic megalomaniac. It matters that he is escaping impeachment. Of all the presidents impeached before him as #4, he is the most deserving. History will judge his actions and crimes. ..."
Jan 25, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , January 25, 2020 3:10 pm

While I agree that the removal of Trump might be slightly beneficial (Pence-Pompeo duo initially will run scared), this Kabuki theater with Schiff in a major role is outright silly.

Adam Schiff physically resembles a typical prosperity theology preacher -- a classic modern American snake oil salesman. And with his baseless accusations and the fear to touch real issues , he is even worse than that -- he looks outright silly even for the most brainwashed part of the USA electorate ;-)

As he supported the Iraq war, he has no right to occupy any elected office. He probably should be prosecuted as a war criminal.

Realistically Schiff should be viewed as yet another intelligence agency stooge, a neocon who is funded by military contractors such as Northrop Grumman, which sells missiles to Ukraine.

The claim that Trump is influenced by Russia is a lie. His actions indicate that he is an agent of influence for Israel, not so much for Russia. Several of his actions were more reckless and more hostile to Russia than the actions of the Obama administration. Anyway, his policies toward Russia are not that different from Hillary's policies. Actually, Pompeo, in many ways, continues Hillary's policies.

The claim that the withdrawal of military aid from Ukraine somehow influences the balance of power in the region was a State department concocted scam from the very beginning. How sniper rifles and anti-tank missiles change the balance of power on the border with the major nuclear power, who has probably second or third military in the world.? They do not.

They (especially sniper rifles) will definitely increase casualties of Ukrainian separatists (and will provoke Russian reaction to compensate for this change of balance and thus increase casualties of the Ukrainian army provoking the escalation spiral ), but that's about it. So more people will die in the conflict while Northrop Grumman rakes the profits.

They also increase the danger of the larger-scale conflict in the region, which is what the USA neocons badly wants to impose really crushing sanctions on Russia. The danger of WWIII and the cost of support of the crumbling neoliberal empire with its outsize military expenditures (which now is more difficult to compensate with loot) somehow escapes the US neocon calculations. But they are completely detached from reality in any case.

I think Russia can cut Ukraine into Western and Eastern parts anytime with relative ease and not much resistance. Putin has an opportunity to do this in 2014 (risking larger sanctions) as he could establish government in exile out of Yanukovich officials and based on this restore the legitimate government in Eastern and southern region with the capital in Kharkiv, leaving Ukrainian Taliban to rot in their own brand of far-right nationalism where the Ukraine identity is defined negatively via rabid Russophobia.

His calculation probably was that sanctions would slow down the Russia recovery from Western plunder during Yeltsin years and, as such, it is not worth showing Western Ukrainian nationalists what level of support in Southern and Eastern regions that actually enjoy.

My impression is that they are passionately hated by over 50% of the population of this region. And viewed as an occupying force, which is trying to colonize the space (which is a completely true assessment). They are viewed as American stooges, who they are (the country is controlled from the USA embassy in any case).

And Putin's assessment might be wrong, as sanctions were imposed anyways, and now Ukraine does represent a threat to Russia and, as such, is a huge source of instability in the region, which was the key idea of "Nulandgate" as the main task was weakening Russia. In this sense, Euromaidan coup d'état was the major success of the Obama administration, which was a neocon controlled administration from top to bottom.

Also unclear what Dems are trying to achieve. If Pelosi gambit, cynically speaking, was about rehashing Mueller witch hunt success in the 2018 election, that is typical wishful thinking. Mobilization of the base works both ways.

So what is the game plan for DemoRats (aka "neoliberal democrats" or "corporate democrats" -- the dominant Clinton faction of the Democratic Party) is completely unclear.

I doubt that they will gain anything from impeachment Kabuki theater, where both sides are afraid to discuss the real issues like Douma false flag and other real Trump crimes.

Most Democratic candidates such as Warren, Biden, and Klobuchar will lose from this impeachment theater. Candidates who can gain, such as Major Pete and Bloomberg does not matter that much.

run75441 , January 25, 2020 4:48 pm

likbez:

Let me help you along with the rant . . . "so you are in trump's camp." That was not a question. Given anything the Dems may have, the Repubs have done it bigger. No where does Schiff compare to the evils and long lasting impact by that of Trump, Nunes, and Mcconnell. Comment over.

likbez , January 25, 2020 7:47 pm

> No where does Schiff compare to the evils and long lasting impact by abd of trump

Does not matter. Schiff is just a marionette performing prescribed function. He is adamantly inept is this function, but that happens with marionettes. Nothing to talk about or to compare with the major "evildoers" of Trump administration (although he, like Pompeo, is a neocon, so he belongs to the same crime family ;-)

Opening impeachment was worse then a crime, it was a blunder on the part of neoliberal Dems. Essentially they bet that it can serve as the "Muller investigation II" helping the neoliberal Dems to win 2020 like it helped them to win 2018 without reforming the Party. They forgot about their own crimes committed in the process (Ukraine, Stzrokgate, etc), which now come to light

Pelosi somehow opted for this "Hail Mary pass" and allowed Schiff to destroy the last remnants of the credibility of neoliberal Dems: none of House Republicans voted for impeachment, which dooms the idea converting it into the vote of non-confidence of the majority party. Creating the situation in which Dems, paradoxically, can lose some House seats they gained in 2018. Which would be a bad thing. Also due to backlash they now can well lose 2020 election while each of Dems candidates (with the possible exception of semi-senile neoliberal Biden) is a better option for the country than Trump.

Actually, as a side effect, they might well sink Warren (which is not such a good thing), as she was stupid enough to jump into impeachment bandwagon early on with great enthusiasm. Proving another time that she is an incompetent politician.

"Whom the gods would destroy..." (misattributed to Euripides)

run75441 , January 25, 2020 8:17 pm

likbez:

No it does not. He is inept at a function and does not follow the constitutional precepts put in place by the Founding Fathers. Schiff and all of us are on unchartered territory where a president deems he can do as he pleases, is above the law, and can not be reigned in by the law or the two legislative bodies of the nation. He is aided and abetted by illegal Congressional actions with the support of renegade Senators. No where in history has anything of this magnitude occurred. He has to be ousted.

I told you once before, knock that neoliberal shit off. You are just using this as a filter to avoid what most people see, Trump is a narcissistic megalomaniac. It matters that he is escaping impeachment. Of all the presidents impeached before him as #4, he is the most deserving. History will judge his actions and crimes.

Mon sequitur to the rest of your commentary

[Feb 21, 2020] Why Both Republicans And Democrats Want Russia To Become The Enemy Of Choice by Philip Giraldi

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Schiff insisted that Trump must be removed now to "assure the integrity" of the 2020 election. He elaborated somewhat ambiguously that "The president's misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won." Schiff also unleashed one of the most time honored but completely lame excuses for going to war, claiming that military assistance to Ukraine that had been delayed by Trump was essential for U.S. national security. He said "As one witness put it during our impeachment inquiry, the United States aids Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there, and we don't have to fight Russia here." ..."
"... Schiff, a lawyer who has never had to put his life on the line for anything and whose son sports a MOSSAD t-shirt, is one of those sunshine soldiers who finds it quite acceptable if someone else does the dying. Journalist Max Blumenthal observed that "Liberals used to mock Bush supporters when they used this jingoistic line during the war on Iraq. Now they deploy it to justify an imperialist proxy war against a nuclear power." Aaron Mate at The Nation added that "For all the talk about Russia undermining faith in U.S. elections, how about Russiagaters like Schiff fear-mongering w/ hysterics like this? Let's assume Ukraine did what Trump wanted: announce a probe of Burisma. Would that delegitimize a 2020 U.S. election? This is a joke." ..."
"... On Wednesday, Schiff maintained that "Russia is not a threat to Eastern Europe alone. Ukraine has become the de facto proving ground for just the types of hybrid warfare that the twenty-first century will become defined by: cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, efforts to undermine the legitimacy of state institutions, whether that is voting systems or financial markets. The Kremlin showed boldly in 2016 that with the malign skills it honed in Ukraine, they would not stay in Ukraine. Instead, Russia employed them here to attack our institutions, and they will do so again." Not surprisingly, if one substitutes the "United States" for "Russia" and "Kremlin" and changes "Ukraine" to Iran or Venezuela, the Schiff comment actually becomes much more credible. ..."
"... Donald Trump's erratic rule has certainly dismayed many of his former supporters, but the Democratic Party is offering nothing but another helping of George W. Bush/Barack Obama establishment war against the world. We Americans have had enough of that for the past nineteen years. Trump may indeed deserve to be removed based on his actions, but the argument that it is essential to do so because of Russia lurking is complete nonsense. Pretty scary that the apparent chief promoter of that point of view is someone who actually has power in the government, one Adam Schiff, head of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. ..."
"... It is scary, but what else can Schiff say? They have no credible arguments against Trump, or for their own party. They are a bunch of lying scumbags that will kill, cheat, steal, mislead, carpet-bag and anything else unethical to achieve their sleazy goals. ..."
"... Since the US Sociopaths In Charge have totally Effed up the nation, and a significant portion of the world, they have to have SOMEBODY to blame. They certainly won't take the blame they deserve themselves. ..."
"... What the ZOG wants the ZOG gets ..."
"... It is appropriate to recall the words of Joseph Goebbels: "Give me the media, and I will make a herd of pigs from any nation," and pigs are easy to drive to the slaughterhouse. Only Russia can really resist such a situation in the world. Therefore, she is the enemy. ..."
"... The Centrist Democrats and Republicans want to paint the old school God and Country Conservatives Equality and Justice for the USA (Nationalist) into being Russian ..."
Feb 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

One of the more interesting aspects of the nauseating impeachment trial in the Senate was the repeated vilification of Russia and its President Vladimir Putin.

To hate Russia has become dogma on both sides of the political aisle, in part because no politician has really wanted to confront the lesson of the 2016 election, which was that most Americans think that the federal government is basically incompetent and staffed by career politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell who should return back home and get real jobs .

Worse still, it is useless, and much like the one trick pony the only thing it can do is steal money from the taxpayers and waste it on various types of self-gratification that only politicians can appreciate. That means that the United States is engaged is fighting multiple wars against make-believe enemies while the country's infrastructure rots and a host of officially certified grievance groups control the public space.

It sure doesn't look like Kansas anymore.

The fact that opinion polls in Europe suggest that many Europeans would rather have Vladimir Putin than their own hopelessly corrupt leaders is suggestive. One can buy a whole range of favorable t-shirts featuring Vladimir Putin on Ebay , also suggesting that most Americans find the official Russophobia narrative both mysterious and faintly amusing. They may not really be into the expressed desire of the huddled masses in D.C. to go to war to bring true U.S. style democracy to the un-enlightened.

One also must wonder if the Democrats are reading the tea leaves correctly. If they think that a slogan like "Honest Joe Biden will keep us safe from Moscow" will be a winner in 2020 they might again be missing the bigger picture. Since the focus on Trump's decidedly erratic behavior will inevitably die down after the impeachment trial is completed, the Democrats will have to come up with something compelling if they really want to win the presidency and it sure won't be the largely fictionalized Russian threat.

Nevertheless, someone should tell Congressman Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, to shut up as he is becoming an international embarrassment. His "closing arguments" speeches last week were respectively two-and-a-half hours and ninety minutes long and were inevitably praised by the mainstream media as "magisterial," "powerful," and "impressive." The Washington Post 's resident Zionist extremist Jennifer Rubin labeled it "a grand slam" while legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called it "dazzling." Gail Collins of the New York Times dubbed it "a great job" and added that Schiff is now "a rock star." Daily Beast enthused that the remarks "will go down in history " and progressive activist Ryan Knight called it "a closing statement for the ages." Hollywood was also on board with actress Debra Messing tweeting "I am in tears. Thank you Chairman Schiff for fighting for our country."

Actually, a better adjective would have been "scary" and not merely due to its elaboration of the alleged high crimes and misdemeanors committed by President Trump, much of which was undeniably true even if not necessarily impeachable. It was scary because it was a warmongers speech, full of allusions to Russia, to Moscow's "interference" in 2016, and to the ridiculous proposition that if Trump were to be defeated in 2020 he might not concede and Russia could even intervene militarily in the United States in support of its puppet.

Schiff insisted that Trump must be removed now to "assure the integrity" of the 2020 election. He elaborated somewhat ambiguously that "The president's misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won." Schiff also unleashed one of the most time honored but completely lame excuses for going to war, claiming that military assistance to Ukraine that had been delayed by Trump was essential for U.S. national security. He said "As one witness put it during our impeachment inquiry, the United States aids Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there, and we don't have to fight Russia here."

Schiff, a lawyer who has never had to put his life on the line for anything and whose son sports a MOSSAD t-shirt, is one of those sunshine soldiers who finds it quite acceptable if someone else does the dying. Journalist Max Blumenthal observed that "Liberals used to mock Bush supporters when they used this jingoistic line during the war on Iraq. Now they deploy it to justify an imperialist proxy war against a nuclear power." Aaron Mate at The Nation added that "For all the talk about Russia undermining faith in U.S. elections, how about Russiagaters like Schiff fear-mongering w/ hysterics like this? Let's assume Ukraine did what Trump wanted: announce a probe of Burisma. Would that delegitimize a 2020 U.S. election? This is a joke."

Over at Antiwar Daniel Lazare explains how the Wednesday speech was "a fear-mongering, sword-rattling harangue that will not only raise tensions with Russia for no good reason, but sends a chilling message to [Democratic Party] dissidents at home that if they deviate from Russiagate orthodoxy by one iota, they'll be driven from the fold."

The orthodoxy that Lazare was writing about includes the established Nancy Pelosi/Chuck Schumer narrative that Russia invaded "poor innocent Ukraine" in 2014, that it interfered in the 2016 election to defeat Hillary Clinton, and that it is currently trying to smear Joe Biden. One might add to that the growing consensus that Russia can and will interfere again in 2020 to help Trump. Absent from the narrative is the part how the U.S. intervened in Ukraine first to remove its government and the fact that there is something very unsavory about Joe Biden's son taking a high-paying sinecure board position from a notably corrupt Ukrainian oligarch while his father was Vice President and allegedly directing U.S. assistance to a Ukrainian anti-corruption effort.

On Wednesday, Schiff maintained that "Russia is not a threat to Eastern Europe alone. Ukraine has become the de facto proving ground for just the types of hybrid warfare that the twenty-first century will become defined by: cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, efforts to undermine the legitimacy of state institutions, whether that is voting systems or financial markets. The Kremlin showed boldly in 2016 that with the malign skills it honed in Ukraine, they would not stay in Ukraine. Instead, Russia employed them here to attack our institutions, and they will do so again." Not surprisingly, if one substitutes the "United States" for "Russia" and "Kremlin" and changes "Ukraine" to Iran or Venezuela, the Schiff comment actually becomes much more credible.

The compulsion on the part of the Democrats to bring down Trump to avoid having to deal with their own failings has brought about a shift in their established foreign policy, placing the neocons and their friends back in charge. For Schiff, who has enthusiastically supported every failed American military effort since 9/11, today's Russia is the Soviet Union reborn, and don't you forget it pardner! Newsweek is meanwhile reporting that the U.S. military is reading the tea leaves and is gearing up to fight the Russians. Per Schiff, Trump must be stopped as he is part of a grand Russian conspiracy to overthrow everything the United States stands for. If the Kremlin is not stopped now, it's first major step, per Schiff, will be to "remake the map of Europe by dint of military force."

Donald Trump's erratic rule has certainly dismayed many of his former supporters, but the Democratic Party is offering nothing but another helping of George W. Bush/Barack Obama establishment war against the world. We Americans have had enough of that for the past nineteen years. Trump may indeed deserve to be removed based on his actions, but the argument that it is essential to do so because of Russia lurking is complete nonsense. Pretty scary that the apparent chief promoter of that point of view is someone who actually has power in the government, one Adam Schiff, head of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee.


Chain Man , 10 hours ago link

If the USA doesn't have a bogey man to be afraid of, the USA might worry more and to insist on fixing the problems within the Nation.

So many of our politicians are guilty of allowing un constitutional on going act like the removal of Due Process of law for some people and the on going bailout of Global Markets with the US Dollar. The Patriot act and FISA Courts should have been gone.

J Frank Parnell , 11 hours ago link

I never saw the problem with Russians. They practice the same religion as I do and are mostly the same color...

Sid Finch , 10 hours ago link

Agreed. He seems as about as close as a leader can get to genuinely liking his country and people. It seems the ones here only give a **** about carbon, Central and South Americans, and cutting off my kids genitalia.

Archeofuturist , 11 hours ago link

Well let see.... Who has a historical beef with Russia and controls both parties. I wonder?

globalintelhub , 11 hours ago link

It is scary, but what else can Schiff say? They have no credible arguments against Trump, or for their own party. They are a bunch of lying scumbags that will kill, cheat, steal, mislead, carpet-bag and anything else unethical to achieve their sleazy goals. When Trump wins in a landslide in 2020, they will claim it's because the Russians 'fixed' the election, and the Democratic party will break into pieces arguing about how they failed and what they did wrong. See www.splittingpennies.com

Alice-the-dog , 11 hours ago link

Since the US Sociopaths In Charge have totally Effed up the nation, and a significant portion of the world, they have to have SOMEBODY to blame. They certainly won't take the blame they deserve themselves.

John Hansen , 10 hours ago link

Don't leave out Israel, they aren't the American peoples friend either.

motiveunclear , 13 hours ago link

There used to be this thing we don't hear used much anymore called "diplomacy" and another useful thing in international politics called "tact".

https://skulltripper.com/2020/01/18/statesmanship/

44magnum , 12 hours ago link

What the ZOG wants the ZOG gets

toady , 13 hours ago link

McCarthyism II. Will the US be able put down a second "red scare"? Tune in next week. Same bat time, same bat channel.

sillycat , 13 hours ago link

lots of words and no answer to the title question. Giraldi does not see the deep ideological problems: Russia is not trying to diversify into a PoC country, they do not worship gays and may be the only white people nation with sustaining birth rate. The US will go to war there is no way to let this continue.

hispanicLoser , 13 hours ago link

The level of Russia hate coming out of the dems is so much greater than that coming out of repubs that one can safely ignore this retarded article.

Jeffersonian Liberal , 12 hours ago link

True. But their hatred is pretended hatred. It is a form of projection.

Dan The Man , 13 hours ago link

Its our own fault.

The smart ppl are doing a lousy job of informing the dumb ones about accepted policy like "America Always Needs An Enemy". Smart ones understand that, and see the bigger game because of it.

We fight the dumb ones who believe Russian boogeyman crap, instead of helping them understand they are being misled on who the enemy really is. The dumb ones then fight back and further entrench that brainwashing.

vasilievich , 13 hours ago link

I'm trying to imagine the Russian Army marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. But first, across the Atlantic Ocean.

ombon , 13 hours ago link

It is appropriate to recall the words of Joseph Goebbels: "Give me the media, and I will make a herd of pigs from any nation," and pigs are easy to drive to the slaughterhouse. Only Russia can really resist such a situation in the world. Therefore, she is the enemy.

Dan The Man , 13 hours ago link

Coming Soon... Why the Gullibles Will Believe Anything

south40_dreams , 14 hours ago link

....and the many thieves are gulping at the money spigot.....time to shut that sucker OFF

whatisthat , 14 hours ago link

I would observe there is evidence the corrupt establishment has done more damage to the US than any other country could ever imagine...

Chain Man , 15 hours ago link

The Centrist Democrats and Republicans want to paint the old school God and Country Conservatives Equality and Justice for the USA (Nationalist) into being Russian. How dare we expect enforcement of the Laws on the books against them. They want to be deemed Royalty with all the Elitist Rights.

The old rally call about Russia was always Communist Russia but, they don't do that anymore? Why ? They love their Communist China wage slaves. The Centrist love Communist labor in the name of profits . Human rights be damned it's all about the Global Elitist to them now.

[Feb 15, 2020] How does one say Adam Schiff without laughing? by title="View user profile." href="https://caucus99percent.com/users/alligator-ed">Alligator Ed

Highly recommended!
Feb 15, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

At the end of this essay, you may find a song which reasonably applies to Donald Trump directed to Democrats.

How does one say Adam Schiff without laughing? It's hard to continue typing while contemplating the Burbank Buffoon. Yet AS is making obscene flatus-like noises about impeachment 2.0. He and Nervous Nancy will conspire with chief strategist Gerald Nadler about extending the charges of 1.0 to 2.0.

Second verse
Same as the first

Obstructing leaking by firing leakers. That's one of the pending charges. Leutnant Oberst Vindman will be help up as the innocent victim of political retaliation. As I understand the military code of conduct, it says that the underling, Herr Oberst Vindman, went outside the chain of command and released classified information. In the military this is called insubordination, perhaps gross insubordination in view of the classified nature of the information.

Another charge to be filed on behalf of former Ambassador Yovanovich, is that her God-given Female rights were brutally violated as retaliation of advising Ukrainian officials to disregard Commander Cheeto.

There is no telling what additional non-crimes may be thrown at the feet at El Trumpo. All too horrible to contemplate--like someone throwing feces-contaminated dope needles onto Nervous Nancy's front lawn in Pacific Heights.

If this Shampeachment 2.0 (S2) occurs before November's election, Democrats will become as rare as dodo birds. If such proponents of S2 persist after the general election, they better have secure transportation to an extradition-free country.

If it gets bad enough, considering the Clinton Mafia's body count, would it be unreasonable to expect some untimely heart attacks and suicides with red scarves? On Clintonites? Soros et al.?

When the first shot and you don't kill the king, flee. But the DNC is going to attempt shot number 2. Trump WILL NEVER ALLOW A SECOND IMPEACHMENT TO OCCUR, no matter how patently worthless? Will the most powerful narcissist in the world allow the DNC / coup perpetrators to escaping Trumpian retribution?

Those doubting the Wrath of Q be prepared to be disabused of the impression that Q is pure fantasy. Fantasy--like GPS targeting a single small sniper drone to shoot someone from 3000 feet.

Sorry folks. I live in a swamp. I've stepped in shit with my eyes open. Many of you have too. Some of the excrement was of my own making.

Think about the singularly most effective and complex plot the world has ever seen, called 9/11. Think of the thousands of lives purposefully snuffed in then name of power and money. Call yourselves serfs--that's a euphemism. You--including me-- are nothing but ants. Goddam little ants that only Janes respect. There are no ascetic Janes in the penthouses of the elites.

But I digressed to the mysterious existence of morality in politics as a whole. Today's topic is more confined to the Democratic nomination.

Statement of Bias: Go Tulsi. Bravo Andy. The rest of you to the elsewhere--yeah, BS too.

The Dems are determined to grasp Defeat from the jaws of Defeat. Quite a trick. Like trying to borrow money from the Judge during a Bankruptcy trial.

I talked today with a freshman college student majoring in political science about her thought about the Shampeachment. She hadn't been paying attention. Not that I blame her. Her college freshman friend watched C-Span; wasn't impressed. We political aficionados know all about this political debauchery. If AS and NN attempt S2, expect many defections from the supporting vote.

Democrat respect has dwindled in the Independent sector. This is not to say the Repugnants are thereby more popular. They aren't. Trump is. Trump need that NH clown to challenge him in the Repugnant primary to prove exactly how powerful he is. Anybody notice who were in the audience, sitting nearby during Trump's post acquittal speech. Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham. The lamb and the lion laying together. They are both on the Trump Train. Even Richard Burr voted Trump in the impeachment. Mittens feared both his cojones would be excised if he voted against Trump on both counts. What a chickenheart.

But where are the Dems? Why, they are Here. Yes. Yes. And they are There. Yes. Yes. And they are Near. Yes. Yes. But....they are Far. Whither thou goest?

I refrain from pointed comments about AOC in further comments. The Squad is the iceberg floating away from the glacier which spawned it. Unsuitable to warm weather produced by political combat, the Squad faction will woke themselves up to dubious futures.

Establishment versus Bernie:

Not a contest. Spineless Bernie pretzelizes during first heated combat (which the Dem Debate Debacles were not). Won't take a second punch--the first during night 3 of the '16 DNC convention. Fist-shy now. Open Borders? WTF? Are you so nuts? If one offered a person the choice personal safety in their own homes and streets and free medical care for all--including the criminal aliens that A New Path Forward proposes--what do you think 85% of the public would choose?

Pandering.

The Left is also pushing strenuous avoidance of discussing issues in a platitude-depleted fashion. Yeah, Bernie's giving the same speech, with suitable modification, over 40 years. Consistency is a good thing, yeh? How about persistently beating your head with a hammer (while you still can)? Sounds like something Sun Tzu might not recommend.

Now, speaking of Las Vegas and the Nevada Primary. The culinary workers union will not endorse Bernie due to well-deserved or ill-deserved claims that M4A will abolish hard won union health benefits. And don't worry, the Shadow will be there, although Buttjiggle has now disavowed any further connection, along with David Plouffe.

Keeping the Bern off the campaign trail is going to infuriate the Woke Generation / Antifa. When--not if--the DNC cheats Bernie out of the nomination, if such proves necessary* will literally result in blood on the streets along with broken windows and flaming tires. Associate with that lot, eh? Given the choice of going into a biker bar, where brawls are always on the menu, or a discreet wine bar, which would one rather choose? Sorry, those are your only choices.

Nancy Pelosi, impressed by Arnold Schwarzenegger's former physical prowess, tears up her copy of the state of the union address. How decorous. How courteous. How polite. Seen around the world. Nigel Farage must be laughing his butt off, thinking about the shallow anti-Brexit campaigns against his were compared to our Coup. Nigel won. Trump . is. winning. Getting tired of winning yet?

I could go on for pages more of Dem stupidity, but why bother? Stupidity surrounds us.

Betting odds: DNC 1,999,999 to Bernie 1.

Place your bets.

For all the good it will do and I am sincere about this, I will vote Tulsi in the Dem primary.

Here is the song Dems need to heed. This is Donald Trump telling' y'all I'M NOT YOUR MAN

[Feb 08, 2020] Instead of praise, someone should tell Congressman Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, to shut up as he is becoming an international embarrassment

Feb 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

His "closing arguments" speeches last week were respectively two-and-a-half hours and ninety minutes long and were inevitably praised by the mainstream media as "magisterial," "powerful," and "impressive."

The Washington Post 's resident Zionist extremist Jennifer Rubin labeled it "a grand slam" while legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called it "dazzling." Gail Collins of the New York Times dubbed it "a great job" and added that Schiff is now "a rock star." Daily Beast enthused that the remarks "will go down in history " and progressive activist Ryan Knight called it "a closing statement for the ages."

Hollywood was also on board with actress Debra Messing tweeting "I am in tears. Thank you Chairman Schiff for fighting for our country."

[Feb 03, 2020] 'Trump Might Trade Alaska To The Russians!' Cries Schiff During Closing Impeachment Remarks

Notable quotes:
"... Adam Schiff: If Trump isn't removed he "could offer Alaska to the Russians in exchange for support in the next election or decide to move to Mar-a-Lago permanently and leave Jared Kushner to run the country, delegating to him the decision whether they go to war." pic.twitter.com/VBzkonqpmH ..."
Feb 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Impeachment manager Adam Schiff (D-CA) argued on Monday during closing remarks that if President Trump isn't removed from office, he " could offer Alaska to the Russians in exchange for support in the next election or decide to move to Mar-a-Lago permanently and leave Jared Kushner to run the country , delegating to him the decision whether they go to war."

Adam Schiff: If Trump isn't removed he "could offer Alaska to the Russians in exchange for support in the next election or decide to move to Mar-a-Lago permanently and leave Jared Kushner to run the country, delegating to him the decision whether they go to war." pic.twitter.com/VBzkonqpmH

-- Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 3, 2020

[Jan 27, 2020] Adam Schiff The Perfect Scoundrel

Jan 27, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Adam Schiff: "The Perfect Scoundrel"? by Tyler Durden Mon, 01/27/2020 - 14:35 0 SHARES

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Canary Trap

What is the canary's purpose in life? Why, to sing, of course - at least from the human's point-of-view.

What is the canary trap? Why, to catch humans who are singing like canaries.

The latest occult dish served up by Democratic Party spirit cookers in the impeachment ritual is the release of "bombshell" news leaked to The New York Times late Sunday from a new book by Mr. Trump's erstwhile National Security Advisor, John Bolton, purporting verbal evidence of a quid pro quo in the Ukraine aid-for-investigations allegation. Better hold the premature ejaculations on that one.

The canary trap is a venerable ploy of intelligence tradecraft for flushing out info-leakers. You send slightly different versions of an info package to suspected leakers in a leaky agency, and when the info materializes somewhere like The New York Times , you can tell exactly which canary crooned the melody. In this case, the agency was the White House National Security Council, the notorious nest of intriguers lately the haunts of impeachment stars Col. Alexander Vindman and alleged "whistleblower" Eric Ciaramella (on loan from the CIA, and now back there). Another bird in that nest is Alexander Vindman's twin brother Col. Eugene (Yevgeny) Vindman, a military lawyer posted as chief ethics counsel for the NSC, of all things.

The info-package in this case was the manuscript of John Bolton's book, The Room Where It Happened , relating his brief and tumultuous misadventures in Trumpland, slated for release March 17. Someone in the White House chain of command ordered a security review of the manuscript by the NSC -- a curious detail. Why there, of all places, given the recent exploits of Ciaramella, Vindman & Vindman, Sean Misko, Abigail Grace, current or former NSC employees now in the service of Adam Schiff's House Intel Committee, which kicked off the latest mega-distraction from the nation's business? Why not give the manuscript to the Attorney General's counsel, or some other referee to determine what in the book might qualify as privileged communication between a president and a top national security advisor?

Well, before you go tripping off on a tear about the suspect loyalties of William Barr, consider that the chief byproduct of the entire three-year RussiaGate flimflam and all its subsequent offshoots by the Lawfare Resistance has been to completely undermine Americans' faith in federal institutions, including the DOJ, the FBI, the CIA. Perhaps what we're seeing is the convergence of two perfect setups.

Surely Adam Schiff thinks that testimony from John Bolton was his ace-in-the-hole to corroborate the House's impeachment case. Maybe his staff (of former NSC moles) had a hand in orchestrating the leaks from the NSC to The New York Times at exactly the right moment -- hours before Mr. Trump's lawyers would begin to argue the main body of his defense in the Senate, to produce an orgasmic gotcha . But what if Mr. Trump's lawyers and confidents were ahead of the scheme and knew exactly when and how Mr. Schiff would call the play?

It's actually inconceivable that that Mr. Trump's team did not know this play was coming. Do you suppose they didn't know that Mr. Bolton had written a book on contract for Simon & Schuster, and much more? After all, a president has access to information that even a sedulous bottom-feeder like Mr. Schiff just doesn't command. Maybe the canary trap is only the prelude to a booby trap -- and remember, boobies are much larger birds than canaries. Maybe, despite prior protestations about not calling witnesses, the Bolton ploy will actually be an excuse for Mr. Trump's defense team to run the switcheroo play and accede to the calling of witnesses.

Perhaps they are not afraid of what Mr. Bolton might have to say in the 'splainin' seat. Perhaps what he has to say turns out to be, at least, the proverbial nothingburger with mayo and onion, or, at worst, a perfidious prevarication motivated by ill-will against the employer who sacked him ignominiously. Perhaps Mr. Trump's lawyers are longing for the chance to haul in some witnesses of their own, for instance the "whistleblower." It is also inconceivable that the actual progenitor of this mighty hot mess would not be called to account in the very forum that his ploy was aimed to convoke.

And from the unmasked "whistleblower," the spectacle would proceed straightaway to Adam Schiff himself in the witness chair. That will be an elongated moment of personal self-disfigurement not seen in American history since William Jennings Bryan was left blubbering in the courtroom at Dayton, Tennessee, 1925, after he spearheaded the malicious prosecution of John Scopes for teaching evolution in a high school biology class or the moment of national wonder and nausea in June 1954 when Army Chief Counsel Joseph Welch rose from his chair and asked witch-hunting Senator Joseph McCarthy, "At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

In a deeply imperfect world, California's 28th congressional district has produced a true marvel: the perfect scoundrel. Adam Schiff has been hurling false accusations and retailing mendacious narratives for three years. He deserves the most public disgrace that can possibly be arranged, on nationwide television, with all his many media enablers at CNN and MSNBC having to call the play-by-play. Then the nation needs to expel him from the House of Representatives. And then, maybe, the USA can get on with other business.

[Jan 25, 2020] 'Shifty' Schiff Warmongering Stooge Of The Deep State

Notable quotes:
"... Anonymouse sauces (sic) are stating that the FBI conducted electronic surveillance on ALL Republican Presidential candidates in the 2016 election on Obama's instructions who was briefed each week on the surveillance. ..."
"... In other news, the GAO has declined to publish an internal audit report that details that the level of waste in federal spending has dropped from 20% under Obama to 15% of all federal spending under Trump... ..."
"... Either way--- Drump or some Dum candidate--- America is screwed. ..."
"... Even if true, no murders are attributed to Trump even by his nuttiest enemies. He would have a long way to go to reach the depths of the Bushes and the Clintons. ..."
"... It is fascinating watching the partisan blame game when practically every single one of them up there, regardless of spot or stripe, voted for and supports arming Ukraine. ..."
Jan 25, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4777 'Shifty' Schiff: Warmongering Stooge Of The Deep State by Tyler Durden Sat, 01/25/2020 - 20:00 0 SHARES

Authored by Daniel Lazare via AntiWar.com,

All the usual suspects are praising Adam Schiff's marathon two-and-a-half-hour Senate speech on Wednesday to the skies.

Neocon columnist Jennifer Rubin calls it "a grand slam" in the Washington Post.

Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin describes it as "dazzling" on CNN.

Hillary Clinton: "Every American should watch this"

John Legend: "This is brilliantly argued and so compelling. Watch if you have time. Call your senators. Everyone says the outcome is predetermined. But make sure your senators hear from you if you're moved by this. Thank you, Congressman Schiff, for standing up for what's right."

Debra Messing: " I am in tears. Thank you Chairman Schiff for fighting for our country."

New York Times columnist Gail Collins says it was "a great job" and that Schiff is "a rock star" for pulling it off.

But in fact it was the opposite

a fear-mongering, sword-rattling harangue that will not only raise tensions with Russia for no good reason, but sends a chilling message to dissidents at home that if they deviate from Russiagate orthodoxy by one iota, they'll be driven from the fold.

What is that orthodoxy?

It's that Russia invaded poor innocent Ukraine in 2014, that it interfered in the US presidential election in 2016 in order to hurt Hillary Clinton and propel Donald Trump into the White House, and that it's now trying to smear Joe Biden merely because he had allowed his son to take a high-paying job with a notorious Ukrainian oligarch at a time when he was supposedly heading up the Ukrainian anti-corruption effort.

As Schiff put it with regard to Donald Trump's famous July 25 phone call urging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into Biden's activities:

"This investigation was related to a debunked conspiracy theory alleging that Ukraine not Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. This narrative propagated by the Russian intelligence services contends that Ukraine sought to help Hillary Clinton and harm then-candidate Trump . This tale is also patently false and, remarkably, it is precisely the inverse of what the US intelligence community's unanimous assessment was that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in sweeping and systemic fashion in order to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump."

So even though the Financial Times reported during the 2016 election campaign that the threat of a Trump victory was spurring "Kiev's wider political leadership to do something they have never attempted before: intervene, however indirectly, in a US election," articles like that are now down the memory hole because Schiff says they're Russian propaganda that US intelligence agencies have determined to be false.

The same goes for arguments that it's actually NATO's aggressive expansion to the east that has led to a needless buildup of tensions, not Russia's drive to the west. Recent examples include an article in the National Interest arguing that NATO has "empowered some of the most historically anti-Russian elements in that region – Ukrainian Banderites [i.e. followers of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera], Polish nationalists, Balkan Islamists" – elements that, not unreasonably, have sparked Russia's worst fears – or one in the Nation stating that NATO's drang nach osten is "the primary cause for the new and very dangerous Cold War."

Articles like those are verboten as well because they go counter to the new line that Russia is entirely to blame. Declared Schiff:

"Russia is not a threat to Eastern Europe alone. Ukraine has become the de facto proving ground for just the types of hybrid warfare that the twenty-first century will become defined by: cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, efforts to undermine the legitimacy of state institutions, whether that is voting systems or financial markets. The Kremlin showed boldly in 2016 that with the malign skills it honed in Ukraine, they would not stay in Ukraine. Instead, Russia employed them here to attack our institutions, and they will do so again."

As for Biden, a New York Times editorial said about his son's unfortunate new job back in 2015:

"Sadly, the credibility of Mr. Biden's [anti-corruption] message may be undermined by the association of his son with a Ukrainian natural-gas company, Burisma Holdings, which is owned by a former government official suspected of corrupt practices . Burisma's owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, has been under investigation in Britain and in Ukraine. It should be plain to Hunter Biden that any connection with a Ukrainian oligarch damages his father's efforts to help Ukraine. This is not a board he should be sitting on ."

We must all put such sentiments behind us now Russia is seeking to "weaponize" such information, according to Schiff, and deploy it "against Mr. Biden just like it did against Hillary Clinton in 2016 when Russia hacked and released emails from her presidential campaign." If Russia wants to weaponize it, then it's best for the rest of us not to breathe a word of it lest people think we've been weaponized as well.

Bottom line: we must impeach Trump, according to Schiff's epic presentation, not only because he's overstepped his proper constitutional bounds, but because he's part of a grand Russian conspiracy to spread disinformation, undercut US security, undermine faith in US intelligence agencies, and "remake the map of Europe by dent of military force." In order to counter this all-encompassing threat, it is our patriotic duty to do the opposite by believing the CIA and redoubling US defense. If anyone tells us that Biden was guilty of a flagrant conflict of interest, we must stop up our ears because that's what Moscow wants us to think. If anyone says that the entire Russian-interference narrative is just a silly conspiracy theory based on a paucity of facts and an abundance of paranoid speculation, we must do likewise because it's just the Kremlin trying to worm its way into our minds.

When in doubt, just remember to bleat: America good, Russia baa-aa-aad.

But while it would be nice to dismiss this as a joke, it's not. Schiff's emergence as leader of the Democratic impeachment drive means that the party is re-grouping along the most retrograde Cold War lines. As reckless and appalling as Trump's behavior is in the Persian Gulf, the emerging Democratic worldview is shaping up as no less extreme. Because it sees Russia as mounting a multi-pronged offensive, the clear implication is that the US must respond in kind. This means more troops deployments, more forces mobilized to counter Russian threats from Venezuela to the Middle East, more TV talking heads going on and on about this or that Kremlin conspiracy, and more labelling of people like Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein as Russian assets.

Remember, this is the Los Angeles neocon who backed the invasion of Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, and Saudi Arabia's unprovoked war against Yemen, an assault that, since March 2015, has cost 100,000 lives and brought half the country to the brink of starvation. He supported Obama's war in Libya and called for the establishment of a no-fly zone in Syria and relies on arms manufacturers and military contractors for major financial support .

But while Bernie supporters may have thought that Democrats were edging away from such views, they're plainly in the wrong. Schiff's new-found prominence shows that the neocons are back in the saddle. Impeachment advocates should be careful of what they wish for because the anti-Trump forces are turning out to be no less dangerous than those helping him to remain.


dubsea , 8 minutes ago link

Somebody giving Shifty Shiff a sweet retirement package.. No way this guy actually believes what he's saying. Paid lyer. Nothing more.

3rdhandgrand , 10 minutes ago link

What a dumb headline. Every single politician in D.C. is a deep state stooge. Every. Single. One. None of them are even a little bit better than any of the others. Grow up.

Davidduke2000 , 25 minutes ago link

this man schiff exhibit symptoms of Schizophrenia .

Schizophrenia is a mental illness characterized by relapsing episodes of psychosis . [5] Major symptoms include hallucinations (most usually hearing voices ), delusions (having beliefs that are not shared by others), and disordered thinking . [12] Other symptoms may include social withdrawal , decreased emotional expression , and lack of motivation . [5] Symptoms typically come on gradually, begin in young adulthood, and in many cases never resolve. [3] [6] There is no objective diagnostic test; diagnosis is based on observed behavior, a history that includes the person's reported experiences, and reports of others familiar with the person. [6] To be diagnosed with schizophrenia, symptoms and functional impairment need to be present for six months. [6] [13] Many people with schizophrenia have other mental disorders that may include an anxiety disorder such as panic disorder , obsessive-compulsive disorder , depressive disorder , or a substance use disorder . [14]

hooligan2009 , 19 minutes ago link

schumer talks to ghosts sitting in his chair as well - play to the end

https://twitter.com/graenni/status/1219938057668919296?s=11

Smilygladhands , 11 minutes ago link

exactly right. the dims have been suffering prolonged hysterical psychosis since Nov 2016.

  1. The economy will tank!
  2. Russian collusion!
  3. Ukraine!
  4. Will start a war with Iran!

wrong every time and yet refuse to see reality

GreatSunnyDays , 5 minutes ago link

"Recreational intoxication - with the strongest pot ever grown, strength-intensified by over 50 years of applied horticultural science." Heavy users of the "recreational pot" are psychos. "Recreational psychosis" - courtesy of your state government

Cannabis (marijuana, hashish, weed, dope) is the most commonly used illicit recreational drug in Australia. It's a depressant psychoactive substance that can cause temporary psychotic symptoms and, in some cases, full psychotic disorders like schizophrenia.

Schiff is from the state of legalized 'Recreational pot', maybe that's what's wrong with the dude

insanelysane , 38 minutes ago link

It does seem that the impeachment is helping Trump and Bernie as Bernie is taking a clear lead. The Dems badly wanted to impeach Trump and this Ukraine thing was the first viable option after the Mueller report failure. It was a poor choice for the Dems because of Joe Biden's involvement. It got worse when Biden and other Dems say that no one ever thought that the kid's board position was an issue even though Obama administration people brought it up.

The more interesting trial which no one is covering is Hunter Biden's child support trial. He is refusing to turn over his financials. This should be a huge story.

Did he file taxes?

How many foreign companies were sending him money?

Was he reporting all of the income from Burisma and the other companies? I suspect not because I think he was sending a cut to his father for "getting" him the work.

hooligan2009 , 40 minutes ago link

BREAKING NEWS: Anonymouse sauces (sic) are stating that the FBI conducted electronic surveillance on ALL Republican Presidential candidates in the 2016 election on Obama's instructions who was briefed each week on the surveillance.

These anonymouse sauces also stated that there has been no surveillance of ANY of the Democrat Presidentail candidates in 2019-2020.

Apparently, the Republican party has been unwilling to maintain the levels of cash bribes, payments in kind etc to senior FBI employees that were paid by the Obama administration.

In other news, the GAO has declined to publish an internal audit report that details that the level of waste in federal spending has dropped from 20% under Obama to 15% of all federal spending under Trump...

Promethus , 46 minutes ago link

I made a Google search about something else and I ran into a half dozen different posts about Shiff having Anthony Bourdain murdered because Bourdain saw Shiff rape and murder a 10 year old African American boy in a snuff video. I think Shiff is creepy and probably a pervert but this was a little much even with my low opinion of Shiff. Has this been debunked?

SolidGold , 44 minutes ago link

See Ed Buck.

Posa , 51 minutes ago link

The Schiff fan club are all Killary dead enders and liberal neoCons... they're sore at Putin 'cause he wouldn't let Obama openly start a bloodbath in Syria the war Dubya did in Iraq- Afghanistan. Obama and Killary had to use ISIS instead to annihilate some ME countries to lock down US Global Hegemony.

Adding insult to injury, Drump slam dunked their idol, Killary, in the 2016 election, which just wasn't on the dance card.

Either way--- Drump or some Dum candidate--- America is screwed.

Harley Vet , 52 minutes ago link

List of crimes Trump has committed....

  1. Fraud in the Trump University affair.
  2. Racial discrimination in housing.
  3. Money laundering with one of his casinos.
  4. All these are civil cases Trump lost but won't go to jail, because owning a corporation allows you to commit crimes and not be charged criminally.
  5. Trump admitted on the Access Hollywood tape that he sexually assaulted women.
  6. 22 women have since come forward to say that Trump sexually assaulted them, including his first wife who said in a divorce deposition that Trump raped her.
  7. Then there are the decades of tax evasions documented in the New York Times.
  8. And the insurance scam documented by Michael Cohen's testimony before Congress.
  9. Campaign law violations
  10. witness tampering
  11. obstruction
  12. selling out America to foreign

There are also 14 on going investigations against Trump as well, but they can't charge Trump in any of those yet, because he is a sitting president.

James Paterson , 36 minutes ago link

Even if true, no murders are attributed to Trump even by his nuttiest enemies. He would have a long way to go to reach the depths of the Bushes and the Clintons.

chunga , 55 minutes ago link

It is fascinating watching the partisan blame game when practically every single one of them up there, regardless of spot or stripe, voted for and supports arming Ukraine.

Politicians are bad but voters are worse.

ThomasEdmonds , 57 minutes ago link

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/03/08/the-hidden-history-of-the-incredibly-evil-khazarian-mafia/

Gringo Viejo , 1 hour ago link

Schiff is the kid that got pantzed in Jr. High School.

The kid that got shoved into lockers and had the "kick me" sign slapped on his back.

And now the world is going to pay for that.

[Jan 25, 2020] Trump actions indicate that he is an agent of influence for Israel, not Russia.

Jan 25, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Nevertheless, after listening to what Shiff and Nadler said yesterday I conclude that if Trump is re-elected the claim will be made that he stole the election with the help of Russia. This is silly, his actions indicate that he is an agent of influence for Israel, not Russia.

Call me Turcopolier. I stand here where ignorant armies clash by night and hope to be saved to tell the tale in November. pl

[Jan 25, 2020] A new act of "Full of Schiff" spectacle

Jan 25, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

After being held captive for three days while House Democrats litigated their impeachment case against President Trump, House Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff (D-CA) enraged Senate Republicans last night during his closing remarks when he referred to an anonymously sourced media report that they would face retribution from the White House if they voted to convict the president.

"CBS News reported last night that a Trump confidant said that key senators were warned, 'Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.' I don't know if that's true," said Schiff, challenging GOP lawmakers to vote with "moral courage" instead of caving to their party.

GOP senators are heard yelling "that's not true" when House manager Adam Schiff cites a CBS report claiming Pres. Trump told them their heads "will be on a pike" if they voted against him. pic.twitter.com/wrXI4KhGPR
-- Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) January 25, 2020

Schiff's 'pike' comment enraged several moderate Republicans - who Democrats desperately need on their side for a vote on whether to call witnesses in the trial.

"I thought he was doing fine with [talking about] moral courage until he got to the 'head on a pike.' That's where he lost me," said one such Senator, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), adding "He's a good orator. ... It was just unnecessary."


Cursing Flasher , 29 minutes ago link

If the facts are on your side, you pound the facts.

If the law is on your side, you pound the law.

If neither is on your side, you pound the table.

If neither is on you side, and you're a democrat, you pound each other.

Swan , 5 minutes ago link

Democrats and Republicans working against each other and no one is working for the people.

Confucious 222 , 11 minutes ago link

Getting about time to confront Mossad Agent Schiff with some conflict of interest stuff

[Jan 24, 2020] Adam Schiff Is a Dangerous Warmonger by Liza Featherstone

Jan 24, 2020 | jacobinmag.com

Adam Schiff, the liberal hero of impeachment, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the military-industrial complex and a fervent exponent of permanent war.

o some Democrats and journalists, Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) is a hero. All over the internet, people are thanking him for defending the Constitution, hoping he'll run for president someday. After his performance during this week's impeachment hearing, the worship was especially intense; a letter writer to the New York Times called it "brilliant" and a "tour de force," while the conservative Washington Times made fun of all the blue-checked Twitter accounts losing their objectivity in ecstatic praise. As the face of the impeachment effort, especially for liberals disengaged from the election process, Schiff represents a glimmer of hope for domestic regime change.

We'd like to be on his side. After all, he's working hard to take down Donald Trump, one of the worst presidents in American history. But let's not get carried away in fandom. Schiff is a dangerous warmonger, and his efforts to fuel paranoia about Russia only serve to feed that agenda. It would be admirable if Schiff's impeachment crusade was limited to Trump's corruption. But something else drives him: he wants a proxy war in Ukraine with Russia, and he has for some time.

Adam Schiff physically resembles a prosperity preacher. That is to say, he looks like a classic dodgy American salesman, but with a beatific glow of righteousness. This creepily wholesome look lends a corny Cold War ambiance to his constant fulmination about "the Russians." It's hard not to listen to him without thinking of Allen Ginsberg's 1956 poem "America":

America, it's them bad Russians

Them Russians, them Russians and them Chinamen.

And them Russians.

Assuring us that he is aware, actually, of what century this is, Schiff said in 2015 , "Now, we're not seeing the same bipolar world we had between communism and capitalism." (Phew!) He then added, "But we are seeing a new bipolar world, I think, where you have democracy versus authoritarianism." Schiff has not viewed this as a mere contest of ideas: he constantly advocated for Obama to impose tougher sanctions on Russia and give more weapons to Ukraine.

Although delicately opposed to violence in some contexts -- he's a vegan! -- this isn't the only war Schiff has championed. He supported the Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya wars, greater US intervention in Syria, as well as the Saudi war with Yemen (although he has, in the past year, turned against the latter adventure, seeming to draw the line at sawing up journalists with bonesaws -- he is a moderate after all, plus very popular with the media), and he has voted for nearly every possible increase in the defense budget.

As Jacobin 's own Branko Marcetic observed two years ago , Schiff's bellicosity is extensively funded by arms manufacturers and military contractors. A Ukrainian arms dealer named Igor Pasternak held a $2,500 per head fundraiser for Schiff in 2013, as the late Justin Raimondo reported in a terrific analysis on Antiwar.com in 2017, at a time when Ukraine was desperately trying to counter the Obama administration's disinterest in funding its war with Russia. Despite that disinterest, the State Department approved some very profitable dealings for Pasternak in Ukraine after that fundraiser.

And that's only one example. In the current cycle, donations from the war industry have continued to flood his coffers. Many come from employees of firms with extensive Department of Defense contracts, including Radiance Technologies and Raytheon. PACs representing the defense industry also make a robust showing among Schiff's contributors, according to data on Open Secrets.org; companies funneling money to Schiff -- sorry, contributing to those PACs -- include Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Radiance, and others, including L3Harris Technologies (which got in big trouble with the State Department in September and had to pay $13 million in penalties for illegal arms dealing).

Guess what these companies want? War with Ukraine. Why wouldn't they? Last October, the United States approved a $39 million sale of anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, a joint contract between Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. The previous year, Ukraine bought $37 million worth of missiles from the same two companies. As a missile-maker, Zacks Equity Research has noted, Northrop Grumman also benefits richly from conflict in Ukraine, as missiles are heavily used in cross-border wars.

Despite his enthusiastic support for state violence and cozy ties to the makers of deadly weaponry, Schiff, an Alexander Hamilton–quoting windbag, doesn't have much crossover appeal to the sort of people who put "These Colors Don't Run" stickers on their trucks. His impeachment crusade only seems to reinforce Trump's support among the faithful; at this writing, 93 percent of Republicans oppose the president's removal from office.

Welcome to the #Resistance.

Liza Featherstone is a columnist for Jacobin , a freelance journalist, and the author of Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers' Rights at Wal-Mart .

This article was originally published by " Jacobin " -

[Dec 29, 2019] A Hawkish Impeachment by James Antle

Notable quotes:
"... Despite fond youthful memories of Bill Clinton/Kenneth Starr/Monica Lewinsky jokes on late-night television, my interest in the current impeachment saga can pretty much be summed up as follows: "Get back to me when they launch an impeachment inquiry over Yemen ." Watching the House vote along party lines to impeach President Donald Trump while barely stifling a yawn over the Afghanistan Papers does little to alter my skepticism about this constitutional crisis built for cable news. ..."
"... Progressive commentator Michael Tracey offered this apt summary of Washington's bizarre priorities: "This last week teaches us that temporarily freezing and then unfreezing future military aid to one of our many far-flung client states is [a] huge national emergency but the government systematically lying about every aspect of the longest war in U.S. history is a forgettable non-issue." ..."
Dec 29, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Despite fond youthful memories of Bill Clinton/Kenneth Starr/Monica Lewinsky jokes on late-night television, my interest in the current impeachment saga can pretty much be summed up as follows: "Get back to me when they launch an impeachment inquiry over Yemen ." Watching the House vote along party lines to impeach President Donald Trump while barely stifling a yawn over the Afghanistan Papers does little to alter my skepticism about this constitutional crisis built for cable news.

Progressive commentator Michael Tracey offered this apt summary of Washington's bizarre priorities: "This last week teaches us that temporarily freezing and then unfreezing future military aid to one of our many far-flung client states is [a] huge national emergency but the government systematically lying about every aspect of the longest war in U.S. history is a forgettable non-issue."

Nobody will be impeached for lying about Afghanistan. There will be no intelligence community whistleblower setting in motion an impeachment inquiry over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In fact, the same Nancy Pelosi who ultimately caved to the Resistance shut down antiwar Democrats who wanted such hearings into George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. But here John Bolton, an advocate of preventive presidential war during this very administration, may finally get his wish of being greeted as a liberator .

Even as Representative Adam Schiff led the drive to impeach Trump, the California Democrat voted for a defense bill that lavishes the executive branch with money without restraining presidential war powers. But this seeming inconsistency is practically the point -- the entire impeachment inquiry was wrapped in hawkish assumptions and rhetoric as liberal Democrats unthinkingly stumbled into a Cold War 2.0 mindset that few of them this side of Hillary Clinton would have willingly embraced absent frequently overhyped Trump-Russia headlines dating back to the 2016 campaign.

No, Trump isn't Jesus Christ being handed over by Pontius Pilate. His phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wasn't " perfect " and neither side of this partisan morality tale has exactly covered itself in glory. Rudy Giuliani's escapades seem particularly likely to end badly. One need not even necessarily defend Trump's conduct to oppose an impeachment inquiry largely predicated on threat inflation. Arm Ukraine, Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan testified, so they can "fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here." She could have been starring in a Democratic reboot of Red Dawn decades after the Soviet Union disintegrated.

There's no question Trump to some extent dangled a White House visit and congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine before Kyiv in pursuit of the talking point that Joe Biden was under investigation. The only matters in dispute are how determined the effort was, whether Trump's motives were at least partially publicly spirited, the degree of the Bidens' shadiness, and why the aid was ultimately disbursed (Byron York makes the case that it wasn't necessarily because of the whistleblower).

House Democrats began with a presumption of corrupt intent on all counts and a definition of foreign election interference elastic enough to include Trump utterances about WikiLeaks and Hillary's deleted emails but not Ukraine's (smaller, less systematic and arguably less effective than Russia's) 2016 influence campaign . And while not all investigations are created equal -- if Hunter Biden's business dealings are to be probed, it should not be as a favor to any president -- the impeachment inquiry itself is an investigation of a political rival, who was also investigated during his previous campaign .

If shortcuts were taken in the beginning of the Trump-Russia investigation, the origins of Trump-Ukraine resemble a template for undermining any seriously antiwar or civil libertarian president. Trump is not that president himself, of course -- his acquiescence to the Beltway blob on lethal military aid is precisely what increased his leverage over Ukraine -- but some plausible and even the occasional Republican could be. Trump's mild rhetorical dissents on foreign policy are clearly a factor in why he has reason to be suspicious of his own subordinates (it's also why it is disingenuous to suggest that replacing Trump with Mike Pence is no different than replacing Bill Clinton with ideologically identical Al Gore or that people who have worked for Bush, Cheney or John McCain would have no reason to oppose Trump).

Many Democrats sincerely believed they were impeaching Trump for the least of his crimes, like Al Capone and tax evasion, and that Robert Mueller let him escape last time. They are also making a case against Trump's ability to separate personal and national interests in a way that speaks to his fitness for the office, with Ukraine merely being their specific example. But in doing so, they are also ratifying a bipartisan foreign policy consensus that has failed the American people, and that's bigger than any one president.

W. James Antle III is the editor of The American Conservative.

[Dec 25, 2019] Trump Impeachment as Dems dirty election campaign move

Trump can be impeached as a war criminal just for his false flag Douma attack (along with members of his administration). But Neoliberal Dems and frst of all Pelosi are war criminals too, with Pelosi aiding and abetting war criminal Bush.
So this is a variation of the theme of Lavrentiy Beria most famous quote: "Show me a man and I will find you a crime"
I think tose neolib Dems who supported impeachment disqualified themselves from the running. That includes Warren, who proved to be a very weak, easily swayed politician. It is quote probably that they increased (may be considerably) chances of Trump reelection, but pushing independents who were ready to abandon him, back into Trump camp. Now Trump is able to present himself as a victim of neoliberal Dems/neocons witch hunt.
Notable quotes:
"... Faithless Execution ..."
Dec 25, 2019 | www.nationalreview.com

The only real check left is impeachment. It is rarely invoked and (until very recently) has atrophied as a credible threat. But that doesn't make it any less indispensable.

The problem was exacerbated by the Clinton impeachment fiasco, which history has proved foolhardy. (I supported it at the time, but I was a government lawyer then, not a public commentator.) Republicans were sufficiently spooked by the experience that they seemed to regard impeachment as obsolete. Faithless Execution countered that this was the wrong lesson to take from the affair. Clinton's impeachment was a mistake because (a) his conduct, though disgraceful and indicative of unfitness, did not implicate the core responsibilities of the presidency; and more significantly, (b) the public, though appalled by the behavior, strongly opposed Clinton's removal. The right lesson was that impeachment must be reserved for grave misconduct that involves the president's essential Article II duties; and that because impeachment is so deeply divisive, it should never be launched in the absence of a public consensus that transcends partisan lines.

This is why, unlike many opponents of President Trump's impeachment, I have never questioned the legitimacy of the Democratic-controlled House's investigations of misconduct allegations against the president. I believe the House must act as a body (investigations should not be partisan attacks under the guise of House inquiries), and it must respect the lawful and essential privileges of the executive branch; but within those parameters, Congress has the authority and responsibility to expose executive misconduct.

Moreover, while egregious misconduct will usually be easy to spot and grasp, that will not always be the case. When members of Congress claim to see it, they should have a fair opportunity to expose and explain it. To my mind, President Obama was the kind of chief executive that the Framers feared, but this was not obvious because he was not committing felonies. Instead, he was consciously undermining our constitutional order. He usurped the right to dictate law rather than execute it. His extravagant theory of executive discretion to "waive" the enforcement of laws he opposed flouted his basic constitutional duty to execute the laws faithfully. He and his underlings willfully and serially deceived Congress and the public on such major matters as Obamacare and the Benghazi massacre. They misled Congress on, and obstructed its investigation of, the outrageous Fast and Furious "gun-walking" operation, in connection with which a border patrol agent was murdered. With his Iran deal, the president flouted the Constitution's treaty process and colluded with a hostile foreign power to withhold information from Congress, in an arrangement that empowered (and paid cash ransom to) the world's leading sponsor of anti-American terrorism.

My critics fairly noted that I opposed Obama politically, and therefore contended that I was masquerading as a constitutional objection what was really a series of policy disputes. I don't think that is right, though, for two reasons.

First, my impeachment argument was not that Obama was pursuing policies I deeply opposed. I was very clear that elections have consequences, and the president had every right to press his agenda. My objection was that he was imposing his agenda lawlessly, breaking the limitations within which the Framers cabined executive power, precisely to prevent presidents from becoming tyrants. If allowed to stand, Obama precedents would permanently alter our governing framework. Impeachment is there to protect our governing framework.

Second, I argued that, my objections notwithstanding, Obama should not be impeached in the absence of a public consensus for his removal. Yes, Republicans should try to build that case, try to edify the public about why the president's actions threatened the Constitution and its separation of powers. But they should not seek to file articles of impeachment simply because they could -- i.e., because control of the House theoretically gave them the numbers to do it. The House is not obliged to file impeachment articles just because there may be impeachable conduct. Because impeachment is so divisive, the Framers feared that it could be triggered on partisan rather than serious grounds. The two-thirds supermajority requirement for Senate conviction guards against that: The House should not impeach unless there is a reasonable possibility that the Senate would remove -- which, in Obama's case, there was not.

I also tried to focus on incentives. If impeachment were a credible threat, and Congress began investigating and publicly exposing abuses, a sensible president would desist in the misconduct, making it unnecessary to proceed with impeachment. On the other hand, a failed impeachment effort would likely embolden a rogue president to continue abusing power. If your real concern is executive lawlessness, then impeaching heedlessly and against public opinion would be counterproductive.

I've taken the same tack with President Trump.

The objections to Trump are very different from those to Obama. He is breaking not laws but norms of presidential behavior and decorum. For the most part, I object to this. There are lots of things about our government that need disruption, but even disruptive presidents should be mindful that they hold the office of Washington and Lincoln and aspire to their dignity, even if their greatness is out of reach.

That said, impeachment is about serious abuse of the presidency's core powers, not behavior that is intemperate or gauche. Critics must be mindful that the People, not the pundits, are sovereign, and they elected Donald Trump well aware of his flaws. That he turns out to be as president exactly what he appeared to be as a candidate is not a rationale for impeaching him.

The president's misconduct on Ukraine is small potatoes. Democrats were right to expose it, and we would be dealing with a more serious situation if the defense aid appropriated by Congress had actually been denied, rather than inconsequentially delayed. If Democrats had wanted to make a point about discouraging foreign interference in American politics (notwithstanding their long record of encouraging it), that would have been fine. They could have called for the president's censure, which would have put Republicans on the defensive. Ukraine could have been incorporated as part of their 2020 campaign that Trump should be defeated, despite a surging economy and relative peace.

Conducting an impeachment inquiry is one thing, but for the House to take the drastic step of impeaching the president is abusive on this record. Yes, it was foolish of Trump to mention the Bidens to President Zelensky and to seek Ukraine's help in investigating the Bidens. There may well be corruption worth probing, but the president ought to leave that to researchers in his campaign. If there is something that a government should be looking into, leave that to the Justice Department, which can (and routinely does) seek foreign assistance when necessary. The president, however, should have stayed out of it. Still, it is absurd to posit, as Democrats do, that, by not staying out of it, the president threatened election integrity and U.S. national security. Such outlandish arguments may make Ukraine more of a black eye for Democrats than for the president.

But whoever ultimately bears the brunt of the impeachment push, I have to ask myself a hard question: Is this the world I was asking for when I wrote a book contending that, for our system to work as designed, impeachment has to be a credible threat? I don't think so . . . but I do worry about it.

Back to the Clinton impeachment. I tried to make the point that that impeachment effort -- against public opinion, and based on misconduct that, while dreadful, was not central to the presidency -- has contributed significantly to the poisonous politics we have today. Democrats have been looking for payback ever since, and now they have it -- in a way that is very likely to make impeachment more routine in the future.

I don't see how our constitutional system can work without a viable impeachment remedy. But I may have been wrong to believe that we could be trusted to invoke the remedy responsibly. I used to poke fun at pols who would rather hide under their desks than utter the dreaded I-word. Turns out they knew something I didn't.

[Dec 25, 2019] Trump understands perfectly well that impeachment the Neoliberal Dems dirty election strategy trick and he fights back

This dirty trick worked for Pelosi in 2018 with Mueller, now she is hoping to unseat Trump in 2020 using similar strategy
Dec 25, 2019 | twitter.com

Donald J. Trump ‏ 7:12 PM - 25 Dec 2019

...& overwhelming," but this Scam Impeachment was neither. Also, very unfair with no Due Process, proper representation, or witnesses. Now Pelosi is demanding everything the Republicans weren't allowed to have in the House. Dems want to run majority Republican Senate. Hypocrites!

Donald J. Trump ‏ 7:12 PM - 25 Dec 2019

Why should Crazy Nancy Pelosi, just because she has a slight majority in the House, be allowed to Impeach the President of the United States? Got ZERO Republican votes, there was no crime, the call with Ukraine was perfect, with "no pressure." She said it must be "bipartisan...

Trish Regan ‏ Dec 23

The # Dems ' war on democracy ratcheting up as they refuse to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a proper trial. GOP Congressman @ RepMarkGreen says ' # NancyPelosi is a tyrannical person OUT OF CONTROL!' # TrishRegan

[Dec 24, 2019] Only Tulsi had the sense to see impeachment for what it is, a farce that only helps Trump

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ggm , December 24, 2019 at 2:06 am

[Dec 24, 2019] The Fake Impeachment Pelosi's Botched Ploy Helps Trump Towards Victory by Joaquin Flores

It would be impossible for Trump to re-energize his base in any other way. Pelosi acts as covert agent for Trump re-election? Peloci calculation that she can repar "Mueller effect" of 2018 with this impeachment proved to be gross miscalculation.
Warren who stupidly and enthusiastically jumped into this bandwagon will be hurt. She is such a weak politician that now it looks like she does not belong to the club. Still in comparison with Trump she might well be an improvement as she has Trump-like economic program, which Trump betrayed and neutered. And her foreign policy can't be worse then Trump foreign policy. It is just impossible.
I am convinced that the Dems are not actually interested or focused on defeating Trump, or they would adopt an effective strategy. The question I keep wrestling with is, what is the point to the strategy that is so ineffective?
Notable quotes:
"... The fact that the impeachment is dead in the water, by Pelosi's own admission , is evident in Trump's being adamant that indeed it must be sent to the Senate – where he knows he'll be exonerated. But even if it doesn't go to the Senate, what we're left with still appears as a loss for Democrats. Both places are his briar patch. This makes all of this a win-win for team Trump. ..."
"... fake impeachment procedure ..."
"... For in a constitutional republic like the United States, what makes an impeachment possible is when the representatives and the voters are in communion over the matter. This would normally be reflected in a mid-term election, like say for example the mid-term Senatorial race in 2018 where Democrats failed to take control. Control of the Senate would reflect a change of sentiment in the republic, which in turn and not coincidentally, would be what makes for a successful impeachment. ..."
"... Nancy Pelosi is evidently extraordinarily cynical. Her politics appears to be 'they deserve whatever they believe'. ..."
"... little else can explain the reasoning behind her claim that she will 'send the impeachment to the Senate' as soon as she 'has assurances and knows how the Senate will conduct the impeachment', except that it came from the same person who told the public regarding Obamacare that we have to 'We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.". ..."
"... "We have been attacked. We are at war. Imagine this movie script: A former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge – taking advantage of the chaos, he works his way up through the ranks of a post-soviet Russia and becomes president. ..."
"... He establishes an authoritarian regime, then he sets his sights on his sworn enemy – the United States. And like the KGB spy that he is, he secretly uses cyber warfare to attack democracies around the world. Using social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political processes, even their neighbors. And he wins." ..."
"... We'll say we impeached him, because we did, and we'll say he was impeached. We'll declare victory, and go home. This will make him unelectable because of the stigma of impeachment. ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
And so it came to pass, that in the deep state's frenzy of electoral desperation, the 'impeachment' card was played. The hammer has fallen. Nearly the entirety of the legacy media news cycle has been dedicated to the details, and not really pertinent details, but the sorts of details which presume the validity of the charges against Trump in the first place. Yes, they all beg the question. What's forgotten here is that the use of this process along clearly partisan lines, and more – towards clearly partisan aims – is a very serious symptom of the larger undoing of any semblance of stability in the US government.

The fact that the impeachment is dead in the water, by Pelosi's own admission , is evident in Trump's being adamant that indeed it must be sent to the Senate – where he knows he'll be exonerated. But even if it doesn't go to the Senate, what we're left with still appears as a loss for Democrats. Both places are his briar patch. This makes all of this a win-win for team Trump.

Only in a country that produces so much fake news at the official level, could there be a fake impeachment procedure made purely for media consumption, with no real or tangible possible victory in sight.

For in a constitutional republic like the United States, what makes an impeachment possible is when the representatives and the voters are in communion over the matter. This would normally be reflected in a mid-term election, like say for example the mid-term Senatorial race in 2018 where Democrats failed to take control. Control of the Senate would reflect a change of sentiment in the republic, which in turn and not coincidentally, would be what makes for a successful impeachment.

Don't forget, this impeachment is fake

Nancy Pelosi is evidently extraordinarily cynical. Her politics appears to be 'they deserve whatever they believe'. And her aim appears to be the one who makes them believe things so that they deserve what she gives them. For little else can explain the reasoning behind her claim that she will 'send the impeachment to the Senate' as soon as she 'has assurances and knows how the Senate will conduct the impeachment', except that it came from the same person who told the public regarding Obamacare that we have to 'We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.".

In both cases, reality is turned on its head – for rather we will know how the Senate intends to conduct its procedure as soon as it has the details, which substantively includes the impeachment documents themselves, in front of them, and likewise, legislators ought to know what's in a major piece of legislation before they vote either way on it. Pelosi's assault on reason, however, isn't without an ever growing tide of resentment from within the progressive base of the party itself.

We have quickly entered into a new era which increasingly resembles the broken political processes which have struck many a country, but none in living memory a country like the US. Now elected officials push judges to prosecute their political opponents, constitutional crises are manufactured to pursue personal or political vendettas, death threats and rumors of coups coming from media and celebrities being fed talking points by big and important players from powerful institutions.

This 'impeachment' show really takes the cake, does it not? We will recall shortly after Trump was elected, narrator for hire Morgan Freeman made a shocking public service announcement. It was for all intents and purposes, a PSA notifying the public that a military coup to remove Trump would be legitimate and in order. Speaking about this PSA, and recounting what was said, would in any event read as an exaggeration, or some allegorical paraphrasing made to prove a point. Jogging our memories then, Freeman spoke to tens of millions of viewers on television and YouTube saying :

"We have been attacked. We are at war. Imagine this movie script: A former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge – taking advantage of the chaos, he works his way up through the ranks of a post-soviet Russia and becomes president.

He establishes an authoritarian regime, then he sets his sights on his sworn enemy – the United States. And like the KGB spy that he is, he secretly uses cyber warfare to attack democracies around the world. Using social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political processes, even their neighbors. And he wins."

This really set the tone for the coming years, which have culminated in this manufactured 'impeachment' crisis, really befitting a banana republic.

It would be the height of dishonesty to approach this abuse of the impeachment procedure as if until this moment, the US's own political culture and processes were in good shape. Now isn't the time for the laundry list of eroded constitutional provisions, which go in a thousand and one unique directions. The US political system is surely broken, but as is the case with such large institutions several hundreds of years old, its meltdown appears to happen in slow motion to us mere mortals. And so what we are seeing today is the next phase of this break-down, and really ought to be understood as monumental in this sense. Once again revealed is the poor judgment of the Democratic Party and their agents, tools, warlords, and strategists, the same gang who sunk Hillary Clinton's campaign on the rocks of hubris.

Nancy Pelosi also has poor judgment, and these short-sighted and self-interested moves on her part stand a strong chance of backfiring. Her role in this charade is duly noted. This isn't said because of any disagreement over her aims, but rather that in purely objective terms it just so happens that her aims and her actions are out of synch – that is unless she wants to see Trump re-elected. Her aims are her aims, our intention is to connect these to their probable results, without moral judgments.

The real problem for the Democrats, the DNC, and any hopes for the White House in 2020, is that this all has the odor of a massive backfire, and something that Trump has been counting on happening. When one's opponent knows what is probable, and when they have a track record for preparing very well for such, it is only a question of what Trump's strategy is and how this falls into it, not whether there is one.

Imagine being a fly on the wall of the meeting with Pelosi where it was decided to go forward with impeachment in the House of Representatives, despite not having either sufficient traction in the Senate or any way to control the process that the Senate uses.

It probably went like this: ' We'll say we impeached him, because we did, and we'll say he was impeached. We'll declare victory, and go home. This will make him unelectable because of the stigma of impeachment. '

Informed citizens are aware that whatever their views towards Trump, nothing he has done reaches beyond the established precedent set by past presidents. Confused citizens on the other hand, are believing the manufactured talking points thrown their way, and the idea that a US president loosely reference a quid pro quo in trying to sort a corruption scandal in dealings with the president of a foreign country, is some crazy, new, never-before-done and highly-illegal thing. It is none of those things though.

Unfortunately, not needless to say, the entirety of the direct, physical evidence against Trump solely consists of the now infamous transcript of the phone call which he had with Ukrainian president Zelensky. The rest is hearsay, a conspiracy narrative, and entirely circumstantial. As this author has noted in numerous pieces, Biden's entire candidacy rests precisely upon his need to be a candidate so that any normal investigation into the wrongdoings of himself or his son in Ukraine, suddenly become the targeted persecution of a political opponent of Trump.

Other than this, it is evident that Biden stands little chance – the same polling institutions which give him a double-digit lead were those which foretold a Clinton electoral victory. Neither their methods nor those paying and publishing them, have substantively changed. Biden's candidacy, like the impeachment, is essentially fake. The real contenders for the party's base are Sanders and Gabbard.

The Democratic Party Activist Base Despises Pelosi as much as Clinton

The Democratic Party has two bases, one controlled by the DNC and the Clintons, and one which consists of its energized rank-and-file activists who are clearer in their populism, anti-establishment and ant-corporate agenda. Candidates like Gabbard and Sanders are closest to them politically, though far from perfect fits. Their renegade status is confirmed by the difficulties they have with visibility – they are the new silent majority of the party. The DNC base, on the other hand, relies on Rachel Maddow, Wolf Blitzer, and the likes for their default talking points, where they have free and pervasive access to legacy media. In the context of increased censorship online, this is not insignificant.

Among the important reasons this 'impeachment' strategy will lose is that it will not energize the second and larger base. Even though this more progressive and populist base is also more motivated, they have faced – as has the so-called alt-light – an extraordinarily high degree of censorship on social media. Despite all the censorship, the Democrats' silent majority are rather well-informed people, highly motivated, and tend to be vocal in their communities and places of work. Their ideas move organically and virally among the populace.

This silent majority has a very good memory, and they know very well who Nancy Pelosi is, and who she isn't.

The silent majority remembers that after years of the public backlash against Bush's war crimes, crimes against humanity, destruction of remaining civil liberties with the Patriot Act, torture, warrantless search – and the list goes on and on – Democrats managed to retake the lower house in 2006. If there was a legitimate reason for an impeachment, it would have been championed by Pelosi against Bush for going to war using false, falsified, manufactured evidence about WMD in Iraq. At the time, Pelosi squashed the hopes of her own electorate, reasoning that such moves would be divisive, that they would distract from the Democrats' momentum to take the White House in '08, that Bush had recently (?) won his last election, and so on. Of course these were real crimes, and the reasons not to prosecute may have as much to do with Pelosi's own role in the war industry. Pelosi couldn't really push against Bush over torture, etc. because she had been on an elite congressional committee – the House Intelligence Committee – during the Bush years in office which starting in 2003 was dedicated to making sure that torture could and would become normalized and entirely legal.

It seems Pelosi can't even go anywhere with this impeachment on Trump today, and therefore doesn't even really plan to submit it to the Senate for the next stage . The political stunt was pulled, a fireworks show consisting of one lonely rocket that sort of fizzled off out of sight.

Trump emerges unscathed, and more to the point, we are closer to the election and his base is even more energized. Pelosi spent the better part of three years inoculating the public against any significance being attached to any impeachment procedure. Pelosi cried wolf so many times, and Trump has made good on the opportunities handed to him to get his talking points in order and to condition his base to receive and process the scandals in such and such way. This wouldn't have been possible without Pelosi's help. Thanks in part to Pelosi and the DNC, Trump appears primed for re-election.

Trump energizes his base, and the DNC suppresses and disappoints theirs. That's where the election will be won or lost.

[Dec 24, 2019] Trumpian Rhetoric The Case of His Letter to Pelosi (and Foreshadowing 2020)

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

This may be a good time to pull on my yellow waters, and take a look at Trump's letter to Pelosi, since his letter is simultaneously a parting shot as the House votes impeachement, and -- assuming impeachment doesn't die in the House -- the opening gun not only for his trial in the Senate but for election 2020. Here is the letter ; if you have time, it's worth reading it to form your own opinions.

One tip to make reading Trump more tolerable is to hear him as a borscht belt comedian like Rodney Dangerfield or Henny Youngman. Clifford A. Rieders , who grew up with enduring memories of the borscht belt, commented in 2016:

The humorists spanned the spectrum from Yiddish-speaking Brooklynites to Midwestern Protestants. Each comedian had a shtick. What exactly is a shtick? A "shtick" was an approach, an act, a way of relating to people that could be funny, serious, entertaining or crass, but always memorable in some way. Donald Trump is surging in the polls because he has a shtick. He is very much like a borscht belt entertainer, memorable because of how he speaks and the way he presents himself, rather than his content. The experts will have to parse the substance of Trump's message, if any, but his entertainment value should not be underestimated. He is making people sit up and take notice, whether he is hated, loved, or whether he just makes people shrug their shoulders and giggle.

... ... ...

Even more amazingly, the Times leaves this passage, which occurs immediately before the passage they corrected, uncorrected:

Before the Impeachment Hoax, it was the Russian Witch Hunt. Against all evidence, and regardless of the truth, you and your deputies claimed that my campaign colluded with the Russians -- a grave, malicious, and slanderous lie, a falsehood like no other.

One must assume that the Times does not correct what it believes to be true. Therefore, RussiaGate -- which the Times assiduously propagated, to its great profit -- is "a grave, malicious, and slanderous lie"? Alrighty then.

Similarly:

What the Times is looking at is a blueprint for Trump's case to the voters in 2020. And yet the Times can find only two corrections to make? If I were a liberal Democrat, I would be very, very worried about 2020.

I'm not going to make an armchair diagnosis of Trump's mental state, or shoot fish in a barrel with factchecking. Rather, I'm going to look at Trump's letter through the lens of his schtick , or, using the seventy five-cent word, his rhetoric. (I will be the first to say that Trump is not a superb technician; for an analysis of an orator who is, see NC here on Julia Gillard .) First, I will show that Trump's letter falls naturally into two parts: His defense against the indictment, and his 2020 case against the fitness of Democrats to govern). Given that the text has such a structure, it's simply not tenable to call it an " unhinged rant ," which disposes of the first mainstream response. Nor it is especially useful to fact-check it, especially when the facts are so disputed[1], which disposes of the second. Unfortunately, I cannot annotate the entire six-page letter, but I will comment on the rhetoric used in each part. Now let's look at the two parts.

Here is the division point between the two parts. Using direct address (" inter se pugnantia "), Trump writes:

There is nothing I would rather do than stop referring to your party as the Do-Nothing Democrats. Unfortunately, I don't know that you will ever give me a chance to do so.

There are two reasons this paragraph marks a division. First, it's the first and only joke ( irony ). Second, it's the first use of one of Trump's favorite figures: paralipsis , here saying something while pretending that one does not wish to say it ("unfortunately," my sweet Aunt Fanny).

So, let us turn to the first part, Trump's defense. After some hyperbole about the Constitution , Trump addresses each claim in the House indictment in turn. On (1) "Abuse of Power," Trump responds that (A) "I had a totally innocent conversation with the President of Ukraine," (B) "You are turning a policy disagreement between two branches of government into an impeachable offense", (C) "you are trying to impeach me by falsely accusing me of doing what Joe Biden has admitted he actually did," and (D) "President Zelensky has repeatedly declared that I did nothing wrong." On (2), "Obstruction of Congress," Trump responds, (A) "if you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power," (B) "you have spent three straight years attempting to overturn the will of the American people and nullify their votes," (C) "Congressman Adam Schiff cheated and lied all the way up to the present day", and (D) "You and your party are desperate to distract," followed by the accomplishedments listed in the second Times "correction" above." I've lettered and numbered the responses because the structure is perfectly clear to those who are willing to look for it. (There is a minor Twitter controversy over whether Trump wrote the letter himself, but I would say he, like any President, has people for that. I think that Trump, for whatever reason, had a lot more input into part two, for reasons I will show.)

A second feature of the first part is that it's virtually devoid of rhetorical devices: Tricolon and anaphora are the only ones used frequently ("[1] no crimes, [2] no misdemeanors, and [3] no offenses"; "[1] you are violating your oaths of office, [2] you are breaking your allegiance to the Constitution, and [3] you are declaring open war on American Democracy"; "[1]misquoted, [2]mischaracterized, and [3]fraudulently misrepresented").

Now let's turn to the second part. Unlike the first part, it can't be represented with an outline structure. Indeed, it might be considered to be grist for Trump's improvisations and A/B testing on the trail. From my post describing Trump's visit to Bangor :

I want to focus on how [Trump] made [his] points: He didn't just emit them in bulleted-list form. Rather, he treated them as waypoints. He'd state the point, clearly and loudly, and then begin to move away from it in ever-widening circles, riffing jazzily on anecdotes, making jokes, introducing other talking points ("We're gonna build the wall"), introducing additional anecdotes, until finally popping the topical stack and circling back to the next waypoint, which he would then state, clearly and loudly; rinse, repeat. The political class considers or at least claims Trump's speeches are random and disorganized, but they aren't; any speech and debate person who's done improvisation knows what's going on.

You can just see Trump cutting up bits of part two, revising some, discarding others, re-arranging them, and so on.

The primary rhetorical device in the second part is tu quoque , colloquially "The pot calling the kettle black." Here it is combined with anaphora (and a dash of tricolon and alliteration ):

You are the ones interfering in America's elections. You are the ones subverting America's Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish [1] p ersonal, [2] p olitical, and [3]p p artisan gain.

And here Trump combines tu quoque with straight up [A] ad hominem plus [B] mesarchia , [C] tricolon, [D] hyperbole , and [E] ad populum . (I have to change the notating system for this one because the devices are so numerous and interlocked.)

Perhaps most insulting of all is [A]your false display of solemnity. You apparently have so little respect for the American People that you expect them to believe that [B] you are approaching this impeachment [C]somberly, reservedly, and reluctantly. [D]No intelligent person believes what you are saying. Since the moment I won the election, the Democrat Party has been possessed by Impeachment Fever. There is no reticence. This is not a somber affair. [B] You are making a mockery of impeachment and you are scarcely concealing [C]your hatred of me, of the Republican Party, and tens of millions of patriotic Americans. [E]The voters are wise, and they are seeing straight through this [C]empty, hollow, and dangerous game you are playing.

Now, tu quoque is indeed a logical fallacy with respect to claims . But is it a fallacy with respect to the right to govern, which is one way for Trump to structure the 2020 campaign?[1]

...A rhetorical analysis of Trump's letter shows that he will be a formidable opponent in 2020, and that he's crazy like a fox. Trump has form. His schtick has worked, and may well work again.


richard , December 23, 2019 at 6:49 pm

It will come as a great shock to the dem establishment, a shock i tell you, that the reporting they ignored coming from aaron mate and the other tinny (to their ears) voices to their left was the
revealed truth
and could be wielded like a mighty club against them by trump
only not in the people's interest, because of course not, he's a republican
but anyway, who could have known? /s

dcblogger , December 23, 2019 at 7:02 pm

as to Trump's charge of Do Nothing Democrats, the Democratic House has passed an entire agenda of good things that the Senate has not acted upon. Also, is there ANY evidence to suggest that African American unemployment is at an all time low? A favorite Trump technique is to issue an obviously false statement as if it were true.

KLG , December 23, 2019 at 7:57 pm

Uh huh.

As Sundance said to Butch, repeatedly: "You just keep thinkin' Butch. That's what you're good at."

marym , December 23, 2019 at 8:42 pm

Overall rate, and rates by ethnicity have been declining since 2011, so record or near record lows are recorded during the Trump years. YMMV as to how much Trump economic policies have contributed to and/or not impeded the trend.

Chart for 2003-2019:
https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/unemployment-rate-was-3-point-6-percent-in-october-2019.htm

dcblogger , December 23, 2019 at 9:03 pm

thanks

dcrane , December 23, 2019 at 9:11 pm

They have passed a few interesting bills. But how much time have they spent talking about those bills, and other issues on which they want to move ahead for the people? Compared to the media time sucked up by TrumpRussia, Impeachment, and the rest of the sh*tshow. I don't watch any TV news, but to judge from headlines and other coverage I'll guess very little.

Fred , December 23, 2019 at 7:05 pm

What a great idea for a fake video. Rodney Dangerfield doing Trump.

Synoia , December 23, 2019 at 8:33 pm

Better to have Homer Simpson's father do Trump.

martell , December 23, 2019 at 8:45 pm

Thanks for the analysis. I'm not sure that the bit about the false display of solemnity is an ad hominem. It seems to me that it would count as a fallacy if he were arguing that the case against him is flawed for the reason that those making that case are bad people (people who feign solemnity). But that's not how I read it.

I read it as an attempt to work up anger against his accusers. At one point in the Rhetoric, Aristotle claims that people become angry with someone when they think they have been slighted by that person. One way of slighting people is to take them for fools. This is an insult. If Trump were right and Democrats really were feigning solemnity while gleefully engaged in a narrowly self-interested effort to overturn an election, then Democrats would be taking voters for fools. Many voters would find this insulting. Also, Aristotle thought that angry people are moved to take revenge. This amounts to a desire to bring the insulting party low. Bringing low, in this case, would surely involve voting against Democrats, punishing them by keeping them out or throwing them out of high office.

I suppose, then, that this particular passage looks to me like good rhetoric as opposed to fallacious argument. Or at least partly good. He seems to know what he's doing where pathos is concerned.

TroyIA , December 23, 2019 at 9:01 pm

Lambert describes President Trump's style as schtick but another way is to consider it as a wrestling character named "President Trump." Remember President Trump was involved with the WWE and had the owners wife Linda McMahon in his cabinet and she is now running a pro-Trump super PAC.

Having grown up watching professional wrestling President Trump's campaign rallies are exactly like a wrestling show. He is playing a character and has to be quick thinking and able to ad-lib to manipulate the crowd's emotions. The crowd also has to become part of the show as well and overreact to signal to the performer (in this case who happens to be the President) they are engaged with the show. The baby face (Trump) is cheered loudly and the heels (Democrats/media) are booed in an exaggerated manner.

This character development and ad-libbing/a b testing is then always in use when dealing with the media and when tweeting. Since the President is a caricature his followers aren't bothered by his incorrect statements and when the Democrats/media point out his mis-statements it doesn't register because everyone knows wrestling is fake.

A rhetorical analysis of Trump's letter shows that he will be a formidable opponent in 2020, and that he's crazy like a fox.

Make America Great Again. Trump trademarked that saying 1 week after the 2012 election. He isn't crazy he's sly like a fox.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-patent-maga-2012/

chuck roast , December 23, 2019 at 9:30 pm

I've been around for a while and my attitude is that all of these "prexies", with the exception maybe of Ike, have been lying sacks of shit. Now while they all facilitated mass thievery by their friends and associates (as the mob would say), they could have at least had the good form to be funny. But no! They were all so earnest and sanctimonious. Kind of like my parish priest handing out the wafers.
I probably spent way too many hours warming various bar-stools next to a variety of knuckleheads, so I'm going to give Trump his due, OK? The guy has given me more chuckles, laughs, guffaws and all around hilarity than six decades worth of well dressed socio-paths. And as a bonus, a big bonus, he has greatly discomforted all of the smartest grifters in the room. Whenever I see the guy, Im in the Catskills.

Pym of Nantucket , December 23, 2019 at 9:31 pm

I am convinced that the Dems are not actually interested or focused on defeating Trump, or they would adopt an effective strategy. The question I keep wrestling with is, what is the point to the strategy that is so ineffective?

They are perhaps infiltrated by malicious actors, or positioning for something bigger? The clarity of the critique mentioned above by Aaron Mate to me isn't mysterious or difficult to find.

How about this:they are preparing for election 2024? I'm not joking.

David in Santa Cruz , December 23, 2019 at 10:41 pm

Rodney Dangerfield? Don Rickles? Our political culture has truly been debased by popular culture into a stand-up competition. Trump's base knows that he's channeling New Wave/Punk comedians Sam Kinison and Bobcat Goldthwait.

Whose schtick eventually erased Kinison and the Bobcat's out-of-control nihilism from the popular culture? The laid-back Jerry Seinfeld as written by Larry David -- yet another reason to support Bernie Sanders over the other wooden Dem contenders. Did you see the "debate" on SNL last weekend? Get them on a stage together and Bernie's schtick will slay Trump's

[Dec 23, 2019] Kabuki theate drama continues: The Senate will decide how we dispose of this sham created by the house by the house ," Graham tweeted, referring to the impasse created by Pelosi - who is refusing to transmit two articles of impeachment against President Trump until the Senate agrees to her terms.

Dec 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

If this continues into 2020, the Senate needs to strike back, standing up for our rights and ending this debacle.

-- Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 23, 2019

President Trump also had words for Pelosi on Monday after the Speaker called for "fairness" in a Senate trial.

"Pelosi gives us the most unfair trial in the history of the U.S. Congress, and now she is crying for fairness in the Senate, and breaking all rules while doing so," Trump tweeted, adding "She lost Congress once, she will do it again!"

Pelosi gives us the most unfair trial in the history of the U.S. Congress, and now she is crying for fairness in the Senate, and breaking all rules while doing so. She lost Congress once, she will do it again!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2019

Pelosi says she will only transmit the impeachment articles to the Senate after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announces the process they will use for Trump's trial.

[Dec 23, 2019] McConnell Pelosi will cave on her impeachment demands - WND

Dec 23, 2019 | www.wnd.com

The U.S. Senate trial for the Democratic Party's impeachment of President Donald Trump is in limbo.

It's because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, pressing the Senate to comply with her demands, has withheld the articles voted on by House Democrats.

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Some scholars, including a witness for the Democrats, believe the unprecedented move is unconstitutional.

After all, that Constitution states: "The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present."

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The Founders inserted no clause giving the House speaker authority to make such demands.

It's why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell believes Pelosi eventually will give up her power play.

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Fox News reported McConnell believes Pelosi "seems to think she can dictate the rules of a Senate impeachment trial."

McConnell, a Republican senator from Kentucky, said on "Fox & Friends," "She apparently believes she can tell us how to run the trial."

But that is "absurd," he said, saying she'll back down "sooner or later."

"We can't do anything until the speaker sends the papers over, so everybody enjoy the holidays," McConnell said.

The Fox report explained Pelosi was trying "to pressure the Senate to agree to certain terms for a trial."

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"She indicated the House would eventually send the articles over to the upper chamber but insisted it is up to the Senate to determine how the process develops going forward," the report said.

She doubled down on Monday, Fox News reported.

"The House cannot choose our impeachment managers until we know what sort of trial the Senate will conduct," Pelosi said. "President Trump blocked his own witnesses and documents from the House, and from the American people, on phony complaints about the House process. What is his excuse now?"

Pelosi was referring to the contempt of Congress article of impeachment. The White House argues it has the right to dispute any subpoenas for witnesses or documents and that such disputes should be resolved in court.

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McConnell has argued for following the precedent of the Clinton impeachment.

"You listen to the opening arguments, you have a written question period, and at that point, in the Clinton trial, we had a decision about which witnesses to call and, as you can imagine, that was a pretty partisan exercise, but we didn't let the partisan part of it keep us from getting started so all I'm doing is saying what was good for President Clinton is good for President Trump," McConnell said.

President Trump has been mocking Pelosi's delay in presenting the articles of impeachment to the Senate. He said the Senate can invalidate the articles if they're not delivered by a certain date.

The president said on Twitter: "Pelosi feels her phony impeachment HOAX is so pathetic she is afraid to present it to the Senate, which can set a date and put this whole SCAM into default if they refuse to show up! The Do Nothings are so bad for our Country!"

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McConnell previously dismissed claims by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has been lobbying for impeachment for months, that the senators overseeing the trial should be "impartial."

"Do you think Chuck Schumer is impartial? Do you think Elizabeth Warren is impartial? Bernie Sanders is impartial?" McConnell said.

"So let's quit the charade. This is a political exercise. All I'm asking of Schumer is that we treat Trump the same way we treated Clinton."

Schumer, contradicting himself, has claimed he could be an impartial juror in the Senate even though he's already claimed Trump is guilty.

[Dec 23, 2019] Two gangs are not that different: Bruce Fein, a former senior official in the Department of Justice and a constitutional scholar, has identified 12 impeachable offenses committed by Donald Trump. But, as he notes, many of these constitutional violations are not unique to the Trump administration. They have been normalized by Democratic and Republican administrations

Dec 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Dec 22 2019 4:41 utc | 40

Article from Chris Hedges on https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-end-of-the-rule-of-law/;

An excerpt;


"Bruce Fein, a former senior official in the Department of Justice and a constitutional scholar, has identified 12 impeachable offenses committed by Donald Trump. But, as he notes, many of these constitutional violations are not unique to the Trump administration. They have been normalized by Democratic and Republican administrations."


ben , Dec 22 2019 4:44 utc | 41

Bio on Bruce Fein;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Fein

uncle tungsten , Dec 22 2019 6:14 utc | 46
Impeachment blues: Can you believe the empire cant even manage a decent impeachment. There is a broad debate going on in the crazed land of U$A and it turns on this contradiction .

THIS empire is a lethal threat to our planet and they cock up all they touch. Can you believe they held an impeachment hearing in the House of Representatives and didn't have the accused present? They relied on a whistleblower that was prohibited to attend because he may be revealed yet everyone knew Ciaramella was the leaker (whistleblower) relying on hearsay evidence. There are no rules of natural justice in the U$A empire. Mendacity uber alles.

[Dec 23, 2019] Bannon Trump Impeachment Will Be Trial Of The Century

Notable quotes:
"... Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon pulled no punches in an interview with Fox Business Network's Trish Regan saying that the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will be the "trial of the century." ..."
"... Bannon said Republicans ought to "turn the tables" on Democrats and demand a full trial that will force it to go into the Democratic presidential primary. ..."
"... "I think you ought to demand a full trial, where to get witnesses -- and, hey, if it takes too long, it's the Democrats to force this constitutional crisis over the Christmas holidays. If this trial goes on for a month or two into the Democratic primary, that's a tough break for them. They're the ones that forced this. One of the reasons they forced it is their field is so weak going in there. Nobody cares. Like I said, witness protection program. Nobody cares about their debate. They're the ones that force this. " ..."
"... "... this is the managed decline of the United States. This is about the Washington consensus. The Washington Post published the Afghanistan papers last week. Two trillion dollars. 2,400 dead. Tens of thousands wounded. What's that? That's the inter-agency consensus in 18 years that betrayed our country. That's what betrayed our countries. With Brennan, that's what betrayed our country, not Donald Trump. Donald Trump has stood up. The reasons people cheer for him, it's their sons and daughters that have died in Afghanistan. It's their lives, their kids' lives being thrown away, and their tax dollars. " ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Having blasted the liberal elites earlier in the week for "not giving a f**k" about the average joe in America:

"Look, this is what drives me nuts about the left. All immigration is to flood the zone with cheap labour, and the reason is because the elites don't give a fuck about African Americans and the Hispanic working class . They don't care about the white working class either. You're just a commodity" .

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon pulled no punches in an interview with Fox Business Network's Trish Regan saying that the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will be the "trial of the century."

" I think this trial is going to be the trial of the century, a nd the mainstream media is going to be all over it," Bannon said.

"That's why I think it's so important not just for his legacy, but for his presidency and his second term. He's got to engage in this. He's got to take them on. He's got to have the whistleblower; we have to have the Bidens in front of the nation and the world. They're going to have to stand and deliver under oath. And we're going to get to the bottom of this . And I think that's going to lead to an exoneration, not just an acquittal, but an exoneration of President Trump."

Bannon said Republicans ought to "turn the tables" on Democrats and demand a full trial that will force it to go into the Democratic presidential primary.

"I think you ought to demand a full trial, where to get witnesses -- and, hey, if it takes too long, it's the Democrats to force this constitutional crisis over the Christmas holidays. If this trial goes on for a month or two into the Democratic primary, that's a tough break for them. They're the ones that forced this. One of the reasons they forced it is their field is so weak going in there. Nobody cares. Like I said, witness protection program. Nobody cares about their debate. They're the ones that force this. "

Bannon went on to reiterate his belief that Hillary Clinton will "inevitably" be the Democratic Presidential nominee... but will lose... again:

" Hillary Clinton comes in at the moment that she feels that she can step in to save the Democratic Party and try to convince people that a rematch with President Trump is the best way that they have to try to defeat President Trump," Bannon said.

"They won't beat him. Right now, there's nobody, including Hillary Clinton out there, that can beat Donald Trump. But they're going to get desperate here because look at tonight. Nobody cares about this debate, this debate's in Los Angeles."

Finally, the former strategist raged against "the Washington Consensus":

"... this is the managed decline of the United States. This is about the Washington consensus. The Washington Post published the Afghanistan papers last week. Two trillion dollars. 2,400 dead. Tens of thousands wounded. What's that? That's the inter-agency consensus in 18 years that betrayed our country. That's what betrayed our countries. With Brennan, that's what betrayed our country, not Donald Trump. Donald Trump has stood up. The reasons people cheer for him, it's their sons and daughters that have died in Afghanistan. It's their lives, their kids' lives being thrown away, and their tax dollars. "

And that, Bannon exclaimed, is why we need a trial in the Senate to expose the swamp.

"And they understand that Donald Trump is fighting that. That's why we need a trial, a real trial and Senate with witnesses. So, before the world, Donald Trump could get his day in court. "

https://www.youtube.com/embed/WLCaPOea-fE

Full Transcript:

Trish Regan: I do believe the president heard that she wants to run again from this show, from none other than Mr. Stephen Bannon here on set with me, who talked about Hillary Clinton getting back in potentially again. And also, you called Bloomberg as well. So, Bloomberg's in, is Hillary going to join?

Steve Bannon: I think it's inevitable. They had a poll out today that showed Biden at like 28, Bernie 21, Elizabeth Warren in the high teens. It looks like something that's going to get to a -- particularly with Super Tuesday, when Biden drops the nuclear weapon of his money on these in these big states. It's going to lead to a brokered convention. Hillary Clinton, I think, is going to come in when it's evident that none of the radical left of the Democratic Party can beat the President Trump --

[cross talk]

Steve Bannon: -- A brokered convention. I think Hillary Clinton comes in at the moment that she feels that she can step in to save the Democratic Party and try to convince people that a rematch with President Trump is the best way that they have to try to defeat President Trump. They won't beat him. Right now, there's nobody, including Hillary Clinton out there, that can beat Donald Trump. But they're going to get desperate here because look at tonight. Nobody cares about this debate, this debate's in Los Angeles.

Trish Regan : They should be watching you.

Steve Bannon: Well, I'm talking about on MSNBC and CNN and their networks. They're not they're not running around saying, this thing is great. They understand these people, not just are boring, it's not just about their star quality, it's what they're talking about is so off the mainstream, it's not connecting with people. And they're going to start getting desperate. Remember, their number one thing is that Donald Trump is an existential threat to the Democratic Party, to the established order and to the mainstream media, and they will do anything to take him down and destroy him. In particular, you saw last night what he's talking about to the people; hey, they're trying to come after you, they're trying to come after me to get to you. We are in this together. And he saw people respond to that. That response of that audience last night for two hours, that stood out for hours in, what, 15- or 17-degree cold is quite remarkable.

Trish Regan: What I find remarkable and, you know, we can say this is a couple Irishmen -- or Irishman and an Irishwoman. You think about traditional Democrats, right? And I think about my family and how my dad's family was, historically, big Irish Catholic family and you were a Democrat like you're Catholic. Like, it was part of your religion, right? And, you know, my -- and if you were lucky enough, you got a job in the union. And so, there was a feeling that you always voted blue, and that has changed.

Steve Bannon: Last night you saw that. He's connected with working class -- listen to this. It's the reason he won Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa. States they never thought we'd win again. And altogether because he went and he got, you know, Democrats, blue collar Democrats to vote for it and they believe in it. And they're seeing -- here's the thing they're seeing, the manifestation of his actions are making their lives better. You know, the Zogby poll today said that 53 percent of Democrats think that their party is spending too much time on impeachment instead of getting things done legislatively. It is so --

Trish Regan: And they got that right. And it's not just, you know, we talk about Irish Americans. I mean, I look at the African American population right now and you look at some of the poll numbers there. And he's doing extremely well in a way that you wouldn't really think he would with that particular population, given the media.

Steve Bannon: Well that's what the immigration policy -- remember everything was to make sure that wasn't more labor pressure on African Americans and Hispanics. That's why you seen the approval rate -- I think it's 34 percent of African Americans approve now by Pew, and 36 percent of Hispanics. Because you're seeing wages starting to rise. People -- unemployment's at historic lows, wages starting to rise. That's why I think it's so important, since they've smeared him in this process. He didn't get to call any witnesses in this trial. And I think this trial will be -- it's going to be the trial of the century, and the mainstream media is going to be all over it. That's why I think it's so important not just for his legacy, but for his presidency and his second term. He's got to engage in this. He's got to take them on. He's got to have the whistleblower; we have to have the Bidens in front of the nation and the world. They're going to have to stand and deliver under oath. And we're going to get to the bottom of this. And I think that's going to lead to an exoneration, not just an acquittal, but an exoneration of President Trump.

Trish Regan: The trial of the century. Wow. You know, a lot of people are worried, well, you get John Bolton. What is he going to do? What is John Bolton going to say? And what is this one going to say? What is that one going to say? What do you say to those concerns?

Steve Bannon: The president -- the call was perfect. He looked at everything that led up to it. This is why the American people heard him. And you just saw the bureaucrats that were in it that were testified. This is because that is the managed decline of the United States. This is about the Washington consensus. The Washington Post published the Afghanistan papers last week. Two trillion dollars. 2,400 dead. Tens of thousands wounded. What's that? That's the inter-agency consensus in 18 years that betrayed our country. That's what betrayed our countries. With Brennan, that's what betrayed our country, not Donald Trump. Donald Trump has stood up. The reasons people cheer for him, it's their sons and daughters that have died in Afghanistan. It's their lives, their kids' lives being thrown away, and their tax dollars. And they understand that Donald Trump is fighting that. That's why we need a trial, a real trial and Senate with witnesses. So, before the world, Donald Trump could get his day in court.

Trish Regan: And you call them all. Disruption, right? It is the decade of disruption, and you're one of the main disruptors there, according to The Wall Street Journal. In fact, one of the most powerful people here in Washington, the power players. Can we see that? So, you're in some pretty significant company, there Mr. Bannon.

Steve Bannon: Well, I got the disrupt look on President Trump. As President Trump says, I'm his top student and that's where the top student got for being the top student. I got my slot.

Trish Regan: Well, listen, we appreciate you being here tonight for that.

Steve Bannon: Thank you for having me, Trish.

Trish Regan: Very interesting insight, as always, Steve Bannon. I do want to point out to everyone they can listen to you every day. You can tune into a syndicated radio show and podcast on iTunes, War Room: Impeachment. Well, that's aptly named. It airs seven days a week. Forgive me, I was thinking weekdays. Seven days a week, you're on the case.

Steve Bannon: Got to do it. Thank you so much for having me.


Obi-jonKenobi , 2 hours ago link

Speaking of Steve Bannon, here's what he had to say about Trump and conspiracy theories he (Bannon) cooked up to distract the rubes and yahoos. From a review of Michael Wolff's book, Siege: Trump Under Fire:

" . . . Wolff’s guide, the major-domo of Trump’s 2016 campaign who became a White House adviser until he wasn’t, enjoys tweaking his former boss. Bannon volunteers that he helped concoct the story that the Mueller investigation was the demon spawn of the “deep state”, and says there was never much substance to it.

As Wolff tells it, “among the nimblest conspiracy provocateurs of the Trump age, Bannon spelled out the … narrative in powerful detail”. But then Bannon’s voice pierces his own self-generated din: “You do realize … that none of this is true.” Allow that one to sink in.

Wolff also has Bannon calling the Trump Organization a criminal enterprise and predicting its downfall : “This is where it isn’t a witch-hunt – even for the hardcore, this is where he turns into just a crooked business guy … Not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag.” Allow that to sink in, too.

Expect Bannon to be quoted by Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Nadler, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the eventual Democratic candidate. Also look for the Democratic National Committee to send chocolates to Bannon, once head of Breitbart and a partner in Cambridge Analytica, next Easter."

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/02/siege-review-michael-wolff-trump-fire-and-fury

Md4 , 2 hours ago link

Prog left power and ideology are what it’s all about:

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/12/22/study-immigration-redistribute-26-congressional-seats-blue-states-2020-election/

And this is a primary use of that power when they get it:

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/12/22/red-state-democrat-governors-approve-more-refugees-states/

Do we now see why removing them from all political power is existentially critical?

Idleproc , 3 hours ago link

Bannon is trying to save the now compromised and degenerated system throughout the West by reversing the trend line, the social basis for determining a self-reform is there but the opposing forces are those that manage real power.

[Dec 22, 2019] Key House Dem Raskin urges Pelosi to stand her ground against a 'farce' Senate trial by Michael Isikoff

Isikoff is a part of conspiracy to depose Trump. and it shows.
OK. Let's assume that will drag the trial all the January. Then what ?
If we believe polls it is amazing how brainwashed US public is: to assume that marionette government has any say in what to do is the upper level of naivety: " Removing Trump from office (a step beyond impeachment) had the support of just under half (49 percent) of registered voters in the Yahoo News/YouGov poll . On the factual basis for the two articles of impeachment, 53 percent of registered voters said Trump abused his power in demanding help from Ukraine; only 40 percent said he did not. Fifty-one percent said the president obstructed Congress; again, only 40 percent said he did not."
Notable quotes:
"... Michael Isikoff was involved with Clinton and the Russian Dossier. ..."
Dec 21, 2019 | news.yahoo.com

A House Democrat who played a key role in the impeachment of President Trump says the House should not "roll over" and quickly present the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a trial that would amount to a "farce."

"We're not going to participate in a process that makes a mockery out of the Constitution," said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a member of the House Judiciary Committee, who presented the panel's case for impeachment to the House Rules Committee. Raskin has been widely mentioned as a candidate to be one of the House managers to prosecute the case in an impeachment trial in the Senate. "We are not gonna roll over and say, yeah, you can give us some drive-through justice with one afternoon where everything is dealt with on a motion to dismiss and no evidence is heard.

"My position is that, so long as they do not make the most minimal provisions for a fair trial, then we should not participate in a farce."

Although Raskin emphasized he was speaking for himself, his comments on the Yahoo News "Skullduggery" podcast illustrate the competing pressures House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is under from her own caucus in the aftermath of the historic vote to impeach the president, which was supported by virtually all House Democrats -- and not a single Republican. Public opinion among registered voters shows a narrow (50-45) plurality favoring impeachment , according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.

After the passage of the two articles of impeachment on Wednesday evening -- one for abuse of power, the other for obstruction of Congress -- Pelosi has held off presenting them to the Senate, citing doubts that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will permit a "fair" trial. McConnell has said he will coordinate his efforts with the White House and has made up his mind not to vote for conviction. Removal of the president requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate, which Republicans control by a 53-47 margin.

Democrats led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are seeking testimony from key witnesses with firsthand knowledge of Trump's efforts to pressure the Ukrainian president to conduct investigations that could help him politically. Former national security adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney are among those he has said he would like to call.

Pelosi's move -- as the House adjourned for a two-week holiday break on Thursday -- has created a new layer of uncertainty over when, or even if, the Senate will actually try the president. Republicans have already jumped over Pelosi's tactics, accusing her of political gamesmanship that undermines the solemnity with which Democrats presented the case against the president.

But Raskin, one of the House's more progressive members, says it is McConnell's own comments -- vowing to work with White House lawyers to ensure the acquittal of the president -- that have made a mockery of impeachment.

"To say that you're not going to look at the evidence or the facts would get you disqualified from every jury pool in the United States of America," Raskin said. "If you were in a voir dire and the judge said to you, 'Will you pay attention to the facts? Will you pay attention to the evidence? Will you pay attention to the law?' and you say, 'No. I've already made up my mind,' you would be dismissed immediately."

Bolton, Mulvaney and Pompeo were blocked from appearing before the House during its impeachment hearings by a White House claim that any conversations they had with the president were shielded by executive privilege. Trump's defenders say the House could have tried to compel their testimony by subpoena. But the certainty that White House lawyers would have fought those subpoenas all the way up to the Supreme Court would have put off action until well into next year, Raskin said.

"It just takes a very long time."

Raskin acknowledged that impeachment by its nature is both a judicial and political process -- and that Pelosi's maneuvering is intended at least in part to put public heat on McConnell to accede to the demand for witnesses.

"We want the country to put serious pressure on the Senate to conduct the trial with seriousness," Raskin said. "And the polls show, for example, on the question of witnesses, that even though I think only 51 percent or 52 percent of the people are declaring themselves right now in favor of impeachment and removal, like 70 percent of the people are saying, 'Yes, the president should make all witnesses available.'"

Removing Trump from office (a step beyond impeachment) had the support of just under half (49 percent) of registered voters in the Yahoo News/YouGov poll . On the factual basis for the two articles of impeachment, 53 percent of registered voters said Trump abused his power in demanding help from Ukraine; only 40 percent said he did not. Fifty-one percent said the president obstructed Congress; again, only 40 percent said he did not.

How effective Pelosi's strategy will be is far from clear. While President Trump is seeking a quick Senate trial in January so he can proclaim vindication as he runs for reelection, McConnell has suggested he is happy to forget the whole thing. "Do you think this is leverage, to not send us something we'd rather not do?" he said to reporters this week. And with those words, noted New York Times reporter Carl Hulse, the Senate majority leader " cracked a broad smile outside the Senate chamber in a departure from his usual dour expression."

yesterday

Michael Isikoff was involved with Clinton and the Russian Dossier. ThisSkullduggeryGroup is another TokyoRoseYellowJournalistic attempt at presenting propagandist commentaries as news articles.

Isekoff has replaced Marrissa Mayer at Yawho News that's all.

There are many fake posters on the message boards. They are not really fellow U.S.Citizens and can easily be recognized by their one line insults that have nothing to do with debate and only to do with creating a hostile environment between so called liberals and so called conservatives who I prefer to call U.S.Citizens. Our differences are not that far apart but there are Globalist, Anarchist, and other forces in this country and outside of this country that would love to see our country collapse and that we also discard our Constitution and our freedoms protected under that document.

Cass Sunstein

ObolaCzar proposed government 'infiltrate' social network sitesCassSunstein wants agents to 'undermine' talk in chat rooms, message boards.

Published: 01/12/2012 at 10:56 PM

Just prior to his appointment as President Obama's so-called regulatory czar,CassSunstein wrote a lengthy academic paper suggesting the government should "infiltrate" social network websites, chat rooms and message boards.Such "cognitive infiltration,"Sunstein argued, should be used to enforce a U.S. government ban on "conspiracy theorizing."

Major Obama donor and former Google executive Marissa Mayer will take the helm at Yahoo! as the company's new CEO Tuesday In May, Neilsen listed theYahooABC NewsNetwork as the leading news site on the Web in the U.S., makingMayer the head of the largest news site on the Web.

She is also a major donor to both PresidentBarackObama and the DemocraticParty.According to the Center for ResponsivePolitics; in April 2011Mayer donated two separate amounts of $2,500 dollars to Obama, and one large sum of $30,800 to the Democratic National committee.

Data from political data firm Aristotle, as reported by the HuffingtonPost, reveals that, in the second quarter of 2011,Mayer also contributed $35,800 to Obama Victory Fund 2012.

Asked whether Mayer's political leanings would not affect the editorial direction ofYahoo!, Yahoo nor Mayer returned The DC's request for comment by the time of publication. [Full Disclosure:TheDCandYahoo! have an editorial partnership.]

[Dec 22, 2019] Warren, AOL, Pelosi and the Kabuki theater of Trump impeachment

Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Joe Well , December 21, 2019 at 11:03 am

Where is AOC in all this? She was the prime mover on impeachment, specifically impeachment over a phone call rather than concentration camps and genocide.

And now with impeachment she gave Pelosi cover to sell the country out again.

I was wondering why many libreral centrists were expreasing admiration for her, a socialist. Maybe they recognized something?

Yves Smith Post author , December 21, 2019 at 4:02 pm

"Prime mover"? What planet are you from? They were Schiff, Nadler, and Pelosi. Did you miss that Russiagate was in motion while AOC was still tending bar? AOC isn't even on any of the key committees (Judiciary and Intel).

Joe Well , December 21, 2019 at 4:47 pm

I shouldn't have said THE prime mover, but ONE OF the prime movers in the House in actually pushing it over the line against Pelosi's opposition. It seems like the House Dem consensus ever since Russiagate was just to tease their base with it and milk the suspense for all it was worth, until AOC, among others, rallied the base.

AOC is one of the highest-profile members of Congress and she blasted Pelosi for resisting impeachment since May. In September, she tweeted, " At this point, the bigger national scandal isn't the president's lawbreaking behavior – it is the Democratic Party's refusal to impeach him for it​. " "Lawbreaking behavior" is nice and vague, but in this case it seems like she is talking about the Ukraine phone call.

There were other reps who pushed for impeachment, but AOC has one of the biggest platforms and crucially, expanded popular support for impeachment outside the MSNBC crowd. So yes, a key figure in the political/PR effort to move from conspiracy theories to actual impeachment.

Geo , December 21, 2019 at 6:09 pm

"AOC is one of the highest-profile members of Congress and she blasted Pelosi for resisting impeachment since May."

Liz Warren is the one who made it a part of her campaign before anyone else. Rashida Tlaib was the one who made t-shirt with her "impeach the mf'er" quote on it. A lot of them were "blasting" Pelosi for dithering. AOC also "blasted" her for giving ICE more money and a lot of their things .

Your central focus on AOC for the impeachment fiasco while ignoring her active role in spotlighting so many other issues of importance which no one else speaks about is interesting. Did you catch any of her speaking at the Sanders rally in LA today? Any other "high profile" Dems pushing such important issues and campaigns?

Carey , December 21, 2019 at 7:13 pm

Thanks for this comment. I don't trust *any of them* except Sanders, but AOC has been making more good noises than bad, and to claim that it was she who's been driving Pelosi to impeachment is quite a stretch. Poor, helpless/hapless Rep. Pelosi sure.

Yves Smith Post author , December 21, 2019 at 9:15 pm

Pelosi has repeatedly stared down the progressives in the House. The overwhelming majority of the freshmen reps are what used to be called Blue Dogs, as in corporate Dems. AOC making noise on this issue would not move Pelosi any more than it has on other issues.

IMHO Pelosi didn't try to tamp down Russiagate, and that created expectations that Something Big would happen. Plus she lives in the California/blue cities bubble.

What Dem donors think matters to her way more than what AOC tweets about. If anything, Pelosi (secondarily, I sincerely doubt this would be a big issue in her calculus) would view impeachment as a way to reduce the attention recently given to progressive issues like single payer and student debt forgiveness.

[Dec 22, 2019] Dirty Nancy

Dec 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

blue peacock said in reply to vig... , 21 December 2019 at 11:53 AM

If there was anyone who should have been impeached, it was George Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and George Tenet, who was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom, for assisting Cheney in the Iraq WMD lies.

But...what did Nancy say then?

Nancy Pelosi: I Knew Bush Jr Was Lying About WMD To Start War, But Didn't See It As Impeachable

https://newspunch.com/nancy-pelosi-knew-bush-jr-lying-about-wmd-war-didnt-see-it-impeachable/

[Dec 22, 2019] The idea to delay Senate trial is too clever by half: Withholding the articles would allow the Senate to evade its constitutional duty

Pelosi procrastination means that the earliest plausible starting time for Donald Trump's Senate trial would be the second half of January.
Dec 22, 2019 | newrepublic.com

But there are multiple reasons not to delay a Senate trial past that window. The most common argument in favor of this tactic is that it would give Democrats some sort of leverage as the process moves beyond their control. "As a tactical matter, it could strengthen Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer's (D-N.Y.) hand in bargaining over trial rules with McConnell because of McConnell's and Trump's urgent desire to get this whole business behind them," Tribe argued earlier this week. House Democratic leaders have made similar suggestions in recent days.

The last three years suggest that the majority leader would be more than happy to keep running the Senate as a judicial-confirmation factory and a legislative graveyard.

This is unpersuasive for two reasons. First, it assumes that McConnell actually wants the Senate to hold an impeachment trial for Trump. The last three years suggest that the majority leader would be more than happy to keep running the Senate as a judicial-confirmation factory and a legislative graveyard. It's doubtful that any other Republican senators are thrilled about the prospect of acting as the president's jurors, either. Given the choice between holding a trial that could force vulnerable members of his caucus to make uncomfortable votes and not holding a trial at all, it seems more likely that McConnell would choose the latter. Second, it assumes that Trump also wants to, in Tribe's words, "get this whole business behind [him]." There's a certain logic to the proposition that Trump is eager to tell his supporters that he was acquitted in a Senate trial. But I doubt that eagerness outweighs his desire not to undermine his own case in said trial. After all, if Mulvaney or Bolton could give testimony that would exculpate Trump in the Ukraine scandal, the president would have frog-marched them to the House Intelligence Committee himself last month. (The idea that Trump truly cares about the separation of powers, as his lawyers argued when blocking those witnesses from testifying, is contradicted by the rest of his presidency.)

The other half of Tribe's argument is also unconvincing. In making the case for withholding the articles, he argues that it would vindicate higher civic and democratic ideals. "On a substantive level, [the House] would be justified to withhold going forward with a Senate trial," Tribe wrote. "Under the current circumstances, such a proceeding would fail to render a meaningful verdict of acquittal. It would also fail to inform the public, which has the right to know the truth about the conduct of its president."

[Dec 22, 2019] Nancy Pelosi's vineyard makes her fourth-richest Californian in congress.

Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Danny , December 21, 2019 at 9:38 pm

https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-richest-nancy-pelosi-vineyard-story.html

Nancy Pelosi's vineyard makes her fourth-richest Californian in congress.

And, it's a tax avoidance scam on top of that

[Dec 22, 2019] Right now, it's Schrodinger's impeachment

Notable quotes:
"... My paranoid fear is that Pelosi or McConnell might try to time the proceedings so as to take Bernie and Warren off the campaign trail at a crucial moment, helping Biden. ..."
"... Amfortas the hippie , December 21, 2019 at 5:40 pm ..."
"... that, and sucking the air out of the room for the primaries. When's super tuesday, again? surely they can engineer it so that their "high drama" coincides. ..."
"... "let's talk about universal material benefits" " ok, Vlad trying to distract us from whats really important " ..."
"... Hepativore , December 21, 2019 at 6:49 pm ..."
"... Happy winter Solstice, everyone! ..."
"... Anyway, the funny thing is, that Biden himself has said that he only wants to be a one-term president. It makes me wonder if he knows that he has neither the energy or presence of mind to hold the office, and that he is merely doing so because of establishment pressure to stop Sanders at all costs. ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves Smith Post author , December 21, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Please bone up on US procedure. It's not good to have you confuse readers.

The Senate can't do anything until the House passes a motion referring the impeachment to the Senate. The House ALSO needs to designate managers as part of that process.

Darthbobber , December 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm

Right now, it's Schrodinger's impeachment.

Joe Well , December 21, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Michael Tracey argued that it's only Senate rules that require that the House formally transmit the impeachment verdict. The Constitution says that the Senate has to try an impeached president, and the Constitution trumps the Senate's rules. Logically, then, the Senate could just modify its rules to try the president.

But the whole delay is weird and impeachment has only been done twice before, so not a lot of precedent.

My paranoid fear is that Pelosi or McConnell might try to time the proceedings so as to take Bernie and Warren off the campaign trail at a crucial moment, helping Biden.

Amfortas the hippie , December 21, 2019 at 5:40 pm

that, and sucking the air out of the room for the primaries. When's super tuesday, again? surely they can engineer it so that their "high drama" coincides.

"let's talk about universal material benefits" " ok, Vlad trying to distract us from whats really important "

Hepativore , December 21, 2019 at 6:49 pm

Happy winter Solstice, everyone!

Anyway, the funny thing is, that Biden himself has said that he only wants to be a one-term president. It makes me wonder if he knows that he has neither the energy or presence of mind to hold the office, and that he is merely doing so because of establishment pressure to stop Sanders at all costs. Plus, if the Democrats get the brokered convention they are after, he can bow out, satisfied that he helped the DNC protect the donor class from the Sanders threat.

https://invidio.us/watch?v=dpBEaFtkziY

[Dec 21, 2019] Democrats just gave Trump the greatest gift of all

Notable quotes:
"... If the impeachment in the House of Representatives was such a brilliant piece of work, why is Nancy Pelosi now reluctant to forward the articles of impeachment to the Senate? ..."
Dec 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

ScouseJohnny -> WTobiasJr , 19 Dec 2019 07:16

No. You have nailed it.

There are lots of dismal reasons why Trump will be elected, but the Democrats just gave him the greatest gift of all: the only thing he does well in the morbid circus that his administration/political life is campaign. He's useless at everything else. And he campaigns best when he's railing against something, and better still when he is campaigning as the victim of some perceived injustice, which he as a remarkable knack of convincing the audience is an injustice vested on them, too.

He'll romp home in November 2020.

HiramsMaxim , 19 Dec 2019 08:13
It feels like nothing because it is nothing. Democrats have been talking impeachment since the election. They have now accomplished that, in a strict Party line vote. (The previous two impeachments were not party-line votes.)

So, what will be the result?

In my opinion, this puts Trump in a better position running up to the Election. In the Spring, we will see the Republican party-line rejection of conviction in the Senate. And, they get the opportunity to call witnesses. Any one think they will not drag Biden up to the Hill to question?

Trump gets to claim martyrdom (the Right loves to be martyrs, just as the Left loves to be victims.) He gets to point at all this, and just as with the Mueller Report, crow that all the investigations turned up nothing illegal.

But, IMO, the big story is that Democrats just emptied their cannon. They have nothing left. And they wasted the shot.

There is no way that Donald Trump, a New York City real estate developer, has not broken multiple laws. I am a bit offended by the laziness of the Democrats, in that they did not do any work to investigate and accuse Trump of actual codified crimes. They impeached him over rather minor and confusing matters of opinion. And now Trump can claim that all those investigations yielded no actual law breaking.

Its a farce. A purely political, poorly directed farce. And, I am now almost certain that they have guaranteed us another 4 years of Donald Effing Trump.

cmouse , 19 Dec 2019 08:00
Its a bad mistake. Impeachment will be used exactly in the same way as Brexit was used as a means to gametheory Johnson back into 10 Downing St. You will be regarded as friend or foe, as the nation is utterly divided down the middle. Expect Trump and the Republicans to steamroller the next Presidential Election as the Democrats will be painted as dangerous, undemocratic , totally Anti American. What a truly depressing world we live in.
Fred Smith -> Kalumba , 19 Dec 2019 07:35
If the impeachment in the House of Representatives was such a brilliant piece of work, why is Nancy Pelosi now reluctant to forward the articles of impeachment to the Senate?

It appears that she has little confidence in the work and despite claiming that it was urgent that the process proceed as rapidly as possible, she is now dragging her feet. The American public was expressing reduced enthusiasm for impeachment as it progressed and now the Democrats won't even send the articles to the Senate. The will be hell to pay for this malfeasance at the voting booth in less than a year.

[Dec 21, 2019] Trump would wear such as badge of honour--in the sense he was attacked non-stop by what he calls "The Deep State" and survived.

Dec 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Truthdotcom -> Upjors , 19 Dec 2019 08:59

But it was totally partisan based what constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley called "non-crimes". Trump would wear such as badge of honour--in the sense he was attacked non-stop by what he calls "The Deep State" and survived.

He would also claim that the elitist bureaucracy in Washington tried to destroy a President who was for "We the People"--whom the elitist classes call "deplorables" and whom can even be smelt at Walmart.

OpenSociety , 19 Dec 2019 08:59
I was against the impeachment of Bill Clinton. At that time democrat supporters made pantomime protests by dressing as puritans and Mrs Clinton referred to the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy". The case for Trump impeachment is even weaker and unlike with Clinton there has been a lack of due process and no bipartisan support. Impeachment has now become the pursuit of politics by other means which is a bad precedent for the future.

But if you want to re-energise Trump's base, this is a good move.

Truthdotcom -> Kalumba , 19 Dec 2019 08:52
In the U.S. Schiff is seen as dishonest, a parody make-up trickster, a liar, etc. Pelosi is seen as intellectually feeble and somewhat ditzy. She was pushed onto the impeachment path by the hard Left of the Democratic party. An example of that is the words used by Democrat Rashida Tlaib to refer to Trump--a very vulgar "Impeach the mfer[abbreviation".
AndreiK -> Jonathan Stromberg , 19 Dec 2019 08:49
No they don't - I paste this from a CNN article:

'a new Gallup poll released Wednesday morning, before the House vote, which shows two things happening since House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, opened up a formal impeachment inquiry in October:

1) Trump's job approval rating has gone from 39% to 45%
2) Support for Trump's impeachment and removal has dipped from 52% to 46%.'

SolentBound , 19 Dec 2019 08:47
Tulsi Gabbard on Twitter a few minutes ago, explaining her refusal to vote:

"A house divided cannot stand. And today we are divided. Fragmentation and polarity are ripping our country apart. Today, I come before you to make a stand for the center, to appeal to all of you to bridge our differences and stand up for the American people. #StandWithTulsi"

According to the latest polls her support is about 2% nationally but higher in Iowa and New Hampshire. Will her supporters stick with her? If not, where do they go? Sanders?

stratplaya , 19 Dec 2019 08:39
It feels anti-climatic because it was purely political. Democrats have set a terrible precedent here. With no votes from the opposition party and cheers afterwards from the majority party, they proved the impeachment was just a laborious exercise in bold faced politics.

Now impeachment can be used whenever the roles are reversed and one party simply hates the president from the other party.

HarryFlashman -> tobiastertius , 19 Dec 2019 08:38
So it's ok to have half of the court made up of people who have stated from before he was elected they would impeach him, but wrong for him to have people in the court who are prepared to defend him?

You want a show trial in which only the prosecutors get to make their case?

Lost_Keys , 19 Dec 2019 08:34
This impeachment is at best a symbolic act of defiance with no consequences.

At worst, it's a cynical ploy by establishment Dems to keeps Sanders and Warren tied up in pointless Senate hearings, making it difficult for them to campaign for the election, and giving Grandpa Joe an easy ride. Might Sound a bit tinfoil-hatty, but they'll do just about anything to prevent meaningful change.

That being said, I also don't believe in the strange notion that this has somehow handed Trump reelection. Why? The only people enraged by this are his cult, and they'll show up anyway.

Sithan , 19 Dec 2019 08:16
Nahh... We Brazilians have additional reasons to celebrate Trump's Fake Impeachment because Dilma Rousseff was the victim of a Fake Impeachment sponsored by US Embassy in Brazil.
The self-destruction of the American political system sounds like music in my ears, as the motherfucker Americans helped a handful of bandits tear my vote. Fuck US very much.

And now the poor Jair Bolsonaro is crying for his ass. Each politician mourns the loss of his protector through his hole that it misses him, as we all say in Brazil.

PhilSophia , 19 Dec 2019 08:15
This will likely backfire. Regardless of the rights and wrongs.
It will entrench most of his supporters and it will turn some waverers agains the Democrats.
PaulieneM -> BaronVonAmericano , 19 Dec 2019 08:15
That's a different debate. And one in which everything is viewed trough a short term opportunistic myoptic lens. In some occasions that might be -accidentally - successful. But mostly short term opportunistic behaviour is strategically (long term) stupid.

I agree that it was not very smart for Trump and later republicans to focus on the Biden/Ukraine episode :-). I remember this cartoon with the one person covered in lots and lots of spots pointing at another person who had just the one small spot while crying out: 'look: you have a spot'. Whatever you think about rich offspring getting into high end schools and getting board positions (not a fan): the problem is a lot bigger on the republican side.

[Dec 21, 2019] Trump thinks that Pelosi after her death might not be accepted even to hell due to all her crimes

Two days ago, the President sent a fuck-you letter to Pelosi. And she deserved it. Dems have nothing to offer to electorate so they engages in those witch hunts. They derailed Tulsi, now they might face another four years of Trump.
Pelosi sponsored war of terror "completely democratized" more more then a million people and nobody was impeached for that.
Torquemada's subjects never endured such inhumane treatment as Trump in the hands of Pelosi ;-) But we should not forget that Pelosi sponsored war of terror "completely democratized" more more then a million people and nobody was impeached for that.
This Kabuki theater became more interesting: On 10th December 2019, Senator Mich McConnell (Republican Kentucky) publicly declared, &"I'm not impartial about this at all. I'm not an impartial juror. This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision."
Dec 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Smacht , 19 Dec 2019 09:04

America is a write-off. It was a terrible idea from the beginning. An empire? Now? Really? Not learning anything from the history books, eh? Ye need an American Union, asap, before ye destroy us all.

[Dec 21, 2019] 'Christianity Today' anti-Trump editorial is a sign of things to come - CNN

Dec 21, 2019 | www.cnn.com

... ... ...

Mark Galli, its current editor (who is leaving the publication in two weeks) takes on Trump directly -- a courageous move on his part, as his magazine has largely been apolitical. "The facts in this instance are unambiguous: the president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president's political opponents," Galli writes. He draws the obvious conclusion for Christians: "That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral." Galli goes further, digging into the behavior of the man in the Oval Office, noting that Trump "has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration." He gets specific: "He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals." As if that wasn't enough, Galli adds, "He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone -- with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders -- is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused." Galli's warning to Christians is clear. "To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: remember who you are and whom you serve," Galli writes. "Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump's immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don't reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come?" Galli also acknowledged Friday in an interview on CNN's "New Day" that his stand is unlikely to shake loose Trump's strong hold on this voter segment, a crucial portion of his political base. Galli's move is even more admirable when you consider that he published his editorial even knowing that, as he said in his interview, he's not optimistic that his editorial will alter Trump's support among white evangelicals. It's not a stretch to say that white evangelicals put Trump into office in 2016. About 80% of them voted for him. They did so because of the abortion issue, mostly. They wanted pro-life judges throughout the justice system. But this was a devil's bargain, at best. Faith could bring us together. But too often it divides us <img alt="Faith could bring us together. But too often it divides us" src="//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191121180252-20191121-fractured-states-religious-leaders-large-169.jpg"> Faith could bring us together. But too often it divides us Younger evangelicals, those under 45, have been slowly but steadily moving away from Trump during the past two years or so, unhappy about his example. A key topic that has driven them away is immigration. Loving your neighbor as yourself has always been a bedrock Christian value. And Trump's stance on immigrants (especially those of color) has upset the younger generation of evangelicals, with two-thirds of them saying in surveys that immigrants strengthen our country, bringing their work ethic and talents with them from Mexico or Central America or Syria. Climate change is another issue that has caught the imagination of younger evangelicals. "I can't love my neighbor if I'm not protecting the earth that sustains them and defending their rights to clean water, clean air, and a stable climate," Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, a national organizer for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, told Grist . Needless to say, Trump's contempt on this subject grates badly on these young Christians. Perhaps naively, Americans have always looked to the presidency for exemplary moral behavior, and when there are obvious personal or moral failures, as with Nixon and Clinton, there is disappointment, even anger. But if you're a Christian -- and I lay claim to this for myself -- you understand that it's human to fail at perfect behavior. There is always forgiveness. And, as T.S. Eliot wrote, "Humility is endless."

Humility lies at the heart of Christian behavior. As does honesty. In these, Trump has set a terrible example, and he's now been taken down for this by an important Christian voice. If only another 10 percent of evangelicals take this seriously, and I suspect they will, Donald J. Trump's presidency is destined for the ash heap of history.

[Dec 21, 2019] The debate reminds us that the only way to remove Trump from office is at the ballot box - The Washington Post

Dec 21, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

Delaying the Senate trial erodes the Democrats' argument that impeachment was so urgent that they could not wait for the courts to act on Trump's aggressive claims of privilege.

Seven Democratic presidential candidates who gathered on a debate stage in Los Angeles on Thursday represent another argument for moving beyond impeachment.

... ... ...

Washington is fixated on the daily turns of the impeachment saga, but polls indicate that most Americans are not. Business executive Andrew Yang pointed out that, even when the current president is gone, the struggles of many people will remain, particularly in parts of the country that helped elect Trump in 2016.

"We blasted away 4 million manufacturing jobs that were primarily based in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri. I just left Iowa -- we blasted 40,000 manufacturing jobs there," Yang said. "The more we act like Donald Trump is the cause of all our problems, the more Americans lose trust that we can actually see what's going on in our communities and solve those problems."

That is what voters are waiting to hear, and the sooner the better for Democrats.

[Dec 21, 2019] Impeachment is Already Backfiring on the Democrats

Dec 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has called for the Senate to subpoena four new witnesses that the House never heard. Nancy Pelosi signaled Wednesday night that she might not send over to the Senate the articles of impeachment the House had just approved.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor both Wednesday night and Thursday morning. To have the Senate, which is judge and jury of the impeachment charges, start calling witnesses whom House prosecutors failed to pursue "could set a nightmarish precedent."

Said McConnell, Schumer "would apparently like our chamber to do House Democrats' homework for them."

Schumer's plea for new witnesses is an admission that the House's case for impeaching Trump is inadequate and deficient and could prove wholly noncredible to the American people. After all, if you need more witnesses, you probably do not have the smoking gun.

The message sent by Pelosi's call for more time before the trial, and Schumer's call for more witnesses, is one of fear that not only could the House's case for impeachment fail, it could be laughed out of the Senate. And the American people might be fine with that.

The Democratic Party has bet the ranch on the impeachment and removal of Trump for imperiling our "national security." But are Schumer and Pelosi behaving as though the republic is in mortal peril?

Schumer's call for new witnesses also underscores the thinness of Article I of the impeachment, Trump's alleged "Abuse of Power."

Beneath Article I, there is not a single crime listed -- no treason, no bribery, no extortion, no high crimes.

What kind of impeachment is this, with not one crime from the list the Founding Fathers designated as impeachable acts?

Why did the Democratic House not impeach Trump for conspiring with Russia to steal the 2016 election? Answer: Congress could no more prove this charge than could Robert Mueller after two years.

Other events are breaking Trump's way.

The James Comey-FBI investigation Mueller inherited has begun to take on the aspect of a "deep state" conspiracy.

According to the Justice Department's IG Michael Horowitz, the FISA court warrants used to justify FBI spying were the products not only of incompetence but also of mendacity and possible criminality.

The "essential" evidence used by the FBI to get the FISA judge to approve warrants for surveillance was the Steele dossier.

An ex-British spy, Christopher Steele was working in mid-2016 for a dirt-diving operation commissioned by the DNC and Clinton campaign to go after Trump. His altarpiece, the dossier, we learn from Horowitz, was a farrago of fabrications, rumors, and lies fed to Steele by a Russian "sub-source."

In the four FBI submissions to the FISA courts for warrants to spy on Carter Page, there were "at least 17 significant errors or omissions."

And all 17 went against Team Trump.

Moreover, the discrediting of the Comey investigation has just begun. U.S. Attorney John Durham will report this spring or summer on his deeper and wider investigation into its roots.

As IG of Justice, Horowitz's investigation was confined to his department and the FBI. But Durham is looking into the involvement of U.S. and foreign intelligence in the first days of the FBI investigation.

Attorney General Bill Barr and Durham have both said that they do not share Horowitz's view that there was no political bias at the beginning of the investigation of the Trump campaign. Durham's writ is far wider than Horowitz's and he has the power to impanel grand juries and bring criminal indictments.

Among the fields Durham is plowing are reports that agents and assets of the FBI and CIA may have "set up" Trump foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos. Possible purpose: to feed him intel about Russia having dirt on Hillary Clinton, and then entrap him, put him in legal jeopardy, and turn him into an investigative instrument to be used against Trump.

With the Horowitz report confirming what the Trumpers have been reporting and saying about Comey's investigation for years, and the newly proven manipulation of the FISA courts, the media hooting about "right-wing conspiracy theories" seems to have been toned down.

Carter Page, once considered a dupe of the Russians, is now seen as a patriot who assisted his country's intelligence services only to be made a victim of injustice who saw his civil rights trampled upon by his own government.

The cards appear to be falling Trump's way.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

[Dec 21, 2019] Trump claim he has been subjected to worse treatment than that endured by people accused of witchcraft in the 17th century.

Dec 21, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

On Tuesday, Donald Trump showed that it is not only through the spoken word or his Twitter account that he is able to raise eyebrows, when he sent an angry and frequently bizarre letter to House speaker Nancy Pelosi .

The six-page missive was remarkable for a number of reasons, not least for Trump's claim he has been subjected to worse treatment than that endured by people accused of witchcraft in the 17th century.

Here are five highlights, or otherwise, from Trump's dispatch. 1) 'More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.'

Fourteen women and five men were hanged in colonial Massachusetts the late 1690s, for supposedly engaging in witchcraft. "Spectral evidence" was admissible in the trials – evidence where a witness had a dream, or apparition, which featured the alleged witch engaged in dark deeds. Spectral evidence is yet to feature in Trump's impeachment hearings.

2) 'You [Nancy Pelosi] are offending Americans of faith by continually saying: "I pray for the president," when you know this statement is not true, unless it is meant in a negative sense. It is a terrible thing you are doing, but you will have to live with it, not I!'

Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly said she prays for Donald Trump. In October, the House speaker said she was praying for his "health", after Trump had what she described as a "meltdown" during a meeting with Democratic leaders. It's not the first time she has claimed to be appealing to a higher power on Trump's behalf. It seems Trump doesn't like it. Or believe it.

3) 'There are not many people who could have taken the punishment inflicted during this period of time, and yet done so much for the success of America and its citizens.'

Trump's claims that he alone could withstand such rough treatment from his opponents rather fall down here – located as they are in a six-page ode to self-pity.

4) 'You view democracy as your enemy!'

This exclamation comes midway through the letter, after Trump claims the Democrats have developed "Trump Derangement Syndrome". Trump is not confident of the odds Democrats will recover from the malady: "You will never get over it!" he writes.

5) 'I write this letter to you for the purpose of history and to put my thoughts on a permanent and indelible record. 100 years from now, when people look back at this affair, I want them to understand it, and learn from it, so that it can never happen to another president again.'

There's a slightly self-satisfied air to the final paragraph of the letter, as if Trump feels he has delivered a piece of soaring oratory which will be pored over by scholars in years to come. At least here, in a sense, Trump is correct. People are unlikely to forget "this affair" – his presidency – for a long, long time and historians of the future will certainly examine this letter: just perhaps not in the way Trump would want them to.

[Dec 21, 2019] The impeachment in name only in suspended animation will be used as the Same Mullergate style main stream narrative to sway weak minded Americans and Voter fraud to get Trump in 2020

Dec 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Peter Smithhhh , 18 minutes ago link

Muellergate and biased MSM overcame weak minded Americans and apparently caused Pu$$y hatted evangelicals not to vote conservative in the 2018 Midterms. (If you believe there was no ballot, voting machine or illegal voter fraud.).....

On to 2019, where the impeachment in name only in suspended animation will be used as the Same Mullergate style main stream narrative to sway weak minded Americans and Voter fraud to get Trump in 2020.

You had better hope Trump wins, because all your republican gun registered names are on Google Databases. What do you think Hillary who invited NATO in during Bill's dalliance as President was for, A Tea Party ?

[Dec 21, 2019] Totally partisan impeachment based what constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley called "non-crimes as well as Schiff incompetence created huge problems for Pelosi: she can't send article impeachment to senate, and she can't sit on them indefinitely.

Essentially Pelosi wants to convert impeachment into second Mueller investigation, which brought her back to power inthe house.
Dec 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Truthdotcom -> Upjors , 19 Dec 2019 08:59

But it was totally partisan based what constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley called "non-crimes". Trump would wear such as badge of honour--in the sense he was attacked non-stop by what he calls "The Deep State" and survived.

He would also claim that the elitist bureaucracy in Washington tried to destroy a President who was for "We the People"--whom the elitist classes call "deplorables" and whom can even be smelt at Walmart.

[Dec 21, 2019] There is a difference between impeaching the President and removeing the President due to impeachment

Dec 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Adriana Pena 2 days ago

Like it or not, impeaching a President is a very significant moment. It only happened twice before, and came close a third. It IS an imporant occasion. And the principle is NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW. This is why the Founding Fathers put it in the Constitution. And the occasion impinged on one thing that the Founding Fathers dreaded most: a foreign nation involving itself in our electoral process. IT IS THAT SERIOUS
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Adriana Pena 2 days ago
Removing a president is a very significant moment, which isn't going to happen. Impeaching a president is just another TV show, which will be forgotten by the general public in a couple of years or so. Bubba's situation is only remembered in America and abroad due to Monica's salacious role. Ask the first person on the street what the actual accusations against Bubba were. Most won't even coherently explain what Donnie's current situation is about. And in neither case it will be their fault, because it is politicians who are to be fully blamed - Democrats are as inarticulate now as Republicans were then.

Regarding foreign ivolvements - you're a "little" bit too late to become concerned about that. Saudi and Israeli interests have already attained a permanent residency within America's political system, elections included.

Mike Haas Adriana Pena 2 days ago
Not anymore. If these silly Articles go forward, impeachment will go from a once-in-a generation crisis to a regular part of the partisan tool kit.

[Dec 21, 2019] Congress Isn't as Neutered as Democrats Want You to Think

Dec 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

... ... ...

But back in 2007, when Fein was working on impeaching President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, Pelosi said that impeachment was off the table completely.

So "long as they think their party has a chance to get the White House back they're eager to take Trump's usurpations and imitate them with executive orders of their own," Fein said.

Ultimately, according to Fein, both parties in Congress "have no concept of the separation of powers. It's all about loyalty to party. None of the Democrats did anything about Obama going to war illegally, the Snowden revelations, DACA. Democrats didn't complain at all about that. Republicans are exactly the same. There's no longer any loyalty to the oath of office. That's why the country's institutions are collapsing."

Nancy Pelosi is worried that impeachment will cost the Democrats their 2016 purple gains, and with it, her speaker's gavel.

Yet in the end, her political calculation may prove shortsighted. After all, her limp and rushed use of the House impeachment inquiry has unified Trump supporters, calcified executive overreach, and played directly into Trump's hands.

Kent TheSnark 4 days ago

Hence why impeachment is so rare. If evidence isn't so obvious that you have to rely on the President's own supporters to get at it, you probably shouldn't be trying to impeach in the first place. That's a political choice you have to make carefully.

I tend to think this is going to be a disaster for Democrats. The GOP-controlled Senate will spend all of its time asking questions about Biden and his son and then fully acquit, GOP voters will come out in force and rally around the President, and Democratic voters will be disillusioned and stay home.

I'd be happy to see Trump impeached for leaving our troops in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and the rest. But then I would have impeached Bush and Obama for the same.

[Dec 21, 2019] The Trump Campaign Promises Monitor has posted a month-by-month timeline of the impeachment inquiry, from the day Congress approved Ukrainian military aid to yesterday's impeachment vote.

Dec 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Raygiles 2 days ago

The Trump Campaign Promises Monitor has posted a month-by-month timeline of the impeachment inquiry, from the day Congress approved Ukrainian military aid to yesterday's impeachment vote. See Promise #50: Drain the Swamp/Topic #14 - Impeachment Inquiry @ http://trumpcampaignpromise...
Raygiles 4 days ago
With the House set to vote on two impeachment articles Wednesday, President Trump has broken his 2016 campaign promise to "drain the swamp." For a list of the 15 different ways President Trump has, in fact, failed to drain the swamp, see Promise #50 at the Trump Campaign Promises Monitor @ http://trumpcampaignpromise...

[Dec 21, 2019] If the plan was to sabotage Trump's second-term campaign, it seems to have backfired spectacularly

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "growing evidence that the public impeachment proceedings in the House against Trump may actually be helping him politically." ..."
"... "open war on American Democracy." ..."
"... the end of his six-page letter shows that he is fully aware of the Democrats' gambit, bringing it out in the open: he wrote it not because he expected them to see reason but "for the purpose of history" and to create a "permanent and indelible record." ..."
"... It is said that history is written by the winners. That's almost true. It is made by the winners, but written by the loud. Trump is a real-estate developer and reality TV star who talked his way into the White House against two major political dynasties – Clinton and Bush – and both the Republican and Democrat establishments; through a gauntlet of US intelligence agencies, as it turns out; and in the face of near-unanimous opposition from the media. ..."
"... So his impeachment is indeed a historic moment – just not in the way his enemies think. ..."
Dec 21, 2019 | astutenews.com

...If the plan was to sabotage Trump's second-term campaign, it seems to have backfired spectacularly. With every hearing before the Intelligence or Judiciary Committee, the public support for impeachment actually decreased. Even CNN was forced to admit the existence of "growing evidence that the public impeachment proceedings in the House against Trump may actually be helping him politically."

Indeed, what better way for Trump to solidify his bona fides as the populist outsider than to be impeached by the coastal elites and the Washington Swamp, in what amounted to a nakedly partisan process?

Definition of Impeachment (modern): A process by which the party out of power shows the world how they got that way. Happens most commonly right before a landslide reelection.

-- Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) December 18, 2019

...Trump never gets tired of pointing out the accomplishments of his administration: jobs, stock market growth, trade deals, etc. He did so again, in a scathing letter to Pelosi on Impeachment Eve, contrasting that to her party's "open war on American Democracy." However, the end of his six-page letter shows that he is fully aware of the Democrats' gambit, bringing it out in the open: he wrote it not because he expected them to see reason but "for the purpose of history" and to create a "permanent and indelible record."

It is said that history is written by the winners. That's almost true. It is made by the winners, but written by the loud. Trump is a real-estate developer and reality TV star who talked his way into the White House against two major political dynasties – Clinton and Bush – and both the Republican and Democrat establishments; through a gauntlet of US intelligence agencies, as it turns out; and in the face of near-unanimous opposition from the media.

So his impeachment is indeed a historic moment – just not in the way his enemies think.


By Nebojsa Malic
Source: RT

[Dec 20, 2019] Democrats have inadvertently supplied the template for undermining a future antiwar president by W. James Antle III

Dec 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

espite fond youthful memories of Bill Clinton/Kenneth Starr/Monica Lewinsky jokes on late-night television, my interest in the current impeachment saga can pretty much be summed up as follows: "Get back to me when they launch an impeachment inquiry over Yemen ." Watching the House vote along party lines to impeach President Donald Trump while barely stifling a yawn over the Afghanistan Papers does little to alter my skepticism about this constitutional crisis built for cable news.

Progressive commentator Michael Tracey offered this apt summary of Washington's bizarre priorities: "This last week teaches us that temporarily freezing and then unfreezing future military aid to one of our many far-flung client states is [a] huge national emergency but the government systematically lying about every aspect of the longest war in U.S. history is a forgettable non-issue."

Nobody will be impeached for lying about Afghanistan. There will be no intelligence community whistleblower setting in motion an impeachment inquiry over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In fact, the same Nancy Pelosi who ultimately caved to the Resistance shut down antiwar Democrats who wanted such hearings into George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. But here John Bolton, an advocate of preventive presidential war during this very administration, may finally get his wish of being greeted as a liberator .

Even as Representative Adam Schiff led the drive to impeach Trump, the California Democrat voted for a defense bill that lavishes the executive branch with money without restraining presidential war powers. But this seeming inconsistency is practically the point -- the entire impeachment inquiry was wrapped in hawkish assumptions and rhetoric as liberal Democrats unthinkingly stumbled into a Cold War 2.0 mindset that few of them this side of Hillary Clinton would have willingly embraced absent frequently overhyped Trump-Russia headlines dating back to the 2016 campaign.

No, Trump isn't Jesus Christ being handed over by Pontius Pilate. His phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wasn't " perfect " and neither side of this partisan morality tale has exactly covered itself in glory. Rudy Giuliani's escapades seem particularly likely to end badly. One need not even necessarily defend Trump's conduct to oppose an impeachment inquiry largely predicated on threat inflation. Arm Ukraine, Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan testified, so they can "fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here." She could have been starring in a Democratic reboot of Red Dawn decades after the Soviet Union disintegrated.

There's no question Trump to some extent dangled a White House visit and congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine before Kyiv in pursuit of the talking point that Joe Biden was under investigation. The only matters in dispute are how determined the effort was, whether Trump's motives were at least partially publicly spirited, the degree of the Bidens' shadiness, and why the aid was ultimately disbursed (Byron York makes the case that it wasn't necessarily because of the whistleblower).

House Democrats began with a presumption of corrupt intent on all counts and a definition of foreign election interference elastic enough to include Trump utterances about WikiLeaks and Hillary's deleted emails but not Ukraine's (smaller, less systematic and arguably less effective than Russia's) 2016 influence campaign . And while not all investigations are created equal -- if Hunter Biden's business dealings are to be probed, it should not be as a favor to any president -- the impeachment inquiry itself is an investigation of a political rival, who was also investigated during his previous campaign .

If shortcuts were taken in the beginning of the Trump-Russia investigation, the origins of Trump-Ukraine resemble a template for undermining any seriously antiwar or civil libertarian president. Trump is not that president himself, of course -- his acquiescence to the Beltway blob on lethal military aid is precisely what increased his leverage over Ukraine -- but some plausible and even the occasional Republican could be. Trump's mild rhetorical dissents on foreign policy are clearly a factor in why he has reason to be suspicious of his own subordinates (it's also why it is disingenuous to suggest that replacing Trump with Mike Pence is no different than replacing Bill Clinton with ideologically identical Al Gore or that people who have worked for Bush, Cheney or John McCain would have no reason to oppose Trump).

Many Democrats sincerely believed they were impeaching Trump for the least of his crimes, like Al Capone and tax evasion, and that Robert Mueller let him escape last time. They are also making a case against Trump's ability to separate personal and national interests in a way that speaks to his fitness for the office, with Ukraine merely being their specific example. But in doing so, they are also ratifying a bipartisan foreign policy consensus that has failed the American people, and that's bigger than any one president.

W. James Antle III is the editor of The American Conservative.

gdpbull7 hours ago

Giving military aid to foreign countries and spreading our military power across the globe is a threat to our national security. Our military spending is obscene. Its how all empires crumble, when they just can't give up control of the entire world. Time to retreat from the world-wide power projection insanity and restructure our strategy to provide true national defense.
Will Sherman7 hours ago
James isn't it possible that the Dems concern for Ukraine is perceived to be phony, in the same way people saw Republican's concern about Clinton's sex perjury as cynical. It could make voters more aware of our involvement in foreign conflict. Clinton was impeached for being awful to women, and now Trump, for whom PG does not mean parental guidance, is cruising toward reelection. Trump's been impeached for being a Dove, who knows we might get a Rand Paul isolationist within the next decade. Just a thought.

[Dec 20, 2019] Luongo: Pelosi's Coup Attempt Is Now Open Warfare, There Will Be Casualties

Dec 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Fri, 12/20/2019 - 09:00 0 SHARES

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

The Democrats declared war this week. Not on Donald Trump but on the United States and the Constitution.

What started as a coup to overturn the 2016 election has now morphed into a Civil War as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Fran-feces) presided over the passage of a bill which creates a clear Constitutional Crisis.

And that means we have multiple factions vying for control of our government, the definition of a Civil War.

In passing these articles of impeachment against President Trump Congress has arrogated to itself powers it does not have.

The first article asserts a motive to Trump's actions to invalidate his role as chief law enforcement officer for the country. It doesn't matter if you like him or any President having this power, he does have it.

Read that first article and then apply it to a country other than Ukraine where Trump didn't have 'probable cause' for investigation into corruption and malfeasance there.

That could be Abuse of Power.

But this happened in Ukraine where Trump clearly has probable cause.

The following is the scenario the first impeachment article is asserting as the basis for abuse of power, through ascribing political motives to the President:

One day President Trump wakes up and says, "Shit! Joe Biden's leading me in the polls. I need to do something about this."

So, Trump twirls his orange comb-over and calls up the Prime Minister of Armenia, a Russian ally, to whom we've pledged aid. Since it's a Russian ally and Trump may have colluded with the Russians, they would be a good candidate to help him.

But Joe Biden has no history of diplomacy or oversight in Armenia as Vice-President. There's no record of any contact of any kind with Biden in Armenia, for argument's sake.

Trump then, during the phone call, shakes down the Armenian PM for that aid, explicitly saying he must create dirt on Joe Biden or he would withhold appropriated aid funds to the country.

Then, after getting caught, Trump tries to hide the record of the phone call by hiding behind Executive Privilege.

That would be Abuse of Power and an impeachable offense. It would be regrettable but indefensible that the odious jackals in Congress were right to impeach him. They would, actually, be defending the Constitution and fully within their rights.

But, that's not what happened.

Biden was put in charge of Ukraine by President Obama. He had full discretion on policy towards Ukraine and was caught on tape bragging about doing exactly what the impeachment article is accusing Trump of doing. Shaking Ukraine down for favors in order to get $1 billion in aid.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/KCF9My1vBP4

Since the prosecutor who Biden had fired was investigating corruption into his son Hunter's involvement with Ukrainian gas company Burisma, this admission is pretty damning, showing clear personal motive to use his office to stop investigation into his family.

This is Abuse of Power. This is subjecting U.S. foreign policy to the whims of an elected official, squelching an investigation into his personal family, using the office for personal gain.

So, when viewed through this lens the first impeachment article is a complete lie. Trump didn't do the things asserted. The transcript of the phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky proves that.

Trump made the phone call public immediately.

The phone call and Trump's order to review the foreign aid were contemporaneous but not conditional. If you have a non-charitable view of the President it may raise some questions, but there was probable cause here.

Your opinions on Trump do not add up to High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

The implications of this impeachment article are, however, staggering.

It says explicitly that the U.S. president cannot discharge his duties as a law enforcement official if the person of interest is someone of the opposite party or a potential electoral opponent.

It says that probable cause is not a standard for investigation only political considerations.

That's a clear violation of Congress' role. Congress writes laws. The President executes them. If the Congress wants to assume law enforcement powers it should work to amend the Constitution.

This is a clear example of why impeachment is a political process not a legal one. But, if they are going to act this politically, at least they should put the veneer of legality on it. Even the equally odious Republicans who impeached Bill Clinton did that.

But in asserting this as an offence Congress seeks to place the Legislative Branch as superior to the Executive in matters of law enforcement and implementation.

That's a clear violation of the separation of powers. It may suck that the guy holding the Office of the Presidency is someone you don't like or not willing to turn a blind eye to corruption, but doing his job is not a 'high crime or misdemeanor.'

The second article is even worse. Because asserts the power to subpoena members of the Executive branch under the impeachment inquiry into the first article. And since Congress has sole authority over impeachment, no judicial review of its subpoena power can be made.

This is fully unconstitutional since it subverts the power of the Judicial branch to settle disputes between the Executive and Legislative branches as established by the Constitution.

Pelosi and company are broadening the definition of 'the sole power of impeachment' to say that whatever Congress deems as worthy of an impeachment inquiry is therefore law and the other branches have no say in the matter.

This is patent nonsense and wholly tyrannical.

Rod Rosenstein and Andrew Weismann tried to use an equally broad interpretation of 'obstruction of justice' to include future harm to continue the special council's investigation into Trump's alleged collusion with Russia.

Moreover it renders the concept of judicial review as laid down in Marbury vs. Madison null and void. Congress cannot just make up laws and crimes out of whole cloth and then unilaterally declare them constitutional under the rubric of impeachment.

The Supreme Court has the right to strike down bills Congress passes as unconstitutional.

This drives a massive wedge through the separation of powers in a blatant power grab by Pelosi and the Democratic House majority to protect themselves from Trump's investigations into their crimes surrounding events in Ukraine.

When viewed dispassionately, Obstruction of Congress is not a crime but rather a function of each of the other two branches of government. It's no better when the President hides behind Executive Orders to legislate unconstitutionally.

And it's even worse when the Supreme Court makes up laws from the bench rather than kick the ball back to Congress and start the process all over again.

That's what the whole three co-equal branches of government is supposed to mean.

Now, in practice I don't believe the three branches are equal, as the Judicial branch routinely oversteps its authority. But in this case if it does not step in immediately and defend itself from this Congress then the basic fabric of our government unravels overnight.

That the second impeachment article is directly dependent on the flawed (or non-existent) logic of the first impeachment article renders the whole thing simply laughable on the face of it.

I'm no legal scholar so when I can see how ridiculous these articles are then you know this has nothing to do with the law but everything to do with power.

And the reality is, as I discussed in my latest podcast , what this impeachment is really about is distracting and covering up the multiple layers of corruption in U.S. foreign and domestic policy stretching back decades. Many of the tendrils emanating from the events surrounding the FISA warrants improperly granted connect directly to the Clintons, Jeffrey Epstein, William Browder and the rape of Russia in the post-Soviet 90's.

We're talking an entire generation or more of U.S. officials and politicians implicated in some of the worst crimes of the past thirty years.

The stakes for these people are existential. This is why they are willing to risk a full-blown constitutional crisis and civil war to remove Trump from office.

They know he's angry at them now. This is personal as well as philosophical. Trump is a patriot, a narcissist and a gangster. That's a powerful combination of traits.

The polls are shifting his way on this as the average person knows this impeachment is pathetic. They are tired of the Democrats' games the same way British voters are over the arguments against Brexit.

So the old adage about killing the king come to mind. If Pelosi et.al. miss here, the retribution from Trump will be biblical.

The damage to the society is too great to argue irrelevancies. No one outside of the Beltway Bubble and the Crazies of the Resistance cares about what Trump did here. It's too arcane and most people are against giving a shithole like Ukraine taxpayer money in the first place.

The whole thing is a giant pile of loser turds steaming up the room and impeding getting any work done.

In the end We'll know if Trump has his ducks in a row in how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plays his cards versus Pelosi. If McConnell pussy-foots around and gives Pelosi anything on how the trial in the Senate is conducted then the fix is in and Trump is done.

But, if McConnell shuts this down then what comes next will be a righteous smackdown of Trump's political opponents that will make the phone call with Zelensky look like a routine call to Dominos' for a double pepperoni.

Either way, this coup attempt by Pelosi is now open warfare. There will be casualties.

* * *

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BugMan , 6 minutes ago link

Time for military tribunals

John Durham Is Investigating Former CIA Director John Brennan's Role in 2016 Election Interference and His LIES TO CONGRESS! (Video)

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/12/breaking-big-john-durham-is-investigating-former-cia-directors-role-in-russia-collusion-hoax-and-his-lies-to-congress-video/

Obama the most corrupt President in our history

wdg , 28 minutes ago link

The inescapable truth is that Trump has 1) not delivered on his 2016 promises, and 2) has surrounded himself with some of the vilest NeoCon scum on the planet. If he was a true patriot, as he claimed during the 2016 election campaign, why would he not honor his promises and surround himself with certifiable gangsters? It raises an important question. Is trump controlled opposition who was installed as president to undermine and neutralize true conservatives and patriots? His actions and deeds since becoming president would support this interpretation.

If true, then the Democratic Party impeachment is little more than kabuki theater that provides cover for Trump while ensuring his election in 2020 when all hell breaks loose as the bubble or fake economy built on debt and counterfeit money crashes.

Patriotic and true conservative Americans according to this scenario are being setup up as the fall guys to take the blame for the Greater Depression instead of the real culprits which are the Fed and banksters on Wall Street.

Trump appears to be playing the role of Hoover who during the 1930s Great Depression paved the way for Roosevelt and the Marxist New Deal which was imposed on an unsuspecting American people struggling to survive during a depression created for them by the Fed. The words of Franklin Roosevelt speak for themselves.

"In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way."

- Franklin D. Roosevelt

wdg , 15 minutes ago link

He won't be removed from office but the brainwashed Trumpeteers and satanic "Christian" Zionists will be riled enough to elect him in 2020...all part of the grand plan.

https://chuckbaldwinlive.com/Articles/tabid/109/ID/3963/Trumps-Abominable-Reprehensible-And-Downright-Tyrannical-Executive-Order.aspx

Trump's Abominable, Reprehensible And Downright Tyrannical Executive Order

Published: Thursday, December 19, 2019

Download free computerized mp3 audio file of this column

I'll make this column short and to the point.

Trump's executive order -- deceptively called "An Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism" -- issued this past week, will empower the federal Department of Education to withhold funding to college campuses that do not squash anti-Israel rhetoric. In other words, it is now official government policy to deny college students and faculty members their Natural and constitutional right to criticize -- especially and primarily if they criticize any and all things Israel. This will also doubtless include speech that supports Palestinian rights.

Trump also declared that the religion of Judaism is a nationality or ethnicity and is beyond criticism. Can you imagine the outcry if he had declared Christianity to be a nationality?

Plus, by issuing this Executive Order, Donald Trump has made every Christian and non-*** in the United States a second-class citizen. But don't expect Robert Jeffress and his gaggle of Christian Zionists to figure that out.

I have said repeatedly that Donald Trump is America's first Zionist president. And Trump's actions continue to prove that statement true.

pmc , 27 minutes ago link

As I wrote in another article this impeachment circus may very well be a Zionist ploy to keep people thinking Trump is anti deep state, like the QAnon psyop.

He may be anti globalist but not deep state. Well in any case if the Dems don't send the impeachment to the Senate then this is just a mock trial for appearances sake only. And the fact Pelosi balked yesterday strengthens that possibility!

udopia , 28 minutes ago link

The Constitution is itself a farce and a mask for the exercise of power. How does one interpret "general welfare"? To whom do you petition for the transgressions of "rights"? Is it not a branch of the same government? We are not in the same situation as the colonists of the 13 colonies. The enemy is not separated by an ocean. The political decline and conflict questioned in this article is a result of the economic decline worldwide. Prepare for what comes after the USA and don't dwell on legal trivialities within.

ExposeThem511 , 12 minutes ago link

There are very few Christians, in truth. Professing to be Christian means nothing if you don't believe every word from the mouth of Yahweh. The judeo-christian churches are the great apostasy.

beepbop , 30 minutes ago link

There will be casualties.

Hahahaha!

Here are the casualties.

Trump...

1. Concocted an illegal coup d'etat in Bolivia (and Pelosi returned the favor - lol)

2. Kidnapped a Huawei executive and an Iranian scientist

3. Set Hong Kong on fire

4. Stole an Iranian tanker

5. Stole a Venezuelan ship full of foods

6. Stole the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights for the FAKE HEBREWS

7. Kept all illegal wars in the Middle East going for APARTHEID Israhell

8. Faked Epstein's death who's now living comfortably in Apartheid Israhell

9. Loved the Swamp so much he failed to drain it

10. Loved the Deep State so much he failed to dismantle it

[Dec 20, 2019] Here is why Tulsi voted as she did

Dec 20, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Tulsi voted present and here is why she did that.

"I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing," she said. "I also could not in good conscience vote for impeachment because removal of a sitting President must not be the culmination of a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country."

A censure would "send a strong message to this president and future presidents that their abuses of power will not go unchecked, while leaving the question of removing Trump from office to the voters to decide," Gabbard said.

[Dec 20, 2019] Imperial Tool Pelosi Falsely Links Russia to Ukrainegate by Stephen Lendman

The fact that the 'whistleblower' is a CIA officer who has since returned to active duty at the agency isn't lost on Mr. Trump's supporters.
"The CIA was the central protagonist in Russiagate. The origins of the New Cold War are found in Bill Clinton's first term, when administration neo-cons looted, plundered and moved NATO against a prostrate Russia in contradiction to explicit guarantees not to do so made by the George H.W. Bush administration. Vladimir Putin's apparent crime was to oust the Clintonites from Russia and restore Russian sovereignty." CounterPunch.org
"Russiagate was a declaration of war by the 'intelligence community' against a duly elected President. As argued below, the CIA's motive is to move its own foreign policy agenda forward without even the illusion of democratic consent." CounterPunch.org
Notable quotes:
"... Actions in the Washington cesspool never surprise -- by members of both right wing of the US war party. They represent the greatest threat to world peace and ordinary people everywhere at home and abroad. Pro-war, pro-business, pro-Wall Street, anti-progressive Speaker Pelosi is part of the problem, never part of the solution. ..."
Sep 29, 2019 | stephenlendman.org

by Stephen Lendman ( stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman )

Actions in the Washington cesspool never surprise -- by members of both right wing of the US war party. They represent the greatest threat to world peace and ordinary people everywhere at home and abroad. Pro-war, pro-business, pro-Wall Street, anti-progressive Speaker Pelosi is part of the problem, never part of the solution.

Her long disturbing congressional record shows she exclusively serves wealth and power interests at the expense of the vast majority of Americans she disdains, proving it time and again.

Her deplorable voting record speaks for itself, backing:

  1. the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Blily Act repeal of Glass-Steagall, permitting some of the most egregious financial abuses in the modern era;
  2. the September 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), permitting endless wars of aggression in multiple theaters, raging endlessly;
  3. annual National Defense Authorization Acts and US wars of aggression;
  4. Obama's neoliberal harshness, continuing under Trump, along with tax cuts for the rich, benefitting her and her husband enormously, without admitting it;
  5. increasingly unaffordable marketplace medicine, ripping off consumers for profit, leaving millions uninsured, most Americans way underinsured;
  6. the USA Patriot Act, Anti-Terrorism Act and other police state law;
  7. the 9/11 whitewash Commission Recommendation Act;
  8. the FISA Amendments Act -- permitting warrantless spying post-9/11, Big Brother watching everyone;
  9. NAFTA and other anti-consumer/corporate coup d'etat trade bills;
  10. the repressive US gulag prison system, the world's largest by far; incarcerating millions by federal, state, and local authorities, it includes global torture prisons;
  11. unapologetic support for Israeli apartheid viciousness;
  12. fierce opposition to Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, North Korea, and other nonbelligerent sovereign states threatening no one;
  13. the Russiagate witch hunt and Ukrainegate scams.

Calling exploitive/predatory "free market (capitalism) our greatest asset" shows her contempt for equity and justice.

Her support for the military, industrial, security, media complex is all about backing endless wars of aggression against invented enemies. No real ones exist.

Pelosi represents what belligerent, plutocratic, oligarchic, increasingly totalitarian rule is all about, notably contemptuous of nations on the US target list for regime change -- Russia, China and Iran topping the list.

On Friday, she falsely accused Russia of involvement in Ukrainegate, a failed Russiagate scam spinoff with no legitimacy, supported by undemocratic Dems and their echo-chamber media.

Repeating the long ago debunked Russian US election meddling Big Lie that won't die, she falsely accused Moscow of "ha(ving) a hand in this."

Referring to the Ukrainegate scam, she offered no evidence backing her accusation because none exists.

During a Friday press conference on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Sergey Lavrov slammed Pelosi's Big Lie, saying:

"Russia's been accused of all the deadly sins, and then some. It's paranoia, and I think it's obvious to everyone."

It's unacceptable anti-Russia hate-mongering, what goes on endlessly, Cold War 2.0 raging.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the following on her facebook page:

"Speaker of the lower house of Congress Nancy Pelosi believes that Russia is involved in the scandal over July telephone conversation between us and Ukraine Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Zelensky."

"This (baseless) assumption was made on Friday Pelosi (not) explaining what it means, and without providing evidence of her words."

"Considering that it was Nancy Pelosi who caused the 'Scandal around the telephone conversation between the presidents of the United States and Ukraine,' then, according to the speaker's logic, Russia attached the hand to her."

What's going on is continuation of the most shameful political chapter in US history, ongoing since Trump took office, along with railroading Richard Nixon.

Both episodes represent McCarthyism on steroids – supported by establishment media, furious about Trump's triumph over Hillary, targeting him largely for the wrong reasons, ignoring plenty of right ones.

Mueller's probe ended with a whimper, not the bang Dems wanted, Ukrainegate their second bite of the apple to try discrediting Trump for political advantage ahead of November 2020 elections.

That's what Russiagate and Ukrainegate are all about.

These actions by undemocratic Dems and their media press agents are further clear proof that Washington's deeply corrupted political system to its rotten core is far too debauched to fix.

VISIT MY NEW WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org ( Home – Stephen Lendman ). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net .

[Dec 20, 2019] House-Senate Impeachment Impasse Would Mean Trump Wasn't Impeached At All Harvard Law Prof

If impeachment trial in the House was conducted due to "eminent danger" pretext, this disqualifies the whole trial.
In Selate Republicans just wait, Pelosi will fall into her own mousetrap.
Dec 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

While Nancy Pelosi threatens to withhold articles of impeachment passed Wednesday night by the House, Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman says that President Trump isn't technically impeached until the House actually transmits the articles to the Senate. Feldman, who testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment proceedings earlier this month, argues in a Bloomberg Op-Ed that the framers' definition of impeachment "assumed that impeachment was a process, not just a House vote," and that " Strictly speaking, "impeachment" occurred – and occurs -- when the articles of impeachment are presented to the Senate for trial. And at that point, the Senate is obliged by the Constitution to hold a trial ."

If the House does not communicate its impeachment to the Senate, it hasn't actually impeached the president . If the articles are not transmitted, Trump could legitimately say that he wasn't truly impeached at all.

That's because "impeachment" under the Constitution means the House sending its approved articles of to the Senate, with House managers standing up in the Senate and saying the president is impeached.

As for the headlines we saw after the House vote saying, "TRUMP IMPEACHED," those are a media shorthand, not a technically correct legal statement . So far, the House has voted to impeach (future tense) Trump. He isn't impeached (past tense) until the articles go to the Senate and the House members deliver the message . -Noah Feldman

Pelosi, meanwhile, won't transmit the articles until the Senate holds what she considers a "fair" trial.

Roughly modeled after England's impeachment procedures, the framers in Article I of the constitution gave the House "the sole power of impeachment," while giving the Senate "the sole power to try all impeachments."

Article II outlines says the president "shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

There's more:

But we can say with some confidence that only the Senate is empowered to judge the fairness of its own trial – that's what the "sole power to try all impeachments" means.

If the House votes to "impeach" but doesn't send the articles to the Senate or send impeachment managers there to carry its message, it hasn't directly violated the text of the Constitution. But the House would be acting against the implicit logic of the Constitution's description of impeachment.

A president who has been genuinely impeached must constitutionally have the opportunity to defend himself before the Senate . That's built into the constitutional logic of impeachment, which demands a trial before removal.

To be sure, if the House just never sends its articles of impeachment to the Senate, there can be no trial there . That's what the "sole power to impeach" means.

In closing, Feldman says " if the House never sends the articles, then Trump could say with strong justification that he was never actually impeached ," adding "And that's probably not the message Congressional Democrats are hoping to send."


GreatUncle , 7 minutes ago link

"the Senate is obliged by the Constitution to hold a trial."

Until then it is all ******** and then any in this can then be put on the stand and made to testify under oath.

For sure Schiff and Pelosi should be called.

Pernicious Gold Phallusy , 12 minutes ago link

In times past the Senate would have guarded its power against the House. I'm guessing the Democrat Senators thinks party is more important than all that.

truthalwayswinsout , 19 minutes ago link

This pansy has no standing about anything related to impeachment.

He has not made any academic studies on the topic nor did he even take the time to prepare for his biased and totally ridiculous testimony in the "impeachment."

It is all part of our lesson from this event.

Schiff is a graduate of Harvard. And this pansy teaches at Harvard.

The lesson to take away from all this is never ever hire anyone from Harvard nor to believe anything from them because they are not educated they are indoctrinated.

DJ the Tax Man , 29 minutes ago link

The Dem's Ultimate goal

Think about it people CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, all in lock step with the Democratic Party no objective reporting at all anymore. These national media outlets and the Democratic Party continue to publish and propagate false and fake new stories and never retract them or admit it was all pure fiction.

Why, we have to ask why? Because they deem the American public not smart enough to think for themselves. If the truth does not fit the pre-determined narrative it is buried or covered-up by the national media. Their position is you will think do and say as we tell you, since you're just not smart enough to think for yourself or decide for yourself on how you want to live your own lives. We know what's best for you. The self-appointed Elite and the Dems on both Coasts deem all of us in the flyover states not smart enough to vote for a President, You're just not smart enough to raise your children and teach your kids as you deem fit, you should not be allowed to worship as you desire or own guns, you're just not smart enough to control and manage your retirement savings. They desire to eliminate the Electoral College so your vote is eliminated. Trump scares the hell out of them because they see their money pot being taken away from them and their ill-conceived control over our Country slipping away. They have looted and pillaged this country for decades and built a lavish lifestyle using your hard earned tax dollars. The area around Washington DC is not the richest area in America by accident.

What have the Democrat party done for the citizens of the US the last 3 years or the last 20 years for that matter. Do you think their impeachment push and the attacks for the last 3 years are because they have the American people's best interest at heart? Think again. They care absolutely nothing about the American people and have one goal and one goal only and that is to control every single aspect of your life. They will try and seize every bit of your retirement savings through taxes and fees for their own enrichment. They will sell out America at every turn only to enrich themselves. If they ever regain power they will unleash unimaginable carnage on America and you are all regardless of your political party Fodder for their fire.

A vote for any Democrat is a vote for your own and our Country's demise.

[Dec 20, 2019] Letter from President Donald J. Trump to the Speaker of the House of Representatives

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... You are turning a policy disagreement between two branches of government into an impeachable offense -- it is no more legitimate than the Executive Branch charging members of Congress with crimes for the lawful exercise of legislative power. ..."
"... You know full well that Vice President Biden used his office and $1 billion dollars of U.S. aid money to coerce Ukraine into firing the prosecutor who was digging into the company paying his son millions of dollars. You know this because Biden bragged about it on video. Biden openly stated: "I said, 'I'm telling you, you're not getting the billion dollars' I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money.' Well, son of a bitch. He got fired." Even Joe Biden admitted just days ago in an interview with NPR that it "looked bad." Now you are trying to impeach me by falsely accusing me of doing what Joe Biden has admitted he actually did. ..."
"... This is nothing more than an illegal, partisan attempted coup that will, based on recent sentiment, badly fail at the voting booth. You are not just after me, as President, you are after the entire Republican Party. But because of this colossal injustice, our party is more united than it has ever been before. History will judge you harshly as you proceed with this impeachment charade. Your legacy will be that of turning the House of Representatives from a revered legislative body into a Star Chamber of partisan persecution. ..."
Dec 17, 2019 | www.whitehouse.gov

Law & Justice

Issued on: December 17, 2019


The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Madam Speaker:

I write to express my strongest and most powerful protest against the partisan impeachment crusade being pursued by the Democrats in the House of Representatives. This impeachment represents an unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power by Democrat Lawmakers, unequaled in nearly two and a half centuries of American legislative history.

The Articles of Impeachment introduced by the House Judiciary Committee are not recognizable under any standard of Constitutional theory, interpretation, or jurisprudence. They include no crimes, no misdemeanors, and no offenses whatsoever. You have cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!

By proceeding with your invalid impeachment, you are violating your oaths of office, you are breaking your allegiance to the Constitution, and you are declaring open war on American Democracy. You dare to invoke the Founding Fathers in pursuit of this election-nullification scheme -- yet your spiteful actions display unfettered contempt for America's founding and your egregious conduct threatens to destroy that which our Founders pledged their very lives to build. Even worse than offending the Founding Fathers, you are offending Americans of faith by continually saying "I pray for the President," when you know this statement is not true, unless it is meant in a negative sense. It is a terrible thing you are doing, but you will have to live with it, not I!

Your first claim, "Abuse of Power," is a completely disingenuous, meritless, and baseless invention of your imagination. You know that I had a totally innocent conversation with the President of Ukraine. I then had a second conversation that has been misquoted, mischaracterized, and fraudulently misrepresented. Fortunately, there was a transcript of the conversation taken, and you know from the transcript (which was immediately made available) that the paragraph in question was perfect. I said to President Zelensky: "I would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it." I said do us a favor, not me , and our country , not a campaign. I then mentioned the Attorney General of the United States. Every time I talk with a foreign leader, I put America's interests first, just as I did with President Zelensky.

You are turning a policy disagreement between two branches of government into an impeachable offense -- it is no more legitimate than the Executive Branch charging members of Congress with crimes for the lawful exercise of legislative power.

You know full well that Vice President Biden used his office and $1 billion dollars of U.S. aid money to coerce Ukraine into firing the prosecutor who was digging into the company paying his son millions of dollars. You know this because Biden bragged about it on video. Biden openly stated: "I said, 'I'm telling you, you're not getting the billion dollars' I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money.' Well, son of a bitch. He got fired." Even Joe Biden admitted just days ago in an interview with NPR that it "looked bad." Now you are trying to impeach me by falsely accusing me of doing what Joe Biden has admitted he actually did.

President Zelensky has repeatedly declared that I did nothing wrong, and that there was No Pressure. He further emphasized that it was a "good phone call," that "I don't feel pressure," and explicitly stressed that "nobody pushed me." The Ukrainian Foreign Minister stated very clearly: "I have never seen a direct link between investigations and security assistance." He also said there was "No Pressure." Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, a supporter of Ukraine who met privately with President Zelensky, has said: "At no time during this meeting was there any mention by Zelensky or any Ukrainian that they were feeling pressure to do anything in return for the military aid." Many meetings have been held between representatives of Ukraine and our country. Never once did Ukraine complain about pressure being applied -- not once! Ambassador Sondland testified that I told him: "No quid pro quo. I want nothing. I want nothing. I want President Zelensky to do the right thing, do what he ran on."

The second claim, so-called "Obstruction of Congress," is preposterous and dangerous. House Democrats are trying to impeach the duly elected President of the United States for asserting Constitutionally based privileges that have been asserted on a bipartisan basis by administrations of both political parties throughout our Nation's history. Under that standard, every American president would have been impeached many times over. As liberal law professor Jonathan Turley warned when addressing Congressional Democrats: "I can't emphasize this enough if you impeach a president, if you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It's your abuse of power. You're doing precisely what you're criticizing the President for doing."

Everyone, you included, knows what is really happening. Your chosen candidate lost the election in 2016, in an Electoral College landslide (306-227), and you and your party have never recovered from this defeat. You have developed a full-fledged case of what many in the media call Trump Derangement Syndrome and sadly, you will never get over it! You are unwilling and unable to accept the verdict issued at the ballot box during the great Election of 2016. So you have spent three straight years attempting to overturn the will of the American people and nullify their votes. You view democracy as your enemy!

Speaker Pelosi, you admitted just last week at a public forum that your party's impeachment effort has been going on for "two and a half years," long before you ever heard about a phone call with Ukraine. Nineteen minutes after I took the oath of office, the Washington Post published a story headlined, "The Campaign to Impeach President Trump Has Begun." Less than three months after my inauguration, Representative Maxine Waters stated, "I'm going to fight every day until he's impeached." House Democrats introduced the first impeachment resolution against me within months of my inauguration, for what will be regarded as one of our country's best decisions, the firing of James Comey (see Inspector General Reports) -- who the world now knows is one of the dirtiest cops our Nation has ever seen. A ranting and raving Congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib, declared just hours after she was sworn into office, "We're gonna go in there and we're gonna impeach the motherf****r." Representative Al Green said in May, "I'm concerned that if we don't impeach this president, he will get re-elected." Again, you and your allies said, and did, all of these things long before you ever heard of President Zelensky or anything related to Ukraine. As you know very well, this impeachment drive has nothing to do with Ukraine, or the totally appropriate conversation I had with its new president. It only has to do with your attempt to undo the election of 2016 and steal the election of 2020!

Congressman Adam Schiff cheated and lied all the way up to the present day, even going so far as to fraudulently make up, out of thin air, my conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine and read this fantasy language to Congress as though it were said by me. His shameless lies and deceptions, dating all the way back to the Russia Hoax, is one of the main reasons we are here today.

You and your party are desperate to distract from America's extraordinary economy, incredible jobs boom, record stock market, soaring confidence, and flourishing citizens. Your party simply cannot compete with our record: 7 million new jobs; the lowest-ever unemployment for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans; a rebuilt military; a completely reformed VA with Choice and Accountability for our great veterans; more than 170 new federal judges and two Supreme Court Justices; historic tax and regulation cuts; the elimination of the individual mandate; the first decline in prescription drug prices in half a century; the first new branch of the United States Military since 1947, the Space Force; strong protection of the Second Amendment; criminal justice reform; a defeated ISIS caliphate and the killing of the world's number one terrorist leader, al-Baghdadi; the replacement of the disastrous NAFTA trade deal with the wonderful USMCA (Mexico and Canada); a breakthrough Phase One trade deal with China; massive new trade deals with Japan and South Korea; withdrawal from the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal; cancellation of the unfair and costly Paris Climate Accord; becoming the world's top energy producer; recognition of Israel's capital, opening the American Embassy in Jerusalem, and recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights; a colossal reduction in illegal border crossings, the ending of Catch-and-Release, and the building of the Southern Border Wall -- and that is just the beginning, there is so much more. You cannot defend your extreme policies -- open borders, mass migration, high crime, crippling taxes, socialized healthcare, destruction of American energy, late-term taxpayer-funded abortion, elimination of the Second Amendment, radical far-left theories of law and justice, and constant partisan obstruction of both common sense and common good.

There is nothing I would rather do than stop referring to your party as the Do-Nothing Democrats. Unfortunately, I don't know that you will ever give me a chance to do so.

After three years of unfair and unwarranted investigations, 45 million dollars spent, 18 angry Democrat prosecutors, the entire force of the FBI, headed by leadership now proven to be totally incompetent and corrupt, you have found NOTHING! Few people in high position could have endured or passed this test. You do not know, nor do you care, the great damage and hurt you have inflicted upon wonderful and loving members of my family. You conducted a fake investigation upon the democratically elected President of the United States, and you are doing it yet again.

There are not many people who could have taken the punishment inflicted during this period of time, and yet done so much for the success of America and its citizens. But instead of putting our country first, you have decided to disgrace our country still further. You completely failed with the Mueller report because there was nothing to find, so you decided to take the next hoax that came along, the phone call with Ukraine -- even though it was a perfect call. And by the way, when I speak to foreign countries, there are many people, with permission, listening to the call on both sides of the conversation.

You are the ones interfering in America's elections. You are the ones subverting America's Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain.

Before the Impeachment Hoax, it was the Russian Witch Hunt. Against all evidence, and regardless of the truth, you and your deputies claimed that my campaign colluded with the Russians -- a grave, malicious, and slanderous lie, a falsehood like no other. You forced our Nation through turmoil and torment over a wholly fabricated story, illegally purchased from a foreign spy by Hillary Clinton and the DNC in order to assault our democracy. Yet, when the monstrous lie was debunked and this Democrat conspiracy dissolved into dust, you did not apologize. You did not recant. You did not ask to be forgiven. You showed no remorse, no capacity for self-reflection. Instead, you pursued your next libelous and vicious crusade -- you engineered an attempt to frame and defame an innocent person. All of this was motivated by personal political calculation. Your Speakership and your party are held hostage by your most deranged and radical representatives of the far left. Each one of your members lives in fear of a socialist primary challenger -- this is what is driving impeachment. Look at Congressman Nadler's challenger. Look at yourself and others. Do not take our country down with your party.

If you truly cared about freedom and liberty for our Nation, then you would be devoting your vast investigative resources to exposing the full truth concerning the FBI's horrifying abuses of power before, during, and after the 2016 election -- including the use of spies against my campaign, the submission of false evidence to a FISA court, and the concealment of exculpatory evidence in order to frame the innocent. The FBI has great and honorable people, but the leadership was inept and corrupt. I would think that you would personally be appalled by these revelations, because in your press conference the day you announced impeachment, you tied the impeachment effort directly to the completely discredited Russia Hoax, declaring twice that "all roads lead to Putin," when you know that is an abject lie. I have been far tougher on Russia than President Obama ever even thought to be.

Any member of Congress who votes in support of impeachment -- against every shred of truth, fact, evidence, and legal principle -- is showing how deeply they revile the voters and how truly they detest America's Constitutional order. Our Founders feared the tribalization of partisan politics, and you are bringing their worst fears to life.

Worse still, I have been deprived of basic Constitutional Due Process from the beginning of this impeachment scam right up until the present. I have been denied the most fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution, including the right to present evidence, to have my own counsel present, to confront accusers, and to call and cross-examine witnesses, like the so-called whistleblower who started this entire hoax with a false report of the phone call that bears no relationship to the actual phone call that was made. Once I presented the transcribed call, which surprised and shocked the fraudsters (they never thought that such evidence would be presented), the so-called whistleblower, and the second whistleblower, disappeared because they got caught, their report was a fraud, and they were no longer going to be made available to us. In other words, once the phone call was made public, your whole plot blew up, but that didn't stop you from continuing.

More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.

You and others on your committees have long said impeachment must be bipartisan -- it is not. You said it was very divisive -- it certainly is, even far more than you ever thought possible -- and it will only get worse!

This is nothing more than an illegal, partisan attempted coup that will, based on recent sentiment, badly fail at the voting booth. You are not just after me, as President, you are after the entire Republican Party. But because of this colossal injustice, our party is more united than it has ever been before. History will judge you harshly as you proceed with this impeachment charade. Your legacy will be that of turning the House of Representatives from a revered legislative body into a Star Chamber of partisan persecution.

Perhaps most insulting of all is your false display of solemnity. You apparently have so little respect for the American People that you expect them to believe that you are approaching this impeachment somberly, reservedly, and reluctantly. No intelligent person believes what you are saying. Since the moment I won the election, the Democrat Party has been possessed by Impeachment Fever. There is no reticence. This is not a somber affair. You are making a mockery of impeachment and you are scarcely concealing your hatred of me, of the Republican Party, and tens of millions of patriotic Americans. The voters are wise, and they are seeing straight through this empty, hollow, and dangerous game you are playing.

I have no doubt the American people will hold you and the Democrats fully responsible in the upcoming 2020 election. They will not soon forgive your perversion of justice and abuse of power.

There is far too much that needs to be done to improve the lives of our citizens. It is time for you and the highly partisan Democrats in Congress to immediately cease this impeachment fantasy and get back to work for the American People. While I have no expectation that you will do so, I write this letter to you for the purpose of history and to put my thoughts on a permanent and indelible record.

One hundred years from now, when people look back at this affair, I want them to understand it, and learn from it, so that it can never happen to another President again.

Sincerely yours,

DONALD J. TRUMP
President of the United States of America

cc: United States Senate
United States House of Representatives

[Dec 20, 2019] Sen. Mitch McConnell great speech in which he slams Dem impeachment on Senate floor

Highly recommended!
Dec 20, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Jenna Bronson , 5 hours ago

Historic speech from McConnell. He nailed exactly what makes the ideology of the Democrats antithetical to the very principles that founded this nation.

William Burnam , 8 hours ago

"...[to] insure domestic tranquility..." THIS is in the preamble to the Constitution the Dems claim to support. Someone please tell us all how they are supporting this. I'll wait.

Trey Tex , 4 hours ago

Senator McConnell's FINEST HOUR. A great speech that will live forever in the annals of history itself. Our Founding Fathers would be so proud of you. Thank you for stepping up to the plate and protecting our Republic Senator McConnell. God Bless you sir.

The Backwoods Mechanic , 4 hours ago

I'm independent and I'll say this, I'll never vote for a Democrat again because of this

J Barron459 , 7 hours ago div class="comment-renderer-t

ext-content expanded"> I've never heard a more brilliant or eloquent summary and analysis of the Impeachment case. Sloppy, hurried, careless without regard for due process, the Democrats in 12 weeks have committed an abuse of their constitutional authority and to the spirit of historical precedent regarding impeachment as a weapon to use just because you don't like the President. This group of democrats have done serious damage to our government.

Rocky Mountain Ras , 8 hours ago

Brilliant, historical, factual, and brutal. Thank you Mitch, well said.

[Dec 20, 2019] Democrats' impeachment drive is centered on claims that Trump has been insufficiently aggressive in fighting a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine

DemoRats became the second War party. Which means two parties merged on this issue forming Uniparty, like in the USSR.
Feeding and care MIC is No.1 task for both. Ordinary Americans well being does matter much for either party. New generation of Americans is punished with crushing debt and low paying jobs. They do not care that people over 50 who lost their jobs are essentially thrown out like a garbage.
Counting dollars they got from MIC and Wall Street they are oblivious to the growing danger of converting the USA and Russia territories into radioactive desert. That does not bather them one bit. They have shelters, You don't. Vote accordingly. .
Dec 20, 2019 | www.wsws.org

... ... ...

But all of these fundamental democratic issues have been excluded from the Democrats' impeachment drive, which is centered on claims that Trump has been insufficiently aggressive in fighting a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.

"In the end, this impeachment is the first over a question of whether the president is selling out American national security," writes David Sanger in the New York Times. "While Ukraine is the proximate event, how the president has dealt with Mr. Putin is the overarching theme."

Sanger concludes, "the argument about Ukraine, the ostensible reason for the president's impeachment, was not really about Ukraine at all. It was about Russia."

But it was House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff -- the pivotal figure in the impeachment drive -- who left no question about the central demand of the Democratic Party for an escalation of the US conflict with Russia.

"Ukraine is fighting our fight against the Russians, against their expansionism. That's our fight, too." Schiff said. "We used to stand up to Putin and Russia. I know the party of Ronald Reagan used to."

"That's why we support Ukraine with the military aid that we have," Schiff continued. "The President may not care about it, but we do. We care about our defense, we care about the defense of our allies, and we darn well care about our constitution."

Nowhere has anyone explained why Ukraine's war with Russia should be "our fight, too," or why the failure to fight this war to the Democrats' satisfaction constitutes an impeachable offense.

The Democrats' attempt to remove Trump aims to legitimize an intense escalation of the US conflict with Russia, a policy for which there exists no support among the mass of the population.

The Democratic Party is aware of the broad popular hatred of the Trump administration. But what this party of the rich and affluent fears far more than Trump's reelection is a mass mobilization to remove him, which would inevitably challenge their own wealth and the capitalist system.

In the terms defined by the Democrats, the impeachment has no democratic or legitimate content. The complete remoteness from and indifference to any popular sentiment or demands gives it the character of a palace coup. The innumerable claims by various Democrats that their impeachment constitutes a defense of democracy are both unconvincing and untrue.

Even as they have moved ahead with their impeachment drive, the Democrats have worked with Trump to expand the military, gut congressional restrictions on the use of military force, and expand his immigration crackdown. On Tuesday, they approved the largest military budget in US history, and on Thursday, the day after the impeachment, they plan to pass USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement), a trade war measure targeting China.

As the impeachment votes were being cast, Trump was in Battle Creek, Michigan, making a violent, demagogic and fascistic appeal to his supporters. Trump echoed the letter he had earlier sent to the House of Representatives in which he accused the Speaker of the House of "declaring open war on American Democracy."

But in excluding all democratic issues that would succeed in mobilizing the population against Trump, the Democrats have actually played into the hands of the President, who has sought to mobilize his fascistic base on the grounds that he is a victim of a "deep state" plot.

The central lie peddled by Trump is to equate the Democrats' efforts to remove him -- together with those of the intelligence agencies and media -- with socialism. This is his label for any form of popular opposition to his administration. In the traditions of fascism, Trump falsely presents himself as the victim of a conspiracy between the "elites," socialists and communists.

Whatever the outcome of the impeachment crisis, it will see a dangerous further movement of American politics to the right. If the Democrats fail to remove Trump -- as seems likely -- it will strengthen him. If they somehow succeed in orchestrating Trump's removal, it would be seen as illegitimate by broad sections of the population, and would virtually guarantee an escalation of military conflict with Russia.

Whatever its outcome, the impeachment must be seen in context of the greatest crisis of American capitalism since the Civil War. In their own way, both parties represent the twin imperatives of American imperialism under conditions of social crisis and the loss of its global hegemony.

The Democrats embody the drive to war; the Republicans, in the form of Trump, embody the move toward fascistic and authoritarian forms of rule.

The fight against Trump can only unfold on the basis of a social and political struggle rooted in the working class. The essential prerequisite for the emergence of such a movement is a total and unequivocal break with the Democratic and Republican parties. The attitude of the working class to this impeachment must be, amending Shakespeare, "A plague on both political parties."

Patrick Martin and Andre Damon

[Dec 20, 2019] Sen. Mitch McConnell great speach in which he slams Dem impeachment on Senate floor

Dec 20, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Jenna Bronson , 5 hours ago

Historic speech from McConnell. He nailed exactly what makes the ideology of the Democrats antithetical to the very principles that founded this nation.

William Burnam , 8 hours ago

"...[to] insure domestic tranquility..." THIS is in the preamble to the Constitution the Dems claim to support. Someone please tell us all how they are supporting this. I'll wait.

Trey Tex , 4 hours ago

Senator McConnell's FINEST HOUR. A great speech that will live forever in the annals of history itself. Our Founding Fathers would be so proud of you. Thank you for stepping up to the plate and protecting our Republic Senator McConnell. God Bless you sir.

[Dec 19, 2019] America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people. - strife delivery

Dec 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

All pretense of our country being a representative democracy @snoopydawg
is gone. Our two party uniparty government has completely turned its back on serving the needs of the vast majority of the people of this country, and of the wider world. Profit sits at the head of our government. The monikers "Fascist" and "Totalitarian" are apt descriptors of the direction of our current trajectory. A dystopian future surely awaits us on this beautiful, fragile and life sustaining planet that we are trashing with such abandon.

Other than that, things are going quite nicely. Nancy is wearing her power pants and fools are applauding.

[Dec 19, 2019] "I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

Dec 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

It still amazes me... that people actually think impeachment accomplishes anything other than diverting attention from the Dems giving Trump everything he wants.

Kayfabe.

Impeachment without conviction means next to nothing.

The Senate will not convict. Trumps chances of being re-elected are continuing to improve as Democratic Party insiders work overtime to see to it that Bernie Sanders has to fight the Republican Party, a MSM that either dismisses or ignores his candidacy, AND the Democratic Party which has, once again, stacked the deck against him.

[Dec 19, 2019] The truth is never as interesting as wild speculation

Dec 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

WoodsDweller on Wed, 12/18/2019 - 9:30pm

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/12/trump-has-joined-the-losers-of-presiden...

... Never-Trump conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin released a scorching assessment ... "Even Trump knows he will be lumped in with the 'losers' in the presidential history rankings such as Richard Nixon and Andrew Johnson," wrote Rubin. "Impeachment will define his presidency, dwarfing any other foreign or domestic action. No wonder he rages against a speaker he is powerless to stop. His worst nightmare is to be humiliated, and if not now, history certainly will regard him as a pitiful, damaged man utterly unfit for the role he won through a series of improbable events ... Just as Watergate figures ... were lionized as defenders of the Constitution, so too will Pelosi and House Democrats ... be among those admired for their lucidity, intellect and character. ... For every clownish, contemptible, screeching and dishonest House Republican, there is a sober, admirable, restrained and honest Democrat.
"No letter, no tweet, no Fox News spin can repair the reputations of Trump enablers," Rubin wrote. The right-wing media that cheered them on will, like outlets that rooted for Jim Crow and demonized Freedom Riders, be shunned by decent, freedom-loving people who reaffirm objective reality. The Republican Party will be known not as the Party of Lincoln but the Party of Trump, a quisling party that lost its bearings and its soul to defend an unhinged narcissist.

[Dec 19, 2019] The Trump Card was and is a masterstroke of scripting live, non-stop, divisive, politically paralytic distraction while the US oligarchy goes all-tard-in for private power.

Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Artful Dodger , Dec 19 2019 8:00 utc | 86

The Trump Card was and is a masterstroke of scripting live, non-stop, divisive, politically paralytic distraction while the US oligarchy goes all-tard-in for private power.

Russ , Dec 19 2019 7:30 utc | 85

Since the whole impeachment farce already has been a political loser for the idiot Democrats, they'd have to be doubly stupid to double down on political stupidity by obstructing the transmission to the Senate, when most Americans just want this crap to be over with.

Meanwhile the Senate Republicans, once they get the charges, would be stupid to do anything but vote them down immediately. Otherwise they'll become complicit in the odious circus and rightly incur their share of the political blame.

[Dec 19, 2019] Tucker Impeachment is a terrible idea for the country

So from now on the party which hold the House can start impeachment process on false premises the day the President from other party was elected. As simple as that.
That open a huge can to worms for future Presidents,
Notable quotes:
"... Let me explain something. This will set a precedent for house of reps to come. When we have a liberal president and a republican house we will do the same and impeach him for nothing because this just shows that if you own the house you can impeach him for nothing and that isn't good for the future ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Ken Stanaford , 19 hours ago

This is truly an abomination!! This statement from a recent proud Dem of many years. NOT ANYMORE!! Remember this forever America! Remember in 2020!

Tim , 19 hours ago

Raskin is a creepy creepy dude.

LOWLiFE , 20 hours ago

I don't know anything about politics but i know that impeaching a president with radical fans might not be the smartest move for a country that's all ready divided , just my opinion.

willam sassard , 18 hours ago

The claim its a danger to our constitution when they have no pronlem with infringing our 2nd Amendment, 1st Amendment and pledge to do away with the elctorial college... Hypocrisy

Gusty , 19 hours ago

Let me explain something. This will set a precedent for house of reps to come. When we have a liberal president and a republican house we will do the same and impeach him for nothing because this just shows that if you own the house you can impeach him for nothing and that isn't good for the future

William Murphey , 11 hours ago

Trump is doing a great job,and doing every thing he promises. The only high crime was defying Dems authority.He has become a clear and present danger to their chances of ever winning another election.

Cheryl Waters , 18 hours ago

They are impeaching because he's not politically correct

[Dec 19, 2019] A the core of color revolution against Trump is Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Ukrainegate is preemptive political tactics. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lk , Dec 18 2019 22:19 utc | 26

The House impeachment is driven by several factors:
  1. After Russiagate, when Trump began to investigate its fraudulent origins, the Dems feared the exposure of Obama-era corruption if not high crimes. Hence Ukrainegate is preemptive political tactics.
  2. The investigation into Russiagate led right to Ukraine, and thus to Biden. In the context of Sanders' campaign, Ukrainegate became an imperative for the factions of the capitalist class that dominates the DNC. If Biden falls on Ukraine issues, then Sanders is inevitable; an anathema to Wall Street and Big Tech DNC donors.
  3. 3. While 1 and 2 dominate DNC machinations, foreign policy is also a factor. The foreign policy establishment is absolutely against any hesitation with respect to confronting Russia as part of a regional and global strategy for primacy. Trump's limited prevarications on Russia might threaten the long established strategy to expand Nato to Ukraine and thereby to encircle Russia and maintain US dominance over Europe. So, even though Trump names great power rivalry as the name of the game today, his inclination for making nice with Putin threatens to weaken the US hold over Europe, which Trump wants to label as an economic competitor.

    It is with these points that the strategic differences become apparent: Trump is raising a realist, neo-mercantalist strategy against ALL potential competitors; the DNC and the deep state hold a strategy of liberal hegemony: globalization and US primacy through dominating regional alliances, and impregnating US hegemony INSIDE the vassal States of the empire.

All of this, however, is bound to fail for the DNC, and down the road for Trump himself.

The contradictions of US empire and global capitalism cannot be mitigated by either more liberal strategies or realist ones.

[Dec 19, 2019] Collins: This is an impeachment based on presumption. This is a poll-tested impeachment DemoRats now want to sell to American people. It is based on lies, not the search for truth.

Dec 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

On the Republican side, Rep. Doug Collins, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, was the first Republican to respond, accusing the Dems of running an unfair and deeply partisan impeachment inquiry...

"This is an impeachment based on presumption," Mr. Collins said. "This is a poll-tested impeachment about what actually sells to the American people. Today is going to be a lot of things. What it is not is fair. What it is not is about the truth."

...While failing to prove their case against Trump.

...fully one half of Americans believe the president is innocent, and that the impeachment push is merely a politically calculated smear job.

[Dec 19, 2019] Has Trump impeachment been a legitimate process -- or partisan weapon?

Trump started to play victim and this is really dangerous situation fro neoliberal democrats, as he is a master in this genre. The President Doth Protest Too Much. While the Schiff impeachment trial was neocon clowns show, he did committed crimes while in office (Douma false flag, Oil grab in syria, Yeamen, etc) . But both Republicans and DemoRats are ob board for those, and are afraid to talk about the real issues, converting impeachment into a second rate Kabuki theatre
Pelosi now probably has the second thought about impeachment. There is a profound belief among neoliberal Dems that politically things for them are much worse than they really are. but while neoliberal is dead people still are voting for those jerks became the other party is even worse.
Looks like neoliberal Democrats (aka DemoRats) made a political mistake
Notable quotes:
"... "This impeachment represents an unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power by Democrat Lawmakers, unequaled in nearly two and a half centuries of American legislative history." ..."
"... Maybe we should rename the Trump impeachment and call it what it really is... ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The following are ten of the key highlights from that letter

#1 "This impeachment represents an unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power by Democrat Lawmakers, unequaled in nearly two and a half centuries of American legislative history."

#2 "By proceeding with your invalid impeachment, you are violating your oaths of office, you are breaking your allegiance to the Constitution, and you are declaring open war on American Democracy."

#3 "Even worse than offending the Founding Fathers, you are offending Americans of faith by continually saying you pray for the President when you know this statement is not true, unless it is meant in a negative sense."

#4 "You know full well that Vice President Biden used his office and $1 billion dollars of US aid money to coerce Ukraine into firing the prosecutor who was digging into the company paying his son millions of dollars."

#5 "Now you are trying to impeach me by falsely accusing me of doing what Joe Biden has admitted he actually did."

#6 "You have developed a full-fledged case of what many in the media call Trump Derangement Syndrome and sadly, you will never get over it!"

#7 "You view democracy as your enemy!"

#8 "You are the ones interfering in America's elections. You are the ones subverting America's Democracy."

#9 "More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials."

#10 "Any member of Congress who votes in support of impeachment against every shred of truth, fact, evidence, and legal principle, is showing how deeply they revile the voters and how truly they detest America's Constitutional order."

If you would like to read the entire letter for yourself, you can find it right here . It only takes a few minutes to read, and I think that most of you will find it very enjoyable.

... ... ...

Following Trump's letter, Pelosi sent out one of her own to her Democratic colleagues asking them to join her on the House floor on Wednesday morning

... ... ...

Pelosi and her minions intended to destroy Donald Trump, but they may have just guaranteed him four more years in the White House. And for Trump, that would be the sweetest revenge of all.

LightBeamCowboy , 25 minutes ago link

"Trump definitely understands that the primary reason why they are trying to impeach him is because they deeply hate him..."

"Hate" may be a useful shorthand here, but it really has nothing to do with what's going on. "Drain the swamp" is useful shorthand, too, that means Trump is shutting off the flow of billions of dollars in corrupt money to corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, and threatening to properly prosecute them for their crimes. The impeachment is really another crime waiting to be prosecuted, where the legislative branch has been hijacked to commit obstruction of justice on behalf of themselves.

Kelley , 20 minutes ago link

Maybe we should rename the Trump impeachment and call it what it really is...

[Dec 19, 2019] When a Chief Justice Reminded Senators in an Impeachment Trial That They Were not Jurors – Consortiumnews

Dec 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

When a Chief Justice Reminded Senators in an Impeachment Trial That They Were not Jurors December 18, 2019 • 4 Comments Save

With an eye on Trump's impeachment trial, Steven Lubet points out that senators at such a trial are not the equivalent of a jury and are not held to a juror's standard of neutrality.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., fields questions from reporters about an impeachment trial in the Senate, Dec. 10, 2019. ( AP/J. Scott Applewhite )

By Steven Lubet
The Conversation

S enate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell created a predictable stir when he told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he would structure the impending impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in "total coordination with the White House counsel's office." He added, "There will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this."

This outright rejection of neutrality drew immediate protests from Democrats. Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), who may well be one of the House impeachment managers in the Senate trial, called for McConnell's recusal, saying "No court in the country would allow a member of the jury to also serve as the accused's defense attorney."

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) likewise slammed "the foreman of the jury" for saying he would "work hand and glove with the defense attorney."

Demings and Nadler made a valid point, but they used the wrong analogy. Senators at an impeachment trial are not the equivalent of a jury and they are not held to a juror's standard of neutrality.

Harkin's Objection

The principle, that senators are not jurors in the traditional sense, was well established at the outset of the 1999 impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton .

Tasked with delivering an opening statement for the House Managers – who present the House's case to the Senate – Rep. Robert Barr (R-Ga.) reminded the senators of Clinton's tendency to "nitpick" over details or "parse a specific word or phrase of testimony." To Barr, the conclusion was obvious: "We urge you, the distinguished jurors in this case, not to be fooled."

That was the moment Sen. Tom Harkin , an Iowa Democrat, had been waiting for.

" Mr. Chief Justice ," he said, addressing William Rehnquist, who was presiding over the trial, " I object to the use and the continued use of the word 'jurors' when referring to the Senate."

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, raised a crucial point about senators' roles in the impeachment trial of President Clinton in 1999. ( AP/Joe Marquette)

Harkin had prepared well, basing his argument on the text of the Constitution , the Federalist Papers and the rules of the Senate itself.

He explained that "the framers of the Constitution meant us, the Senate, to be something other than a jury."

Instead, Harkin continued, "What we do here today does not just decide the fate of one man. Future generations will look back on this trial not just to find out what happened, but to try to decide what principles governed our actions."

Chief Justice Weighs In

The Chief Justice sustained the objection .

"The Senate is not simply a jury," he ruled. "It is a court in this case."

Rehnquist thus admonished the House Managers "to refrain from referring to the Senators as jurors." For the balance of the trial, they were called "triers of law and fact."

Rehnquist and Harkin got it right. Article III of the Constitution provides that "Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury," and for good reasons.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, shown in this video image, presides in the impeachment trial of President Clinton on the Senate floor, Feb. 8, 1999, in Washington. ( AP Photo/APTN)

In an ordinary trial , the jury's role is generally limited to fact-finding, while the judge determines the scope and application of the law. In an impeachment trial, however, the Senate itself has the "sole power" to decide every issue .

Recognizing the Senate's all-encompassing responsibility, and his own limited role, Chief Justice Rehnquist referred to himself throughout the proceeding only as " the Chair ."

As the U.S. Supreme Court has put it , impeachment presents a "political question," in which all of the "authority is reposed in the Senate and nowhere else."

Oath or Affirmation Required

McConnell, the Senate's leader, has more leeway and far more power than any juror or even a jury foreperson.

The Constitution's only procedural limitation is the requirement in Article I that the senators be placed under "oath or affirmation."

Although the Constitution does not specify any particular wording (unlike the presidential oath , which is included word-for-word), the Senate adopted rules for impeachment trials in 1986 requiring each senator to affirm or swear to do "impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws."

"Impartial justice" does not demand the enforced naiveté of jury service, which would be impossible in an impeachment trial. For example, the senators all have prior knowledge of at least some of the facts, and several of them are currently vying to run against Trump in 2020, while others are backing his reelection campaign.

But the Senate's oath of impartiality clearly calls for at least some commitment to objectivity. Thus, the problem with McConnell's announcement was not that he failed to behave like a juror.

Rather, he has declared an intention to disregard the Senate's prescribed oath, which was fixed long ago by the very body that elected him its leader.

When Tom Harkin disclaimed a juror's role at the Clinton trial, his purpose was not to affect the outcome of the case, but rather to underscore the full scope of the Senate's decision-making responsibility. In contrast, Mitch McConnell appears to have boldly renounced open-mindedness itself on the impeachment court, whether as juror, judge or "trier of law and fact."

Steven Lubet is Williams Memorial professor of law at Northwestern University .

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article .

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium

[Dec 19, 2019] Looks like Trump won in the court of public opinion

When they got Clinton, it felt like a big deal. Now, it's just another episode in the Kabuki threat of Washington, DC
"Anyway, when the hammer came down on Bill Clinton (21 years ago tomorrow, in fact), it felt right. Justice had been served. Two months later, the GOP-run Senate would acquit Clinton of the charges. He served out the rest of his term, and went on to become very rich, a globalist grifter of great renown. One day, he will die peacefully in bed. His bed, one hopes. Life went on."
"I hate that we have such a lowlife as the American president. But do you know what else I hate? That the Democratic Party went crazy over the last 20 years. That it's for open borders. That the Democratic Party is for writing into federal civil rights law the destruction of one of the most fundamental building blocks of human civilization: the gender binary. I hate that the Democrats are so drunk on identity politics that a Democratic-run government would create a legal and policy framework in which my own sons would be considered public enemies because of the color of their skin, their sex, and depending on the context, their religion."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Real Estate Guru , 6 minutes ago link

TRUMP'S approval rating is 6% higher than before!

Real Estate Guru , 9 minutes ago link

TRUMP WILL WIN THIS IN THE COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION AND IN THE SENATE, WHERE IT WILL BE CODIFIED.

Trump and Mitch are actually doing the democrats a favor by throwing this crap out in the Senate after a very short debate. Otherwise, if by the tiniest of margins some of the repubs turn on Trump because they too are guilty of crimes against humanity which many will be found to be, the resultant pitch-fork mobs would rip them apart...

Liesel , 30 minutes ago link

Well darn, couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Swamp Yankee , 48 minutes ago link

And now Pelosi discovers first hand what a dog does when it finally catches the car.

spencer , 55 minutes ago link

Democrats just sent a strong message to people. Don't investigate crooks named Biden. Just don't touch this. Biden must walk free and any person who dares to challenge crooks, Democratic party crooks, or any other crooks is now to face Democrats.

Good guy named Trump dared to ask a foreign country to investigate corrupted crooks. Bad idea.

It is no longer democratic thing to defend the law, preserve and promote honesty, not to mention integrity and ethics. Nah. Vote for Democrats, because they support mafia, sell guns to criminals, vigorously defend crooks in power and make no mistake - they laugh at Americans every day.

Trump is no saint, but for gods sake impeach because of Bidens? My God.

[Dec 19, 2019] Some House Democrats push Pelosi to withhold impeachment articles, delaying Senate trial

Dec 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Templar X , 23 minutes ago link

... ... ...

Some House Democrats push Pelosi to withhold impeachment articles, delaying Senate trial

"WASHINGTON -- A group of House Democrats is pushing Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leaders to withhold the articles of impeachment against President Trump that emerged from the House on Wednesday, potentially delaying a Senate trial for months.

The notion of impeaching Trump but holding the articles in the House has gained traction among some of the political left as a way to potentially force Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, to conduct a trial on more favorable terms for Democrats. And if no agreement is reached, some have argued, the trial could be delayed indefinitely, denying Trump an expected acquittal.

The gambit has gained some traction inside the left wing of the House Democratic Caucus this week. Representative Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Oregon, said Wednesday, as his colleagues debated the impeachment articles on the House floor, that he has spoken to three dozen Democratic lawmakers who expressed some level of enthusiasm for the idea of ''rounding out the record and spending the time to do this right.''

''At a minimum, there ought to be an agreement about access to witnesses, rules of the game, timing,'' Blumenauer said of a Senate trial.

Another Democrat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said there is ''serious concern about whether there will be a fair trial on the Senate side'' and acknowledged active talks about withholding the articles.

After the impeachment vote Wednesday, Pelosi would not rule out the idea of withholding the articles.

The notion has been most prominently advocated by Laurence Tribe, a Harvard Law School professor who has advised the House Judiciary Committee on the impeachment process. In a recent Washington Post op-ed, he wrote that ''the public has a right to observe a meaningful trial rather than simply learn that the result is a verdict of not guilty.''..."

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/some-house-democrats-push-pelosi-to-withhold-impeachment-articles-delaying-senate-trial/ar-BBY8MUq

[Dec 19, 2019] The impeachment farce and most of the battle with Trump is kabuki for the rubes. Business as usual continues in DC, except the swamp realizes more and more that their grip on power is slipping.

Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

NoOneYouKnow , Dec 18 2019 23:16 utc | 34

The Dems have given Trump's insane military budget more than he asked for, they got no bargains in renewing the NDAA (both of which betray the lie they think Trump is compromised), and finalized a huge new trade deal with him.

The impeachment farce and most of the battle with Trump is kabuki for the rubes. Business as usual continues in DC, except the swamp realizes more and more that their grip on power is slipping. They are far more frightened of Bernie Sanders. These are dangerous times.

ben , Dec 19 2019 0:36 utc | 46

"The Democrats did the "right" thing - considering their options.

Option A: Counter Trump with real policy issues; policies that the majority of Americans support: ending unending wars, healthcare, environmental protection, income equality, etc.. But that would cost them money from their BIG DONORS, and as such all privileges of the Dem bosses. Not a good option

Option B: Follow the Russiagate/Ukrainegate/Impeachment path and thereby avoid having to oppose Trump on policy. Their BIG DONORS are happy (because there is no policy change). Even if the Dems lose 2020 election, the party bosses still retain their privileges.

Disclaimer: The Dims and the Repugs are the same party - just two different brands of it. Anyone doubting this assertion should check out who finance them .... big oligarchy, even if there may be slight differences in composition.
Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Dec 18 2019 23:07 utc | 31

This IMO is the best synopsis posted to date. Salient, and to the point. Thanks NM!!

[Dec 19, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard did the smart thing and abstained in the vote from the circus

Notable quotes:
"... But as we know it has become politically incorrect on the left to do anything but to put on your clown makeup and join the circus. ..."
"... But Tulsi Gabbard as usual doesn't play their game. And because of that, like Trump she is also a target of the deep state and not just the deep state of America--it is the deep state of the entire 5-Eyes security apparatus who together work overtime to overthrow Trump and any and all who resist their attempt to rule the world. ..."
"... Today's Deep State most resembles the colonial administrations during the heyday of European imperialism. These too worked to run their own secret foreign policy, and to bring their power to bear on domestic policy as well. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kali , Dec 18 2019 21:59 utc | 18

Tulsi Gabbard did the smart thing and abstained in the vote from the circus. But as we know it has become politically incorrect on the left to do anything but to put on your clown makeup and join the circus.

But Tulsi Gabbard as usual doesn't play their game. And because of that, like Trump she is also a target of the deep state and not just the deep state of America--it is the deep state of the entire 5-Eyes security apparatus who together work overtime to overthrow Trump and any and all who resist their attempt to rule the world.

This is a new article on Tulsi and her battle with the deep state: Tulsi Gabbard: Enemy of Their State

Russ , Dec 18 2019 22:00 utc | 19

Historically the ability of unelected, unaccountable, secretive bureaucracies (aka the "Deep State") to exercise their own policy without regard for the public or elected officials, often in defiance of these, has always been the hallmark of the destruction of democracy and incipient tyranny.

Today's Deep State most resembles the colonial administrations during the heyday of European imperialism. These too worked to run their own secret foreign policy, and to bring their power to bear on domestic policy as well.

Although both halves of the One-Party really want the effective tyranny of state and corporate bureaucracies, it's not surprising that it's the Democrats (along with the MSM) taking the lead in openly defending the tyrannical proposition that the CIA should be running its own foreign (and implicitly domestic) policy, and that the president should be just a figurehead which follows orders. That goes with the Democrats' more avowedly technocratic style, and it goes with the ratchet effect whereby it's usually Democrats which push the policy envelope toward ever greater inequality, ecocide and tyranny.

Now is a time of rising irredentism and the decline of all the ideas of globalization and technocracy, though the reality is likely to hang on for awhile. The whole Deep State-Zionist-Russia-Deranged-Trump-Deranged-MSM-social media censorship campaign is globalization trying to maintain its monopoly of ideas by force, since it knows it can never win in a free clash of ideas.

Impeachment, and the pro-bureaucracy anti-democracy campaign related to it, besides its more petty purposes (distraction from real social problems; forestalling Sanders), is the culmination of technocracy's attempted coup against a president who, even though he agrees with this cabal on all policy matters, is considered too unreliable, too undisciplined, too damn honest about the evil of the US empire. If they can take him down, they think they can restore the full business-as-usual status quo including the compliance of the rest of the world.

Since impeachment's going to fail, we can expect the system to try other ways.

Australian lady , Dec 19 2019 3:26 utc | 71

Thank you b, another great post.

But also may I compliment Kali@18 and Russ@19 for their terrific comments. I have just finished reading the link provided by Kali, which is an outstanding essay by Pam Ho- a paradigm shifter if ever there was one! I have been making a determined effort to liberate my thinking from ideological partisanship and reading this essay was like pressing a refresh button in my brain.

Despite the ra ra b. s.,Trump's letter will become an historical document, as it does encapsulate all the manufactured tribulations that have been foisted on his presidency, though I would have liked b to include all those words which were CAPITALIZED. He's quite a personality, your president The best summation of the man is, curiosly enough, provided by Syria's president Assad. There is an honesty about him even when he's uttering a bald-faced lie!

Tulsi has been newsworthy for a number of years now and right from the getgo I said to myself "she's my kind of gal"

Here is a woman of courage and presence. She's young and principled, even if she's a member of a very corrupted party.

May she go far.

psychohistorian , Dec 19 2019 3:53 utc | 73

@ Posted by: Australian lady | Dec 19 2019 3:26 utc | 71 who ended her comment expressing support for Tulsi Gabbard

When the impeachment vote was taken today, there were two Dems that voted against and Tulsi voted Present

She will be ostracized for her non vote but I give her credit for distancing herself from the impeachment circus. Given that she has stated that she won't run again for Congress, I speculate that she may jump to the Green Party if given the chance to run ahead of or with Jill Stein.....any barflies know how the Greens are shaping up for this coming election?

I read in a couple of places today that the strategy of the Dems is to not forward the impeachment to the Senate for an indeterminate amount of time......let the stew, the Senate and Trump simmer a bit.....more kabuki for the masses while the public continues to be screwed economically.

[Dec 19, 2019] Why Pelosi Plans To Delay Sending Impeachment Articles To The Senate

That can increase Trump popularity further, as it portrays DemRats as unprincipled, dirty political Schemers, Washington pond scam, so to speak. Two gangs fighting for dominance while nation became poorer and poorer.
They failed (or more correctly were too afraid as it implicates them too) to discuss real issues on which Trump could be impeached and not Pelosi gambit backfired.
Notable quotes:
"... "How do Democrats impeach and withhold when they've been telling everybody Trump must be removed right now because he poses an immediate threat to our elections? Would Dems go straight from pre-emptive impeachment to deferred impeachment?" ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"We have legislation approved by the Rules Committee that will enable us to decide how we will send over the articles of impeachment," Pelosi told reporters Wednesday.

" We cannot name [impeachment] managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side."

She added that "so far, we haven't seen anything that looks fair to us" in the Senate.

Nancy Pelosi:

"We have legislation approved...that will enable to decide how we send over the articles of impeachment."

"We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side...so far we haven't seen anything that looks fair to us." https://t.co/KV8jBJCHcL pic.twitter.com/LcgasQXGHv

-- ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 19, 2019

The Conservative Treehouse blog describes this as a "cunning Lawfare ploy" that was a "pre-planned procedural process by design."

"Now the delay in sending the articles of impeachment allows the House lawyers to gather additional evidence while the impeachment case sits in limbo."

"The House essentially blocks any/all impeachment activity in the Senate by denying the transfer of the articles from the House to the Senate. Additionally, the House will now impede any other Senate legislative action because the House will hold the Senate captive. Meanwhile the Democrat presidential candidates can run against an impeached President. "

This additional evidence could include Mueller grand jury material, a deposition by former White House counsel Don McGahn and less Trump's financial and tax records.

Knowing that the Senate will never vote to impeach Trump, Democrats plan to use the House impeachment vote as yet another tool with which to undo the results of the 2016 election, keeping Trump under a permanent cloud of suspicion right through 2020.

However, as Byron York noted rather pointedly, this is entirely disingenuous considering the Democrats pre-impeachment utterances:

"How do Democrats impeach and withhold when they've been telling everybody Trump must be removed right now because he poses an immediate threat to our elections? Would Dems go straight from pre-emptive impeachment to deferred impeachment?"

And remember, the public is now against impeachment broadly...


El_Puerco , just now link

Mitch doesn't need Nanzi to "send" anything over to the Senate. The U.S. Constitution states that " The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. " Art. I, Sec. 3. That power is not dependent on the House "sending" anything to the Senate. Moreover, the Articles of Impeachment have been published, and the House vote has been published, so the Senate can print those off and start the trial today . Get on with it, Mitch, and dismiss this charade.

frankthecrank , 34 seconds ago link

This is just more unconstitutional behavior and yet another attempt by house Dems to usurp power the constitution does not grant to them:

"The Senate shall the time and place of the trial"

If turtle doesn't get the show on the road, Trump will have to force the issue. However the turtle acknowledged that the Senate must act in a way which throughly rebukes the Dems for this attempt to lower the bar and prevent it from moving forward.

BryanM , 1 minute ago link

If she doesn't send the impeachment articles to the Senate then that is something the founding fathers didn't anticipate. If not resolved the Supreme Court could get involved to define the gray into black and white. I could see Trump taking it to the courts.

On another note it is pretty funny to see Pelosi griping about the unfairness of McConnell coordinating with the white house while at the same time coordinating with Schumer.

Where's my popcorn?

newworldorder , 1 minute ago link

"Now the delay in sending the articles of impeachment allows the House lawyers to gather additional evidence while the impeachment case sits in limbo."

What the hell is going on? What new evidence are they gathering? The House voted and they impeached. There is no ongoing investigation any longer. They cannot reconvene.

The Republican Senate, must do its duty and move forward to the conclusion on this, as quickly as possible.

Consuelo , 1 minute ago link

'The Conservative Treehouse blog describes this as a "cunning Lawfare ploy" that was a "pre-planned procedural process by design."

Yes. That was the plan all along - not to remove from office, but to tarnish him in the eyes of the voter.

It's called: The Politics of Personal Destruction.

And the architect of that clever 30 year-old scheme is none other than the chief architect of all the hoaxes to begin with...

OBRon , 6 minutes ago link

Pelosi is clearly overreaching by trying to control the Senate. McConnell should remind her that she is not a Senator, and should stick to controlling her own chamber.

McConnell should also have the Senate pass a resolution that any measures passed by the House must be turned over to the Senate within 30 days, or the Senate will dismiss such measures as void and invalid.

Line_Sider , 5 minutes ago link

The Democrats and Republicans are well aware of what is coming. They hope these acts of desperation will somehow delay the inevitable. Most Americans aren't prepared for the level of corruption, deceit and debauchery that will be exposed. It's almost time to pay the piper. It is going to shock the world.

Surftown , 6 minutes ago link

Criminally manufactured treasonous conspiracy with fraud perpetrated by DNI/IG Atkins, Ciaramella and Brennan, Schiff, Pelosi, Nadler, and Obama cohorts and holdovers.

This gets described and prosecuted in their conspiratorial sedition if it goes to Full senate.

They don't dare send it, because they will be arrested, and may be subject to grand jury even before then on FISA related findings.

dead hobo , 9 minutes ago link

All the Democrats have is Impeachment. Without it they have nothing to do until November. So, they plan to Impeach President Trump again, and maybe another time after that to run out the clock.

This is real comedy.

GALLGE , 7 minutes ago link

Lindsey Graham ✔ @LindseyGrahamSC

If House Dems refuse to send Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for trial it would be a breathtaking violation of the Constitution, an act of political cowardice, and fundamentally unfair to President @realdonaldTrump .

beaver squeezer , 11 minutes ago link

Going to have to have an amendment to the Constitution. No open ended impeachment motions. Time limitation on when the House sends impeachment motion to the Senate, after Congress passes motion for impeachment.

SomeAreMoreEqual , 9 minutes ago link

I would hope this goes to the supreme court and they rule that this denies the right to a speedy trial. Because the senate vote is actually considered a trial.

[Dec 19, 2019] Pelosi Digs In Against McConnell Over Impeachment Trial Standoff

Pelosi risk to turn the case into personal vendetta and DemoRats will be burned as the result. McConnell just need to wait a couple on months as time works for him.
This pressure from Pelosi actually helps Trump opening interesting lines of the attack: "McConnell said on the Senate floor that Pelosi and House Democrats "may be too afraid to even transmit their shoddy work product to the Senate." Trump tweeted as Pelosi spoke Thursday morning, saying that "Pelosi feels her phony impeachment HOAX is so pathetic she is afraid to present it to the Senate".
The Deep State Sunk The Democratic Party
Notable quotes:
"... she would delay naming impeachment managers -- who would argue the House case in the Senate -- until the Senate lays out its procedures for the trial. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

41 Million people in the US suffer from hunger and lack of food security"--US Dept. of Agriculture. That number of people constituted a crisis for FDR when he delivered his One-Third of a Nation speech for his 2nd Inaugural. About four years later, FDR expanded on that issue in his Four Freedoms speech: 1.Freedom of speech; 2.Freedom of worship; 3.Freedom from want; 4.Freedom from fear.

Faced with a similar situation, Trump advances plans to cut more people from the food stamp program thus increasing immiseration. One might say Trump's out of step with traditional American values; but were Obama, Bush, or Clinton any better?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday extended her standoff with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over starting President Donald Trump 's impeachment trial, insisting she's waiting to see whether Republicans will agree to a "fair" process.

Pelosi surprised many House Democrats Wednesday night after the House impeached Trump when she said she would delay naming impeachment managers -- who would argue the House case in the Senate -- until the Senate lays out its procedures for the trial.

"When we see what they have, we'll know who and how many we will send over," she said at a news conference Thursday. Pelosi cast it as a procedural matter and cited the Senate's ability to come up with a bipartisan trial plan after President Bill Clinton was impeached.

... ... ...

McConnell and other GOP senators have been indicating they want a quick trial, with arguments presented by the House managers and Trump's counsel without witnesses. McConnell was giving no ground.

"It's beyond me how the speaker and Democratic leader in the Senate think withholding the articles of impeachment and not sending them over gives them leverage," he told reporters at the Capitol. "Frankly, I'm not anxious to have the trial."

... ... ...

McConnell called the House impeachment process rushed and shoddy.

"If the speaker ever gets her house in order, that mess will be dumped in the Senate's lap," he said on the Senate floor. "If the nation accepts this, presidential impeachments may cease being a once-in-a-generation event."

[Dec 19, 2019] The Kabuki now starts in earnest

Dec 18, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

thanatokephaloides on Wed, 12/18/2019

World News is reporting that the US House of (Non) Representatives has voted to impeach President Donald Trump on two counts, "Abuse of Power" and "Impeding Congress".

(Never mind that the US Congress itself is the source of almost all the impeding Congress faces!)

Please feel free to add any and all new details in the Essay's Comments.

[Dec 19, 2019] Delaying Senate trial as new DemoRat tactic

Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

frances , Dec 19 2019 4:49 utc | 77

regarding the failure of the house to move the articles of impeachment to the Senate I recommend reading:
theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/12/18 article entitled:
cunning-lawfare-maneuver-house-will-withhold-submission-of-articles-from-senate/

The article breaks down the legal strategy behind Pelosi's move, the strategy is quite clever, evil actually and the article tracks how it was done, what it means and what it will allow the Dems to do; well worth a read.

Lawrence Magnuson , Dec 19 2019 5:13 utc | 78

Well, there's always Belarusgate though these stumble-bum forays are getting increasingly hard to pronounce.
ThePolemicist , Dec 19 2019 5:23 utc | 79
I agree that this is the likely outcome. Surer than Hillary winning the 2016 election. It would mean that Pelosi, Schiff, et. al. are really politically stupid.

Which makes me wonder. The obviousness of this losing hand, and the fact that the most politically-seasoned, can't-be-that-stupid Democrats seem determined to play it out, has my paranoid political Spidey senses all atingle. What are the cards they're not showing? What lies beneath the thin ice of these Articles of Impeachment? If the apparent agenda makes no sense, look for the hidden. Something that better explains why Pelosi, et. al. find it so urgent to replace Trump before the election and why they think they can succeed in doing that.

There is one thing that I can think of that drives such frantic urgency: War. That would also explain why Trump's "national security" problem -- embedded in the focus on Ukraine arms shipments, Russian aggression, etc. -- is the real issue, the whistle to Republican war dogs. But if so, the Ukro-Russian motif is itself a screen for another "national security"/war issue that cannot be stated explicitly. There's no urgency about aggression towards Russia. There is for Iran.

So here's my entirely speculative tea-leaf reading: If there's a hidden agenda behind the urgency to remove Trump, one that might actually garner the votes of Republican Senators, it is to replace him with a president who will be a more reliable and effective leader for a military attack on Iran that Israel wants to initiate before next November. Spring is the cruelest season for launching wars.
From my article: Impeachment: What Lies Beneath?

[Dec 19, 2019] Here's How Trump Is Using Impeachment To His Political Advantage

Dec 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump's chances of being convicted in the Senate are essentially zero (though we're sure Mitch McConnell will enjoy the leverage that presiding over such a trial will inevitably bring). And on Wednesday night, as the Dems voted to impeach, Trump told supporters in Battle Creek exactly what they wanted to hear. That the Dems were the real lawbreakers, having abused the Constitutional process to persecute a president against whom they harbor an almost pathological antipathy.

"This lawless, partisan impeachment is a political suicide march for the Democratic party," Trump told supporters in Battle Creek, Michigan, a Republican stronghold that helped him win the traditionally Democratic state in 2016.

Across the battleground states of the midwest, polls and anecdotal evidence suggest Trump will have the upper hand in 2020. Some 52% of registered Wisconsin voters oppose Trump's impeachment and removal from office, according to a recent Marquette University Law School poll. The amount who support impeachment is just 40%.

Independent voters across the state sing Trump's praises.

Trump also enjoys a receptive audience across swaths of Wisconsin. Dawn Anderson, 60, said that she and her husband are independents who voted for Trump in 2016 and can't wait to do it again next year.

"I'm mad," she said in an interview outside a Woodman's Markets grocery store in Kenosha. "He shouldn't have to defend himself the way he is."

Trump won Wisconsin by some 22,000 votes in 2016, a margin of less than 1%. It was the first time a Republican won the state since 1984.

When discussing the impact of impeachment on Trump's share of the vote in Wisconsin, one Republican Party official in the state compared the impact of impeachment to the impact of the recall vote on Gov. Scott Walker, which also galvanized the state's conservatives to take a stand against Democrats who were believed to be unfairly persecuting another. People who never voted before registered and supported Walker because they were so annoyed at the Democrats.

[Dec 19, 2019] Impeachment should be viewed is the context of a larger effort to initiate the new McCarthyism.

Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Dec 18 2019 21:58 utc | 16

b:
Trump's letter notes that talk about impeachment started as soon as he stepped into office:

IMO the Deep State wanted to initiate a new McCarthyism.

Russiagate was the means to do so and that means that Impeachment was always a possibility (though likely a red-herring, as I explain below).

IMO After the Mueller investigation progressives pressed for Impeachment but establishment Democratics (led by Pelosi and Hillary) wouldn't allow it. People were (rightfully) asking why establishment Democrats were protecting Trump.

With this in mind, Ukrainegate is a convenient diversion from Russiagate while providing the Impeachment satisfaction that progressives had clamored for.

It's difficult NOT to notice that ...

... America First Trump actually furthered Russiagate when he hired Manafort (who was known to have worked for pro-Russian Parties in Ukraine and had NO recent experience in US elections) and called upon Russia to publish Hillary's emails (which were KNOWN to contain top-secret information - making any publication a crime under US law);

... and America First Trump furthered Ukrainegate by the mentioning the name of an announced political opponent when talking about investigating corruption on a call with Zelensky.

One might excuse this in many ways: Trump's ego; his unfamiliarity with politics and statecraft; or just bad luck. But one can also see these actions, in a larger context, as disturbing part of the effort to initiate the new McCarthyism.

[Dec 19, 2019] I'm starting to think the whole Trump presidency is a con by making him look like a target for the Deep State and anti establishment, he continues the empire while people who want real change get sunk

No this contradict Occam razor: the scheme is too complex to implement and which requires perfect coordination of the actors. This is really two oligarchic gangs struggling for power.
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Bobburger , Dec 18 2019 22:15 utc | 24
I'm starting to think the whole trump presidency is a con by making him look like a target for the deep state and anti establishment, he continues the empire while people who want real change get sunk

Schmoe , Dec 18 2019 23:43 utc | 39

Bobburger @24

"I'm starting to think the whole trump presidency is a con by making him look like a target for the deep state and anti establishment, he continues the empire while people who want real change get sunk."

Pretty much his only domestic policy achievements have been to deliver what Wall Street, real estate and the oil and gas sector wants. The benefits of the tax cuts and gutting of enforcement activity by the regulatory agencies (including the IRS) are weighted towards those industries.

Also, on the foreign policy front, keeping oil prices artificially high by keeping Iranian and Venezuelan crude off the markets is a boon to the E&P sector.

[Dec 19, 2019] Are neoliberal Dems trying to save Biden? There are so many other issues on which to impeach Trump but the issue of Joe Biden's conflict of interest regarding his son's involvement in Burisma Holdings and eastern Ukraine generally is the weakest

Notable quotes:
"... Surely the only reason for doing this is to obscure and hide the Democratic Party's involvement with (and meddling in) Ukrainian politics and Ukrainian political issues through people like Alexandra Chalupa and her sisters Andrea and Irena, and Dmitri Alperovich and his company Crowdstrike that looked after the DNC's cyber-security. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Dec 18 2019 21:37 utc | 13

It would seem that the Democrats need this impeachment circus over and done with before the end of 2019 so they can concentrate on cleaning up Joe Biden as their Presidential candidate and pretend he had no history before April 2019 when Volodymyr Zelensky became President of Ukraine. That must explain their strange and shaky choice of issue on which to try to impeach Donald Trump: so that during the campaign season,

Biden's past and his son having been on the Board of Directors of a shady energy company (with a licence to explore and drill for oil in an area of eastern Ukraine not far from where a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet was shot down in 2014) can be kept off-limits to the MSM and anyone who dares to challenge Biden on his record. If the President of the United States can be punished for pursuing the Bidens on their record of corruption, then that alone should (in theory) stop anyone else from pursuing them.

There are so many other issues on which to impeach Trump but the issue of Joe Biden's conflict of interest regarding his son's involvement in Burisma Holdings and eastern Ukraine generally is the weakest and the oddest.

Surely the only reason for doing this is to obscure and hide the Democratic Party's involvement with (and meddling in) Ukrainian politics and Ukrainian political issues through people like Alexandra Chalupa and her sisters Andrea and Irena, and Dmitri Alperovich and his company Crowdstrike that looked after the DNC's cyber-security.

[Dec 19, 2019] Historically the ability of unelected, unaccountable, secretive bureaucracies (aka the "Deep State") to exercise their own policy without regard for the public or elected officials, often in defiance of these, has always been the hallmark of the destruction of democracy and incipient tyranny.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Today's Deep State most resembles the colonial administrations during the heyday of European imperialism. These too worked to run their own secret foreign policy, and to bring their power to bear on domestic policy as well. ..."
"... Impeachment, and the pro-bureaucracy anti-democracy campaign related to it, besides its more petty purposes (distraction from real social problems; forestalling Sanders), is the culmination of technocracy's attempted coup against a president who, even though he agrees with this cabal on all policy matters, is considered too unreliable, too undisciplined, too damn honest about the evil of the US empire. If they can take him down, they think they can restore the full business-as-usual status quo including the compliance of the rest of the world. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Dec 18 2019 22:00 utc | 19

Historically the ability of unelected, unaccountable, secretive bureaucracies (aka the "Deep State") to exercise their own policy without regard for the public or elected officials, often in defiance of these, has always been the hallmark of the destruction of democracy and incipient tyranny.

Today's Deep State most resembles the colonial administrations during the heyday of European imperialism. These too worked to run their own secret foreign policy, and to bring their power to bear on domestic policy as well.

Although both halves of the One-Party really want the effective tyranny of state and corporate bureaucracies, it's not surprising that it's the Democrats (along with the MSM) taking the lead in openly defending the tyrannical proposition that the CIA should be running its own foreign (and implicitly domestic) policy, and that the president should be just a figurehead which follows orders. That goes with the Democrats' more avowedly technocratic style, and it goes with the ratchet effect whereby it's usually Democrats which push the policy envelope toward ever greater inequality, ecocide and tyranny.

Now is a time of rising irredentism and the decline of all the ideas of globalization and technocracy, though the reality is likely to hang on for awhile. The whole Deep State-Zionist-Russia-Deranged-Trump-Deranged-MSM-social media censorship campaign is globalization trying to maintain its monopoly of ideas by force, since it knows it can never win in a free clash of ideas.

Impeachment, and the pro-bureaucracy anti-democracy campaign related to it, besides its more petty purposes (distraction from real social problems; forestalling Sanders), is the culmination of technocracy's attempted coup against a president who, even though he agrees with this cabal on all policy matters, is considered too unreliable, too undisciplined, too damn honest about the evil of the US empire. If they can take him down, they think they can restore the full business-as-usual status quo including the compliance of the rest of the world.

Since impeachment's going to fail, we can expect the system to try other ways.

james , Dec 19 2019 1:51 utc | 57

hey b... i like your title - "How The Deep State Sunk The Democratic Party" ... could change it to" How the Deep State Sunk the USA" could work just as well...

Seven of the 11 security state representatives who had joined the Democrats in 2018 gave the impulse for impeachment.

is this intentional?? it sort of looks like it...

good quote from @ 26 lk - "The contradictions of US empire and global capitalism cannot be mitigated by either more liberal strategies or realist ones."

ptb , Dec 19 2019 2:07 utc | 62
@babyl-on 35
yes that is about right. The top power networks are all a tight mix of names from govt, MIC, and private equity (incl. top 2-3 investment banks). With the latter group naturally paying the salaries of the whole policy making ecosystem, and holding the positions that select future generations who will eventually take their place.

They want the security of knowing noone in the world will mess with them. This necessitates that noone in the world *can* mess with them. Pretty straightforward from there.

[Dec 18, 2019] With impeachment imminent, Kushner has pushed out his enemies, installed allies, and taken control of the campaign and large swaths of policy -- only Kellyanne Conway is still pushing back.

Dec 18, 2019 | www.unz.com

renfro , says: December 18, 2019 at 2:39 am GMT

"Jared Treats Mick Like the Help": It's Jared's White House Now (Trump's Just Living in It)

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/12/with-impeachment-imminent-jared-kushner-white-house-takeover-finally-complete

"With impeachment imminent, Kushner has pushed out his enemies, installed allies, and taken control of the campaign and large swaths of policy -- only Kellyanne Conway is still pushing back.

Inside the West Wing, Kushner has both eliminated opponents and installed acquiescent officials. "Jared was very frustrated with [Reince] Priebus and John Kelly," a Republican close to the White House, said. Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney "was Jared's pick," the source said, and has allowed Kushner to function as de facto chief of staff. "Mick has decided not to be in control," a former West Wing official said. "Jared treats Mick like the help. There's no pushback," a prominent Republican said. John Bolton, who recently mocked Kushner in a private speech, has been replaced by Robert O'Brien, a Kushner ally. Sources say that Vice President Mike Pence and his advisers don't challenge Kushner after a string of leaks that Kushner wanted to replace Pence on the ticket with Nikki Haley. "Pence people look at Jared apprehensively. Pence treats Jared as a peer," said former Trump aide Sam Nunberg. (The White House did not respond to a request for comment.)"

Jared the Jew Prince is the number one reason not to reelect Trump.

[Dec 17, 2019] Looks like Dems drink or smoke something that gives them the ability to read minds

Notable quotes:
"... But I think that from a practical standpoint, it's difficult to prosecute a serious case based almost solely on the idea that you claim to know what the other guy was thinking. ..."
Dec 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

President Trump explicitly stated in a private conversation with one of the Democrats' witnesses that he wanted "no quid pro quo." But the mind-reading Democrats know Trump meant the opposite ; Trump did want a quid pro quo.

Though Ukrainian experts say a holdup of U.S. aid would not have impacted their ability to fight the Russians, since they manufacture their own lethal weapons (and sell a lot to other countries), the Democrats can read minds: They say people died because of the delay.

Each of the Democrats' witnesses also drew conclusions about President Trump, his supposedly corrupt motivations and thought processes, that would require them to read minds. (Most of them said they'd neither met nor spoken to Trump.)

Lastly, Democrats can read Joe Biden's mind, too. They know that when Biden insisted on the firing of the prosecutor investigating his son's company, that his son didn't factor into the decision.

Democrats could be correct on all counts.

But I think that from a practical standpoint, it's difficult to prosecute a serious case based almost solely on the idea that you claim to know what the other guy was thinking.

[Dec 15, 2019] Impeachment is part of Dem cover-up

Dec 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Dec 16 2019 0:47 utc | 19

This b recommends at his Twitter, saying "Some interesting and quite believable claims in this thread "

Rudy Giuliani:

"Budapest | Kiev | Vienna

"After hundreds of hours & months of research, I have garnered witnesses & documents which reveal the truth behind this impeachment, which includes NO wrongdoing by @realDonaldTrump.

"These threads only touch the surface. Read & watch all. More to come."

The following tweet:

"Evidence revealed that corruption in 2016 was so extensive it was POTUS's DUTY to ask for US-Ukraine investigation.

"Impeachment is part of Dem cover-up.

"Extortion, bribery & money laundering goes beyond Biden's.

"Also, DNC collusion w/ Ukraine to destroy candidate Trump."

Need to separate the partisan chaff from the genuine evidence, but IMO b's correct that there's more than a few things here that will stick. One political cartoon in the thread comments is beyond apt.

[Dec 15, 2019] Establishment Politics are for the Rich

Dec 15, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

by Rob Urie Russiagate, Ukrainegate and impeachment aren't conspicuously economic issues. But they are, to a large extent, class issues. They are inside-the-beltway dramas about foreign policy arcana that are important to people who see their lots tied in one way or another to the established order. This includes, by degree, those of us who would like to make room for outside-the-beltway concerns like ending militarism, solving environmental crises, providing meaningful employment for all who want it and creating functioning healthcare and educational systems.

This isn't to suggest that these are equivalent concerns. And in fact, they aren't. Absent something akin to a revolution, the worst possible outcome for the connected insiders engaged in impeachment-tainment will be moving on to lucrative 'careers' working for private equity and / or investing their family fortunes in one world-ending enterprise or another. Four plus decades into the neoliberal overthrow of 'managed' capitalism, circumstances aren't quite so universally advantageous for the rest of us. Rising global political unrest seems destined to bring this division to the fore.

... ... ... More articles by: Rob Urie

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.

[Dec 15, 2019] Note of the Deep State coup against Trump: Neoliberal Dems and "nervious" Pelosi went off rail caling that delay with relase of military iad to Ukraine is a netional security risk

Dec 15, 2019 | www.wsws.org

The impeachment crisis and its political consequences by Andre Damon

The document argues that the American president "betrayed the Nation" by delaying "the release of $391 million of United States taxpayer funds that Congress had appropriated for the purpose of providing vital military security assistance to Ukraine to oppose Russian aggression."

This is the first impeachment of a sitting president on the claim that he is a "threat to national security." The types of extraconstitutional arguments used by the US intelligence agencies to justify mass warrantless wiretapping, torture, "rendition," and the assassination of an American citizen, within the framework of the "war on terror," are now being used in an effort to remove a president.

The impeachment drive and the anti-Russia campaign that predated it have involved an enormous intervention by the CIA and FBI in domestic politics. The impeachment inquiry was itself triggered by a CIA agent working at the White House, while a recently-released report shows that the FBI justified a wiretap of a former Trump aide by citing a Ukraine policy change in the Republican Party's platform.

This process is the first time -- with the possible exception of the dark and murky events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy -- that the CIA and associated intelligence agencies have sought to remove a sitting president. Anyone who supports the Democrats' impeachment operation, in the hope that removing Trump on these grounds can have some sort of progressive consequence, is simply ignoring everything the Democrats and their CIA allies have done and said.

The most extraordinary element of the impeachment proceedings was its almost complete domination of the issue of US policy in Ukraine. It is of the greatest political significance, not to mention strangely ironic, that the United States' instigation of the 2014 fascist-led coup in Kiev has had far reaching consequences for political life in the US. In order to carry through the implementation of the confrontation with Russia, which was the rationale behind the coup, the intelligence agencies that determine the policy of the Democratic Party have been compelled to seek the impeachment of Trump.

In 1986, the Iran-Contra scandal was triggered by the revelation that the Reagan administration had concocted a scheme to sell arms to Iran, in order to buy weapons to finance an illegal war against the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. That investigation revealed that the Reagan administration flagrantly violated the Boland Amendment, passed by Congress to prohibit US government assistance to the Contras.

But in this case, the main charge is that Trump held up the disbursing of money that was allocated by Congress to promote a war that is being planned entirely behind the backs of the American people.

The antidemocratic impulses behind the impeachment drive were summed up by the comments of the arch-warmonger Thomas Friedman, who wrote in the New York Times yesterday, "Generally speaking, I believe presidents should be elected and removed by the voters at the polls. But when I hear Trump defenders scream, 'Impeachment subverts the will of the people,' I say: "Really?"

To say that "generally speaking" the leadership of the country should be selected by voters, is to say that this should only be the case when it suits the CIA, FBI, and the military.

Friedman's real complaint is not that Trump was subverting "the will of the people," but that he was subverting what dominant factions of the intelligence agencies consider the geostrategic imperatives of the American ruling class.

For all the Democrats' talk of "corruption," "obstruction of justice," "bribery," and an "organized crime shakedown," the real reasons for the impeachment stand starkly revealed as differences over how best to conduct the predatory policies of American imperialism.

Both the Trump presidency and the impeachment campaign of the Democrats are different manifestations of the deep and intractable crisis of American democracy. Trump has threatened to turn the impeachment struggle into a "civil war," implying that he could appeal to his armed, far-right supporters to defend him against what he has called a "deep-state coup."

The Democrats' campaign against "foreign meddling" that framed the impeachment drive has provided the framework for imposing domestic censorship measures, with the intelligence agencies and representatives of both parties recruiting Google, Facebook and Twitter to demote and delete left-wing, anti-war and socialist publications, pages, and groups.

But even as Trump and his Democratic opponents frantically denounce one another as traitors and demand each other's prosecution, there has, at the same time, emerged a remarkable bipartisan unity on fundamental issues facing US imperialism.

This was made perfectly clear this week with the rapid-fire announcement, by congressional Democrats, of agreements on two landmark pieces of legislation: The USMCA anti-China trade deal and the passage of the biggest military budget in US history.

The military budget, passed overwhelmingly by the House of Representatives yesterday, establishes a new branch of the US armed forces, the Space Force, while levelling sanctions against Russia, China, Turkey and North Korea.

"Wow! All of our priorities have made it into the final NDAA," Trump gloated, noting in particular the removal of language preventing Pentagon funds being used for his immigration crackdown. Amid soaring social inequality, all factions of the American ruling elite are dedicated to war abroad and attacks on democratic rights at home.

The political crisis in Washington is framed by the global upsurge of the class struggle and the deepening crisis of US imperialism.

The past six months have seen an unprecedented expansion of the class struggle all over the world. Mass protests against inequality have broken out from Chile, to Puerto Rico, to Lebanon and Iraq. Autoworkers have gone on strike in Mexico and the United States, while much of the Paris Metro remains shut down, amid a strike wave throughout France. A recent issue of Time magazine, entitled "How America's Elites Lost Their Grip," notes with concern the growing audience for socialism throughout the country.

Just as important is the series of setbacks for US imperialism's efforts, in the wake of the dissolution of the USSR, to preserve its global hegemony through military violence.

In 2003, when the US invaded Iraq, the World Socialist Web Site noted , "Whatever the outcome of the initial stages of the conflict that has begun, American imperialism has a rendezvous with disaster. It cannot conquer the world. It cannot reimpose colonial shackles upon the masses of the Middle East. It will not find through the medium of war a viable solution to its internal maladies. Rather, the unforeseen difficulties and mounting resistance engendered by war will intensify all of the internal contradictions of American society."

... ... ...

[Dec 15, 2019] Former CIA Spook Eric Holder Just Revealed That The Deep State Is Running Scared by Greg Hunter

We will see... I am skeptical about idea that Brennan will be indicted.
But this article supports the idea that impeachment was a counterattack of Brannan faction of CIA and Clinton mafia against Barr and Trump.
Notable quotes:
"... Former CIA officer and counter-intelligence expert Kevin Shipp says that former Obama Administration Attorney General (AG) Eric Holder gave a big Deep State panic signal when he wrote in an Op-Ed last week in the Washington Post trashing current AG William Barr and his top prosecutor John Durham ..."
"... We have to understand it was Eric Holder that Barack Obama used to target the heads of corporations that spoke out publicly about Barack Obama. We know Holder was held in 'Contempt of Congress.' He spied on AP reporters, ran guns to drug cartels and blacked out the information. He spied on over a hundred journalists, and on and on we go... ..."
"... when Holder comes out and puts out this bombshell in the Washington Post, which is another indication that indictments are coming. John Brennan, former Obama Administration CIA Director, is going to be at the top of the list. " ..."
"... during the entire Trump Presidency, the mainstream media (MSM) has operated as a propaganda arm of the Deep State and the Democrats ..."
"... Shipp says the hoax of Russia collusion and the impeachment sham of President Trump is distracting us from other very big problems such as the extreme debt the country and the world is facing . Shipp says, ..."
Dec 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Greg Hunter's USAWatchdog.com,

Former CIA officer and counter-intelligence expert Kevin Shipp says that former Obama Administration Attorney General (AG) Eric Holder gave a big Deep State panic signal when he wrote in an Op-Ed last week in the Washington Post trashing current AG William Barr and his top prosecutor John Durham. Shipp explains,

"This is very significant. We all remember that Holder was Obama's right hand man. Eric Holder was Barack Obama's enforcer. The fact that Holder comes out this quickly after the Inspector General (IG) Horowitz Report comes out... and makes this veiled threat against Durham's reputation. The fact that Eric Holder came out and made this statement is a clear indication to me they are running scared.

We have to understand it was Eric Holder that Barack Obama used to target the heads of corporations that spoke out publicly about Barack Obama. We know Holder was held in 'Contempt of Congress.' He spied on AP reporters, ran guns to drug cartels and blacked out the information. He spied on over a hundred journalists, and on and on we go...

They (Deep State) are convinced there are going to be indictments. Secondly, there is AG Barr's outrage over (IG) Horowitz's report and what it did not do. He made statements that there was spying and actions by government officials that need to be criminally looked into. Barr's outrage over this shows me that there are going to be indictments, and that he is taking this seriously. Again, when Holder comes out and puts out this bombshell in the Washington Post, which is another indication that indictments are coming. John Brennan, former Obama Administration CIA Director, is going to be at the top of the list. "

Shipp says during the entire Trump Presidency, the mainstream media (MSM) has operated as a propaganda arm of the Deep State and the Democrats . Shipp contends,

"They put these stories out intentionally because they are creating their own story, and that is what the propaganda mainstream media does. It creates its own story...

They want to frame their latest story that there really wasn't any spying on Trump. That's what FISA warrants and applications are all about. They are all about spying ."

Shipp thinks this will be a big nail in the coffin of the MSM. Shipp says, "The mainstream media will never come back from this..."

"...because finally, through shows like this and others, the real information is coming out as to what the mainstream media has done . At the top of that list is the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC...

What they did is they created the Russia collusion story as if it was reality, as if it was real. That is part of the procedure in doing this. Then, they invented the evidence, and that was the Steele Dossier. They portrayed this as evidence to create this false narrative. Then they sent this story out to each outlet, and all repeat the same story over and over and over again knowing the more they repeat it, the more people were going to believe it. Then, the FBI leaked information to the mainstream media. The FBI took that information leaked to the media and used their stories as evidence. Brennan leaked the dossier to the mainstream media as part of this whole machine."

Shipp says the hoax of Russia collusion and the impeachment sham of President Trump is distracting us from other very big problems such as the extreme debt the country and the world is facing . Shipp says,

"Trump inherited a financial monster that was not his doing. When he was sworn into office, it already existed. It is very serious, and I think now or very soon the U.S. government will not be able to afford the interest on the national debt, much less paying off the debt itself."

It is reported that central banks are buying record amounts of gold, and even Goldman Sachs is telling its clients to buy the yellow metal. Shipp says,

" This is a solid indicator that we are headed for the financial rapids with Goldman Sachs especially. Goldman Sachs is a global bank, and it's one of the main banks in the United States. The fact that Sachs and others are building up gold reserves is a clear indication that they expect a financial downturn, to put it mildly, that is coming. "

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with former CIA Officer and whistleblower Kevin Shipp.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bEzLeqnSbf0

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_triplesix_ , 1 minute ago link

Wake me when someone goes to jail.

jm , 2 minutes ago link

I kinda think that everyone is holding off to see if Trump gets re-elected.

If he does then there will be indictments, jail time, and a real cleaning of the house.

The guys in the middle of this investigation depose the "liberal" old guard and offer sacrifices to their own "conservative" god of filth. Same Mammon, just a different order of worship.

If he doesn't get re-elected then the guys that are investigating this can just slink back into the current slime and survive in some basic way.

I have seen this dynamic when companies merge as equals. Everybody is afraid to act because the stakes are so high. It's a chess game played by ruthless cowards.

[Dec 14, 2019] You Backing The Russians, Boy - Illinois Man Charged With Threatening To Murder GOP Congressman

Looks like Professor Karlan operated on the level very close to this man.
Notable quotes:
"... Rodney Lee Davis ..."
"... "I just saw you ... on the TV. You backing the Russians, boy?" ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

It would appear all the escalating rhetoric from a month of impeachment hearings - including one Democratic congressman asking fellow lawmakers to imagine the teenage daughter of Ukraine's president tied up in Trump's basement - have sparked more than just verbal assaults on Republicans ( just as Maxine Waters would had suggested previously ).

The Hill reports that a man in Illinois has been charged after allegedly threatening to shoot Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and accusing the congressman of "backing the Russians."

Rodney Lee Davis

64-year-old Randall Tar of Rochester, Ill. was charged with communicating threats to injure a person and threatening to assault, kidnap or murder a federal official, according to court documents released this week (full release below).

Contacted at his home Thursday, Tarr said he saw a television ad in which Davis, a Republican from Taylorville, claimed that Ukraine, not Russia, was responsible for meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections , and it angered him enough to call.

Prosecutors say Tarr called Davis's district office last month and left a profanity-filled voicemail, saying:

"I just saw you ... on the TV. You backing the Russians, boy?"

"Stupid son of a bitch, you're gonna go against our military and back the Russians?" he allegedly added.

"I'm a sharpshooter. ... I'd like to shoot your f---ing head off you stupid motherf---er."

Tarrlater reportedly told The Associated Press :

"I screwed up," Tarr said.

"I don't even have a weapon to do it, is the silliest thing."

"I wish I could just take it all back and just say he's a lousy (expletive) for backing the Russian theory."

Of course, the only problem with all this is that the Democrats' constant spewing of the narrative that Ukraine did not 'meddle' in the 2016 election is entirely false .


Dr Anon , 45 minutes ago link

The bigger story is the number of mentally unstable Americans. When you go driving next, remember that about 20% of them are gorked on prescribed medications. The behavior you will observe makes complete sense in that context.

greek mafia , 46 minutes ago link

Damn...64 and still stupid as hell

Pendolino , 47 minutes ago link

" I'm a sharpshooter "

Well he certainly knows how to shoot his mouth off.

[Dec 14, 2019] Trump Impeachment Is Approved While Republicans Rant by Jonathan Bernstein

Neoliberal shill about failed impeachment ;-)
Dec 14, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

It's surprisingly easy to get bogged down in the nonsense of the moment when this is what's actually happening: the impeachment of the president, and a struggle over the power of the presidency and of the Congress, over the integrity of elections in the United States, and over the Constitution and the republic.

We're almost certainly heading for a party-line vote in the House with only a handful of defections, and there's every reason to believe the Senate trial will yield similar results. But there are some unanswered questions that could prove quite important in the long term.

Will Trump, and will future presidents, be more restrained because even impeachment and acquittal is still a sufficient punishment? Or will it backfire? Will Trump believe, if he is not removed, that pressuring a foreign nation to help his re-election bid and then stiff-arming Congress when they investigate it now has a seal of approval? We don't know. Nor do we really know how the specifics of the Senate trial -- whether witnesses are called, what the final vote is -- will matter.

[Dec 14, 2019] Federal Judge Unseals Nancy Pelosi's Alcoholic Treatment Records ALLOD Bustatroll.org

Dec 14, 2019 | bustatroll.org

Judge Marcus Alfonso Paralapalos of the conservative 51st District Court of Warrants, has ordered the medical treatment files for Nancy Pelosi's alcoholism unsealed and available to the general public. While technically a violation of about 11 laws, Judge Paralopolos stands by his ruling, fully expecting it to be overturned:

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"The public has a right to know if the Speaker of the House is undergoing treatment for alcoholism and bloogie addiction. The 9th Circuit Court will certainly overrule this, but I cannot in good conscience deny the motion to the plaintiff."

The plaintiff, Rudy Giuliani on behalf of the people of the United States, will now have to find a way to convince a panel of liberals that it's in the country's best interests to see the private treatment notes of one of our most powerful elected officials.

Let's face it. Even Trump had his doctor weigh in on his mental and physical well-being, calling him the healthiest 78-year-old of all time. It's not like they're asking for her tax returns. Nancy Pelosi should have to be seen and certified by a mental health professional. She sits way too close to power not to.

[Dec 14, 2019] Will Pelosi have the Votes to Impeach by Renée Parsons

This whole Schiff-Show is just bizarre. Why are the Dems doing this? In an election year to boot? There is just zero chance that the Senate will remove Trump from office, and the case against him is a total laughing stock anyway. All that's going to happen is that the senators are going to start discussing L'affaire Biden openly and loudly, thereby killing the Dem's current front-runner. Is that what Pelosi wants? Meanwhile, none of their other three dozen or so candidates are going to get any media at all, once this impeachment sucks all the oxygen right out of the room. Is that intentional?
Notable quotes:
"... Stating that he had not voted for Trump in 2016, GWU Law P rofessor Jonathan Turley who is a registered Democrat (as is yours truly) opened with a brilliant statement as he set the tone for an extraordinarily compelling testimony throughout the day, carefully explaining to the Democrats why they had not met a credible legal threshold for impeachment. ..."
"... Factually concise with rational, impartial explanations, Turley effectively disputed Democratic claims that an abuse of power stemming from a presumed effort to help one's own re-election is " inferred " and does not constitute proof of intent or direct knowledge of what was in the President's mind. ..."
"... What the Democrats fail to grasp is the double-standard that every politician makes decisions based on what is best for their reelection just as the Dems are hoping to benefit electorally in 2020 with the farcical impeachment. ..."
"... After his testimony, Mr. Turley tweeted. " Before I finished my testimony, my home and office were inundated with (death) threatening messages and demands that I be fired from GW. " ..."
"... For instance, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala) asked the defining question regarding the purpose of the hearing with "no fact witnesses " via a process that has been " insufficient, unprecedented and grossly inadequate ." Roby pointed out that the Dems had apparently not considered: that a constitutional law panel should come " only after specific charges have been made known and underlying facts presented in full due to an exhaustive investigation. How does anyone expect a panel of law professors to weigh in on legal grounds for impeachment prior to knowing what the grounds brought by this Committee are going to be ? ..."
"... Did any of those 31 notice when the Constitutional law experts were asked by Rep. Matt Gaetz " Can you identify one single material fact in the Schiff Report? – all four remained silent. ..."
"... As the Democratic party appears to have lost whatever is left of its sanity and integrity, the question remains why are the Democrats willing to sacrifice losing some of those 31 House seats in 2020? ..."
"... You recall Bill Maher's comment before a previous election. "The Republicans have shifted to the right and the Dems have shifted right into the insane asylum." ..."
"... It is always good to hear of committed political activsts demanding that their own party stick to fundamental principles of justice, adherence to the Constitution etc etc. There does come a point when you have to ask whether this is temporary insanity or metastatic terminal cancer. If it is the latter, America needs new political parties ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Despite an inadequate performance last week by Constitutional law experts before the House Judiciary Committee, Chair Jerrold Nadler released a unilateral committee report on Saturday entitled " Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment ." The Report came the day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi's press conference in which she directed the formation of Articles of Impeachment.

As has become apparent to any objective observer; that is one who prefers facts over fiction, the Democrats remain locked in an imaginary world struggling to maintain relevance, a stature of standing that no longer exists.

Presumably with no Quid Pro Quo, no allegation of criminal conduct, no legally substantial evidence or factual basis and no bipartisan support, in defiance of previous impeachment norms, the Democrats are hell bent on making public jackasses out of themselves.

In a hearing with Constitutional legal experts expected to score big legal points in support of impeachment, the witnesses instead turned out to be smug, hyper partisan activists as they were consistently unpersuasive and unimpressive .

All three displayed not a wit of objectivity or neutrality while touting their own personal political agenda with a foreign policy ax to grind, leaving the unmistakable impression that their testimonies were nothing short of conflated.

Condescending as if pontificating to a class of mediocre law students, Professor Noah Feldman had suggested in 2017 that Presidential tweets could be grounds for impeachment, indicative of the depth of his thinking as he repeatedly impressed himself with his own rhetoric.

Professor Pamela Karlan opened with a shrillness that grew into a hyperbole spewing divisiveness among the American people and went on to revisit the Russiagate and foreign electoral influence myth ad nauseam. Those dim witted Democrats on the committee repeated the mantra as if held in a spellbound trance whenever "Russiagate" was mentioned. There was no mention of Israel interference in US elections. Testimony of Professor Michael Gerhardt .

Stating that he had not voted for Trump in 2016, GWU Law P rofessor Jonathan Turley who is a registered Democrat (as is yours truly) opened with a brilliant statement as he set the tone for an extraordinarily compelling testimony throughout the day, carefully explaining to the Democrats why they had not met a credible legal threshold for impeachment.

Factually concise with rational, impartial explanations, Turley effectively disputed Democratic claims that an abuse of power stemming from a presumed effort to help one's own re-election is " inferred " and does not constitute proof of intent or direct knowledge of what was in the President's mind.

However, it did not appear that any of the Democrats had the acute sensibility to understand Turley's point as there is an edge of lunacy to the collective Democratic mind these days.

What the Democrats fail to grasp is the double-standard that every politician makes decisions based on what is best for their reelection just as the Dems are hoping to benefit electorally in 2020 with the farcical impeachment.

After his testimony, Mr. Turley tweeted. " Before I finished my testimony, my home and office were inundated with (death) threatening messages and demands that I be fired from GW. "

While it was surprising that there was no Democratic Star on either the Intel or Judiciary Committees who stepped forward to make a credible, cogent case for impeachment, it was somewhat surprising that the Republicans had an energetic array of participating Members not limited to Intel ranking member Devin Nunes (Calif), Judiciary ranking minority Rep. Doug Collins (NC), Rep. Jim Jordan (Oh), Rep. John Ratcliffe (Texas) and Rep. Mark Gaetz (R-Fla) all of whom can be expected to continue their Bulldog approach as the Committee begins preparing Articles of Impeachment.

For instance, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala) asked the defining question regarding the purpose of the hearing with "no fact witnesses " via a process that has been " insufficient, unprecedented and grossly inadequate ." Roby pointed out that the Dems had apparently not considered: that a constitutional law panel should come " only after specific charges have been made known and underlying facts presented in full due to an exhaustive investigation. How does anyone expect a panel of law professors to weigh in on legal grounds for impeachment prior to knowing what the grounds brought by this Committee are going to be ?

At her news conference the day after the Judiciary committee hearing, Pelosi was asked by a reporter " Do you hate President Trump ?" Pelosi responded with a shaky false piety as if she knows the votes are not there:

We don't hate anybody. Not anybody in the World. And as a Catholic, I resent your using the word 'hate' in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone. I was raised in a way that is full – a heart full of love and always pray for the president, And I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time, So don't mess with me when it comes to words like that.

It is a curiosity that with the 2020 election a scant twelve months away, the Democrats have not made the case for the urgency of why impeachment needs to occur right now, immediately, before the Christmas holidays when the Spirit of Good Cheer, Universal Love and Peace for all Americans should take precedence over the Democrat's divisive animosity, pitting one American against another.

In 2018, thirty-one new Democrats were elected to the House; predominately from districts that voted for Trump in 2016 assuring a tough 2020 re-election campaign.

Let's assume that every one of those 31 newbies have been paying very close attention to the Intel and Judiciary committee hearings with two questions in mind:

Is there sufficient legal evidence to convince my constituents to support Articles of Impeachment and is this flawed impeachment campaign worth losing my seat in Congress?

Did any of those 31 notice when the Constitutional law experts were asked by Rep. Matt Gaetz " Can you identify one single material fact in the Schiff Report? – all four remained silent.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-0SC) has already indicated that he does not intend to 'whip" the Dems in preparation for an Impeachment vote on the House floor and that the Dems "expect to lose some votes."

Let's do the math: With 233 Dems and 197 Republicans, if 18 of the 31 House newbies do not vote to impeach, the Democratic Motion to approve Articles of Impeachment will fail with a tie of 215 votes. Whether the Dems lose 18 votes or less, the damage will be irreversible.

As the Democratic party appears to have lost whatever is left of its sanity and integrity, the question remains why are the Democrats willing to sacrifice losing some of those 31 House seats in 2020?


Seamus Padraig ,

This whole Schiff-Show is just bizarre. Why are the Dems doing this? In an election year to boot? There is just zero chance that the Senate will remove Trump from office, and the case against him is a total laughing stock anyway. All that's going to happen is that the senators are going to start discussing L'affaire Biden openly and loudly, thereby killing the Dem's current front-runner. Is that what Pelosi wants? Meanwhile, none of their other three dozen or so candidates are going to get any media at all, once this impeachment sucks all the oxygen right out of the room. Is that intentional?

All I can say is, you have to really dig all the way to the bottom of the tinfoil-cooler to find an explanation for this one. Others it makes no sense whatsoever.

wardropper ,

This person has made herself ridiculous by refusing to impeach GWB in 2003, when she knew he was lying about Iraq's weapons.
What has Trump done which is comparable to that death toll?
Proof enough that Washington has nothing more to say to human beings.
The place belongs in The Book of Revelation – and not in the optimistic part

George Cornell ,

So your argument consists essentially of name-calling to exercise your own demons. You make Trump look good, like the other stark raving lunatics opining on this , many in the Democratic Party. You have zero chance of unseating Trump by impeachment and by the looks of things that might not be such a bad thing, he said, making the sign of the cross and mouthing pagan incantations, begging forgiveness from the ether.

You recall Bill Maher's comment before a previous election. "The Republicans have shifted to the right and the Dems have shifted right into the insane asylum."

Rhys Jaggar ,

Would Ms Parsons like to write an OpEd on the US Senate pushing forward false narratives that Russia is 'a promoter of terrorism'?

The biggest promoter of terrorism workdwide since 1945 is the USA, be it through OSS, CIA, or other outsourced channels of coup-promoting violence .

Is it not time a motion were voted upon in the UN on precisely that postulate?

wardropper ,

Unfortunately, as you know, the UN, like NATO, to all intents and purposes actually IS the USA, and vetoes all criticism of itself. And if vetoing doesn't work, it just ignores the criticism. Other recent farces at the UN show the US and Israel sitting alone while the rest of the world condems them, and the condemnation is simply shrugged off.

Astonishing that educated adults put up with it, but there it is.

Rhys Jaggar ,

It is always good to hear of committed political activsts demanding that their own party stick to fundamental principles of justice, adherence to the Constitution etc etc. There does come a point when you have to ask whether this is temporary insanity or metastatic terminal cancer. If it is the latter, America needs new political parties

wardropper ,

This person has made herself ridiculous by refusing to impeach GWB in 2003, when she knew he was lying about Iraq's weapons.
What has Trump done which is comparable to that death toll? Proof enough that Washington has nothing more to say to human beings.
The place belongs in The Book of Revelation – and not in the optimistic part

[Dec 14, 2019] The impeachment

Dec 14, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The impeachment . The two articles of impeachment are so anemic as to invite ridicule.

1. "Abuse of power" by expressing concern over thievery by Ukrainians and Americans? This is a charge? The Washington Post has been running a series of articles based on "leaked" US Afghan IG reports and interviews with people involved in that wretched place. These articles reveal the massive scale of the thievery that lost America enormous amounts of money taken through graft and bribery. Was it unreasonable for this president to solicit the Ukrainian president's cooperation in trying to deal with a similar situation in that country. He mentioned Uncle Joe Biden and his drug addled son? Well, why not? The younger of the two has IMO been used as the family bag man for collecting protection money. Joe Biden himself looks to me to be a political version of Jimmy Hoffa the mobbed up Teamsters boss of long ago, but, with less charm, "a little for you, a lot for me," etc. He was potentially a rival for the 2020 election? He was not then a candidate. Is every human or semi-human to be exempt from investigation and prosecution because he MIGHT become a political rival? The Democrats know full well this would be absurd.

2. "Obstructing congress" What we are seeing in the behavior of the Democratic majority in the House and minority in the senate is an attempt to seize control of the federal government using the constitutional powers to "advise and consent" on appointments and the ability to impeach in the House.. They have not yet tried to impeach federal judges appointed by the other party but IMO they will try that soon. In this article of impeachment they claim that the president has obstructed their function by relying on the doctrine of Executive Privilege to deny them access to his present and past staff. Trump did not invent this doctrine. It is a well established feature of American law. Without it no president could conduct internal policy discussions or confidential discussions with foreign leaders. The Democrats know full well that the principal of Executive Privilege is often contested in the courts. That is what they should have done this time, but instead they have chosen to charge the president for impeachment for claiming Executive Privilege. They do not claim this is a violation of law. They merely stamp their feet and scream that they are unhappy and want him gone.

This farce will end in a trial in the US Senate with the Chief Justice of SCOTUS presiding. The Republicans control the senate and will not allow Trump to be deposed. The senate can dismiss the charges by a simple majority vote and that is what Senator Lindsey Graham wants to see happen. Trump does not want that. He wants to be tried for the purpose of turning the tables on the Democrats.

I think he is correct in wanting that. If that occurs, witnesses must be subpoenaed and examined in open court. The Bidens must be so called to demonstrate the reasonable nature of Trump's concern over their behavior in Ukraine . pl


Enrico Malatesta , 13 December 2019 at 12:52 PM

I don't think that Trump gets what he wants from the Senate - the Swamp is too deep in the US Congress.
James Lung , 13 December 2019 at 01:21 PM
Just wondering. Suppose the Senate dismisses the Impeachment. Won't the Chief Justice have to rule on the question of whether or not there is at least probable cause for the democrats' determination that this is probable cause to Impeach?
Factotum said in reply to James Lung... , 13 December 2019 at 09:32 PM
Chief Justice could rule on a demurrer which would dismiss the case without a trial - failure to present prima facie elements of the underlying charge. Therefore nothing of fact is triable - case dismissed.

Which is probably why Democrats ditched the more specific treason, bribery and extortion charges, leaving only the garbage can of "abuse of power" and "obstruction" behind. By what standards of evidence are both those remaining elements - abuse of power and obstruction -- even tried, let alone judged?

blue peacock said in reply to srw... , 13 December 2019 at 03:10 PM
That's obvious.

Biden on camera bragging about a quid pro quo to fire a prosecutor examining corruption at a company where Biden's son is on the board taking a fat paycheck with no experience or expertise to have that position.

Bill Wade , 13 December 2019 at 01:39 PM
Am wondering if President Trump can force the trial or if he has to defer to Senator Graham's wishes? TIA
Diana C , 13 December 2019 at 01:41 PM
I agree that Trump should get his wish. He has endured a lot of false "reporting." And those untruths need to be shown for what they are. I wonder if Mitch McConnell would be able to arrange that despite Graham.

I know that Trump's personality attracts that sort of shocked response from some people. Heck, I'm a Republican and was first also opposed to Trump because of his personality. But I'm of the opinion that the Democrats and their fawning media characters have earned a lot of the same sort negative responses and disgust on the part of the people because their personalities are pretty off-putting also.

I'm still suffering from cognitive dissonance because Adam Schiff has somehow actually remained in his elected position. I can't imagine a high school principal allowing someone who does "parody" to continue as a student council candidate.

I do believe that Nancy Pelosi may be really sinking into dementia or alcoholism--just on the basis of her inability to control her dentures. To have those two criticize the character of Trump really seems strange. I feel that I'm watching a Dickens novel performed on national news each day. I can't laugh, though, because this is happening in reality.

JohninMK , 13 December 2019 at 02:04 PM
Given the corruption on both sides of the Senate it is probable that no-one wants an in depth trial during which unwanted facts might accidentally appear. Much better to whisk it through without it touching the sides so to speak.

OK so Trump doesn't get the exoneration he wants but then nothing will explode in his face. Its not a win win but then its not a lose either and it is unlikely to seriously affect his chances next November. Plus as a quid pro quo he might have got his defence spending increase and the trade bill through.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 02:57 PM
johninMK

"the corruption on both sides of the Senate" OK Brit. Explain to us in detail what you think is the "corruption on both sides of the seanate."

John Merryman said in reply to turcopolier ... , 13 December 2019 at 10:14 PM
I'm trying to remember the site I read it on, maybe south front, where the point was made the graft flows through these governments we give billions to, back through the various institutes and global initiatives the US politicians set up. McCain and Clinton being the two mentioned. So neither side wants it looked into too deeply.
turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 03:02 PM
SRW

A conversation between two heads of state is not and should not be conducted as though the subject matter of the conversation is subject to the rules and assumptions of a court of justice.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 03:04 PM
james Lung

No. Their vote would end the matter. The chief justice would not have a role if the senate votes not to have a trial.

blue peacock , 13 December 2019 at 03:15 PM
Col. Lang

Graham has a vested interest in not having an extensive trial with many witnesses as it may uncover his own culpability in the Ukraine corruption. And of course may drag in Saint McCain too!

His and Mitch's argument to Trump likely would be, that with no trial they can guarantee acquittal but with a trial they can't.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 03:20 PM
blue peacock

There is no chance that that the senate will remove Trump from office. None!

Paul Damascene , 13 December 2019 at 03:39 PM
An article in the Duran indicates that and why Senate Republicans may buck Trump's wishes, as they are as deep in Ukraine corruption as any of the Dems are. Lindsay, the late John M and Sleep Joe are perhaps the most deeply planted ...
Fred -> Paul Damascene... , 13 December 2019 at 06:37 PM
Paul,

You mean that with the same investigative power the Obama administration had he has none of the alleged evidence on senators you allude to? What a wonderful implication from a Cyprus based media outlet founded in 2016 and run by the host of an RT political show.
https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-duran/

Dave Schuler , 13 December 2019 at 03:46 PM
As of today Trump's approval rating is 43.9% and Congress's approval rating is 24%. I gather that the House Democrats don't realize how unpopular they are and how many Americans support "obstruction of Congress". Are they trying to turn Trump into a national hero?
Harper , 13 December 2019 at 03:57 PM
In the legitimate focus on the impeachment, a stunning revelation in the Horowitz report has been largely overlooked. In January 2017, the FBI conducted three interviews with the key source to Christopher Steele for his dossier. He told interviewed on all three occasions that the material he passed on to Steele was gossip and second and third-hand rumors with no proof. He even said that the sexual allegations were actually a joke and he never meant for them to be taken serious. The FBI in seeking the follow-on FISA warrant merely reported they interviewed Steele's source and he was "cooperative and candid." No content reported.

In addition, Horowitz found email exchanges between FBI and CIA, in which the FBI inquired if Carter Page was a CIA source. Three times the CIA responded "yes." But the FBI agent preparing the affidavit for the FISA renewal lied and wrote "no" to the question of Page's CIA work. That was the false statement Horowitz referred to.

These are serious crimes by FBI officials and they should not go unnoted in the MSM or left to be ignored. I hope that Durham is carefully reading every word of the Horowitz report for points of criminal misconduct to present to his Federal grand jury.

You can't fully discuss impeachment of Trump without going back to the first cause, and in this case it was clearly criminal misconduct by Federal law enforcement.

Cortes , 13 December 2019 at 04:59 PM
b of Moonofalabama speculates

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/12/the-impeachment-deal-between-the-house-and-the-senate.html#comments

that a bipartisan agreement exists that the Democrats can introduce the impeachment but the majority Republicans will vote it out without trial.

An approach which seems plausible. But after nigh on four full years of a campaign against initially a candidate and for the majority of the time the holder of the presidential office involving lurid allegations might not a trial be helpful in restoring some public confidence in the body politic? And in reducing the levels of vitriol.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 06:25 PM
cortes

I have warned people against using SST as a bulletin board for other blogs. why should I not ban you?

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 06:31 PM
Paul Damascene

What is "the Duran?"

robt willmann , 13 December 2019 at 09:14 PM
Earlier today a person asked me what was going to happen in the impeachment trial, and I said that the senate will decide that after the case gets to them. The rules of procedure and rules of evidence (if any!) will be determined by the senate.

The U.S. Constitution says in Article 1, section 3 that--

"The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: and no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present.

"Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, trust, or profit, under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment, and Punishment, according to Law".

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Repub. Kentucky) appeared on the Sean Hannity television show on FoxNews and said in essence that how a trial will proceed is up in the air, as he explains at the 1 minute mark until 2 minutes and 17 seconds into the video--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ-qnp9QLV8

McConnell, as usual, carefully maintains his position, and says that everything he does about an impeachment trial, "I am coordinating with White House counsel". And, "There will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can".

What McConnell is obviously doing is protecting himself no matter what the political effect of the content of the trial may be.

He says: "We all know how it's going to end. There is no chance the president is going to be removed from office".

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 10:24 PM
John Merryman

It is worse than that. Groups of current or former high level employees band together to bid on large scale development contracts. They have local partners and the loot is tremendous.

[Dec 14, 2019] In politics there are no accidents by Harry Truman

Notable quotes:
"... While the typical BubisAmericanus will have forgotten all the details by then, me thinks the hard core democrats, I mean nomal'ish people that usually vote blue, simply stay home. ..."
"... Was this whole impeachment thing completely designed for the dems to fall on their sword and put the Donald back in for another 4? Dunno. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

squid, 7 hours ago link

They want to do it by Christmas in the vain hope that this circus will all blow over by November. I think not.

While the typical BubisAmericanus will have forgotten all the details by then, me thinks the hard core democrats, I mean nomal'ish people that usually vote blue, simply stay home.

Part of me, however, thinks back to something that Harry Truman said, "in politics there are no accidents" .

Was this whole impeachment thing completely designed for the dems to fall on their sword and put the Donald back in for another 4? Dunno.

The Republicans will have both houses when in 2024 the the tax take will barley cover interest.

Meme Iamfurst , 6 hours ago link

designed for the dems to fall on their sword and put the Donald back in for another 4? Dunno.

Been thinking along the same lines. May be the last thing they want is to be "on line" in 2021. I even wonder if CNN and BSNBC, etc, are there to DRIVE the decent Democrat to the Republicians.

I do think that things are not adding up.

[Dec 14, 2019] To date, not a single shred of actual evidence has ever been produced to prove Russian involvement or interference in the 2016 presidential election

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Md4 , 8 hours ago link

No reputable legal authority would fear ensuring due process for an accused, unless it had no evidence of an actual crime to justify prosecution...but DID have ulterior motives and nefarious purposes for doing so.

Let's be clear.

To date, not a single shred of actual evidence has ever been produced to prove Russian involvement or interference in the 2016 presidential election.

***.

Nada.

We have the opinion of domestic intelligence agencies, but we have no physical or direct evidence.

On the contrary, we have as much reason to believe some or all of them interfered in the Trump campaign, to orchestrate and execute a foreign interference hoax against Trump, before and after his election.

Daily, and throughout this sick prog left congressional abuse of power, we have repeatedly heard claims of an "ongoing war with Russia" in Ukraine.

Which war is this? Is this a continuation of the non-invasion of the Donbas in 2014? The specious and false claims of Russian troop concentrations, and tanks rolling, that even spy satellites didn't see? Are we still lying about this? If so, where are the media reports of Russian airstrikes, burning Ukrainian villages, or body bags?

In any "on-going" war with Russia, we would've been treated to near-constant news video of Russian armor all over eastern Ukraine. Have we? Perhaps this war they keep telling us about is like the Russian "invasion" of Crimea that didn't happen either.

We clearly remember the two Crimean-initiated referenda which put them back in their ancestral Russian homelands, but none of that had anything to do with invading Russians, who already had a substantial military presence in Crimea for decades.

No sir, Professor Turley. ​​​​​​

There is no basis whatsoever for Trump's impeachment.

There is mounting evidence of a continued coup against this president, and the substantial number of Americans who actually elected him.

We too are closely monitoring the actual situation...

[Dec 14, 2019] Impeachment trial would be amusing to watch. However, the end result is a lose-lose for The United States no matter who wins.

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

D. Fuller , December 13, 2019 at 6:31 pm

It would be amusing to watch. However, the end result is a lose-lose for The United States no matter who wins.

Crook(D) v Crook(R) is the perception – much as it is with impeachment with Pelosi playing the part of Biden – with Trump standing a good chance to win. As of right now, the 2020 election is Democrats to lose. They are doing a great job of that so far and it is not even 2020.

Centrist Democrats will be trying to court the same voters – suburban center-right Republicans – that Trump will be angling to get. Should it be Biden that wins the nomination.

If Sanders somehow is nominated and Trump refuses to engage in debats? Run a "Trump Tucks Tail and Runs" campaign with a massive highlight of his policy failures. Trump excels in the arena of personal attacks. Biden would lose. Sanders could keep it clean and focused on policy, dropping nuke after nuke on Trump. With Biden? Given how Centrist Democrats and Republicans are both guilty of cooperating on issues such as Syria, Libya, Wall Street, torture, Iraq, etc?

Centrist Democrats have no powder or if they do? Their powder is all wet. It was amazing the number of policy attacks and opportunities that Centrist Democrats had to use against Trump in 2016 yet were too afraid to. Opting for personal attacks. I still remember that ambush by Andersen Cooper and Hillary Clinton against Trump at the 2nd(?) debate discussing the allegations against Trump regarding rape, etc.

Never mind that Hillary Clinton had Bill with his prior allegations of sexual abuse. That was the lamest ambush I've ever seen. You could practically see Hillary Clinton's vein pop out on her forehead when Trump responded. I thought she was going to have a stroke. That ambush wasted approximately 25 minutes of debate time and achieved less than nothing.

As we've seen with the latest funding bill? Centrist Democrats gave Trump what he wanted. So, what do Centrist Democrats have to run on?

Practically nothing.

[Dec 14, 2019] McConnell: There's No Chance The President's Going To Be Removed

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

In a rare interview on Fox News' "Hannity" Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressed certainty that President Donald Trump would stay in office despite the fact that there has yet to be a vote on impeachment .

"There's no chance the President's going to be removed from office," McConnell told Hannity.

Further, McConnell said he expects all Republicans and even some Democrats to vote against impeachment.

"This is a thoroughly political exercise. It's not like a courtroom experience, It's a political exercise. They've been trying to do this for three years. They've finally screwed up their courage to do it," McConnell said.

He continued,

" It looks to me like it may be backfiring on them particularly in swing districts that the Speaker's party managed to win in order to get the majority. Most of the nervousness I see on this issue with politicians since it's a political process is on the Democratic side."

House Democrats charged the President with abuse of power and obstruction of congress earlier this week. Soon after, the House Judiciary Committee began debating those charges. They were expected to hold an official vote late Thursday after debating the articles for fourteen hours, but the Committee's Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) delayed that vote .

[Dec 14, 2019] Impeachment vote represents a trap for Sanders

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

drumlin woodchuckles , December 14, 2019 at 12:54 am

When the Impeachment gets finally voted on in the Senate, what will Sanders do? He will do best by being true to his own self, regardless of what votes he loses whichever way he votes.

But I hope that being true to himself involves voting NOT to remove. Because depending on how bitter the Democratic Convention is, a Nominee Sanders may get few or zero Clintonite Democratic votes by definition, regardless of what he does. Whereas if he votes TO remove, he will lose any votes, or even respectful hearing, that he might have had otherwise among the deplorables.

[Dec 13, 2019] The Impeachment Deal Between The House And The Senate

Notable quotes:
"... the Deep State is "deep" because it is supposed to be hidden far below ( "deep" below) surface appearances. The fact that people are now openly discussing it in and of itself constrains the actions of the Deep State. If this attention on the Deep State continues it could lead the public to demanding legal remedies, and you can safely bet the Deep State doesn't want that to happen. ..."
"... the Congress Critters are principally servants of the business elites (and Big Finance elites most of all) and that the Deep State is a tool used by those business elites to get their way, so why would those elites deliberately hamper their own servants and damage their own tools? ..."
"... damage control on these two points is precisely the reasoning behind the impeachment deal that our host discusses. ..."
"... First, the empire is ruled by an oligarchy, but the oligarchs all have differing bases of power and wealth. The most powerful of the oligarchs are, of course, the Big Finance power brokers... the bankers, basically. They make money with money. They need almost no fixed capital to maintain and feed their wealth. The finance oligarchs are not tied to any location and can easily move their wealth from place to place as their profit needs dictate. At the other extreme are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon real estate. These oligarchs cannot shift their wealth around to avoid local problems. In between are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon tangible fixed capital (factories, for example) who can move their wealth around somewhat, but such moves impact their profits. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Dec 13 2019 13:23 utc | 57

Hopefully readers can now clearly see that the bunny persona is disingenuous and is here primarily for spin management.

psychohistorian @36 , on the other hand, is quite legit and raises points that are worth discussing.

So we have to ask, cui bono? Lets start answering that question by identifying who is not benefitting:
  1. The American public economically...except the top X%
  2. The Congress Critters that are being made to look corrupt
  3. The Deep State of various branches of government
  4. Many, but not all national and multi-national corporations

Point #1 is no big surprise. The elites (including Trump) firmly believe that what is good for them personally is good for everyone. What is good for the lord of the land is good for his serfs, right? There is, however, a caveat to this that I want to touch on later.

Points #2 and #3 are problematic. ...the credibility of the Congress Critters is undeniably taking a severe hit. As well the Deep State is "deep" because it is supposed to be hidden far below ( "deep" below) surface appearances. The fact that people are now openly discussing it in and of itself constrains the actions of the Deep State. If this attention on the Deep State continues it could lead the public to demanding legal remedies, and you can safely bet the Deep State doesn't want that to happen.

So points #2 and #3 are absolutely true, but they are problematic because they conflict with the narrative that the circus we've been watching play out in D.C. since the 2016 elections is all intentional and choreographed by the elites. I don't think anyone here would dispute that the Congress Critters are principally servants of the business elites (and Big Finance elites most of all) and that the Deep State is a tool used by those business elites to get their way, so why would those elites deliberately hamper their own servants and damage their own tools?

No, these two points by themselves expose the falsity of the notion that what we are witnessing playing out in the imperial capital was the intended outcome of the 2016 elections. Furthermore, damage control on these two points is precisely the reasoning behind the impeachment deal that our host discusses.

Point #4 about who is not benefiting, "Many, but not all national and multi-national corporations" , is related to the caveat that I mentioned above.

First, the empire is ruled by an oligarchy, but the oligarchs all have differing bases of power and wealth. The most powerful of the oligarchs are, of course, the Big Finance power brokers... the bankers, basically. They make money with money. They need almost no fixed capital to maintain and feed their wealth. The finance oligarchs are not tied to any location and can easily move their wealth from place to place as their profit needs dictate. At the other extreme are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon real estate. These oligarchs cannot shift their wealth around to avoid local problems. In between are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon tangible fixed capital (factories, for example) who can move their wealth around somewhat, but such moves impact their profits.

The reader should be able to see that not all oligarchs are created equal. While all of the oligarchs share the imperative of maintaining the oligarchy itself and expanding the empire that it operates within, their interests begin to diverge outside of those issues. In particular, finance oligarchs and real estate oligarchs have a natural antagonism. This antagonism also exists between the finance oligarchs and the fixed-capital oligarchs. Current imperial policy strongly favors the finance oligarchs. The other oligarchs are willing to accept that so long as the economy continues to grow in real terms, but that hasn't been happening for years now within the empire. Because of this we are now seeing infighting among the oligarchs, with Trump being on the side of the non-finance underdogs.

Does this mean that the reader should become a fan of Trump? Not if one is prone to latching onto powerful individuals as saviors. If, on the other hand, personal emotional attachment can be kept at the level of rooting for one stranger in a drunken bum fight over the other stranger then it should be perfectly acceptable. It doesn't hurt to cheer the oligarchs on when they fight among themselves.


William Gruff , Dec 13 2019 13:26 utc | 58

"Do I have that right?" --polecat @50

That sounds about right!

vk , Dec 13 2019 13:41 utc | 59
@ Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 13 2019 13:14 utc | 56

The problem is that you don't got to change the rules when they don't fit you anymore. The USA has deprived the rest of the world of "dignity" for 70 years. Now that China is being better than the USA at its own game, it's going to change the game?

Unfortunately to the likes of Rubio, that's not how the real world works, because the real world is not a game.

--//--

Speaking of the USA:

American households see increasingly heavier debt burden

The aggregate household debt balances in the U.S. increased to a record high of $13.95 trillion, or 73 percent of the country's GDP, in the third quarter of 2019, said a recent report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Mortgage balances accounted for 2/3 of the total household debt balances, followed by student loans that took 11 percent of the share. Besides, auto loans and credit card balances also stood at a high level.

Each household in the U.S. carrying at least one form of debt owed an average of $144,100, said a report issued by America's Debt Help Organization.

For comparison, the American manufacturing sector makes only 12% of its GDP. Manufacturing is so tiny in the USA that we had recession in the sector this year and that didn't moved its GDP growth rate at all.

That's why the USA -- which has been failing in this trade war against China -- will ultimately fail in its Trumpian attempt to revert to isolationism: the empire is now essentially a financial superpower. To maintain your status as a financial superpower, you have to keep yourself economically open, otherwise the financial architecture that sustains the Dollar Standard will crumble (since the USD is fiat money).

If your country wants to be the world's sole superpower in a capitalist world, it has to have two titles/belts: financial and industrial superpower.

In 1946, the USA was both, hence it was the sole capitalist superpower. When Germany and mainly Japan threatened its title as the sole industrial superpower in the 1970s, the USA maneuvered to curb their developments in the Plaza Accord of 1985, which forced both nations to value their respective currencies in relation to the Dollar.

The maneuver was providential, but it worked. Germany and Japan would enter into recession in the early 1990s, to never recover again. However, it came with a cost to the USA: it had to outsource its manufacturing sector to China and content itself in being just to retain the financial champion belt, scattering the industrial champion belt around Asia, thus letting this "title" vacant. It stayed "vacant" for 20 years, until China, thanks to its socialist doctrine, was able to free itself from the commodity cycle and middle income traps to launch itself in the direction of gaining the industrial superpower status.

div> Some people seem to think that for an entity to be classified as an "empire" there needs to be a guy at the top who likes to wear shiny metal hats. If such individuals cannot update their archaic definitions then perhaps it would be better for the discussion if new terminology were introduced that does not contain baggage for those individuals. Maybe something like "supranational wealth extraction gang" would help?

Posted by: William Gruff , Dec 13 2019 13:46 utc | 60

Some people seem to think that for an entity to be classified as an "empire" there needs to be a guy at the top who likes to wear shiny metal hats. If such individuals cannot update their archaic definitions then perhaps it would be better for the discussion if new terminology were introduced that does not contain baggage for those individuals. Maybe something like "supranational wealth extraction gang" would help?

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 13 2019 13:46 utc | 60

Cynica , Dec 13 2019 14:23 utc | 61
@William Gruff

Excellent posting thus far. Just one thing to add to your analysis: the non-finance oligarchs are more dependent on the finance oligarchs than the other way around.

ohm , Dec 13 2019 15:01 utc | 62

b's posting says:
"The only reason why the Senate will go the soft way and just vote the impeachment down is because a deal was made between Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi.."

I can't see those two trusting each other on anything. And the Senate Majority Leader, McConnell, appeared on Fixed News last night and insisted that he will defer to Trump's lawyers in all strategic matters, including whether or not to call witnesses. Given that the House Democrats have threatened that if this impeachment doesn't work, they will impeach him again on some other matter; plus Trump's insane craving for vindication; or for the need to produce juicy sound bites for the re-election campaign; or simply to stretch out the process past the Iowa caucuses, it is likely that this impeachment will have a more or less full process, saving the summary treatment for the predictable follow-on impeachments.

Who was it that said "Repeating the same mistake, over and over, and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity"?

J.L.Seagull , Dec 13 2019 15:25 utc | 63
This strikes me as a George Zimmerman style impeachment.

Zimmerman's prosecutor purposefully charged him with murder, a case doomed to fail, rather than manslaughter, where it was likely to fail but would have been more damning in the failure -- i.e. more facts would have been brought in and a big mess would have been created.

Pelosi purposefully charges Trump with a very narrow impeachment, which is doomed to fail in the Senate, rather than conducting a months-long investigation that would dig up what Biden was really doing in Ukraine and who he got permission from to operate there. The investigation wouldn't have made impeachment more likely to succeed, it would have just made a bigger mess.

joseph k jr , Dec 13 2019 16:09 utc | 64
interesting that trump's numbers have risen so spectacularly in the last couple of weeks with this impeachment thing in my view because it puts him (falsely or not) squarely back into the "maverick" role that the Public is ravenous to see, with all its anger and desire to strike back at "the government" which is not doing well by the way (60% country moving in the wrong direction; 17% approval of congress)--so, to me, the question is: Can Donald resist playing his cowboy savior maverick role and pretending to straighten things out or not. Will he "do a deal" because McConnell is so convincing to him and he can pass up a wonderful opportunity to put the Dems on trial for their obvious bullshit in the past three years, including what impetus will be (coming right up) from Durham? I tend to believe the Donald Ego will welcome a Big Fight in The Impeachment Corral much as he once delighted in phony wrestling.

interesting times, at least we could say that

Johnny Law , Dec 13 2019 16:42 utc | 65
Deal is as follows:

--Patriot Act renewed
--New NAFTA passed this week
--New massive Defense bill passes
--New Paid Parental Leave for Fed employees(Clinton and Obama ignored this)

--Maybe a budget or at least easy continuing resolutions.

--Jews now nationality??? not too sure, more like the usual Trump stuff like moving embassy.
This stuff all happened in the last week or so after nothing happened for years.

Perimetr , Dec 13 2019 17:39 utc | 66
Everyone is in on the deal. LOL

"Government is the Entertainment Division of the Military-industrial Complex." Frank Zappa

Piotr Berman , Dec 13 2019 19:12 utc | 67
To me this proves that there really is no difference between Ds and Rs, both side made (are still making) money on the plundering of Ukraine after the coup.

I don't think McConnell wants to help Trump win re-election and a drawn out impeachment trial will just be more free campaign time on the TV for Trump.

Both parties need an establishment president in 2020, a short trial is the least shitty option for the establishment.

Posted by: Ed | Dec 12 2019 19:12 utc | 5

=====================

The imperialist foreign policy entails "bipartisan consensus", "interagency consensus" etc. Sometimes I think that establishment Democrats are patriots [in their self-image] who prefer a political calamity over the betrayal of that consensus. Trump is an incoherent idiot and he may be attacked in many ways. Should he be attacked for disastrous breach of international agreements, starting with the crown jewel of Obama's tenure, multilateral agreement with Iran? Or for a mockery he made from negotiations with North Korea? Or inflicting misery across the globe with "maximal sanctions" policies, pretty much against everybody*? No, no and no.

As some of the incoherent statements of Trump were "friendly toward Russia" (while he continued Nuland-Boland policies), THAT was selected as the main target. So we are going back to 2016. In 2018 Democrats switched gears for the duration of election campaign focusing on health care, something that Trump monumentally botched, but the imperialist circus is back. Lamentably, the "deplorables" are not impressed and the electorally wobbly Rustbelt may be lost again in 2020 because of this inanities, but the consensus (bipartisan, inter-agency etc.) will be preserved. History will remember the selfless sacrifice of these idiots.

=====
* I read an article in Russia, full of gleeful satisfaction, about Lithuanian dairy producers being hit by a round of Trumpian sanctions, in spite of indefatigable efforts of Lithuanian government to be the most obedient (if often neglected) poodle of USA.

Piotr Berman , Dec 13 2019 19:22 utc | 68
[Rubio's] Defending against the global mercantilist aspirations of China is a very responsible course of action for a policymaker.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 13 2019 13:14 utc | 56

I wonder if Rubio will stay on this topic for full 15 minutes. It is actually very much against GOP ideology, industrial policy coordinated by the federal government -- is a 5-year plan (as Stalin practiced) next? Or will he revert to plan B, assuring that American families live better than those in the Marxist hell that is Venezuela through sanctions, sabotage etc.? Plan A, actually doing something about USAians having decent jobs, would make the likes of Rubio vomiting and defecating uncontrollably as they couldn't digest it. So my bet is that he will stay with plan B.

Lorna MacKay , Dec 13 2019 19:50 utc | 69
Maybe I am dim, but I have read the transcript of the infamous phone call between Trump and Zelensky several times and I do not understand how it is being interpreted as Trump trying to pressure the Ukrainian president to smear Biden. As I read the transcript, the favour Trump asked was for Ukraine to look into Crowdstrike. It seems to me that asking about the Bidens was almost an afterthought, not the main thrust of the conversation.

I'm not American, maybe I am missing something that is culturally obvious to Americans? Do Americans read the transcript and see something I don't? Would it not be in the USA's interest to know if Crowdstrike was involved in the activities that are said to have been an interference in the last election?

Not trying to derail the discussion here, but genuinely puzzled.

Russ , Dec 13 2019 20:18 utc | 70
Posted by: Lorna MacKay | Dec 13 2019 19:50 utc | 69

"Do Americans read the transcript and see something I don't?"

Only the ones that are Trump-Deranged. Everyone else sees what you saw, standard operating procedure among all US elites including of course all presidents and high officials. Both Obama and Sec. of State Hillary made dozens of calls exactly like that.

polecat , Dec 13 2019 20:20 utc | 71
Lorna MacKay @ 69

I'll give it a 2-finger shot. The Credentialed 20%ers, along with their center-left-turned-right House masters are furiously clutching their rosery bead (heres hatin on you and your pitiful brethren, Nancy!) .. while the Red Senators are all taking turns hold Satan's pitchfork, hoping they don't get pricked .. or worse!, as the republican mope's support starts to melt away like an iceberg at the equator !!

polecat , Dec 13 2019 20:29 utc | 72
As an aside .. all one has to do is read the comments over at the Hedge, to see that many (but not all, by far ..) have, over these past 3+ years, have gone through a phase-change, seeing the blatant bs .. from both legasy parties, without eyes wide shut !
wagelaborer , Dec 13 2019 20:43 utc | 73
Both Trump and Zelensky were elected on platforms of peace with Russia. What was in that phone call that got Pelosi onboard with impeachment, after years of taking it off the table?
I doubt very much that it was the claimed statement of Trump asking for help with a corruption investigation. (Which is perfectly legal under a 1998 Treaty signed by Clinton).
Something got that CIA spy running to Adam Schiff, and something got Pelosi to move forward. Did Trump and Zelensky speak of the Forbidden thing, making peace?
Biden was not the front runner until they needed him to be. You would be hard pressed to find an actual Biden supporter. They are telling us this, because otherwise the ridiculous impeachment charge would not make sense. (Not that it makes a whole lot of sense anyway).
In the Foreign Relations speech in which Biden bragged about getting the prosecutor fired, he also said that he was still in touch with Ukrainian oligarchs, and he then would pass the word to Pence. Pence?
Don't be too surprised if the Senate votes to replace Trump with Pence.
Lorna MacKay at 69, when the media tells you something, it doesn't mean it is true. Of course, the transcript doesn't show anything wrong. The only Americans who are culturally programmed to see anything there are the ones whose brains have been turned to mush by TDS. (Trump Derangement Syndrome).
It's not you, it's us.
Really?? , Dec 13 2019 20:55 utc | 74
Joseph K @ 64

Agree.

If I had money to put on the impeachment trial in the Senate, it would be on Donald NOT doing a deal to save various butts and FOR going for the Dems' jugualar(s) and let the chips fall where they may on the Repug side.

I just cannot see him acting "statesmanlike" and forgoing seeking vindication after the provocations of the past three years.

Would you? I mean, even normal-size egos have a "Make my day" threshold. I reckon that Trump's threshold was the beginning of the actual impeachment "hearing."

We'll soon see.

Jackrabbit , Dec 13 2019 21:40 utc | 75
Lorna MacKay @69:
It seems to me that asking about the Bidens was almost an afterthought

This is what I have contended. Trump didn't need to mention Biden at all.

Did he do it innocently? Was it an ego-driven mistake?

Maybe.

But Trump has done other things that suggest that he did so as kayfabe . He engaged in a heated campaign with Hillary and promised to have a special prosecutor investigate her if he was elected. But within days of being elected announced that he would not do so (his first broken promise). Was the Hillary-Trump battle really as contentious as it appeared?

Trump invited Nancy Pelosi to a White House meeting days before the vote for Speaker of the House. This gave Pelosi a boost at a time when Democrats were grumbling that she didn't deserve to be Speaker (she had worked closely with GW Bush Administration). Result: Pelosi was elected Speaker.

Lastly, it's strange that Hilllary and Pelosi were adamantly against impeachment wrt Russiagate (the Mueller Report cited possible obstruction of justice), saying that voters should decide in 2020 but approved impeachment for Ukrainegate where the grounds for impeachment are arguably worse. Their refusal to allow impeachment after the Mueller Report was widely seen (by progressives) as the establishment protecting Trump. Impeachment over Ukrainegate conveniently ended such speculation .

Impeachment over Russiagate could have brought unwanted public scrutiny of CIA-MI6 and the Deep State. Instead, AG Wm Barr will make sure things are 'sorted' in a way that safeguards the Deep State. Not surprisingly, he just announced that the FBI acted in "bad faith" - a mild rebuke that almost guarantees that no one will be held accountable.

Some believe that the political disaster that Democrats reap from impeachment will be hung around the neck of the progressives that clamored for impeachment in Spring 2019 (after the Mueller Report). IMO that 'hunch' is likely to prove accurate.

!!

uncle tungsten , Dec 13 2019 21:49 utc | 76
Paul Damascene #21
Whereas it is very likely that not just Hunter but Joe Biden can be brought down, it would come at the expense of a massive draining of a bipartisan Congressional / Senatorial money laundering swamp, with millions, perhaps billions in US tax dollars being recycled back into campaign contributions, etc. Many heads might roll, including several on the Republican side of the Senate chamber.

Thank you and exactly that.

There has been brief mention of Biden shenanigans in China too but now studiously avoided. Perhaps the same boondoggle there as well or maybe that is the country behind the threat from Biden to Lindsay Graham re going down big time.

They are a bunch of thieving thugs.

uncle tungsten , Dec 13 2019 21:57 utc | 77
Lorna MacKay #69
Would it not be in the USA's interest to know if Crowdstrike was involved in the activities that are said to have been an interference in the last election?

I fully agree with you. The Crowdstrike bust would give Trump the material needed to truly unravel the CIA (Brennan) and FBI (Comey/Mueller)saboteurs. These pigs set out to smash Trump and his family, and Presidency. He will no doubt find a way to extract revenge as he is known for that.

Pressing Zelensky on the Crowdstrike element is mighty good politics as it would likely disable the Democrat machinery for many election cycles if the dogs of war are loosed on the DNC internal malevolence.

Jackrabbit , Dec 13 2019 22:08 utc | 78
continuing @75:

The Agreement to have limited charges (nothing related to Russiagate!) and no calling of witnesses (Bidens are safe) was likely agreed in late Spring 2019 when the kayfabe was arranged.

Also, although there's been much hand-wringing about Joe Biden's electoral prospects, the kayfabe has helped Biden as he now says that Trump focused on him because Trump fears him as a political opponent. This plays into the establishment's main electoral ploy: electability!

!!

uncle tungsten , Dec 13 2019 22:10 utc | 79
wagelaborer #73
In the Foreign Relations speech in which Biden bragged about getting the prosecutor fired, he also said that he was still in touch with Ukrainian oligarchs, and he then would pass the word to Pence. Pence?

Don't be too surprised if the Senate votes to replace Trump with Pence.


Fascinating proposition. The Senate calls no witnesses and votes for impeachment? Unlikely, but I wont dismiss either that or a drawn out trial and votes for impeachment - or not. Strange theatre this stuff.

One thing for sure - if the Senate votes to impeach all hell will break out in the Repugnant party. The USA political serenity has been totally disturbed by Trump's election (or should I say Hillary Clinton's capitulation and not campaign in three key states).

[Dec 13, 2019] In the Shadow of Impeachment, Neoliberal Democrats Hand Trump a Victory With USMCA (NAFTA 2.0)

Dec 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

If Trump gets re-elected, if Big Tech continues to evade accountability, if imperial adventures continue abroad, if migrant farmworkers cannot feed their families, you can trace it back to this Tuesday, and the actions a House Speaker took while nobody was paying attention .
-- David Dayen, The American Prospect (emphasis added)

As the Impeachment Drama lumbers to a 2020 conclusion, morphing into its variant selves and sucking life from every other story the media most folks attend to are inclined to tell, unwatched things are happening in its shadow.

Nancy Pelosi has used end-of-year urgency and the impeachment distraction to pass four pieces of major legislation, three of which will become law, all on the same day.

NAFTA 2.0 is one of them. Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, agreed under pressure to approve Pelosi's House version of NAFTA 2.0, rebranded "USMCA," or United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, for obvious reasons. This is a deal he should never have made, yet he made it.

Consider who Trumka is -- a bridge between the neoliberal mainstream of the Democratic Party and the (presumably further left) labor movement that supports and sustains it. In other words, he's the person who blesses neoliberal policies as "progressive" (thus retaining mainstream Democratic Party approval) while modifying those policies in the margins to be less terrible (thus retaining the approval of progressives, who want to think of him as opposed to neoliberalist policies).

He's the person, in other words, who makes the labor movement look less like a puppy of the Democratic Party establishment to progressives, while keeping the labor movement (and himself) firmly in the Party establishment tent. The drama of "Will Trumka approve USMCA?" we recently witnessed exemplified this role.

To anyone with two cells in their brain, it was obvious as soon as the question was asked that he would approve USMCA. The stage was set; his arrival on it announced; the spotlight was ready and bright. Would he really walk onto this stage at this late date and say no to Party leaders? Of course not.

Would he have been able to stay in his lofty perch if he had? His job was to bless the cake after it had been baked, not to unbake it.

What pressure was Trumka under? First, obviously, from the Democratic Party and its billionaire donors, to give them what they and the Republicans -- and Donald Trump -- all wanted, a neoliberal-lite trade deal that could become in Nancy Pelosi's words "a template for future trade agreements a good template."

Second, Trumka was under pressure from his union base itself (so say some, including David Dayen in the piece linked below), many of whom are Trump supporters, to give President Trump a signature first-term victory, just in time for the start of his second-term campaign.

Do I believe this latter explanation? No, but I believe Trumka believes it. And if indeed it is true that Trumka has to serve Trump, at least in part, in order to serve his own base, it's further evidence of the careerism of his actions, in contrast to behavior from actual labor-movement principles.

Here's Dayen on this sordid tale (emphasis added):

Pelosi got AFL-CIO president Rich Trumka to sign off on the U.S.–Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), handing Trump a political victory on one of his signature issues. Predictably, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham immediately gushed, calling USMCA "the biggest and best trade agreement in the history of the world."

It's, um, not that. Economically, USMCA is a nothingburger; even the most rose-colored analysis with doubtful assumptions built in shows GDP growth of only 0.06 percent per year. There's one good provision: the elimination of the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision that allowed corporations to sue governments in secret tribunals over trade violations. There's one bad provision: the extension of legal immunity for tech platforms over user-generated content, put into a trade deal for the first time. This will make the immunity shield, codified in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, much harder to alter in the future. Pelosi has called this deal a "template" for future agreements, though trade reformers have called it a bare minimum floor.

Pelosi tried to remove the immunity shield , but abandoned the request. She did succeed in removing a provision for Big Pharma that extended exclusivity periods for biologics. The Sierra Club has termed the deal an " environmental failure " that will not have binding standards on clean air and water or climate goals. But the threshold question on the USMCA was always going to be labor enforcement: would the labor laws imposed on Mexico hold, improving their lot while giving U.S. manufacturing workers a chance to compete? There was also the open question of why the U.S. would reward Mexico with a trade deal update when trade unionists in the country continue to be kidnapped and killed.

In his statement, Trumka lauds the labor enforcement, noting provisions that make it easier to prove violations (including violence against workers), rules of evidence for disputes, and inspections of Mexican facilities, a key win. But I've been told that the AFL-CIO did not see the details of the text before signing off, which is unforgivable , especially on trade where details matter. There was no vote by union leaders , just a briefing from the AFL-CIO.

At least one union, the Machinists, remains opposed , and others were noncommittal until they see text. The Economic Policy Institute, which is strongly tied to labor, called the agreement " weak tea at best ," a tiny advance on the status quo that will not reverse decades of outsourcing of U.S. jobs.

Meanwhile, back at the Trump re-election ranch:

While the economics are negligible (and potentially harmful on tech policy), on the politics activists are losing their mind at the prospect of a Trump signing ceremony, with labor by his side, on a deal that he will construe as keeping promises to Midwest voters . "Any corporate Democrat who pushed to get this agreement passed that thinks Donald Trump is going to share the credit for those improvements is dangerously gullible," said Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America, in a statement. Only a small handful of Democratic centrists were pushing for a USMCA vote, based mostly on the idea that they had to "do something" to show that they could get things done in Congress. Now they've got it, and they'll have to live with the consequences.

I guess helping re-elect the " most dangerous president ever " pales in comparison to passing bipartisan-approved neoliberal trade deals.

One of Richard Trumka's jobs, if he wants to stay employed, is to make sure neoliberal Party leaders like Nancy Pelosi are happy and well served while simultaneously keeping progressives thinking that Big Labor is still in their corner even on issues the donor class most cares about.

At that he does very well, and did so here.

[Dec 12, 2019] The Democrats have insisted on impeaching by Christmas: the problem is with the absence of the evidentiary record. It remains both incomplete and conflicted

This deal confirms the hypothesis that the DNC is fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump and another against the socialist faction of its own party.
Notable quotes:
"... Professor Turley correctly points out that there are several other serious issues over which Trump could (and should) probably be impeached. So why did House Speaker Pelosi allow only such a narrow and weak impeachment resolution? The text of the impeachment resolution is currently in the Judiciary Committee where it will be discussed today. The language may still get sharpened a bit but there will be no additions to its core. ..."
"... The Senate could interrupt the campaigning of several sitting Senators who run in the primaries to stand as the Democratic presidential candidate. It could call Joe and Hunter Biden and the 'whistleblower' as witnesses. It could dig deeper into Russia-gate. The risk for the Democrats during this process would be enormous. ..."
"... The piece goes on to say that the Republicans allegedly fear that they may not have the votes to call witnesses. That is of course nonsense. The Republicans have 53 Senate seats and the Democrats have 47. And digging into the sleaze of Joe Biden would surely bring additional voter support and not risk any Senate seats. ..."
"... The only reason why the Senate will go the soft way and just vote the impeachment down is because a deal was made between Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi. The deal prevented an extensive impeachment inquiry and trial that could have hurt both sides with uncertain outcome. ..."
"... That a deal was made explains why Pelosi has chosen impeachment and not censure even as polls were showing opposition to impeachment. It explains why she allowed only a narrow resolution based on weak evidence. It explains why the House agreed to Trump's ginormous defense budget in the same week that it produced an impeachment resolution against him. It also guarantees that there would be no deeper digging by Democrats against Trump. It guarantees the he will under no circumstances be found guilty and impeached. ..."
"... Both sides can live with the results of this narrow process. The Democrats demonstrate to their core constituency that they are willing to take on Trump. The Republicans show that they stand with their president and against the lame accusations. ..."
"... my hunch is that he is in on the deal. The narrowness of the impeachment resolution prevents that some other dirty deals by him might come to light. It makes another real impeachment process more unlikely. It guarantees his political survival. ..."
"... So, after indulging her caucus, Pelosi has thus cut a deal to make sure it ends quickly. I think the double-dealing is harming her health, both physical and mental. ..."
"... I don't think McConnell wants to help Trump win re-election and a drawn out impeachment trial will just be more free campaign time on the TV for Trump. Both parties need an establishment president in 2020, a short trial is the least shitty option for the establishment. ..."
"... The "political circus" is ongoing like some crazed Broadway production for 3+ years already and destined for more. That genuine articles of impeachment that ought to gain a conviction weren't employed is glaringly obvious to those few patriots that are watching. But the Congressional insanity continues as noted in my other comments made today. ..."
"... The average Republican in the Senate still does not like DJT. The average Republican in the Senate does not like where the DJT-phenomenon is leading the country (into the light) and therefore prefers a course of action to not only minimize the gain that POTUS could incur as a result of a full-blown impeachment, but also minimizes the damage to Democrats and their constituents that are still littered with true-believers suffering from massive TDS. ..."
"... he Repub decision for an expedited impeachment benefits everyone, including Biden, except Trump! ..."
"... Biden is still the front-runner (to my great surprise). A show in the senate could sink him, and then someone else would be nominated. Someone stronger, perhaps. Thus, tactically it might make sense to let Biden get the nomination, and then attack him with full force... ..."
"... If Biden was disposable, the impeachment would go on in its full or there would be simply a censure. The reason the DNC is going so far to save Joe Biden is because centrism is in survival mode. ..."
"... Yep, and not just centrism, but the whole neo-liberal philosophy. Not to worry though, big organised $ will win the day. ..."
"... ...another reason might be that a lot of politicians from both parties are so corrupt that going after Biden could open a flood of scandals. ..."
"... I'm sure when Biden said "Lindsey [Graham] is about to go down in a way that I think he's going to regret his whole life" he meant something. They're all in the same boat. ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Impeachment Deal Between The House And The Senate

Two weeks ago we analyzed the consequences of an impeachment process of President Donal Trump. We found that the Democrats would lose by impeaching him and would therefore likely censure him instead . We were wrong. A week later Pelosi announced to proceed with impeachment.

Only today did I understand where I was wrong and what had since happened. Let me walk you through it.

The earlier conclusion was based on this table of possible outcomes of an impeachment resolution:

If more Democratic swing-state representatives defect from the impeachment camp, which seems likely, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have a big problem. How can she proceed?

The Republican led Senate has two choices:

Should the House vote for impeachment the Senate is likely to go the second path.

Looking at the choices it is quite curious why Pelosi took that decision and there has been so far no in-depth explanation for it.

The rather short House Resolution (also here ) Pelosi let pass has only two articles of impeachment of Trump. The issues over which he is supposed to be impeached for are very limited :

Democratic leaders say Trump put his political interests above those of the nation when he asked Ukraine to investigate his rivals, including Democrat Joe Biden, and then withheld $400 million in military aid as the U.S. ally faced an aggressive Russia.
They say he then obstructed Congress by stonewalling the House investigation.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky himself said that he did not know that Trump withheld the $400 million for Ukraine when he had the phone call with the president in which Trump asked him to dig into the Burisma/Biden affair. The request itself is legitimate as Biden has lots of dirt in Ukraine. But there was no quid-quo-pro and no bribery, at least not in the phone call the CIA 'whistleblower' and some of the witnesses complained about. Where then is the evidence that Trump abused his power?

The obstruction of Congress accusation is equally weak. Trump had rejected the House subpoenas to his staff because he wanted a judicial review of their legality. They might indeed infringe on certain presidential privileges. The court process would take several months but the Democrats simply do not want to wait that long. So who is really obstructing the legal process in this?

Law professor Jonathan Turley, who is not a Trump fan and had testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee, finds both points the Democrats make extremely week :

For three years, the same Democratic leadership told the public that a variety of criminal and impeachable acts were proven in the Mueller investigation. None of those crimes are now part of this impeachment.

Why? Because it would have been too easy an impeachment? Hardly.

Instead, the House will go forward on the only two plausible grounds that I outlined in my testimony - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Unlike the other claims, the problem is not with the legal basis for such impeachable offences but the evidentiary record.

This record remains both incomplete and conflicted. The Democrats have insisted on impeaching by Christmas rather than build a record to support such charges.
...
This is now the fastest investigation with the thinnest record supporting the narrowest impeachment in modern history.
...
The Democrats just gave Trump the best Christmas gift he could hope for under these two circumstances ...

Professor Turley correctly points out that there are several other serious issues over which Trump could (and should) probably be impeached. So why did House Speaker Pelosi allow only such a narrow and weak impeachment resolution? The text of the impeachment resolution is currently in the Judiciary Committee where it will be discussed today. The language may still get sharpened a bit but there will be no additions to its core.

The House will then vote on it within the next week. The Senate will launch the impeachment trial in January.

Which brings me back to the possible outcomes table:

The Republican led Senate has two choices:

The Senate could interrupt the campaigning of several sitting Senators who run in the primaries to stand as the Democratic presidential candidate. It could call Joe and Hunter Biden and the 'whistleblower' as witnesses. It could dig deeper into Russia-gate. The risk for the Democrats during this process would be enormous.

But Pelosi still took that way and allowed for only a very weak impeachment resolutions. That led me to assume that a deal was made that allowed Pelosi to go that way. But there was no sign that such a deal was made. Only today do we get the confirmation, as open as we will ever get it, that a deal has indeed been made.

The Republican led Senate will not dig into the Democrats but will vote against impeachment without using the process to hit at the political enemy :

Senate Republicans are coalescing around a strategy of holding a short impeachment trial early next year that would include no witnesses , a plan that could clash with President Trump's desire to stage a public defense of his actions toward Ukraine that would include testimony the White House believes would damage its political rivals.

Several GOP senators on Wednesday said it would be better to limit the trial and quickly vote to acquit Trump, rather than engage in what could become a political circus.

"I would say I don't think the appetite is real high for turning this into a prolonged spectacle," Senate Majority Whip John Thune (S.D.), the chamber's ­second-ranking Republican, told The Washington Post on Wednesday when asked whether Trump will get the witnesses he wants in an impeachment trial.
...
Most notably, a quick, clean trial is broadly perceived to be the preference of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) , who wants to minimize political distractions in an election year during which Republicans will be working to protect their slim majority in the chamber.

The piece goes on to say that the Republicans allegedly fear that they may not have the votes to call witnesses. That is of course nonsense. The Republicans have 53 Senate seats and the Democrats have 47. And digging into the sleaze of Joe Biden would surely bring additional voter support and not risk any Senate seats.

The only reason why the Senate will go the soft way and just vote the impeachment down is because a deal was made between Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi. The deal prevented an extensive impeachment inquiry and trial that could have hurt both sides with uncertain outcome.

The narrowness and weakness of the impeachment resolution that can not hurt the president was in exchange for a no-fuzz process in the Senate that will not dig into Biden and will not hurt the Democrats during next year's election.

That a deal was made explains why Pelosi has chosen impeachment and not censure even as polls were showing opposition to impeachment. It explains why she allowed only a narrow resolution based on weak evidence. It explains why the House agreed to Trump's ginormous defense budget in the same week that it produced an impeachment resolution against him. It also guarantees that there would be no deeper digging by Democrats against Trump. It guarantees the he will under no circumstances be found guilty and impeached.

Both sides can live with the results of this narrow process. The Democrats demonstrate to their core constituency that they are willing to take on Trump. The Republicans show that they stand with their president and against the lame accusations.

Trump will loudly claim that he does not like that the Senate will shut down the issue as soon as possible. He will twitter that the Senate must tear into Biden and other Democrats. He will play deeply disappointed when it does not do that.

But my hunch is that he is in on the deal. The narrowness of the impeachment resolution prevents that some other dirty deals by him might come to light. It makes another real impeachment process more unlikely. It guarantees his political survival.

The question left is if there were additional elements in this deal. What could those be about?

(This is a Moon of Alabama fundraiser week. Please consider to support our work .)

Posted by b on December 12, 2019 at 18:44 UTC | Permalink


c1ue , Dec 12 2019 18:52 utc | 1

Don't forget Sanders. Pelosi pulling back from any impeachment attempt would only serve to underscore the pusillanimity of the Democratic leadership. If the Democrats *must* do an impeachment but would be hurt by a Republican Senate hit back, this deal makes perfect sense.
M , Dec 12 2019 19:01 utc | 2
Clearly Trump doesn't care about doling out money to corrupt countries. If he did, he would be stopping aid to Israel where Netanyahu has actually been indicted on multiple counts of corruption.
rucio , Dec 12 2019 19:01 utc | 3
So, after indulging her caucus, Pelosi has thus cut a deal to make sure it ends quickly. I think the double-dealing is harming her health, both physical and mental.
M , Dec 12 2019 19:07 utc | 4
Dems will be able to paint swing state republicans that have been trying to distance themselves from Trump as Trump lackeys for their 2020 reelection bids. Saying these GOP senators are perfectly fine with inviting foreign interference into elections.
Ed , Dec 12 2019 19:12 utc | 5
To me this proves that there really is no difference between Ds and Rs, both side made (are still making) money on the plundering of Ukraine after the coup.

I don't think McConnell wants to help Trump win re-election and a drawn out impeachment trial will just be more free campaign time on the TV for Trump. Both parties need an establishment president in 2020, a short trial is the least shitty option for the establishment.

dbriz , Dec 12 2019 19:29 utc | 8
@c1ue #6

Not sure. McConnell may actually prefer working against a Dem prez than working for a Pub. Especially a Pub loose cannon like Trump. To date, McConnell has a better record in obstructing Dem execut8ve plans than passing GOP proposals.

Bernard makes a lot of sense today. The swamp is on the verge of eating its own and neither Pelosi or McConnell desire that.

karlof1 , Dec 12 2019 19:32 utc | 9
rucio @3--

Pelosi remains alive only through the deal she made with the Devil decades ago which she continues to honor daily.

This quote from the cited WaPost article is too funny:

"Several GOP senators on Wednesday said it would be better to limit the trial and quickly vote to acquit Trump, rather than engage in what could become a political circus ." [my emphasis]

The "political circus" is ongoing like some crazed Broadway production for 3+ years already and destined for more. That genuine articles of impeachment that ought to gain a conviction weren't employed is glaringly obvious to those few patriots that are watching. But the Congressional insanity continues as noted in my other comments made today.

Someone wrote that this is the season of pantomime, and to that I must agree. Fantasies and falsehoods peddled as realities all for the purpose of further enriching the few while the many rejoice in their collective gullibility. Please, add another shot of brandy to my eggnog!

Nemesiscalling , Dec 12 2019 19:33 utc | 10
B, you are right that deals have been made, but you are wrong to think Trump is in on it.

He may go along with it, but that does not mean he is arguing from a point of weakness.

Here is the fact:

The average Republican in the Senate still does not like DJT. The average Republican in the Senate does not like where the DJT-phenomenon is leading the country (into the light) and therefore prefers a course of action to not only minimize the gain that POTUS could incur as a result of a full-blown impeachment, but also minimizes the damage to Democrats and their constituents that are still littered with true-believers suffering from massive TDS.

If they look weak towards POTUS, the Dems will have signaled their acknowledgment that this whole affair is in fact a distraction.

Therefore, you can see that the Repub decision for an expedited impeachment benefits everyone, including Biden, except Trump!

It can be inferred that the Repubs are still dreaming of DJT's eventual dethronement and a return to the standard operating procedure of the pre-DJT era.

Thank you for helping me understand it more, b!

Mao Cheng Ji , Dec 12 2019 19:35 utc | 11
Biden is still the front-runner (to my great surprise). A show in the senate could sink him, and then someone else would be nominated. Someone stronger, perhaps. Thus, tactically it might make sense to let Biden get the nomination, and then attack him with full force...

Who knows. They have consultants to tell them how to play the game.

vk , Dec 12 2019 19:42 utc | 12
This deal confirms my long-held hypothesis that the DNC is fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump and another against the socialist faction of its own party.

If Biden was disposable, the impeachment would go on in its full or there would be simply a censure. The reason the DNC is going so far to save Joe Biden is because centrism is in survival mode.

LIkklemore , Dec 12 2019 19:46 utc | 13
On mobile and Unable to link to the

Two articles on Zerohedge citing Wapo and Derskowitz

ben , Dec 12 2019 19:57 utc | 14
vk @ 7 said;"The reason the DNC is going so far to save Joe Biden is because centrism is in survival mode."

Yep, and not just centrism, but the whole neo-liberal philosophy. Not to worry though, big organised $ will win the day.

Mao Cheng Ji , Dec 12 2019 20:03 utc | 15
...another reason might be that a lot of politicians from both parties are so corrupt that going after Biden could open a flood of scandals.

I'm sure when Biden said "Lindsey [Graham] is about to go down in a way that I think he's going to regret his whole life" he meant something. They're all in the same boat.

[Dec 11, 2019] The belief that Trump is the victim of a vast and ongoing conspiracy is a crucial element of the president's enduring appeal to his supporters.

Dec 11, 2019 | www.theatlantic.com

If the allegations against the president are all completely false, then his supporters can continue to back him with a clear conscience, because anything and everything negative they hear about the president must be false. The consistency of that message is more important than the actual details, which frequently end up contradicting complex explanations for the president's innocence that are often incongruous with each other, such as the insistence that Robert Mueller's investigation was a "total exoneration" of the president, but also " total bullshit ."

[Dec 11, 2019] The neocon narrative that Ukraine did not interfere in 2016 elections started to crumple

Notable quotes:
"... Meet the Press ..."
"... Yes, something happened, but it was because Ukraine did it and not us ..."
"... David Hale, an undersecretary in Trump's own State Department, expressed that concern at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. When asked about the national-security ramifications of the rhetoric, Hale said pointedly, "It does not serve our interests." ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.theatlantic.com

This new front opened when Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, repeatedly insisted during last month's impeachment hearings that Ukraine had meddled in the 2016 election against Trump. That drew a stern rebuke from one witness asked to testify, the former Trump National Security Council adviser Fiona Hill, who warned that congressional Republicans were spreading "a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves."

Read: The first impeachment witness to go after Republicans

But Hill's words have not stopped Republicans from reprising those arguments. In late November, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana claimed during a television interview that Ukraine, not Russia, might have hacked the Democratic National Committee's computers in 2016. After retreating from that claim , he went on Meet the Press on Sunday and equated public criticism of Trump by some Ukrainian officials with Russia's systematic interference campaign in 2016. The Senate Intelligence Committee, during its investigation of 2016 election meddling, found no evidence of Ukrainian interference . But when asked about Kennedy's comments this week, Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, the committee's chairman, came closer to endorsing rather than repudiating them.

"Every elected official in the Ukraine was for Hillary Clinton," Burr told NBC . "Is that very different than the Russians being for Donald Trump?" Burr went on to liken Russia's massive intelligence and hacking campaign to occasional public comments by Ukrainian officials critical of Trump. "The president can say that they meddled because they had a preference, the elected officials," Burr said . Other Republican senators, including John Barrasso of Wyoming, offered similar arguments this week. The report released on Monday by House Republicans likewise blurred the difference. "Publicly available -- and irrefutable -- evidence shows how senior Ukrainian government officials sought to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in opposition to President Trump's candidacy," the report insisted.

Tucker Carlson took these arguments to new heights on his show Monday night, not only minimizing Russian involvement in 2016 but questioning why the U.S. was opposing its incursion into Ukraine at all. "I think we should probably take the side of Russia if we have to choose between Russia and Ukraine," Carlson insisted.

Republican foreign-policy experts are still worried about the attempts by GOP leaders to defend Trump by disparaging Ukraine.

"For starters, you end up validating the Kremlin line which they have been peddling since 2016: Yes, something happened, but it was because Ukraine did it and not us ," says Richard Fontaine, who runs the nonpartisan Center for a New American Security and was the top foreign-policy adviser to the late Senator John McCain of Arizona. "It's one thing if Putin says these things, or if Kremlin spokespeople say these things; people, I hope, will take it with a gigantic mountain of salt. But when you have U.S. elected leaders saying these things, it gives it a significant dose of credibility, and that's not a good thing."

David Hale, an undersecretary in Trump's own State Department, expressed that concern at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. When asked about the national-security ramifications of the rhetoric, Hale said pointedly, "It does not serve our interests."

The accusations against Ukraine have drawn forceful pushback this week from Democrats, but only a few Republicans -- most directly Senator Mitt Romney of Utah -- have openly condemned them. "What you are seeing unfortunately is Republicans wanting to just adopt and parrot the Trump talking points, which also coincide with the Putin talking points," Van Hollen said.

[Dec 11, 2019] Senate Republicans To Let Bidens Off The Hook May Skip Witnesses In 'Expedited' Impeachment Trial

Notable quotes:
"... According to the Washington Examiner , the GOP-controlled Senate have no plans to call key witnesses to testify in an impeachment trial. This means Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, John Kerry's stepson, Alexandra Chalupa and Ukrainian prosecutors involved in the Burisma case won't set foot in the Senate. ..."
"... Washington Examiner ..."
"... Washington Examiner ..."
"... That may not play well with Trump's base, who was expecting to see a doddering Joe Biden and his cokehead son Hunter answer tough questions about Ukraine. ..."
"... Without witness testimony, the Senate proceedings would take roughly two weeks according to the report. ..."
"... On Tuesday, House Democrats introduced two articles of impeachment accusing President Trump of abusing his power and obstructing Congress. Notably, there is no mention "extortion" or "quid-pro-quo" - accusations Democrats have been pounding on throughout the process. ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4777 Senate Republicans To Let Bidens Off The Hook? May Skip Witnesses In 'Expedited' Impeachment Trial by Tyler Durden Tue, 12/10/2019 - 19:45 0 SHARES

While House Democrats are about to impeach President Trump for asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens for what looks like obvious corruption - Senate Republicans have no interest in calling witnesses to determine whether Trump's request was justified in the first place.

According to the Washington Examiner , the GOP-controlled Senate have no plans to call key witnesses to testify in an impeachment trial. This means Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, John Kerry's stepson, Alexandra Chalupa and Ukrainian prosecutors involved in the Burisma case won't set foot in the Senate.

Their reasoning? Senate Republicans have "no appetite" for it.

Senate impeachment rules require a majority vote to call witnesses, and with just two out of 53 votes to spare, there is no "appetite" among Republicans to pursue testimony from people that Democrats blocked Republicans from subpoenaing during the House investigation . Indeed, Republicans might forgo calling witnesses altogether, saying minds are made up on Trump's guilt or innocence and that testimony at trial on the Senate floor would draw out the proceedings unnecessarily. - Washington Examiner

Instead, top Senate Republicans are leaning towards calling a quick vote to acquit Trump once House Democrats and the White House have delivered their arguments.

"At that point, I would expect that most members would be ready to vote and wouldn't need more information," said Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming - the #3 ranked Senate Republican. "Many people have their minds pretty well made up."

"Here's what I want to avoid: this thing going on longer than it needs to," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). " I want to end this. "

The president is not in danger of being removed from office by the Senate, a move that requires 67 votes.

But in a trial, he is seeking exoneration . Some Republicans question whether that's possible without hearing from witnesses, whether it be these or other less politically charged figures. " Not sure how you have a fair trial without calling witnesses ," said one Trump ally in the House.

But with some Senate Republicans facing uncertain 2020 reelection contests and others privately unhappy with Trump's behavior, mustering 51 GOP votes for Trump's dream witness list appears impossible.

" How many senators would enjoy a Trump rally? That's probably your whip count for calling Hunter, " a Republican senator said, requesting anonymity to speak candidly. Senate Democrats are not expected to provide any votes to call Biden or the others. Or they might ask so high a price, demanding that in exchange, they be allowed to call Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence, that Republicans balk. - Washington Examiner

"It becomes endless motions to call people, and I'm not sure what anybody gains from all that," said #2 Senate Republican, John Thune of South Dakota.

That may not play well with Trump's base, who was expecting to see a doddering Joe Biden and his cokehead son Hunter answer tough questions about Ukraine.

"President Trump's allies will want to see witnesses called. How many, and which witnesses, will quickly become a dividing line," said former Trump adviser Jason Miller, who co-hosts an impeachment-centric podcast with Steve Bannon.

Without witness testimony, the Senate proceedings would take roughly two weeks according to the report.

On Tuesday, House Democrats introduced two articles of impeachment accusing President Trump of abusing his power and obstructing Congress. Notably, there is no mention "extortion" or "quid-pro-quo" - accusations Democrats have been pounding on throughout the process.


LEEPERMAX , 39 seconds ago link

AS PREDICTED: LINDSEY GRAHAM DOES NOT WANT SCHIFF OR OTHER CONGRESSMEN TO TESTIFY AT SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

American Thinker

07564111 , 1 minute ago link

ROFLMFAO @ americans

The swamp will NEVER be punished.

The Swamp will NEVER be drained.

Both teams are in on the scam.

Justapleb , 1 minute ago link

Calling us stupid:

But with some Senate Republicans facing uncertain 2020 reelection contests and others privately unhappy with Trump's behavior, mustering 51 GOP votes for Trump's dream witness list appears impossible.

Oh, you mean their own corruption will be exposed.

They take us for idiots.

Bear , 2 minutes ago link

Democrats will claim that it was a rush to 'Political Judgement' and that they did all the investigating and the Senate did nothing ... which will be true.

We need a complete Senate trial to bring to light the truth ... the IG report did not do it and the DOJ seem impossibly incapable ... only chance is complete witnessed Senate trial

south40_dreams , 5 minutes ago link

Impeachment is to distract from the HUGE money being laundered through Ukraine and many many other countries. The numbers must be staggering

surf@jm , 7 minutes ago link

I,m just curious to see if anybody has the balls to publish the names of all the grifting family members of Senators and Congressmen and the details of what they are skimming and where.......

I Guess Peter Schweitzer is the closest we will get.....

A true unsung hero.....

Collectivism Killz , 7 minutes ago link

Well, I just watched Nadler's Articles of Impeachment presser. Jeez, I never saw the dems so scarred and glum. Nancy looked like a zombie, as did all the rest. Check out the fat, ugly bitch in the red jacket near Adam Schiff. Tells you all you need to know about the dems.

[Dec 11, 2019] Pamela Karlan was 'totally biased, completely unhinged' Rep. Zeldin - YouTube

Dec 11, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Silvia Chamlee , 5 days ago

Stanford should be embarrassed .

JoPa GeRi , 5 days ago

Karlan is a freakin psychopath. I can see why our college youth are so deranged. It's because of lunatic professors like Karlan have brainwashed them.

[Dec 11, 2019] The fundamental question is: How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this mass of anodyne trivialities impeachable?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Proceeding to a vote on this incomplete record is a dangerous precedent to set for this country. Removing a sitting President is not supposed to be easy or fast. It is meant to be thorough and complete. This is neither. ..."
"... A thorough investigation is the missing step before a case is presented to the Senate (or to a jury). The White House stonewalled the House Intelligence Committee. Just like with the Nixon impeachment inquiry the first step must be to litigate in the courts the assertion of Executive Privilege. ..."
"... JeffK above is correct that there is a subtle distinction between the Venn circles of "leverage" and "extortion" -- the distinction being whether pressure is being exerted on behalf of the state in pursuit of a stated foreign policy objective (however misguided that policy may be) or whether it is intended for the personal political or financial benefit of an official. These are "gray areas" in which understanding the subjective intent of the actor is crucial. ..."
"... As a veteran prosecutor, to me this is where the House Democrats are failing to act as ethical prosecutors. They have failed to develop the evidentiary record, which is their fundamental Due Process duty prior to filing charges. " I know he's good for it " isn't evidence. ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Matthew G. Saroff , , December 10, 2019 at 11:27 am

The are two answers to the question, "How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this mass of anodyne trivialities impeachable?"

The optimistic answer is, "Because the former is a matter of statecraft, and the latter is using official power to derive a direct personal benefit, and the standards for impeachment based statecraft are much higher." (Congress in rejected Cambodia based articles of impeachment in 1974)

The cynical answer is, "Because everyone in Washington, DC has sad-sack children who get jobs because of their political power, and Trump must not be allowed to infringe on our privilege."

The thing is, BOTH answers are true for different people.

For folks like Pramila Jayapal or AOC, I think that they see this as bribery and an abuse of office for personal gain. (This group has been calling for impeachment for a while)

For someone like Nancy Pelosi, whose kids have clearly had opportunities as a result of her position, I think that it is the latter.

How these two categories are split in the Democratic caucus, and there are probably some in the, "Both," camp, is beyond me.

However, even by a relatively strict interpretation if impeachable offense, we have obstruction of justice in the Mueller report, obstruction of Congress right now, tax and bank fraud (though those were done when he was a private citizen), connections to the mob, both domestic and Russian, witness intimidation, and bribery off the top of my head. (Ignoring campaign finance violations, because seriously, who cares)

I have always felt the the furor over Russian interference in the election, which was minor compared to what Churchill did in 1940, was primarily about excusing the corrupt and incompetent Democratic Party (mis)leadership, and you will notice that I have not included any of that, though obviously the cover-up flowed from that in some cases.

David in Santa Cruz , , December 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm

As Lambert knows, I'm retired after working as a prosecutor in Silicon Valley for 32 years. I think that Lambert is "on to something" here, but doesn't quite hit the mark. Selective Prosecution is a huge issue in this country, but it isn't the issue here.

I agree that for years , Presidents have been committing "impeachable offenses" without being impeached. Unlike the decision to prosecute an ordinary citizen, impeachment is a political decision . However, the question being asked by the House Judiciary Committee, whether attempting to extort the investigation of a political rival through the withholding of foreign aid or favors to a foreign head of state is only one small facet of the impeachment inquiry.

If Trump were to have engaged in such conduct, I believe that it would certainly constitute an impeachable offense . Whether to proceed with an investigation into such an offense is a political decision. I happen to agree that Trump is a turd and that he should be investigated.

Once this political decision has been made, the potentially impeachable offense must be investigated and prosecuted . The House leadership are engaging in the typical mistake of the rookie prosecutor: saying to him/herself " I know he's good for it " and filing charges without conducting a complete and thorough investigation . This is where Professor Turley is correct:

Proceeding to a vote on this incomplete record is a dangerous precedent to set for this country. Removing a sitting President is not supposed to be easy or fast. It is meant to be thorough and complete. This is neither.

A thorough investigation is the missing step before a case is presented to the Senate (or to a jury). The White House stonewalled the House Intelligence Committee. Just like with the Nixon impeachment inquiry the first step must be to litigate in the courts the assertion of Executive Privilege.

JeffK above is correct that there is a subtle distinction between the Venn circles of "leverage" and "extortion" -- the distinction being whether pressure is being exerted on behalf of the state in pursuit of a stated foreign policy objective (however misguided that policy may be) or whether it is intended for the personal political or financial benefit of an official. These are "gray areas" in which understanding the subjective intent of the actor is crucial.

This is where hard evidence such as tapes and transcripts of the actual words used become critical. This evidence apparently exists, but House Democrats have failed to file suit to obtain them. Only when we know the words used and the surrounding circumstances can we draw inferences about the subjective intent of the actors. In the criminal law we draw such inferences about an actor's subjective intent all the time . However, we apply special rules when drawing inferences about a person's intent. Those inferences must not only be reasonable , they must be the only reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the facts and circumstances presented.

As a veteran prosecutor, to me this is where the House Democrats are failing to act as ethical prosecutors. They have failed to develop the evidentiary record, which is their fundamental Due Process duty prior to filing charges. " I know he's good for it " isn't evidence.

[Dec 11, 2019] Karlan's statement was not even footnoted

Dec 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

DJG , , December 9, 2019 at 7:52 pm

This observation by Lambert Strether sums it up: "Karlan's wasn't even footnoted, whether to facts, or to law." She is supposedly a professor of law, supposedly advising the Congress about the process of impeachment. She didn't even try to do her job. One may not agree with Turley, although the long excerpt brings a broad perspective to what is criminality and to how much criminality we now consider normal in the U.S. government. To his credit, Turley marshals facts into a synthesis.

What the Republicans don't seem to get is that will to power isn't all that matters and that their commitment to economic degradation and looting the citizenry have thrown them into a crisis (as the paleo-conservatives keep pointing out). Among liberals like Pelosi (and Karlan), the cluelessness is breathtaking. American liberalism is in a profound crisis, with Karlan's disquisition being particulary breathtaking for clichés-a-minute, sheer vulgar thinking, and kitsch.

This is the end. For those of us on the left, and I hesitate to advise non-action, it may be time simply to let these two rotten structures and ways of thinking collapse. It is like watching two ghost ships engaged battle, desparately trying to sink one another into a putrid ocean.

On a lighter (!) note, I will quote Gramsci:

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying away and the new cannot yet be born; during this break in continuity, unhealthy events of every kind are happening.

La crisi consiste appunto nel fatto che il vecchio muore e il nuovo non può nascere: in questo interregno si verificano i fenomeni morbosi piú svariati.

Antonio Gramsci -- Prison Notebooks

flora , , December 9, 2019 at 7:58 pm

An old lawyer adage: If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither the facts nor the law , pound the table.

Karlan was pounding the table.

[Dec 10, 2019] FBI Didn't Tell Surveillance Court That Carter Page Was Operational Contact For CIA With Positive Assessment

Dec 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

FBI Didn't Tell Surveillance Court That Carter Page Was "Operational Contact" For CIA With "Positive Assessment" by Tyler Durden Tue, 12/10/2019 - 07:55 0 SHARES

Authored by Chuck Ross via National Interest,

The FBI failed to inform surveillance court judges that Carter Page was an "operational contact" for the CIA for years , and that an employee at the spy agency gave the former Trump aide a "positive assessment," according to a Justice Department report released Monday.

The finding is included in a list of seven of the FBI's "significant inaccuracies and omissions" in applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Page, a longtime energy consultant who joined the Trump campaign in March 2016.

(emphasis ours)

The report said the FBI "omitted" information it obtained from another U.S. government agency about its prior relationship with Page.

The agency approved Page as an "operational contact" from 2008 to 2013, according to the report.

"Page had provided information to the other agency concerning his prior contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers, one of which overlapped with facts asserted in the FISA application," the report stated.

Page told the Daily Caller News Foundation he believes the agency in question is the CIA. Page has previously said he provided information to the CIA and FBI before becoming ensnared in the bureau's investigation of the Trump campaign.

The report stated an employee with the CIA assessed Page "candidly" described contact he had with a Russian intelligence officer in 2014. But the FBI cited Page's contact with the officer to assert in its FISA applications that there was probable cause to believe that Page was working as a Russian agent.

The IG faulted the FBI for failing to disclose to FISA judges that Page was an operational contact for the CIA for five years, and that "Page had disclosed to the other agency contacts that he had with Intelligence Officer 1 and certain other individuals."

The report also stated that the FBI omitted that "the other agency's employee had given a positive assessment of Page's candor."

The IG said the FBI's failure to disclose Page's relationship with the CIA "was particularly concerning" because an FBI attorney had specifically asked an FBI case agent whether Page had a current or prior relationship with the other federal agency.

***

[editor's note: Not only that, an FBI employee - undoubtedly 'resistance' lawyer Kevin Clinesmith , altered an email to specifically state that Page was "not a source" for the CIA . ]

The FBI agent falsely asserted Page's relationship was "outside scope" of the investigation because it dated back to when Page lived in Moscow from 2004 to 2007.

"This representation, however, was contrary to information that the other agency had provided to the FBI in August 2016, which stated that Page was approved as an 'operational contact' of the other agency from 2008 to 2013 (after Page had left Moscow)," the IG report stated.

The report also said Page's CIA contacts considered him to have been candid about his interactions with a suspected Russian intelligence officer who was later indicted for acting as an unregistered agent of Russia.


Occams_Razor_Trader_Part_Deux , 8 minutes ago link

I sometimes think Page was a plant- he's vigorously defended Trump and slammed the CIA and the hoax of the spying- but that could all be a ruse.

In my mind the jury is still out.

Papadopolous on the other hand- was clearly used, honey pot and all.

SnatchnGrab , 13 minutes ago link

Is the phrase ""significant inaccuracies and omissions" code for LYING?

Asking for a friend.

Old Hippie Patriot , 29 minutes ago link

The entire "Russian collusion" investigation is another example of the Feds manufacturing false evidence. Mitsud, supposedly a Russian agent, was actually an asset of US intelligence. Ever since the foisting of the 17th Amendment, which destroyed the veto of the several states of Washington excesses and corruptions, Washington D.C. has been the only REAL enemy that the people have ever had.

Teamtc321 , 42 minutes ago link

Rudy is going to take a huge Trump Dump, right on the heads of the Libtards this week....... Open wide Retards..........

=============

Breaking: Ukrainian Official Reveals Six Criminal Cases Opened in Ukraine Involving the Bidens

Trump told the waiting reporters that his personal attorney former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani "found plenty" of "good information" during his recent trip to Ukraine and Europe.

Trump then added that he believes Giuliani wants to present a report to the Attorney General William Barr and to Congress. Trump added Giuliani has not told him what he found.

Giuliani reportedly traveled to Budapest and Ukraine this past week to meet with several Ukrainian officials about corruption.

OAN reporter Chanel Rion has been traveling with Rudy Giuliani and reporting on his investigations in Hungary and Kiev, Ukraine.

In her report released on Sunday night Chanel Rion mentioned that Ukrainian officials showed her six criminal cases involving the Bidens, Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/12/breaking-ukrainian-official-reveals-six-criminal-cases-opened-in-ukraine-involving-the-bidens/

Charlie_Martel , 48 minutes ago link

The CIA-FBI put a lot of "assets" into and around Trump's 2016 campaign to rig the election for Hillary.

simpson seers , 1 hour ago link

FBI employee - undoubtedly 'resistance' lawyer Kevin Clinesmith , altered an email to specifically state that Page was "not a source" for the CIA . ]

if it's murican and it's mouth is open it's lying.......it's been a tradition since 1776.....

two hoots , 1 hour ago link

A more powerful force is at work here, the agencies are their tools, operators. We need to get our heads out of the weeds if we are to identify the source. Whatever it is, it is likely internal, thought a higher cause and convincing as CIA, FBI have bought in?

enough of this , 1 hour ago link

DOJ IG Horowitz delivered up another costly whitewash, just like he did with his investigation of the FBI's handling of Clinton's emails.

https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/doj-inspector-general-michael-horowitz-does-it-again-with-another-whitewash/

Drop-Hammer , 1 hour ago link

I read the linked article. Quite fascinating that Hillary and her minions were treated with kid gloves (and nothing at all about Obama, Lynch, Holder, Jarrett, et al) and extended every courtesy and soft-pedal, yet Roger Stone and Paul Manafort were greeted with platoons of FBI ninjas and armored vehicles in early morning raids akin to those in Stalinist Russia.

Equinox7 , 1 hour ago link

The FBI didn't tell the FISA court a lot of things. The FBI failed to tell the FISA court the interview with Papadopoulos revealed there to be absolutely NO Russian collusion. The FBI deliberately withheld exculpatory evidence that would have freed General Flynn and ended the investigations.

Instead, the FBI covered up the truth with omissions and lies. That what I call bias.

Call it willful blindness by omission, but I prefer to call it a criminal act and sedition against a President.

tedstr , 1 hour ago link

This guy is an Annapolis grad and CIA contact and they destroyed him. Hes gonna get very rich with lawsuits now. The thing that amazes me no one is talking about.........motivation. All of these major and minor infractions add up to one thing.....an orchestrated attempt to frame and over throw the President.\ of the United States

[Dec 10, 2019] It is common knowledge that Congress, too, is corrupt and sells out the national interest in favor of their own political and personal interests on a daily basis. They have no moral credibility here by saying:

Dec 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

Clyde Schechter 6 hours ago

I agree with everything you say in the article, Mr. Larison. And yet, I have serious qualms about whether Congress should impeach and remove Trump.

From a purely legal perspective, they should. But impeachment is a blend of legalism and politics. And the politics here are murky at best. The problem is that Congress does not come to these issues with clean hands. It is common knowledge that Congress, too, is corrupt and sells out the national interest in favor of their own political and personal interests on a daily basis. They have no moral credibility here; who are they to judge the President? Neither the impeachment itself, nor the subsequent, apparently inevitable, acquittal by the Senate will be seen as legitimate, except by partisans of the respective acts. It is all the more problematic because an election is less than a year away.

Yes, I want Trump out of office, too. But unfortunately our Congress lacks the moral legitimacy to do this; the impeachment and trial will serve only to reinforce each party's views of the other as treasonous. The impeachment will be seen as an attempted coup, and the acquittal will be seen as a whitewash and cover-up. (If by some odd circumstance he is removed rather than acquitted, it will be seen as a successful coup, an undoing of the 2016 election.)

There are no really good outcomes from this scenario. It would, I think, be better for the the country were the Democrats to reverse course and leave the removal of Trump to the people next November. We have survived nearly three years of him, we can survive one more. I fear the fallout from impeachment and trial will create more problems than are solved.

likbez Clyde Schechter
I agree. I also respectfully disagree with Larrison's judgment and consider this development as very dangerous for the Republic. We need to weight our personal animosity toward Trump with the risks of his forceful removal on dubious charges.

Please remember that nobody was impeached for the Iraq war. That creates a really high plank for the impeachment. And makes any Dems arguments for Trump impeachment not only moot but a joke.

The fundamental question is: How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this entrapment impeachable?

The furor over Russian interference in the election, which was extremely minor, if existed at all, compared to what Churchill did in 1940, was primarily about excusing the corrupt and incompetent Clinton wing of Democratic Party leadership (Neoliberal Democrats.) Political "shelf life" for whom is over in any case as neoliberalism is dead as an ideology and entered zombie ( bloodthirsty ) stage. Hillary political fiasco taught them nothing. Russiagate was and still is a modern witch hunt, the attempt to patch with Russophobia the cracks in the neoliberal facade. Neo-McCarthyism, if you wish.

In view of the Iraq war, the impeachment of Trump means the absolute contempt for the plebs. Again, Trump's election happened because neoliberalism as ideology died in 2008, and plebs in 2016 refused to follow corrupt neoliberal democrats and decided to show them the middle finger. They will not follow the neoliberal elite in 2020, impeachment, or no impeachment. So the whole "Pelosi gambit" (and from the point of view of Nuremberg principles she is a war criminal like Bush II and Co ) will fail.

The House Democrats did not act as ethical prosecutors. They have failed to develop the evidentiary record, and provide the equality of procecutor and the defense in the process which is the fundamental part of the Due Process prior to filing charges. A large part of their witnesses (Karlan, Hill, Vindman) were just "true believers" (Karlan) or corrupt Deep Staters (Hill, Vindman) taking a stand to defend their personal well-being, which is based on warmongering. And protect their illegal role in formulating the USA foreign policy (actually based on the quality of Fiona Hill book alone, she should be kept at mile length from this area; she is a propagandist not a researcher/analyst)

Among State Department witnesses there could well be those who were probably explicitly or implicitly involved in the money laundering of the US aid money via Ukraine (Biden-lights so to speak)

The article of impeachment saying:

Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

opens a huge can of worms (this is essentially the Moscow show trials method of removing politicians.) This is equivalent to a change in the Constitution, introducing the vote of no confidence as the method removal of the top members of the executive branch.

Impeachment is always a political decision. And here I am not sure the "Pelosi gambit" will work. I think many independents, who would stay home or would vote for Dems in 2020 now will vote for Trump as a protest against the abuse of impeachment by the Neoliberal/Corporate Dems.

[Dec 10, 2019] Sad old political clown Pelosi forgot her behaviour when the House tried to impeach Bush II for Iraq war by Lambert Strether

Notable quotes:
"... This is merely political theater and a way to stiffen their spines of jello for their coup. Heaven forfend that President Evo Morales Donald Trump be ousted in a coup by the American Deep State. Our ruling class and their servants really are stupid enough to believe that destroying the norms, both written and unwritten, that our society is actually governed by is a good thing. ..."
"... For the powers that be war crimes are not impeachable offenses. ..."
"... The MSM is reporting the "impeachment" as if it was a serious (approved by expert academics) endeavor. However, the veil is lifting. The revealed face of the ruling class is Neo-Orwellian. ..."
"... Turley says he is now getting threatening phone calls as well people trying to get him fired as professor because he dared to pooh pooh the case for impeachment. ..."
"... The insanity of [neo]liberals strikes me as the actions of the philosophically bankrupt, the hysterical demonizing of Trump being their desperate way to avoid recognizing that fact. ..."
"... Nadler, like Schiff before him, is putting on a diversionary show. The big rush in both shows has been to construct narratives to sow doubt in the minds of viewers and voters, on a tight schedule. That schedule has been known for some time, with a big component dropping today in the IG report. ..."
"... Whether it's Iraq I, Iraq II, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and any others I've missed, I want to know how many of these rats had / have financial interests in these wars ..."
"... The verdict is prepared before the charges! ..."
"... The House Dems started to boil when Trump suggested the Magnitsky Act was not impartial and Browder might be a crook, heaven forbid. But when Trump really started to focus on the Ukraingate stuff the House shifted into high gear. ..."
"... Schiff started to look like a cornered animal, the expression on his face went from moral superiority to downright angst. His eyes started to bug out. Nancy went from no impeachment to, almost overnight, yes impeachment. And Rudy Giuliani was accused of Treason for questioning their favorite operative, Joe Bagman. ..."
"... Let the last stage of the Great Looting of the Planet begin. ..."
"... I think there are too many moving parts to allow any meaningful analysis of such a soon-to-be-fait accompli. Justice, fairness, Constitution, "rule of law" are the shibboleths of the weak. None of those are anything but fig leafs over tumescent power, mentioned occasionally and clearly without adherence or conviction by that tiny set of front people and spokespersons for the even smaller set that actually move the levers of power. In the end, of course, as with all the climax events of the last few generations, we mopes will never get more than a modified limited hangout of an inkling to what actually happened, and not even that while the play's afoot. ..."
"... "However hurried a court may be in its efforts to reach the merits of a controversy, the integrity of procedural rules is dependent upon consistent enforcement because the only fair and reasonable alternative thereto is complete abandonment." Miller v. Lint, 62 Ohio St. 2d 209 (1980). ..."
"... Proceeding to a vote on this incomplete record is a dangerous precedent to set for this country. Removing a sitting President is not supposed to be easy or fast. It is meant to be thorough and complete. This is neither. ..."
"... A thorough investigation is the missing step before a case is presented to the Senate (or to a jury). The White House stonewalled the House Intelligence Committee. Just like with the Nixon impeachment inquiry the first step must be to litigate in the courts the assertion of Executive Privilege. ..."
"... JeffK above is correct that there is a subtle distinction between the Venn circles of "leverage" and "extortion" -- the distinction being whether pressure is being exerted on behalf of the state in pursuit of a stated foreign policy objective (however misguided that policy may be) or whether it is intended for the personal political or financial benefit of an official. These are "gray areas" in which understanding the subjective intent of the actor is crucial. ..."
"... As a veteran prosecutor, to me this is where the House Democrats are failing to act as ethical prosecutors. They have failed to develop the evidentiary record, which is their fundamental Due Process duty prior to filing charges. " I know he's good for it " isn't evidence. ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. –Matt 23:24

Patient readers, I had originally intended to compare and contrast the statements of the four lawyers (Feldman, Karlan, Gerhardt, and Turley) appearing before the House Judiciary Committee . But I changed course, for a few reasons: First, Feldman, Karlan, and Gerhardt simply didn't produce serious documents; all were short, and Karlan's wasn't even footnoted, whether to facts, or to law.

Turley's statement at least showed signs of legal reasoning, as opposed to preaching to the choir, but there's no point my summarizing it; you can just read it .[1]

Second, since the House Judiciary's report on the " Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment " followed so soon after the lawyers' testimony that it could hardly have been influenced by it, their testimony was evidently for show. Finally, this abbreviated Season 2 of Impeachment! , "UkraineGate," reminds me of nothing so much as Gish Gallop : There's too much to track in the time frame available, the few trustworthy interpreters are overwhelmed, and that's by intent. (Season 1, "RussiaGate," was more of a Gish stroll by comparison.)

So I'm going to do something completely different. Conventional wisdom agrees that when impeaching a President, the House plays the role of the prosecutor, and brings and prosecutes the indictment; and the Senate then tries the case. From Senate.gov , just as a change from citing the Federalist Papers, which I too shall get to:

In impeachment proceedings, the House of Representatives charges an official of the federal government by approving, by majority vote, articles of impeachment. A committee of representatives, called "managers," acts as prosecutors before the Senate.

(The Senate has a useful potted history of impeachment as well.) One of innumberable quotes to this effect: " The House is just acting like a prosecutor or grand jury, deciding on charges to be filed."

The question nobody seems to be asking is whether the House, in this impeachment inquiry, is acting as a prosecutor should act[2]. That is the question I will ask in this post. (I'm sensible that we have actual prosecutors in the readership, and so I'm going out on a limb here; the fact that nobody I can find has gone out on this particular limb doesn't mean that it is, or is not, a good limb to go out on. We'll see!)

So, assuming the House to be performing the role of a prosecutor, how should a good prosecutor act? From the American Bar Association, " Criminal Justice Standards for the Prosecution Function ":

The primary duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice within the bounds of the law, not merely to convict . The prosecutor serves the public interest and should act with integrity and balanced judgment to increase public safety both by pursuing appropriate criminal charges of appropriate severity, and by exercising discretion to not pursue criminal charges in appropriate circumstances. The prosecutor should seek to protect the innocent and convict the guilty, consider the interests of victims and witnesses, and respect the constitutional and legal rights of all persons, including suspects and defendants.

What then is justice? Philosophers differ, but here is a defintion from which "the rule of law" (of which we hear so much) can be derived. From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy :

The third aspect of justice to which Justinian's definition draws our attention is the connection between justice and the impartial and consistent application of rules – that is what the 'constant and perpetual will' part of the definition conveys. Justice is the opposite of arbitrariness. It requires that where two cases are relevantly alike, they should be treated in the same way . Following a rule that specifies what is due to a person who has features X, Y, Z whenever such a person is encountered ensures this. And although the rule need not be unchangeable – perpetual in the literal sense – it must be relatively stable. This explains why justice is exemplified in the rule of law, where laws are understood as general rules impartially applied over time. Outside of the law itself, individuals and institutions that want to behave justly must mimic the law in certain ways (for instance, gathering reliable information about individual claimants, allowing for appeals against decisions).

The Law Dictionary conceptualizes the requirement for "impartial and consistent application of rules" as fairness. From " The Four Pillars of the Rule of Law ":

It's one thing for the laws to be written fairly, but if they are enforced in such a way that is either arbitrary or unfair then the rule of law begins to break down. For example, if a jurisdiction passes laws against drug use, but then only enforces those laws against a particular ethnic minority or social group, then the laws are not being enforced fairly. Citizens living under a rule of law system have a right to know that the laws are being administered and enforced in a way that is fair and accessible.

There are many theories of justice, but surely the "impartial and consistent application of rules" is understood by lay readers as fundamental. From the Washington Post, " The U.S. court system is criminally unjust ":

We like to believe that decisions made in U.S. courts are determined by the wisdom of the Constitution, and guided by fair-minded judges and juries of our peers.

Unfortunately, this is often wishful thinking. Unsettling research into the psychology of courtroom decisions has shown that our personal backgrounds, unconscious biases about race, gender and appearance, and even the time of day play a more important role in outcomes than the actual law.

Having established that the House, when impeaching a President, acts as a Prosector, that the duty of a prosecutor is not merely to seek conviction, but justice, let's now ask ourselves whether the House, assuming it to have impeached Trump, will have acted in accordance with its duties, or not.

As a sidebar, it may be urged that unlike a prosecutor's office, the House has no permanent prosecutorial function. Indeed, House.gov seems, unlike the Senate, to have no page on impeachment at all; and the House is structured very differently :

The House is the only branch of government that has been directly elected by American voters since its formation in 1789. Unlike the Senate, the House is not a continuing body. Its Members must stand for election every two years, after which it convenes for a new session and essentially reconstitutes itself -- electing a Speaker, swearing-in the Members-elect, and approving a slate of officers to administer the institution. Direct, biennial elections and the size of the membership (currently 435 voting Representatives) have made the House receptive to a continual influx of new ideas and priorities that contribute to its longstanding reputation as the "People's House."

It could be argued, then, that the "rules" for impeachment need only to be consistent during the two years of a House session, and could then be changed at the next session, an evident absurdity since the President serves for four years, and could presume himself acting unimpeachably for two years, and then be impeached, for the same acts , in the third. Clearly, some sort of institutional memory of what is impeachable and what is not, even if tacit, must be shared among the three branches of government and the public -- even if not adhered to by all. Fortunately, for Trump's impeachment, we have such repository in the person of the Leader of the House -- one might call them the Chief Prosecturor -- Nancy Pelosi, to whose remarkable statement I now turn. End sidebar.

Here is how Nancy Pelosi describes her past exercise of her prosecutorial function (in this case, declining to prosecute:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Former Pres. Bill Clinton was impeached "for being stupid." #PelosiTownHall https://t.co/F4LwDf7emf pic.twitter.com/jVu5yxZ5GY

-- CNN (@CNN) December 6, 2019

Here is the transcript, which is extremely verbose :

DEAN CHIEN, STUDENT, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: So, Speaker Pelosi, you resisted calls for the impeachment of President Bush in 2006, and President Trump, following the Mueller report earlier this year.

This time it's different. Why did you impose – why did you oppose impeachment in the past? And what is your obligation to protect our democracy from the actions of our President now?

PELOSI: Thank you. Thank you for bringing up the question about – because when I became Speaker the first time, there was overwhelming call for me to impeach President Bush, on the strength of the war in Iraq[3], which I vehemently opposed, and again not – again, I – I say "Again," I said – said at other places that I – that was my we – all has always (ph) Intelligence.

I was Ranking Member on the Intelligence Committee even before I became part of the leadership of Gang of Four. So, I knew there were no nuclear weapons in Iraq . It just wasn't there.

They had to show us now – to show the Gang of Four all the Intelligence they had. The Intelligence did not show that that – that was the case. So, I knew it was a – a misrepresentation to the public. But having said that, it was a, in my view, not a ground for impeachment. That was – they won the election. They made a representation . And to this day, people think – people think that that it was the right thing to do.

If people think that Iraq had something to do with the 9/11, I mean it's as appalling what they did. But I did – and I've said, if somebody wants to make a case, you bring it forward.

(Remarkably, or not, Pelosi kept her knowledge that the Iraq War was built on lies secret from the public. This doesn't strike me as the right approach to " a Republic, if you can keep it .") First, apparently a President's "misrepresentation to the public" that led to war -- a war that resulted, even in the early years of the war, in tens of thousands of civilian deaths, thousands of American deaths, hundreds of billions of dollars, and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal -- is not a "high crime or misdemeanor." Pelosi would have us believe that Bush's disinformation campaign was not, as Madison writes in Federalist 65 , a case of "misconduct of public men, or, in other words the abuse or violation of some public trust." And why? Because "[Bush] won the election." Except Pelosi gets the timeline wrong. Bush won his election in 2004. The Democrats took back the House in 2006 -- how we cheered, then; it was almost as satisfying as Obama's inaugural -- based in large part on Bush's botched handling of Iraq. Pelosi "won the election." And then didn't do anything with her power.

Let's ask a little consistency from our Chief Prosecutor, shall we? Because that's what justice demands? If "misrepresentation to the public the public" in service of taking the country into war -- the aluminum tubes, the yellowcake, all the whackamole lies that Bush put forth -- is not impeachable, then how on earth is what Trump did, even under the very worst intepretation, impeachable? Are we really going to convict Trump because he -- Bud from Legal insists I insert the word "allegedly" -- tried to muscle Zelensky? Here is what Turley, who approached his statement as a lawyer would, did with that accusation . I'm going to quote a great slab of this, because the whole thing ticks me off so much:

Presidents often put pressure on other countries which many of us view as inimical to our values or national security. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama reportedly put pressure on other countries not to investigate the U.S. torture program or seek the arrest of those responsible.103 President Obama and his staff also reportedly pressured the Justice Department not to initiate criminal prosecution stemming from the torture program.104 Moreover, presidents often discuss political issues with their counterparts and make comments that are troubling or inappropriate. However, contemptible is not synonymous with impeachable. Impeachment is not a vehicle to monitor presidential communications for such transgressions. That is why making the case of a quid pro quo is so important – a case made on proof, not presumptions. While critics have insisted that there is no alternative explanation, it is willful blindness to ignore the obvious defense. Trump can argue that he believed the Obama Administration failed to investigate a corrupt contract between Burisma and Hunter Biden. He publicly called for the investigation into the Ukraine matters. Requesting an investigation is not illegal any more than a leader asking for actions from their counterparts during election years.

Trump will also be able to point to three direct conversations on the record. His call with President Zelensky does not state a quid pro quo. In his August conversation with Sen. Ron Johnson (R., WI.), President Trump reportedly denied any quid pro quo. In his September conversation with Ambassador Sondland, he also denied any quid pro quo. The House Intelligence Committee did an excellent job in undermining the strength of the final two calls by showing that President Trump was already aware of the whistleblower controversy emerging on Capitol Hill. However, that does not alter the fact that those direct accounts stand uncontradicted by countervailing statements from the President. In addition, President Zelensky himself has said that he did not discuss any quid pro quo with President Trump. Indeed, Ambassador Taylor testified that it was not until the publication of the Politico article on September 31st that the Ukrainians voiced concerns over possible preconditions. That was just ten days before the release of the aid. That means that the record lacks not only direct conversations with President Trump (other than the three previously mentioned) but even direct communications with the Ukrainians on a possible quid pro quo did not occur until shortly before the aid release. Yet, just yesterday, new reports filtered out on possible knowledge before that date -- highlighting the premature move to drafting articles of impeachment without a full and complete record.105

Voters should not be asked to assume that President Trump would have violated federal law and denied the aid without a guarantee on the investigations. The current narrative is that President Trump only did the right thing when "he was caught." It is possible that he never intended to withhold the aid past the September 30th deadline while also continuing to push the Ukrainians on the corruption investigation. It is possible that Trump believed that the White House meeting was leverage, not the military aid, to push for investigations. It is certainly true that both criminal and impeachment cases can be based on circumstantial evidence, but that is less common when direct evidence is available but unsecured in the investigation. Proceeding to a vote on this incomplete record is a dangerous precedent to set for this country. Removing a sitting President is not supposed to be easy or fast. It is meant to be thorough and complete. This is neither.

Put Turley's justifiable polemic against a childish West Wing view of international relations aside. Just look at the triviality of the subject matter, whether you think Trump is guilty or not . White House appearances. Military aid. Corruption investigations. How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this mass of anodyne trivialities im peachable? When it's the same prosecutor declining to indict for Iraq, and deciding to indict for Ukraine? Whatever this is, it's not "the impartial and consistent application of rules", and that means the House is failing in its prosecutorial duty to seek justice, and not merely conviction.

NOTE Yes, I'm leaving the national security aspects of Ukraine aside. We can take up the question of whether the interagency process should run foreign policy, or the President, and the Blob's peculiar view of the national interest another time.


Lee , December 9, 2019 at 5:50 pm

The detestable in full pursuit of the deplorable.

With apologies to Mr. Wilde.

JBirc4049 , December 9, 2019 at 6:21 pm

I agree with this analysis, but Madam Speaker Pelosi and her fellow players are not doing what they are doing for the Republic's, the law, ethics, morality, and certainly not for justice's sake. If they were, Pelosi would not have mentioned her prewar knowledge of President Bush's and his Administration's lies on the reasons given for going to war.

This is merely political theater and a way to stiffen their spines of jello for their coup. Heaven forfend that President Evo Morales Donald Trump be ousted in a coup by the American Deep State. Our ruling class and their servants really are stupid enough to believe that destroying the norms, both written and unwritten, that our society is actually governed by is a good thing.

Maybe TPTB truly believe that an increasingly ungovernable, immiserated, and desperate society in an increasingly unpredictable climate is just another chance to consume the poor instead of the poor consuming them.

rob , December 10, 2019 at 7:41 am

I agree

The democrats couldn't go after the bush administration for falsely leading this country to invade iraq, for one big reason . they were JUST as guilty . They, including clinton; voted, and went on all the air waves, did op eds; all justifying the charade, that was the run up to the iraq invasion.

People ought not forget,

EVERY bit of information proving the iraq war was a lie . was in plenty of places BEFORE the invasion. And every establishment shill did their level best to not only ignore the truth, but to discredit it with pathetic lies and rhetoric.

The democrats were just as guilty for iraq as the republicans.

And when the terrorists who were used as a ploy to blow up the twin towers, were being protected by the fbi between 1998 and 2000.(look at Robert Wright and John Vincent fbi agents from chicago office, who were told by superiors to "let sleeping dogs lie".. after a two year investigation of two of the "were to become terrorists"and yasin al-qadi. their money man who was a co owner of P-TECH(above top secret clearances at :cia,fbi,nsa,faa,secret service,norad,nro,etc.) and later a donor to the MITT Romney campaign) The clintons and the democratic elite were right there pretending nothing was happening. And have since pretended that "the war on freedom",,,,or as they call it "the war on terror" is justified.
whether it was the democratic party or the new york times or la times or washington post of the weekly standard or fox news or PBS EVERY media powerhouse was on the side of "the big lie"..

Pathetic logic fails were fed to the american population 24/7/365 The truth be damned and still is

Michael Mooney , December 10, 2019 at 6:37 pm

When you have a Democrat do away with Glass-Steagall, who needs Republican villains. Both totally corrupt parties are beholden to the banks and corporations, and need to be voted out of office.

Anthony G Stegman , December 9, 2019 at 6:21 pm

For the powers that be war crimes are not impeachable offenses.

Jeotsu , December 9, 2019 at 6:51 pm

Question, is there a statute of limitations for impeachable offenses? Because the Speaker of the House admitted on the public record of implicitly participating (by her silence) in an orchestrated lie that led to the deaths and maiming of thousands of American soldiers. Should we be taking that public statement and calling for her impeachment? Can you impeach the Speaker of the House?

d , December 9, 2019 at 7:03 pm

Congress and senators are impeachable. impeachment only applies to judges, president and vice president. and very very few others

inode_buddha , December 9, 2019 at 11:01 pm

Congress and senators are impeachable. impeachment only applies to judges, president and vice president. and very very few others

Time to impeach Pelosi, then. I'm not in Cali, but I wonder what it would take to get that ball rolling.

The Rev Kev , December 9, 2019 at 6:57 pm

Maybe the Democrats are hoping that once it reaches the Senate, that one of their number will step up, make a stirring West-Wing style speech which will cause all those present – Republicans included – to rise to their feet and clap and cheer as they vote for Trump to be finally kicked out of the White House. Then in their newfound maturity, they will make Mike Pence the new President of the United States as they work together for a better country with new respect for each other.

The End.

clarky90 , December 9, 2019 at 7:06 pm

The MSM is reporting the "impeachment" as if it was a serious (approved by expert academics) endeavor. However, the veil is lifting. The revealed face of the ruling class is Neo-Orwellian.

"Nadler's committee will likely vote to impeach Trump. In a report defining what it considers impeachable offenses, the committee states that even if Trump did not actually break any laws in his supposed "quid pro quo" dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he can still be impeached for his unstated motives.

"The question is not whether the president's conduct could have resulted from permissible motives. It is whether the president's real reasons, the ones in his mind at the time, were legitimate, " it stated."

https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980918000328

Certainly they are working on mind wave tech, to scan us for "unstated motives" as we live our day to day lives?

Carolinian , December 9, 2019 at 7:42 pm

Turley says he is now getting threatening phone calls as well people trying to get him fired as professor because he dared to pooh pooh the case for impeachment.

There has been a vast and irrational response to Trump from day one–perhaps based on the fantasy that the presidency really is like The West Wing whereas the reality is likely closer to the HBO comedy Veep. From "now watch this drive" Dubya to Obama and his "propeller heads" our presidents are a series of vain peacocks with Trump merely the extreme case. Impeach them all–or none.

flora , December 9, 2019 at 7:49 pm

The party of unprincipled, self-interested grasping. I'm not talking about the GOP. Thanks for this post.

DJG , December 9, 2019 at 7:52 pm

This observation by Lambert Strether sums it up: "Karlan's wasn't even footnoted, whether to facts, or to law." She is supposedly a professor of law, supposedly advising the Congress about the process of impeachment. She didn't even try to do her job. One may not agree with Turley, although the long excerpt brings a broad perspective to what is criminality and to how much criminality we now consider normal in the U.S. government. To his credit, Turley marshals facts into a synthesis.

What the Republicans don't seem to get is that will to power isn't all that matters and that their commitment to economic degradation and looting the citizenry have thrown them into a crisis (as the paleo-conservatives keep pointing out). Among liberals like Pelosi (and Karlan), the cluelessness is breathtaking. American liberalism is in a profound crisis, with Karlan's disquisition being particulary breathtaking for clichés-a-minute, sheer vulgar thinking, and kitsch.

This is the end. For those of us on the left, and I hesitate to advise non-action, it may be time simply to let these two rotten structures and ways of thinking collapse. It is like watching two ghost ships engaged battle, desparately trying to sink one another into a putrid ocean.

On a lighter (!) note, I will quote Gramsci:

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying away and the new cannot yet be born; during this break in continuity, unhealthy events of every kind are happening.

La crisi consiste appunto nel fatto che il vecchio muore e il nuovo non può nascere: in questo interregno si verificano i fenomeni morbosi piú svariati.

Antonio Gramsci -- Prison Notebooks

Dirk77 , December 10, 2019 at 12:15 am

I think your last quote hits the nail on the head. It should be painted on every highway overpass. The insanity of [neo]liberals strikes me as the actions of the philosophically bankrupt, the hysterical demonizing of Trump being their desperate way to avoid recognizing that fact. I can understand that almost all people crave certainty, but Jesus its time to let it go and strike out to elsewhere.

flora , December 9, 2019 at 7:58 pm

An old lawyer adage: If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither the facts nor the law , pound the table.

Karlan was pounding the table.

Off The Street , December 9, 2019 at 8:47 pm

Nadler, like Schiff before him, is putting on a diversionary show. The big rush in both shows has been to construct narratives to sow doubt in the minds of viewers and voters, on a tight schedule. That schedule has been known for some time, with a big component dropping today in the IG report.

They had seen enough in SCIFs and elsewhere to know that Team Dem was going to get slammed due to its supporters in the FBI and DOJ. That much is evident in reviewing the report and scores of other documents available to the public. What hasn't been made available, like the Atkinson piece, also provide further support to the Schiff and Nadler accelerants.*

In a way, I almost feel sorry for Rep. Schiff as he was sent on a fool's errand. History will be unkind to him, among others.

Of greater concern during their proceedings is the absolute lack of regard for the principles like Due Process established in our US Constitution, and the rule of law.

*Accelerant – fuel in arson cases.

Henry Moon Pie , December 10, 2019 at 4:08 am

"Rep. Schiff as he was sent on a fool's errand"

At least they had the right man for the job.

ChrisPacific , December 9, 2019 at 8:48 pm

So Pelosi didn't support impeaching Bush because she was an accessory?

urblintz , December 9, 2019 at 8:58 pm

exactly

Elizabeth , December 9, 2019 at 10:35 pm

Then she's a war criminal too! I also remember her saying, "well, we didn't want to ruin our chances" (in the next election). My fondest wish is that GW Bush, Jr. and the gang who lied us into the war in Iraq be prosecuted and convicted for war crimes. A somewhat hopeless wish – that.

ChrisPacific , December 9, 2019 at 11:17 pm

She can be surprisingly frank about these things sometimes. She is saying the same thing in this quote ("people think that that it was the right thing to do" = opposing this would have cost us votes). I can't understand why anybody would ever trust her again after a revelation like that.

Shiloh1 , December 9, 2019 at 11:02 pm

Whether it's Iraq I, Iraq II, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and any others I've missed, I want to know how many of these rats had / have financial interests in these wars including daily drone-fests a few years ago.

The war drums have been beating on the Ukraine vs Russian for a few years now. Pelosi is worth over $100,000,000 on mere $200,000 humble public servant salary, many others on both Team Blue and Team Red similar.

If Team Red Senate votes to summarily dismiss impeachment it is the tell that there were / are many more cockroaches they do not want to expose, such as Lindsey Graham, Mitt, McCain, Kerry, not to forget Rummy, Wolfe, Condi, Cheney, W, O, Hillary, Poppy and so on.

Any 20 somethings in those households die or maimed "over there"? Let them all hang, dig their corpses up if you have to. Trump should double-dog dare them all to do it.

I voted for Trump solely as a bull in the china shop, with everything preceding him the past ~ 40 years as the china shop. Andy Jackson was not on the ballot 3 years ago, so I had to settle.

Samuel Conner , December 9, 2019 at 8:53 pm

I agree that DJT's misdeeds (at least the ones we know about) do not approach those of the Bush/Cheney presidency (the ones we know about). I wonder what lies beneath the D determination to impeach. I have been getting emails from various D-oriented organizations asserting that control of the Senate is within reach for the Ds in 2020, and asking for funds.

Given the near certainty that the Senate will not vote to convict (either through ~20Rs voting with Ds or ~30Rs simply not voting), perhaps it is hoped that a failure to convict in the Senate would help Ds make the case for an extra heavy base turnout in 2020 to deliver the Senate to the Ds.

They can't, or won't, govern. But with control of both houses, they might be able to impeach and convict.

JBird4049 , December 9, 2019 at 9:29 pm

If the Democratic Party refuses to govern, just why should they be in office? Unless it is Goldman Sach, Jeff Bezos, and their fellow oligarchs, it is just mendacity masquerading as seriousness. The Republicans also do not govern, but loot the lower 80% of the population while dismantling the government.

Just before the Civil War, Republican Party replaced the American Whigs and the Democratic Party split in two and looked like it too was going away as well. Let's have a clean sweep this time and maybe prevent another war.

oaf , December 9, 2019 at 9:01 pm

The verdict is prepared before the charges!

Susan the Other , December 9, 2019 at 9:05 pm

It seemed that the Democrats started out focused on a Trump connection to laundered Russian money. They didn't like his friendliness toward Putin. The FBI and Mueller went straight for Manafort and got him cold. It's possible they can't get Trump because he dealt through DeutscheBank and DB has been protected so far from prosecution.

Every bank in the EU seems to have laundered Russian money. So to start prosecuting would/will be a total circus.

The House Dems started to boil when Trump suggested the Magnitsky Act was not impartial and Browder might be a crook, heaven forbid. But when Trump really started to focus on the Ukraingate stuff the House shifted into high gear.

Schiff started to look like a cornered animal, the expression on his face went from moral superiority to downright angst. His eyes started to bug out. Nancy went from no impeachment to, almost overnight, yes impeachment. And Rudy Giuliani was accused of Treason for questioning their favorite operative, Joe Bagman.

And how impolite of Trump and Rudy to suggest that Joe's doofus son could be up to the same corruption as daddy. So the fear in the House is visible. I'm thinking there are lotsa members who might be not just complicit in the coup but complicit having received money for favors. Or in the case of Browder, helping an international thief and conman with high connections here and in the UK. High connections usually means political bribes. So Trump knows where the skeletons are buried imo and it freaks them out beyond any possible just proceeding. And Nancy's an idiot with a gavel.

John , December 9, 2019 at 9:11 pm

Prosecutors seeking justice? On what alien planet do you suppose that might be happening? Prosecutorial misconduct, caprice, and inconsistency is a hallmark of the US criminal carcerial system. Our Gulag doesn't just fill itself it needs prosecutors to keep the ball rolling. Sorta like insurance delivering healthcare.

Katniss Everdeen , December 9, 2019 at 9:11 pm

How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this mass of anodyne trivialities impeachable?

It's not. The system has broken completely down, although many americans don't know it yet. The democrats need to back off, although I wouldn't put money on it.

Vegetius , December 9, 2019 at 10:11 pm

If not one puts a stop to it, Unsettling Research is going to fatally undermine the foundations of Liberalism as such. Then what?

JTMcPhee , December 9, 2019 at 10:16 pm

Good to remember the ultimate frame that bounds this Gong Show Trial: "In the long run we are all dead."

What's going on here seems to me to have the same overall flavor of what's happening in Britain. Let the last stage of the Great Looting of the Planet begin.

I think there are too many moving parts to allow any meaningful analysis of such a soon-to-be-fait accompli. Justice, fairness, Constitution, "rule of law" are the shibboleths of the weak. None of those are anything but fig leafs over tumescent power, mentioned occasionally and clearly without adherence or conviction by that tiny set of front people and spokespersons for the even smaller set that actually move the levers of power. In the end, of course, as with all the climax events of the last few generations, we mopes will never get more than a modified limited hangout of an inkling to what actually happened, and not even that while the play's afoot.

And what good would it doe us to know all the details? What power do American mopes, for sure, atomized and fearful and befuddled, have to "bend the arc of history toward justice"?

inode_buddha , December 10, 2019 at 8:09 am

Well, I think we made a credible effort to bend the arc of history in 1776, and again in 1865. I have little doubt that history will eventually repeat itself, or at least rhyme quite nicely.

Rhondda , December 10, 2019 at 9:41 am

Strong, evocative words, JTMcPhee. Memorable and worth remembering. Thank you.

"Justice, fairness, Constitution, "rule of law" are the shibboleths of the weak. None of those are anything but fig leafs over tumescent power "

Besides, who would want Pence for president?

ambrit , December 10, 2019 at 2:21 am

Pence represents a large cohort of Evangelicals who are not averse to using 'direct action' to advance their causes. Think of the abortion doctors who were shot by 'right wing nutters,' and the horrific tactics used against women trying to enter and leave abortion clinics.

One of Pence's strengths is his unswerving adherence to a particular ideology. He has focus, and that aspect of his character gives him strength and purpose.
Even Napoleon realized the value of the Moral in human affairs.

Also consider groups within the Government and Military aligned with the Evangelical mind set. Pence has ample resources to manage the job of President. History shows that relatively small groups of committed and coordinated True Believers can take over and run governments. Pence is the figurehead for such a group. Beware.

Carolinian , December 9, 2019 at 10:58 pm

Biden was asked if he would comply if subpoenaed for the Senate trial and he said no. So Trump is to be impeached for his "crimes" while his potential opponent defies the law and that's ok because .why was that ok again?.

Stupendous Man - Defender of Liberty, Foe of Tyranny , December 9, 2019 at 10:55 pm

"However hurried a court may be in its efforts to reach the merits of a controversy, the integrity of procedural rules is dependent upon consistent enforcement because the only fair and reasonable alternative thereto is complete abandonment." Miller v. Lint, 62 Ohio St. 2d 209 (1980).

"We have granted discretionary review because a majority of a Court of Appeals panel has refused to follow a long line of decisions of the highest court of this state in violation of S.C.R. 1.030(8)(a) which provides:

'The Court of Appeals is bound by and shall follow applicable precedents established in the opinions of the Supreme Court and its predecessor court.'

The rule is fundamental and is absolutely necessary in a hierarchical judicial system. If every tier of courts in the judicial hierarchy were free to disregard the decisions of a higher court, the Court of Appeals could freely disregard the decisions of the Supreme Court, the circuit courts could freely ignore the decisions of the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court and our District Courts would be bound by no law at all, free to ignore the decisions of all higher courts. The result of that course is anarchy." Special Fund v. Francis, 708 S.W.2d 641 (Ky. 1986).

The above favorable articulations notwithstanding what I've been seeing the past decade, or so, is something much more akin to "The Rule of Whimsy," with said rule of whimsy having replaced "The Rule of Law."

JeffK , December 10, 2019 at 12:10 am

I don't think the comparative impeachable offenses argument adds any clarification. The distinction is that the current proceedings are about potential extortion that impacts the next election; the impeachable lies and corruption that led to the Iraq war took two years for the public to perceive. Future versus past. Even if Kerry won in 2004, there would not have been convictions because the conflict was still in progress. Besides, those that carry out orders are the ones that get convictions, not the commanders. Oh, and let's not forget "the fog of war" – a very useful alibi for top military advisers and political leaders.

I think the problem with the current impeachment mess can be Venn diagrammed. Imagine two circles. Once circle titled political leverage, the other circle titled extortion. Move the circles together to partially overlap. Where they overlap is titled Joe Biden. A distinction can usually be made between political leverage and extortion by asking who the stakeholders are. Leverage (with military aid) is always going on, and it benefits "regional stability" and "national security". Extortion benefits the requester, weakens his rivals, creates a compromising dependency the supplicant. In the overlap area the extorted political smear gets executed and the goods get delivered. I think the GOP's argument is that as long as the goods get delivered it is acceptable political leverage. They want to minimize the effect of smearing Joe Biden on the election. They want to blur the distinction between extortion and leverage.

Back to future versus past: The current mess may originate with an lack of conflict of interest oversight during/by the Obama administration by sending Joe Biden and John Kerry to Ukraine to negotiate anti-corruption deals favorable to the US, knowing that their family members were involved with Burisma. Surely there were others in the state Department that could have been direct envoys of the administration. If Burisma wants to stack their board with influential people and pay them a ridiculous sum for doing nothing – just to attract investors – well you can chalk that up to corporate stupidity. It's not necessarily corruption, especially if it works. How many US private equity firms have high-visibility dead weight board members?

inode_buddha , December 10, 2019 at 6:47 am

It took me all of one week to connect corruption with the Iraq war, back when it was beginning. The comparison of past with present is quite useful because it highlights the injustice that is going on right now. Even if Trump committed impeachable offenses, does not give the House any moral authority to engage in selective prosecution for the exact same type of behavior that they themselves, and past presidents have engaged in. This whole circus is nothing but politics, it certainly isn't about justice, nor doing what is actually good for the country. Disclaimer: I voted for Jill Stein. Deal with it.

SteveB , December 10, 2019 at 6:33 am

I can only watch small snippets of the "impeachment hearings" before screaming at the TV like an insane man. Even if one accepts the argument that Trump was using leverage to influence US election: BIDEN WAS NOT THE NOMINEE !!!!!!!!!!! there were many others vying for the position. How can you use leverage for personal gain on an event which hasn't and may not occur ?

It only works if he becomes the nominee. Trump was very effective at portraying his opponents as he wanted during the 2016 campaign ("Crooked Hillary" ) with all the self inflicted gaffs "Uncle Joe" makes it would seem to be shooting fish in a barrel for Trump in 2020 Why work through Ukraine, when he'd have it so easy destroying him on national TV while stroking his own ego at the same time

@pe , December 10, 2019 at 9:13 am

So, in Myanmar, should the Hague not act because it's hands aren't clean? It hasn't acted against the US, for example, which was a much more dangerous agressor in the ME recently (not to speak of other cases), and so clearly, the investigation into Myanmar is "merely" political. Even if investigating the US is impractical, it could investigate smaller countries that have been involved in that case -- but they haven't, since this is merely "political".

In fact, following this to the reduction to absurdity, no court ever has clean hands -- everything is corrupt to some extent, self-interested and hypocritical. Do we abandon all pretense at systems of justice? Or is the case presented here "special" in some sense, whereby we should look at the goals of the accusers beyond and above the acts and goals of the accused?

katiebird , December 10, 2019 at 10:10 am

Thank you, Lambert this is a great piece. I haven't been able to follow this impeachment thing at all. But your final question and answer pulls it together for me.

It doesn't make sense because it really doesn't make sense. Also why now, when we are about to have an election?

I just wish I had the nerve and moral strength to share your post.

katiebird , December 10, 2019 at 12:31 pm

OK. I posted the link to Facebook. I really wonder what my family and friends will say